Category Archives: Google Canada Blog

News and notes from Google Canada

Google Canada’s #YearInSearch: 2018

We searched to cheer. We searched to celebrate. We searched to give back.

In 2018, Canadians searched for updates from half a world away as Tessa and Scott skated into Canadian hearts and the Olympic record books in Pyeongchang. We asked Google "How to make a fascinator?" as we watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot. We wanted to know "How to donate?" when the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy shook the nation. Through the highs and the lows, people came to Search in 2018 to learn more, and to understand.

You can check out the complete lists from Canada and around the globe at And here are the top 10 Google Searches in Canada for 2018:
1. World Cup
2. Winter Olympic Games
3. Humboldt Broncos
4. Anthony Bourdain
5. Kate Spade
6. Mac Miller
7. Winnipeg Jets
8. Black Panther
9. Avicii
10. Demi Lovato

Sports dominated Canada’s Year in Search in 2018. Global competitions brought the world - and Canada together - as we turned to Google for updates on the World Cup and the Winter Olympics. Canada’s enduring love of all things hockey was reflected as searches for the Winnipeg Jets spiked across the country during their playoff run. And the will he? / won’t he? contract saga of William Nylander helped land the young Toronto Maple Leafs among the top trending athletes of the year.

In entertainment, Black Panther pounced on the box office and Google search activity, while the release of Bohemian Rhapsody sent Canadians searching for footage of 1985’s Live Aid concert and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Meanwhile, the top trending Canadian in this year’s list of musicians was Quebecois singer Hubert Lenoir who was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.

From the heartbreak of losing Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade to the heroes of the cave rescue in Thailand, the 2018 Year in Search reflects back to Canadians another eventful twelve months through the lens of Google Search. So, before we jump into another year, take a moment to look back at the searches that captured our attention and our hearts in 2018.

Posted by Tatiana Gianini, Google Trends Expert

Surprise, baby – it’s YouTube Rewind 2018!

This year, we danced our hearts out to Drake, yodeled in Walmart, and played a lot of Fortnite. As we prepare to head into 2019, it's time for our annual look back at the year that was on YouTube.

 2018 was marked by surprising celebrity moments. In February, Kylie Jenner surprised the world with To Our Daughter, an 11-minute film detailing her pregnancy and the birth of baby Stormi, which was watched over 53 million times on its way to becoming YouTube's global #1 Top Trending Video of 2018. Will Smith vlogged all over the world. Oh, and he also jumped out of a helicopter over the Grand Canyon on a dare. Rihanna started her own makeup tutorial series. And of course, Beyoncé's livestream from Coachella gave fans a front-row seat for #Beychella.

Canadian creators were front and centre on our list of the Top Trending Videos in Canada - AsapSCIENCE once again solved the internet’s latest mystery -- seriously, is it Yanny or Laurel?, Ryan Reynolds took a DIY approach to marketing Deadpool 2, and the EhBee Family showed off some serious Fortnite dance moves.

We cried along with YouTube’s “Brad and Angelina” as Liza Koshy and David Dobrik shared the news of their breakup, we celebrated with Meghan and Harry on their wedding day, and we cheered on Rocket Man as he blasted into space.

Here are the moments that had Canada watching, commenting and sharing in 2018:

Canada’s Top Trending Videos 

On the music side, the year mostly belonged to two artists. One gave away nearly $1M in his video, the other got down in living colour with Bruno Mars. That’s right - Drake and Cardi B ruled Canada’s earbuds in 2018, both appearing on our list of the top videos multiple times.

Canada’s Top Music Videos

 Check out the Rewind site to get to know the creators and artists who shaped popular culture in 2018!

 posted by 

Live from the North Pole: what’s new at Santa’s Village

It’s the 15th year of Santa’s Village, an interactive holiday hub where you can play games to learn coding skills, create original artwork, exercise your geographic chops, and more. Here’s what’s new this year:

Entertain yours-elf with a new game🧝

With our Elf Maker, you can customize an elf from head to toe to make sure they’re stylin’ for all of the holiday shindigs happening on the North Pole this year. Choose an outfit, accessories, hairstyle, and even facial hair to add some flair to your little friend.

Giving you a better way to follow Santa 📍
One of the hardest parts about being married to Santa is that he always forgets to let me know where he is. This year, I’ve enlisted our elite team of cartographelves to let everyone know where he is as soon as he takes off from the North Pole. In the days leading up to Christmas, Santa will share his location with you on Google Maps so you can see his travels as he moves across the map. Follow along with him there or on our Santa Tracker dashboard on December 24—so you don’t miss his visit.

Going global for the holiday season 🌎
From beaches to blizzards, you can get a better glimpse into how people all over the world are spending the holidays. You’ll see holiday photos from Local Guides and you can test your knowledge of holiday traditions with a festive quiz powered by Google Earth and Street View. Curious about how to say “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy New Year” in other languages? Check out our Translations game to take your snowmenclature to new heights.

These and other educational games, lesson plans, PDFs and instructional videos can be found in Santa’s Village starting today. If you want more holiday fun, make sure to tell the Google Assistant to tell you a holiday story or starting December 23, ask, “Hey Google, where’s Santa?”. And make sure to keep things festive with new Gboard holiday stickers found on iOS and Android, and in the Santa Tracker Android App.

From the Claus family to yours, have a very happy holiday. And remember: you’re sleighing it. 👊

Posted by Mrs. Claus, VP of Product, Santa's Village and Santa Tracker

Introducing new Google Assistant experiences for families

Whether at home on a snowy day or getting together with the family over the holidays, your Google Assistant provides an easy way to learn and have fun as a family. Today, we’re introducing new experiences, designed specifically for families with kids so they can learn, play and imagine together.

The Wiggles - Choose your own adventure with Emma 
Families will be able to join The Wiggles, from the hit TV show on Treehouse, for a choose your own adventure, a new custom Wiggles experience commissioned by Google exclusively for the Assistant. Follow Emma on a fun, Wiggly adventure as she travels through town to find friends to bring to her concert. Along the journey, kids can dance, play games and listen to fun songs with The Wiggles. You can go on the Wiggly adventure simply by saying “Hey Google, talk to the Wiggles” on any Google Home, Google Home Mini or compatible smartphone. Available in English only. 

CBC Kids News 
Now, you can listen to the latest news stories relevant to Canadian kids brought to you by the CBC Kids News team. Just say "Hey Google, Play CBC Kids News," for daily local, national, and international stories that are relevant to Canadian kids with a focus on media literacy. Available in English only. 

Boukili Audio 
Boukili Audio, from TFO, is an interactive activity that tests listening and comprehension of stories on animals, nutrition, music, travels and a ton of other captivating subjects, all in French. After listening to stories, Boukili Audio puts your child's skills to the test with a series of multiple choice questions to evaluate their French language comprehension and their memory, all while having fun. Just say “Ok Google, Parler avec Boukili Audio” to choose from over 120 interactive books, over 70 of which are exclusive to the Assistant. Available in French only. 

Call Santa
Just in time for the holidays, your Google Assistant can connect families to the North Pole, where Santa is busy rehearsing for a musical concert. Just say “Hey Google, call Santa,” to get in touch with St. Nick himself. Available in English only. 

Hatchimals Character Alarms - coming in 2019! 
Coming soon, from Spin Master, families can ask the Assistant on their Google Home to set a Hatchimals alarm and bring a dose of EGGcitement to their daily routine! The alarms feature Hatchimals music along with fun facts, jokes, challenges, and words of inspiration from Penguala, Draggle, Cheetree, and Puppit,- the heroes of “Adventures in Hatchtopia,” a new short-form animated series available on YouTube Kids! Just say “Hey Google, set a Hatchimals alarm.” Available in English only.

Below are additional experiences for families—just start with “Hey Google.” 
Play 👯

  • "Play Lucky Trivia for Families” 
  • “Play Musical Chairs” 
  • “Play Freeze Dance” 
  • “Let’s play a game” 
Learn 📖 

  • “Tell me a story” 
  •  “Help me with my homework” 
  • “Tell me a fun fact” 
  •  “How do you say “Let’s have crêpes for breakfast” in French?” 
  • “What does a whale sound like?” (try other animals!) 
  • “What does a guitar sound like?” (try other instruments!) 
Entertain 🌟

  • “Give me a random challenge” 
  • “Sing a song for me” 
  • “Give me a tongue twister” 
  • “Tell me a joke” 
Perfect for the Holidays 🎄 

  • “Tell me a Santa joke” 
  • “What's your favourite Christmas cookie?” 
  • “Tell me a holiday fact” 
 With their parent's permission, children under 13 can also have their own personalized Google Assistant experience when they log in with their own account, powered by Family Link (Not available in Quebec). Family Link helps parents manage their child’s Google Account while they explore. And with Voice Match, your family can train the Assistant to recognize up to six voices.

So round up your family and say the magic words— “Hey Google, I want to do something fun.”

See the light with Night Sight

Pixel’s camera is designed to help you capture life’s best moments effortlessly. With features like HDR+, Portrait mode, Top Shot, and Super Res Zoom, Pixel 3 uses computational photography and machine learning to help you capture stunning, creative and even professional photos. All you need to do is press the shutter button.

Because life’s best moments aren’t always perfectly lit, we developed Night Sight, a new feature for the Pixel camera that helps you capture vibrant and detailed low-light photos without a flash or tripod. Over the next few days, Night Sight will be coming to the front and rear cameras on all three generations of Pixel phones.

iPhone XS with SmartHDR (left), and Pixel 3 with Night Sight (right).

Why photography is difficult at night

The key ingredient for a photo is light. When it’s dark, cameras compensate by spending more time capturing light and increasing their sensitivity to light, often adding unwanted motion blur and noise to your photo.

Flash helps by adding light to the scene, but it awkwardly blinds your friends and can annoy others around you. Not to mention, it usually creates unflattering photos and isn’t even allowed in many places where photography is permitted. Flash only brightens nearby subjects and isn’t useful for landscapes or faraway objects.

Tripods stabilize the camera, allowing it to capture more light, but they’re bulky and impractical for everyday use. By enabling longer captures, tripods may also introduce unwanted motion blur from moving objects.

How Night Sight works

Night Sight constantly adapts to you and the environment, whether you’re holding Pixel or propping it on a steady surface. Before you press the shutter button, Night Sight measures your natural hand shake, as well as how much motion is in the scene. If Pixel is stable and the scene is still, Night Sight will spend more time capturing light to minimize noise; if Pixel is moving or there’s significant scene motion, Night Sight will use shorter exposures, capturing less light to minimize motion blur.

Night Sight can capture more light when Pixel and the scene are still. Photo by Narayan Hegde (Pixel 3, Night Sight). 

If your subject moves during the capture, Night Sight can adapt to prevent a modest amount of motion from ruining the shot. Instead of capturing one bright and blurry photo, Night Sight captures an equal amount of light over a burst of many photos that are dark but sharp. By merging this burst, Night Sight prevents motion blur and brightens the photo, giving you a bright and sharp photo.

Night Sight is robust to moderate levels of hand shake and scene motion. It merges many dark but sharp photos into one bright photo 

Night Sight is designed to capture true-to-life photos, adapting to the various lighting conditions you’ll see at night. Using machine learning, Night Sight balances the colour of your photo, so that objects show their natural colour at night.

Night Sight uses a neural network to balance colours. 

For more details on how Night Sight helps you capture vibrant and detailed low-light photos, head over to the Google AI blog.

How and when to use Night Sight 

If you’re taking a photo in low light, Pixel will suggest using Night Sight. You can enter Night Sight by tapping this suggestion or manually navigating to the mode. After you tap the shutter button, try to hold still until Night Sight finishes capturing the photo.

Night Sight on Pixel 3 XL While Night Sight was designed to excel in dimly lit conditions, it won’t work in complete darkness. You don't need much light—but you'll still need some.

Here are some tips for taking great low-light photos:

  • Hold the camera steady. If you can, try propping it against a stable surface. 
  • If you’re taking a photo of someone, ask them to hold still for a few seconds before and after you press the shutter button. 
  • Try tapping on a bright edge to help your camera focus when taking photos in very dark conditions. 
  • Make sure the camera lens is clean. It can accumulate oil from fingerprints, creating blurry and soft photos. 
  • Avoid pointing your camera at bright light sources, which may cause unwanted reflections in your photo. 
Night Sight will be rolling out over the next few days with an update to the Google Camera app. Share your photos using #teampixel and #nightsight, and check out some Night Sight photos in this Google Photos shared album.

Making it easier to control your data, directly in Google products

We’re always working on making it easier for you to understand and control your data so you can make privacy choices that are right for you. Earlier this year, we launched a new Google Account experience that puts your privacy and security front and center, and we updated our Privacy Policy with videos and clearer language to better describe the information we collect, why we collect it, and how you can control it. 

Today, we’re making it easier for you to make decisions about your data directly within the Google products you use every day, starting with Search. Without ever leaving Search, you can now review and delete your recent Search activity, get quick access to the most relevant privacy controls in your Google Account, and learn more about how Search works with your data. 

Control your data, directly in the Google products you use every day
When you use Google products, you generate data about your activity. For Search, this data includes the terms you search for, links you interact with and other information like your current location when you search. 

Before today, if you were searching on Google and wanted to review or manage this data, the best way for you to do that would have been to visit your Google Account. Now, we’re bringing these controls to you – from directly within Search, you can review or delete your Search activity and quickly get back to finding what you were searching for.

We’re also providing quick access to the privacy controls in your Google Account that are most relevant as you use Search. For example, to control the ads you see when you search, we give you access to your Ad Settings. Additionally, you can access your Activity Controls to decide what information Google saves to your account and uses to make Search and other Google services faster, smarter and more useful.
If you want to learn more about what data is being generated as you use Google services and how we use data to improve your experience, you can now find a short video that helps explain this information.

We’re launching this improvement in Google Search on desktop and mobile web today, and in the Google app for iOS and Android in the coming weeks. Next year, we’ll expand this to Maps, followed by many other Google products. Having access to relevant and actionable privacy controls directly from the Google products you use every day is just one way that we are continuously working to build privacy that works for everyone. 

Posted by Eric Miraglia, Director of Product Management, Privacy and Data Protection Office

Google Pixel Slate: Perfect for Work and Play

Our devices should be as versatile as we are—keeping up with quick transitions between work and play. That means devices should boot up fast, last all day and get better the more you use them. And it’s why a truly versatile operating system, matched with high performance hardware, is so important.
Last year, Chrome OS took a big step forward to become even more versatile for all your computing needs, adding apps from the Google Play Store as well as the Google Assistant. We tied it all together with Pixelbook, our high-performance Chromebook. And today we’re excited to share a new addition to the hardware family: Google Pixel Slate.  

Google Pixel Slate is designed to entertain and help you do more in a fresh, mobile form. We combined a touch-first user interface, optimized Android apps and powerful desktop-style features in Chrome OS to deliver a truly no-compromise device. 

Versatile hardware design 
Pixel Slate feels great in your hands thanks to its evenly balanced centre-of-gravity, rounded edges and curved 2.5D glass. At just 7mm thin and 1.6 lbs with a display that covers nearly the entire front of the device, Pixel Slate was designed to maximize what matters most to you.

Movies, photos and games come to life in brilliant resolution with Pixel Slate. We engineered the device with a stunning, detailed display so sitting back to enjoy a movie is better than ever. The all-new Molecular Display™ packs 293 pixels per inch—that’s 6 million pixels—for the sharpest picture.

Your music sounds great too. Pixel Slate has dual front-firing speakers that were algorithmically tuned to perfection for crisp highs and clear lows.

You can also be able to connect with the people you care most about. It includes 8MP cameras on both the rear and front, and the front-facing Duo Cam provides an extra wide field of view with exceptional low light performance. You can even take great photos using portrait mode, which uses on-device machine learning to keep a single point in focus.

Lastly, Pixel Slate comes with up to 12 hours of battery life with typical mixed usage, so you can use it for a day of work or class, then watch movies on your train ride home.

Reimagining Chrome OS for a touch screen
Pixel Slate is powered by a reimagined Chrome OS that enables easy navigation on a touchscreen. It’s designed to be held in your hands, while giving you a full desktop experience where you can even run Linux if you’re a developer. It makes getting things done easy, with the Google Assistant built in, a new launcher, machine learning-generated suggestions for the apps you use most, and multitasking tools like split screen. It's also got a full desktop Chrome browser—with all your favorite extensions—so you won’t be limited by the mobile version of a website on Pixel Slate.

And what would modern computing be without apps? G Suite apps, which are used by more than a billion people worldwide to collaborate better, work great on Pixel Slate. Google Play gives you access to millions of apps from notetaking to gaming, entertainment, fitness and much more, both online and offline. When you’re done interacting with all this content, we’ve built in digital wellness features like Night Light and Do Not Disturb to ensure you can disconnect when needed. You’ll even be able to set digital ground rules for your family with Family Link, which gives you control over how your children’s device is used.

As with every Chrome OS device, Pixel Slate boots up in seconds and, when online, updates in the background so you always have the latest security and features without any of those annoying update notifications and interruptions. Pixel Slate adds an extra layer of protection with the Titan security chip so your information, device passwords and OS are protected on your device.

Pixel Slate is easy to unlock too. With Pixel Imprint™, the power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, so you can unlock it just as quickly and securely as you do on your Pixel phone.

Pixel Slate Keyboard and Pixelbook Pen
If you want to be seriously productive, you need a great keyboard. The Pixel Slate Keyboard, which pairs perfectly with Pixel Slate, includes a full-size, backlit keyboard, with round Hush Keys™ that let you type quietly, a dedicated Google Assistant key and an extra large trackpad. The folio is adjustable so you can comfortably work at any angle, then it turns into a slim protective case when you’re on the go.

Pixel Slate also works with Pixelbook Pen, which launched last year and had the lowest latency of any digital pen out there. This year it’s even better and comes in a new Midnight Blue colour.

Get yours soon. Starting at $849 (plus tax), Pixel Slate comes in several configurations. Pixel Slate Keyboard is $259 (plus tax) and Pixelbook Pen is $129 (plus tax). All three will be available later this year** on the Google Store, Best Buy Canada and at other select retailers.

**This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the FCC, Industry Canada or CE. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained. 

Google Pixel 3. Make every day more extraordinary.

Today we’re introducing Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, the new smartphones from Google. Pixel brings you the best of Google in a phone, powered by AI to deliver more helpful, thoughtful, and enjoyable experiences. That means a camera that uses AI to help make sure you never miss the shot and a more helpful visual and audio experience while charging, powered by the Google Assistant.

Brilliant photos every time and super-charged selfies
We’re taking more photos on our phones than ever before, but we still often miss the perfect moment. Pixel 3 helps you get that perfect shot on the first try.

Here’s how the best camera gets even better with Pixel 3:

  • Capture smiles, not blinks: A feature we call Top Shot uses AI to help you capture the perfect photo every time. When you take a motion photo, it captures alternate shots in HDR+, then recommends the best one—even if it’s not exactly when you hit the shutter, looking for those where everyone is smiling, with eyes open, and facing the camera. Top Shot automatically captures alternate shots in HDR+. If your timing wasn’t perfect, the camera will suggest a better one and give you the option to save it. 
  • Get better zoom: When you zoom in on a phone camera, the image looks grainy. Super Res Zoom is a computational photography technique, traditionally used for astronomy and scientific imaging, that produces sharp details when you zoom. 
  • No light; no problem: Pixel 3 lets you take natural-looking photos in dark surroundings, all without a flash. With Night Sight, coming soon to Pixel 3, you can take bright, detailed, colorful shots around the campfire, in a moonlit forest, or a selfie after you close out the bar. 
  • No selfie stick required: Get everyone in the picture with Group Selfie, which gives you 184% more room in your photo for friends and scenery. 
  • Look … no hands! Photobooth mode uses AI to recognize that when you’re smiling or making a funny expression, you’re ready for a selfie. It snaps the photo on its own so that you don’t need to reach for the shutter button—a good option for candids. 
  • Even more stunning portraits, front and back: When you take photos in Portrait Mode, you can change the blurriness of the background, or change the part of the picture in focus, after the fact. Google Photos can also make the subject of your photo pop by leaving them in color, while changing the background to black and white. 
  • Create and play: In Playground, you can make photos, selfies and videos come to life by adding your favorite superheroes, animated stickers and fun captions. In celebration of Marvel Studios’ 10 Year Anniversary, you’ll enjoy seeing the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (exclusively on Pixel) react to each other and to you. 
  • Super smooth video: When you want to capture something that won’t stop moving—think an adorable toddler or your new puppy—Motion Auto Focus will make sure your Pixel 3 camera stays in sharp focus automatically, as you record. And if you happen to be taking a selfie video while walking or moving around, Pixel 3 brings you front-facing video stabilization. 

Unlimited storage for all of your photos and videos 
With Pixel 3, you can save all your favourite moments with free, unlimited photo and video storage in original resolution.1 It’s hassle-free, you don’t have to think about back-ups. Come back to Google Photos later and search for the beach photos you took on your Pixel 3, and they’ll pop right up. 

Your AI-powered sidekick 
The AI in Pixel 3 enables new features that make your day-to-day actions simpler and easier. 

If you want to know more about something you’re looking at, use Google Lens, built right into the Pixel 3 camera.2 To scan and translate text, find similar styles of clothing, or identify popular plants and animals, you can now long press in the Pixel 3 camera to easily open Lens. When you point your camera at information you want to remember or don’t feel like typing in—like a URL or QR code on a flyer or an email address on a business card—Google Lens suggests what to do next, like creating a new contact. 

You can count on even more help across other apps too, including Gmail’s Smart Compose, now available for mobile on Pixel 3. Smart Compose suggests phrases in your emails so that you can draft them faster, on the go. Gboard, the keyboard built into your Pixel 3, will recommend GIFs, stickers, and more, to make your conversations fun and engaging. Both are available first in English. 

Digital Wellbeing 
Our phones, while probably the most important tech in our lives, shouldn’t control our lives. So Digital Wellbeing, a suite of tools to help you find your own balance with technology, is built into Pixel 3. It includes a dashboard to help you understand how you spend time on your phone, the ability to set time limits on specific apps, and a new Wind Down mode to help you get to sleep at night by gently transitioning your display to a grayscale screen. When you don’t want to be bothered by rings or notifications, just flip to Shhh— an easy gesture that turns on Do Not Disturb and minimizes distractions. 

Fast and wireless charging 
Pixel 3 comes with an 18 Watt fast charger in the box, which can give you up to 7 hours of use in 15 minutes of charging.3 With our AI-powered Adaptive Battery technique, Pixel 3 prioritizes battery power for your most important apps to make your phone last all day. 

Alongside Pixel 3, we’re also introducing Pixel Stand, our new, Qi compliant wireless charger (sold separately). While charging in the Pixel Stand, your phone turns into a smart visual and audio experience powered by the Google Assistant. It answers your questions, plays music, helps you control smart home devices, transitions into a photo frame when idle, and much more. If you set an alarm, your screen will gently brighten over 15 minutes before your alarm goes off, mimicking the sunrise and helping you wake up naturally. 

Pixel 3 is IP68 water and dust resistant and has a security chip custom-designed by Google called Titan M, making it the most secure phone we've built yet. Titan M enhances mobile security by protecting your unlock credentials, disk encryption, app data, and the integrity of the operating system code itself. Powered by Android 9 Pie, Pixel 3 comes with the latest Android operating system. 

You can choose from two sizes - the 5.5” Pixel 3 and the 6.3” Pixel 3 XL - and three colours - Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink. Both have the exact same feature set and include high quality Pixel USB-C earbuds and a USB-C Digital to 3.5 mm headphone adapter in the box. Pixel 3 comes with dual front-firing speakers tuned by a GRAMMY-winning music producer to turn your phone into a powerful speaker. Customers who activate a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL by December 31, 2018 can get 6-months of free YouTube Music Premium. 

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will be available for pre-order on the Google Store starting today and for sale at Best Buy, Bell, Costco, Fido, Freedom, Koodo, Rogers, Telus, T-Booth, Videotron, Virgin, WirelessWave, Walmart, WoW Mobile in the coming weeks. The Pixel 5.5” 64GB will start at $999 (plus tax) and the Pixel 6.3” 64GB will start at $1129 (plus tax). The Pixel Stand will be available in November via the Google Store and select retail and carrier partners for $109 (plus tax). 

1. Free, unlimited online original-quality storage for photos / videos uploaded from Pixel 3 to Google Photos through 1/31/2022, and those photos / videos will remain free at original quality.
2. For available Google Lens languages go to Some Lens features require an internet connection.
3. Approximate battery life based on a mix of talk, data, standby, and use of other features, with always on display off and mobile hotspot off, according to a user profile as defined by Google. An active display or data usage will decrease battery life. Charging rates are based on use of the included charger. Charging time performance statistics are approximate. Actual results may vary. 

Twenty years of building for everyone

Editor’s note: This blog is cross-posted from The Keyword

Twenty years ago, Google started with an ambitious goal to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. At the heart, we want to build technology that helps as many people as possible, regardless of who you are or where you are in the world. As we celebrate our birthday this month, we’re reflecting on some of the progress we’ve made toward that end. The work is never done, but here are 20 highlights from the past two decades:

Finding answers … and making connections

1. Billions of people have used Google Search to find answers to (literally) trillions of questions every year—from “how to help my community” to “how to find home” to all the many small questions in between. With job search, we’ve helped connect 100 million people to job opportunities in 92 countries.

2. Google Maps has helped people find their way with driving directions in 240+ countries and territories, spanning 40 million miles of road—that’s 83+ trips to the moon and back. And by connecting people to 150 million places around the world, Maps helps communities and businesses grow. Most moving are the times when Maps has helped people find a sense of place in the world—from Rio’s favelas to one’s own memories.

3. People can now talk to their Google Assistant in more than 20 languages, and in some cases it can even keep up if you’re bilingual. You can ask about everything from fantasy football advice to help finding a parking spot, and do everything from meditate to order a coffee. In the car, the Assistant has helped people reach their destination on tens of millions of commutes, and has sent tens of millions of messages, helping people stay in touch while keeping their eyes on the road.

4. Translate helps over half a billion people ask for help, make new friends, and say "thank you" across 100+ languages. More than 143 billion words are translated every day—that’s more than 161,000 times the number of the complete works of Shakespeare.

Saving valuable time (and space!)

5. More than 500 million people use Google Photos every month, backing up more than 1.2 billion photos and videos per day. Photos has also freed up over 410 petabytes worth of space—that’s like more than 25 million 16GB devices—plus peace of mind knowing you'll always have room to capture more memories.

6. With the typing time reduced by Autocomplete in Search, we estimate people worldwide collectively save over 200 years of typing time per day!

7. Gmail’s Smart Compose, a new machine learning-powered experience that helps you write email faster, saves people from typing over 1 billion characters a week (to put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of nearly 4 million tweets).

Helping you stay safe online
8. One billion people visit the Google Account each year to access settings to safeguard their data and privacy. 

9. Safe Browsing protects more than 3 billion devices from malware and phishing schemes, helping you browse the web with confidence. 

10. And Gmail blocks nearly 10 million spam and malicious emails every minute, helping you keep your email and data safe.

Giving people tools and platforms to grow

11. Each year for the past five years, our search and advertising tools have helped provide more than $100 billion in economic activity to businesses, publishers and nonprofits across the United States. And we’re inspired by the stories of local and small businesses, from John’s Crazy Socks to American Hats, who are using the web to grow.

12. Google Play has helped developers grow app businesses and reach users in 190+ countries and across more than 2 billion Android devices. From an app that helps blind people see to a game that creates art, these creators are doing amazing things on our open platforms.

13. Since the start of 2017, we’ve trained more than 30 million people around the world in a range of digital skills, helping them start and grow businesses, learn to code, and find new careers.

Expanding access to learning opportunities 

14. More than 25 million students worldwide are using Chromebooks in schools to share ideas, create projects, go on virtual field trips, and learn from each other and their teachers. 

15. Art lovers and history buffs have marveled at artifacts from 1,500+ museums across 70 countries in Google Arts & Culture. From Abramovic to Zhengming, that’s thousands of artworks and 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents at your fingertips. And people have met more than 78 million selfie matches from 650+ institutions with Art Selfie. 

16. People can access local versions of YouTube in 91 countries around the world across 80 languages—covering 95 percent of all internet traffic. And every day, people watch learning-related content over a billion times on YouTube.

Making an impact on a global scale
17. To help people in times of need, we’ve activated SOS Alerts to provide better access to emergency information in more than 200 crisis situations, and people have viewed Public Alerts—for things like storm warnings or hurricane evacuations—more than 1.5 billion times.

18. Since 2005, we’ve donated more than $1.5 billion to organizations working to help refugees and disaster victims, fight for equal justice, provide teachers with classroom equipment, and teach people new skills. And over the past four years Googlers have logged over a million hours (that’s 114 years’ worth!) volunteering in the communities where we live and work. 

19. People have used Nest thermostats to save 25 billion kWh of energy—roughly enough to power Ireland for a year

20. Thousands of developers have used TensorFlow, our open source tool for deep learning, to make farming more efficient in Japan and the Netherlands, predict wildfires and prevent deforestation, track whale migration and identify birdsong—and even detect cancer.  

Google’s name is based on a number—a one with 100 zeroes after it. When we went public in 2004, the offering contained a math joke about the irrational number "e." Oh, and we call our campus headquarters the “Googleplex,” which, if it were spelled differently, would be a one followed by a googol of zeroes. You could say we’re numbers people. 

But these numbers are different. They represent something incredibly meaningful—the billions of people who have posed a question, sent an email, opened a new tab, dragged a pin on a map, asked a big question. Billions of people who have found answers, gotten things done or started on a new adventure. Billions of people whose lives have gotten, just possibly, a little bit better or brighter thanks to something that we built. 

Everything we’ve done for the past 20 years has been built with you in mind, and we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity you’ve given us to be a part of your lives. And two decades in, we’re even more dedicated to building products and services that make a difference for you.

Posted by Emily Wood, Editor-in-Chief, The Keyword

Improving Search for the next 20 years

Editor’s note: This blog is cross-posted from The Keyword 

Growing up in India, there was one good library in my town that I had access to—run by the British Council. It was modest by western standards, and I had to take two buses just to get there. But I was lucky, because for every child like me, there were many more who didn’t have access to the same information that I did. Access to information changed my life, bringing me to the U.S. to study computer science and opening up huge possibilities for me that would not have been available without the education I had.

The British Council Library in my hometown

When Google started 20 years ago, our mission was to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. That seemed like an incredibly ambitious mission at the time—even considering that in 1998 the web consisted of just 25 million pages (roughly the equivalent of books in a small library).

Fast forward to today, and now we index hundreds of billions of pages in our index—more information than all the libraries in the world could hold. We’ve grown to serve people all over the world, offering Search in more than 150 languages and over 190 countries.

Through all of this, we’ve remained grounded in our mission. In fact, providing greater access to information is as core to our work today as it was when we first started. And while almost everything has changed about technology and the information available to us, the core principles of Search have stayed the same.

  • First and foremost, we focus on the user. Whether you’re looking for recipes, studying for an exam, or finding information on where to vote, we’re focused on serving your information needs. 
  • We strive to give you the most relevant, highest quality information as quickly as possible. This was true when Google started with the Page Rank algorithm—the foundational technology to Search. And it’s just as true today. 
  • We see billions of queries every day, and 15 percent of queries are ones we’ve never seen before. Given this scale, the only way to provide Search effectively is through an algorithmic approach. This helps us not just solve all the queries we’ve seen yesterday, but also all the ones we can’t anticipate for tomorrow. 
  • Finally, we rigorously test every change we make. A key part of this testing is the rater guidelines which define our goals in search, and which are publicly available for anyone to see. Every change to Search is evaluated by experimentation and by raters using these guidelines. Last year alone, we ran more than 200,000 experiments that resulted in 2,400+ changes to search. Search will serve you better today than it did yesterday, and even better tomorrow. 
As Google marks our 20th anniversary, I wanted to share a first look at the next chapter of Search, and how we’re working to make information more accessible and useful for people everywhere. This next chapter is driven by three fundamental shifts in how we think about Search:

Underpinning each of these are our advancements in AI, improving our ability to understand language in ways that weren’t possible when Google first started. This is incredibly exciting, because over 20 years ago when I studied neural nets at school, they didn’t actually work very all!

But we’ve now reached the point where neural networks can help us take a major leap forward from understanding words to understanding concepts. Neural embeddings, an approach developed in the field of neural networks, allow us to transform words to fuzzier representations of the underlying concepts, and then match the concepts in the query with the concepts in the document. We call this technique neural matching. This can enable us to address queries like: “why does my TV look strange?” to surface the most relevant results for that question, even if the exact words aren’t contained in the page. (By the way, it turns out the reason is called the soap opera effect).

Finding the right information about my TV is helpful in the moment. But AI can have much more profound effects. Whether it’s predicting areas that might be affected in a flood, or helping you identify the best job opportunities for you, AI can dramatically improve our ability to make information more accessible and useful.

I’ve worked on Search at Google since the early days of its existence. One of the things that keeps me so inspired about Search all these years is our mission and how timeless it is. Providing greater access to information is fundamental to what we do, and there are always more ways we can help people access the information they need. That’s what pushes us forward to continue to make Search better for our users. And that’s why our work here is never done.