Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture
Protect your Google Account with Password Alert
April 29, 2015
Would you enter your email address and password on this page?
This looks like a fairly standard login page, but it’s not. It’s what we call a “phishing” page, a site run by people looking to receive and steal your password. If you type your password here, attackers could steal it and gain access to your Google Account—and you may not even know it. This is a common and dangerous trap: the most effective phishing attacks can succeed
45 percent of the time
, nearly 2 percent of messages to Gmail are designed to trick people into giving up their passwords, and various services across the web send millions upon millions of phishing emails, every day.
To help keep your account safe, today we’re launching Password Alert, a
free, open-source Chrome extension
that protects your Google and Google Apps for Work Accounts. Once you’ve installed it, Password Alert will show you a warning if you type your Google password into a site that isn’t a Google sign-in page. This protects you from phishing attacks and also encourages you to use different passwords for different sites, a security best practice.
Here's how it works for consumer accounts. Once you’ve installed and initialized Password Alert, Chrome will remember a “scrambled” version of your Google Account password. It only remembers this information for security purposes and doesn’t share it with anyone. If you type your password into a site that isn't a Google sign-in page, Password Alert will show you a notice like the one below. This alert will tell you that you’re at risk of being phished so you can update your password and protect yourself.
Password Alert is also available to Google for Work customers, including Google Apps and Drive for Work. Your administrator can install Password Alert for everyone in the domains they manage, and receive alerts when Password Alert detects a possible problem. This can help spot malicious attackers trying to break into employee accounts and also reduce password reuse. Administrators can find more information
in the Help Center
We work to protect users from phishing attacks in a variety of ways. We’re constantly improving our
technology, which protects more than 1 billion people on Chrome, Safari and Firefox from phishing and other dangerous sites via bright, red warnings. We also offer tools like
that people can use to protect their Google Accounts and stay safe online. And of course, you can also take a
at any time to make sure the safety and security information associated with your account is current.
To get started with Password Alert, visit the
Chrome Web Store
Posted by Drew Hintz, Security Engineer and Justin Kosslyn, Google Ideas
Through the Google lens: Search trends April 17-23
April 24, 2015
Everyone wants to know what D.J. Tanner and Target are up to. Read on for all the search scoop from this week:
The earth in focus
Wednesday marked the 45th annual
celebration. People came to search to get more information on the origins of the holiday and learn about ways to conserve—oh, and
find out what animal they are
, of course. In addition to searches for
[earth day slogans] and [earth day worksheets]
, searchers asked questions like “When was the first Earth Day?”, “How do we stop climate change?” and “Is styrofoam recyclable?”
Just when we were feeling all warm and fuzzy about our planet, we got a reminder that nature can be a little scary as well as awe-inspiring. In Chile, the Calbuco volcano
for the first time in more than 40 years, sending clouds of ash into the air and causing thousands to evacuate. There were
for [chile volcano] as people sought to learn more about the eruption.
Sunday morning, people lined up outside Target stores around the country for the launch of the store’s new
collaboration. But many fans waited in vain, as the affordable line of clothes and home decor
sold out within hours
both on and offline. Shoppers vented on social media, and searches for
reached an all-time high this month. Meanwhile, persistent types have driven searches for [lilly pulitzer ebay]
up 1000% in the last seven days
But lucky Lilly fans weren’t the only ones thanking the stars for their Pulitzer this week. This year’s Pulitzer prizes were announced on Monday, leading people to the web to learn more about the
across categories ranging from fiction to investigative reporting to poetry. (And in case you were wondering: Lilly Pulitzer, who died in 2013,
was once married
to the grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, who established the eponymous Prize.)
Everywhere you look...
...there are reboots. First “
,” then “
The Muppet Show
,” and now “Fuller House.” This week Netflix announced a spin-off of the 90s family sitcom “
,” to debut in 2016, and 200,000+ searches followed. The new show will
oldest sister D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure), and several other stars from the original series are signed on to return, including
—the subject of some 50K+ searches this week—and John Stamos. Still, it’s yet to be seen whether the rest of the cast will participate or decide to
cut it out
. Though searches for
reached more than 50,000 this week, she and her sister have said that they were
by the news. So you might want to wait a bit before saying “
Tip of the week
Keep that good Earth Day momentum going. Just ask Google, “Where can I recycle electronics near me?” for a handy list of places to drop off your old wires and devices.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [gilbert blythe] and [nba playoff schedule]
Say hi to Fi: A new way to say hello
April 22, 2015
In today's mobile world, fast and reliable connectivity is almost second nature. But even in places like the U.S., where mobile connections are nearly ubiquitous, there are still times when you turn to your phone for that split-second answer and don't have fast enough speed. Or you can't get calls and texts because you left your phone in a taxi (or it got lost in a couch cushion for the day). As mobile devices continually improve how you connect to people and information, it's important that wireless connectivity and communication keep pace and be fast everywhere, easy to use, and accessible to everyone.
That's why today we’re introducing Project Fi, a program to explore this opportunity by introducing new ideas through a fast and easy wireless experience. Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what's possible. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. Two of the top mobile networks in the U.S.—Sprint and T-Mobile—are partnering with us to launch Project Fi and now you can be part of the project too.
Our three focus areas include:
Helping you get the highest-quality connection
Project Fi aims to put you on the best network wherever you go. As you move around, the best network for you might be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network. We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it's Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we've verified as fast and reliable. Once you're connected, we help secure your data through encryption. When you're not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places.
Learn more about our network of networks.
Enabling easy communication across networks and devices
Project Fi works to get technology out of the way so you can communicate through whichever network type and device you're using. Wherever you're connected to Wi-Fi—whether that's at home, your favorite coffee shop or your Batcave—you can talk and text like you normally do. If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks so your conversation doesn’t skip a beat. We also want to help phone numbers adapt to a multi-screen world. With Project Fi, your phone number lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop. So the next time you misplace your phone, you can stay connected using another screen.
Check out how it works.
Making the service experience as simple as possible
Project Fi takes a fresh approach to how you pay for wireless, manage your service, and get in touch when you need help. We offer one simple plan at one price with 24/7 support. Here's how it works: for $20 a month you get all the basics (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries), and then it's a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on. Since it's hard to predict your data usage, you'll get credit for the full value of your unused data. Let's say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You'll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use.
Get all the details about our plan.
Be part of the project from the start
We're beginning Project Fi's Early Access Program to invite people to sign up for the service. Project Fi will be available on the Nexus 6, which we developed with Motorola and is the first smartphone that supports the hardware and software to work with our service. If you live
where we have coverage
in the U.S., request an invite at
to get started.
We look forward to connecting!
Posted by Nick Fox, VP of Communications Products
Which animal are you? Take the Google Doodle Earth Day Quiz
April 22, 2015
You can search Google for answers to all kinds of animal questions:
What does an aye-aye eat?
Where do narwhals live?
How long is a toco toucan's beak?
And this Earth Day, you can turn to Google for the answer to something that you’ve always
which animal are you???
Clicking on this year’s Earth Day logo (or searching for “
Earth Day quiz
”) presents one of the Internet’s favorite pastimes: a totally scientific and 1,000% accurate personality quiz. Take the time to answer a few questions to determine and share your Earth Day animal. And, of course, you’re only a search away from learning more about nature’s precious pals and interesting inhabitants (FYI:
kakapo is the heaviest parrot
If you need proof of the accuracy of our quiz, look no further than the testimonials of some of our wildlife-loving, quiz-taking friends like
. Dame Jane Goodall took the quiz and had this to report:
Once you’ve gotten to know your deepest self (and animal avatar), we hope you’re inspired to help make a real difference this Earth Day. For the month of April, we’re partnering with our friends at
, who will match donations to the following animal-loving organizations up to $20,000. That means every $1 you donate to one of these great groups is worth $2 to protect wildlife around the world. Chip in what you can at the
Jane Goodall Institute
Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust
World Wildlife Fund
Zoological Society of London
Happy Earth Day!
Posted by Ryan Germick, Doodle Team Lead, Giant Squid
Walk in the footsteps of South Africa’s freedom fighters
April 22, 2015
On April 27, 1994, Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa in the country’s first democratic, post-Apartheid election. Known now as “
,” that date has become a symbol of hope in South Africa and around the world. To commemorate this historic day, we’ve partnered with the
Robben Island Museum
Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
to bring the story of this UNESCO World Heritage Site online for the world to explore. The
Cultural Institute online tour
allow people everywhere to see the island where Nelson Mandela and many of South Africa’s freedom fighters were imprisoned during their quest for equality.
As a symbol of South Africa’s struggle for freedom, Robben Island has become a destination for people to connect with Mandela and other freedom fighters. Standing in Mandela’s 8 x 7 foot
, it's hard to believe someone could spend 18 years here. Exploring the
, you can also see
of his cell during the time of his imprisonment. You can imagine Mandela sitting at the cramped desk, surrounded by books and papers, working towards a future of freedom for all.
Photograph of Mandela’s Cell c.1971
Robben Island was also where activist
was imprisoned, kept in solitary confinement for more than three years after taking a stand against the
, which required black citizens to carry an internal passport and severely limited their mobility. Exploring Sobukwe’s
home on Robben Island
, you can learn more about the man who didn’t let prison halt his attempts to make equality a reality. You can even view the pages of his
, which is still kept on his desk today.
Robert Sobukwe’s house of solitary confinement on Robben Island
In the new online
on the Cultural Institute platform, you can also listen to prisoners’ personal anecdotes about life at this infamous prison, including memories of where they were forced to
as well as how they studied and came together to create a unified vision for freedom in South Africa. You can see some personal items donated by former political prisoners, including a
from the their FIFA-recognized league, hand-drawn
table tennis awards
, and a
duplicate master key
fashioned by a prisoner from lead.
View of the Lime Quarry, the site of enforced prison labor at Robben Island
Once a symbol of the oppressive Apartheid regime,
is now a memorial and a reminder of the human spirit’s irrepressible search for freedom. We hope you’ll take a moment to step back in time to
explore and be inspired
by the island’s story of hope and humanity.
Posted by Luke McKend, Country Director for Google South Africa
maps and earth
Myth or monster? Explore Loch Ness with Street View
April 20, 2015
Like the world’s best legends, the
Loch Ness Monster
transcends the everyday and exists at the edges of possibility. It rises above the sightings and the hoaxes; the claims and counter-claims; the tourism, the nationalism—and even the
. It lives in the telling of stories. Whether or not you believe, most people hold a romanticized vision of the creature that, legend has it, plumbs the depths of the Loch. Affectionately known as “Nessie,” she exists in folklore, dances in childrens’ imaginations, and seeps into our society and teachings, inspiring everything from
In 1934, the “
” was released, claiming to show the monster in the misty waters of the lake. It’s the most iconic photo in the history of Loch Ness—and may be one of the most elaborate hoaxes of our age. Today, to celebrate the anniversary of its release, we're bringing 360-degree
Street View imagery of Loch Ness to Google Maps
, so you can go in search of Nessie yourself.
Loch Ness, Scotland
Sail across the freshwater lake and take in its haunting beauty, made darker still by the peat particles found in its waters. Let the Loch unlock the spirit of your imagination, where the rippling water, tricks of the light, and drifting logs bring
the legend of Nessie to life
. Adrian Shine, leader of the
Loch Ness & Morar Project
, has been engaged in fieldwork in the Highlands since 1973 and was an integral part of the Street View collection. As a true Loch Ness expert, Shine
more than 1,000 Nessie sightings and offers scientific explanations for why people claim to have seen Scotland’s mysterious cryptid.
Formed of a series of interrelated bodies of water, including the River Oich to the south and the Bona Narrows to the north, Loch Ness stretches for 23 miles southwest of Inverness. Although it’s neither the largest Scottish loch by surface area nor depth, it is the largest by volume, containing more freshwater than all the lakes of England and Wales combined. And at almost 800 feet deep, there’s an entire world below the surface, giving rise to the Nessie legend.
Underwater in Loch Ness
To take you on a tour of what lies beneath, our partners at the
Catlin Seaview Survey
dived deep under the surface of the lake, collecting imagery along the way. You can imagine Nessie nestling within these dark, peat-filled waters, waiting for the right moment to breach the surface into the Scottish sunlight above.
A diver from the Catlin Seaview Survey collecting underwater imagery of Loch Ness
Wherever you stand on the Nessie debate, the legend lives on—even in the digital era. There are
for Loch Ness than there are for other U.K. institutions like Buckingham Palace and the Peak District. And as we celebrate Loch Ness with today’s Doodle, we hope you can enjoy some of the most history-laden and breathtaking imagery the highlands have to offer with
Street View in Google Maps
By Sven Tresp, Program Manager, Street View Special Collections
Android Wear: wear what you want, get what you need
April 20, 2015
Architect and artist William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Turns out that’s also good advice for deciding what to wear. So
offers a range of watches and apps that are fashionable as well as functional.
Over the past few months we’ve added lots of ways to express your style—from
custom watch faces
rainbow of bands
. Today we’re making Android Wear more helpful as well—getting you what you need, right on your wrist.
Always-on screen, always-on apps
When you buy a watch you want it to, well, tell the time. So most Android Wear watches include an always-on screen—no tapping, twisting or shaking required to see what time it is. Now we’re expanding this option to apps, so they can stay visible as long as you need them, instead of disappearing when you drop your arm. In either case the screen is only full color when you're actively looking at it—so you get the info you need, and you save on battery life.
With GPS and offline music support, you can already leave your phone at home, then go
jogging and jamming
like normal. Now Android Wear supports watches with built-in Wi-Fi. As long as your watch is connected to a Wi-Fi network, and your phone has a data connection (wherever it is), you’ll be able to get notifications, send messages, and use all your favorite apps. And if you really do forget your phone, you can always
ask your watch
where it is.
Simpler, faster, and more smiley
When it comes to your watch, using apps should be as simple as checking the time. So today we’re making a number of Android Wear improvements to help you access your info, and express yourself more easily:
Got your hands full? You no longer need them to check your news and notifications. Instead you can just
flick your wrist
to scroll through the stream.
Your apps and contacts are now just a tap away from the watch face. Just touch the screen, and you’ll be able to start apps and send messages immediately.
: Can’t talk? Now you can draw hundreds of different emojis, directly on the watch screen. We’ll recognize your work (no art degree required) and send it via message or text.
These updates are coming to
all seven Android Wear watches
over the next few weeks, starting with the new
LG Watch Urbane
. In the meantime, there are plenty of
and lots of
beautiful watch faces
—so find your favorites, and wear what you want.
Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear
(Cross-posted to the
Official Android Blog
Through the Google lens: Search trends April 10-16
April 17, 2015
To kiss Madonna or not...that was the big question on search this week. Read on to find out more.
Best I ever had?
In the land of music festivals,
is the biggest of them all. With thousands of fans and celebrities swarming to the California desert to party, there’s bound to be a couple of surprises throughout the weekend’s shenanigans. This year, rapper Drake got a little more than he expected when he brought
on stage as a guest performer. The pop singer, never one to shy away from scandal, decided it was entirely appropriate to
with Drake–on stage, in front of everyone and, apparently, without his consent. The shocking liplock swept the Internet off its feet (mainly because Drake seemed horrified by the experience). Nonetheless, searches for Madonna hit 500,000+ and Drake reached his
in queries so far this year. But everything’s still good between the two: Drake
to the commotion on Instagram. “Don't misinterpret my shock!!” he wrote in a comment. “I got to make out with the queen Madonna and I feel 100 about that forever.”
We’re willing to bet that pro golfer
is having the best week of his life after he
the Masters Tournament and became the competition's second youngest winner after Tiger Woods at the age of 21. Spieth took home
in prize money and more than a half million searches–sounds like a good day on the greens to us.
I approve this message
Campaign season is back in full force this week. Former Secretary of State
revealed America’s worst kept secret, announcing her presidential run with a YouTube video. Meanwhile, the list of contenders for the Republican nomination grows every week —Senator
threw his name into the hat ring as well. Queries for both nominees nearly crossed a million as people turned to the web to find more details about their political positions and track records.
Back in D.C., the latest distraction came in the form of a
In a bid to stir the debate about campaign finance reform, pilot Doug Hughes (illegally) landed a gyroplane on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The stunt is
getting people talking
about how much money candidates raise and spend during elections and boosting searches for gyrocopters to an
Show me the money
Ever thought about working in the credit card business? Maybe you should reconsider your future plans. This week the CEO of
, a credit card processing company, informed his employees that he was
raising the minimum salary
to $70,000–seriously! CEO Dan Price told the media he made the change as a way to confront income inequality. Buzz for the little-known company skyrocketed since the media caught wind of the announcement, with searches topping more than 100,000.
Tip of the week
Can’t find your phone and starting to feel desperate? If you’re computer is nearby you can now ask Google to find your Android phone from your desktop. Just say, “find my phone” on Voice Search and Google will ring the phone for you. Just make sure you’ve got the latest version of the Google app installed on your device!
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched this week for [dradonna] and [can i get a raise]
The Search for Harm
April 15, 2015
In the summer of 2010, Google announced plans to acquire the flight search provider, ITA. As we said at the time, while many people buy their airline tickets online, finding the right flight at the best price can be a real hassle. Today Google Flight Search has made that much easier. Search for "Flight CDG to SFO" and you get the different options right there on the results page. It’s a great example of Google’s increasing ability to answer queries directly, saving people a lot of time and effort—because as Larry Page said over a decade ago “the perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want."
At the time of the ITA acquisition, several online travel companies—Expedia, Kayak, and Travelocity--unsuccessfully lobbied regulators in the US and the European Union to block the deal, arguing that our ability to show flight options directly would siphon off their traffic and harm competition online. Four years later it’s clear their allegations of harm turned out to be untrue. As the
recently pointed out (in an article headed “Google Flight Search, four years in: not the competition-killer critics feared”) Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity account for 95% of the US online travel market today. It’s a similar situation in Europe too, as this graph for Germany neatly shows:
Travel sites in Germany
Source: ComScore MMX and Google data (for Google), desktop traffic, unique visitors (‘000s)
We’ve seen similar
of harm from competitors in other areas. And the European Commission today confirmed that it is sending Google a Statement of Objections (SO) regarding the display and ranking of shopping results.
While Google may be the most used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways—and allegations of harm, for consumers
competitors, have proved to be wide of the mark.
More choice than ever before
In fact, people have more choice than ever before.
There are numerous other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, Quora, DuckDuckGo and a new wave of search assistants like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.
In addition, there are a ton of specialized services like Amazon, Idealo, Le Guide, Expedia or eBay. For example, Amazon, eBay, and Axel Springer’s Idealo are the three most popular shopping services in Germany.
People are increasingly using social sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to find recommendations, such as where to eat, which movies to watch or how to decorate their homes.
When it comes to news, users have many ways to reach their favorite sites. For example,
gets more than 85% of its traffic from sources other than Google and other search engines.*
Of course mobile is changing things as well. Today
7 out of every 8 minutes
on mobile devices is spent within apps—in other words consumers are going to whichever websites or apps serve them best. And they face no friction or costs in switching between them. Yelp, for example, has told investors they get over 40% of their searches direct from their mobile apps.* So while in many ways it’s flattering to be described as a gatekeeper, the facts don’t actually bear that out.
Thriving competition online
Which brings me to the competition. Companies like Axel Springer, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Yelp (all vociferous complainants in this process) have alleged that Google’s practice of including our specialized results (Flight Search, Maps, Local results, etc.) in search has significantly harmed their businesses. But their traffic, revenues and profits (as well as the pitch they make to investors) tell a very different story.
Yelp calls itself the “de facto local search engine” and has seen revenue growth of over 350% in the last four years.
TripAdvisor claims to be the Web’s largest travel brand and has nearly doubled its revenues in the last four years.
Expedia has grown its revenues by more than 67% over the same period—and recently told investors:
“We're seeing increased traffic coming through Google Hotel Finder. It is clearly getting more exposure. And in general … the product continues to improve. And Google has invested in it, we'll continue to invest in it … From our standpoint, we're happy to play in any market that Google puts out there and over a long period of time, we have proven an ability to get our fair share in the Google marketplaces.”
(Remarkable given their complaints.)
Axel Springer continues to invest in search, including the French search engine Qwant, because as the company told investors, “
there is a lot of innovation on the search market
Indeed if you look at shopping—an area where we have seen a lot of complaints and where the European Commission has focused in its Statement of Objections—it’s clear that (a) there’s a ton of competition (including from Amazon and eBay, two of the biggest shopping sites in the world) and (b) Google’s shopping results have not harmed the competition. Take a look at these graphs:
Shopping Sites in Germany
(unique visitors, ‘000s)
Shopping Sites in France
(unique visitors, ‘000s)
Shopping Sites in the UK
(unique visitors, ‘000s)
Any economist would say that you typically do not see a ton of innovation, new entrants or investment in sectors where competition is stagnating—or dominated by one player. Yet that is exactly what’s happening in our world. Zalando, the German shopping site, went public in 2014 in one of Europe’s biggest-ever tech IPOs. Companies like Facebook, Pinterest and Amazon have been investing in their own search services and search engines like Quixey, DuckDuckGo and Qwant have attracted new funding. We’re seeing innovation in voice search and the rise of search assistants—with even more to come.
It’s why we respectfully
strongly disagree with the need to issue a Statement of Objections and look forward to making our case over the weeks ahead.
Posted by Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President, Google Search
An earlier version of this post quoted traffic figures for
, researched on a third-party site.
data were for the domain guardian.co.uk, which is no longer the main domain for the paper. We’ve removed these references and we’re sorry for the error. Yelp has pointed out that they get 40% of their searches (not their traffic) direct from their mobile apps. They don’t appear to disclose their traffic numbers. We’re happy to correct the record.
Android has helped create more choice and innovation on mobile than ever before
April 15, 2015
It's hard to believe, but smartphones barely existed ten years ago. People used feature phones, which had very basic functionality, and were a nightmare for developers. The only way to build apps was device by device and platform by platform—Google had a closet full of hundreds of phones that we tested one by one each time we wanted to launch new software.
Android was born from this frustration. We hoped that by offering a great, free open-source operating system, we could turbocharge innovation by allowing manufacturers and developers to focus on what they do best. At the time, most people thought this plan was nuts.
Fast forward to today. The pace of mobile innovation has never been greater. Smartphones are being adopted globally at an increasingly fast pace, with over hundreds of millions shipped each quarter, and the average smartphone price fell 23% between
. It’s now possible to purchase a powerful smartphone, without subsidies or contracts, for under $100. And the app ecosystem has exploded, giving consumers more choice than ever before.
Android has been a key player in spurring this competition and choice, lowering prices and increasing choice for everyone (there are over
different devices available today);
It’s an open-source operating system that can be used
by anyone—that’s right, literally anyone. And it’s not just phones. Today people are building almost anything with Android—including tablets, watches, TVs, cars, and more. Some Android devices use Google services, and
Our Google Play store contains over one million apps and we paid out over $7 billion in revenue over the past year to developers and content publishers.
Apps that compete directly with Google such as Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft Office, and Expedia are easily available to Android users. Indeed many of these apps come pre-loaded onto Android devices in addition to Google apps. The recent Samsung S6 is a great example of this, including pre-installed apps from Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.
Developers have a choice of platforms and
over 80% of developers
are building apps for several different mobile operating systems.
The European Commission has asked questions about our partner agreements. It's important to remember that these are voluntary—again, you can use Android without Google—but provide real benefits to Android users, developers and the broader ecosystem.
Anti-fragmentation agreements, for example, ensure apps work across all sorts of different Android devices. (After all, it would be pretty frustrating if an app you downloaded on one phone didn’t also work on your eventual replacement phone.) And our app distribution agreements make sure that people get a great "out of the box" experience with useful apps right there on the home screen (how many of us could get through our day without maps or email?). This also helps manufacturers of Android devices compete with Apple, Microsoft and other mobile ecosystems that come preloaded with similar baseline apps. And remember that these distribution agreements are not exclusive, and Android manufacturers install their own apps and apps from other companies as well. And in comparison to Apple—the world’s most profitable (mobile) phone company—there are far fewer Google apps pre-installed on Android phones than Apple apps on iOS devices.
We are thankful for Android’s success and we understand that with success comes scrutiny. But it's not just Google that has benefited from Android's success. The Android model has let manufacturers compete on their unique innovations. Developers can reach huge audiences and build strong businesses. And consumers now have unprecedented choice at ever-lower prices. We look forward to discussing these issues in more detail with the European Commission over the months ahead.
Posted by Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering, Android
Opening the doors to the world-famous Abbey Road Studios
April 14, 2015
On a leafy street in north London, next to a
popular zebra crossing
, is one of the world’s most celebrated music landmarks: Abbey Road Studios.
Most people probably associate Abbey Road with the Beatles album of the same name. In fact, the studios have played a role in music history: if you can hum the theme to "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" or "Indiana Jones," or you’ve sung along to tracks by Pink Floyd or Oasis, or even if you own a pair of stereo headphones, then you’ve been impacted by the work of Abbey Road. Since opening in 1931, the studios have pushed the boundaries of music and sound, reinventing the recording process at every step. But until now, the famous crossing was as close as most of us could get to the studios.
Now, for the first time, the doors at Abbey Road are open to everyone. In partnership with Abbey Road Studios, we’ve created
Inside Abbey Road
, an experience that lets fans around the world step inside the studios and explore this renowned institution.
Accessible via desktop, tablet and phone, you can explore every nook and cranny of Abbey Road with more than 150 different 360-degree panoramic images. As you walk through the studios, you’ll see YouTube videos and archival images from Abbey Road’s history—right where they originally happened. You can also play with pioneering equipment in specially designed interactive gadgets, such as the J37 4-track recorder that was used to record the Beatles’
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Throughout the studios you’ll find more than 30 stories, full of anecdotes and facts about the studios, like the story of Abbey Road engineer Alan Blumlein. Alan was annoyed after a trip to the movies, because the sound in early cinemas only came from one side of the screen. He went on to invent the concept of stereo audio—and sound and screen have matched ever since. Or, if you feel like being guided around the studios, there's an audio tour you can join in every studio. Narrated by producer Giles Martin, engineer and Head of Audio Products Mirek Stiles, and broadcaster Lauren Laverne, the audio tours let you see the studios through their eyes. Think of it as your own personal tour.
Inside Abbey Road is part of our broader effort to help people experience worldwide culture and places from wherever they are, whether it’s visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Google Maps or getting up close to the brush strokes of Van Gogh in the Google Art Project. Now, we’re taking you behind the doors of one of the most famous music studios in the world. Take a step
Inside Abbey Road
and see for yourself.
Posted by Tom Seymour, Creative Lead and audiophile, Google Creative Lab London
Through the Google lens: Search trends April 3-9
April 10, 2015
If you’ve ever searched Google for the lyrics to Don McLean’s “American Pie,” this was your lucky week. The manuscript of the classic song
sold for $1.2 million this week
, prompting its writer to speak publicly for the first time ever about what it all meant—giving searchers some new answers. There was plenty else to search for this week, though, with drama taking place on the diamond, in the courtroom, and on TV screens.
Take me out to the ballgame
When one door closes, another opens. The same could be said of sporting seasons. March Madness came to a nail-biting close on Monday with a
Duke victory over Wisconsin
, and on Tuesday UConn took their third win in a row in the
. But while the Blue Devils and Huskies were celebrating, the focus shifted to
Major League Baseball
, which kicked off its new season on Sunday. As bats cracked across the country, people searched for their favorite teams, players, and game schedules.
If baseball’s not for you, maybe the grass is greener on the golf course? This year’s Masters Golf Tournament is now in full swing in Augusta, Ga. There were
more than a million searches
for the “tradition unlike any other” on Wednesday alone—and search interest in [hole in one] increased by more than 1,000 percent after six-time Masters champ Jack Nicklaus
scored an ace
at the tournament’s par-3 contest.
Crime and punishment
A white police officer in South Carolina was charged with the murder of an unarmed 50-year old black man this week. The officer, Michael T. Slager, claimed that he fired at Walter Scott because he feared for his safety, but a bystander’s video of the shooting showed Slager fire eight shots at Scott’s back as the man ran away. The video reignited debates about the use of lethal force by police, particularly against black men—a topic that has been in the news for months following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York. Search interest in police brutality increased by 150 percent, and there were more than half a million searches for
as people turned to the web to ask questions about how and why the event unfolded:
On Wednesday, a jury found
guilty on all 30 charges for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. People turned to search to learn more about the trial and what’s next for Tsarnaev, who could face the death penalty. Between the trial and the upcoming 2015 Boston Marathon, it’s no surprise the term “Boston Strong” is trending on search as well.
Drama on demand
It was a good week for TV fans. On Sunday, “
” returned for its final season, bringing people to search for the show’s history, cast and more. Then, on Tuesday, cord cutters rejoiced—and searched—when HBO introduced its long-awaited standalone streaming app
just in time for the fifth season of “Game of Thrones.” Plus, trailers dropped for the upcoming seasons of both “
” and “
Orange is the New Black
.” And finally, when news broke that David Lynch won’t be part of Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” reboot, the cast
protested with a video campaign
that just happened to overlap with
the 25th anniversary of the show’s premiere
. Whew. Now you just have to find time to watch all that.
Tip of the week
“Ok Google, when do the Nationals play?” Stay up to date with upcoming games and scores for all your favorite teams this baseball season with the
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [brian krakow mad men] and [vhs covers modern movies]
Through the Google lens: Search trends March 27 - April 2
April 3, 2015
From political drama to the mobile resurrection of Pac-Man, here’s what trended on search this week.
If you can't stand the heat...
This week, the hammer came down on the state of
after Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would have allowed businesses to refuse service to individuals based on their sexual orientation. The law quickly drew a firestorm of criticism from the public— Apple CEO
condemned it, while
spoke out against similar legislation in Arkansas. Amidst outcry against the law, searches for [indiana law] passed 200,000+ and left state officials squirming. Eventually, the attention forced Pence to pass a “
” to the bill that would prohibit businesses from using the law as a justification to deny people services based on race, disability, religion and sexual orientation.
Over in California, an ongoing four-year drought is pushing the state into a near-crisis. This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order calling for water supply agencies across the state to reduce their use by 25 percent—a first in California history. News of the mandate is drawing interest online with the term [california drought]
on the web after the announcement. People are also looking for alternative methods to get through the dry spell—searches for drought-resistant plants spiked three times in the past seven days.
The joke’s on you
The Internet is normally a funny place, but on
April Fools’ day
it takes the gags and laughs to a whole new level. Searches for the best pranks and jokes topped out at more than 200,000,
with Petco’s dog selfie stick and Cottonelle’s toilet paper for the left-handed earning
from the media. Even our own “
” got the web chomping—searches for the game soared to 2 million.
This week was no joke for comedian
, who was introduced as the new host of The Daily Show on Monday. The Twitterverse criticized the decision after discovering several old distasteful jokes the comedian had made on Twitter. Calling the tweets anti-semitic and sexist, some are already threatening to boycott the show. But not everyone is pulling out their pitchforks just yet: The network is
standing by their choice
while others are labeling the tweets a case of
. Either way, searches for the comedian hit an
Mark your calendars
As Easter and Passover begin this weekend, people turned to the web to look for desserts, recipes and activities to celebrate the holidays. Searches for Easter-related topics like egg hunts, the Easter bunny and Easter brunch trended across the U.S. And people wore their lightest blue this past Thursday to mark
Autism Awareness Day
—which made it to the top 10 on the search charts that day.
Tip of the week
Struggling with your Easter egg decorations? Tell Google to, “Show me picture of Easter eggs,” to find a little design inspiration.
Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched this week for [new host new problems] and [pranksters]
books + book search
education and research
entrepreneurs at Google
googlers and culture
maps and earth
policy and issues
recruiting and hiring
user experience and usability
youtube and video
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