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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.

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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

  • FireEscape.png

    Fire Escape by iNK Stories

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    Extreme Whiteout by Grab Games

  • MerrySnowballs.png

    Merry Snowballs by Hatrabbit

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    Flutter VR by Runaway

  • Virtual Virtual Reality.png

    Virtual Virtual Reality by Tender Claws

  • Eclipse Edge of Light.png

    Eclipse Edge of Light by White Elk

  • Rez_Infinite.png

    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.

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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.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/4sKhmiM-mp4/

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.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/DeldIFVnqYo/

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!

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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.

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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.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/9QiWlJs5Wd8/

Improving Autoplay in Chrome

Category: Google | May 3, 2018

For many, Chrome is more than a browser—it’s also a TV, phone, radio, and jukebox for the wide range of media experiences the web has to offer. And when you hit your favorite pump-up playlist, you want to get right to it instead of having to hit “play” every time.

At the same time, you probably don’t like it when you click on a link, land on a website, and it automatically plays sound that you weren’t expecting. In fact, in Chrome a significant number of autoplays are paused, muted, or have their tab closed within six seconds by people who don’t want them. That’s why we’re announcing a new policy on Chrome desktop to block unwanted autoplays.

Chrome does this by learning your preferences. If you don’t have browsing history, Chrome allows autoplay for over 1,000 sites where we see that the highest percentage of visitors play media with sound. As you browse the web, that list changes as Chrome learns and enables autoplay on sites where you play media with sound during most of your visits, and disables it on sites where you don’t. This way, Chrome gives you a personalized, predictable browsing experience.

As you teach Chrome, you may find that you need to click “play” every now and then, but overall the new policy blocks about half of unwanted autoplays, so you will have fewer surprises and less unwanted noise when you first arrive at a website. The policy is enabled in the latest version of Chrome—update today and try it out.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/tiHXz3YoJmA/

Improving the Advanced Protection Program for iOS users

Category: Google | May 3, 2018

Last October, Google launched the Advanced Protection Program, our strongest level of account security, designed to protect the overlooked segment of our users who face an increased risk of sophisticated attacks. These users may be journalists, activists, business leaders, political campaign teams, and others who feel especially vulnerable.

Today we’re announcing that Advanced Protection now supports Apple’s native applications on iOS devices, including Apple Mail, Calendar, and Contacts. This allows iOS users to enroll in the program without having to adjust how they use Google services on their Apple devices.

To protect you from accidentally sharing your most sensitive data with fraudulent apps or web services, Advanced Protection places automatic limits on which apps can gain access to your Google data. Before today, this meant that only Google applications were able to access your data if you were enrolled in the program.

With today’s update, you can now choose to allow Apple’s native iOS applications to access your Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts data. When you sign into iOS native applications with your Google account, you will get instructions on how to complete the sign-in process if you’re enrolled in Advanced Protection. We’ll continue to expand the list of trusted applications that can access Google data in the future. 

Layers of security protections

In addition to these updates, you’ll continue to benefit from Advanced Protection’s other safeguards. To provide you with the strongest defense against phishing, Advanced Protection goes further than traditional 2-Step Verification, requiring you to use a physical Security Key to sign back into your account after you’ve logged out, or anytime you sign in on a new device. Advanced Protection also helps block fraudulent access to your account by adding extra steps to the account recovery process to prevent people from impersonating you and pretending they’ve been locked out of your account.

Our goal is to make sure that any user facing an increased risk of online attacks enrolls in the Advanced Protection Program. Today, we’ve made it easier for our iOS users to be in the program, and we’ll continue our work to make the program more easily accessible to users around the globe. Get started at google.com/advancedprotection.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/S6eX5tsuarY/

Turning your house into a smart home with the Google Assistant

Category: Google | May 3, 2018

How many times have you crawled into bed and realized you forgot to turn off the living room lights? Or tried to catch the last minutes of the game but couldn’t find the remote? These are the moments we ask ourselves: how is this still a thing?!

With the Google Assistant we’re working to make this experience a lot better, so you can easily control all the devices and appliances in your home with just your voice. Over the past year, we’ve made great progress ensuring that the Google Assistant can work with all types of connected devices, and now every major device brand works with the Assistant in the U.S.

Just how many devices is that? Today, the Google Assistant can connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home—up from 1,500 this January. That includes cameras, dishwashers, doorbells, dryers, lights, plugs, thermostats, security systems, switches, vacuums, washers, fans, locks, sensors, heaters, AC units, air purifiers, refrigerators, ovens … we can keep on going!

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Here are just a few of the new ways you can make your home smarter with the Google Assistant:

Turn your living room into a smart entertainment center

One of the most popular ways people use the Google Assistant in their homes is to watch movies and shows on their TV and play music. In fact, media and entertainment queries like “play SportCenter,” have increased 400 percent over the past six months.

Millions of people already have access to the Assistant on smart TVs powered by Android TV, and we’re still seeing tremendous growth. We’re also making it easy to turn any TV into a smart TV with Chromecast, so you can easily control what you’re watching with the Google Assistant from smart speakers like Google Home. And we’re working closely with partners to build the Assistant into the next generation of TVs available later this year.

We’re also helping you control set top boxes and remotes with the Google Assistant. Rolling out this month, DISH’s Hopper family of receivers will work with the Google Assistant, so people in millions of U.S. homes can operate their TV using their voice and a Google Assistant device. Just say “Hey Google, play ESPN on the Hopper” to your Google Assistant and your TV will automatically tune to the right channel. It’ll also be even easier to control home entertainment using Logitech Harmony hub-based remotes with the Google Assistant. The new, simplified voice commands will let you go directly to your favorite channels, control volume, or pause a show. You will no longer need to say “talk to Logitech” to control your TV, and can use more natural language like “play channel 4.”

Get helpful alerts from your security camera

Security cameras and smart doorbells let you keep tabs on activity around your home, and we’ve worked to ensure that the Google Assistant works seamlessly with these devices. If you have a Nest Hello doorbell, the Assistant will alert you if someone rings the doorbell, sending a chime to your smart speaker or phone with the option to view the live stream right from your phone, TV or our new line of Smart Display devices available later this year. This Nest product was the first to ship with this feature, and we’ll enable Assistant notifications on more home security devices from other popular brands later this year.

We’re also adding more popular security alarm brands that will now work with your Google Assistant, including ADT, First Alert, and Vivint Smart Home, smart door locks from August and Schlage, and home security cameras from Panasonic.

Turn on all the things with the Google Assistant

With the Google Assistant, you can easily control all the connected devices in your home, from lights, to thermostats, to appliances, all in one simple place.  You can do this with your smart speaker like the Google Home Mini, or with the Google Assistant app on your smartphone, turning your phone into your own personal home control hub even when you’re away from home.

We’ve been working with device brands around the world to ensure the Assistant works with all the most popular smart home devices. We recently announced support for IKEA lights and Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta hub which enables dozens of devices to be controlled by Google Assistant. Our partners are continuing to add even more devices that work with the Google Assistant across the home in the coming months, including ADT lights and thermostat, Xiaomi lights, Hunter Douglas window treatments, Hisense’s H9E Plus and H9100E Plus TVs, Portable AC and Dehumidifiers, Arlo security cameras, and new LG appliances, which include everything from air purifiers to TVs.

Try it out today

With more than one million Actions the Google Assistant can help you with today, we bet you’ll discover something new you never knew the Assistant could do. Some of the most popular smart home actions with the Google Assistant are “Hey Google:

  • Turn on the lights
  • Set the temperature to X degrees 
  • Turn on the TV
  • Dim the lights 
  • Arm the security system

Give it a try today—check out all the ways the Assistant can help you in the home.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/a8b4AFO4IA4/

Turning passions—from beer to baked goods—into businesses

Category: Google | May 2, 2018

It’s National Small Business Week and we’re celebrating the local businesses that are at the heart of our communities.

Six months ago, we launched Grow with Google to help aspiring entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to get their businesses off the ground, online, and growing. Since then, we’ve heard the stories of thousands of small business owners who have joined us at events across the country.

Last week we met military veteran Kevin Ryan, who learned how to brew beer by watching YouTube videos—he calls it “YouTube University.” Less than two years after experimenting with a home brewing kit, he and his fiance Meredith founded Service Brewing Company in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to brewing great beer, Kevin and Meredith are reinvesting a portion of their profits in the community organizations that serve vets and military families. So far, they  have donated over $70,000.

Today, the Grow with Google tour is visiting Columbia, South Carolina, the hometown of Shennice Cleckley. With no formal training in baking, Shennice, like Kevin, used YouTube how-to videos to build her business. Soon she learned how to pipe, ice and make rosettes and started selling southern desserts “with a little bit of fancy.” She opened up the “My Dessert Bar” storefront and evolved it into an online bakery and catering company.

It’s never too late to find your passion, and as Kevin and Shennice have shown us, you can even turn that passion into a sustainable business. Every business, no matter its size, should be able to succeed online. For more digital tools, trainings and information on Grow with Google’s events, visit google.com/grow.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/Z0zsJShzNHk/

5 ways Google Pay can save you time and money at checkout

Category: Google | May 2, 2018

There are all kinds of ways you might try to get back time in your day, from looking up the fastest route to work to ordering takeout on your way home. Google Pay helps you save precious time at checkout—and get rewarded for it, too. Here are five reasons to give it a try.

1. You can pay faster from more browsers and devices

We’re starting to roll out Google Pay on the web from desktop and iOS—which means you’ll start seeing it when you’re shopping on browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, no matter your device. Plus, if you save a card to Google Pay on your Pixelbook, you’ll be able to use it on the web with another device, like an iPhone.

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2. You can check out online without all the type

Once you’ve added a card to Google Pay, you won’t need to enter your payment info again—even when you’re checking out in an app or on a site for the first time. And if you’re checking out on Chrome, Google Pay can automatically fill in your billing, shipping, and payment info, so you don’t have to bother with forms.

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3. It’s okay to forget your wallet

Whether you’re running a quick errand or grabbing ramen after a run, Google Pay lets you go anywhere with just your Android phone. Speed through checkout in convenience stores, grocery stores, or the millions of places that accept contactless payments with the device that’s already in your hand.

4.There’s no need to wait for the mail

Lost your credit or debit card? No need to wait for a replacement in the mail. When you order a new card from your bank, it’ll automatically update with Google Pay.1 The same is true if your bank issues a new card for one that’s about to expire. If your card is already in Google Pay, your expiration date will update as soon as it’s issued—so you can keep on paying without missing a beat.

5. You’ll get rewarded when you shop

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The Google Pay app for Android gives you access to offers you won’t want to miss. You can find out about promotions near you, plus get exclusive offers with the app. Take a look at our current offers if you’ve never tried Google Pay and live in Australia, Canada, Poland, Russia, the UK, or the US. To get started, download the Google Pay app, look for the offers, and opt in.

Check out our site to see all the ways you can make the most of Google Pay, then give it a go the next time you’re checking out.


This feature may not be supported by all issuing banks. Please call your bank to confirm.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/htVw93for-Y/

Investing in startups and the future of the Google Assistant

Category: Google | May 2, 2018

Across all our developer platforms, from Android to Chrome to Actions on Google and more, we’ve focused on fostering an open ecosystem where developers can build rich experiences for their users. We’ve continued this approach with the Google Assistant, providing tools for developers to create natural conversational experiences. We’re also working closely with device partners to create new surfaces for the Assistant. Developers have created a wide range of Actions—some practical, some inspirational—that help you get things done in new ways we couldn’t have predicted just a few years ago, whether that’s helping you control your smart home, find subway times, or even helping you meditate.

To promote more of this creativity, we’re opening a new investment program for early-stage startups that share our passion for the digital assistant ecosystem, helping to push new ideas forward and advance the possibilities of what digital assistants can do.

This new program will consist of several components:

  • Investment capital from Google to provide additional financial resources for the development, hiring, and management of these startups.
  • Advice from Google engineers, product managers, and design experts to share technical guidance and product development feedback.
  • Google partnership programs that provide early access to upcoming features and tools so startups can bring their products to market as quickly as possible.
  • Access to the Google Cloud Platform, our suite of cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure that we use for products like Google Search and YouTube.
  • Promotional support through Google marketing channels to drive greater awareness for the features and functionality of these new applications.

We’re welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups that are developing technologies that broaden the Assistant’s set of features, or are building new hardware devices for digital assistants, or that focus on a particular industry such as travel, games, or hospitality. We’re sharing the first batch of investments and look forward to helping them succeed in the Assistant ecosystem:

  • GoMoment: Creator of Ivy, a 24/7 concierge for hotel guests, capable of providing instant answers to common questions like “Is there a happy hour at the bar tonight?” or “Can I get a late checkout?” Anything requiring human expertise is sent to hotel staff and tracked for quick and reliable resolution. Ivy is used by leading hotels like Caesars Palace, Treasure Island and Hard Rock.
  • Edwin: Your personal English tutor powered by AI. Edwin prepares students looking to take English as a foreign language tests, such as the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL). Edwin combines advanced AI technology with the expertise of professional English teachers to tailor every lesson to your individual needs, learning style and pace.
  • BotSociety: You can say a million things in a billion different ways to voice assistants, so BotSociety created a tool that allows developers to design, prototype and user test voice interfaces. More than 30,000 developers worldwide have designed their voice assistant applications using Botsociety.
  • Pulse Labs: Helping voice application designers understand what their users want to do. With Pulse Labs, developers can test their applications with real people, quickly acquire in-depth insights, and use that feedback to refine the experience.

If you have big ideas and are interested in partnering with the Google Assistant team, check out our website and reach out through our form.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/D6FxUFF6tqU/

ICYMI in April: here’s what happened in G Suite

Category: Google | May 1, 2018

You might’ve seen the news. Gmail got a makeover.

Gmail’s new user interface was designed to help businesses accomplish more, in less time, from one spot. New tools like confidential mode can help you protect sensitive information in emails by setting up expiration dates or even revoking messages (the beauty of working in the cloud). We also added even more AI-powered features to help employees stay focused on work that requires more critical thinking and less time on repetitive tasks. Read more.

The new Gmail is available for businesses in an Early Adopter Program (EAP) and can be turned on in the Admin Console. Learn more.

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Speaking of managing your inbox, there’s nothing worse than when you accidentally send an email to the wrong person (or click “send” before you finish typing). Gmail has your back.

When you push send on a message, a notification pops up in the bottom right corner of your inbox and gives you the option to select “Undo.” It looks like this:

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Click undo!

You also have the option to decide how long you have to un-send a message. Go to Settings > General > scroll down to “Undo Send.” Choose from 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds. Learn more.

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Subhead 2 ICYMI G Suite

→ Think macro and skip minutiae. Now you can record macros in Google Sheets—no code required.

Hangouts Meet is available in six additional countries: Dominican Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia and Luxembourg. You can also call U.S. or Canadian phone numbers for free.

→ New security protections in Chrome help employees avoid phishing attacks. Learn more.

Google Drive will share new prompts to help make sure you’re passing along files to the right people. Now if you try to send a file to someone without access, Drive will flag the name of the person and their email address to show you the access they need. These prompts also work for Team Drives.

Access Checker in Drive

→ We’ve made it easier for you to embed Slides directly into Docs. And the best part is any changes you make to a slide will automatically reflect in your Doc.

Check out a full recap of all product updates in April (PDF version). See you next month.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/F85di1XhdTE/