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Category: Google | Nov 10, 2014
Today, Google is launching a public giving campaign to fight Ebola. For every dollar you give, Google will donate two dollars. In addition, we’re donating $10 million right away to support nonprofits such as InSTEDD, International Rescue Committee, Medecins Sans Frontieres, NetHope, Partners in Health, Save the Children and U.S. Fund for UNICEF. These organizations are doing remarkable work in very difficult circumstances to help contain this outbreak, and we hope our contribution will help them have an even greater impact.
Separately, our family foundation will also be giving $15 million. Our hearts go out to everyone whose lives have been touched by this tragedy.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO
Category: Google | Nov 9, 2014
I was seven years old when thousands of East German signature cars arrived in my hometown of Hamburg and filled the air with odd-smelling blue smoke. I saw strangers hugging each other, tears in their eyes, their voices tired from singing. I was too young to understand it all, but I had a very strong sense that life was different now–and that different was better.
A quarter-century later, it is our obligation to tell this story to all those who couldn’t be there, who could not feel the spark of the peaceful revolution and, more importantly, who are fortunate enough not to know the feeling of an incarcerated, divided existence, trapped behind concrete walls. It is a story that demands to be told today, and for generations to come.
I’m excited to have been part of making this doodle commemorating such a pivotal moment in history — to learn more about the making-of, check out the doodle team’s post here. We should all take the time to celebrate 25 years of unity.
Posted by Nils Frahm, composer
Category: Google | Nov 7, 2014
“Who won Pennsylvania?” “Who’s that guy?” “He’s getting married?” These are just a few of the questions that wracked people’s brains on search this week. Read on to find out what everybody wanted to know.
The call of duty
As Americans went to the polls this past Tuesday, the Internet was abuzz with politics—left and right. Searchers turned to the web for the election night play-by-play, trying to get the latest figures on who won hotly contested states like Florida and Colorado. The results? A nearly full sweep by Republicans as they won control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House.
Even though Americans remain politically divided, they can still rally together to support our troops. As Veteran’s Day approaches, peopled searched for ways they could celebrate the holiday and show support for those who served in the armed forces. (Hint: our homepage loves soldiers too!)
I’m a little bit country
The Country Music Awards had everyone talking this week. Nashville power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert took home five awards between them, and Lambert scored her first trophy for “Single of the Year” for her song “Automatic.” And first-time winner Luke Bryan landed the night’s top honor for “Entertainer of the Year”—not a bad way to start.
One night, a boy named Alex went to sleep. The next morning he woke up famous…and we’re talking screaming-tween-girls, One Direction-famous. Was this a dream come true or a scene from a bizarre Kafka novel? Well, with more than a million tweets, #AlexfromTarget has this photo and the Internet to thank for his newly acquired stardom. As the story goes, an admirer watched Alex bag her groceries, fell under the spell of his boyish good looks and just had to share a photo with her 14,000 followers. The photo spread like a wildfire and next thing you know our red- and khaki-clad Alex is trading jokes with Ellen Degeneres on her show. We’re eagerly awaiting Alex’s entrance to the teeny bopper hall of fame.
And the fangirl news just keeps coming. People this week went bananas as actor and heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch announced his engagement to little-known theater director Sophie Hunter. Searchers were asking questions like “Who is this girl?” and “Why not me?” Sorry, friends, but this mystery has been solved.
This one’s for the bold
It was a week for the bold and the brave as the Internet reacted to inspiring news stories. Brittany Maynard, a young woman diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, ended her life on November 1. After doctors told her she only had six months to live, Maynard and her family moved to Oregon in order to have access to the state’s Death with Dignity Act. Her decision garnered national media attention and stirred the debate over the “right to die.”
And American acrobat and tight-rope specialist Nik Wallenda made headlines as he performed a high-wire walk across the Chicago skyline. Wallenda walked between three skyscrapers without a harness or safety net and conducted one of the walks blindfolded—and it was all broadcast live. His stunt left viewers in shock and minted Wallenda two new world records.
Tip of the week
Feeling a bit homesick? Whenever you’re in need for a little motherly love, just tell the Google app to “Call Mom” (you set who that is). Except for mom’s home cooking, it’s almost like you’re there.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [where is the nearest target] and [rock the vote].
Category: Google | Nov 3, 2014
Tomorrow is Election Day in the U.S.—are you ready to vote?
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, more and more voters turn to Google to get the information they need in order to have a say on the issues they care about. And in the days before Election Day 2012, we saw a huge spike in search traffic around terms related to voting and how to vote. To make it easier for citizens to access information to make a well-informed decision and cast their ballots on Election Day, we’ve built a number of tools to help. From Governor and Senate to City Council and local referenda, and from what materials you need to bring to vote to making sure you know who is on your ballot, Google has you covered.
Make sure you know how and where to vote—and who’s on your ballot!
For the first time ever, simple searches for [how do i vote], [where to vote], [what identification do i need to vote] and [who is on my ballot] will give you all the information you need—tailored by state—to find your polling location, confirm what identification you need to bring, and see who and what is going to be on your ballot on November 4. If you use Google Now, you can also get reminders on where to vote on Election Day.
We also make this important data available for developers, nonprofits, and others to use. From Rock the Vote to League of Women Voters, organizations of all shapes and sizes are using the Google Civic Information API to create civic engagement tools for everyone. We’ve also partnered with The Pew Charitable Trusts and The Internet Association to launch Get to the Polls, a get out the vote campaign with Amazon Web Services, AOL, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Lyft, Meetup, reddit, SurveyMonkey, Tumblr, and Twitter to make sure registered voters in the United States have the information they need to vote on November 4.
Keep your fingers on the political pulse—and find out who won
People turn to search to find last-minute information not only about where to vote, but also about the candidates. To find out what your fellow voters are interested in, visit Google.com/+GooglePolitics to see data from Google Trends on what Americans are searching in the final hours of the election.
And after the polls close tomorrow, you can track all the real-time election results by searching [election results]. If you use Google Now, you’ll get updates on your new representatives straight from the app. Or tune in to the latest live news coverage from a wide range of news organizations at YouTube.com/Elections. While you’re there, check out this special video from some of YouTube’s top creators on the importance of heading to the polls.
Be informed, be prepared, and be ready to vote tomorrow!
Posted by Kate Sokolov, Program Manager, Google Politics & Elections
Category: Google | Oct 31, 2014
Grab some candy corn and a caramel apple and settle in for a look back at another week in search trends:
Time for trick or treating
With today’s Halloween holiday, people are turning to the web to look for
last-minute costumes and pumpkin-carving tips. Top costume searches include Elsa from Frozen, Anna from Frozen, Olaf from Frozen (people can’t just let it go, can they?) and Maleficent. Whether you’re trick-or-treating or not, get the most out of the twilight hours tonight—Daylight Savings Time comes to an end on Sunday, which means it will be getting darker earlier. At least you get some extra sleep out of the deal.
Sports endings and beginnings
The World Series came to a thrilling conclusion on Wednesday night with Game 7 in Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, as the San Francisco Giants’ took home their third victory in just five (even) years. The star of the night—and the series—was undoubtedly Madison Bumgarner, the Giants’ 25-year-old ace starting pitcher who came into the game in relief in the fifth inning and more than earned both the save and his MVP trophy, capping off a postseason performance for the history books. He was the top topic in search Wednesday, with more than 1 million searches. Fellow teammates Buster Posey and “Panda” Pablo Sandoval were also on the list.
As baseball fans put their caps and gloves in storage and look longingly at the calendar for March (pitchers and catchers report in 114 days!), fans of the NBA are just getting going. Basketball season started this week and the web was full of searches for the Cleveland Cavaliers (who are welcoming hometown hero Lebron James back to the fold), Miami Heat (the team LeBron left behind) and Chicago Bulls.
Trouble in the skies
There was a spike in searches around NASA when an unmanned rocket erupted into flames seconds after liftoff on Tuesday. The spacecraft and its cargo were lost, and the launch pad suffered heavy damage. Also this week, there was a breakthrough in the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s final flight. A piece of debris located on a tiny island has been identified as a piece of her lost plane.
Marvel this week revealed a lineup of nine new movies to be released over the coming years, along with some casting details. Alongside familiar faces like Captain America and Iron Man, we’ll soon see a film about the Black Panther, who will be played by Chadwick Boseman. Marvel also revealed that Sherlock star (and Internet fave) Benedict Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange in the 2016 movie.
Tip of the week
Don’t get caught off-guard by the changing of the clocks. With the Google app, you can set a reminder to reset the clocks on your microwave, in your car and on your wall as soon as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end on Sunday. Just open the app and say “Ok Google, remind me to change the clocks on Sunday.” Now relax and enjoy that extra hour of sleep!
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched for [madison affeldt save] and [katniss everdeen costume]
Category: Google | Oct 24, 2014
So what’s the word on the (internet) street these days? Search trends has you covered with the latest news that had everyone talking this past week.
The hard goodbye
This week, searchers paid their respects to legendary clothing designer Oscar de La Renta, who he passed away on Monday at the age of 82. Once called “The Sultan of Suave,” De la Renta was known for evening gowns that regularly graced the red carpets of Hollywood–and the closets of the White House. From Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, de la Renta dressed every First Lady since the 1960s.
Speaking of Washington bigwigs, we also said goodbye to Ben Bradlee, storied editor of The Washington Post. Bradlee is remembered for his courageous journalism; during his tenure as editor of the Post, the outlet published the “Pentagon Papers” and reported on the Watergate Scandal. Always chasing a good story, Bradlee coined the term “mego” (“my eyes glaze over”) for any reporting that bored him—unknowingly foreshadowing Internet-speak.
Is that you Betty Sue?
Back from a long career hiatus, Renee Zellweger stepped back into the spotlight in L.A. and came out with a bang—or shall we say, a new look. People were shocked to see Zellweger… looking a bit different from what they remember. The star’s reemergence caused a spike in searches for her hit movie Bridget Jones’s Diary (that was her, right? ) But Zellweger is taking the stares and comments in stride, stating she’s happy that she looks different because she’s living a happier and more fulfilling life—no shame in your game, Renee–whatever makes you feel complete.
Gone in sixty seconds
If you blinked, you already missed this trend. Toys “R” Us decided to pull a line of Breaking Bad action figures after an online petition asking the store to stop selling the toys received more than 9,000 signatures. So what was all the hoopla about? Susan Schrivjer, the Florida mom who started the petition, felt the dolls–which came with a plastic sack of cash and mock drugs—deviated from the company’s family values. Toys “R” Us agreed and put the figures on an “indefinite sabbatical”–Walter White-style.
Crime and Punishment
It was a week of crime on the trends charts as people were searching for more information about a gunman who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a soldier of the Canadian army, at Ottawa’s National War Memorial. This was the latest assault on a member of the Canadian armed forces in recent times and has stirred debate about extremism in the West.
…As the Black Eyed Peas would say
With the World Series underway, people were ready to scream and shout for their favorite team. Searches for the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals hit a high as the two teams began their battle for The Commissioner’s Trophy. And that’s not the only party going on these days. Diwali, a Hindu holiday also known as the “Festival of Lights,” started this past Tuesday. The celebrations will continue until this Saturday—so you still have time to check out photos of the stunning light displays around the world.
Tip of the week
First there was Angry Birds, then there was Candy Crush, which was swiftly followed by Flappy Bird–it’s kind of hard to stay on top of the latest video game trends. Now when you search for video games on Google, a panel will appear with all the info you need to stay in the know.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [designer for the stars] and [play ball].
Category: Google | Oct 22, 2014
Today, we’re introducing something new. It’s called Inbox. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.
Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.
With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks—especially when we’re working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do—rather than helping us get those things done.
If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you. Here are some of the ways Inbox is at your service:
Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.
Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.
Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do’s on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.
|A sampling of Assists
And speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it’s open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.
Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you’re in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.
Get started with Inbox
Starting today, we’re sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can’t arrive soon enough for you, you can email us at email@example.com to get an invitation as soon as more become available.
When you start using Inbox, you’ll quickly see that it doesn’t feel the same as Gmail—and that’s the point. Gmail’s still there for you, but Inbox is something new. It’s a better way to get back to what matters, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Cross-posted from the Official Gmail Blog
Category: Google | Oct 20, 2014
Meet District Voices, the latest campaign in our Art, Copy & Code project—where we explore new ways for brands to connect with consumers through experiences that people love, remember and share. District Voices was created in partnership with Lionsgate to promote the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. -Ed.
Greetings, Citizens of Panem!
The Capitol has joined forces with Google and YouTube to celebrate the proud achievements of our strong, lively districts. Premiering today on YouTube, a new miniseries called DISTRICT VOICES will take you behind the scenes to meet some of Panem’s most creative—and loyal—citizens.
At 4 p.m. EDT/ 1 p.m. PDT every day this week, one of your favorite Citizen creators from YouTube will give you a never-before-seen tour of their districts. First, the Threadbanger textile experts of District 8 will show how utility meets beauty in this season’s fashion—plus, you’ll get a look at a new way to wear your Capitol pride. Tomorrow, District 2’s Shane Fazen will provide a riveting demonstration of how we keep our noble peacekeepers in tip-top shape. On Wednesday, Derek Muller from District 5—Panem’s center of power generation—will give you a peek at a revolutionary new way to generate electricity. Thursday The Grain District’s own Feast of Fiction will show you how to bake one of beloved victor Peeta Mellark’s most special treats. And finally, iJustine, District 6’s liaison to the Capitol, will give you an exclusive glimpse at the majestic and powerful peacekeeper vehicles in action.
Tune in at CAPITOL TV. And remember—Love your labor. Take pride in your task. Our future is in your hands.
Posted by Vikram Tank of The Capitol, devoted to excellence, progress & unity
Category: Google | Oct 17, 2014
Diet secrets from Zach Galifianakis, and cord cutting from a cable company?! Here’s a look at another topsy-turvy week in search.
A cast of characters
Search will always have its fair share of characters and this week was no different. First up, moviegoers learned who’s next in line for Hollywood’s superhero treatment when Ezra Miller, star of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, landed the title role in the 2018 film The Flash. And whispers are swirling in Tinseltown that Gal Gadot’s already impressive resume—she’s set to play the world’s most famous Amazonian, Wonder Woman—will soon get another stellar addition, the lead female role in a remake of Ben-Hur.
But they weren’t the only celebrities to get the Internet buzzing. Comedian and fan favorite Zach Galifianakis caused a stir on the trends charts after he revealed a much thinner version of himself on the red carpet of the New York Film Festival. When a reporter asked Galifianakis if he had made any lifestyle changes to lose the weight, he responded with a straight face, “No, I’m just… I’m dying.” Clearly Galifianakis isn’t sharing his weight loss secrets.
Out with the old, in with the new
HBO has seen the light! This week the premium television network announced that they will launch a new stand-alone service for fans of its TV shows. Soon, homes without a cable subscription can sign up for HBO Go and get their fill of Game of Thrones and other HBO shows with just an Internet connection—leading people to wonder if this is the beginning of the end for cable providers.
Consumers also had a lot of new mobile devices to choose from this week, starting with our own line of Nexus gadgets like the Nexus 6 running the latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop. Meanwhile, Apple announced an updated version of the iPad.
The show’s just getting started
Is it awards show season already? It’s not—but that’s not stopping searchers from looking ahead. The Internet rejoiced when How I Met Your Mother and Gone Girl star Neil Patrick Harris said “Hosting the 2015 Academy Awards? Challenge accepted!” But with the Oscars red carpet still months away, searchers had their sights set on another celebrity bash: Paul Rudd’s keg party… at his mom’s house… in the suburbs of Kansas City. What else are you supposed to do when mom’s out of town and the KC Royals just punched a ticket to the World Series after a nearly 30-year hiatus?
Tip of the week
‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice beers? Next time you’re in a new town and looking to grab a cold one just say “Ok Google, show me pubs near my hotel” and find your new favorite haunt.
Posted by, Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [tv a la carte] and [yo yo diets]
Category: Google | Oct 15, 2014
Good things happen when everybody’s invited. A few years ago, we had the thought that phones (and stuff that hadn’t even been invented yet like tablets and smart watches) would be way more interesting if everyone could build new things together. So we created Android as an open platform, and put it out there for everyone to imagine, invent, make, or buy whatever they wanted.
Since then, all kinds of people—from companies big and small to folks on Kickstarter, kids in schools, and crazy smart developers—have been innovating faster, together, more than we ever could alone. And the best part is that every time someone new joins in, things get more interesting, unexpected, and wonderful for all of us.
Getting everyone in on the party is the same spirit behind Android One—an effort recently launched in India (coming to other countries soon) to make great smartphones available to the billions of people around the world who aren’t yet online. It’s also why we’re excited about Lollipop, our newest software release, which is designed to meet the diverse needs of the billion-plus people who already use Android today.
Joining the party: Android 5.0 Lollipop
As previewed at Google I/O, Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it’s designed to be shared.
Lollipop is made for a world where moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens—from phones and tablets to TVs. With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, it’s easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones.
As you switch from one screen to another, the experience should feel the same. So Lollipop has a consistent design across devices—an approach we call Material Design. Now content responds to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid.
Lollipop also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you’re out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen.
And because we’re using our devices a lot more, there’s a new battery saver feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes—helpful if you’re far from a power outlet. We’ve enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private. And you can now secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern, or even by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock. But this is just a small taste of Lollipop. Learn more on android.com.
Meet the Nexus family, now running Lollipop
Advances in computing are driven at the intersection of hardware and software. That’s why we’ve always introduced Nexus devices alongside our platform releases. Rather than creating software in the abstract, we work with hardware partners to build Nexus devices to help push the boundaries of what’s possible. Nexus devices also serve as a reference for the ecosystem as they develop on our newest release. And for Lollipop, we have a few new Nexus treats to share with you.
First, with Motorola, we developed the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.
Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9, with brushed metal sides and 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on. And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.
Finally, we’re releasing the first device running Android TV: Nexus Player, a collaboration with Asus, is a streaming media player for movies, music and videos. It’s also a first-of-its-kind Android gaming device. With Nexus Player you can play Android games on your HDTV with a gamepad, then keep playing on your phone while you’re on the road. Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready so you can cast your favorite entertainment from almost any Chromebook or Android or iOS phone or tablet to your TV.
Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will be available for pre-order on October 17 and in stores starting November 3. Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and in stores in November—with options for an unlocked version through Play store, or a monthly contract or installment plan through carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. Specific carrier rollout will be subject to certification completion and will vary. Check out google.com/nexus for more details on availability.
Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes on Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, will also be available on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.
The party’s just getting started
With this latest release of Android Lollipop, we’re excited to continue working with our developer community, hardware partners, and all of you. More ideas and more creators is what gets us all to better ideas faster. And since everyone’s invited to the party, we hope you’ll join in the fun by creating and sharing an Android character that captures a little bit of who you are—one of a kind. Enjoy!
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps