Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture
“The Interview” now available on Google Play and YouTube Movies
December 24, 2014
Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we’d be able to make their movie, "The Interview," available online. We'd had a similar thought and were eager to help—though given everything that’s happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.
Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).
So starting at 10 a.m. PST in the U.S., you can rent or buy "The Interview" on
. It will also be available to
Xbox Video customers
and via www.seetheinterview.com.
: "The Interview" is now also available in Canada.
Posted by David Drummond, SVP Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Ho Ho Ho! Track Santa around the world with Google’s Santa Tracker
December 24, 2014
After 23 days of preparation, the elves are finally ready for Santa’s annual journey around the globe. They’ve taught each other how to say
"Santa Claus" in Swedish
, guided their friends through mazes
, brushed up on
, and learned about
organizations making a difference worldwide
. It’s been a busy month, but Santa’s sleigh is now ready for lift-off!
The elves brushed up on coding fundamentals with blockly maze games
The elves decorated their trees with ornaments about organizations making a difference
Each stop on Santa’s journey offers more to explore—discover 360-degree imagery, Wikipedia snippets, geography facts, and updates on how far Santa’s current location is from yours (take note—Santa’s path is not a direct one!). Come back and visit
throughout the night for more surprises, like sleigh selfies or a
latitude and longitude game
to deliver presents.
Follow Santa on any screen—desktop, phone, tablet, or TV
If you’re on the ho-ho-go, download the
Santa Tracker App for Android
to keep track of Santa on your phone or tablet. With the Android app, watch Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast, or on your wrist with Android Wear (especially handy when wrapping last-minute gifts). And, you can always search for Santa on
, and get real-time location updates with Google Now in the Google App.
Santa’s available at the flick of the wrist with Android Wear
Santa’s got a long and exciting night ahead of him before heading back to the North Pole. Grab some eggnog, set out the cookies, and join Google Maps on
Posted by Brendan Kenny, Reindeer Platform Engineer
maps and earth
Let's celebrate the season of giving
December 19, 2014
It's the season of giving, and there are a lot of ways to give—by donating, by volunteering, by surprising a stranger with a random act of kindness. And we're joining in to help spread the
. This month, Google.org is giving more than $15 million in grants to organizations using technology to address some of the world’s biggest problems. From San Francisco to Western Africa, these organizations are making a direct impact on people around the world, every day.
One of our grants will go to
. Each year, billions of pounds of surplus food are sent to landfills, while
49 million Americans
(including one in five children) go hungry. Our grant will help support their newest food rescue initiative called the Online Marketplace, a program that connects local retail and foodservice businesses who have excess food to those in need. Feeding America serves 3.3 billion meals annually and the Online Marketplace is projected to lead to the recovery of an additional 740 million meals, significantly reducing food waste while giving more families access to food.
Two of our other grantees are working on the front lines to help ensure lives aren't lost to preventable diseases.
works to get life-saving vaccines to children in India and Mozambique by preserving these vaccines before they spoil by installing low-cost refrigerator sensors in clinics.
Malaria No More
is fighting to save lives by better understanding the spread of malaria using newly available mobile data to map malaria cases and how they are being treated.
To learn more about additional nonprofits we’re supporting through these grants, and to see how you can get involved with their efforts, visit
and see our slideshow below:
These are only part of our annual philanthropic efforts. Over the course of the year, we strive to make the world a little bit better through our technology and
, including more than $100 million in grants, $1 billion in technology resources, and 80,000+ volunteer hours donated to causes around the world.
We're inspired by all the people out there who are working to make a difference—whether it's one of these organizations or simply one person doing a good deed for another. We're glad to do our part spreading some love this holiday season, and look forward to seeing more world-changing work in 2015.
Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org
A Year in Search: the moments that defined 2014
December 16, 2014
Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us laugh, smile from ear to ear, or stay gripped to our screens in our annual
Year in Search
. In 2014, we were struck by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched news unfold about a horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by the beautiful game, and had fun with birds, a bucket of ice, and a frozen princess.
to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:
Wishing the genie goodbye
“You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.” The passing of beloved comedian and actor
shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember—and putting Williams in the #1 spot on our global trends charts. There was even an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health in the days following his death. We revisited his iconic roles in movies like
Dead Poets Society
and found solace in
that captured Williams’ spirit.
All the world’s a stage
Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The
in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had everyone glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts.
While sports brought people together, so did a good cause. This year, awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reached an all-time high around the world due to the viral
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
. As celebrities and everyday people alike braved a bucket of ice cold water for a cause, donations to help find a cure for the illness hit almost $100 million.
Into the unknown
How could a plane just vanish into thin air? In the wake of the disappearance of
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds: searches for “mh370 found” outnumbered searches for “mh370 lost.”
Here’s the full list of our top 10 global trending searches:
You can find more on these top searches and more at
Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site, you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.
We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.
, Senior Vice President, Search
Through the Google lens: search trends December 6-11
December 12, 2014
The Colbert Report
to astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, here's a look at this week's search stars.
The presidency is just my day job
Being the President of the United State is no easy task, but Barack Obama may have just faced his toughest test yet...a seat on
The Colbert Report
. This is the Commander-in-Chief’s third time on the show, but it’s still no cakewalk with every topic up for grabs—including Obama’s less than ideal approval ratings and his graying hair. Obama proved himself up for the challenge, though, kicking Colbert off his segment and
making it his own
Not only does Obama moonlight as a comedian—it turns out he can also code. At a White House event with 30 middle school students, the President kicked off
Hour of Code
first U.S. president
to write a computer program.
Winners and losers
is heating up; the three finalists were revealed this week. But there’s a twist in the show’s seventh season: to spice things up, its creators introduced a new wildcard spot, bringing the total number of potential finalists to four. Now the nine remaining contestants who didn’t make it to the top three will duke it out for that fourth spot and a shot at singing glory.
contestants still have a chance to take home the grand prize, other stars were left out in the cold this week when the
nominations included several snubs. Names left off the selection sheet were Angelina Jolie and her upcoming film
, Christopher Nolan and his much-hyped
, and Bradley Cooper, who
gained 40 pounds
to portray Chris Kyle in the biopic film
. Oh well—there's still the Oscars. Meanwhile, movies
snapped up seven and five nominations, respectively—and the TV category is staying interesting with nods for several Netflix original series, Amazon’s first appearance with
, and two surprise nominations for the CW’s quirky
Jane the Virgin
The sky above
This week, searchers spent a good chunk of their time looking up. The
was top of mind as the Pineapple Express—no, not the film—hit the San Francisco Bay Area, causing flooding and power outages. The phenomenon gets its name from its origins in the waters near Hawaii, a.k.a. the Pineapple State, where it develops before heading towards the U.S Pacific Coast.
Even for those of us trapped indoors, searchers got a chance to look at the stars...on our homepage at least. Searchers looked for more information about astronomer
Annie Jump Cannon
after a Google doodle marked her 151st birthday. Cannon—who was deaf for most of her adult life, and often overshadowed by her colleague Edward C. Pickering—was instrumental in the development of the Harvard Classification system, which categorizes stars by their temperature (whether or not they were nominated for a Golden Globe).
Tip of the week
Need to find something in the apps on your Android phone? Now you can ask your Google app for help—even if it’s in another app. Just say “Ok Google” and then “search YouTube for holiday decorating ideas” or “search Tumblr for Taylor Swift” and jump straight to those results within the other app (if you have it installed).
And come back next week for Google's Year in Search—a review of the people, moments, and events that captured the world's attention.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [comedian-in-chief] and [team adam].
Android dress code: wear what you want
December 10, 2014
Deciding what to wear is a really personal thing—it’s one of the ways you show people what you’re about. Wearable technology is no different, so
offers a wide selection of apps and watches to suit your taste. It’s about expressing who you are, however you want, right on your wrist.
Today there’s even more ways to show your style with Android Wear, including dozens of new watch faces (powered by an official
Watch Face API
), a full collection of devices on Google Play, and lots of other improvements based on your feedback. So try ‘em on for size, and
let us know
what you think.
Watch faces for whatever you’re into
Starting today you can download watch faces from Google Play, just like you do with apps. We’ve got
dozens of examples
to get you started—from the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. And because the new Watch Face API is available to all developers, you can expect even more choices in the weeks and months ahead.
We’ve also updated the
Android Wear app
on your phone to make browsing, downloading, and switching watch faces really easy. So pick the one you like the best, or pick a new one every day.
(Both updates are rolling out over the next week, so don’t worry if you don’t see them yet.)
Examples of Android Wear watch faces
A family of watches to choose from
In only a few short months, the Android Wear collection has grown to include
six unique watches
—the ASUS ZenWatch, the LG G Watch, the LG G Watch R, the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Some are circular, others are square. Some are traditional, others are sporty. And that’s exactly the point. With different shapes and styles, it’s really easy to make your watch your own.
So by all means: wear what you want.
Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear
#YouTubeRewind 2014: Celebrating what you created, watched and shared
December 9, 2014
2014 was chock full of YouTube moments that vaulted into pop culture. We got pranked by a
in Poland, learned what it’s like to walk the street for
10 hours as a woman
in NYC, and watched total strangers share a
, and yes, we sang along to “
Let It Go
” roughly a bajillion times.
In celebration of the people, memes and moments that made up an epic year, more than 100 YouTube creators gathered together for
our annual Rewind video
: a giant, global mashup looking back at the best of 2014 on YouTube. With creators from Japan, Germany, Israel, Mexico, France and beyond, it’s the biggest and most international Rewind video yet.
And here are the top trending videos for 2014, based on views, shares, comments, likes and more. This year, the list represents the amazing variety of creativity brought to YouTube each day, which can include social commentaries, pranks, advertisements, and thrilling moments from traditional media and big names on YouTube. Collectively these 10 videos have hundreds of millions of views from creators, with more than 21 million cumulative subscribers.
Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega)
Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more
The Voice IT | Serie 2 | Blind 2 | Suor Cristina Scuccia - #TEAMJ-AX
iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test
Bars & Melody - Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer act | Britain's Got Talent 2014
Britain's Got Talent
Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial -- "Puppy Love"
Devil Baby Attack
Goku vs Superman. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 3.
10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman
When it comes to music, it was a year of powerful female artists, as you can see from our list of top music videos: Women artists took eight of the top 10 spots (Shakira took two!). 2014's top 10 music videos were collectively played billions of times from channels with 55+ million subscribers.
Katy Perry - Dark Horse (Official) ft. Juicy J
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (Español) ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona
Shakira - Can't Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna
Shakira - La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown
Jason Derulo - "Wiggle" feat. Snoop Dogg (Official HD Music Video)
Iggy Azalea - Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX
Sia - Chandelier (Official Video)
Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass
Nicki Minaj - Anaconda
...and check out even more
top music videos
Check out our
YouTube Rewind channel
for more top videos of the year from around the world, and our YouTube Brand channel to see a mashup of the top branded videos of the year and a list of the top ads on YouTube for the year. You can also visit google.com/2014 next week for Google's annual look at the people, places and events that captured the world's attention.
Posted by Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture & Trends
Through the Google lens: search trends November 28-December 5
December 5, 2014
The end of the year is almost upon us, but just like the rest of your life, search isn’t slowing down. Here’s a look at what was trending this week on Google:
Signs of the season
Now that the turkey’s been carved, and even the leftovers have been gobbled (pun intended) up in the form of sandwiches and soup, the holiday season is officially underway. People shopped
sales, and others were excited to learn that
would be delivering packages seven days a week in some cities.
and songs are trending as people get into the spirit. And even if you didn’t watch
(for the 14th time) this week, chances are you heard a peep of
’s now-classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which the singer performed live at Rockefeller Center’s tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Mimi missed a few notes, leading searches for her to spike as a result.
Citizens speak out
On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict the police officer involved in the death of
, who died in July after being placed in a choke hold. Across the country, people spoke out and demonstrated against the decision, which came just days after nationwide riots and protests about what happened in Ferguson, Mo.
Good news for Thin Mint fans: you no longer have to wait with bated breath for the day your co-worker shows up with an order form, or for that card table stacked with colorful boxes to show up outside your grocery store. Girl Scout Cookies have gone digital. Scouts will have personal cookie webpages where people can place orders online; the idea is that girls will learn more about online marketing and e-commerce while satisfying the sweet teeth of the rest of us. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Internet cookies.”
If you weren’t at the mall last weekend, then chances are you were on YouTube, watching the new
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
. The first teaser for the J.J. Abrams-helmed “Episode 7” has racked up tens of millions of views since it came out a week ago and people are saying it could become
the most viewed trailer ever
. Fans have intensely scrutinized and discussed each one of the trailer’s 88 seconds in detail; and there are already spoofs and recreations galore, including Wes Anderson and LEGO versions. The movie won’t be out until December 2015, so you have plenty of time to build your crossguard lightsaber for the premiere.
But even after two years, there’s no video in the YouTube galaxy that’s quite like “Gangnam Style.” It’s the first video to ever get more than 2 billion views, and this week, its view count crossed 2,147,483,647. That happens to be the highest number that can be represented by a 32-bit integer, and also—until recently—the highest number that the YouTube view counter could display. Luckily, our friends at YouTube saw this one coming: They upgraded the view counter to use a 64-bit integer, capable of representing numbers up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. Yup, that’s 9 quintillion. Consider this gauntlet thrown.
Tip of the week
Between holiday parties, gift shopping and the end-of-year scramble at work, it’s no wonder some errands start to slip your mind. Let Google help keep track—just say “Ok Google, remind me to pick up ribbon when I’m at Target” or “Ok Google, remind me to chill the champagne when I get home” to get a reminder.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [sweet tooth plural] and [what was the name of the monkey in aladdin]
This year the holidays are Made with Code
December 2, 2014
Cross-posted on the
Google for Education Blog
Carol-singing, hot chocolate, latkes and ice skating are all things that get us into the spirit of the holidays. But now there’s a new way to deck the halls: with code.
Earlier this year, we introduced a program called Made with Code to inspire millions of girls to try coding, and help them understand the creative things they can do with computer science. Starting today on
, girls can use the introductory programming language Blockly to animate the lights of the state and territory trees that will decorate President’s Park, one of America’s 401 national parks and home to the White House, through the holiday season.
The programmed lights will debut at the
92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony
, which will be
by the White House on Thursday and air on PBS nationally throughout December in partnership with the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. The tradition of the tree lighting ceremony dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit the first fir tree outside the White House, and this is the first year kids from across the country will be in control of the state and territory holiday tree lights!
As the mom of two girls, I know that technology is a pathway for their future success. Still, even as coding becomes more important, less than 1% of high school girls say they’re interested in pursuing computer sciences in college. But I'm also an engineer, so I’ve seen firsthand how exciting CS can be. I fell in love with code early—my dad was an engineer and he encouraged me to enter a programming competition in the seventh grade. I gave it a shot, and I’ve never looked back. Ever since that day, I’ve known that when I program something, I’m creating something totally new for the world.
That’s what Made with Code is about: discovering that creating something new and exciting—whether it’s a holiday tree, a video game or a driverless car—can be accomplished with the power of code.
But it’s also about building an ecosystem of support for girls through parents and teachers, and to show girls other women who are using CS to achieve their dreams. This challenge also kicks off Google’s commitment to CSEdWeek, a week dedicated to inspiring students to get interested in computer science that’s become one of the biggest education initiatives online. Over the coming week, thousands of Googlers will join the
hour of code
, and announce a few other special projects that we will fund through the holiday season and coming year.
I’m heading to Washington, D.C. this week to be a part of the ceremony, and I’m looking forward to watching the designs from girls across the country lighting up the nation’s capital—and inspiring my daughters and so many others with the power of code.
Posted by Pavni Diwanji, Vice President, Engineering
Race with Rudolph and skydive with Santa in the countdown to December 24
December 1, 2014
December may mean snow days in Denver, Colo. or beach days in Sydney, Australia, but in
, it means the countdown to Santa’s big night. Starting today, the elves are back on the clock in the North Pole—and throughout the month of December, you can join the elves as they unlock a new project or game each day in preparation for Santa’s annual journey around the world.
The elves have a busy month ahead of them—the reindeers need training and the presents need packing. They’re studying up on Santa’s upcoming stops with candy cane cartography,
holiday tradition tests
Throughout the holiday celebration, our own developer elves here at Google have also been hard at work getting the sleigh tracking algorithm ready for prime time. They’ve been adding finishing touches to the
Santa Tracker App for Android
so Santa’s just a tap away on phones, tablets, and TVs. The developer elves have been busy, so check out the
and keep a
out for Santa surprises throughout the month.
Whether you’re wearing snow goggles or sunnies this December, come back to
each day to join in on present parachute practice and
, or to send a call to friends from Santa. There’s only 23 days to go, so follow Google Maps on
in the countdown to
Posted by Sandy Russell, Santa Launch Strategist
'Tis the season for mobile shopping
November 23, 2014
It used to be that heading out to stores on Black Friday -- one of the biggest holiday shopping days of the season -- was the best way to find great deals. Now, we may be carrying the best tool for finding deals in our pockets.
This coming weekend, expect to see many of your fellow shoppers checking for deals on their smartphones while braving the lines and crowds at the mall. Nearly 50% of 25-34 year-olds use their phone to shop online while standing in line at a store. And because we want to help you research products more easily this holiday weekend, we’re rolling out new mobile features to Google Shopping.
Starting this week, when you search for a specific product on your smartphone or tablet you’ll see more detailed information about the product and where to buy it, like which stores have it available and product reviews from customers. You’ll also be able to rotate selected products on Google Shopping in 360 degrees to see them in more detail.
Getting a head start on Black Friday
Shoppers are already prepping for Black Friday shopping by researching purchases and deals online. We found that 27% of shoppers have already begun hunting for Black Friday deals online. Here are the top questions people are asking about Black Friday on Google Search. For more trends, visit our
what time do stores open on black friday
what time does black friday start
when does black friday end
what to buy on black friday
Let Google Shopping and your smartphone help you check off what’s on that shopping list of yours and go enjoy everything else about the “most wonderful time of the year.”
Posted by Jennifer Liu, Product Manager, Google Shopping
Through the Google lens: search trends November 14-20
November 21, 2014
Devastating snowstorms, bizarre interviews and addictive podcasts? It was an unusual week on the search charts this time around.
A frosty reception
If you looked on Maps for
, you wouldn’t find it. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the city is buried underneath six feet of snow… literally. While people across the country are just getting ready for Turkey Day, Buffalonians are dealing with a snowstorm that’s set to break
and may keep them trapped in their houses for a while–
In the court of public opinion
People were searching for more information about famed comedian
this week after sexual abuse allegations made headlines.
And in the political world, Democrats in the Senate blocked the
proposal, a hotly contested initiative to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Nebraska. While searchers were wondering how this bill would affect gas prices, the door is closed on the issue at the moment.
Teens aren't what they used to be
A toymaker with a mission decided it was makeover time for Barbie, the doll everyone loves to hate. Nickolay Lamm created “normal Barbie,” a doll that everyone could relate to -- less “material girl” and more “girl next door”—non-size zero waist included. Reflecting
of the average 19-year old woman, both parents and kids have taken a liking to the fact that toy actually...looks like a real person (
she looks like my sister!
) Complete with freckles and acne sticker expansion packs, we think Lamm’s got the awkward teenage years down pat.
Speaking of teenagers: 16-year-old and 14-year-old celebrity siblings Jaden and
, heirs to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s throne, were in the spotlight this week after giving what some might describe as a pretty spacey
to the New York Times’ T Magazine. The wide-ranging piece covered their thoughts on topics like Prana energy (what?), the duality of the mind (how??) and goals of imprinting yourself on everything (why???) — and baffled social media and searchers alike. Time Magazine got in on the fun and released a
made from the interview’s most interesting quotes. Here’s our Jaden and Willow Smith haiku (spoiler: it doesn’t make any sense).
The most craziest person of all time
Driver’s ed? What’s up?
Colonel Mustard in the library
There’s always time for a tale of murder and mystery. This week the Internet played the role of detective as people were curious to learn more about NPR’s new serial Podcast which explores a 15-year-old real life homicide case. The series is insanely popular, hitting the 5 million downloads and streams mark more quickly than any other podcast before it, but not without its fair share of controversy. The victim’s family members have expressed concern about the
of the case.
Tip of the week
Bored on the bus or subway? Just say “OK Google, flip a coin.” What do yo have to lose?
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [the opposite of apple] and [cellulite stickers].
Seven traffic tips to get you to the Thanksgiving table
November 18, 2014
Thanksgiving means gearing up for a turkey feast, Thanksgiving Day parades, local
. It also means braving some of the worst holiday traffic conditions of the year.
You’ve got enough on your plate this Thanksgiving without having to worry about traffic, too. So, Google Maps looked at Thanksgiving traffic conditions over the last two years for 21 cities across the U.S.
to find the most useful information to make your holiday trip a little easier.
Whether you’re traveling near or far, Google Maps’ traffic tips will help you navigate the roads like a pro, so you’ll be feasting on Turkey Day delights with friends and family in no time. Here are seven tips in pictures to guide you through the holiday:
1. Avoid traveling on Wednesday:
2. But if you must leave on Wednesday:
3. Good news for local travelers—Thanksgiving Day traffic is a breeze:
4. Travel back home on Sunday, not Saturday:
5. Expect to spend more time in traffic than average if you live in these three cities:
Philadelphia, Austin and Washington, D.C. saw the three biggest increases in traffic during Thanksgiving week.
6. Get these three items ahead of time:
Last-minute runs to the corner store can be unavoidable as you prep for the big day, but not all last minute trips are created equal.
7. Leave extra time for Christmas shopping:
Your biggest worry this Thanksgiving should be whether to go for the cranberry sauce or gravy. And with these traffic tips in hand, plus
real-time traffic info
provided by Google Maps on
, you’ll be spending less time in traffic and more time with the people you care about this Thanksgiving. Now that’s something to be thankful for!
Posted by Aaron Nelson, Google Maps Product Manager
Google Maps looked at 21 cities across the U.S. from the Monday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after Thanksgiving for both 2012 & 2013: Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C.
maps and earth
Through the Google lens: search trends November 7-13
November 14, 2014
Taylor, Kim, Kobe—this trio of familiar faces was all over search this week.
Oh my God, look at that face
She may not have broken the Internet, but Kim Kardashian certainly got our collective attention this week with her saucy
magazine cover shoot showing off her famous derriere. Millions of
were not far, um, behind. Even Kim, however, had some company in the trending ranks from Taylor Swift, who has come close to breaking the Internet a few times herself. This week, Swift released a new video (and
) for her song “
,” putting a new spin on the “boy-crazy” meme and garnering more than 25 million YouTube views—that’s more than 10 times as many as last week’s viral video sensation “
Too Many Cooks
Ten years after leaving Earth, on Wednesday the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission achieved history. It successfully landed its
probe on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and began sending pictures of the surface back to scientists. People turned to search to learn more, including “what is next for the probe?” It’s a good question, since the probe bounced twice before settling into a position about 1km off its target, and may not be able to get enough battery life from its solar panels to continue operating as intended.
Our doodle celebrated the Philae landing on Wednesday
And all eyes were on the New York skyline this week—or at least on 1 World Trade Center, where a pair of window washers were trapped 69 stories high on the side of the building for over an hour on Wednesday before being rescued. The 1,776-foot tall skyscraper had just opened for business last week, more than a decade after the September 11 attacks.
Kobe Bryant set a new record on Tuesday night, but he might wish he hadn’t. The shooting guard missed his 13,418th career field goal in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, earning him the dubious honor of the most missed field goals in the NBA. Of course, Bryant also has the fourth-most points in league history—and five championship rings. So, he’s probably doing OK.
Tip of the week
For those times you’ve gotten an email about something (say, “dinner with Shari” or “brunch with Aaron”) but forgotten to follow up, Google can help. Keep an eye on your Google app, which can now
catch buried plans in your Gmail
, prompt you to add them to your calendar, and remind you to stay in touch.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [two eagles flying together/being friends] and [birdman tracking shot]
The doors are open for veterans at Google
November 11, 2014
My father was a
, one of the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. military. He got his wings in 1944 and stayed in the Army for 30 years. When I think of him—and all the other veterans I grew up knowing—I’m reminded of the unique characteristics they shared: their innate courage, sense of purpose, and their ability to lead under pressure. Most remarkable to me, though, is their belief in the power of sacrificing and fighting for something bigger than yourself.
For everyone who has served our country, I join 1,000+ members of the
Google Veterans Network
in celebrating Veterans Day today. And I am incredibly proud of what Google has done to honor veterans, including two initiatives new this year.
Veterans make great Googlers
We hire leaders, team builders and problem solvers and many veterans are already doing amazing things at the company. But we also know that not all veterans have the same skills and interests; there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and it can be hard to understand how you might fit into a corporate environment. So we’ve created a new
website to help servicemembers and veterans find the right role to apply for at Google. The site breaks down some of the ways our own veterans are succeeding in both technical and general roles. In their own words, they explain how their skills translated and how they are continuing to serve through their work at Google.
And for those who have other career goals in mind, we’ve included a few
—like mentoring programs and virtual classes—to help veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.
Sharing veterans’ stories
In addition to making Google a great place to work for veterans, we want to use our technology to build greater awareness and understanding of their achievements and sacrifices. Last Friday, the
opened a new exhibit that explores the immediate and heroic actions of U.S. servicemembers, alongside those of the emergency workers who responded on and after September 11, 2001. “The Call to Serve,” an interactive installation powered by Google
, follows the stories of nine veterans and military personnel to honor their service and that of all who followed in their footsteps. You can visit the exhibit in person at the 9/11 Museum during Veterans Week or online at
This effort also builds on other historical preservation projects we announced earlier this year, including bringing
Arlington National Cemetery
, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Eternal Flame, to Street View; and commemorating the 70th anniversary of the
landings at Normandy
in partnership with museums and archives in the U.S., U.K. and France.
We’re proud to pay tribute to veterans’ service and and to support them in their careers. Veterans have unique skills and experience, and arrive with a devotion to teamwork that goes a long way around here. They’re among our greatest assets, both as a company and as a nation. And after all they’ve given us, we need to give them every opportunity to succeed.
Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer; Founding Executive Sponsor, Google Veterans Network
With Chromebooks, students find new ways to learn
November 10, 2014
Cross-posted on the
Google for Education blog
Students and schools have done some amazing things with Chromebooks since we first
launched in 2011
. At the Urban Promise Academy in Oakland, Calif., students are using the
to create their own video games on Chromebooks. In Chesterfield County, Virginia, students get access to feedback and support from teachers after school hours using their Chromebooks. And in Fairfield County, South Carolina,
schools saw double-digit gains
on their state performance tests after they started to offer Chromebooks, Google Apps for Education and other technologies to their students, who often don’t have Internet access at home.
A student at Urban Promise Academy uses a Chromebook to design video games
Schools tell us that Chromebooks fill three big needs: they’re easy for students and teachers to use, they’re easy to share, and they’re easy to manage. That’s critical for schools that often want to give their students the best technology, but don’t have a large IT department to support it. And it’s part of what has made Chromebooks such a hit in schools. In fact, according to IDC’s latest report on tablets and laptops in K-12 education, Chromebooks are the best-selling device in the U.S. this year. And they’re continuing to grow in popularity—in districts like Montgomery County, MD (more than 50,000 devices), Charlotte-Mecklenberg, NC (32,000 devices) and Cherry Creek, CO (26,000 devices), who have all begun using Chromebooks in 2014.
Beyond the U.S., countries are looking at how they can use technology in the classroom on a large scale—like in
, where the entire national school system is using Chromebooks. This week, we’re hosting the
Global Education Symposium
, a gathering of education ministers from 18 countries working to implement technology that will help them meet their country’s educational agenda. We’ll hear from education leaders who are exploring new educational models, and look at how innovative local schools are using technology to help teachers and students excel.
It’s been thrilling to see how Chromebooks—alongside Android tablets, Google Play for Education, Classroom and Google Apps for Education, which is now used by 40 million students and teachers around the world—can help students meet their learning goals. We can’t wait to see what’s ahead as more students around the world gain access to new learning opportunities through technology.
Posted by Cyrus Mistry, Lead Product Manager, Chromebooks for Education
Doubling down on Ebola donations
November 10, 2014
Today, Google is launching a public giving
to fight Ebola. For every dollar you give, Google will donate two dollars. In addition, we’re donating $10 million right away to support nonprofits such as
International Rescue Committee
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Partners in Health
Save the Children
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
. These organizations are doing remarkable work in very difficult circumstances to help contain this outbreak, and we hope our contribution will help them have an even greater impact.
Separately, our family foundation will also be giving $15 million. Our hearts go out to everyone whose lives have been touched by this tragedy.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO
25 years ago today ... The fall of the Berlin Wall
November 8, 2014
I was seven years old when thousands of East German signature cars arrived in my hometown of Hamburg and filled the air with odd-smelling blue smoke. I saw strangers hugging each other, tears in their eyes, their voices tired from singing. I was too young to understand it all, but I had a very strong sense that life was different now--and that different was better.
A quarter-century later, it is our obligation to tell this story to all those who couldn't be there, who could not feel the spark of the peaceful revolution and, more importantly, who are fortunate enough not to know the feeling of an incarcerated, divided existence, trapped behind concrete walls. It is a story that demands to be told today, and for generations to come.
I’m excited to have been part of making this doodle commemorating such a pivotal moment in history — to learn more about the making-of, check out the doodle team’s post
. We should all take the time to celebrate 25 years of unity.
Posted by Nils Frahm, composer
Through the Google lens: search trends October 31 - November 6
November 7, 2014
“Who won Pennsylvania?” “Who’s that guy?” “He’s getting married?” These are just a few of the questions that wracked people’s brains on search this week. Read on to find out what everybody wanted to know.
The call of duty
As Americans went to the polls this past Tuesday, the Internet was abuzz with politics—left and right. Searchers turned to the web for the
play-by-play, trying to get the latest figures on who won hotly contested states like
. The results? A nearly full sweep by Republicans as they won control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House.
Even though Americans remain politically divided, they can still rally together to support our troops. As
approaches, peopled searched for ways they could celebrate the holiday and show support for those who served in the armed forces. (Hint: our homepage loves soldiers too!)
I'm a little bit country
Country Music Awards
had everyone talking this week. Nashville power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert took home
between them, and Lambert scored her first trophy for “Single of the Year” for her song "Automatic." And first-time winner Luke Bryan landed the night’s top honor for “Entertainer of the Year”—not a bad way to start.
One night, a boy named Alex went to sleep. The next morning he woke up famous...and we’re talking screaming-tween-girls, One Direction-famous. Was this a dream come true or a scene from a bizarre Kafka novel? Well, with more than a million tweets,
and the Internet to thank for his newly acquired stardom. As the story goes, an admirer watched Alex bag her groceries, fell under the spell of his boyish good looks and just had to share a photo with her 14,000 followers. The photo
spread like a wildfire
and next thing you know our red- and khaki-clad Alex is trading jokes with Ellen Degeneres
on her show
. We’re eagerly awaiting Alex’s entrance to the teeny bopper hall of fame.
And the fangirl news just keeps coming. People this week went bananas as actor and heartthrob
announced his engagement to little-known theater director
. Searchers were asking questions like “Who is this girl?” and “Why not me?” Sorry, friends, but this mystery has been solved.
This one’s for the bold
It was a week for the bold and the brave as the Internet reacted to inspiring news stories.
, a young woman diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, ended her life on November 1. After doctors told her she only had six months to live, Maynard and her family moved to Oregon in order to have access to the state’s Death with Dignity Act. Her
garnered national media attention and stirred the debate over the “right to die.”
And American acrobat and tight-rope specialist
made headlines as he performed a high-wire walk across the Chicago skyline. Wallenda walked between three skyscrapers without a harness or safety net and conducted one of the walks blindfolded—and it was all broadcast live. His stunt left viewers in shock and minted Wallenda two new
Tip of the week
Feeling a bit homesick? Whenever you’re in need for a little motherly love, just tell the Google app to “Call Mom” (you set who that is). Except for mom’s home cooking, it’s almost like you’re there.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [where is the nearest target] and [rock the vote].
Get ready for Election Day with Google
November 3, 2014
Tomorrow is Election Day in the U.S.—are you ready to vote?
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, more and more voters turn to Google to get the information they need in order to have a say on the issues they care about. And in the days before Election Day 2012, we saw a huge spike in search traffic around terms related to voting and how to vote. To make it easier for citizens to access information to make a well-informed decision and cast their ballots on Election Day, we’ve built a number of tools to help. From Governor and Senate to City Council and local referenda, and from
what materials you need to bring to vote
to making sure you know
who is on your ballot
, Google has you covered.
Make sure you know how and where to vote—and who’s on your ballot!
For the first time ever, simple searches for [
how do i vote
where to vote
what identification do i need to vote
] and [
who is on my ballot
] will give you all the information you need—tailored by state—to find your polling location, confirm what identification you need to bring, and see who and what is going to be on your ballot on November 4. If you use Google Now, you can also get reminders on where to vote on Election Day.
We also make this important data available for developers, nonprofits, and others to use. From
Rock the Vote
League of Women Voters
, organizations of all shapes and sizes are using the
Google Civic Information API
to create civic engagement tools for everyone. We’ve also partnered with The Pew Charitable Trusts and The Internet Association to launch
Get to the Polls
, a get out the vote campaign with Amazon Web Services, AOL, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Lyft, Meetup, reddit, SurveyMonkey, Tumblr, and Twitter to make sure registered voters in the United States have the information they need to vote on November 4.
Keep your fingers on the political pulse—and find out who won
People turn to search to find last-minute information not only about where to vote, but also about the candidates. To find out what your fellow voters are interested in, visit
to see data from
on what Americans are searching in the final hours of the election.
And after the polls close tomorrow, you can track all the real-time election results by searching [election results]. If you use Google Now, you’ll get updates on your new representatives straight from the app. Or tune in to the latest live news coverage from a wide range of news organizations at
. While you’re there, check out this
from some of YouTube’s top creators on the importance of heading to the polls.
Be informed, be prepared, and be ready to vote tomorrow!
Posted by Kate Sokolov, Program Manager, Google Politics & Elections
Through the Google lens: search trends October 23-30
October 31, 2014
Grab some candy corn and a caramel apple and settle in for a look back at another week in search trends:
Time for trick or treating
With today’s Halloween holiday, people are turning to the web to look for
and pumpkin-carving tips. Top costume searches
, Anna from
, Olaf from
(people can’t just
let it go
, can they?) and Maleficent. Whether you’re trick-or-treating or not, get the most out of the twilight hours tonight—
Daylight Saving Time
comes to an end on Sunday, which means it will be getting darker earlier. At least you get some extra sleep out of the deal.
Sports endings and beginnings
came to a thrilling conclusion on Wednesday night with Game 7 in Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, as the San Francisco Giants took home their third victory in just five (even) years. The star of the night—and the series—was undoubtedly
, the Giants’ 25-year-old ace starting pitcher who came into the game in relief in the fifth inning and more than earned both the save and his MVP trophy, capping off a postseason performance for the history books. He was the top topic in search Wednesday, with more than 1 million searches. Fellow teammates
were also on the list.
As baseball fans put their caps and gloves in storage and look longingly at the calendar for March (pitchers and catchers report in 114 days!), fans of the
are just getting going. Basketball season started this week and the web was full of searches for the
(who are welcoming hometown hero Lebron James back to the fold),
(the team LeBron left behind) and
Trouble in the skies
There was a spike in searches around
when an unmanned
erupted into flames seconds after liftoff on Tuesday. The spacecraft and its cargo were lost, and the launch pad suffered heavy damage. Also this week, there was a breakthrough in the mystery of
’s final flight. A piece of debris located on a tiny island has been identified as a piece of her lost plane.
Marvel this week revealed a lineup of nine new movies to be released over the coming years, along with some casting details. Alongside familiar faces like Captain America and Iron Man, we’ll soon see a film about the Black Panther, who will be played by
. Marvel also revealed that Sherlock star (and Internet fave)
will play Doctor Strange in the 2016 movie.
Tip of the week
Don’t get caught off-guard by the changing of the clocks. With the
, you can set a reminder to reset the clocks on your microwave, in your car and on your wall as soon as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end on Sunday. Just open the app and say “Ok Google, remind me to change the clocks on Sunday.” Now relax and enjoy that extra hour of sleep!
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched for [madison affeldt save] and [katniss everdeen costume]
Through the Google lens: search trends October 17-23
October 24, 2014
So what’s the word on the (internet) street these days? Search trends has you covered with the latest news that had everyone talking this past week.
The hard goodbye
This week, searchers paid their respects to legendary clothing designer
Oscar de La Renta
, who he passed away on Monday at the age of 82. Once called “The Sultan of Suave,” De la Renta was known for evening gowns that regularly graced the red carpets of Hollywood–and the closets of the White House. From Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, de la Renta dressed every First Lady since the 1960s.
Speaking of Washington bigwigs, we also said goodbye to
, storied editor of The Washington Post. Bradlee is remembered for his courageous journalism; during his tenure as editor of the Post, the outlet published the “Pentagon Papers” and reported on the Watergate Scandal. Always chasing a good story, Bradlee coined the term “mego” (“my eyes glaze over”) for any reporting that bored him—unknowingly foreshadowing Internet-speak.
Is that you Betty Sue?
Back from a long career hiatus,
stepped back into the spotlight in L.A. and came out with a bang—or shall we say, a new look. People were
to see Zellweger… looking a bit different from what they remember. The star’s reemergence caused a spike in searches for her hit movie
Bridget Jones’s Diary
(that was her, right? ) But Zellweger is taking the stares and comments in stride, stating she’s happy that she looks different because she’s living a happier and more fulfilling life—no shame in your game, Renee–whatever makes
you feel complete
Gone in sixty seconds
If you blinked, you already missed this trend. Toys “R” Us decided to pull a line of
action figures after an online petition asking the store to stop selling the toys received more than 9,000 signatures. So what was all the hoopla about? Susan Schrivjer, the Florida mom who started the petition, felt the dolls–which came with a plastic sack of cash and mock drugs—deviated from the company’s family values. Toys “R” Us agreed and put the figures on an “
Crime and Punishment
It was a week of crime on the trends charts as people were searching for more information about a gunman who shot and killed Cpl.
, a soldier of the Canadian army, at Ottawa's National War Memorial. This was the latest assault on a member of the Canadian armed forces in recent times and has stirred debate about
extremism in the West
...As the Black Eyed Peas would say
underway, people were ready to scream and shout for their favorite team.
San Francisco Giants
Kansas City Royals
hit a high as the two teams began their battle for The Commissioner's Trophy. And that’s not the only party going on these days.
, a Hindu holiday also known as the “Festival of Lights,” started this past Tuesday. The celebrations will continue until this Saturday—so you still have time to check out
of the stunning light displays around the world.
Tip of the week
First there was Angry Birds, then there was Candy Crush, which was swiftly followed by Flappy Bird–it’s kind of hard to stay on top of the latest video game trends. Now when you search for video games on Google, a panel will appear with all the info you need to stay in the know.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [designer for the stars] and [play ball].
An inbox that works for you
October 22, 2014
Today, we’re introducing something new. It’s called
. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.
Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.
With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks—especially when we’re working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do—rather than helping us get those things done.
If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you. Here are some of the ways Inbox is at your service:
Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.
Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.
Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do’s on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.
A sampling of Assists
And speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it's open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.
Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you’re in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.
Get started with Inbox
Starting today, we’re sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can’t arrive soon enough for you, you can email us at
to get an invitation as soon as more become available.
When you start using Inbox, you’ll quickly see that it doesn’t feel the same as Gmail—and that’s the point. Gmail’s still there for you, but
Inbox is something new
. It’s a better way to get back to what matters, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Cross-posted from the
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