Author Archives: Aaron Canada

Google Canada’s #YearInSearch: 2017

In 2017, Canadians searched “How” questions more than ever. In March, we asked How to make slime...and in April we asked “How to take slime out of the carpet?” We came together to witness a celestial natural wonder and asked How do you make solar eclipse glasses? ...And the following day (some of us) asked: Why do my eyes hurt?
Today, we’re launching Google Canada’s 17th annual Year in Search, taking a look back at the newsmakers, defining moments and, yes, those burning questions that captured our attention as global citizens, neighbours and fans.

From What does Despacito mean? (adverb: To move slowly) to figuring out whether the Instant Pot, invented in Ottawa, is everything it’s crocked up to be, our relationship with the Search bar is more intimate and more immediate than ever before - in fact, searches for “near me” reached an all time high in 2017. The Year in Search is Google’s annual analysis of trillions of searches performed globally throughout the year. The results include everything from top trending people, sports, music, politics, news and more.

Canadians came together in 2017 searching to learn, to grow and to understand. We asked tough questions like
How do wildfires start?; What Kind of cancer did Gord Downie have?; and Why are flags at half mast? And we searched for protests and movements like Why are women marching? and #metoo. Canadians remembered past icons and searched for futures ones like Meghan Markle and Denis Shapavalov.


It was a year of quirks (how long is a giraffe pregnant), firsts (Canada’s first visible minority elected as a federal party leader) and Wonder. So, before we turn the collective page on 2017, take a moment to look back at the year that was through the lens of Google’s Year in Search.

See you in 2018… and, until then, Search on!

Posted by Alexandra Hunnings, Google Canada Trends Expert

Hit that Despacito, Canada – It’s YouTube Rewind!



It’s that time again, to jump into the wayback machine for #YouTube Rewind - our annual look back at the year that was through the lens of YouTube.

This year Canadians headed to YouTube to gasp as a sea lion got a bit too frisky, to giggle as a toddler stole popcorn from Prince Harry, and to fall in love with falling in love. We gathered to watch as April the Giraffe gave birth to her baby, Tajiri, live in front of an audience of 1.2 million, setting a new record for the most popular livestream on YouTube. And we held our breath as a moose and a wolf squared off in a Northern Ontario lake.

From Eminem’s blistering political cypher at the BET Awards to some perfectly executed ping pong trick shots, these were the moments that had us watching, clicking and sharing.

Canada’s Top Trending Videos of 2017
  1. Sea lion drags girl into Steveston waters
  2. Eminem Rips Donald Trump in BET Hip Hop Awards Freestyle Cypher
  3. Animal Adventure Park Giraffe Cam
  4. Ping Pong Trick Shots 3 | Dude Perfect
  5. Northern Ontario Moose vs Wolf
  6. Woman interrupted during BBC interview
  7. Sneaky toddler steals Prince Harry’s popcorn
  8. In a Heartbeat - Animated Short Film
  9. $1 donut vs. $100 donut
  10. France 24 en direct - 24 hour livestream news channel

2017 also saw some major new records broken in music, most notably by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's massive global hit. Despacito sits at the top of 2017's top music video list -- not just as the most-viewed music video for year, but as the most viewed YouTube video of all time with 4.4 billion views.

Justin Bieber set new records this year - his remix of Despacito, along with his appearance on DJ Khaled’s I’m The One mean that the Biebs can now lay claim to 4 videos that have broken the one billion view threshold. Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do set the all-time record for most views in the first 24 hours, earning 43.2 million views in its first day. Among the top ten debuts in YouTube history, seven were released in 2017.

Canada’s Top Music Videos of 2017
  1. Luis Fonsi - Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee
  2. Ed Sheeran - Shape of You [Official Video]
  3. DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne - I’m the One
  4. Bruno Mars - That’s What I Like
  5. Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.
  6. Taylor Swift - Look What You Made Me Do
  7. The Weeknd - Reminder
  8. Zedd & Alessia Cara - Stay (Lyric Video)
  9. Cardi B - Bodak Yellow 
  10. Shawn Mendes - There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back

When it came to movies, we saw studios get even more creative with their pre-marketing campaigns, with both Thor: Ragnorok and Deadpool 2 releasing a series of short films on YouTube that played up their comedic main characters. But as we wait for the release of the next instalment of Star Wars on December 15, the teaser trailer for this highly anticipated film claims the top spot in this year’s ranking.


Canada’s Top Movie Trailers of 2017
  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Official Teaser
  2. IT - Official Teaser Trailer
  3. Thor: Ragnarok Teaser Trailer
  4. Black Panther Teaser Trailer
  5. DEADPOOL 2 Teaser Trailer (2018)
  6. JUSTICE LEAGUE - Official Trailer 1
  7. THE BOSS BABY “Diapers” Trailer Tease (Animation, 2017)
  8. THE EMOJI MOVIE Trailer 1 - 3 (2017)
  9. BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Trailer
  10. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - Official Trailer #2 

YouTube has also changed the game when it comes to ads - in the past five years, ads have gone from something you fast forward to something you choose to watch. The YouTube Canada Ads Leaderboard showcases the most creative ads that Canadians chose to watch during the year. The Top Ads are selected based on an algorithm that factors in metrics including views, watch time and shares.


YouTube Canada Ads Leaderboard 2017
  1. The Canadian Dream - Chevrolet Canada (Creative - McCann, Media - Dentsu Aegis Network)
  2. SickKids VS: MomStrong - SickKids (Creative - Cossette, Media - Cossette)
  3. #MostCanadian Airline Ever - WestJet (Creative - In-house, Media - Media Experts)
  4. The Great Canadian Chase - Coca-Cola Canada (Creative - Sid Lee, Media - Carat)
  5. Nintendo Switch - Nintendo (Creative - Leo Burnett, Media - Zenith)
  6. Born the Hard Way - Budweiser (Creative - Anomaly, Media - UM)
  7. Worlds Apart - Heineken (Creative - Publicis)
  8. Hero’s Journey - Kia Motors America (Creative - Innocean, Media - Innocean)
  9. Bringing Canadian Families Together - Catelli Pasta (Creative - Environics, Media - Bam Strategy)
  10. The Rock and Siri Dominate the Day - Apple Canada (Creative - TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Media - OMD)

Head to the YouTube Rewind channel to check all the videos and relive the best of 2017!


Posted by Nicole Bell, YouTube Canada

Introducing apps for the Canadian Google Assistant


Whether you’re planning the perfect holiday date night, mapping your travels or helping the kids with their homework, your Google Assistant is always ready to help. You can ask about your day or your commute, explore your favourite topics, control your entertainment and smart lights, and get answers to hundreds of small and big questions during your day.
But to be truly helpful, your Google Assistant should be able to connect you across the apps and services in your life. Independent developers and companies can already build apps for the Google Assistant through Actions on Google in English and French, and starting today as a user, you’ll be able to access more of your favourite services and content directly through your Google Assistant.


Now, Canadians have easy and fast access to all types of apps. Want to finally crown the hockey trivia champ amongst your family or friends? Say “Ok Google, Drop the Puck” to play a game that tests your hockey knowledge. If you’re looking to craft a perfect cocktail, ask “Ok Google, talk to Tender”. Find a holiday gift for everyone on your list with “Ok Google, talk to Best Buy Canada”.

Once an app is available with the Google Assistant, you can just tell your Assistant to connect you with the app with a simple voice command – whether it’s on Google Home Mini, Google Home, Pixel, Android phones or iPhones. No downloading necessary.

Stay tuned as more local Canadian apps rollout in English and French, and dive in starting today by trying one of the many apps already available. To explore the latter, launch the app directory in the Google Assistant on your phone (you can find it at the Explore tab by tapping on the blue button on the right within the Assistant experience on your phone) or check out the Google Home app.

For anyone who wants to build for the Google Assistant, resources such as developer tools, documentation and a simulator are available on the Actions on Google developer website, making it easy to create, test and deploy apps. Developers can read more here.

We hope that this growing platform will give more Canadians the help they need, at home or on-the-go – whether you’re kickstarting your morning or unwinding in the evening.  With our partners, we look forward to exploring and delivering these new possibilities for the Canadian Google Assistant.

Creativity without Compromise: Meet YouTube’s Women to Watch

The entertainment industry has long depended on gatekeepers - the producers, casting directors and executives who select which women will have the opportunity to tell their stories and share the limelight. But that is changing, as a whole generation of creative women are blazing new trails, seizing the opportunities offered by open platforms to do it their own way and on their own terms. 

At YouTube, we believe that everyone should have a chance to share their story, and that creative freedom leads to new voices, formats and possibilities. By radically lowering barriers to entry and eliminating conventional gatekeepers and tastemakers, YouTube lets this generation of women invent their own roles and set their own boundaries. With a potential audience of more than one billion fans around the world, women have a tremendous opportunity to build a career that gives them ultimate creative control, and maybe even build a media empire of their own.

YouTube’s Women to Watch is a new initiative that will showcase the incredible women who are redefining entertainment on their own terms.

These visionary creators have amassed millions of fans and are shaping our culture in new ways. They are everyday women with an extraordinary vision. They are talented, hilarious and above all, real.

Meet YouTube’s Women to Watch

How to Cake It: Yolanda Gampp, Connie Contardi and Jocelyn Mercer collectively run one of the most successful food channels on YouTube. With Yolanda’s extraordinary talent as a baker matched to Connie and Jocelyn’s decades of experience as video producers, How to Cake It has become a global media empire that includes their wildly popular videos released every Tuesday, a new cookbook and a line of baking tools. A true partnership of equals, the How to Cake It team put the emphasis on “we” instead of “she”.

hot for food: In just a few short years Lauren Toyota has gone from MuchMusic VJ to Canada’s #1 vegan influencer, with the goal of making vegan food mainstream. A self-taught chef, Lauren is the creative powerhouse behind hot for food, which she started as a one-woman creative outlet for her love of vegan cooking. In addition to her soon-to-be-released cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes To Feed Your Face, Lauren has also expanded with a vlog channel, Lauren in Real Life.

The Domestic Geek: Sara Lynn Cauchon started The Domestic Geek as a personal creative outlet while working a day job as a television producer. She discovered a place where she didn’t need to compromise and could cook the dishes she wanted to and have full creative control of the production process. As her channel grew in popularity, she realized that her side hustle was offering her more enjoyment and satisfaction than her day job. Now she employs four full-time staff members and calls herself the “accidental entrepreneur”.

Aysha Abdul: Aysha began her journey on YouTube while she was still in school, as a way to try out her favourite beauty and fashion looks. Over time, she realized that she was offering something that no one in mainstream media was offering - representation for black Muslim women who don’t often see themselves reflected in traditional beauty publications. Aysha loves the freedom that eponymous YouTube channel gives her to represent herself as a black Muslim women in exactly the way she wants to be seen. In just a few months, she has amassed a dedicated audience and is redefining what it means to be beautiful.

Cat & Nat: Motherhood is tough and there is so much that women don’t know as they start this lifelong journey. YouTube offered them a place where they could be fully themselves - unvarnished and honest about their challenges and triumphs. Neither Cat nor Nat had any experience as video producers before they began filming their infamous #MomTruth videos in their car. Real moms, real stories - and a real friendship between two hilarious and honest women.

RachhLoves: As the beauty and the brains behind both the RachhLoves makeup channel and RachhLovesLife parenting and lifestyle channel, Rachel Cooper has her hands full! She started the original RachhLoves channel as a creative outlet from her marketing job. As her audience and community grew, she found that the creative freedom to make videos exactly the way she wanted was liberating and she hasn’t looked back since.

Lauren Messiah: One of LA’s most sought-after personal stylists, Lauren Messiah first turned to YouTube as a place to get her name out, but it quickly morphed into something much more meaningful. As she began to get questions from her audience about simple fashion questions, Lauren realized that women were confused by the unattainable images in fashion magazines, and just wanted to know honest and useful fashion advice that would help them look their best. Now her media empire spans her Personal Style University, The Book of Style and her 3 x weekly videos on YouTube, where she dispenses real-life style advice for real women.

Elle Lindquist: Mom, parenting, and lifestyle vlogger Elle Lindquist knows better than most that women in traditional media are held to unrealistic expectations. She discovered YouTube one day when looking for help with a makeup question and was blown away by the variety of faces and body types making beauty videos. She joined the community and began to upload her own videos. Her family vlog celebrates the hard work that goes into being the architect of the life you want. While she has been encouraged to pitch her vlog as a reality television show, Elle relishes the creative control she has as the producer of her videos, along with the flexibility that comes from working at home with her kids.

April Wilkerson: A self-taught woodworker, April Wilkerson started her YouTube channel as a way to share her projects with others. As her audience grew, she began to realize that YouTube offered a way for her to turn her passion into a thriving business and two years ago she quit her day job to become a full-time woodworker on YouTube. The freedom to create whatever she wants is what drives her - given the length of time and intensive commitment each project requires, April doesn’t take commissions and she doesn’t listen to the thousands of opinions about what she should make or what it should look like. She follows her own creative spirit and builds exactly what she wants, without compromising her vision.

Hot & Flashy: Angie is beauty vlogger with a twist - she’s focused on the needs of women 50+. If you’re looking to deal with wrinkles, gray hair and hot flashes while still looking stylish, you need look no further than Hot & Flashy. Angie is putting a real face on fashion and beauty trends for women over 50, sharing her how-to’s and product tutorials that consider the needs of women with mature skin. She’s a godsend to her community of fans, who can’t find this kind of advice anywhere else.

Creativity without Compromise: Meet YouTube’s Women to Watch

The entertainment industry has long depended on gatekeepers - the producers, casting directors and executives who select which women will have the opportunity to tell their stories and share the limelight. But that is changing, as a whole generation of creative women are blazing new trails, seizing the opportunities offered by open platforms to do it their own way and on their own terms. 

At YouTube, we believe that everyone should have a chance to share their story, and that creative freedom leads to new voices, formats and possibilities. By radically lowering barriers to entry and eliminating conventional gatekeepers and tastemakers, YouTube lets this generation of women invent their own roles and set their own boundaries. With a potential audience of more than one billion fans around the world, women have a tremendous opportunity to build a career that gives them ultimate creative control, and maybe even build a media empire of their own.

YouTube’s Women to Watch is a new initiative that will showcase the incredible women who are redefining entertainment on their own terms.

These visionary creators have amassed millions of fans and are shaping our culture in new ways. They are everyday women with an extraordinary vision. They are talented, hilarious and above all, real.

Meet YouTube’s Women to Watch

How to Cake It: Yolanda Gampp, Connie Contardi and Jocelyn Mercer collectively run one of the most successful food channels on YouTube. With Yolanda’s extraordinary talent as a baker matched to Connie and Jocelyn’s decades of experience as video producers, How to Cake It has become a global media empire that includes their wildly popular videos released every Tuesday, a new cookbook and a line of baking tools. A true partnership of equals, the How to Cake It team put the emphasis on “we” instead of “she”.

hot for food: In just a few short years Lauren Toyota has gone from MuchMusic VJ to Canada’s #1 vegan influencer, with the goal of making vegan food mainstream. A self-taught chef, Lauren is the creative powerhouse behind hot for food, which she started as a one-woman creative outlet for her love of vegan cooking. In addition to her soon-to-be-released cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes To Feed Your Face, Lauren has also expanded with a vlog channel, Lauren in Real Life.

The Domestic Geek: Sara Lynn Cauchon started The Domestic Geek as a personal creative outlet while working a day job as a television producer. She discovered a place where she didn’t need to compromise and could cook the dishes she wanted to and have full creative control of the production process. As her channel grew in popularity, she realized that her side hustle was offering her more enjoyment and satisfaction than her day job. Now she employs four full-time staff members and calls herself the “accidental entrepreneur”.

Aysha Abdul: Aysha began her journey on YouTube while she was still in school, as a way to try out her favourite beauty and fashion looks. Over time, she realized that she was offering something that no one in mainstream media was offering - representation for black Muslim women who don’t often see themselves reflected in traditional beauty publications. Aysha loves the freedom that eponymous YouTube channel gives her to represent herself as a black Muslim women in exactly the way she wants to be seen. In just a few months, she has amassed a dedicated audience and is redefining what it means to be beautiful.

Cat & Nat: Motherhood is tough and there is so much that women don’t know as they start this lifelong journey. YouTube offered them a place where they could be fully themselves - unvarnished and honest about their challenges and triumphs. Neither Cat nor Nat had any experience as video producers before they began filming their infamous #MomTruth videos in their car. Real moms, real stories - and a real friendship between two hilarious and honest women.

RachhLoves: As the beauty and the brains behind both the RachhLoves makeup channel and RachhLovesLife parenting and lifestyle channel, Rachel Cooper has her hands full! She started the original RachhLoves channel as a creative outlet from her marketing job. As her audience and community grew, she found that the creative freedom to make videos exactly the way she wanted was liberating and she hasn’t looked back since.

Lauren Messiah: One of LA’s most sought-after personal stylists, Lauren Messiah first turned to YouTube as a place to get her name out, but it quickly morphed into something much more meaningful. As she began to get questions from her audience about simple fashion questions, Lauren realized that women were confused by the unattainable images in fashion magazines, and just wanted to know honest and useful fashion advice that would help them look their best. Now her media empire spans her Personal Style University, The Book of Style and her 3 x weekly videos on YouTube, where she dispenses real-life style advice for real women.

Elle Lindquist: Mom, parenting, and lifestyle vlogger Elle Lindquist knows better than most that women in traditional media are held to unrealistic expectations. She discovered YouTube one day when looking for help with a makeup question and was blown away by the variety of faces and body types making beauty videos. She joined the community and began to upload her own videos. Her family vlog celebrates the hard work that goes into being the architect of the life you want. While she has been encouraged to pitch her vlog as a reality television show, Elle relishes the creative control she has as the producer of her videos, along with the flexibility that comes from working at home with her kids.

April Wilkerson: A self-taught woodworker, April Wilkerson started her YouTube channel as a way to share her projects with others. As her audience grew, she began to realize that YouTube offered a way for her to turn her passion into a thriving business and two years ago she quit her day job to become a full-time woodworker on YouTube. The freedom to create whatever she wants is what drives her - given the length of time and intensive commitment each project requires, April doesn’t take commissions and she doesn’t listen to the thousands of opinions about what she should make or what it should look like. She follows her own creative spirit and builds exactly what she wants, without compromising her vision.

Hot & Flashy: Angie is beauty vlogger with a twist - she’s focused on the needs of women 50+. If you’re looking to deal with wrinkles, gray hair and hot flashes while still looking stylish, you need look no further than Hot & Flashy. Angie is putting a real face on fashion and beauty trends for women over 50, sharing her how-to’s and product tutorials that consider the needs of women with mature skin. She’s a godsend to her community of fans, who can’t find this kind of advice anywhere else.

A photo book for everyone on your list

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for that special someone? With photo books from Google Photos now available in Canada, you can share your favourite moments in a printed photo album, whether it’s the first dance on your wedding day or all the family road trips you took over the years.

Holidays are a busy time and printing albums is hard work—you have to hunt across different devices and accounts, select the best from among the hundreds of shots, upload to a printing service, and arrange dozens of pages.

Now with Google Photos, what used to take hours in front of a computer takes just a few minutes. Photo books are incredibly easy to make—even on your phone. They’re beautiful, high quality, with a clean and modern design. And thanks to our powerful search technology, your photos are already organized by the people, places, and things that matter.
Through our guided book experience, you can select the people you want to make a photo book of, be it a special someone, family, or friends, and Google Photos will find the best shots for you and guide you to make a book—removing duplicates and images of low quality. All that’s left for you to do is make a few tweaks and place your order.

We may even suggest photo books for you by using machine learning to select your best photos. Simply open your Google Photos app, click on the three stacked lines, and go to photo books to create a book or see pre-made and customizable books created just for you, like your trip to Banff or your best memories from the summer.
Photo books are rolling out today in Canada in English and French on web, Android and iOS, starting at just $17.99 for a 20-page softcover book and $27.99 for a hardcover book.

This holiday season, give a photo book of those special moments in your life as the perfect personalized gift.

Go North to unlock the potential of AI

The 20th century brought about incredible changes to the way we work and live. There was the combustion engine, the telephone, the assembly line and, of course, the Internet. Today artificial intelligence and machine learning is expected to bring similarly profound changes. And Canada stands poised to lead the world into this new era.

Imagine you could take a picture of a mole on your arm and your smartphone could assist your dermatologist in diagnosing if it’s malignant. This is not science fiction, it’s a system Vancouver's MetaOptima is developing today - and it’s powered by artificial intelligence.

From diagnosing cancer to reducing data centre energy consumption, artificial intelligence offers a new tool for tackling real-world challenges. Today, at Google Canada’s annual Go North summit, we’re bringing together AI leaders from across Canada and around the world to help Canadian industry better understand the vast potential of this technology to transform their business, shape future innovations and improve our world.

Follow along on Twitter @GoogleCanada or tune-in to the Go North livestream (starting at 9am ET) featuring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt; founder of DeepMind, Demis Hassabis; OpenAI’s Shivon Zilis; YouTuber Taryn Southern who uses AI to compose music; Geoffrey Hinton and many more including the founder of MetaOptima, Dr. Maryam Sadeghi.
Go North will explore Canada’s success in building the superclusters of investment and innovation that have sprung up around the work of Yoshua Bengio in Montreal, Geoffrey Hinton in Toronto and Rich Sutton in Edmonton -- global leaders whose research underpins many of the advances we’re seeing in AI today. The conference will highlight the amazing advancements happening here in Canada and the opportunity for businesses to leverage the country’s rich research pedigree and to unlock the potential of AI. When it comes to artificial intelligence, Canada is having a moment - and we’ll seize it at Go North.

Making search results more local and relevant

When you’re searching on Google, we aim to provide the most useful results for your query. Today, around one in five searches on Google is related to location, so providing locally relevant search results is an essential part of serving you the most accurate information.


In order to provide this optimal experience, your location determines the country service you receive results for
across Google Search and Maps. Historically, these services have been labeled and accessed via
country code top level domain names (ccTLD) such as [google.ng for Nigeria] or [google.com.br for Brazil].
You may also have typed in the relevant ccTLD in your browser.


Today, we’ve updated the way we label country services on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop
Search and Maps. Now the choice of country service will no longer be indicated by domain. Instead, by default,
you’ll be served the country service that corresponds to your location. So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically
receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically
to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian
country service.




If for some reason you don't see the right country when you're browsing, you can still go into settings and select
the correct country service you want to receive. Typing the relevant ccTLD in your browser will no longer bring you
to the various country services—this preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom
of the search results page, you can clearly see which country service you are currently using.




It’s important to note that while this update will change the way Google Search and Maps services are labeled, it
won’t affect the way these products work, nor will it change how we handle obligations under national law. This
update will help ensure that you get the most relevant results based on your location and is consistent with how
Google already manages our services across a number of our other platforms, including YouTube, Blogger, Google
Earth and Gmail, among others.

We’re confident this change will improve your Search experience, automatically providing you with the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location.

Evelyn Kao, Product Manager

Chromebooks are at the head of the class in Canada’s K-12 schools

Author: Bram Bout, Director, Google for Education

Summary: Chromebooks are now the top-selling device to schools in Canada.

Around the world, education has undergone a technological revolution. Cloud-connected devices and learning applications are shaping new ways of teaching and learning. Across Canada, school districts are using Chromebooks and G Suite for Education to expand learning opportunities for students from diverse communities and backgrounds. And now, Futuresource has reported that Chromebooks are the number-one-selling educational device for Canadian K12 schools.
With this news, Canada joins the U.S., Sweden, and New Zealand, where Chromebooks are also the top devices used in classrooms. Futuresource Associate Director Mike Fisher says that the offering of Chromebooks, combined with productivity tools and a management console for IT staff, means that “a growing number of schools are turning to Google when bringing technology into the classroom.”

CB_canada.png

Here are a few examples of how districts across Canada are using Google’s educational tools:

Giving schools more choice and flexibility

Toronto District School Board, the largest district in Canada, leaves technology purchases up to individual schools. Chromebook usage has soared across the district to 20,000 devices since the first pilot purchases in early 2015. “Hundreds of schools are purchasing Chromebooks out of local school technology budgets,” says Kevin Bradbeer, the school board’s senior manager of client relations. “We're seeing grassroots decisions to choose this platform over three or four other choices.”

Both students and teachers appreciate the quickness of Chromebooks. Bradbeer says students power up their Chromebooks in seconds, so they can get right to work in class.
Canada photo #1.JPG
Students collaborating on Chromebooks at an elementary-junior high school in Edmonton.
Affordable devices that bring powerful computing to all students

The Upper Grand School District Board, in Guelph, Ontario, purchased 4,000 Chromebooks in 2013 for special-education students, but found that other students consistently borrowed the Chromebooks to bring into their classrooms. Bill Mackenzie, an Upper Grand information and communication technology consultant says that special-needs students are the “tip of the spear for technology, because if it helps them, it will help everybody.” The district now has 15,000 Chromebooks, about one for every two students, and the number continues to increase.
Edmonton Public Schools has nearly 100,000 students. About 25% of students are immigrants or refugees and part of the district’s diverse English Language Learner population. “Equity of access to technology is a challenge, for sure,” says Terry Korte, a supervisor in District Technology. “We try to avoid the fads and stick with the things that make the biggest difference for teachers and their students.” Chromebooks have helped to make that difference in Edmonton since 2012.
The large Alberta district now has over 46,000 Chromebooks, which was the school’s catalyst for moving into the cloud and using G Suite for Education. “Our goal is to have technology in the hands of students when and where they need it,” Korte adds.

Easy access to a world of apps and content

From a teacher’s perspective, Chromebooks help students learn more effectively by giving them access to a world of educational content. “Chromebooks are inherently networked, so students can find their own way to learn specific concepts online,” says Lance Pedersen, a computer and technology studies teacher at Alberta’s McNally School.

At Edmonton’s Queen Elizabeth School, educators take advantage of the myriad of learning opportunities that Chromebooks and G Suite for Education provide, whether they’re teaching French or guitar.

Canada photo #2 (1).JPG
Students at an Edmonton elementary-junior high school code with Makey Makey on Chromebooks

These Canadian districts all cite the similar advantages that make Chromebooks and G Suite for Education the top choice for classrooms across the country. “When it comes to cost, performance, and reliability,” Toronto’s Bradbeer says, “Chromebooks really are in the sweet spot of all three.”

The best hardware, software and AI—together

Today, we introduced our second generation family of consumer hardware products that are coming to Canada, all made by Google: new Pixel phones, Google Home Mini and Max, an all new Pixelbook, Google Pixel Buds, and an updated Daydream View headset. We see tremendous potential for devices to be helpful, make your life easier, and even get better over time when they’re created at the intersection of hardware, software and advanced artificial intelligence (AI). 

Why Google? 
These days many devices—especially smartphones—look and act the same. That means in order to create a meaningful experience for users, we need a different approach. A year ago, Sundar outlined his vision of how AI would change how people would use computers. And in fact, AI is already transforming what Google’s products can do in the real world. For example, swipe typing has been around for a while, but AI lets people use Gboard to swipe-type in two languages at once. Google Maps uses AI to figure out what the parking is like at your destination and suggest alternative spots before you’ve even put your foot on the gas. But, for this wave of computing to reach new breakthroughs, we have to build software and hardware that can bring more of the potential of AI into reality—which is what we’ve set out to do with this year’s new family of products.

Hardware, built from the inside out 
We’ve designed and built our latest hardware products around a few core tenets. First and foremost, we want them to be radically helpful. They’re fast, they’re there when you need them, and they’re simple to use. Second, everything is designed for you, so that the technology doesn’t get in the way and instead blends into your lifestyle. Lastly, by creating hardware with AI at the core, our products can improve over time. They’re constantly getting better and faster through automatic software updates. And they’re designed to learn from you, so you’ll notice features—like the Google Assistant—get smarter and more assistive the more you interact with them.

You’ll see this reflected in our 2017 lineup of new Made by Google products:

  • The Pixel 2 has the best camera of any smartphone, again, along with a gorgeous display and augmented reality capabilities. Pixel owners get unlimited storage for their photos and videos, and an exclusive preview of Google Lens, which uses AI to give you helpful information about the things around you. 
  • Google Home Mini brings the Assistant to more places throughout your home, with a beautiful design that fits anywhere. And Max, which is coming later to Canada, is our biggest and best-sounding Google Home device, powered by the Assistant. And with AI-based Smart Sound, Max has the ability to adapt your audio experience to you—your environment, context, and preferences. 
  • With Pixelbook, we’ve reimagined the laptop as a high-performance Chromebook, with a versatile form factor that works the way you do. It’s the first laptop with the Assistant built in, and the Pixelbook Pen makes the whole experience even smarter. 
  • Our new Pixel Buds combine Google smarts and the best digital sound. You’ll get elegant touch controls that put the Assistant just a tap away, and they’ll even help you communicate in a different language. 
  • The updated Daydream View is the best mobile virtual reality (VR) headset on the market, and the simplest, most comfortable VR experience. 

Assistant, everywhere 
Across all these devices, you can interact with the Google Assistant any way you want—talk to it with your Google Home or your Pixel Buds, squeeze your Pixel 2, or use your Pixelbook’s Assistant key or circle things on your screen with the Pixelbook Pen. Wherever you are, and on any device with the Assistant, you can connect to the information you need and get help with the tasks to get you through your day. No other assistive technology comes close, and it continues to get better every day.

Google’s hardware business is just getting started, and we’re committed to building and investing for the long run. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to our second-generation family of products that truly brings together the best of Google software, thoughtfully designed hardware with cutting-edge AI. We hope you enjoy using them as much as we do.

Availability
Here’s some more info on where and when you can get our new hardware in Canada. Visit The Google Store for more info.

  • Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are available for pre-order today, starting at $899, on The Google Store, Bell, Best Buy Canada, Fido, Freedom Mobile, Koodo, Rogers, The Source, TELUS, Tbooth wireless, Walmart, WIRELESSWAVE, Videotron, and Virgin. 
  • Pixel Buds will be available later this year for $219 on The Google Store and Best Buy Canada. 
  • Pixelbook is available in three configurations starting at $1299, so you can choose the processing power, memory and storage you want. The Pixelbook Pen is $129. Both will be available for pre-order today in Canada, with the exception of Quebec, and on sale at The Google Store and select retailers, including Best Buy Canada. We’re working to bring Pixelbook to Quebec in the future. 
  • Google Home Mini is available for pre-order today for $79 on The Google Store, Best Buy Canada and select retailers. 
  • The new Google Daydream View is available for pre-order today for $139 on The Google Store and select retailers. 

Posted by Rick Osterloh, SVP, Hardware