Feb 16 3:00am Official Android Blog
Over the past year, we’ve worked with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS for people everywhere, providing a more enhanced messaging experience through RCS (Rich Communications Services). Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Telenor to enable the launch of RCS messaging to their 214 million subscribers across Europe and Asia, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Subscribers will have access to advanced messaging features as a standard part of their Android device.Features like group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more, will come standard on Android. Subscribers will have their SMS experience upgraded through the Messenger app for Android devices, developed by Google. The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google.
Feb 15 12:00pm Google Public Policy Blog
Did you know that the Bush Family has a favorite taco recipe, which First Lady Barbara Bush described as “loved by all who love Mexican food”? Or that George Washington’s dentures were not made of wood as is popularly thought, but actually from human and cow teeth as well as ivory? Or how about that, to celebrate his Inauguration, Theodore Roosevelt received a lock of president Lincoln’s hair as a gift?No, we’re not presidential scholars; we’re just excited for Presidents’ Day! Today, as a follow-up to our American Democracy collection, Google Arts & Culture is partnering with more than 30 cultural institutions to bring you history from the United States presidency, available at g.co/americandemocracy.With over 2,000 new artifacts, photos, pictures and more, and 63 new exhibits (for 158 exhibits, total) this collection invites you to remember and celebrate the history,...
Feb 15 12:00pm Search
Did you know a cat can’t chew big pieces of food because their jaw can’t move sideways? Or that hamsters got their name from the German word “hamstern” which means to hoard? And how do we know this? Starting today on Google Search, you can find fun facts about living creatures from around the world, making you the most interesting person at the dinner party or the reigning champ at trivia. Head to Google, ask for a fun fact about something (think plants, animals, fruits and veggies), and ta-da! A trivia tidbit is delivered right at the top of your search results. For the animal lovers out there, fun facts might be man’s (new) best friend. It might surprise you to learn that dogs have three eyelids to help protect and keep their eyes from drying out. Or for the arachnophobes out there: The venom of the black widow spider is apparently 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake's. T...
Feb 14 2:00pm Google Docs
We’re three weeks away from Google Cloud Next, one of the largest events Google has ever hosted. As we get ready to welcome you on March 8th, I’m reminded of how exciting it is to be in the cloud computing industry right now, helping shape how businesses will work together in the coming years.About six months have passed since we announced G Suite, our set of intelligent apps for business. Since then, we’ve focused on bringing you new collaboration tools, like Team Drives and Jamboard, and have partnered with companies like Box and Slack to help businesses of all sizes unlock productivity across their organizations. At Next, we’ll get a chance to hear from businesses directly about these G Suite additions and collect feedback to shape what we build in the future.I have the privilege to join some of Google’s top leaders on stage at Next, including Diane Greene, Sundar Pichai and...
Feb 13 8:00am Maps
Is your bucket list etched in your memory, or scribbled on a dozen post-it notes scattered around your home? Have you ever promised out-of-town guests an email full of your favorite spots, only to never get around to clicking send? Starting today, you can create lists of places, share your lists with others, and follow the lists your friends and family share with you—without ever leaving the Google Maps app (Android, iOS). Getting started is easy. Simply open the Google Maps app and find that BBQ spot you’ve been wanting to try. Tapping on the place name and then the “Save” icon adds the place to one of several pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” You can also add the restaurant to a new list that you name yourself, like “Finger Lickin’ BBQ.” To recall the lists you’ve created, go to Your Places (in the side menu) and then open the saved tab. Icons for...
Feb 13 12:00am Search
Editor’s note: Pangolins are the most poached and trafficked mammal in the world. We hope that by playing this Doodle game, you can learn a bit more about these wonderful creatures. To get more information and see how you can help, check out this page on the World Wildlife Fund site. This Valentine’s Day, we’re telling the tale of two long-distance loves who have been struck by Cupid’s arrow. Writing love letters to each other from far-off places, these pangolins know in their hearts that they’re scaly soulmates. What better day to meet for their first date than the most romantic day of the year? To ensure this first date goes off without a hitch, one pangolin journeys around the world to learn how to best romance its partner. In today...
Feb 10 12:30pm Maps
From the lovely scenic mountains of the south, to the beautiful beaches of the west, and the exotic parks of east, the regions of Africa contain some of the most breathtaking views in the world.Starting today, you can take virtual tours of some of the most iconic landmarks and monuments in Ghana, Senegal and Uganda. That means Street View now covers 81 countries from across the world, and seven in Africa.You can now virtually explore the UNESCO World Heritage-classified village of Nzulezo in Ghana, which is built over Lake Tadane, and consists of stilt-supported structures integrated seamlessly with the water-dominated natural landscape. Nzulezo Village If you have an eye for cultural entertainment, you can now...
Feb 9 9:00pm Maps
The popular American author John Hemingway once said, “if i have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” And we agree. From the lovely scenic mountains of the south, to the beautiful beaches of the west, and the exotic parks of east, the regions of Africa contain some of the most breathtaking views in the world.We’re excited to announce that starting today, you can take virtual tours of some of the most iconic landmarks and monuments in Ghana, Senegal and Uganda. With this launch, Street View now covers 81 countries from across the world, and 7 in Africa.You are now able to virtually explore the UNESCO World Heritage-classified village of Nzulezo in Ghana, which is built over Lake Tadane, and consists of stilt-supported structures integrated seamlessly with the water-dominated natural landscape.
Feb 9 6:00pm Google Chrome
Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired; 39 million are blind and 246 million experience low vision. As two people with visual impairments, we’ve experienced firsthand the transformational effects of assistive technology—specifically screen readers, which enable people to “read” the screen with synthesized speech or braille, and provide keyboard shortcuts to help people quickly navigate complex sites and apps. Today we’re introducing a new, more efficient and powerful version of ChromeVox, which is now the default screen reader on every Chromebook running on Chrome OS 56 or above. ChromeVox can be enabled at any time by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Z.Our new version of ChromeVox makes the existing set of keyboard commands even easier, helping you navigate through sites, apps and the Chromebook interface without a mouse. The keyboard commands not only wo...
Feb 9 1:00pm Google Chrome
Virtual reality (VR) lets you tour the Turkish palace featured in “Die Another Day,” learn about life in a Syrian refugee camp firsthand, and walk through your dream home right from your living room. With the latest version of Chrome, we’re bringing VR to the web—making it as easy to step inside Air Force One as it is to access your favorite webpage.For a fully immersive experience, use Chrome with your Daydream-ready phone and Daydream View—just browse to a VR experience you want to view, choose to enter VR, and put the phone in your Daydream View headset. If you don’t have a headset you can view VR content on any phone or desktop computer and interact using your finger or mouse. You can already try out some great VR-enabled sites, with more coming soon. For example, explore the intersection of humans, nature and technology in the interactive documentary Bear 71. Questioning...
Feb 8 12:00pm Official Android Blog
While traditional watches tell the time, Android Wear watches make the most of your time. In an instant, you can check when and where you’re meeting a friend, whether you’ll need an umbrella tonight, or how many minutes you’ve been active today—all without reaching for your phone. Today, we’re announcing Android Wear 2.0 to give you more informative watch faces, better workouts, new ways to use apps, more ways to stay in touch and on-the-go help from Google Assistant. We’re also introducing two new watches that run Android Wear 2.0.More personalized, helpful watch facesYou can now personalize your Android Wear always-on watch face with information and actions from your favorite apps. Simply glance at your wrist to check your next appointment, stock performance, progress on fitness goals, or whatever is important to you. A quick tap on your watch face lets you instantly order...
Feb 7 12:00pm Search
Every day, people around the globe rely on the power of Google Search to access the world’s information. In fact, we see more than one trillion searches each year. As we continue to invest in new cloud-based technologies like machine learning to power our web search engine, we want to help businesses harness the same technology to search for internal information. Today, we’re announcing Google Cloud Search (formerly known as Springboard), a new product that uses machine intelligence to provide a unified search experience across G Suite.Sorting through internal information has become increasingly complex as more and more companies move their data and workloads to the cloud. As a result, teams are working on hybrid environments and storing immense amounts of data all over and in various formats. From emails and docs to spreadsheets, slides, forms, internal sites, and more. In fact, acc...
Feb 6 6:00pm Maps
Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones” star and newly-appointed U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. Nikolaj partnered with our Street View team to collect imagery of Greenland's beautiful and changing landscape, where the impact of global warming can be seen firsthand.Year after year we’ve seen record high temperatures across our planet due to global warming. And Greenland, which I consider my family's second home, is changing faster than anywhere else on Earth. Here the effects of climate change are easy to see: as sea ice melts and glaciers crumble, places once covered in ice are now bare land. Greenland Glacier See Greenland Glacier in TimelapseLate last year, the Google Maps team came to visit and we went on an adventure to collect Street View imagery of Greenland. Statistics, scientific r...
Feb 6 1:10pm Google Public Policy Blog
Today, the House of Representatives passed the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387) by voice vote. This is the second year in a row that the House of Representatives has resoundingly passed this bill, which is a testament to its widespread support across the political spectrum.The Email Privacy Act updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require the government to obtain a warrant before it can compel companies like Google to disclose the content of users’ communications. Since 2010, Google has has testified before Congress four times in support of this reform, which will protect all users, and we are proud of our efforts. We are particularly grateful to the House of Representatives leadership and to Representatives Yoder (R-Kan.), Polis (D-Colo.), Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Conyers (D-Mich.) for securing passage of this bill so early in the 115th Congress.This Act will fi...
Feb 6 8:00am Maps
Starting today we’re rolling out an update to Google Maps on Android that provides helpful everyday info – in real time – at the bottom of your home screen. Just swipe up and you’ll see three tabs that will help you find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic, or catch the next bus. Under the places tab, you’ll see curated lists of places to eat and drink like “best dinners,” “cheap eats” or “business dining,” around you or in any location you choose. In one tap you can also search for other everyday spots like ATMs, pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores. Peek at images of the area or read a short description of the neighborhood to get the lay of the land.Under the driving tab, if you have your home and work addresses saved, you’ll see real-time ETAs to home and work, as well as a nearby traffic conditions report and expected delays on...
Feb 2 11:00am Search
If you’re huddling your team together for the big game this Sunday, chances are you’re looking for a lineup of recipes that’s sure to win. Enter Google’s latest version of recipe search. Now when you’re searching on the Google app for a particular recipe, you’ll see a carousel of tappable suggestions to make sure you catch the best recipe to suit your taste buds and kitchen skills.If you’re planning to make seven-layered dip, a quick search will bring up options ranging from “healthy” to “vegan” to “bean dip” or “taco dip” (to name a few). Or type “chicken wings” into the Google app to bring up all kinds of crowd pleasers. Once you select your flavor or category, you’ll see top recipes from a wide variety of sources with easy-to-read step-by-step instructions. So whether you’re calling a play for sticky honey-soy or buffalo, your wings are sure to sc...
Jan 26 11:00am Maps
It’s Friday night and you hit the road early enough to make it to a movie, grab some buttery popcorn, and catch the previews. But when you get to the theater, parking is hard to come by and you spend the next 20 minutes circling the lot and side streets until a spot finally opens up. You get to your seat just in time for the opening credits…and no popcorn! Factoring in time for parking can make or break a night out, let alone making it to that big meeting on time. So in 25 metro areas throughout the U.S., we’ve introduced a new parking difficulty icon in Google Maps for Android that’ll give you a heads up on what kind of parking crunch to prepare for when you’re on the go. To see how hard it might be to park where you’re headed, jus...
Jan 24 10:00am Google Chrome
Editor’s Note: At Bett, one of the largest education technology conferences in the world, we're announcing new Chromebooks designed for education. Check out @GoogleForEdu and #BETT2017 to follow along. When I was a student, I juggled different tools throughout my day—a paper notebook for history, a shared desktop for writing, and a graphing calculator for math. In the years since, computers have begun to replace the need for those various tools—what we did on that calculator can now be done with an app, for example—allowing new possibilities for teaching and learning. Through our tools and devices, we try to help these possibilities come to life. Today both Chromebooks and Classroom are used by more than 20 million teachers and students, and we’re excited to announce that more than 70 million people actively use G Suite for Education. Chromebooks have been the device of choic...
Jan 18 10:47pm Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO
A few months ago, I took a leave of absence from Google to do a stint with the US Digital Service. A lot of people know about the US Digital Service because they helped rescue the healthcare.gov website. But you might not realize that the US Digital Service has helped veterans get their health benefits, […]...
Jan 17 7:05pm Search
Whether you’re a commuter reading the news with a spotty network, a farmer looking up crop prices with no service in the fields, or just driving through a tunnel, all is not lost when your search is interrupted by a bad connection. Now on the Google app for Android, even if your search fails, Google will deliver your results as soon as a connection is available—so you can keep searching with a single tap. Mobile networks can sometimes be inconsistent or spotty, which means that even if you have a connection when you start your search, it might fail before you get your results back. With this change, search results are saved as soon as they are retrieved, even if you lose connection afterwards or go into airplane mode. So the next time...
Dec 19 1:23pm Google Public Policy Blog
As the year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on Google’s Global Network Initiative (GNI) assessment and some of this year’s important developments in our work to protect the free expression and privacy interests of our users.Last week, in our continued effort to increase transparency around government demands for user data, we made available to the public the National Security Letters (NSLs) Google has received where, either through litigation or legislation, we have been freed of nondisclosure obligations. Our goal in doing so is to shed more light on the nature and scope of these requests. We’ve also supported policy efforts to ensure that the privacy interests of non-U.S. persons are addressed as U.S. policymakers consider government surveillance issues.Earlier this month, we highlighted our efforts to comply with the right to be forgotten in Europe. For much of the last year, we’ve worked to defend the idea that each country should be able to balance freedom of expression and privacy in the way that country sees fit, and not according to another country’s interpretation. One Data Protection Authority, the French Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (the CNIL), ordered Google to delist French right to be forgotten removals for users everywhere. We agree with the CNIL that privacy is a fundamental right — but so, too, is the right to free expression. Any balance struck between those two rights must be accompanied by territorial limits, consistent with the basic principles of international law.These are some examples of Google’s public policy work that illustrate our commitment to the freedom of expression and privacy rights of our users. We know that pressing global issues are best addressed in partnership with with key stakeholders — and the GNI is critical to Google’s efforts.The GNI is at the core of our multi-stakeholder engagement on free expression and privacy issues. Google is proud to be a founding member of the GNI, an initiative that brings together ICT companies with civil society organizations, investors, and academics to define a shared approach to freedom of expression and privacy online. The GNI provides a framework for company operations, rooted in international standards; promotes accountability of ICT sector companies through independent assessment; enables multi-stakeholder policy engagement; and creates shared learning opportunities across stakeholder boundaries.Earlier this year, GNI released the second round of assessments, and announced the board’s determination that Google is compliant with the GNI framework. The assessment is an important tool for companies, NGOs, academics, and others working together to review how companies address risks to privacy and free expression.The assessment process includes a review of relevant internal systems, policies and procedures for implementing the GNI Principles (“the process review”), and an examination of specific cases or examples that show how the company is implementing them in practice (the “case review”).Our cases were selected for their salience to our approach to implementing the GNI Principles, taking into consideration Google’s products and services, geographical footprint, operating environments, and human rights risk profile. In addition, to the Google-specific cases discussed in GNI’s public assessment report, we wanted to provide additional examples to illustrate the types of non-U.S. cases reviewed.Request for user dataA request was made for Gmail user information by a federal police department. A key part of our process is making sure that the requests we receive are appropriately supported by legal process. In this case, we found that the initial request was inadequate due to failure to have a judicial stamp or signature, and we therefore pushed back, as we would not comply unless the request was judicially authorized. Once these items were obtained and, we determined that it was a valid legal request (including that it was not overbroad), we complied with the request.Request for removalA request for Blogger content removal was made by a regulatory agency. The requestor claimed that content was subject to removal under the country’s statute prohibiting appeals to mass riots, extremist activities, and mass actions against established order. In reviewing the request, we determined that the content did not violate our terms of service. We then responded by requesting a copy of th...
Dec 13 2:00pm Google LatLong
After a holiday season full of delightful indulging, millions of people make an optimistic New Year’s resolution to stay fit or lose the extra pounds they put on from those festive parties and family get-togethers. To help, starting today we’re piloting a new way to easily book fitness and wellness classes. Reserve with Google will be available in Los Angeles, New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, to make keeping up with your resolutions easier than ever. To book a fitness class, visit the Reserve with Google site on desktop or mobile web. There you can search for fitness studios near you, get great recommendations for fun new classes, or book a spot in the session you already know and love. Over the coming days, you’ll be able to do this right from Google Maps and Google Search, as well. Reserve with Google is possible through deep partnerships with top scheduling providers you may already use, including MINDBODY, Full Slate, Front Desk, Appointy — and we’ll be adding more, like zingFit, MyTime, and Genbook soon.So pull out your yoga mat, dust off your running shoes, and fill up that water bottle. Reserve with Google will help make completing your New Year’s resolution as easy as click, click, booked.
Dec 13 1:00pm Google Public Policy Blog
In our continued effort to increase transparency around government demands for user data, today we begin to make available to the public the National Security Letters (NSLs) we have received where, either through litigation or legislation, we have been freed of nondisclosure obligations. We previewed this back in October when we updated our Transparency Report.As we have described in the past, we have fought for the right to be transparent about our receipt of NSLs. This includes working with the government to publish statistics about NSLs we’ve received, successfully fighting NSL gag provisions in court, and leading the effort to ensure that Internet companies can be more transparent with users about the volume and scope of national security demands that we receive. In 2015, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, which allowed companies like Google to make more granular disclosures about National Security Letters they receive. In addition, the Act restricts the use of indefinite gag restrictions that prevent providers from ever notifying customers or talking about the demands. The Department of Justice (DOJ) must now regularly review disclosure restrictions in NSLs and lift those that are no longer needed. The United States Attorney General approved procedures to do this, and as we mentioned recently, the FBI has started lifting gag restrictions on particular NSLs.We are now making copies of those NSLs available. Our goal in doing so is to shed more light on the nature and scope of NSLs. We minimized redactions to protect privacy interests, but the content of the NSLs remain as they were when served. We are also publishing the correspondence reflecting the lifting of the nondisclosure restrictions. We have links to the documents below. In the near future, we will establish a more permanent home for these and additional materials from our Transparency Report. Redacted NSLs and FBI correspondenceNSL-10-272979 (FBI notice)NSL-13-375880 (FBI notice)NSL-14-394627 (FBI notice)NSL-14-395838 (FBI notice)NSL-14-396103 (FBI notice)NSL-14-396300 (FBI notice)NSL-15-417535 (FBI notice)NSL-15-418313 (FBI notice)While we are encouraged by this development, we will remain vigilant in opposing legislation that would significantly expand the universe of information that can be obtained with an NSL.
Dec 13 9:00am Official Android Blog
Many of us rely on SMS every day — to make plans, confirm an appointment, or stay in touch with friends. But even as smartphones have become more powerful and the apps we use on them more vibrant, SMS hasn't changed a lot. It's still just plain text. We believe this standard messaging experience should be better, so through a mobile industry initiative called RCS (Rich Communications Services), we’ve committed to working with carriers and manufacturers to upgrade SMS to a more enhanced messaging experience for people everywhere.Last month, we announced our first carrier supporting this richer messaging experience. Now we’re bringing RCS to even more people by working with Rogers Communications to launch RCS messaging to their Android customers in Canada.Rogers customers will have access to enhanced features — including group chat, high-res photo sharing and read receipts — as part of their standard messaging experience on Android. You can access the upgraded messaging experience by downloading the Messenger app for Android devices from the Google Play Store, and the service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud. We’re beginning to roll out the enhanced messaging experience today, and it will be available to all Rogers customers soon. Next year, Rogers intends to preload Messenger as the standard messaging app for new Android devices. We’re excited to provide a better messaging experience to Canadians, and look forward to launching RCS with more partners in the coming months.
Dec 12 6:00pm Official Android Blog
The next time you pop into your local “conbini”, your Android phone will be all you need to take with you. Starting today, Android Pay — the new digital wallet for Android smartphones — is available in Japan, helping you pay for things and earn loyalty points quickly and conveniently when you are on-the-go. We are launching with Rakuten Edy, so you can use Android Pay at over 470,000 locations in Japan that accept Rakuten Edy eMoney - including shops like Bic Camera, Family Mart, Lawson, McDonald's and Yodobashi Camera. To start using Android Pay, download the app from the Google Play store onto an eligible Android smartphone running Kitkat 4.4 or above. You can create a new Edy card in seconds directly in the app, or, if you already have a mobile Rakuten Edy, you can also enable it in Android Pay. Adding money to your Edy card is quick and easy in Android Pay - you can top-up instantly in the app with your credit card, or at any local store that supports Rakuten Edy top-up.To pay, just tap your phone to the eMoney reader and see your balance update. It’s easy to keep track of your purchases, with a long-term transaction history viewable right in the app. You can also add your plastic loyalty cards for supported point programs like Rakuten Super Points. And there’s more to come. In 2017, we plan to continue working with FeliCa Networks to support more eMoney providers and are working with payments companies like The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Visa and Mastercard in many new ways - such as helping you speed through checkout with Android Pay in your favorite apps. Stay tuned for more announcements.Get started with Android Pay in Japan today: download the app on Google Play, create a card and start shopping. And, as an added bonus, for a limited time, new users will receive a 400 yen sign-up gift when they create a Rakuten Edy card in Android Pay. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.
Dec 8 12:00pm Official Android Blog
What’s possible in a minute? You can fall in love. Launch a rocket ship. Set a rap world record. Today, Android Wear is teaming up with with makers, doers, and dreamers to launch The Magic Minute Project. It’s a collection of one-minute films celebrating what time means to all of us—told one #MagicMinute at a time. A music and video producer, Andrew Huang has a penchant for working within absurd, self-imposed limitations. Using his Android Wear watch to time his performance, Andrew attempts to rap 300 words in one #MagicMinute. Bruna Kajiya is a Brazilian kiteboarder and World Champion and the first woman to land a double handle pass in kiteboarding. The final minute of a competition is always the most intense: The riders perform their all or nothing tricks and everything is on the line. Time trials have become popular in Parkour. Setting a route across an urban landscape, leaping between rooftops—it's seen as the highest test of practice. Kie Willis, one of the most well known freerunners in the world, attempts a one-minute Parkour while keeping his heart rate low. Putting together the perfect look takes time, but a versatile accessory can help. Zanita Whittington—model, photographer, and creative director—completes her look by personalizing her Android Wear watch face. Mike Relm is a world renowned turntablist and director, known for sampling music in surprisingly innovative ways to create new sounds. He has sampled and scratched many sounds in his life, but this is the first time using his wife’s voice! Just as traditional watches help tell the time, Android Wear watches help make the most of our time. Whatever makes a minute magical to you, why not share it with the world too? It can be anything you imagine: paint, play, code, cook, rap or render. Submit your own #MagicMinute for a chance to be featured in The Magic Minute Project film. Follow @AndroidWear on Twitter or visit g.co/magicminute to explore the best #MagicMinute videos.
Dec 7 1:10pm Google Public Policy Blog
In 1926, the Mississippi river flooded to its highest level in history, destroying towns and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Since then, dams and thousands of kilometers of levees have been built to control the mighty Mississippi. 60 years on, another effect of the historic flood is becoming apparent. As the river has become calmer, it now also carries a lot less of the sediment that created and replenished the delta. Without that, more than 13 thousand square kilometers of the delta -- an area 10 times the size of London -- is slowly slipping into the Gulf of Mexico. Once again the river is threatening to displace thousands and drown the fragile delta wetlands. Mississippi delta sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. Blue is water, white is land, red shows areas of transition. (Source: EC JRC / Google) This project has been a monumental undertaking and was made possible by new data processing methods, running the analysis on thousands of high performance computers at the same time. It took three years to download 1.8 petabytes of data from the USGS/NASA Landsat satellite program and prepare that for analysis. Each pixel in 3 million satellite images, going all the way back to 1984, was examined by a computer algorithm developed by the Joint Research Center running on the Google Earth Engine platform. More than 10 million hours of computing time was needed for this, roughly equivalent to a modern 2-core computer running day and night for 600 years. Karkheh River in Iran backing up behind a dam from 1984 to 2015 (Source: EC JRC / Google) The results for the first time allow us to map and measure changes in the water surface over time with a 30-meter accuracy, month-by-month, over 32 years. Here are some of our findings: 90 thousand square kilometers of water - the equivalent of half of the lakes in Europe - have vanished altogether. Over 200 thousand square kilometers of new, mostly man-made water bodies came into existence. The continuing drying up of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan accounts for the biggest loss in the world. Iran and Afghanistan lost over a half, Iraq over a third of its water area. Although the area covered by water in the U.S. has overall increased a little, a combination of drought and sustained demand for water have seen six western states, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, account for a third of the loss in U.S. water surface. Karkheh River in Iran backing up behind a dam from 1984 to 2015 (Source: EC JRC / Google) The research findings and the maps, published today in the journal Nature, are available for you to explore on this new website. The data are also freely available in Google Earth Engine for further research, use, and download. These new maps, statistics and the stories of change they reveal provide essential information which can aid global water security, agricultural planning, disaster preparedness, public health, climate understanding and more, offering the most detailed view to date of one of our planet’s most vital resources.With contributions from Alan Belward, Andrew Cottam and Jean-François Pekel, Joint Research Centre, European Commission...
Dec 7 12:00am Official Android Blog
Whether you’re doing your daily shopping or heading for a night out, your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door -- thanks to Android Pay. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Ireland, helping you pay simply and securely with your Android phone. You will be able to use Android Pay at thousands of retail locations throughout Ireland that accept contactless payments. This includes your favourite shops like Eason, McDonald’s, Tesco, SPAR, and much more -- take a look here for more places where you can use Android Pay. How does Android Pay work?Using Android Pay is simple. Just wake up your phone (you don’t even have to open an app or unlock it), hold it to the payment terminal, and voilà — your payment is done. After you check out, you’ll get helpful information on your phone about your recent transactions. Android Pay will also let you breeze through checkout when you shop in your favorite mobile apps. There’s no need to enter your payment or address details every time. Look for the Android Pay purchase button in apps like Adverts.ie, Deliveroo and Uber, with many more to come. To get started, download Android Pay from the Play Store and add an eligible MasterCard or Visa card (credit or debit) from AIB and KBC with more banks being added in the coming months. Android Pay is available on all Android devices that are NFC-enabled and running on KitKat 4.4 or higher. Because Android Pay doesn’t share your actual credit or debit card number with stores when you pay, it’s even safer than using a plastic card. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or wipe it clean of your personal information. We've teamed up with many leading payment platforms, processors, and technology providers such as Braintree and Stripe to make it even easier to accept Android Pay. Visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn more. Get started with Android Pay in Ireland today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.
Dec 5 2:00pm Official Android Blog
When we launched Android Nougat, we were excited to deliver even more ways to make Android your own. Today we’re rolling out Android 7.1.1, an update to Nougat that showcases more ways to express yourself, along with a handful of other sweet features and improvements to stability and performance. Android 7.1.1 brings many of the cool features of Pixel to everyone.More ways to communicateEarlier this year we announced a proposal to promote gender equality by adding new emoji that reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world, and represent a wider range of professions for both women and men. We included gender counterparts for emoji that previously only had male or female representation. Now there are female welders and men getting haircuts. Our new set of emoji launched with the Pixel phones and now are available to all devices running Android 7.1.1. So you can jam like a rock star or explore the galaxy like an astronaut. And if you’re looking for more ways to express yourself, you also can now send GIFs directly from your keyboard on supported apps such as Google Allo, Google Messenger and Hangouts. Send GIFs directly from your keyboard And for everyone looking for just one more way to make life easier, Android 7.1.1 brings you app shortcuts directly from your home screen. Launch actions on your favorite apps, such as Twitter or Google Maps, by simply long pressing the app icon. Jump directly into an existing conversation on Google Messenger or start an entirely new one - all straight from the app icon. Launch actions on your favorite apps by simply long pressing the app icon Today, and over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over the air (OTA) software update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.
Dec 5 8:00am Google LatLong
Whether it’s hiking alone or walking down a street after dark — sometimes you want to know someone's got your back. To help you feel safe and give your friends and family peace of mind, today we're launching Trusted Contacts. This new personal safety app lets you share your location with loved ones in everyday situations and when emergencies arise — even if your phone is offline or you can’t get to it. Here’s how it works: Once you install the Android app, you can assign “trusted” status to your closest friends and family. Your trusted contacts will be able to see your activity status — whether you’ve moved around recently and are online — to quickly know if you're OK. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe, you can share your actual location with your trusted contacts. And if your trusted contacts are really worried about you, they can request to see your location. If everything’s fine, you can deny the request. But if you’re unable to respond within a reasonable timeframe, your location is shared automatically and your loved ones can determine the best way to help you out. Of course, you can stop sharing your location or change your trusted contacts whenever you want.Here’s a little more detail on how Trusted Contacts might work, starring Elliot and Thelma: Get help even if your phone’s offlineElliot heads out for a hike on his own, telling Thelma he’ll meet her for coffee later. About an hour in, Elliot realizes he’s strayed off the path and lost service. When Elliot doesn’t show up at the coffee shop, Thelma starts to worry. Because Trusted Contacts works even if a phone is offline, Thelma requests Elliot’s location and in five minutes can see that his last known location was in the middle of the canyon. Thelma calls the nearest ranger station, they send out a rescue party, and find Elliot in a few hours. Invite a trusted friend to virtually walk you home if you feel unsafe Elliot stayed at the office later than normal and notices it’s awfully dark out. He opens Trusted Contacts and shares his location with Thelma. Now Thelma can walk him home — virtually. When Elliot gets home, he simply taps the banner at the top of the screen or from the lockscreen and stops sharing his location. Whether you just need a little reassurance or you’re actually in an emergency, Trusted Contacts helps connect you with the people you care about most — at the times you need them most. Download Trusted Contacts today from the Play Store and visit the help center for more info.
Dec 5 4:00am Official Android Blog
Android Pay, Google’s app that allows you to make contactless payments, is becoming one of the UK’s favorite ways to shop since its launch this past May. Adoption of Android Pay is growing rapidly as people are tapping on the Tube, in stores, and in their favorite apps. Let the Gifting BeginAs we head into the festive season, the Android Pay team is thrilled to announce the launch of shop. tap. reward. Each time you use Android Pay in store in the UK or on the Transport for London network from now until the end of the year*, you’ll receive a virtual cracker in the app. Open the cracker to see if you’ve won one of over 100,000 gift cards that could be inside, including a £10 Costa Coffee gift card, a pair of tickets for ODEON Cinemas, a £500 House of Fraser gift card or a £500 Currys PC World gift card. With each of your first five taps you can also collect a virtual coin, and after you collect five coins, you’ll earn a free £3 Costa Coffee gift card. Learn more about these festive surprises and share your excitement with #shoptapreward and #AndroidPay. Fa la la all the Way HomeIn the UK, more and more people are using Android Pay to tap and pay for their journey on the Transport for London network. To make their experience even better, this week Google and TfL introduced some new features for their riders:Incomplete journey notifications: If you forget to tap in or out at any TfL station, Android Pay will notify you the following day that you have an incomplete journey, so you can request a refund on the TfL website.Daily travel summary: Station names and bus numbers will now be tracked within the Android Pay app, so at the end of the day you will be able to see a summary of your daily journey added to your TfL transaction.And it gets even better. Starting today, UK users will see the Android Pay button in the Uber app. Not only is it a great transit option for getting those oversized shopping bags home, but starting later this week, you can get up to 50\% off your next 10 rides (up to £5 per ride) when you use Android Pay**.Festive Fun EverywhereWe’re delighted to share that Android Pay is currently available in in seven countries: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Poland and New Zealand, with more countries coming soon.In the upcoming weeks, users everywhere will be able to enjoy fun celebratory animations as they tap and pay with Android Pay. Here is a sneak peek of a few designs: Let us know your favorite by sharing your posts on social with #AndroidPay.We welcome you to tap on and enjoy the festive fun. *While supplies last.**Promoter is: Uber BV, Vijzelstraat 68-78, 4th floor, 1017 HL Amsterdam. Google and its affiliates are not the promoter(s) of this offer, and have no liability in connection with it. Offer available until 31/12/2016. Please refer to the full terms & conditions here.
Dec 2 12:00pm Google LatLong
Santa’s elves are back at the North Pole working to make sure old Kris Kringle is ready for his journey around the world on December 24 — and that means Santa’s Village is now officially open. Each day until the sleigh takes off, we’ll unlock a new experience that’ll get even the biggest grinch into the holiday spirit. From sliding penguins to dancing elves, the residents of the North Pole are having the time of their lives, and now you can join in the merriment. This year you’ll find several new games in Santa’s Village, including four new ones only available on the Android app — including Present Quest, where you try your hand at recovering Santa’s misplaced gifts out in the real world. Just in time for CSEdWeek this December 5 through 11, we’ll unwrap three coding games to help kids of all ages learn the basics of coding. In Code Boogie, for example, you can help Santa’s elves learn dance moves by combining patterns and creating sequences. Within the gates of Santa’s Village, the new educator resource page is filled with lesson plans and educational games spanning subjects from computer science to geography. Teachers and parents can sort by category to easily find and download lesson plans for use in the classroom or at home. Be on the lookout for more holiday cheer throughout the month, and don’t forget to return on December 23-24 (depending on your time zone) to track Santa’s journey around the world as he brings gifts and joy to people worldwide. Until then, make merry with the residents of the North Pole on web (desktop and mobile Android/iOS), Android app, Google Maps (desktop and mobile), Android TV and Chrome. ...
Nov 29 3:00am Google LatLong
In 2013, we released Google Earth Timelapse, our most comprehensive picture of the Earth's changing surface. This interactive experience enabled people to explore these changes like never before—to watch the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, and the impressive urban expansion of Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, we're making our largest update to Timelapse yet, with four additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. We’ve even teamed up again with our friends at TIME to give you an updated take on compelling locations. Meandering river in Nyingchi, Tibet, China [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*) Leveraging the same techniques we used to improve Google Maps and Google Earth back in June, the new Timelapse reveals a sharper view of our planet, with truer colors and fewer distracting artifacts. A great example of this is San Francisco and Oakland in California: San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge reconstruction [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*) There’s much more to see, including glacial movement in Antarctica, urban growth, forest gain and loss, and infrastructure development: Shirase Glacier, Antarctica [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus) Hourihan Glacier, Antarctica [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*) Dalian Liaoning, China [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*) Nuflo de Chavez, Bolivia [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*) O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*) Using Google Earth Engine, we sifted through about three quadrillion pixels—that's 3 followed by 15 zeroes—from more than 5,000,000 satellite images. For this latest update, we had access to more images from the past, thanks to the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation Program, and fresh images from two new satellites, Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2. We took the best of all those pixels to create 33 images of the entire planet, one for each year. We then encoded these new 3.95 terapixel global images into just over 25,000,000 overlapping multi-resolution video tiles, made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time. Alberta Tar Sands, Canada [View in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*) To view the new Timelapse, head over to the Earth Engine website. You can also view the new annual mosaics in Google Earth's historical imagery feature on desktop, or spend a mesmerizing 38 minutes watching this YouTube playlist. Happy exploring!*Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey. Images also contain modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2015- 2016.
Nov 22 1:00pm Google Docs
Earlier this year, we announced that a totally rebuilt version of Google Sites was on the way. Since then, we’ve worked with a set of customers through an Early Adopter Program to test the new Sites and fine tune the experience. Today, the new Google Sites is ready for all customers. We’ve started turning customer feedback into new and improved features. For example, some customers asked for the ability to measure how much engagement their sites were getting. You can now track site performance with Google Analytics. Other customers asked for more customization and different designs, so you can now choose between six themes to give your site the right look.Nadia Lee, a product and change manager at Dow Jones, tested the new Sites to build a few informational sites for her teams and had this to say: “Sites is much more user friendly than other...
Nov 21 4:54am Google LatLong
‘Tis the season for gift-giving, delicious dinners, and spending time with family and friends. That also means it's the season of crowded holiday shopping, travel planning and entertaining the in-laws. Never fear, Google is here to help you navigate some seasonal stress. First up: crowd control. Since introducing the Popular Times feature in Google Search and Maps last year, you’ve been able to check how busy a place typically is at different times of the week. Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we're adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go. Whether you’re rushing to pick up a last minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive. Next up: time management. If you’re playing host for the day, you can also check and see how long people typically stay at a given location. That way you can plan your itinerary to the minute. After all, you want to be sure you leave enough time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your local sweets shop before heading to your dinner reservations. Finally: department and service hours. Stores, businesses and restaurants can sometimes have multiple hours for different departments and special services. Now on Google, you have access to these various hours, so you’ll know what time to pop by the pharmacy at your local drugstore or supermarket, when food delivery begins at a nearby restaurant (for those not looking to cook!), and what the service hours are at the auto dealership to get your brakes checked before hitting the road to see family. All these tips are just a tap away in Google Search and Maps. So shop, eat and be merry!...
Nov 16 11:00pm Official Android Blog
Whether you’re doing your daily shop or heading for a night out, your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door -- thanks to Android Pay. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Poland, helping you pay for everything simply and securely with your Android phone. You will be able to use Android Pay at more than 400 thousand retail locations throughout Poland that accept contactless payments. This includes your favourite shops like Carrefour and Rossmann, cafes like Costa Coffee and much more - take a look here for more places where you can use Android Pay. How does Android Pay work?Using Android Pay is simple. Just wake up your phone (you don’t even have to open an app or unlock it), hold it to the payment terminal, and voilà — your payment is done. After you check out, you’ll get helpful information on your phone about your recent transactions. Android Pay will also let you breeze through checkout when you shop in your favorite mobile apps. There’s no need to enter your payment or address details every time. Look for the Android Pay purchase button when the feature launches soon in apps like Allegro, Ceneo, Fancy, iTaxi.pl and Uber, with many more to come. To get started, download Android Pay from the Play Store and add an eligible Mastercard or Visa card (credit or debit) from Alior Bank, Bank Zachodni WBK or T-Mobile Banking Services. mBank will be supported soon, along with more banks in the coming months. Android Pay is available on all Android devices that are NFC-enabled and running on KitKat 4.4 or higher. Because Android Pay doesn’t share your actual credit or debit card number with stores when you pay, it’s even safer than using a plastic card. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or wipe it clean of your personal information.We've teamed up with many leading payment platforms, processors, and technology providers such as Braintree and First Data to make it even easier to accept Android Pay in stores and apps. Visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn more. Get started with Android Pay in Poland today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.
Nov 10 1:15pm Official Android Blog
Today, we’re excited to announce that celebrated American fashion designer Jeremy Scott has teamed up with Google to create a line of limited edition Jeremy Scott Live Cases for our new Pixel phones. Phones and cases have become an extension of our personal style. Scott, the creative mind behind fashion labels like Moschino and his own collection, has brought his distinctive vision to this new line, turning your Pixel into the ultimate accessory. And we didn't stop there. Why not add a bit more style to the other ways you express yourself? Jeremy Scott Live Case by Google — Game Over Introducing the Jeremy Scott Live CaseIt’s no secret that we emojis. Scott does too, but always felt like a few were missing. So together, we worked to create and bring his emojis to Pixel through a new customized Live Case and its companion live wallpapers. Designs to make your ownScott created nine different canvases for Live Case that feature his cast of emoji characters. Fans can make the case their own by zooming and rotating the designs, creating the perfect layout for their phone case. The GIFs that keep on givingEach Jeremy Scott Live Case comes with a companion wallpaper that updates daily with new characters. And with a shake of your Pixel, the characters come to life. Lastly, to liven up your conversations in Allo, Messenger, or Hangouts, the Jeremy Scott Live Case comes with its own GIF keyboard that features the full line-up of 24 characters. Best friend scores free tickets to tonight’s concert? Nothing says “that’s amazing” like a GIF of a rabbit pulling itself out of a top hat. See the emojis #IRLTo celebrate the collaboration, we created real-life versions of Scott’s emojis that are currently popping up around the country. If you see one, snap a photo and use the hashtag #JeremyScottxGoogle. You never know where they might show up next. Exclusively on the Google StoreTo make your Jeremy Scott Live Case now, head to the Google Store. Available in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Germany, for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X phones.
Nov 10 9:00am Official Android Blog
In 2007, we launched Android, a free and open-source operating system. Smartphones back then were an expensive rarity. We wanted to change that — to stimulate innovation and increase choice for consumers — and it worked.Android means manufacturers don’t have to buy or build expensive mobile operating systems. As a result, smartphones are now available at dramatically lower prices — as little as 45 euros — and have become much more accessible to many more people. Today, more than 24,000 devices from over 1,300 brands run on Android. And European developers are able to distribute their apps to over a billion people around the world. Android is not a ‘one way street’; it’s a multi-lane highway of choice. Last April, the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections raising concerns over how we manage Android compatibility and distribute our own apps. The response we filed today shows how the Android ecosystem carefully balances the interests of users, developers, hardware makers, and mobile network operators. Android hasn’t hurt competition, it’s expanded it. First, the Commission’s case is based on the idea that Android doesn’t compete with Apple’s iOS. We don’t see it that way. We don’t think Apple does either. Or phone makers. Or developers. Or users. In fact, 89\% of respondents to the Commission’s own market survey confirmed that Android and Apple compete. To ignore competition with Apple is to miss the defining feature of today’s competitive smartphone landscape. Second, we are concerned that the Commission’s preliminary findings underestimate the importance of developers and the dangers of fragmentation in a mobile ecosystem. Developers — and there were at least 1.3 million of them in Europe in 2015 — depend on a stable and consistent framework to do their work. Any phone maker can download Android and modify it in any way they choose. But that flexibility makes Android vulnerable to fragmentation, a problem that plagued previous operating systems like Unix and Symbian. When anyone can modify your code, how do you ensure there’s a common, consistent version of the operating system, so that developers don’t have to go through the hassle and expense of building multiple versions of their apps?To manage this challenge, we work with hardware makers to establish a minimum level of compatibility among Android devices. Critically, we give phone makers wide latitude to build devices that go above that baseline, which is why you see such a varied universe of Android devices. That’s the key: our voluntary compatibility agreements enable variety while giving developers confidence to create apps that run seamlessly across thousands of different phones and tablets. This balance stimulates competition between Android devices as well as between Android and Apple’s iPhone. Android’s compatibility rules help minimize fragmentation and sustain a healthy ecosystem for developers. Ninety-four percent of respondents who answered questions on fragmentation in a Commission market survey said that it harms the Android platform. Developers worry about it, and our competitors with proprietary platforms (who don’t face the same risk) regularly criticize us for it. The Commission’s proposal risks making fragmentation worse, hurting the Android platform and mobile phone competition.Third, the Commission argues that we shouldn’t offer some Google apps as part of a suite. No manufacturer is obliged to preload any Google apps on an Android phone. But we do offer manufacturers a suite of apps so that when you buy a new phone you can access a familiar set of basic services. Android’s competitors, including Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s Windows phone, not only do the same, but they allow much less choice in the apps that come with their phones. On Android, Google’s apps typically account for less than one-third of the preloaded apps on the device (and only a small fraction of device memory). A consumer can swipe away any of our apps at any time. And, uniquely, hardware makers and carriers can pre-install rival apps right next to ours. In competition-speak, that means there’s no “foreclosure”. The...
Nov 7 10:00am Official Android Blog
We launched Android Auto two years ago with the goal to better integrate phones and cars, and give drivers an easier way to access the information they need. There are now over 200 new car models supporting Android Auto offered from more than 50 brands, and many more launching every day.But we know there are millions of older cars on the road that are not compatible with Android Auto, and many don't have a screen at all. We wanted to bring the same connected experience to these drivers too.So today we're excited to introduce a whole new way to use Android Auto: right on your phone screen! This update allows anyone with an Android phone (running 5.0 or later) to use a driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road ― directions, music, communications ― without the distraction of things that aren't essential while driving. Whether your phone is connected to a compatible car display, or placed in a car mount on the dashboard, Android Auto brings your favorite apps and services into one place, making them accessible in safer and seamless ways. You can bring your music with you with apps like Spotify, Pandora or Google Play Music, and make calls or send messages with hands-free voice commands. And of course, get turn-by-turn directions to your next destination with Google Maps.This update also brings the ability to automatically start the app when the phone is paired with Bluetooth. While you can put your phone in any car mount, please keep an eye out for Bluetooth-supported car mounts such as Logitech’s SmartCar mount, which is coming soon to the Google Store and select retail locations.We’re also enhancing the support for hands-free voice commands in the coming weeks. You will soon be able to easily access existing features like maps, music and messaging by just saying “Ok Google” so you can stay focused on the road.The latest version (2.0) with the phone screen experience will be rolling out in the coming days to more than 30 countries where Android Auto is currently available. Sign up on the Android Auto website to receive an email when the update is available for your phone.
Nov 4 9:00am Official Android Blog
SMS is one of the most ubiquitous forms of communication today, used by billions of people worldwide. Over the course of this year, we’ve worked with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS for users, to provide a better, more enhanced messaging experience through RCS (Rich Communications Services). And now more than 58 carriers and manufacturers, collectively covering a subscriber base of 4.7 billion people globally, have committed to supporting a single, standard implementation of RCS.Today, we’re excited to announce the next step in this initiative with our first carrier launch supporting the new universal RCS profile. Together with Sprint, we’re launching RCS messaging to their customers using Android devices, starting today. This will bring enhanced features including group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more to the standard messaging experience on Android. Sprint subscribers will have their standard SMS experience upgraded through the Messenger app for Android devices, developed by Google. The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google. Next year, all new Android devices from Sprint will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging experience. Subscribers currently using select LG and Nexus phones from Sprint will have the messaging experience upgraded automatically through an app update, and subscribers using other Android devices can download Messenger from the Play store.We’re excited to see this first launch of RCS come to life, providing a better carrier messaging experience for millions of people in the U.S. We look forward to launching RCS with more partners in the coming months.
Nov 3 5:00am Google LatLong
Google has always been a proponent of clean energy, and solar power has been a central part of our vision. Over the past year, Project Sunroof has been helping homeowners explore whether they should go solar - offering solar estimates for over 43 million houses across 42 states. Solar installations today are growing rapidly, but there remains tremendous untapped potential as only a half a percent of US electricity comes from solar power.Today we’re excited to be taking Project Sunroof a step further by launching a new data explorer tool to enable solar estimates for entire communities, in addition to individual homes, by leveraging 3D rooftop geometry from Google Earth to estimate the solar potential for millions of rooftops in America. The tool helps communities, cities and municipalities easily visualize how many rooftops are suitable to install solar, how much power they could collectively generate, as well as how much carbon could be displaced by deploying rooftop solar at scale. Sunroof’s solar potential reports can also be easily shared amongst community members, researchers and policymakers directly from the the tool itself. Anyone can use this tool for free, by simply entering in a state, county, city, or zip code to receive a custom analysis. Click here to see the solar potential of your community Rooftop solar is a viable option for many cities today. Sunroof’s data explorer found that in more than 90\% of communities that the tool covers within 42 states nationwide, well over half the rooftops are viable for solar. Today, cities like Denver and organizations like League of Cities see great value in using the data explorer tool to evaluate whether solar can drive economic savings and growth, as well as help transition energy consumption to lower carbon sources for their communities. Here’s what they have to say;Cooper Martin, Program Director of the Sustainable Cities Institute, League of Cities “Our Sustainable Cities Institute program aims to provide guidance and information for governments that want to pursue sustainability and ensuring that solar is easy, fast and cheap to install. Sunroof's Data Explorer tool can help inform city stakeholders about the opportunity of solar energy, and the work that is needed to support solar-friendly policies. ” Thomas J. Herrod, Climate and Policy analyst, City of Denver“As a City with a bold and ambitious goal of reducing 80\% of Greenhouse Gas emissions by the year 2050, Project Sunroof data is a key tool in our arsenal of potential strategies. Rooftop solar is already a viable option within Denver, but this tool helps us refine our efforts to ensure equity in our outreach, efficiency in our efforts, and measurement in our management resources. Of equal importance is the ability to identify where rooftop solar may not be an option – helping us identify areas where other renewable energy programs offered by our Utility can fill the gap. We are thrilled to be able to utilize Project Sunroof in our Climate mitigation efforts and help inform our community about the bountiful resource that renewable energy can provide.”Mark Trout, CIO, Vivint“In previous analysis we've done, comparing Project Sunroof data estimates to actual systems performing in the field, we've found Google's information to be a highly accurate source for predicting the solar performance of a rooftop system. At Vivint Solar we are constantly focusing on how to better delight our customers and advance the solar industry through leading innovation. Project Sunroof is a prime example how how technology can improve the consumer experience and accelerate solar deployment here in the US.”The release of the data explorer tool marks another milestone across the Project Sunroof initiative where the use of Google’s high quality infor...
Nov 1 9:00am Google LatLong
Now anyone can try their hand at magic with a little help from Google and the new Warner Bros. Pictures film set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Taking place decades before Harry Potter first arrives at Hogwarts, “Fantastic Beasts” follows the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander in a whole new era of the wizarding world — New York in 1926.If you want to try being a wizard, try casting spells on your Android phone: Just say “Ok Google” followed by “Lumos” or “Nox” to turn your flashlight on and off. Try “Silencio” to silence the ringer and notifications. You can also explore the world of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” with Google Street View. Visit New York in 1926 as brought to life in the film, as well as the real locations today. Fans can visit MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA); Steen National Bank, where Newt first meets Jacob Kowalski; the underground speakeasy The Blind Pig; and the magical apartment of Tina and Queenie Goldstein, two of the film’s key characters. Once you’ve mastered charms and found the lay of the land, help Newt find his escaped beasts before they come to harm in a city already on edge from dark forces. Using our new Daydream View virtual reality headset, you can wave a wand to explore the magic of Newt’s case, a treasure trove full of everything he needs to cast spells, solve puzzles and find his beasts. The experience will be available when Daydream View goes on sale in November. Don’t forget to share your adventures with your friends by downloading an exclusive “Fantastic Beasts” sticker pack (coming soon) in our messaging app, Google Allo. You can also watch content inspired by the wizarding world from your favorite YouTube creators starting November 1.To start your journey and discover more magic with Newt and friends, visit g.co/fantasticbeasts. “Fantastic Beasts” is in cinemas in November.
Oct 31 7:00am Google LatLong
Whether you’re dressed like the divine or the spookiest kind, get ready for some of Street View’s most frightening and freakiest finds.Few places have more horrors than the Amsterdam Dungeons in the Netherlands. Enter the Dungeon and descend into the vaults for an unworldly immersive experience where actors take you through some of Amsterdam’s most terrifying tales. Quick, get your ticket! It’s a grueling good time. Amsterdam Dungeons, Netherlands If you like to feel shivers up your spine from a ghost trailing not so far behind, head over to the Winchester Mystery House in California, for a real twisted time. Mrs. Sarah L. Winchester built this creepy estate to escape ghosts that haunted her after the death of her husband a child. This one of a kind mansion contains miles of winding hallways, scattered with secret passageways hidden in the walls. It’s said that Mrs. Winchester traveled through the corridors in a roundabout fashion, to confuse any mischievous ghosts that might be following. Winchester Mystery House, California USA Haw Par Villa in Singapore is not your average theme park. Limbless rats, frogs riding ostriches, and the Ten Courts of Hell depicted by more than 1,000 statues and brightly painted dioramas, make up a gruesome recreation of the afterlife. A stroll through this disturbing park is an education in morality complete with morbid visuals, sure to to deter anyone from misbehaving. Haw Par Villa, Singapore No chilling tour is complete without a visit to the home of the deceased. The Cemetery of Dissidents is located on the Panteón hill, at one side of the old city jail, in Valparaíso, Chile. It was created in 1825 to hold the remains of those that differed from the official religion of the State. Take a stroll through the grounds and see tombstones that mince no words in revealing the adventurous lives and often dramatic deaths of its deceased residents. Cementerio de Disidentes, Valparaiso Chile You made it through the spookiest, the creepiest and the weepiest, so it’s now time to celebrate with some terrifying tunes! Wipe off that dusty cobweb covered boombox, throw your magic dancing shoes on, and join the monsters, the zombies and the vampires for a mashing good time. Happy Halloween!...
Oct 24 12:00pm Official Android Blog
Today, Google announces strategic partnerships with Visa and Mastercard to bring Android Pay to more places on the mobile web.Android Pay users will soon be able to pay on hundreds of thousands of new sites where Visa Checkout or Masterpass are accepted using their preferred device authentication method - like fingerprint recognition. No longer will users have to remember multiple usernames and passwords in order to checkout, saving them time and hassle. Visa Checkout and Masterpass users who link their accounts with Android Pay can look forward to easy and secure payments in stores and online with a simple tap.Android Pay’s open platform also makes the payment integration easy for merchants and developers. Merchants who have enabled Visa Checkout or Masterpass on their sites will instantly benefit from these enhanced payment experiences as the buttons will update automatically. And just as apps such as Fancy and Luxe have seen with Android Pay, these merchants can look forward to faster checkout times, fewer abandoned carts, higher conversions and increased sales.This latest partnership with Visa and Mastercard is an example of how Android Pay can work with partners’ existing solutions to improve the payments experience for users and merchants alike. Look for the new integrations with Visa Checkout and Masterpass within the Android Pay app in early 2017.
Oct 19 5:00pm Official Android Blog
Whether you’re heading out to buy groceries, grabbing a cup of coffee, or picking up some egg tarts for your family and friends, now your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Hong Kong to help you speed through purchases in stores and in apps. Hongkongers can now use Android Pay at over 5,000 locations in Hong Kong where contactless payments are accepted, including stores such as at 7-Eleven, Circle K, Fortress, Mannings, Maxim’s Cakes, MX, McDonald’s, Pacific Coffee, PARKnSHOP, SmarTone, Watsons, Wellcome and more. Android Pay also stores your gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers right on your phone. Android Pay can also help you breeze through checkout in your favorite apps, including Boutir Collect, Deliveroo, Kaligo, Klook, Snaptee, and coming soon, Uber and more. Just look for the Android Pay button, and say goodbye to entering your payment and address details each time you buy. To get started, download the app from Google Play. It’s available on all Android devices that are NFC-enabled, supporting Google Play Services, and running on KitKat 4.4 or higher. Android Pay works with MasterCard and Visa cards from BEA, DBS, Dah Sing Bank, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong. You can add multiple cards (there’s no limit to how many you can add) and select which card you want to use before you pay, so you can always enjoy the best deals available. Merchants, want to accept Android Pay?As an open platform, Android Pay is available to merchants that want to push mobile payments forward. In-store merchants can access the Android Pay Merchant Help Centre or reach out to acquirer partners such as DBS, First Data and Hang Seng to learn more about accepting contactless payments.For online merchants, just visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn how to accept Android Pay in your app. We’re working with payment processors such as: Adyen, Braintree, First Data, Global Payments, Stripe and Worldpay to make enabling Android Pay in Hong Kong simple and easy. Get started with Android Pay in Hong Kong today: Download from Google Play, add your card and start tapping and shopping!...
Oct 12 1:00pm Official Android Blog
Last year, we launched Android Experiments, a celebration of the creative, ingenious, and surprising things developers are making with Android. With so many great projects being sent in each month, we were inspired to make and share an experiment of our own. We love virtual reality (VR). And we love taking pictures. So why not try smashing the two together? Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone’s gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas.Like what you’ve captured? You can easily share your creations via a link in a text message or on social media with friends. They can jump into your scapes and have a look around using their phones or even Google Cardboard for a more immersive experience.Download Sprayscape on Google Play to get started or, if you’re feeling curious, take a look at the open-source code to see how Sprayscape works.
Oct 12 10:19am Google Public Policy Blog
Today, we've updated our Transparency Report on government requests for user data. Globally, we received 44,943 government requests for information regarding 76,713 accounts during the first half of 2016. We provided user information in response to 64\% of those requests, which remains unchanged from the previous reporting period (i.e. the second half of 2015). We also received our first ever requests from the following countries: Algeria, Belarus, Cayman Islands, El Salvador, Fiji, and Saudi Arabia. In addition, pursuant to the USA Freedom Act, the FBI lifted a gag restriction on an NSL issued in the second half of 2015. To reflect this, we have updated the range of NSLs received in that period — July to December 2015 — from 0-499 to 1-499.As we have noted in the past, when we receive a request for user information, we review it carefully and only provide information within the scope and authority of the request. The privacy and security of the data that users store with Google is central to our approach. Before producing data in response to a government request, we make sure it strictly follows the law, for example to compel us to disclose content in criminal cases we require the government use a search warrant, and that it complies with Google's strict policies (to prevent overreach that can compromise users’ privacy). In the US, in the current reporting period, Google saw an increase in the number of accounts covered by requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (21,000-21,499), compared to the previous reporting period (16,000-16,499). (Note that the USA Freedom Act authorizes companies like Google to report these figures in ranges, but not precise numbers.) In recent years, the United States has implemented or enacted meaningful surveillance reforms. And the U.S. Congress is beginning the process of assessing potential reforms to Section 702 of FISA, which authorizes surveillance of non-U.S. persons outside of the United States. We look forward to working together with others in our industry on continuing surveillance reform in the U.S. and around the world.
Oct 4 12:38pm Official Android Blog
Pixel is the first phone made by Google inside and out.
Sep 30 2:00pm Google LatLong
See your Google Calendar events and future reservations in Google Maps for Android.
Sep 29 9:00am Google LatLong
Get traffic info, find gas stations, or call home — without needing to tap or even look at the screen.
Sep 28 8:00am Google Public Policy Blog
Reminding everyone about the different two-step verification options available to protect your Google account.
Sep 7 6:00am Official Android Blog
Starting today, Android Chase customers can add their eligible Chase Visa cards to Android Pay.
Jun 17 9:57pm Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO
Over the last couple years, I’ve seen more and more people in technology trying to make government work better. They’re idealists who are also making a large impact. These are people that I respect–some of them worked to fix healthcare.gov, for example. From talking to many of them, I can tell you that their energy […]...
Mar 18 8:17pm Google Directions
Google Maps for Android just received a major update, nothing earth shattering, but it brings new features that are both fun and useful at the same time. Today, Google announced in a blog post that Android users can now customize and label their favorite locations in Google Maps, such as their work and home addresses […]...