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Simple music-making for everyone

Category: Google | Mar 1, 2018

We started Chrome Music Lab to make learning music more accessible to everyone through fun, hands-on experiments. And we’ve loved hearing from teachers who have been using it in exciting ways, like exploring music and its connections to science, math, art, dance, and more.

For this year’s Music in Our Schools Month, we’ve added a new experiment to the website called Song Maker. It’s a simple way for anyone to make a song, then share it with a link—no need to log in or make an account. Anyone can instantly hear what you made, and even riff on it to make their own song. It lives on the web, so you don’t need to install any apps to try it. And, it works across devices—phones, tablets, computers.

Check it out here and have fun making some music.


Newsroom placements for students across Europe

Category: Google | Mar 1, 2018

Calling journalism students across Europe. If you have a passion for news, want to make and break stories and love technology, we have a program that brings all those skills together—the 2018 Google News Lab Fellowship.

This year we’re offering placements across 10 countries. For the first time, news publishers in Belgium and the Netherlands will be taking part—the Fellowship will open here soon—and each of will offer new opportunities for students to gain valuable experience. 

Applications are open in the following european countries: Austria, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Country-specific applications can be found on the News Lab website

In the coming weeks, the participating newsrooms will select their preferred candidates and identify a Fellow by the end of May. The Fellow will then join the newsroom for a two-month summer placement, and Google provides a €5,500 stipend for each publisher to allocate. Fellows who have completed their placement in previous years say it was a “golden opportunity to get full-time work experience” and an invaluable start to their career in journalism.

Attending a workshop in London, here are the 2017 News Lab Fellows, and one Googler—me on the far right!

During their placement, the Fellows are invited to contribute their ideas to stories and new projects. From fact-checking to data journalism, video to audio, each newsroom offers a unique opportunity. In previous years, we’ve seen Fellows secure a frontpage story, bring new thinking to analytics and introduce emerging 360 technology to their newsroom.

In 2017, selected Fellows from parts of northern Europe traveled to Google in London to take part in a training and innovation workshop. While here, they heard product experts from the YouTube Space and the News Lab and received practical tips to help strengthen their digital newsgathering and visualization skills.

While the program isn’t available on an annual basis everywhere, there are currently Fellowships taking place in Australia, South Korea and the U.S., and we’re always thinking of how to expand and test the program in other countries.

Thank you to all of the news organizations that are taking part this year—for example, Agence France-Presse, Wirtschaftswoche, The Telegraph and LCI—and those who’ve taken part in previous years. Good luck to everyone who wishes to apply!


Oddbods: Capturing kids’ imaginations around the world

Category: Google | Mar 1, 2018

Editor’s Note: As part of our series of interviews with people across the Asia-Pacific who use the internet as a tool to create, connect and grow, we spoke with Sashim Parmanand, CEO of One Animation studios, based in Singapore. One Animation is the creator of “Oddbods,” a multi-award winning cartoon that follows the shenanigans of seven quirky, adorable characters that has over a million subscribers to its YouTube channel. In 2017, Oddbods received its first Emmy nomination for Best Animated Series. In the last four years, One Animation has become a global business spanning over 150 countries, with revenues doubling year on year.  

Tell us about “Oddbods.”

“Oddbods” is a globally loved, non-dialogue comedy featuring seven very different, always adorable pals. Together, they survive the perils of everyday life, turning ordinary situations into unexpected, extraordinary events, with lots of fun and laughter for everyone along the way. 

We’ve received a few industry awards, but there was a collective gasp of excitement in the office when we got an Emmy nomination for Best Animated Show last year! All of the blood, sweat, heartache and tears that went into Oddbods completely paid off in that moment. We also reached a major milestone of 1 million subscribers on our YouTube channel. We’re really happy that “Oddbods” has found passionate viewers among the young and the young at heart all over the world. 


We love the fact that the seven characters have unique “oddities” and that children are taught to embrace their own quirks. What was the inspiration behind the characters? 

Richard, our creative director, watched cartoons obsessively as a child—“Snow White” and “Tom and Jerry” were favorites. He loved the distinct personality of each of the seven dwarfs and the underlying message that despite Tom and Jerry’s ongoing feud, they were the best of friends at heart. These themes of friendship and individuality inspired the creation of “Oddbods.” The Oddbods teach kids and people of all ages to be true to yourself and accept others’ differences.

What has your experience with YouTube been? 

YouTube is a great platform for creators to quickly engage a global audience. Since we’re constantly refining the content of our episodes, we’re able to appeal to different consumers and have driven 3 billion views in just over 18 months! YouTube has also helped us engage our viewers directly and build in fun features in our videos that are not possible in other formats.

While “Oddbods” is one of the fastest growing YouTube channels in the kids’ space globally, what really excites us is our fans’ love for the content. They’re reposting it on their own YouTube channels so quickly that user-generated content growth is faster than our channel’s. This is the biggest accolade we could receive for the show!


How has the show’s success helped grow your business?

 We set up a secondary production location in Jakarta in 2015. The influx of new talent from Jakarta combined with the incredible expertise of our R&D team has ensured that our content is of the highest quality. Meanwhile, our commercial team has grown three-fold over the same period, helping us build and diversify new revenue streams across digital, TV, gaming and merchandising. The show’s success has also helped us forge strong partnerships with industry giants such as Ferrero, Carl’s Junior, the Australian Football League and National Express.


What advice would you give to aspiring creators in the family entertainment content field?

Our shows have always been about creating magical and immersive stories brought to life with the very latest animation techniques. A large part of this is accomplished by creating characters that audiences can empathize with, regardless of culture or language. As a non-dialogue show, “Oddbods” is perhaps the best example of this. They are zany, quirky and funny. But most of all, despite being colorful, non-human characters, they are very “real.” 


What’s next for “Oddbods” and One Animation?

“Oddbods” has captured the imaginations of kids around the globe over the last three years and the brand has been on a journey of rapid development. 

We just launched toys in Singapore, the Philippines and across Europe.  We plan on launching more products globally for our fans, including a suite of apps and games. We expect an “Oddbods” game to be available in AR and VR in the next couple of months!


Learn with Google AI: Making ML education available to everyone

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

During college, while doing a geophysics internship aboard an oil rig, I realized that software was the future—so I switched my major to computer science. After more than a decade working at Google, I had a similar moment where I realized that AI is the future of computer science. Today, I lead Google’s machine learning education effort, in the hope of making AI and its benefits accessible to everyone.

AI can solve complex problems and has the potential to transform entire industries, which means it’s crucial that AI reflect a diverse range of human perspectives and needs. That’s why part of Google AI’s mission is to help anyone interested in machine learning succeed—from researchers, to developers and companies, to students like Abu.

To help everyone understand how AI can solve challenging problems, we’ve created a resource called Learn with Google AI. This site provides ways to learn about core ML concepts, develop and hone your ML skills, and apply ML to real-world problems. From deep learning experts looking for advanced tutorials and materials on TensorFlow, to “curious cats” who want to take their first steps with AI, anyone looking for educational content from ML experts at Google can find it here.

Learn with Google AI also features a new, free course called Machine Learning Crash Course (MLCC). The course provides exercises, interactive visualizations, and instructional videos that anyone can use to learn and practice ML concepts.

Our engineering education team originally developed this fast-paced, practical introduction to ML fundamentals for Googlers. So far, more than 18,000 Googlers have enrolled in MLCC, applying lessons from the course to enhance camera calibration for Daydream devices, build virtual reality for Google Earth, and improve streaming quality at YouTube. MLCC’s success at Google inspired us to make it available to everyone.

There’s more to come from Learn with Google AI, including additional courses and documentation. We’re excited to help everyone learn more about AI.


Talks at Google gets reel with award-worthy actors, actresses and filmmakers

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

Editor’s Note: Talks at Google is our regular speaker series that brings interesting speakers and brilliant minds from all industries and backgrounds to Google campuses. Each month, we select a few favorite talks from that month, or about a particular topic.

Every year, some of the world’s most celebrated actors, actresses and others in the film industry are nominated for Academy Awards, and a lucky few of the nominees have 45 seconds to give their acceptance speeches on stage. At Google, we’ve gotten to hear from them for a bit longer than that.

In honor of the big awards ceremony this weekend, we’ve pulled together a list of the Oscar-nominated/winning actors, actresses and filmmakers who have stopped by Google over the years.

First, the 2018 nominees …

Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya: "Get Out"

Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya from “Get Out”

Tom Hanks & Bob Odenkirk: "The Post

Tom Hanks and Bob Odenkirk from “The Post”

Harrison Ford: "Blade Runner 2049

Harrison Ford from “Blade Runner 2049”

And nominees and winners from previous years:

We’ve got a few more seconds before the “wrap it up” music starts—if you have time to watch more, check out the 2017 Talks at Google Year in Review, subscribe to Talks at Google on YouTube, follow them on Twitter or browse their website.


Move projects forward from one place—Hangouts Chat now available

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

Teams want to be able to get their work done in one place, which is why we introduced the Early Adopter Program of Hangouts Chat to bring teams together. Today, we’re making Chat generally available as a core G Suite service.  

From direct messages to group conversations, Chat helps teams collaborate easily and efficiently. With dedicated, virtual rooms to house projects over time—plus threaded conversations—Chat makes it simple to track progress and follow up tasks. In one place, you can:

  • Easily work with other G Suite apps. Upload items from Drive, collaborate on Docs, Sheets or Slides, join online meetings with Hangouts Meet, or use Google’s powerful search to look up room members, past conversations and shared files.
  • Use artificial intelligence to speed up workflows.When your teams collaborate in Chat, you can speed up manual work, like booking conference rooms, searching for files and more using artificial intelligence.
  • Collaborate with colleagues around the globe.Chat currently supports 28 languages and each room can support up to 8,000 members. It’s available on desktop for Windows and MacOS, as well as iOS and Android so you can easily collaborate on the go.
  • Have peace of mind with embedded security. Chat builds on G Suite’s security-first ecosystem and offers an enterprise-grade solution that’s reliable and compliant. With integrated support for Vault, admins can archive, preserve, search and export Chat-specific data.

Use third-party integrations in Chat to drive team projects

Chat also comes equipped with 25 bots to help speed up workflows, ranging from finance and human resources to CRM, project management and more. There are bots that integrate directly with other G Suite apps, like:

  • The @GoogleDrive bot which lets you know when files are shared with you, comments are made or when people request access to your docs.
  • The @Meet bot which integrates directly with Calendar to schedule meetings for you.

@Drive bot

Or you can build integrations on top of Chat to incorporate tools you use everyday. Building for Chat is simple. Says Prosperworks’ Chief Product Officer, Jon Aniano, “Hangouts Chat offered a terrific platform for us to build a Prosperworks Bot. We’ve since used the bot to deliver real-time CRM status updates to our sales teams, and they’ve been able to be more responsive to customer needs. Chat has made quick, intelligent collaboration a reality for our teams.”

These popular enterprise application companies have already developed bots for you to try out:

Bot integration partners - Hangouts Chat

In case you’re wondering, Chat is compatible with Hangouts and works with your existing contacts. To get started, go to on the web or download the app on your desktop or mobile devices. Chat will be made available over the next 7 days. Here are some handy resources on Hangouts Chat and Meet to help you get started (or just use this cheat sheet).


New ways to help teams work faster and smarter with G Suite

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

Today’s workplace is vastly different than it was 30 years ago. It used to be that a business could rely on a single team in a single location to get things done. These days, business is more diverse, dynamic and distributed than ever before. Decisions have to be made fast, teams need to align quickly and time can’t be wasted on repetitive, manual tasks. Consequently, companies that rely on decades-old, legacy work systems may find they aren’t agile enough to compete and stay relevant.

Imagine that your team needs to close a major sales deal. Stakeholders in multiple locations have to be consulted on the strategy. Customer needs have to be identified, a winning pitch must be drafted and the entire team must align on the right pricing approach—all before the end of the quarter.

G Suite makes this possible. It transforms the way teams collaborate, with intelligent tools that help them solve problems faster and focus their time on work that matters. Today, we’re announcing new, intelligent updates to G Suite to give businesses even more ways to manage projects—like closing a sales deal or bringing a new product to market—from one place.

Use a new, centralized platform to stay aligned on projects and make decisions quicker.

Available today, Hangouts Chat makes it easy to collaborate efficiently so teams can make faster decisions. With team chat rooms and threaded conversations, powerful search functionality and intelligent bots that connect workflows and speed up tasks (even with 3rd party apps), you can work on projects from one spot—like opening a new store location or launching an advertising campaign. Chat has deep integrations with other G Suite apps like Google Drive, Calendar and Hangouts Meet, and built-in security to meet retention, eDiscovery and regulatory/compliance needs for enterprises. Read more about Hangouts Chat or learn how you can build your own bots.

Spend less time setting up meetings and more time accomplishing goals.

We want to make it simple to manage meetings, which is why we’ve built tools to help you surface conference room information and find times to meet. In the coming months, Calendar will use artificial intelligence to automatically suggest rooms for you to book. And because they’ll be optimized for each attendee based on their building and floor location, previous booking history, audio/video equipment needs and room capacity requirements, you can feel confident that you’re booking the right space for your team to be productive.


Solve problems face-to-face with teammates over video, right away.

Sometimes it’s best to jump into an online meeting face-to-face with colleagues so you don’t hold up progress. Now, your team can quickly transition from a conversation in Chat and join a Hangouts Meet video conferencing meeting with just a few clicks.

Spend less time searching for the right documents and more time crafting ideas.

Today, we’re bringing Quick Access to Docs to help teams focus their time on work that matters (similar to Quick Access in Drive). Quick Access uses artificial intelligence to suggest relevant files based on signals like Drive activity and information in your documents, so you can work with the most up-to-date information and create new material quickly. Let’s say your global marketing team needs a central project plan; the team can start a Doc and use Quick Access in the Explore panel to find information from related files and add it into the plan quickly.

Image 3 - Bundle

To stay relevant, businesses must transform how they operate. Try today’s updates in G Suite and empower your teams to work better together.


Providing more comprehensive results to your questions in Search

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

Many of us come to Search with questions about intricate topics. When we ask about “heat from the center of the earth,” for example, we could be asking about what causes it or how hot it is. And if we ask about “ears popping on a plane,” we might be looking for the cause or for remedies. To provide more actionable results to nuanced queries like these, today we’re starting to roll out multifaceted featured snippets.

Sometimes the words we use to ask a question are broad and there could be several different interpretations of the question. With multifaceted featured snippets, we’re able to better understand your query and recognize when there could be multiple interpretations of that query. In the example below with the query “garden needs full sun?” we’re able to recognize that it could be interpreted as “what garden plants need full sun?” or “what counts as full sun?” and offer featured snippets for both.

Multifaceted featured snippet

There are several types of nuanced queries where showing more comprehensive results could be helpful. We’re starting first with “multi-intent” queries, which are queries that have several potential intentions or purposes associated. The query “tooth pain after a filling,” for example, could be interpreted as “why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?” or “how long should a tooth hurt after a filling?”

As we shared before, we aim to expand multifaceted featured snippets to cover a broader set of nuanced queries beyond just “multi-intent” queries. For example, guidance-seeking queries like “is it worth fixing my foundation?” have several components that could be important, such as cost, duration, methods and financing. We’ll continue to experiment with multifaceted featured snippets over this year to expand coverage.  

With any new feature we introduce in Search, we work to ensure that we’re providing a helpful experience. In addition to extensive testing to determine whether a change has a positive effect on search quality, we also take into account feedback from you. If you see a result that you have feedback on, we encourage you to submit your thoughts through the feedback link on the search results page.


Google Domains: an easy way to get online

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

In 2015, we launched Google Domains to help businesses find and buy relevant domains. Here are a few ways we’re helping these companies build, manage and expand their online presence, including a number of key features we recently introduced.

Increased domain name options

Last year, we continued to serve customers by expanding our domain name offerings. Our more than 1.8 million domain registrations now range from traditional, well-known endings like .com, .org, and .net to many newly-released endings including .business, .online, and .design.

Expanded international coverage

At launch, Google Domains was available primarily in the United States. As of today, we are available in 14 countries in addition to the U.S. including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

One-click integration with G Suite

We recently announced one-click integration with G Suite, allowing businesses to quickly create professional branded email addresses and simultaneously access G Suite’s range of intelligent productivity tools like Docs, Calendar, Google Drive and Hangouts Meet. Benefits also include 30 GB of file storage, and 24/7 customer support. We also introduced simpler domain management settings, allowing for access to be shared among multiple authorized users.

Improved privacy and security

We know privacy is valuable for our users, so, where permitted, we offer WHOIS privacy as the free, default option for new domain registrations. This helps protect against spam and other forms of abuse because personal information is not available publicly.

Additionally, we’ve invested in making advanced security features easy and accessible to small businesses. For example, all domain registrations are configured with Cloud DNS by default, ensuring the domain name can be accessed quickly by users around the world. DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) is another feature that protects domains from attacks that target users or personal information, and can be enabled for free in just one click.

Going forward, we plan to roll out newer, faster search features and integrate with other Google products to make it easier to access the Google services you know and love.

Get started today at Google Domains, and if you have any questions or feedback, please let us know!


Applications for Round 5 of DNI Innovation Fund are now open

Category: Google | Feb 28, 2018

Since its introduction in 2015, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund has offered more than €90 million to more than 460 ambitious projects in digital journalism, across 29 countries. The fund, our €150 million commitment to supporting innovation in the European news industry, is designed to provide no-strings-attached funding to those in the news industry looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. Today the DNI Innovation Fund is open for a fifth round of applications—the deadline to apply is April 9, 2018.

How the Fund works

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. There are three categories of funding available: Prototype (up to €50k of funding), Medium (up to €300k of funding) and Large (between €300k and €1 million in funding). For more information on eligible projects, criteria and funding, see our website.

We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism, support the development of new business models, or even change the way people consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the long-term sustainability of the news business.

New for Round 5: Diversifying revenue streams

As with Round 4, all Medium and Large track applications will need to demonstrate that they have a monetisation component within the idea to be eligible. This year, we’re also looking for ideas outside of the well-known approaches around paywalls. So in Round 5 we welcome a range of experimental and innovative approaches which diversify revenue streams.

Apply now

See the DNI Innovation Fund website for full details and and application forms. Applications must be made in English by April 9, 2018 at 23.59 CEST. We’ll announce recipients by mid July.

New approaches have never been more needed so it’s time to experiment, innovate and try something new. We’re ready and waiting to help you bring your ideas to reality—submit your applications now!