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February 07 2018


Feel the love this Valentine’s Day with Google Photos

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means love is in the air—and with Google Photos, there are a few ways you can get creative and share your memories with all of your loved ones.

Introducing create-your-own themed movies

Beginning today, you can turn your photos into themed movies via the app or the web. A themed movie brings together photos about a loved one or an important event, and expertly edits them together and sets them to music. You might have seen Google Photos automatically create these movies for you before—but now, you have the ability to create one whenever you want. With a range of themes, from “They Grow Up So Fast” to the feline favorite “Meow Movie,” it’s the perfect way to celebrate all of your favorite people, furry friends, and treasured moments.

Guided movies gallery

And in honor of Cupid, we even have a Valentine’s Day themed movie for you and your sweetheart.

Making a themed movie is simple: just open the Google Photos app, go to the Assistant tab, and tap Movie to get started. You can also just visit this link. After you’ve chosen your theme and the people (or pets) who will star in the movie, you’re ready to go. We’ll use machine learning to select photos based on your choices, add a soundtrack and produce a custom movie just for you. If you want to tweak the result, you can take a seat in the director's chair and edit your movie with the movie editor in the iOS or Android app. These themed movies are rolling out in most countries today, and more movie themes will continue to rollout throughout the year.

Make a photo book for that special someone

If you’re in the US or Canada and looking for a thoughtful way to show someone you care, you can also create a photo book in just minutes from your computer or phone. In need of some creative inspiration? You may see suggested photo books based on your best shots from a trip or period of time. With books starting at just $9.99, they’re a great gift for anyone, from your Galentine to your dad. If you’re in the US, order your photo book with priority shipping by 11:59pm PT on February 7th (that’s today!) to receive it by February 14th.

photobook galentine's

Share the love with your library

All year long, you can make it easy to share the moments that matter with the people that matter. That’s where shared libraries from Google Photos come in. This feature allows you to effortlessly and automatically send and receive photos with the important people in your life—like all of the pictures of your daughter with her grandparent or with your partner. To get started, tap the menu bar in the top left, then “Add partner account.” Exactly what you share is up to you, so you can share your whole library, or you can choose to share only photos of specific people, or from certain dates.

Still need to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit? Try searching your gallery for “hug,” “kiss,” or evento find a few photos that will melt your heart.

Nest to join forces with Google’s hardware team

Smart homes are no longer just a thing of the future. They make families feel safer with connected security systems. They help you save energy and money with intelligent thermostats. And they offer hands-free help and answers to a universe of questions with voice-activated smart assistants.

Since Nest joined Google four years ago, the team has experienced incredible momentum. The company doubled its hardware portfolio last year—selling more devices in 2017 than the previous two years combined. Meanwhile, Google has sold tens of millions of products for the home in just the last year, as more people use the Google Assistant to listen to their favorite music, control their connected devices, and get useful information about their day.

To build on this momentum, we're excited to bring the Nest and Google Hardware teams together. The goal is to supercharge Nest’s mission: to create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it. By working together, we’ll continue to combine hardware, software and services to create a home that’s safer, friendlier to the environment, smarter and even helps you save money—built with Google’s artificial intelligence and the Assistant at the core.

We’ve had a head start on collaborating since our teams already work closely together, and today we’re excited to make Nest an integral part of Google’s big bet on hardware.


Celebrating Black history in our lives today

Growing up, Black history lessons in school were limited to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington Carver and Harriet Tubman. It wasn’t until I found my local public library—and with guidance from friendly librarians—that I began to understand the full breadth and depth of the impact of Africans in America. As a little Black girl growing up in white suburban Maryland, these lessons at the library, reinforced by conversations with my parents, were necessary to shaping a healthy identity as a Black woman.

As I studied my history, I learned that Harriet Tubman overcame her small stature and birth into slavery as, not only a brilliant conductor on the Underground Railroad, but a strategist who led the first military maneuver executed by an American woman. I learned that Jesse Owensovercame his childhood as a sickly sharecropper’s son to become an Olympic gold medalist. I learned that Black Americans in the South left what was familiar to migrate by the millions toward opportunity in the North, Midwest and West Coast. And I fell in love with the poems of Langston Hughes, who articulated the pain and the beauty of the Black experience in words that perfectly expressed what I had—until then—only felt.

Today there are more resources than ever to understand and feel empowered by the lessons of the past. To make these resources available to everyone, Google Arts and Culture is adding to its extensiveonline collection of Black History and Culture. We’ve worked with cultural institutions across America to preserve and showcase artifacts, art, documents and stories honoring the legacy of Black Americans. And as a part of the collection, influencers pay homage to the historical icons and moments that inspire them today. Check out what Nas has to say about how his father and jazz music impacted his life:

Celebrating Black History with Nas #GoogleArts #BHM

Beyond the Arts and Culture collection, here are a few other ways our products are honoring Black history:

  • In a special video series, YouTube creators talk about the individuals creating Black history today. 
  • Learn from your Google Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, share a story about Black history.” 
  • Take a journey in VR with Black history lessons in Google Expeditions.
  • Listen a YouTube playlist oficonic Motown artists curated by influencers like Lebron James, Bethann Hardison, Morgan DeBaun, Mellody Hobson, Veronica Webb and Van Jones.
  • Search “Black History Month” on Google and see posts by verified organizations like the NAACP.

We’ll share more about Black history on Google Arts and Culture throughout the month. If you’re a cultural organization that features Black history collections, reach out to Google Arts and Culture via this form—we’re always looking to expand the range of works of art, archives and stories available on our platform.


Six ways Google can keep you up to speed in PyeongChang

Tomorrow thousands of athletes will come together in PyeongChang to represent their countries with the world as their audience. While the athletes are getting ready for the gold, we’re getting a few of our products ready, too. Here are six ways Google is helping you stay connected to what’s happening on the ground (and on the ice) during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games:

1. Stay in the snow know with Google Search

When you search for the Winter Olympics, you’ll find the latest information about your favorite events at the top of Search results. You’ll be able to see your country’s rank in the race for gold medals, or dive into a specific sport to check out which athletes have won. When you’re not tuning into the Winter Games live, you can watch a daily recap video, see top news related to the Olympic Games, and find verified updates from official broadcasters around the world.

2. Tune in with YouTube

Starting February 8, if you miss a competition, you can watch select Olympic Winter Games video highlights from official Olympic broadcasters on YouTube in more than 80 countries around the world including from NBCUniversal (USA), BBC (UK), NHK (Japan), France TV (France), and Eurosport (Rest of Europe). In the U.S., YouTube TV will also show NBCUniversal’s live coverage of the Olympic Winter Games. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal the Winter Games will be for the first time live and free on the Olympic Channel on YouTube.

3. Keep up with these apps on Google Play

Don’t miss a single jump (ski, axel, or otherwise) with these apps in the Google Play Store. Just download and follow along with the athletes and watch the action live:

4. Explore South Korea in Street View and Google Earth

Check out the new “sports” category in Google Earth Voyager with five stories about the Winter Games that take you from epic ski jumping destinations to theOlympic Torch relay. These travel itineraries will help you explore South Korea’s capital city, and on Street View, you can see the new imagery of stadiums, cities and towns close to PyeongChang.

5. Get your head in the game with the Assistant

Your Google Assistant can help you stay up to date throughout the games. Curious about winners? Just say “Hey Google, who won women’s 1000 meter speed skating in the Olympics?” Rooting for a specific country? “Hey Google, how many medals does Iceland have in the Olympics?” You can even say “Hey Google, tell me a fun fact about the games in PyeongChang.” No matter how you’re asking—on your phone, speaker, TV or other enabled device—the Google Assistant can keep up with all the important Olympic details.

Plus, in the U.S., NBC is bringing an exclusive game to the Google Assistant across devices. It’s already live, so test your winter sports knowledge with dozens of trivia questions. Just say “Hey Google, play NBC Sports Trivia” to start your quest for Olympics’ trivia gold.

6. VR gets you closer to the action

Stream more than 50 hours of NBCUniversal’s live coverage—from the Opening Ceremony to alpine skiing, ice hockey, figure skating, snowboarding, curling and more—in virtual reality by using your YouTube TV credentials to log in to the NBC Sports VR app, powered by Intel True VR. In Europe, multi-camera live VR coverage is available via the Eurosport VR app.

Let the games begin.


New ways to comment on Microsoft files (and more) in Google Drive

Google Drive makes it easy to store and share files in the cloud so you can collaborate securely with your teams and clients while on the go. And we understand that teams work with all kinds of files and tools to get things done. Starting today, we're making it possible to comment directly on more file types including Microsoft Office files, PDFs and images—without having to convert them into Docs, Sheets or Slides.

When you're collaborating with an external agency, negotiating a contract with a client or coordinating a sales agreement with a supplier, chances are you're dealing with multiple file formats. With this update, you can now comment on those files in Drive the way you're used to in Google Docs. In the Drive preview pane, comment, assign tasks, or mention coworkers and the people you work can reply back, even if they’re not using G Suite. Let’s say your coworker opens a file on her Windows laptop using MS Word, she will see your comment in the file and can reply right from there.

Bloccos - Image 1
Provide quick feedback on the most popular file formats, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF files, in the Drive preview pane.

With commenting in Drive preview, you won’t need to open up other tools to complete tasks. Instead, open Microsoft Office files, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, in Drive preview and give feedback in comments then get back to work.

AODocs, a company that helps enterprises replace their legacy document management applications and automate business processes integrated with Drive, has been testing the new Drive commenting feature for the past few months. As AODocs helps companies transition from legacy systems, they often collaborate across various licensed software.

“We frequently use the comments feature in Google Docs and Slides when preparing specification documents, reviewing project proposals and creating marketing materials,” says Stéphane Donzé, chief executive officer and founder of AODocs. “With commenting in Drive Preview feature, we can now extend the same collaboration, review and validation processes to Microsoft Office Applications, images and PDFs.”

Bloccos - Image 2
Collaborate on Excel files—as well as other Microsoft files—all within Google Drive.

The ability to comment in Drive preview mode is just one example of interoperability between G Suite and Microsoft Office products. You can also use a Drive plug-in for Outlook to make it easier to insert files stored in Drive to an Outlook email and save incoming attachments to your Drive from Outlook. Our help center has more specifics on how to enable the plug-in for admins.

Of course, you can also convert Microsoft Office files into Docs, Sheets or Slides. Click File > Download as and select the file type you need. Lastly, you can choose to edit Microsoft files without converting them fully using Office Compatibility Mode (OCM).

With G Suite, you can work the way you’re used to working. Get started.

Chat apps: opportunities and challenges for journalism

Over the past year, the Google News Lab expanded into Asia with a focus on fueling innovation in newsrooms. In that time, we’ve seen how chat apps are quickly becoming the preferred medium for digital communication across the region. According to the 2017 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 23 percent of survey respondents now find, share or discuss news using a chat app—and Asia is at the forefront of this trend.

The flow of information within chat apps is similar to a massive, virtual version of the children’s game of telephone where the quality of information can get worse the more it’s shared. And the proliferation of mis- and disinformation in these private chat room conversations pose difficulties for fact-checkers due to the closed nature of the platform. So, in collaboration with Institute for the Future, we conducted a study to better understand the role chat apps play in the creation and propagation of news and provide newsrooms around the world with learnings from a more advanced chat ecosystem.

Our study was conducted in South Korea because it has the highest smartphone ownership rate, the fastest internet speed, and one of the highest adoption rates of chat apps in the world—making the country a useful indicator of where news media may be headed. We focused primarily on KakaoTalk, the most popular chat app in South Korea, used by 85 percent of people with mobile phones.

Our research (also available in Korean) suggests three key insights for journalists and newsrooms to consider:

  • Millions of ordinary people are driving the flow of news through chat apps: Not only do chat users directly distribute news to their friends and family members through chat, they often paraphrase, contextualize and editorialize news and information, shifting authority from professional journalists to citizens.
  • Chat apps are changing how news is produced: Chat apps and smartphones are used by journalists to record interviews, edit stories and publish news. They’re also used to build networks of journalists that fact-check stories in real time. Chat apps are helping journalists and newsrooms coordinate news across a more decentralized workforce.
  • These apps are redefining the relationship between journalists and readers, creating new monetization opportunities: Journalists can build closer relationships with readers and insert themselves directly into their conversations. With strengthened relationships, new monetization streams, such as crowdfunding, have emerged. 
chat apps

Chat apps are changing the way readers, journalists, and newsrooms interact with each other. Though this changing landscape has created challenges for the news industry, this study confirms that there are also opportunities for both newsrooms and journalists to thrive in this environment.

February 06 2018


Planning travel on the go just got easier

Planning a trip involves lots of searching for flights, hotels, things to do, itineraries and more. The process is often cumbersome because we have to use multiple tools to gather everything we need—especially on a mobile phone.

We’re evolving the way our hotel search works on smartphones to help users explore options and make decisions on their smallest screens. The new hotel search experience includes better price filtering, easier-to-find amenity information and the ability to book right from Google.


We’re also rolling out new features in some countries on mobile search to make it easier than ever to check out your travel options when you’re on the go. In the next few days, you’ll see that if you search for a flight in Google Flights, you can click right in to “Hotels” at the top of the page. This lets you easily click over to check hotel availability and prices in your destination city for the dates you’ve already selected.


And it works the same way if you start by searching for a hotel. You can easily click to the “Flights” tab to check prices and fare options, and easily book your flight when you’re ready.

The same options appear if you want to learn about a specific place, or when searching for things to do there. Let’s say you’re checking out a trip to Sydney. You can now easily click to browse available hotels or flights while you’re exploring the destination.


Clicking on “More Destinations” in the top left will drop you into a new experience that lets you explore other destinations, weekend getaways and trips you might be interested in. We’ve also included a feature called Your Trips that helps you see, at a glance, all your upcoming and past travel reservations from Gmail. These results are private, and only you can see this information. You can email your trip reservations to friends or family right from Your Trips, and also make edits and access them directly offline with the Google Trips app (Android, iOS) when you’re traveling.

This feature doesn't just help you plan your travels, it also connects you to travel companies who help you square away those plans. As Jason Soss, co-founder of Last Minute Travel says, "We're always looking for ways to help travelers find the best hotel room. With Google's new navigation, more people can use Last Minute Travel to book their adventures!”

This year we’re focused on making your mobile phone an integral and useful part of your travel planning—and enjoyment!


Resources for families to make choices about online safety

When I was a kid, my family couldn’t afford a computer, so I’d only get to use one in my father’s office, for a few minutes at a time. When I was a little older, we got a computer at school—one computer, for the entire school—and I was able to spend a bit more time with a PC.

Fast forward to 2018, my daughter is walking around her middle school with a computer in her pocket that enables her to connect to the internet and use apps at any time. Even as a parent at a tech company, it’s hard to believe that this has become the norm: Most kids get a smartphone by the time they are 10 years old, and more than 77 percent of kids 6-12 years old are using them on a weekly basis.

The opportunity for kids to get help with math homework, listen to any song, or video chat with their grandparents at any time is amazing. But technology presents new challenges for parents, and it's important that they're equipped with resources to tackle them effectively.

Today is Safer Internet Day, and this year’s theme is a call to action to create a better internet for the youngest users. Here are some of the resources we’ve developed over the years that do just that.

Be Internet Awesome

Be Internet Awesome is a program—developed in collaboration with online safety experts like the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and ConnectSafely—that teaches kids how to be safer, more confident explorers of the online world.

Whether they’re playing Interland, our interactive online game, or learning from educators that are applying our lesson plans in their classrooms, Be Internet Awesome aims to help kids be thoughtful about what they share, identify phishing and other scams, protect their personal information, and be respectful of their peers.

One of the program’s most important pillars is: “When in doubt, talk it out.” Making sure that kids can talk about these new issues with a trusted adult—like a parent or teacher—is critical as they’re learning to navigate the web safely.

Family Link

It’s hard to balance giving kids the freedom to explore the internet, while guiding their experience. Family Linkcan help parents stay in the loop as their kid begins using their first mobile device. Parents can create a Google Account for their kid that's much like their own—and do things like manage apps, keep an eye on screen time, and set a bedtime for their kid's device.

Google Wifi

We’ve also built family-friendly controls into Google Wifi. Site Blocking, which uses the best of SafeSearch, enables parents to block access to more than 8 million non-kid-friendly websites on any device in the home—all with a few taps in the Google Wifi app. And to help you manage screen time, Google Wifi has a helpful feature where you can pause the Wi-Fi when it’s time to sit down for dinner or wind down for bed.

We’ve come a long way since I was using my dad’s computer in his office, and in the years ahead, technology will only become a more central part of our lives. We’re committed to building tools and designing programs that enable parents to provide a safer and inspiring experience for their kids online.


Design-thinking bootcamps for local news

Local news has never been more important. It’s the bedrock of the news industry, both keeping institutions honest and keeping local communities engaged, informed citizens. But the economics of local news is increasingly challenging, and it can be hard for local newsrooms to devote resources to thinking about new ways of storytelling and connecting to audiences in a mobile-first age.

To help local newsrooms learn important skills to get new ideas and products off the ground, we're launching a series of design-thinking bootcamps tailored to local news with Matter Ventures, a media start-up accelerator, and supported by the News Media Alliance. In total, Matter will hold four tuition-free bootcamps for teams of six from 20 different U.S. newsrooms. Each bootcamp will last three days.

Google News Lab is backing the project and helping to facilitate locations of the events at colleges in the Google News Lab University Network in Georgia, Missouri, California and New York.

The goal of the bootcamps is to help local news teams learn how to design products and experiences that address growing challenges in reaching and connecting with digital-first audiences. At previous bootcamps, newsrooms built business prototypes both practical and whimsical, like social networks that highlight needs in the community (and connect volunteers to help address them), mobile-only feature stories on local businesses with e-commerce built in directly, and even a marketplace to match people who have dogs that need walking to people who would love to give some else's dog a walk. The goal is for participants to return to their newsrooms with new ideas, connections and tangible lessons and tools to drive innovation inside their own newsrooms and communities.

Applications are open, starting today. If you’re interested in applying, talk to colleagues and put together a team. Each accepted publication can bring up to six individuals. Teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary, so consider making a team of diverse colleagues from editorial, business, tech, or design.

If you have questions, please reach out to our friends at Matter: localnews@matter.vc.


It’s Safer Internet Day: key tools to protect yourself online

We are committed to making the internet a better, safe place for everyone. Whether it’s Google Play Protect automatically checking apps to keep your data and device safe, machine learning detecting harmful content on YouTube, or privacy controls in My Account allowing you to manage your data, we want you to feel safe while exploring Google.

Keeping you safe, however, means thinking beyond just our products, which is why we partner across the industry to share technology like Safe Browsing that protects over half of the world’s online population from dangerous websites. We are also working with partners to establish  reliability standards for publishers to use on their articles that help you assess the credibility of the information you discover.

In honor of Safer Internet Day—an opportunity to come together to talk about online safety—we wanted to remind you of the new tools that we’ve launched in recent months that give you extra protection online. We’ll never stop improving our tools to help ensure your information stays safe with us.

Tailored for you: the new Security Checkup

We recently rolled out a new version of our Security Checkup, which now provides personalized guidance to help you improve the security of your account. Instead of the same checklist for everyone, the Security Checkup is now a tailored guide to securing your data—your own personal security advisor.

security checkup.png
The Security Checkup provides a clear security status and personalized recommendations to strengthen your account security

When you visit the checkup, you’ll automatically see your security status: a green check mark icon means you’re good to go, and a yellow or red exclamation point icon means there’s at least one issue for you to take care of.

The new Security Checkup will keep evolving as new threats arise. You can count on it to provide you with relevant, up-to-date security advice that you can use to help keep your account safe. Take the new Security Checkup at g.co/securitycheckup.

Google’s strongest security, for those who need it most

When operating at the scale of Google, we strive to build products that serve the needs of billions of people. But when it comes to online safety, we know needs differ among our users.

That’s why back in October we introduced our Advanced Protection Program, which provides Google’s strongest security. Anyone can use Advanced Protection, but its design makes it of special interest to those who are at an elevated risk of attack and are willing to trade off a bit of convenience for more protection of their personal Google Accounts.

For example, these might be campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists who need to protect the confidentiality of their sources, or people in abusive relationships seeking safety. Sometimes even the most careful and security-minded users are successfully attacked through phishing scams, especially if those phishing scams were individually targeted at the user in question.

Once you enroll in Advanced Protection, we’ll continually update the security of your account to meet emerging threats—meaning Advanced Protection will always use the strongest protections that Google has to offer.

At the start, the program focuses on three core defenses.

  • The strongest defense against phishing:Advanced Protection requires the use of Security Keys to sign into your account. Security Keys are small USB or wireless devices and have long been considered the most secure version of 2-Step Verification, and the best protection against phishing. An attacker who doesn’t have your Security Key is automatically blocked, even if they have your password. 
  • Protecting your most sensitive data from accidental sharing:Sometimes people inadvertently grant malicious applications access to their Google data. Advanced Protection prevents this by automatically limiting full access to your Gmail and Drive to specific apps. For now, these will only be Google apps, but we expect to expand these in the future.
  • Blocking fraudulent account access:Another common way hackers try to access your account is by impersonating you and pretending they have been locked out. With APP,  extra steps will be put in place to prevent this.

Anyone with a personal Google Account can enroll in Advanced Protection. It’s compatible with Android and iOS, but you’ll need Chrome to sign up for Advanced Protection because it supports the U2F standard for Security Keys. We expect other browsers to incorporate this soon.

For now, Advanced Protection is only available for consumer Google Accounts. To provide comparable protections on G Suite Accounts, G Suite admins can look into Security Key Enforcement and OAuth apps whitelisting.

Sign up for Advanced Protection at g.co/advancedprotection.


An invitation you’ll want to accept: updates to G Suite meeting room hardware

We’re working closely with customers and industry experts to shape the role of technology in meetings, and we want to make it easy for teams to work together face-to-face, anytime, anywhere. A big part of getting this right is working closely with IT, AV and facilities leaders to understand how we can solve some of their challenges which is why this week, we’re at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) conference in Amsterdam to learn from AV and systems integration experts about how we can help them make meetings easier.

Over the past few years, our team has worked diligently to evolve Google Hangouts, create cost-effective, reliable meeting hardware and reimagine how teams brainstorm. Today at ISE, we’re announcing updates to make these meeting solutions even better for enterprises, including:

  • Expanding Jamboard and Hangouts Meet hardware to new countries
  • Adding AI-powered autodraw to improve your jams
  • Offering more Hangouts Meet hardware options for larger rooms

Here's what's new.

Jamboard updates: EU expansion and adding AI-powered AutoDraw

Businesses in North America and the UK are using Jamboard to collaborate, and now teams in Europe can jam together, too. Next month, Jamboard will be available for purchase in eight additional countries: Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, Spain and Finland.

Along with expanding Jamboard to new markets, we’re also adding an AI-powered feature called AutoDraw. AutoDraw is a new drawing tool in Jamboard that auto-detects sketches you make and pairs them with images. This gives teams the ability to make their ideas even more visual—whether you’re a creative designer working with clients or even  a teacher working with students.


We also recently welcomed the Jamboard app as a core service in G Suite. For everything else Jamboard, check out google.com/jamboard.

Hangouts Meet hardware updates: more options for larger rooms

Jamboard EU 2018 Image 2

Fast video meetings are the most effective when they’re available everywhere. Today, we’re also expanding Hangouts Meet hardware—our latest meeting solution—to two additional countries: the Netherlands and Denmark, bringing the total to 14 countries.

Until now, the Hangouts Meet hardware kit has consisted of a touchscreen controller, speakermic, ASUS Chromebox and 4K sensor camera, great for capturing small rooms. While this has made it easy for some businesses to collaborate straight out of the box, we want to ensure the kit is scalable to any room size. So today, we’re adding options for larger rooms:

  • A new Hangouts Meet room kit that comes with a Logitech PTZ Pro 2 and accommodates up to 20 people. The camera can capture details with 10x optical zoom, and you can pan and tilt to focus on participants.
  • A standalone Meet speakermic to keep audio quality crisp in bigger rooms. Custom designed and built by Google, the speakermic intelligently reduces echoes and manages background noise. It’s easy to daisy chain up to 5 speakermics together to bring great quality audio to every corner of a room.

To learn more about Hangouts Meet hardware, check out our website.

And if you’re attending ISE, stop by our booth at B200 in Hall 15.


Five easy tips to help you stay safe online

We know that keeping your information safe and private is important to you, which is why we’ve baked security features into all our products. We’ve also developed technologies to help keep the broader internet safe, too. Whether you’re using Gmail, Android, YouTube, or simply browsing the web, here are some of the tools and features you should know about this Safer Internet Day that will help keep you and your data secure:

Start by taking a Security Checkup 

Two minutes is all it takes to secure your account at g.co/securitycheckup. You can think of the Security Checkup as your own personal security advisor, taking you through specific recommendations to help keep your Google account safe. A green checkmark means you’re good to go, and a yellow or red exclamation point means there’s at least one issue for you to take care of. The Security Checkup will keep evolving as new threats arise, so you can rely on it to provide you with up-to-date security advice. 

Security Checkup
Safe Browsing warning

Look out for automatic warnings

Spotting phishing scams or dangerous websites can be a challenge, even for savvy web users. Our automated systems detect and warn you about sites with malware, or attempts to phish you. Just keep an eye out for our warnings and follow the instructions—we've got you covered. 

2 Factor Authentication

Protect your Google account with two-factor authentication

Secure your email inbox by activating 2-step verification. With this feature, you’ll need a password and a verification code that’s sent to your mobile phone to be able to get into your inbox. Enroll in 2-step verification now to add an extra layer of security your account.

Google Play Protect

Download apps on Google Play for peace of mind on your Android 

If you’re an Android user, the safest place to download apps is from the Google Play store. Google Play Protect checks apps and your device around the clock to keep out malicious programs and makes sure you have the latest in mobile security protection. In 2017 alone, we took down more than 700,000 apps that violated Google Play policies, 70 percent more than the apps taken down in 2016. Google Play Protect is the ideal security blanket for your mobile device, so can you consider yourself and your data covered. 

Google Play Protect is also there to help you if you ever misplace your phone. Visit android.com/find to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. 

YouTube flaggers

You too can help keep YouTube safe 

YouTube has always allowed people like you and me to report content we think is inappropriate. Once you’ve flagged a video, it’s submitted for review to YouTube staff who then carefully look at the content to determine whether there’s a violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines to see if it should be removed. You can also flag individual comments under any video for abuse or spam. 

Bonus: Some wise words from the YouTube community

In honor of Safer Internet Day across Asia Pacific, we’ve also invited some of your favorite YouTube creators to share their top safety tips online, to make sure the internet remains a respectful place. Hear what Giang Ơi in Vietnam, Jako de Leon of PaperbugTV in the Philippines, Sejal Kumar in India, and folks like Elly Awesome, Slaiman and Kate, Jayden Rodrigues, Jamie and The Scran Line in Australia have to say!



ABCs OF BULLYING w/ Jako de Leon | PaperbugTV

ABCs OF BULLYING w/ Jako de Leon | PaperbugTV

What Hate Comments Feel Like | Sejal Kumar

What Hate Comments Feel Like | Sejal Kumar

Safer Internet Day 2018 - Create, Connect and Share Respect

Safer Internet Day 2018 - Create, Connect and Share Respect

February 05 2018


Improve customer calls with notifications from AdWords Express

Last year AdWords Express launched goals to help your ads drive better results, like more in-store visits or calls. If you choose calls as your goal, we want to make sure you get the most out of every call.

Today we’re introducing call notifications, an easy way to give feedback on the calls you get through AdWords Express and to track any missed calls.

Get more relevant calls when you give feedback

When you finish a phone call with a customer who found your ad on Google, you’ll get a notification to give feedback on the call’s relevance. This will help AdWords Express better target your ads to the right customers.

Giving feedback is quick and easy. Simply click to tell us if the call was relevant to you.

Connect with every customer who calls your business

Business owners and employees are busy and often can’t pick up the phone. In fact, we see that advertisers miss almost one in five calls they get from their AdWords Express ads. Now, if a potential customer calls while you’re working on something else, you’ll get you’ll get a push notification that allows you to call right back.

You can call your potential customer back right from the notification screen.

Set up call notifications with the AdWords Express app

To receive call notifications, you need the AdWords Express mobile app. Once you have the app on your mobile device, simply go into Settings and opt-in for Account updates. You’ll instantly start receiving helpful alerts about the calls you get from your ads.

If you don’t have the AdWords Express mobile app, you can get it on Android or iOS.


Use Pixel 2 for better photos in Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat

With Pixel 2, we wanted to build the best smartphone camera in the world. One of the ways we did that is with HDR+ technology, which helps you capture better photos in challenging lighting conditions, like scenes with both bright and shaded areas or those with dim light.  This technology has always been available when you take photos from Pixel’s main camera app. Now we’re bringing it to your favorite photography, social media, and camera apps.

Today we’re turning on Pixel Visual Core for Pixel 2 users—a custom designed co-processor for Pixel 2. Using computational photography and machine learning (which powers Pixel’s HDR+ technology), Pixel Visual Core improves image quality in apps that take photos. This means it’ll be easier to shoot and share amazing photos on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, along with many other apps which use the Pixel 2 camera. All you need to do is take the photo and Pixel 2 will do the rest. Your photos will be bright, detailed, and clear.

Pixel Visual Core is built to do heavy-lifting image processing while using less power, which saves battery. That means we're able to use that additional computing power to improve the quality of your pictures by running the HDR+ algorithm. Like the main Pixel camera, Pixel Visual Core also runs RAISR, which means zoomed-in shots look sharper and more detailed than ever before. Plus, it has Zero Shutter Lag to capture the frame right when you press the shutter, so you can time shots perfectly. What’s also exciting is these new features are available to any app—developers can find information on Google Open Source.

These updates are rolling out over the next few days, along with other Pixel software improvements, so download the February monthly update when you see the notification.

These aren’t the only updates coming to Pixel this month. As we announced last year, our goal is to build new features for Pixel over time so your phone keeps getting better. Later this week, we’re adding new Augmented Reality (AR) Stickers themed around winter sports, so you can dress up videos and photos with freestyle skiers, twirling ice skaters, hockey players, and more. Like all AR stickers, these characters interact with both the camera and each other, creating a fun-filled way to enhance the moments you capture and share.
Google Pixel 2 | Winter Sports AR Stickers

If you post photos or videos to your favorite apps, tag your pictures with #teampixel so we can see all the great moments you’ve captured.

February 02 2018


We've got your playbook for football Sunday

Just in time for the coin toss, we’re here with some ways your Google Assistant can help you prep for game day, as well as some trending recipes state by state.

“Hey Google, let’s make buffalo wings”

The Google Assistant's recipe feature, available on speakers like Google Home, is a host’s best friend: you can send a recipe straight from mobile search or the Assistant on your phone (iPhone and Android) to your speaker. From there, just say “Hey Google, start recipe,” and you can follow hands-free step-by-step directions as you go. You can also ask questions like “what’s a substitute for chipotle chili powder?” or “how many grams of cornmeal in a cup?” and then go right back to the recipe by saying “Hey Google, next step.” Set multiple timers at once and even name them (cornbread, simmer); listen to music and podcasts to get your game face on.

You can also try one of these questions with your Google Assistant to get game day details, highlights and a few surprises:

  • “Hey Google, give me a game prediction” 
  • “Hey Google, coach me”
  • “Hey Google, let’s play Lucky Trivia Sports” 
  • “Hey Google, touchdown!” 

And since the Google Assistant is available across devices, you can keep up with the game no matter where you are. If you’re running late to the party, ask the Google Assistant in your Android Auto car for the score. Walking to the corner store to stock up on snacks? Your Assistant on your phone or headphones will have the latest. And if you’re at home looking to fill the time between plays, ask the Assistant on your speaker to play sports trivia.

Now we’re cooking

Whether you’re a Philly fan, a New England diehard or just there for the commercials, good food is non-negotiable. With data from the Google News Lab, here’s a look at the most uniquely-searched game day recipes by state. Turns out the two rival teams’ home states are both chowing down on chili, but from “bacon shrimp” in Montana to “calzone” in Kansas to “crab dip” in South Carolina, maybe these unique searches will inspire you to go beyond chips and dip! You can check out more on Google Trends.
game day recipes 2018

BRB, game’s almost starting.


The High Five: a peacock and other trends that showed off this week

When a woman’s attempt to board a United Airlines flight with her emotional support peacock was thwarted this week, the internet was up in feathers. Search interest in “emotional support peacock” flew 450 percent over “emotional support dog,” and people were also curious about whether they can bring hairspray, alcohol, batteries, perfume and candy on to a flight. And don’t exclude the other supportive animals—besides dog and peacock, top searched emotional support animals were duck, turkey and cat.  

Here are more top searches in this week's menagerie, with data from Google News Lab:

  • Black History Month:As Black History Month kicked off this week, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson and Malcolm X were the most searched Black historical figures. 
  • Super Bowl (of chili): Bostonians and Philadelphians will cheer on opposite sides of the stadium, but their home states have one thing in common: chili is the most popular Super Bowl recipe. And you might expect that searches for “Super Bowl ad” spike every February, but the fast-typers among us also cause searches for “Superb Owl” to go up. What a hoot!
  • State of the Union:Taxes, jobs, MS-13, immigration and Mexico were the top searched terms during President Trump’s speech. On the day of the speech, searches for Joe Kennedy went up 2,100 percent, “longest State of the Union” went up 3,000 percent and and “fact check” went up 2,100 percent. 
  • Lie, cheat and Pass Go: Searches for “Monopoly Cheaters Edition release date” went up 350 percent after a new version of the game was announced, and it was searched 2,200 percent more than another popular edition: “Game of Thrones” Monopoly. 

February 01 2018


Travel through time with Pepsi and WebVR

Ah, the Super Bowl—come for the action, stay for the commercials. This year, as part of its “Pepsi Generations” global campaign, Pepsi will extend its TV commercial into virtual reality.

Pepsi’s new commercial, "This is the Pepsi,"  takes viewers on a journey through some of the brand’s most iconic moments. In VR, Pepsi fans can remember those moments, and  feel what it was like to be there.

That’s why we collaborated to create “Pepsi Go Back," a WebVR experience where fans travel through time and step into Pepsi commercials that became some of their biggest pop culture milestones.

Hop into the driver’s seat of Jeff Gordon’s car and hold on tight as you race against the “Back to the Future” DeLorean. 


Then, zip to 1992, and explore the Halfway House Cafe, where Cindy Crawford dazzled fans in one of the most famous commercials of all time.


In both environments, you can look around, interact with different parts of the experience and unlock cool stuff.


WebVR enables anybody with a desktop or mobile device to experience immersive content. This made it the ideal technology to take Pepsi’s fans on this nostalgic journey. Check out "Pepsi Go Back" on your smartphone with a VR headset like Cardboard or Daydream View, on Chrome, or any a desktop browser that supports WebVR.  And if you find yourself in Minneapolis for the game, stop by the Pepsi Generations Live pop up event for a demo with Daydream. 


Bringing rare artifacts to life in 3D at the NMAAHC

Editor’s note: Google’s 2018 Black History Month celebration began this morning with a Doodle for Carter Woodson. We’re also unveiling a new 3D installation at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Stay tuned throughout the month for more on a variety of Black cultural content across many of our products and services.

Most of us have probably wondered once or twice how our lives fit into the scope of human history. Museums have taken on this question for centuries, using artifacts to offer windows into other people’s experience of the world. But there’s always been a limit to what galleries can display—because of the sheer volume of objects, and because some of those items are too fragile to sit in the open or be handled by streams of patrons.

When the National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opened in 2016, their mission was to redefine how people experience art and artifacts in the modern age. And starting today, visitors to the museum can interact with rare items from Black history in a new 3D installation.

The items in this installation have historical and personal significance. For example, I’ve always loved 70s fashion and style. Seeing scans of actual boots from “The Wiz” takes me back to my childhood delight in seeing the movie and play. I’m also a jazz musician, like my father before me, and seeing a cast of composer and pianist Eubie Blake’s hand reminds me why I still can’t (and probably will never) do his solos justice. My hope is visitors will experience these artifacts and establish deeper connections with their personal stories as well.

Following a $1 million Google.org grant to the museum in 2016, I worked with a mulitracial volunteer team of engineers from the Black Googler Network and other internal organizations to build the exhibit. We were excited to apply the technical skill we’ve honed in our day jobs to create a hands-on exploration of our nation’s history.

When I first met the NMAAHC’s founding director, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, and heard his vision for the museum, I felt a keen responsibility to help bring it to fruition. The stories contained within its walls aren’t only Black stories. They’re American stories. It’s humbling to be one of the people entrusted with the telling. I hope patrons can feel some of the same joy.


New Google Assistant updates, made just for you at home

The Google Assistant is all about you. And with Google Home, Google Home Max or your other smart speakers, the Assistant can help do everyday things like call your mom, turn on compatible living room lights,  plan your day and even show you your photos from the holidays. Now, it’s getting even better, by helping you wake up, find a show and listen to your favorite songs (for some content, you might need a subscription).  

Waking up is hard to do...

And waking up to a wailing alarm doesn’t always help to start your day off on the right foot. Luckily, the Google Assistant can help you wake up more peacefully.

All you have to do is say “Hey Google, set an alarm for 6 AM that plays [insert favorite musician💃]” to the Assistant on Google Home (or your other Assistant-enabled speakers) and you can set an alarm and wake up to your favorite song, playlist or radio station.

...Finding your shows and music shouldn’t be

The Assistant can already help you learn about actors or play a TV show, and now it can help you keep up with the TV shows you’re into right now. Just say “Hey Google, what channel airs The Flash” or “Hey Google, when does The Flash air next.” And don’t forget, you can set a reminder so you never miss the show, ‘Hey Google, remind me to watch Riverdale every Wednesday at 8 PM.” And when it's time to tune in, it's easy with voice casting and YouTube TV. Just say "Hey Google, watch Riverdale"

We've worked closely with Netflix to make your Netflix casting experience more personal. The first step is to link your Netflix account in the Google Home app or via the Google Assistant on your phone. From there, just choose your Netflix profile and get right to the things you want to watch. Thanks to Voice Match on the Assistant, you can just say, “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix" and it will pick up right where you left off. And same for your roommate or partner.

Finally, if you're a Google Play Music user, you can now enjoy all the music that you’ve purchased or uploaded to your music library. It’s as simple as asking for your favorite artist, song or album and singing along to the beat. So grab your Google Home Max from the Google Store, Verizon or Best Buy and you can sing and dance your heart out in no time.  


Time to shine: New solar facility and an additional data center in Belgium

Data centers are the backbone of the internet, housing the systems and equipment that make our connected world possible. We opened our first European data center in Belgium back in 2009, and now we’re announcing plans to build a third building on the same site. We’re also announcing a new solar plant—the first solar facility we’ve built on a data center facility site.

We will invest approximately EUR 250 million to build the additional data center building in Saint-Ghislain, bringing our total investment in Belgium to EUR 1 billion. It’s due to be completed and operational by mid-2019.

The new solar plant, which is already up and running, represents a previous investment of EUR 3 million. And we’ve learned that it is the second-largest solar plant in the region!

Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for global operations

The photovoltaic installations will feature 10,665 solar panels and will generate 2.9 Gigawatt hour of clean, reliable, renewable energy every year. Construction began in March 2017, using a local company to install the solar farm on four hectares of land in our data center. Ultimately, the solar project will contribute to a greener footprint on our data center campus, already one of the most energy-efficient sites globally.

It’s not the first time we’ve acted on our sustainability goals in Belgium. Saint-Ghislain was the very first Google data center to run entirely without refrigeration, using instead an advanced cooling system that draws grey water from the nearby industrial canal.

It also fits in with our wider goal of ensuring a positive impact on the environment. We are calculating our final energy bills and expect that we reached our target of 100 percent renewable energy for our global operations in 2017, including data centers and offices. This means we’re directly buying enough wind and solar electricity to account for every unit of electricity we use—and it makes Google the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy worldwide.

Enhancing connectivity and creating jobs in Europe

Demand for Google services grows every day, and the steady expansion of our network across Europe reflects this. Along with Saint-Ghislain, we have data centers at Eemshaven in The Netherlands, Dublin, Ireland, and Hamina in Finland. Each investment enhances connectivity.

Data centers also benefit communities through job creation. The whole Saint-Ghislain site currently employs around 350 people in full-time and contractor roles—from computer technicians to electrical and mechanical engineers, to security, catering and facilities management. With this investment of EUR 250 million, we’ll create more construction jobs, and more full-time roles in Google once the third building is complete and operational.

Belgium: a digital frontrunner in Europe

Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium, joined us for an event this week announcing these projects, where he celebrated Belgium’s investment and ambitions as a digital pioneer. "The digital world is constantly changing, and Belgium is becoming more and more attractive for big investors like Google. This new investment is excellent news for the Walloon region and Belgium in terms of job creation."

We’re grateful to the local and national government, local suppliers and community for their continued support of our data center presence in Belgium. We hope it contributes to make Belgium a digital frontrunner in Europe, creating jobs, skills development and economic opportunities.

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