Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture
Saving Magic Cat Academy from catastrophe!
October 31, 2016
Hi, I’m Momo, a student at the illustrious Magic Cat Academy. Heading to class this morning, I thought it would be just like any other day: learn a few new spells, drink some milk, and hang out with my awesome animal and vegetable pals. To my Halloween horror, hundreds of angry ghosts have invaded the halls of my beloved school — fur real! And now, I ask you to join me to try your hand (or paw!) at fending off these ghastly ghosts with today’s Halloween Google Doodle.
With a swipe of your paw (or should I say wave of your wand), you can help turn these Halloween tricks into a real treat. But be warned, your spell casting must be quick and precise. To send these ghouls into a tailspin, you must draw the symbols that appear above the ghosts’ heads on your screen.
That’s not all: show your friends who’s the real expurrrrrt at casting spells by sharing your score after your sorcery is complete. After all, Halloween festivities are always more fun with your full litter!
Posted by Momo, First year Feline at Magic Cat Academy, Feline and companion to Google Doodler, Juliana Chen
First year feline at Magic Cat Academy
Google Doodle Team
“Stranger Things” are happening in Google Allo
October 28, 2016
. This Halloween, there’s no question we’ll see people out in costume as characters from this summer’s addictive Netflix original series, “
.” To help bring you back into the ‘80s supernatural mindset, we’re partnering with Netflix to bring the
right to your chats in
, our smart messaging app for
A new “Stranger Things” sticker pack is now available for download in Google Allo, featuring exclusive artwork inspired by the show. So whether you’re researching how to create a DIY
costume with friends or debating whether Barb will reappear in season two, we got you covered.
These stickers aren’t the only new thing in Google Allo this week. You can now reply to messages directly from your notifications on Android and iOS. So if you’re cooking up a
French Onion Barb
, you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to reply back to friends.
We’ve also added support for Android N so you can take advantage of its features. With split-screen mode you can now chat with friends and rewatch season one at the same time. App shortcuts help you quickly start a new conversation from the home screen. And for iOS users, we’ve brought the ability to doodle on your photos to iOS, so you can craft a masterpiece before sharing in Google Allo.
Beware the flickering lights, and have a safe and happy Halloween!
P.S. Google Allo will help you unlock your powers today in New York City. Stay tuned to Google on
for a hint on where the drop-off from Hawkins National Laboratories will take place.
Posted by Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager
Group Product Manager
Live the Day of the Dead
October 28, 2016
Mexican poet Octavio Paz once wrote, "Our cult of death is also our cult of life." Those words capture the spirit with which Mexicans celebrate Día de Muertos. On November 1 and 2, families in Mexico honor those who have departed, setting up colorful altars at home and in public places with the images of loved ones. These ancestors are greeted with their favorite foods, drinks, sugar skulls, colored paper, marigold flowers, candles and incense. It’s a true celebration of culture and family — and has even been declared
“Intangible Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO
Today, we want to invite everyone to experience Mexico’s tradition of paying tribute to life, through the Day of the Dead exhibition on Google Arts & Culture. The content is curated by 10 cultural organizations from Mexico, Peru and the United States and explores the Pre-Columbian roots of this festivity, its many transformations through history and its contemporary manifestations as told by pieces of archaeology, folk art, prints, paintings, sculptures, street art and many other artforms. The collection includes over 500 artworks and artifacts, 20 exhibits, 11 Street View virtual tours through cemeteries and museums and two guided tours that users can experience with a Cardboard viewer. A Google Expedition also allows teachers around the world to take their classes on a virtual field trip through the history of the Day of the Dead.
Without Hope (1945)
by Frida Kahlo at Museo Dolores Olmedo
Colossal Skulls from James Bond movie (2015)
by Colectivo Última Hora at Museo de Arte Popular
by D*Face at All City Canvas
by Vicente Barroco Reyes at Museo de Arte Popular
La Catrina (1910/1913)
by José Guadalupe Posada at the Smithsonian Latino Center
Besitos a mamá (2011)
by Felipe Mendiola Velázques at Museo Mexicano del Diseño
Start the exhibition online at
or download the Google Arts & Culture app for iOS or Android to dive into the ancient roots of the Day of the Dead through
codices and sculptures
. You can explore the different representations of death in
folk art pieces
from all over the country; savor the paintings of
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo
learn about Jose Guadalupe Posada
, Mexico's most famous illustrator and father of
the iconic Catrina
If you’re new to this tradition, get to know the elements that make up an
; enjoy the calaveras crafted
by the legendary family Linares
the colossal skulls made by Mexican artisans for the 2015 James Bond movie, Spectre
and even take a stroll through the
San Andrés Mixquic’s cemetery during Día de Muertos
Whichever route you choose, we invite you to explore death as a celebration of life.
Posted by Lucy Schwartz, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute
Google Cultural Institute
Supporting women in tech at GHC 16
October 19, 2016
The 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) begins today, and we’re thrilled to join the 15,000 women and allies convening in Houston for three days of learning, inspiration and community building. Thousands of women at Google are building tools and products that organize the world’s information, help businesses get online and prosper, and forge connections across a growing digital community of 3.5 billion people. So it only makes sense that Google would be part of the world's largest gathering of women technologists. We see GHC as a critical way to connect women in tech and help clear hurdles to their professional development.
We know that there’s much more work to do to help level the playing field — and that’s why the mission of the Grace Hopper Celebration is so important. Just yesterday we reported new U.S. research from Gallup and Google that suggests girls are less likely than boys to be told by parents and teachers that they would be good at computer science. We also found that girls are less likely than boys to be aware of computer science learning opportunities outside of school.
We’ve worked hard to recruit and support amazing women leaders since the very beginning of Google, but we also want to support efforts to improve women’s representation across the entire tech ecosystem. That's why we've been part of of GHC since 2004. For the past 12 years, we’ve also worked with the Anita Borg Institute (ABI), which produces GHC, to bring more women into computer science careers. Google’s Alan Eustace is a founding member of the ABI Board of Trustees, and his friendship with Anita Borg herself gave rise to the Women Techmakers Scholars Program (formerly known as the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program). To date, the program has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships globally, and we've been very happy to hire many of them to come work here.
If you’re planning to attend the conference, don’t be a stranger. If you see one of us sporting a Google T-shirt, we’d love to meet you. Stop by our booth (#1730), or come to one of our 25 presentations. Some of the highlights include our VP of Engineering and Machine Learning Anna Patterson, who will deliver a keynote on entrepreneurism and receive the 2016 ABI Excellence Award; and Captain of Moonshots Astro Teller, who will discuss how to embrace failure in the name of breakthrough. Follow us on Twitter for updates from the show floor and definitely visit our Careers site to find your place with us.
Making travel planning less stressful this holiday season
October 17, 2016
Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or escaping to some exotic destination, one of the most time-consuming and stressful parts of travel planning is finding the right flight and hotel. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. leisure travelers worry that they're not finding the best price or making the best decision while booking a trip — making this kind of purchase more worrisome than financial investments, home improvements or electronics purchases.*
This holiday season we’re making travel planning less stressful by updating you when flights are likely to increase in price, helping you find good hotel deals, and making travel planning easier on mobile.
Making it easier than ever to choose the right flight
Google Flights can now help you be more confident that you’re booking your flight at the right time to get the best price. We now show you when prices are expected to increase for some specific flights and routes you’re interested in.
After selecting a specific flight, a notification may appear letting you know when the current fare is expected to expire and how much you can save if you book now. For example, this flight to San Diego is likely to cost more in eight hours — and you would likely save $87 if you book before then.
If you’re looking at a certain route like New York to San Diego, but haven’t selected a specific flight yet, you may see a notification bar with multiple tips showing how to find the best price for this route. Tips can include things like recommendations for alternate airports or dates. You may also see a new tip telling you about an expected price jump based on historic prices for that route. When you tap on the card, you’ll see more details like how much the price is likely to increase and when.
If you’re not ready to book yet, you can choose to track your flight or route and receive notifications via email letting you know when prices are expected to change. Fare expiration and expected price jump notifications will be rolling out over the coming weeks everywhere Google Flights is available. You’ll also continue to receive updates when prices actually do increase or decrease significantly for tracked flights.
Tracked flights on mobile and email notification of price change.
We’re also making it easier to find flights on the go. Next time you visit Google Flights, you’ll be able to track and manage saved flights seamlessly on your phone.
If you’re still looking for inspiration on where to travel, tap on Explore to find ideas on destinations to visit based on the type of vacation you’re looking for. For example, you can look for destinations in the Caribbean with direct flights only.
Providing more ways to uncover deals in hotel search
We’re also making it easier to immediately recognize and find more deals when searching on Google for hotels in the location of your choice, like “hotels in new york”. We already label deals when a hotel’s price is lower than usual compared to historical pricing, or if there are discounts to the normal rate for those dates. Now if you want to only look at hotel deals — say, to ring in the new year in Paris — just tap in the upper left to filter for Deals and voilà!
We’ll also notify you when savings are available to loyalty members on a hotel’s website.
Don’t let travel planning stress you out this holiday season. Google Flights and hotel search on Google can help save you time and money so you can spend more time with the people you love. Wishing you safe and happy holiday travels!
* Google/Phocuswright, leisure traveler study, base: U.S. leisure travelers, n=930, Oct. 2015.
Posted by Nabil Naghdy, Product Manager, Google Flights
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
October 14, 2016
As the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, sharing Latino culture with my wider community is a daily part of life. From practicing Mexican folk dances with classmates to introducing neighbors to our favorite traditional foods, my family is always grateful to share our experiences as Latinos in the U.S. That's why I've been excited to help with Google's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month — a time to reflect on and celebrate the contributions Latinos make to our company and our country.
Latino Heritage and Cultures collection
To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, Google Arts & Culture published a dedicated
of artifacts, archives and stories of Latino Heritage and Cultures from across the Americas. You can explore influences of Latino art and expression from ancient civilizations like the Aztec and the Inca from today’s modern street art in Puerto Rico, Argentina, and the United States. In total, the collection includes
from 11 countries,
14K artifacts and artworks
117 expertly curated exhibits
180+ virtual tours of heritage and cultural sites
. See some highlights in our video:
HOLA celebrations at Google
We also celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month across Google’s campuses, where members and allies of
HOLA, the Hispanic Googler Network
, promoted Latino culture, leadership and civic engagement. On September 16, 50 Googlers from across the globe gathered in Washington, D.C., for a three-day Leadership Summit. There, we met with organizations like
, brainstorming ideas on how to get out the vote; advised local organizations like the
Latin American Youth Career Center
Hispanic Heritage Foundation
using digital tools in the classroom; and mentored students from the
Georgetown Scholarship Program
pursuing careers in technology.
HOLA members continued the HHM festivities in their home offices. Googlers in Mountain View hosted the rock band Maná, who spoke about their interest in social good and music. And just earlier this week, we welcomed Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who discussed the importance of access to Latino mentors, the value of immigrants in the American workforce, and the necessity of technology for 21st century careers. You can meet
members on our Instagram account.
Members of HOLA host Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month
Support for Latino students and families
At Google, we understand that diverse and inclusive environments are essential to building products and solutions that work for everyone. That’s why we invest in increasing educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds to pursue futures in technology. This month Google.org is committing $1 million to local Silicon Valley organizations to help close these gaps in educational success for Latino students and families.
Across the U.S., Latino students aren’t being adequately prepared for college experiences or college level math. In our own backyard, Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District,
73 percent of Hispanic high school juniors
do not meet math standards — compared to 34 percent overall. So we’re providing
Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF)
$750,000 to support its work narrowing the achievement gap through its student-focused programs, school district policy support, and collaborations with business communities to bring innovation into the classroom. Googlers are already active volunteers with SVEF’s summer intervention program,
Google.org has also committed $250,000 to the
Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley (HFSV)
, which aims to increase high school and college graduation rates for Latino students. Over the course of the next two years, HFSV will conduct Spanish-speaking Parent Education Academies that will reach parents of low-income, Latino students who are at-risk of falling off track. These workshops will ensure Latino parents are knowledgeable about the local education system and how best to support their children to achieve academic results and fulfilling careers.
As Hispanic Heritage Month 2016 comes to a close, we look forward to continuing our support of the Latino community — at Google and beyond!
Posted by Suzanna Bobadilla, Social Impact Team
Get polling place and ballot information quickly and easily
October 13, 2016
Voting matters — and history proves it. In 1839, the
Massachusetts gubernatorial election
was decided by just two votes out of 102,066. The same was the case in a 1974
New Hampshire Senate race
— out of 233,363 votes, only two made the difference. And in 2008, an
Alaskan State House race
was decided by a single vote.
With Election Day just 25 days away, it’s time to make your vote count. Throughout the summer, we’ve helped voters find information about
how to register
how to vote
, in both
English and Spanish
. Now, as you prepare to head to the polls, we want to make sure you know where to vote and who’s on your ballot when you get there.
From President and Vice President, to Congressperson and County Commissioner, a simple search for “
who’s on my ballot
” will help you find info on the candidates, as well as detailed information on your state’s referenda. You can tap on a candidate’s name from your ballot to find information about them, including their party and website.
The final step: showing up! With various polling places popping up across your hometown, we want to make sure you find the info you need from state to state. Starting today and as we continue to add data from each state over the next couple of weeks, whether you’re planning to vote early or in person on November 8, just search “
where to vote
” and Google will display a polling place location finder as well as voting ID requirements.
While people can find this crucial information right in Google Search, we’re also opening this data up to other organizations for free. From technology companies like
to nonprofits like
Pew Charitable Trusts’ The Voting Information Project
, and Democracy Works’
, organizations of all shapes and sizes can use our products and the
Google Civic Information API
to create tools that get this information into the hands of as many voters possible.
We hope these features will help you get the information you need, when you need it. Your vote matters, so make it count.
Posted by Jacob Schonberg, Product Manager and Kate Sokolov, Program Manager, Politics & Elections
A personal Google, just for you
October 4, 2016
When Google was founded, there were about 300 million people using the Internet. The vast majority of them were sitting at desktop computers and looking for answers that came in the form of blue links. Today, the Internet community is closer to 3 billion people, and you’re searching for all kinds of help everywhere — from your cars and your classrooms, to your homes, to the phones in your pockets. Across all these contexts and devices, there are even more questions to be asked, and more that we can do to help you get the answers you need.
From mobile first to AI-first
When I look at where computing is heading, I see how machine learning and artificial intelligence are unlocking capabilities that were unthinkable only a few years ago. This means that the power of the software — the “smarts” — really matter for hardware more than ever before. The last 10 years have been about building a world that is mobile-first, turning our phones into remote controls for our lives. But in the next 10 years, we will shift to a world that is AI-first, a world where computing becomes universally available — be it at home, at work, in the car, or on the go — and interacting with all of these surfaces becomes much more natural and intuitive, and above all, more intelligent.
This is why we built the Google Assistant, which allows you to have a natural conversation between you and Google. It’s one Assistant that’s ready to help you throughout your day. The first instance appeared in our new smart messaging app Google Allo to help you in group conversations. But that’s just the beginning. We want to help you get things done in your world, across different places, contexts and situations. And that means building the Google Assistant and other amazing software into the hardware that you depend on every day.
The best of Google
Today we announced a new
family of hardware
that’s a step toward making sure that no matter where you are, or what you’re doing, you can have the best of Google by your side. The
is the first phone with the Google Assistant built in. With
, our voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant, just say “Ok Google” to get answers and help around the house. With
, your home becomes even more connected. And our new
headset and controller lets you explore new worlds in virtual reality with just your phone. These all do different things, serve different purposes — but they all deliver Google, the way we intended it.
Great hardware is powered by great software. And a beautiful, intuitive device allows the underlying technology to shine. As the range of devices in our lives expands, we’re seeing unprecedented advances in software as a result of investing in technologies like search, machine learning and AI, which benefits things like translation, voice recognition, image recognition and natural language processing. It’s still early days, but when all of that works together, the Google Assistant allows you to get things done, bringing you the information you need, when you need it, wherever you are.
Of course, we know we can’t do it alone. We’re building with partners in mind, so when you talk to your Assistant, you’re able to better connect with developers, publishers, and businesses.
While we are at the beginning of this journey, I can already see the tremendous strides we’re making with machine learning and AI, which gives me confidence that we’re going to do some amazing things for users over the next 10 years.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO
Make yourself at home with Google Home
October 4, 2016
There’s never a dull moment at home. Wouldn’t it be great to get some extra help there? You could start up your favorite song while you’re washing dishes, turn off the lights without getting out of bed, or check the traffic when you’re running out the door. Today we’re unveiling a new product that helps you in the place you need it most: your home. With Google Home, it’s as simple as using your voice to turn up the music, get answers to a myriad of questions, manage tasks around the house, and even adjust the thermostat or lights. It allows you to bring the
into your kitchen, living room or anywhere else around the house.
Your voice speaks volumes
With a simple “Ok Google” you can play songs, artists, radio stations, your favorite playlists and more from Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn and YouTube Music with additional services like iHeartRadio coming soon. You can also play a podcast while making pasta or listen to today’s news while tying your shoes. And if you just want to stream audio directly from your phone, you can cast music to Google Home from 100+ Chromecast-enabled apps on your Android or iOS device.
Google Home’s smart audio design integrates a high-excursion driver with a dual passive radiator design that delivers crystal-clear highs and deep lows for Hi-Fi sound that streams over WiFi. That means a lot of big sound from a small package. Even while you jam out to music, it can easily hear you from across the room, thanks to two omnidirectional microphones and neural beamforming.
Get answers big and small
Google Home taps into the power of Google Search to give you real-time answers to things you want to know. Ask Google Home to translate phrases and do simple math calculations. Kneading pizza dough and need to change ounces to grams? Ask and get unit conversions and nutritional info, too. Getting ready for the day? Get real-time info on the weather, the stock market, the traffic, or your favorite sports team. Google Home can also help you find answers to more obscure questions directly on the web. It’s all the power of Google with a simple voice command.
An extra pair of hands
With your permission, Google Home makes helpful information easily accessible. Check your calendar or even pull up your flight information. You can also say, “Tell me about my day” to hear curated personal information that helps you navigate your day. We know there’s no shortage of tasks at home, and Google Home can help with those too. Ask it to wake you up in the morning, set kitchen timers, and keep track of your shopping list.
Rule your kingdom without lifting a finger
With Google Home, you can control devices around the house. Play and control music on your speakers that have Chromecast Audio plugged in or Chromecast built-in. Or stream videos to a TV equipped with Chromecast. At launch, you can fire up videos from YouTube, and we’ll support popular apps like Netflix and Google Photos in the near future. You can also control your lights, thermostats and switches with popular home automation systems like Philips Hue, Nest, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT — with more coming soon.
Not just another black box
We designed Google Home to look good. The top blends into your home with a clean, minimal design that has no buttons and hidden LED lights. It features a capacitive touch surface for those rare moments when voice won’t do. Because every home is different, you can customize the base with different colors and finishes (metal and fabric, sold separately) to your personal taste.
A Google Home for every room
Want to enjoy music throughout your house? Build up a team of Google Home devices and blast the same tune in every room with Multi-room (you can also group with Chromecast Audio or Chromecast built-in speakers too). Having more than one device doesn’t mean they will all respond when you say “Ok Google.” If they have the same user account, only the closest one responds.
Google Home will be available in stores starting in November or you can pre-order yours today for $129 from the
. Once you set up your device, you’ll be able to redeem 6 months free of YouTube Red so you can enjoy YouTube music and video ads-free.*
Big or small. Modern or minimal. How you arrange your home is up to you. But when it comes to the other stuff, Google Home is happy to help.
*Device purchase required. New subscribers only.
. Offer expires 12/31/16.
Posted by Ken Mixter, Software Engineer and Home builder
Software Engineer and Home builder
Daydream: Bringing high-quality VR to everyone
October 4, 2016
We love virtual reality. Unlike any other technology or screen, VR can make you feel like you're somewhere else. Without a ticket, you can get
front row seats at Coachella
and visit a world-renowned museum to
see extinct animals come back to life
. You can
take field trips to almost anywhere
capture vivid moments
you can revisit anytime. It’s transporting.
At I/O this May, we announced
, our platform for high-quality mobile VR. Our goal for Daydream is to simplify the complexity behind virtual reality. It should be mobile so you can easily carry it with you, and it should be friendly and accessible so everyone can enjoy using it.
We’ve been working with developers, smartphone companies and content creators to make the dream a reality — and now, we’re excited to share updates across the three key elements of Daydream: smartphones, headsets and VR experiences.
Pixel, the first Daydream-ready phones
With Daydream, you simply pop a Daydream-ready phone in the headset to start exploring. Powered by Android 7.0 Nougat, Daydream-ready phones are built with high-resolution displays, powerful mobile processors and high-fidelity sensors—all tuned to support great VR experiences. Google’s newest
Pixel and Pixel XL
are the first Daydream-ready phones, and there are a lot more on the way from leading Android smartphone makers.
Daydream View, the first Daydream-ready headset and controller
Today, we’re announcing
. Designed and developed by Google, it’s the first Daydream-ready headset and controller.
Daydream View is:
Inspired by the clothes we enjoy wearing, the headset is made with soft, breathable fabric. It is 30% lighter than similar devices and is designed to fit over eyeglasses.
Easy to use.
Just drop in your Daydream-ready phone and you’ll be ready to go. The phone and headset have an auto-alignment system so you don’t have to worry about cables or connectors.
A big part of what makes Daydream View special is the Daydream controller. This small yet powerful controller lets you interact with the virtual world the same way you do in the real world. It points where you point, and is packed with sensors to understand your movements and gestures. You can swing it like a bat or wave it like a wand. And it’s so precise that you can draw with it. The controller slides right inside the headset when not in use, so you don’t have to worry about losing it in your bag or between couch cushions.
Daydream View is designed with choice in mind. The headset fits phones big or small, so it’ll work with any Daydream-ready phone you choose. And just like your clothes, the headset comes in different colors — Slate, Snow and Crimson — so you can choose the color that matches your style.
From the universe of YouTube videos to a magical world where you can cast spells and levitate objects, there is a wide range of experiences coming to Daydream:
Enjoy the best of Google.
We’ve brought some of the most popular Google apps into VR. With
, you can watch the entire library of videos on a virtual big screen and experience hundreds of thousands of immersive videos from creators like Buzzfeed, PrankvsPrank, Meredith Foster, CollegeHumor, Tastemade, UnboxTherapy and VSauce2. Use
Google Street View
to see curated tours of more than 150 of the world’s most amazing places like the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal, or just search to explore everywhere else.
Google Play Movies
makes tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes available in your own virtual theater. And
displays your 360° captures in a whole new way.
Explore new worlds.
Teleport from anywhere to pretty much everywhere with immersive stories and content from our partners, including
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal
and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” as brought to life by Warner Bros.
Kick back in your own personal cinema.
Experience sports, live events and more with MLB and NBA. Plus, you can watch top shows and movies on your own virtual big screen with Hulu, HBO and Netflix.
Get in the game.
Go from the sidelines to the center of action with dozens of titles, including Wonderglade, Gunjack 2, LEGO® BrickHeadz, Mekorama, Need for Speed, EarthShape, Danger Goat, Home Run Derby and Hungry Shark World.
Daydream View arrives this November at the
and our retailer partners across five countries:
Verizon, Best Buy; $79 (USD)
Bell, Rogers, Telus, Best Buy; $99 (CAD)
EE, Carphone Warehouse; £69 (GBP)
Deutsche Telekom; €69 (EUR)
Telstra, JB Hi-Fi; $119 (AUD)
In the U.S., Daydream View will be available for pre-order starting October 20 at Verizon and the Google Store. Slate will be available in all countries at launch, and Snow and Crimson will be coming to the U.S., U.K. and Australia after. Sign up on the
to get notified when Daydream View becomes available.
All of this is just the beginning of our work with Daydream. In the coming months, we’ll be launching with more apps and partners, and over the coming years, we’ll continue our goal of bringing high-quality, mobile VR to everyone.
Posted by Clay Bavor, VP Virtual Reality
VP Virtual Reality
Introducing Pixel, our new phone made by Google
October 4, 2016
Today, we announced for the first time a family of products that brings people the best of Google through hardware and software made by Google. We're excited that the lineup features the first phone made by Google inside and out — Pixel.
For those of you who have followed Google closely, that name may sound familiar to you because we've used the Pixel name in the past for consumer hardware products that represented an overall premium Google experience. Many of you may also be familiar with the Nexus program. Since 2010, we’ve partnered closely with mobile handset partners around the world to bring you the best of Android. Through Nexus, the goal was to work with these various partners to push the boundaries of what’s possible with a smartphone. We’ve now decided to take the next step and provide our take on the best Google experience, by bringing hardware and software design together under one roof.
Pixel, Phone by Google
With Pixel, we obsessed over every detail, from the industrial design to the user experience. We carefully sculpted the surfaces of the phone, and rounded the edges to make it easy to grip. We used 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 on the front display and back glass to accent the aerospace grade aluminum body. The glass on the back also features Pixel Imprint, our fingerprint sensor, which is placed on the back of the phone where your finger expects it. You can even swipe it to access your notifications. And no matter what you’re using your phone for, you’ll need a battery that lasts all day and charges fast — up to seven hours in 15 minutes.
Meet your Google Assistant
Pixel is the first phone with the
built in. With your Assistant, you can have a natural conversation with Google to find answers or get things done on the go. Say "Ok Google" or touch and hold the Home button and your Assistant is ready to help. Ask it for a brief update on your day or to play a video on YouTube. Look up traffic on the way home from work or when the nearest pharmacy closes. You can even say “show me my camping photos with Andrew” and it'll instantly display the photos you're looking for. Your Assistant can also offer help with what’s on-screen in any app. So if your friend texts you to meet up at a new restaurant, you can just say “navigate there.”
The best smartphone camera. Ever.
The Pixel camera is not only the best smartphone camera we’ve ever made, it’s the highest rated smartphone camera anyone has ever made. Our DxOMark Mobile score of 89 is a great example of what’s possible when great hardware meets great software. Pixel puts cutting-edge computational photography in an ultra-fast and easy-to-use camera.
Pixel has a 12.3MP camera, featuring an f/2.0 aperture and big 1.55 micron pixels to capture lots and lots of light. Our team of photography gurus and image processing experts have spent the last year designing and tirelessly optimizing our entire camera stack.
Pixel’s camera lets you take stunning photos in low light, bright light or any light. Catch action shots as they happen with
, which takes a rapid-fire sequence of shots and automatically selects the best one. Use
to achieve shallow depth of field and bokeh effects, making your subject pop. You can capture dramatic landscapes or make faces glow with new exposure controls.
And as a special bonus for Pixel owners, we’re including free unlimited storage for original quality photos and videos at full resolution in Google Photos.
More to love
Pixel ships with the newest Android operating system, Android 7.1 Nougat. Phones will get software and security updates as soon as they’re available, directly from Google. We’ve also made the update process easier. When a new update is available, it can download and install in the background — no more waiting around for your phone to update.
The Pixel also comes with Google Duo and Allo pre-installed so you can video call and text with all your friends, whether they’re on Android or iOS.
Make it yours
Pixel comes in two sizes, 5” or 5.5”, and three colors: Very Silver, Quite Black and our limited edition for the U.S. only, Really Blue. And whatever you choose, we’ve got cases to match. In addition to customizing
with your favorite photos and places, we’re introducing a new Artworks collection that features exclusive designs from artists like Justin Maller, and photographers like Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. We’re also excited to offer a new collection of
silicone and clear cases
Pixel is available for
starting at $649 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and Australia. Pre-orders in India will begin October 13. In the U.S., we’re teaming up exclusively with Verizon to make Pixel available nationwide at all Verizon retail outlets, including Best Buy stores. We’re also offering Pixel unlocked on the Google Store and, for you
fans out there, you'll be happy to know that Pixel is the latest device to work on the Fi network.
Personally, I’m rocking the 5.5” Quite Black with a Live Case centered on 1060 W Addison. Go Cubs!
Posted by Brian Rakowski, VP, Product Management
Introducing a new kind of Wi-Fi system
October 4, 2016
We count on Wi-Fi at home more than ever. Whether you’re video chatting with mom, binge-watching the latest series, or simply getting work done, strong and reliable Wi-Fi is key to staying connected.
Today, we’re excited to introduce Google Wifi, a new connected Wi-Fi system designed to give you a fast signal in every room, on every device.
Most of us get Wi-Fi in our homes through a centralized router, but using a single router to spread signal throughout your whole home is like expecting one light bulb to light up every room. Walls and distance make it difficult for a single device to send a strong signal to every corner of your home, resulting in slow Wi-Fi and dead zones.
Last year, we
with partners TP-LINK and ASUS to create a better Wi-Fi experience, focusing on design and simplicity. Google Wifi, built on the strengths of OnHub, is our next step towards ensuring that our homes can have great Wi-Fi everywhere we need it.
Fast Wi-Fi throughout your home
Google Wifi was designed from the ground up to support the new ways we use Wi-Fi. These days, Wi-Fi has to be able to support lots of devices at the same time, and stand up to high-bandwidth activities like streaming video or gaming — in every room of your house. Google Wifi is an expandable system, so for larger homes, you can simply add Google Wifi points. They connect to one another and spread a strong network signal to every room.
The system uses a technology called mesh Wi-Fi (something usually only seen in expensive commercial installations). Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and the different points work together to determine the best path for your data. The result is fast Wi-Fi everywhere in your house, not just right next to the router.
Keeps itself fast
Most of us don’t want to spend time tweaking complex settings or managing our Wi-Fi network. Google Wifi comes with Network Assist technology, which works behind the scenes to keep your Wi-Fi fast so you don’t have to figure out how to adjust your router. Network Assist automatically places you on the clearest channel and optimal Wi-Fi band for your device. And as you roam around your house, Network Assist will seamlessly transition your device between the Google Wifi system points in real time, so you avoid dead spots or delays.
A simple way to control your network
For those times when you do want more control over your network, Google Wifi makes it simple through a companion app, available on Android or iOS. The app lets you do things like pause Wi-Fi on kids’ devices (like when it’s time to come to the dinner table). It also shows you which devices are connected and how much bandwidth they’re using and lets you prioritize devices within your network so you can stream that latest episode uninterrupted. Google Wifi was designed with user privacy as a top priority. For example, it has settings for easily controlling cloud management and industry-leading security features such as wireless encryption, verified boot, and auto updates to keep your network safe and secure.
will be available for pre-order in the U.S. in November. It will retail for $129 for a single pack, and $299 for a three-pack at the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Join the waitlist on the
, and we’ll let you know when you can get your hands on one, so you can enjoy a fast Wi-Fi signal in every corner of your home.
Posted by Ben Brown, Senior Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
The fastest Chromecast yet, with 4K and HDR support
October 4, 2016
The Upside Down
cliff jumping videos
have in common? They all come in stunning
(which basically means the picture is suuuuuper crisp). And with the newly introduced Chromecast Ultra, now you can stream all of these 4K titles and more to your 4K TV.
Chromecast Ultra includes everything you love about Chromecast. Plus, it comes with advanced features like 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, faster speed and Wi-Fi improvements.
Stunning picture, deeper colors
Chromecast Ultra supports 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision, so you’ll get a crisper picture with higher resolution and more vibrant colors. At first, you'll be able to stream 4K content from Netflix, YouTube and Vudu, and we’re working to bring more 4K and HDR content on board. Later this year, Google Play Movies & TV will be rolling out 4K content. Even if your TV isn’t 4K-ready, Chromecast Ultra automatically optimizes your TV’s picture.
Faster than ever, with optional Ethernet port
Chromecast Ultra loads videos 1.8 times faster than other Chromecast devices and includes major Wi-Fi improvements to support streams from full HD to Ultra HD without a hitch. For those tricky Wi-Fi environments, we’re also adding Ethernet support for a wired connection.
Everything you love about Chromecast
Just like the original Chromecast, you can cast all of your favorite content from thousands of apps using your phone, tablet or laptop. Mirror any content from your Android device or from a browser tab on your laptop (using Chrome) to the TV. And it comes in a small size that hides nicely behind your TV, without adding clutter to your living room.
Works with Google Home
Today we also introduced Google Home, a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. With Google Home, you can play music, get answers from Google, manage your everyday tasks, and control smart home devices, like Chromecast. Combined with Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra, use Google Home to control your TV — completely hands free. Simply say “Ok, Google, play the Jungle Book trailer on my TV” to watch the YouTube video on the big screen.
will be available in November for $69 from the Best Buy, Google Store, Target, and Walmart in the U.S., as well as from international retailers in 15 more countries.
Join the waitlist on the
and we’ll let you know when you can get your hands on Chromecast Ultra, so you can start enjoying some seriously crisp entertainment.
Posted by Suresh Kolla, Engineering Director
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