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Google Cloud and NetApp collaborate on cloud-native, high performance storage

Category: Google | May 8, 2018

From application scalability, to developer productivity, to access to services unavailable on-premises, enterprises benefit in many ways from migrating their workloads to the cloud. However, some enterprise IT leaders tell us that they struggle to find technology partners that truly understand how to move workloads with minimal disruption. One critical challenge is access to high-performance, scalable and shared file-systems.

That’s why we’re announcing our partnership with NetApp, including the private preview of NetApp Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform (GCP). With NetApp Cloud Volumes, our customers get a fully-managed, cloud-native file storage service integrated with GCP.

NetApp Cloud Volumes can deliver:

  • NetApp’s robust management features in the cloud. Customers can sync datasets automatically, take snapshots of their data, and quickly create full copies of their datasets.

  • Tight integration with GCP for a seamless experience. Manage Cloud Volumes in the cloud console with integrated GCP billing and support.

  • High performance storage. NetApp is a leader in powering EDA workflows, scientific computing, and SaaS applications where file storage requirements are critical.  Customers can now access these NetApp file services with GCP.

  • Hybrid cloud capabilities. Cloud Volumes is ideal for lift and shift of workloads like file services, analytics, databases, disaster recovery and DevOps models, making it easier to move data back and forth between the cloud and on-premises.

We’re excited that this partnership brings a powerful, fully-managed storage service to GCP that can make it easier for enterprises to run new and existing workloads in the cloud. Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform is available now in private preview, with public preview planned for later this year. To learn more, and sign up for the private preview, visit NetApp’s website.


The winners of the 2018 Google Play Awards are …

Category: Google | May 7, 2018

As Google I/O kicked off, we hosted our third annual Google Play Award ceremony to recognize the best apps and games on Google Play over the past year. These apps and games battled it out across nine categories, and proved not only to deliver delightful experiences to fans, but also have larger positive impact in their communities.

Congrats to this year’s winners:

Standout Well-Being App

Apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.

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Simple Habit by Simple Habit, Inc.

Best Accessibility Experience

Apps or games enabling device interaction that serves people with disabilities or special needs.

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Be My Eyes by Be My Eyes

Best Social Impact

Apps or games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (focused on health, education, crisis response, refugees, financial health and fundraising functions).


Khan Academy by Khan Academy

Standout Indie

Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics and overall polish.

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Old Man’s Journey by Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH

Best Community Building Game

Games built to connect gamers, encouraging social interaction and community building.


Episode by Pocket Gems

Best AR or VR Experience

Apps or games offering highly engaging and immersive experiences with optimal use of ARCore or Daydream UI.

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BBC Earth: Life in VR by BBC Worldwide (Ltd)

Standout Build for Billions Experience

Apps or games with optimized performance, localization and culturalization for emerging markets.


Flipkart by Flipkart

Standout Startup

Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth.


Canva by Canva

Best Breakthrough Hit

New apps or games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong organic install growth.

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Empires & Puzzles by Small Giant Games

Try out these great apps and games and see the rest of the finalists at


We’re live (streaming) from Google I/O

Category: Google | May 7, 2018

This year’s annual developer festival is here, and you can catch all the fun on our Google I/O livestream at

Thousands of developers are joining us in Mountain View, CA, to hear about the latest product and platform updates at Google. But since the more the merrier, we’re making it possible for you to stream the event starting with Sundar’s keynote on Tuesday, May 8 at 10 a.m. PDT.

To stay in the loop throughout the conference, you can also follow @Google and @GoogleDevs on Twitter and @Googleon Instagram.

Ready, set, stream!


Thanking teachers by helping them get the resources they need

Category: Google | May 7, 2018

Editor’s note:Teacher Appreciation Week starts today, and we’re honored to have Charles Best, the Founder of as our guest author. We’re big fans of,  and are proud to be longtime supporters of their model of helping teachers. Today, we’re taking that one step further in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Keep an eye on the Education page and follow along on Twitter throughout the week to see how we’re celebrating.

When I taught history in a public school in the Bronx, many of my fellow teachers had great ideas for books their students could read, field trips they would organize for students, or projects they would do in class, if only there was funding to make those ideas happen. I had a sense that people would want to help teachers like us if they could see exactly where their money was going. So with help from my students, I sketched out a site where teachers could request the exact resources they needed for their classroom, and donors of all stripes could give to the projects that inspired them. Since our founding in 2000, 3 million donors have given $680 million to fund over 1 million classroom projects.

I never could have imagined reaching this scale back in my classroom days, and has been key to our growth. shares our belief that teachers understand their students—and the resources they need to teach those students—better than anyone else. Their financial support has empowered teachers across the country to bring their ideas to life.

Since 2012, has supported 17,000 public school teachers who needed funding for their classrooms. This includes teachers like Mr. Narisetty who needed lab equipment for a new AP Physics lab, Ms. Gibson who needed funding for dolls and costumes for her kindergarteners, and Mrs. Price who requested sensory processing materials to help her students with special needs relax.’s continued support has enabled us to pilot new ways to serve students. Back in 2012, they pioneered “Classroom Rewards,” through which teachers who launched new AP STEM courses earned $100 in classroom funding for each student who received a passing score on their AP exam. This program launched more than 500 new AP STEM classes at high schools predominantly serving students from low income families. We recently launched an open source data science project that enables developers to use machine learning to help us match donors with more relevant teacher projects.

All told, has helped bring almost 23,000 projects to life, providing around $20 million in classroom project funding. One in ten public schools in the U.S. has benefitted from this generosity.

This week, is helping us celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by honoring what teachers want and need. is doubling donations to one category of classroom projects every day this week for a total of up to $500,000. These daily categories, like professional development or art, are based on the terms our teachers have searched for most on

We’re kicking off the week by supporting Professional Development projects, so that teachers can bring even more skills to the classroom.

Please join us by heading to to show teachers your appreciation in a way you know they’ll love.


To all the teachers

Category: Google | May 7, 2018

Editor’s note: Teacher Appreciation Week starts today, and we’re honored to have the recently-named 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, as our guest author. We’re enormously grateful for the hard work that teachers like Mandy do everyday to ignite curiosity in the next generation. Stay tuned here and follow along on Twitter throughout the week to see how we’re celebrating.

Becoming a teacher wasn’t part of my original plan. I went to school to become a screenwriter and producer, but after my first job working at a local TV news station, I realized it  didn’t quite fit my personality. I needed to have a different kind of impact. 

That’s when I found a job as a paraeducator (teaching assistant), then taught for two years in the Peace Corps. But it wasn’t until I moved to the tiny town of Spearman, Texas—where I taught theater and communications and coached speech and debate—that I seriously considered pursuing a career in teaching. From the first moment I stood in front of a classroom of nervous but curious teenagers, I was hooked. Looking at their faces, so full of hope and potential, I knew I’d found my purpose.

Nineteen years ago, I could never have imagined being named National Teacher of the Year. Now, in this position, I’m humbled by the opportunity to raise the experiences of educators, and share my students’ voices.


National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning poses with her students on graduation day.  

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has run the National Teacher of the Year program since 1952. Google helps sponsor this program, and as part of their partnership, they hosted my 54 fellow State Teachers of the Year and me at their Mountain View headquarters this past February. The experience was inspiring and validating, reinforcing how educators across our nation are putting students at the center of their work, and how much direct impact we can have on our communities.

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Here are the 55 of us (2018 State Teachers of the Year) enjoying our time with Google in February.

In one session, we had the honor of collaborating on this year’s Doodle celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, which is live on Google homepage in the U.S. today. It was powerful because it gave each of us the chance to talk about what it means to be a teacher, and to bring those concepts together into a single image. We were especially lucky to have help from Jonathan Juravich, Ohio’s 2018 State Teacher of the Year, who is a talented artist and art teacher (learn more about his experience as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Doodle).

We also had the chance to share thoughts and ideas across a range of topics, including the teachers who inspired us, the future of education, and advice for aspiring educators, which are now part of a new video series called “Lessons from Teachers of the Year.” Starting today, these videos will be available on YouTube and I hope they serve as a source of inspiration for educators.

Other influential individuals in education—like Sal KhanCharles Best, and Angela Duckworth—answered some of Google’s most-asked questions about education and shared their thoughts on the profession of teaching. Their words of gratitude show the impact that teachers have on their students and the broader community. Check out these videos and trending education-related queries on a Google Trends hub dedicated to Teacher Appreciation Week.

Over the years, Google has listened to and supported educators through its products, programs and investments, and this week is providing $500,000 to to match donations to classroom project requests. Google has been working with since 2012, providing more than $20 million to fund over 23,000 projects, reaching one out of every ten public schools in the U.S.

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Every day I’m thankful my path led me toward teaching. I look forward to my year ahead as National Teacher of the Year and the opportunity to elevate my colleagues and students’ stories. In the most turbulent of times—and especially in those times—the importance of a good teacher cannot and should not be taken for granted. This week, give a shout out to the teachers who have made a difference in your life. You can even try coding a note of thankswith Made with Code!

So make sure to #ThankATeacher today—they deserve it.


May the 4th be with you … at the movies. Book with the Google Assistant.

Category: Google | May 4, 2018

What started as a fun pun—May the 4th—has now become an official holiday for Star Wars fans. On this day known around the globe as “Star Wars Day,” fans celebrate the lore of the galaxy far, far away. We’ve got a couple of ideas for how you can join in on the celebration!

Your box office guide

What if the droids in the Star Wars universe could pull off this handy trick … your Google Assistant can now help you find, learn about and purchase tickets to the movies. If you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, just ask your Google Assistant for “showtimes near me,” and if one of the movies sounds interesting, you can keep the conversation going by asking “who stars in it?” or “show me the trailer.”


We worked with Fandango so you can buy tickets to the movies using your voice—just say “buy tickets” once you’ve decided which movie to see. Or if you already have a movie in mind, you can just say “Hey Google, get me tickets for…”  and insert the name of the movie you want to see. You can even buy advance tickets for upcoming movies, like “Solo: A Star Wars Story” opening on May 25th. Here’s how it works on your phone:

And if you’re purchasing tickets for a movie that requires reserved seating, you can use Fandango or other providers to pick your seats before you complete your purchase. This works even if you started the conversation on your Google Home – take a look:

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Before you go see “Solo: A Star Wars Story” later this month, enjoy the best of Star Wars on Google Play! We’ve got you covered with discounts and deals on Star Wars apps, games, movies, books and more from that galaxy far, far away.

As a huge fan of Han Solo and Chewbacca, I’m excited to share some wookiee tricks from your Google Assistant … just say, “Hey Google, may the 4th be with you.”


13 ways you’re using AI in your daily life

Category: Google | May 4, 2018

Editor’s note: Artificial intelligence (AI) is behind many of Google’s products and is a big priority for us as a company (more about that at Google I/O next week). Before the festivities commence, we’re sharing how AI already affects your life in ways you might not know, and how people from all over the world have used AI to build their own technology.

AI often sounds like some far-off science fiction concept, but it’s actually behind a lot of things you encounter in your daily life. Here’s the rundown: we train a software system with lots of examples so that it can pick up on patterns. Rather than telling the computer that all spam emails contain the phrase “new weight loss trick!,” you train it on millions of examples of spam, making small corrections until it can pick out the pattern on its own. This ability to learn patterns, called machine learning, makes your life easier in many ways—read on for 13 of them!

Fun stuff

1. Search for “dogs” or “hugs” in your Google Photos library to find your favorite furry friends and (non furry) moments. Even if you haven’t captioned any of your photos, Google can surface the ones that have the object or action you’re looking for.
2. Google Play Music delivers personalized recommendations to play the right music for any moment. By taking into account things like time of day or weather, Play Music can suggest the right music for cooking dinner or watching the sunset

3. Take a photo in Portrait Mode on Pixel 2, and it’ll perfectly blur the backgroundof the photo. This system has been trained on almost a million portraits to learn how to pick out the subject of the photo and blur the background.
4. Watch more than one billion YouTube videos with automatic captions, powered by machine learning algorithms that transcribe speech in 10 languages.

Productivity and security

5. Quickly respond to an email with Smart Reply in Gmail. Smart Reply saves you time by using AI to suggest three responses based on the email you received. Once you’ve selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response.
6.And with Nudging, Gmail uses AI to remind you to follow up or respond to messages that are older than two to three days, making sure you don’t drop the ball.
7.Every day, Google Play Protect automatically reviews more than 50 billion apps, and even devices themselves, and takes action when it finds anything suspicious.

Helping you out in the world

8.Translate text on a sign or menu by holding your camera in front of it. Google Translate uses optical character recognition to figure out the words, and a translation system that has been trained on millions of examples of existing translations on the web.
9.You can strike up a conversation with your Google Assistant in more than a dozen languages, and this year it’ll be available in many more.
10. Estimate how hard it’ll be to park your car on Google Maps. It takes into account parking availability in a given area, and has learned the patterns of how different parts of a city get busy at different times.
11. Find the right address on Google Maps, thanks to a system that learned to read street names and addresses from billions of Street View images.
12. Search what you see with Google Lens, whether it’s landmarks, books, artwork, or your neighbor’s dog. It’s possible only with the latest in computer vision, using machine learning to identify objects and browse the world around you.
13.Asmart algorithm in Google Trips can help plan your next travel itinerary. It’s the classic “traveling salesman” research problem, applied to modern transportation and all the complex ways people move around.

To learn more about how AI is behind our products, tune into the I/O livestream next week, starting on Tuesday May 8 at 10 a.m. PDT.


Introducing the first Daydream standalone VR headset and new ways to capture memories

Category: Google | May 4, 2018

Back in January, we announced the Lenovo Mirage Solo, the first standalone virtual reality headset that runs Daydream. Alongside it, we unveiled the Lenovo Mirage Camera, the first camera built for VR180. Designed with VR capture and playback in mind, these devices work great separately and together. And both are available for purchase today.

More immersive

The Mirage Solo puts everything you need for mobile VR in a single device. You don’t need a smartphone, PC, or any external sensors—just pick it up, put it on, and you’re in VR in seconds.

The headset was designed with comfort in mind, and it has a wide field of view and an advanced display that’s optimized for VR. It also features WorldSense, a powerful new technology that enables PC-quality positional tracking on a mobile device, without the need for any additional sensors. With it, you can duck, dodge and lean, step backward, forward or side-to-side. All of this makes for a more natural and immersive experience, so you really feel like you’re there.


Lenovo Mirage Solo

With over 350 games, apps and experiences in the Daydream library, there’s tons to see and do. WorldSense unlocks new gameplay elements that bring the virtual world to life, and more than 70 of these titles make use of the technology, including Blade Runner: Revelations, Extreme Whiteout, Narrows, BBC Earth Live in VR, Fire Escape, Eclipse: Edge of Light, Virtual Virtual Reality, Merry Snowballs, and Rez Infinite. So whether you’re a gamer or an explorer, there’s something for everyone.

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    Blade Runner: Revelations by Seismic Games & Alcon Media Group

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    Narrows by Resolution Games

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    BBC Earth: Life in VR by BBC Worldwide Ltd

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    Fire Escape by iNK Stories

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    Extreme Whiteout by Grab Games

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    Merry Snowballs by Hatrabbit

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    Flutter VR by Runaway

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    Virtual Virtual Reality by Tender Claws

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    Eclipse Edge of Light by White Elk

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    Rez Infinite by Enhance Games

Point and shoot VR capture

Alongside the Mirage Solo, we worked with Lenovo to develop the first VR180 consumer camera, the Lenovo Mirage Camera. VR180 lets anyone capture immersive VR content with point and shoot simplicity. Photos and videos taken with the camera transport you back to the moment of capture with a 180 degree field of view and crisp, three-dimensional imagery.

There’s no better place to relive your VR180 memories than in the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset. And with support for VR180 built into Google Photos, you can easily share those moments with your friends and family—regardless of what device they have.


Lenovo Mirage Camera

We can’t wait for you to try out the Lenovo Mirage Solo and Mirage Camera to dive into new immersive experiences, and to start capturing your favorite moments in VR.


Supporting election integrity through greater advertising transparency

Category: Google | May 4, 2018

Last year, Google committed to make political advertising more transparent. This week, we’re rolling out new policies for U.S. election ads across our platforms as we work to meet those commitments.

As a first step, we’ll now require additional verification for anyone who wants to purchase an election ad on Google in the U.S. and require that advertisers confirm they are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent residents, as required by law. That means advertisers will have to provide a government-issued ID and other key information. To help people better understand who is paying for an election ad, we’re also requiring that ads incorporate a clear disclosure of who is paying for it.  

There’s more to come. This summer, we’ll also release a new Transparency Report specifically focused on election ads. This Report will describe who ​is ​buying ​election-related ​ads ​on ​our ​platforms ​and ​how ​much ​money ​is being spent. We’re also building a searchable library for election ads, where anyone can find which election ads purchased on Google and who paid for them.

As we learn from these changes and our continued engagement with leaders and experts in the field, we’ll work to improve transparency of political issue ads and expand our coverage to a wider range of elections.

Our work on elections goes far beyond improving policies for advertising. We’re investing heavily in keeping our own platforms secure and working with campaigns, elections officials, journalists, and others to help ensure the security of the online platforms that they depend on. In addition to the industry-leading protections in our consumer products, we’ve developed a range of Protect Your Election tools with Alphabet’s Jigsaw that are specifically tailored for people who are at particularly high risk of online attacks.

Yesterday, we announced improvements to one such product. Google’s Advanced Protection Program, our strongest level of account security for those who face increased risk of sophisticated phishing attacks sent to their email address, now supports Apple’s native applications on iOS devices, including Apple Mail, Calendar and Contacts. We expect this will help more campaigns and officials who are often the targets of sophisticated phishing attacks.

We are also working across the industry and beyond to strengthen protections around elections. We’ve partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance and Digital Democracy Project at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School to fund security training programs for elected officials, campaigns, and staff members. We are also supporting the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein’s Center, “Disinfo Lab,” which will employ journalists to leverage computational tools to monitor misinformation in the run-up to and during elections.

For over a decade we’ve built products that provide information about elections around the world, to help voters make decisions on the leadership of their communities, their cities, their states and their countries. We are continuing that work through our efforts to increase election advertising transparency, to improve online security for campaigns and candidates, and to help combat misinformation.  Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming months.


Get more done with the Google Assistant on Wear OS by Google

Category: Google | May 3, 2018

Last year we brought the Google Assistant to your wrist, making it easy to find answers and get things done while you’re on the go. Today, we’re adding a few features that make getting help from the Google Assistant even more convenient on your watch.

Continue the conversation with smart suggestions

With smart suggestions from the Google Assistant, you’ll be able to choose from contextually relevant follow up questions or responses to continue the conversation. For example, when you ask about the weather, you can see the weather now and then tap on a suggestion to see the extended forecast for the weekend. Perfect for quick interactions when you’re on the go!


Hear answers to your questions

Sometimes it’s easier to hear answers to your questions rather than read them. For example, if you’re listening to music on your way to work, try asking the Google Assistant to “tell me about my day.” You’ll hear some helpful information, like your commute times and upcoming agenda, from your watch speaker or Bluetooth headphones.

Get more done from the convenience of your wrist

A few months ago, we announced over 1 million Actions—things you can do—with the Google Assistant. Today we’re bringing Actions to all Wear OS by Google watches, so you can use your voice to preheat your LG oven while you’re unloading your groceries, ask Bay Trains when the next train is leaving, and more. Even better, we’re always working with developers and partners to add more Actions and functionalities.


We’ll start rolling out these new features over the next several days, so look out for the updates on your Wear OS by Google watch. And if you’re a developer interested in building Actions that work with the Google Assistant on Wear OS by Google, tune into the live stream to check out our session at Google I/O on May 9 at 10:30 am PT.