Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture
S’more to love across all your screens
September 29, 2015
From your watch to your phone to your TV, we want to help you stay connected, entertained and informed across all your screens. Today we’re introducing a few new things that do just that: two Nexus phones, a tablet for work and play, updates to Chromecast and features for some of your favorite apps—all working together to make your day a little bit easier and more fun.
New Nexus phones
We made Android to be an open platform that anyone can build on, and today there are 4,000+ Android devices in all shapes and sizes. Android’s diversity is why it’s become the most popular mobile platform in the world, and the latest version,
, takes Android to a new level of performance.
While we love all the Android devices out there, every year we build
devices to show off the latest and greatest, directly from the people who built Android. Today we’re introducing the latest Nexus treats, both running Marshmallow, sweetened by amazing apps and sandwiched by some cutting-edge hardware (see what we did there?):
is the first all-metal-body Nexus phone. Built in collaboration with Huawei, this 5.7” phone is crafted from aeronautical-grade aluminum, with a USB Type-C port for fast charging, a powerful 64-bit processor, and a 12.3 MP camera sensor with massive 1.55µm pixels (hello, better photos!). The Nexus 6P starts at $499.
You’re not the only one who misses your Nexus 5. We’ve joined forces with LG to bring it back with the new
, which gives you great performance in a compact and light package, with a beautiful 5.2” screen and the same 12.3 MP camera and Type-C port as the Nexus 6P. Nexus 5X starts at $379.
Both phones include a new fingerprint sensor, Nexus Imprint, which gives you quick and secure access to your phone, as well as use of Android Pay (in the U.S.). They are available for pre-order
on the Google Store
from a number of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Japan, and come with a free 90-day subscription to Google Play Music. In the U.S., pre-orders include a $50 Play credit to help you stock up your favorite music, apps, games and shows. And, finally, for you Project Fi fans out there, you'll be happy to know Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will work on your favorite network. Request an invite to our Early Access Program at
We’re expanding the Pixel family by introducing the
first Android tablet built end-to-end by Google
. The Pixel C brings together the benefits of a full-size keyboard with the portability of a tablet. The tablet and keyboard attach magnetically (no docking mechanism FTW), so it’s easy to switch between typing and using the touch screen.
And if you’re familiar with the
, you’ll immediately see the family resemblance: the Pixel C has the same beautiful aluminum design, great display and USB Type-C port. The Pixel C will be available in time for the holidays on the Google Store.
Cast ALL the things
Today we’re introducing two new Chromecast devices. The new
has a fresh design, and is easier to plug into TVs with crowded ports. It supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and adapts more easily to changing Wi-Fi conditions in your home, so you get higher quality video with less buffering. Most importantly, we added two new colors. ;)
is a small device that plugs into your existing speakers, so you can stream your favorite music, radio and podcasts over Wi-Fi, similar to Chromecast. It works with tons of apps, including Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music. Just like Chromecast, it works from anywhere in your home with your favorite devices, including Android, iOS, and laptops. And it’s available
on the Google Store
and other online retailers for just $35—way less than most Wi-Fi speakers today.
We’ve also updated the Chromecast app to make it easier for you to find great things to watch or to play, across the thousands of apps that work with Chromecast—whether you feel like browsing or want to search for a specific TV show or movie. For Cast-enabled apps that aren’t already on your phone, we’ll suggest one for you. The updated Chromecast app is rolling out on Android and iOS over the next few weeks.
Your favorite apps... for the whole family
All your shiny devices get even better when you have great apps to go with them. So we’re making a few updates to Google Play Music and Google Photos.
First, Google Play Music will offer a new family plan later this year. Up to six people will be able to use one account for a shared fee of $14.99 a month (instead of $9.99 per person). Get the dance party ready.
Sharing is a theme of today’s Google Photos updates, too. We’re adding Chromecast support to give you that old-school slideshow experience—dimmed lights optional. In the U.S., you can now add private labels to your photos to make it easier to search for specific pics of people with things, places or other people—say, that photo of Mom at the Grand Canyon, or of your daughter with her pet bunny. And soon you’ll be able to pool all your photos and videos with friends and family in one place, and get updates as soon as new photos are added. Best of all, there’s no setup involved, and you can use any device. So that dance party we mentioned earlier? Now it’s easier to gather all the memories from everyone who was there.
More to love, for more people
From Nexus to Chromecast to Pixel C to Photos, these updates are more than the sum of their parts—they unite great apps with devices that are designed to support them. They’re built to work together, so they
—seamlessly, across all your screens.
Posted by Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP Android, Chromecast and Chrome OS at Google
Big ideas for an even better Bay Area
September 29, 2015
Converting a liquor store into a community-based learning and tutoring center. Providing millions of dollars of 0% interest loans to small businesses. Breaking the poverty- to-prison cycle by building a residential alternative to prison for young adults. This is just a sampling of the big ideas that local nonprofits submitted for our second annual
Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area
Today, after reviewing hundreds of submissions, we’re unveiling 10 finalists chosen together with our panel of
—a group that includes the San Francisco Chronicle’s Editor-in-Chief Audrey Cooper, The Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, The San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence, and CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, Fred Blackwell.
Representing San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Clara, San Mateo and more, these organizations span the Bay Area. Learn more about these groups and their ideas for change:
This year, finding and funding new ideas will be just one part of the Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area. We are also reinvesting in a few of our 2014 finalists.
The Ella Baker Center
, and Bay Area Community Resources in collaboration with
Instituto Familiar de la Raza
all were funded last year, and will receive between $250,000 and $1,000,000 in additional funding this year. We’re very pleased to continue supporting organizations focused on homelessness, youth employment, and racial justice—big problems that Google.org works to tackle with local organizations, year-round.
What happens next is in your hands! Anyone can vote for the new projects they think will have the most impact on the Bay Area. Again, the top four will receive $500,000 in grant funding, the remaining six will get $250,000 each. 15 additional organizations will each receive $100,000 and all nonprofits will be connected with Googler volunteers and coworking space in San Francisco. We’ll announce winners on October 21.
To vote, visit
or check out
one of our voting stations across the Bay Area
When creative, socially-conscious minds and the Bay Area’s innovative spirit join forces, big things can happen. Congratulations to all finalists, and best of luck the rest of the way!
Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Alphabet
Bring virtual reality field trips to your school with Google Expeditions
September 28, 2015
At the Bronx Latin School in New York City, teacher Katrina Roman says the topic of ancient history doesn’t usually set students abuzz. But this week, they took a field trip to ancient Aztec ruins using Google Expeditions, a virtual reality teaching tool built with Google Cardboard. Normally, their assignment would involve poring over photocopied photographs, but instead, they stood at the top of Chichen Itza, then examined detailed carvings at Tenochtitlan. Amid “oohs” and “aahhs,” the students shouted out details they noticed and shot hands up to answer Ms. Roman’s questions.
Katrina Roman’s class at the
Bronx Latin School
fills out their assignment after visiting Aztec ruins with Expeditions. The class is part of a history and geography pilot with
New Visions for Public Schools
Starting today, we’re bringing this experience to thousands of schools around the world with the new
Expeditions Pioneer Program
. During the 2015/2016 school year, we’ll be bringing “kits” containing everything a teacher needs to run a virtual trip for their class:
, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, and Google
that turn phones into virtual reality headsets. Although nothing replaces hopping on the bus for a field trip, there are some places that are just out of reach (hello, Chichen Itza!). Virtual reality gives teachers a tool to take students places a school bus can't.
To help teachers learn how to use Expeditions, we’ll be visiting thousands of schools around the world and bringing the kit for teachers to use in their classes for the day. Up first: Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S., followed by more locations as the school year progresses. At each school, our team will show teachers
how Expeditions works
and help set it up before class.
Right now, teachers can choose from a library of 100+ virtual trips to places like Mars, the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Wall of China. But we’re constantly adding more trips with the help of partners like
, educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, British documentarian David Attenborough in collaboration with Alchemy VR, and the
Wildlife Conservation Society
. We’re also working with
the Starfish Foundation
to help students explore future careers by showing them a virtual day in the life of professionals including a veterinarian and computer scientist. And to help students achieve those career goals, we’re working with First Lady Michelle Obama to support her
initiative by taking students on virtual college tours.
And if you see one of these cars on the road, that's us! The folks at Subaru, who invest in education as part of their
initiative, have created a fleet of Expedition Pioneer Program rides that we'll be using to bring kits to schools.
If visiting Mars, trekking on the Great Wall of China or exploring what it’s like to work at a veterinarian’s office sounds like something your class would be interested in, head to the
Expeditions Pioneer Program site
and sign up.
Posted by David Quaid, Software Engineer, Google Expeditions
Bringing the Internet to more Indians—starting with 10 million rail passengers a day
September 27, 2015
When I was a student, I relished the
day-long railway journey
I would make from Chennai Central station (then known as Madras Central) to
. I vividly remember the frenetic energy at the various stations along the way and marveled at the incredible scale and scope of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Googleplex today
I’m very proud to announce that it’s the train stations of India that are going to help get millions of people online. In the past year, 100 million people in India started using the Internet for the first time. This means there are now more Internet users in India than in every country in the world aside from China. But what's really astounding is the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in India who aren’t online.
We’d like to help get these next billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection—with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web. That’s why, today, on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to our U.S. headquarters, and in line with his Digital India initiative, we announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India.
, which operates one of the world's largest railway networks, and
, which provides Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fiber network along many of these railway lines, our Access & Energy team plans to bring the first stations online in the coming months. The network will expand quickly to cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016, with the remaining stations following in quick succession.
Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day. This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users. It will also be fast—many times faster than what most people in India have access to today, allowing travelers to stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, or download some videos, a book or a new game for the journey ahead. Best of all, the service will be free to start, with the long-term goal of making it self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and other places, with RailTel and more partners, in the future.
This map shows the first 100 stations that will have high-speed Wi-Fi by the end of 2016
We think this is an important part of making the Internet both accessible and useful for the more than 300 million Indians already online, and the nearly one billion more who are not.
But it’s not the only piece. To help more Indians get access to affordable, high-quality smartphones, which is the primary way most people there access the Internet, we
launched Android One last year
. To help address the challenges of limited bandwidth, we recently
a feature that makes mobile webpages load faster and with less data, and we’ve made
YouTube available offline
offline Maps coming soon
To help make web content more useful for Indians, many of whom don’t speak English, we launched the Indian Language Internet Alliance last year to foster more local language content, and have built greater local language support into our products—including Hindi Voice Search, an improved Hindi keyboard and support for seven Indian languages with the latest versions of Android. And finally, to help all Indians reap the benefits of connectivity, we’ve been ramping up
efforts to help women
, who make up
just a third
of Internet users in India today, get the most from the web.
Just like I did years ago, thousands of young Indians walk through Chennai Central every day, eager to learn, to explore and to seek opportunity. It’s my hope that this Wi-Fi project will make all these things a little easier.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 18–24
September 25, 2015
Even if you weren’t trying to keep up with all your fall shows returning, this week was a busy one. Here’s a look at what captured our attention the past seven days—from the Pope to a little rat with a big dream.
Also, we’re changing up this series, so this will be our last regular Friday post for a while. We’ll be back soon in a different format. Until then, keep on searchin’ on.
Pizza rat is all of us
Let’s start with the important stuff. This week the Internet was captivated by a
showing a rat carrying a slice of pizza down the stairs of a New York subway station. There were more than
50K+ searches for “Pizza Rat”
on Monday, and the 14 second-video has more than 6 million views at last count. But while
multiplied across the web, New Yorkers had some more unsettling questions in mind, like: “How many rats are in New York?” and “What is the rat to people ratio in New York?” (Are you sure you want to know?) Whether Pizza Rat is a
, something about him spoke to us. Because in a way, aren’t we all just rats trying to find a slice of pizza in the subway station of life?
This week Pope Francis became the
fourth pope to visit the United States
, in a highly anticipated tour that took him from
D.C. to New York, with a Philadelphia stop
still to come. Every day of his visit has brought headlines and curious searches (
more than 500K on Tuesday
)—and he’s been busy. He met with President Obama (
and the President’s dogs
) at the White House, stopped by the Capitol to give a
joint address to Congress
(the first time a pontiff has ever done so),
canonized Junipero Serra
, visited the 9/11 Memorial, spoke at the United Nations and made statements on everything ranging from climate change to the refugee crisis.
Meanwhile, people have been asking all
about the Pope and his visit. Perhaps the most interesting—and inspiring—searches about the Pope’s visit are those looking for information on what he has said. Notably, people wanted to learn more about Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day, whom the Pope described in his joint address to Congress as Americans who had “built a better future” through “hard work and self-sacrifice” (the other two Americans he mentioned? Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.). In fact, searches for Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and an advocate for social justice,
after the Pope discussed her in his speech.
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over
This week baseball fans and others said farewell to Yankees catcher
, who died at age 90. A Hall of Famer who appeared in 21 World Series as a player, coach and manager, Yogi was perhaps best known for his nonsensical, sometimes
statements (some of which it’s disputed he actually made, but all of which you’ve probably said without even knowing their origin), and as the namesake for the
. As news spread of his death, people searched for him more than 1M times,
“What number was Yogi Berra?” and “How did Yogi Berra get the name Yogi?” (
It’s a good story
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [pontifex] and [postpositive adjective]
Supporting our young scientists through the Google Science Fair
September 21, 2015
Mariette DiChristina is the Editor in Chief and senior vice president of
—the first woman to hold the role in the magazine's 170-year history. She has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2011 and served as president of the National Association of Science Writers in 2009 and 2010. She joins us here today to share her perspective on the Google Science Fair, which is in its fifth edition this year.
This marks my fifth year with the
Google Science Fair
. In October 2010, when I had my first conversations with my friends at Google about their idea to create a global online science fair that any kid 13–18 could participate in, I thought it sounded pretty cool. But I couldn’t then imagine just how inspiring and powerful such a competition would turn out to be in reality.
At the time, I hadn’t even been editor in chief of
for a year, but I had real ambitions to try to do something to make a difference in educating our young people about science. You see, I believe that science is the engine of human prosperity—it’s the way we grapple with some of the world’s most challenging problems, from cures for diseases to living sustainably in a finite world. So I’ve always seen the idea of fostering evidence-based thinking in our next generation of global citizens as vital.
Now, five years later and working with partners LEGO Education,
and Virgin Galactic, the Google Science Fair has an impressive track record of enabling our world’s young scientists to shine. Over the years, they’ve tackled serious issues, like world hunger and the energy crisis. Their projects have worked on how to diagnose and treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. They’ve engineered flashlights powered by their hands and plastics made of banana peels. And to date, the fair has provided almost $1 million in scholarships, and sent four grand prize winners on trips around the world to further their scientific passions.
Tonight we added some new winners to that list as we recognized and celebrated the 2015 top 20 finalist projects and the bright young scientists behind them:
The Grand Prize went to
for creating a novel way to detect Ebola.
won the Google Technologist Award for helping improve learning through auto-generated study questions.
Explorer Award went to
for her idea to use solar-powered silver to create clean drinking water.
’s project focused on improved diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and won him the
's automated search for gravitationally lensed quasars earned him the Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award.
took home The LEGO Education Builder Award for his unique twist on effectively transporting vaccines.
If you didn’t get to tune in, you can still
watch the Awards Show live stream
and check out the
complete list of impressive finalists and winners
, including our first ever Inspiring Educator,
from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In all of these finalists and the thousands of submissions from students in 100+ countries, we see something common. These students are inventive, thoughtful, and determined to help make the world a better place. All they need is a chance and a platform to do so. And, unlike some of us adults, they are ready to try things that other people think are “impossible.” I find them inspiring.
It’s imperative for us to support and encourage our young people to explore and challenge the world around them through scientific discovery. So we’re especially glad that Ahmed Mohamed—the 14-year-old clock maker from Texas—took us up on
to attend this year’s event. Curious young scientists, inventors and builders like him should be encouraged and empowered.
The past decades have brought tremendous innovations and challenges, and none of us knows what the future of scientific discovery holds. But I can tell you one thing: it’s going to be better thanks to these kids. They will be part of building a brighter future for us all—and as they do, those of us at Scientific American, Google, LEGO Education, National Geographic and Virgin Galactic will be cheering them on.
start thinking of your ideas for next year
! We can’t wait to see what you’ll try next.
Posted by Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief of Scientific American and Chief Judge of the Google Science Fair
Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 11–17
September 18, 2015
Another week flown by—sometimes the pace is enough to make you need a
. Here’s a look at the past seven days as seen through Google Search:
A 14-year-old teenager named
found himself in the spotlight this week, with searches for his name soaring above 500K. Mohamed, who lives in Texas and is Muslim, was arrested on Monday after he brought a clock that he’d made himself to school and it was mistaken for a bomb. In the days that followed, thousands of people expressed their support for Mohamed online with the hashtag #IStandwithAhmed, and he received invitations to visit the White House, MIT, Facebook—and yes, even Google. As more and more people heard about the story, they turned to search with questions like “What did Ahmed’s clock look like?” and “What was Obama’s response to Ahmed’s clock?”
California has been battling brutal wildfires this year, as the drought has dried up fields and forests across the state. Last week’s
threatened thousands of acres and burned hundreds of homes, and it seemed like as soon as it was contained the Valley Fire in Lake County was blazing. Searchers turned to the web with questions like “How does a wildfire create its own weather?” and “Why are the wildfires getting worse?” But while firefighters worked around the clock up north to stop the inferno, southern California was breaking records for rainfall. Really. Tuesday was the
in L.A. in September since 1877, with 50,000+ searches for [
weather Los Angeles
] as astonished Angelenos looked to learn more about this unfamiliar wet stuff falling from the sky.
Mother Nature wasn’t through with her surprises, though. Wednesday, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, forcing 1 million people to evacuate—and causing 2 million searches for [
]. Tsunami warnings were in effect as far away as California, Japan and New Zealand. Despite some casualties and billions of dollars’ worth of damages,
that Chile’s investments in structural reinforcements and other earthquake preparedness prevented the disaster from being much worse.
The Republican presidential debate was the subject of
more than 5 million searches
this week as people looked for more about the candidates and issues. While Donald Trump was the most searched candidate both
and in nearly every state, he had
from former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Fiorina drew attention for her performance in the debate, in particular her
opposition to Planned Parenthood
(the subject of
more than 200K searches
this week) and her
to comments Trump had made about her in the press. Taking Trump to task for past comments was a theme on Wednesday; in fact, the
top searched moment
of the night was when
asked Trump for an apology to his wife.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [drywall anchors] and [pine state biscuits]
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