Category Archives: Google Europe Blog

Google’s views on the Internet and society Europe

Our ongoing commitment to support computer science educators in Europe

The need for employees with computer science (CS) and coding skills is steadily increasing in Europe—by 4 percent every year between 2006 and 2016 according to DigitalEurope.  But educators are struggling to keep up with the demand, often because they lack the professional development, confidence and resources to successfully teach their students. 

Because of these challenges, we’re working to increase the availability of quality computer science education and access to CS skills by empowering CS teachers globally. We’ve recently launched new support in Europe, the Middle East and Africa through CS4HS, a program to fund universities and nonprofits designing and delivering rigorous computer science professional development for teachers.

We’re excited to be working with 79 organizations worldwide, and 28 in the EMEA region, who are committed to increasing the technical and teaching skills of educators, and building communities of ongoing learning. We believe that these organizations are committed to delivering high-quality teacher professional development programs with a deep impact in their local community and a strong potential to increase their reach.

Classroom image

Growing the community of computer science educators  

Over the past 10 years, CS4HS has contributed $10 million to professional development (PD) providers around the world to help develop and empower teachers—like Catrobat, a non-profit initiative based at Graz University of Technology in Austria who created a free online course for students and teachers, and the University of Wolverhampton, who created a free MOOC to empower teachers of computing to teach programming in the new computing syllabuses in England, among others.

We’re excited to support new and future CS educators around the world. Even though computer science is a relatively new discipline for most schools, the enthusiasm is growing and teachers have a critical role to play in fueling their students’ interest and participation. These grants will help universities and nonprofits reach educators with PD opportunities that enhance their CS and technical skills development, improve their confidence in the classroom, and provide leadership training so that they can be advocates for CS education in their communities.

2017 awardees in EMEA

Asociatia Techsoup Romania

Ideodromio, Cyprus

Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Informatica, Italy

Lithuanian Computer Society

Dublin City University, Ireland

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

EduACT, Greece

Graz University of Technology, Austria

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Asociatia Tech Lounge, Romania

Association Rural Internet Access Points, Lithuania

University of Wolverhampton, UK

Universidad de Granada, Spain

University UMK Toruń, Poland

Hasselt University, Belgium

Jednota školských informatiků, Czech Republic

University of Lille - Science and Technology, France

University of Roehampton, UK

University of Urbino, Italy

ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Vattenhallen Science Center, Lund University, Sweden

University College of Applied Sciences, Palestine

Hapa Foundation, Ghana

Let’s Get Ready, Cameroon

Swaziland Foundation for STEM Education

Laikipia University, Kenya

Mobile4Senegal

Peo Ya Phetogo in partnership with University of the Western Cape & Mozilla Foundation, South Africa

To discover more about CS opportunities near you, explore our educator resourcesstudent programs and resources, and tools.


Android Pay says “Привет” to Russia

Stepping out for groceries or an afternoon coffee? You’ll no longer need to bring anything more than your phone. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Russia – which means you’ll be able to enjoy a simpler and more secure way to pay across all 11 time zones.

Android Pay lets you check out quickly and easily in some of your favorite stores and apps – gone are the days of fumbling for credit cards and counting cash. Get the Android Pay app from Google Play and add your eligible card to get started. When you’re ready to pay, just hold your phone near the payment terminal and wait for the checkmark to appear. You can also add all your loyalty cards to Android Pay so they’re easily accessible.

Where can I use Android Pay?

Whether you’re fueling your car, grabbing coffee with breakfast, buying groceries, or going to the cinema, you can use Android Pay anywhere that accepts contactless payments –just look for either of these logos when you’re ready to pay.

Android Pay NFC

Thousands of your favorite places already accept Android Pay, including Magnit, Perekrestok, Starbucks, KFC and Rosneft. And with your loyalty cards saved in the Android Pay app, there’s no need to carry them around anymore.

Select Merchants that accept Android Pay

Shopping in apps like Lamoda, OneTwoTrip, or Rambler-Kassa? Breeze through checkout with Android Pay. You’ll no longer have to enter your payment details every time –look for the Android Pay button and you can pay with a single tap. Here some of the apps that accept Android Pay now, with more coming soon!

RU_in app

And if you’re an online merchant, we've teamed up with several processors to make it even easier for you to accept Android Pay in your apps and sites. Visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn more.

Russian Processors

Getting started

To start using Android Pay, download the Android Pay app from Google Play. You’ll need to have Android KitKat 4.4 or higher on your phone. Then, add an eligible Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card from a supported bank, such as AK BARS, Alfa-Bank, B&N Bank, MTS Bank, Otkritie, Promsvyazbank, Raiffeisen Bank, Rocketbank, Russian Standard Bank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Sberbank, Tinkoff Bank, Tochka, VTB24 or Yandex.Money. Don’t see your bank on the list? Don’t worry. We’re always adding new partners, and we’ll let you know as soon as new banks come on board.

Android Pay Russian Featured Banks

If you already have the Raiffeisen Bank, Sberbank, or Tinkoff Bank mobile apps, you can enable Android Pay from those banking apps without having to download Android Pay. Just tap the “Add to Android Pay” button to enable your card in Android Pay without entering your card information.

Because Android Pay doesn’t share your actual credit or debit card number with stores, it’s safer than using a plastic card. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can use Find My Device to instantly lock your phone from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or wipe it clean of your personal information.

Ready to use Android Pay in stores? You’ll need to make sure your phone supports NFC. Thousands of phones do – and we’ve created a guide to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
Russia OEMs

We’re thrilled to name Russia as our 11th country to adopt Android Pay, and we hope it’ll make your everyday purchases faster, easier, and a little more fun. Get the app now to enjoy the benefits of effortless checkout in apps, online, and at all your favorite places.

Introducing Searching for Syria, a project made in partnership with UNHCR

It was six years ago in March that the Syrian civil war began, and since then more than five million people have been forced to leave their homes, their possessions, their families, and their education to seek shelter throughout the Middle East, Europe, and around the world. The scale of the crisis is hard for most of us to fathom, and the experiences of the refugee population can often feel too remote for most of us to understand.

Since 2015, we’ve tried to do our part to help. Google.org has invested more than $20 million in grants supporting solutions to provide 800,000+ refugees with emergency support and access to vital information and education.

SFS_Blogpost_400x400.gif

Today we are launching a site called “Searching for Syria,” a new way for people learn about Syria and the Syrian refugee crisis by exploring five of the most common search queries that people around the world are asking. Each question allows you to explore some of the detail behind the answer, combining UNHCR data with Google Maps, satellite imagery, videos, photography, and stories from refugees.

Each June the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) releases a Global Trends report which contains the latest facts and figures on refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants and other people under the agency’s mandate. Late last year, Google and the UNHCR teamed up to combine this report with Search trends, drawing connections between the questions that people are searching for with the UNHCR’s detailed data sets. Our goal was to paint a new kind of picture of the Syrian refugee crisis, accessible to greater numbers of people—and in doing so, remind people not only of the scale of the crisis, but also of the human side of it.

We see through Google Search trends that people are certainly trying to understand the scale of the crisis. Among the top trending searches in Germany, France, and the UK last year was “What is happening in Syria?” and simply, “What is a refugee?” People in every corner of the world are turning to Google Search to  find out what’s going on and how they might help. In 2016 alone people searched for information about Syria and the Syrian people over tens of millions of times.

SFS_BlogPost_Family_Shot.png

Over the last six years we have seen Search trends from around the world shift from  immediate questions like, “Where are Syrian refugees going?” to the more contemplative, “What was Syria like before the war?” Throughout Searching for Syria, refugee families tell you about their homes six years ago and today—and what they’ve experienced in traveling to their new, temporary lives.

People search for many reasons—to learn and to research, or sometimes to connect, share, and overcome. Sharing these trends, based on UNHCR’s verified data, will ensure that people searching to better understand one of the most terrible events of the last six years will be able to do just that.

Searching for Syria

What is YouTube’s role in the music industry?

The music industry is navigating a period of significant change. But while physical sales have been on the decline, advertising- and subscription-funded streaming have been a source of growth. In 2016 YouTube paid out over 1 billion USD to the music industry from ad revenue alone; and our Content ID allows the music industry to control their content on the platform, including the ability to make money from fan-uploaded music content.   

Nonetheless, there is a lively debate about whether YouTube is good or bad for the music industry overall. To get to the bottom of this question, and to better understand the way the industry has changed in the digital age, we commissioned a study from RBB Economics. The study, which looks at exclusive YouTube data and a survey of 6,000 users across Germany, France, Italy and the U.K, will examine several aspects of the transformed industry in a series of papers being published over the coming weeks.

In the first paper, published today, RBB looks at the question of cannibalisation: does the fact that people listen to music on YouTube mean that they don’t use other—sometimes more lucrative—sources of music?   

The study finds that this is not the case. In fact, if YouTube didn’t exist, 85% of time spent on YouTube would move to lower value channels, and would result in a significant increase in piracy.

The researchers find that significant cannibalisation by YouTube of other legitimate music channels is unlikely, for a few reasons:

  • Based on survey data they find that, in the absence of YouTube, most time spent listening to music on YouTube would be lost or shifted to lower value music channels.

YouTube music consumption
  • In the absence of YouTube, time spent listening to pirated content would increase by 29%, suggesting that people are going to YouTube instead of pirating music.  

  • And further, blocking music from YouTube does not lead to an increase in streams on other platforms.

The cumulative effect of these findings is that YouTube has a market expansion effect, not a cannibalising one.

In coming weeks, RBB will release further papers on other aspects of the digital music world and YouTube’s role therein. We will update this post with their findings.


What is YouTube’s role in the music industry?

The music industry is navigating a period of significant change. But while physical sales have been on the decline, advertising- and subscription-funded streaming have been a source of growth. In 2016 YouTube paid out over 1 billion USD to the music industry from ad revenue alone; and our Content ID allows the music industry to control their content on the platform, including the ability to make money from fan-uploaded music content.   

Nonetheless, there is a lively debate about whether YouTube is good or bad for the music industry overall. To get to the bottom of this question, and to better understand the way the industry has changed in the digital age, we commissioned a study from RBB Economics. The study, which looks at exclusive YouTube data and a survey of 6,000 users across Germany, France, Italy and the U.K, will examine several aspects of the transformed industry in a series of papers being published over the coming weeks.

In the first paper, published today, RBB looks at the question of cannibalisation: does the fact that people listen to music on YouTube mean that they don’t use other—sometimes more lucrative—sources of music?   

The study finds that this is not the case. In fact, if YouTube didn’t exist, 85% of time spent on YouTube would move to lower value channels, and would result in a significant increase in piracy.

The researchers find that significant cannibalisation by YouTube of other legitimate music channels is unlikely, for a few reasons:

  • Based on survey data they find that, in the absence of YouTube, most time spent listening to music on YouTube would be lost or shifted to lower value music channels.

YouTube music consumption
  • In the absence of YouTube, time spent listening to pirated content would increase by 29%, suggesting that people are going to YouTube instead of pirating music.  

  • And further, blocking music from YouTube does not lead to an increase in streams on other platforms.

The cumulative effect of these findings is that YouTube has a market expansion effect, not a cannibalising one.

In coming weeks, RBB will release further papers on other aspects of the digital music world and YouTube’s role therein. We will update this post with their findings.


Partnering with E.ON to bring Project Sunroof to Germany

Solar power is an abundant, low-carbon source of electricity, but historically it’s been more expensive than traditional electricity. Now, with solar costs dropping dramatically, many people are starting to ask: Does solar power make sense on my roof?

We launched Project Sunroof in the United States in 2015 to help answer this question and help consumers make accurate decisions about solar power for their homes. Starting today, people in Germany will be able to see the solar potential of their rooftops thanks to a partnership between Project Sunroof, E.ON and the software producer Tetraeder. This marks the first time Project Sunroof data will be made available outside of the U.S.

Around 7 million German buildings are currently covered by Project Sunroof, including urban areas such as Munich, Berlin, Rhine-Main and the Ruhr area. It’s as easy as entering your address.

To estimate the solar potential for individual buildings, we combined Google Earth, Google Maps, 3D models and machine learning to estimate solar generation potential accurately and at large scale. Project Sunroof estimates how much sunlight falls on the roof, accounting for historical weather patterns, the location of the sun throughout the year, the geometry of the roof, and shading from nearby objects such as trees and buildings. We then combine all of these factors to estimate solar energy generation potential for a particular address.

Project Sunroof DE

Project Sunroof data will be integrated on www.eon-solar.de beginning today. On the site, people can investigate their home’s solar potential, as well as purchase a suitable system consisting of photovoltaic modules, energy storage and system management software provided by E.ON. As of this month, the online tool covers about 40 percent of German homes.

Google has been using renewable energy sources within our own infrastructure and beyond for many years—in 2017, we announced a commitment for 100 percent renewable energy across our operations worldwide. With Project Sunroof, we want to help people become even more aware of the solar potential that’s just above the rafters. The future is bright!

Google Demo Day: shining a light on European founders

Yesterday, founders from across Europe took to the stage at our King’s Cross office to showcase problem-solving startups at our first-ever London Demo Day. From feedback tools for managers to fertility trackers for women, the diversity of companies and talent demonstrated something we already knew: The European startup scene is thriving and gaining global recognition, with nearly 300 venture-backed businesses going public or getting acquired just last year. But it’s often still hard for entrepreneurs to gain visibility and raise funds to support their growing ventures—which is why we brought Google Demo Day to London this year.

For yesterday's event, 10 investment-ready startups were chosen from dozens of startups nominated by our Google for Entrepreneurs network of startup community partners and via our Campus spaces, and 100+ others who applied through an open call. The 10 startups each had four minutes to pitch their product, business and team to a room full of the region’s top investors, with hundreds more watching over live stream. Meet our line-up:

  • AsaDuru, from Stockholm, creates self-sufficient green homes in Africa that incorporate solar energy, rainwater harvesting, and wastewater treatment.
  • Connecterra (Amsterdam) combines machine learning with sensor data to increase productivity in the dairy farm industry.
  • Divido (London) lets customers spread the cost of any purchase over a period of time while the merchant gets paid in full right away.
  • Kenzen (Zurich) provides a new way to monitor the health of athletes and medical patients to through real-time analysis of sweat.
  • Kompyte (Barcelona) provides marketers with real-time alerts when competitors make changes to their websites, products, and digital marketing campaigns.
  • Motivii (London) allows managers to better understand their teams' performance through a feedback and tracking platform.
  • Nordigen (Riga) uses big data to help banks make smarter decisions about credit scores.
  • WOOM (Madrid) helps women maximize the chances of pregnancy with a data-driven digital platform.
  • XapiX (Berlin) makes it easy for developers to discover, combine and consume data from multiple API providers.
  • Zzish (London) provides tools for developers to create, distribute and monetize education apps for teachers and classrooms.

After much deliberation, our audience of investors and European tech leaders crowned Connecterra, the machine learning technology for dairy farmers, as the People’s Choice. Kenzen won the Judges’ Favorite based on the strength of their business model, their team, and their products.

Kenzen endeavors to transform healthcare. We’re thrilled to receive the Google Demo Day Judges’ Favorite award for our Echo Patch platform. Heidi Lehmann Chief Commercial Officer, Kenzen

London’s Demo Day builds on our existing support for startups worldwide, beginning with the launch of Google for Entrepreneurs five years ago. In Europe, we support tech founders through our network of partners, our Campus spaces for startups in London, Madrid and Warsaw (our next location set to open in Berlin), accelerator programs like Google Developers Launchpad, and Digital Skills training programs. “London has become one of the world centers for startups; it was the first location for Google Campus. I’m excited by the innovation in the teams Google has uncovered,” said judge Saul Klein from LocalGlobe, who was joined on the judging panel by Fred Destin of EX-ACCEL and Aurore Belfrage from EQT Ventures.

DemoDay_MH1_5976.jpg
Left to Right: Sonia Sousa, CEO and co-founder, and Heidi Lehmann, CCO of Kenzen, took home the Judge's Favorite award.

Startups who have pitched at previous Google Demo Days in Silicon Valley have raised more than $121 million to fund the growth of their companies, often based on connections made at the event. We hope to catalyze similar opportunities for this event's featured founders—and many more European entrepreneurs to come.

Google Pixel and Boiler Room launch ‘VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin’

Today in Berlin we’re launching a new virtual reality collaboration ‘VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin’, with Boiler Room, an international heavyweight in underground music entertainment, to give music fans everywhere a unique and unprecedented opportunity to experience Berlin’s much-heralded club culture without leaving home. The experience is designed to be enjoyed on Pixel, phone by Google,--or any other Daydream-ready smartphone.

VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin’ is an immersive music experiment which lets you ‘choose your own adventure’ in an industrial Berlin night club. You’ll be transported right into the middle of a cast of 150 of Berlin’s most dedicated ravers from a host of subcultures. Get ready to hang with artists, crash the dancefloor, uncover the dark room, wander between audio-visual installations, and explore hidden spaces of Berlin’s underground club culture--wherever your are in the world.

With Pixel currently available in Germany and the U.K., we set out to create a seamless experience combining the best of Google software together with premium hardware. Virtual Reality is a great showcase for this combination, and we believe the vast majority of people who’ll experience VR over the next few years will do so via a smartphone. So, we built Pixel to be the first device that offers simple, high quality VR experiences through the Daydream platform and the Daydream View headset, an experience which has since been expanded to Motorola (Moto Z), ZTE (Axon 7) and more to come.

VR can be a powerful tool to transform the way you enjoy culture and entertainment. It can connect you with the things, people, places and memories that matter most to you in a new immersive way. VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin marks an entirely new cultural moment, a new entertainment synthesis with interactive elements of immersive theatre, computer game narrative, music TV broadcast and installation art. The 15 minutes long experience was filmed in the industrial environs of a typical Berlin nightclub featuring a live-electronics set by Berliners FJAAK, who played from a range of analogue hardware.

VR dancefloor hero

In the spirit of making unique cultural moments widely accessible, this project will allow Boiler Room’s audience and the growing number of Pixel and Daydream users to drop straight into the heart of the action.

The experience is available for free on Daydream, Google’s VR platform as part of the ‘Inception app’ around the world from today on.

Enjoy!


Apps, Skills and SMEs: making Europe mobile first

The internet has already revolutionized the way we live, work and play. Today, nearly 3 billion of the world's population are connected to the internet through smartphones. This is a profound shift that brings new opportunities to do business, to learn and to connect with audiences online. As the pace of technology continues to advance, we partnered with Debating Europe, Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), European Small Business Alliance (ESBA), European Digital SME Alliance and EU40 to bring together app developers, educators, policymakers and big thinkers to discuss how to improve skills, jobs and growth in Europe in the mobile era.

“Thanks to the Internet, a farm manager in Kenya has the same access to information as a policymaker in Brussels,” said Carlo d'Asaro Biondo, our president for strategic relations in Europe. This changes everything, but only if people can take part. And according to the European Commission, over 750,000 ICT jobs could remain unfilled in Europe by 2020 due to a lack of digital skills.

Speakers took on the big issues that are crucial to Europe’s future. Innovation is coming from new and unexpected places, as Michael Quigley of the Progressive Policy Institute explained. Their report shows in Europe, 1.6 million jobs have been created through the app economy and through the mobile transformation of more traditional companies. “The leading countries are Germany, France and the Netherlands, but really it’s across the EU,” he said. “Whilst bigger countries create most jobs, the Nordic countries surprise -- their app intensity levels are very high, even higher than in US.”

We heard from the creator of one app designed to deal with intense times -- Monica Archibugi started Le Cigogne (Italian for the fabled stork). Rather than deliver babies, this app helps parents to find babysitters. It covers 107 cities across Italy and connects 20,000 babysitters with 10,000 parents. “Grandparents are our biggest competitors,” she said.
Mobile Transformation Event 2

Jake Ward, President of App Developer Alliance which represents a million developers worldwide, echoed that sentiment. “We have been coming here for four years and the progress we’re seeing in Europe is amazing - a lot of Europeans don’t see that but it’s incredible.” At the heart of this growth are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) -- according to the European Commission, they  have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU in the last five years.

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy,” said Dr Oliver Grun of the European Digital SME Alliance, which represents 20,000 businesses. But in order to succeed, entrepreneurs will need digital skills to get there. Carlo d'Asaro Biondo highlighted commission figures that in the future 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills. At Google, we have already trained 2 million people in Europe and 1 million people in Africa in digital skills. We estimate that almost 50% of the people who have taken online training so far are female, and in age they range from students to pensioners.
Mobile Transformation Event 3
Sharing service start-up Scooty talked about how their app enables sharing of scooters

Above and beyond Google’s digital skills training programme , we’ve partnered with online course provider Udacity and German media group Bertelsmann to provide mobile-centric, app-tastic training in the form of 10,000 Android Developer training scholarships across the EU. As Vish Makhijani from Udacity explained, this will help create data scientists, software developers and artificial intelligence experts. Udacity worked with companies like Bosch, Daimler and Zalando to build the curriculums -- and students are reaping the rewards. “Our students are amazing,” he enthused. “They embrace a learning mindset.”

Making the most of the mobile economy means it must benefit everyone, not just the few. For the European Commission’s Lucilla Sioli, it means training people in basics too, because of the increasing digitization of all areas of society. “People will not be replaced by the machines but they need to have sufficiency and the skills to work with the machines.”

And for Christina J. Colclough of UNI Global Union it means making sure jobs created are rewarding and have social protection. “I think we should stop talking about jobs in the sense that digital tech creates x millions of jobs if they’re underpaid jobs,” she said. “What I do want to say is that when nothing is for sure, everything is possible.”

That includes major transformation. Bertelsmann’s Steven Moran explained how the company is embracing digital after nearly two centuries of publishing. “My job is to make sure we stick around for at least another 190 years,” he said. “Part of my responsibility is to build skills across countries and industries. We need to lower the barriers on all things digital.” That means shifting the mindset from ink and paper to a fully mobile product.

Debating Europe: Digital Transformation - New Skills for Jobs and Growth

Finally, we heard an inspiring voice from Africa, where a whole continent is going mobile first. Tele Aina Williams Was one of the first people in Nigeria to attend Google’s digital skills training a year and a half ago. She set up Digital Republic in Lagos and advises businesses on Digital “Only a small number of people in Nigeria have ever opened a laptop, it’s all focused on mobile,” she said. With 189 million people, 157 million mobile subscriptions and increasingly reliable mobile networks, that’s “a lot of opportunity” she concluded.

We at Google want to say Jisie ike, to Tele and the new generation of mobile entrepreneurs. With apps making life easier for millions of smartphone users and billions of new internet users set to come online in the next few years, there’s never been a better time to get creative with tech. We’d like to thank our partners and speakers for making this exciting event happen.

Google Home and Wifi arrive in the UK

The time we spend at home with our family and friends is special. What if technology could help us make the most of those moments?

Google Home is a hands-free smart speaker powered by the Google Assistant that does just that. Whether you want to get answers from Google, turn up the music, sort out some everyday tasks or control compatible smart devices in your home, all you have to do is say “Ok Google.”

And now, Google Home is coming to the UK.

Get answers from the Google Assistant

Ask Google Home a question, and it will give you the answer by tapping into the power of Google—Search, Maps, Translate and more. A combination of our natural language processing, machine learning and voice recognition expertise allow users to interact naturally with the Assistant on Google Home.

It can also help you with translations and calculations, or deliver a news briefing from publications such as the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Sun, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Sky News, Sky Sports and others. 

Using the Google Assistant, Google Home can answer questions about your interests, the weather, traffic, sports, finance, local businesses and more. You could ask “Where is the nearest petrol station?” and then follow up with,“When does it close?” The Assistant can also have fun—it can tell you jokes, play trivia or make animal sounds. 

Enjoy your music

Google Home helps you listen to your favorite things, whether you're in the mood to listen to a podcast or dance around the living room with your little ones. With a simple voice command, you can play songs, playlists, artists and albums from Google Play Music, Spotify, TuneIn, live radio from the BBC and more.*

If you have multiple Google Home devices, Chromecast Audio or Chromecast-enabled speakers, you can blast the same tune around the house or group them by room with the multi-room feature.

Your everyday tasks and your connected home

There’s never a shortage of things to do in the home, and sometimes it’d be good to have a bit of help with them. Google Home is there for those times—like setting alarms, starting timers, or adding items to your shopping list—and, if you choose, it can even tell you about your schedule.  

Plus, if you have smart devices in your home, you can control your lights and switches from brands including Nest, Philips or Samsung SmartThings. If you have a Chromecast, you can also use voice commands to play Netflix and YouTube on your TV or binge watch your favorite show.** Simply say, “Ok Google, Play ‘The Crown.’”

Your home, your rules

With your permission, Google Home can assist you in planning your day, based on information like your calendar entries or flight information from your Google account. But if you'd rather keep things to yourself, you can turn off personal results any time in the Google Home app with a single swipe.

We know the UK has been patiently waiting for Google Home to arrive and we’ve been working with our favorite partners to give you the best possible experience. We’ll partner with more of your favorite apps and services to help you do more with Google Home over time. And of course, we’ve hidden a few British treats for you to discover. Just try asking Google Home about its hobbies or favorite foods.

Google Home will be available in stores on April 6th for £129 from the Google Store and is also available from Argos, Dixons, John Lewis and Maplin and coming soon to EE. Colored bases will be available for £18 for fabric and £36 for metal on the Google store helping you customise to fit your home

That’s not all...

Introducing Google Wifi

We all know how frustrating it can be when wireless connectivity fails at home, especially if you're streaming your favorite TV show. Today we’re also introducing Google Wifi to the UK. Google Wifi is a home Wi-Fi solution that works with your modem and internet provider to bring you reliable coverage.

Traditionally Wi-Fi routers haven’t always been built to support the increasing number of devices we use or high bandwidth activities like gaming or watching videos. Google Wifi is a connected system that replaces your current router to bring smarts, security and simplicity to home Wi-Fi to give you consistently strong coverage in your home.

Google Wifi uses a technology called mesh Wi-Fi (something usually only seen in expensive commercial installations). Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and the different Wifi points work together to determine the best path for your data. The result is Wi-Fi coverage even in hard-to reach areas, not just right next to the router.***

To make sure you’re always in control, Google Wifi comes with an app that lets you do things like pause Wi-Fi on kids’ devices (when it’s time to come to the dinner table) and is built to help keep your data safe and secure.

Google Wifi will be available online on April 6th for £129 in a 1-pack and £229 in a 2-pack from the Google Store. It is also available from Dixons, Argos, Maplin and John Lewis and coming soon to Amazon.

Find out more about Google Home and Google Wifi here.


*Google Home is optimised for selected music services only. Subscriptions/payments may be required.
**Netflix subscription may be required.
****Home materials and layout can affect how Wi-Fi signals travel. Homes with thicker walls or long, narrow layouts may need extra Wifi points for additional coverage.

Google Home requires a Wi-Fi network, a nearby electrical outlet, and a compatible (Android, iOS) mobile device. Minimum OS requirements are available at g.co/home/req. Google Wifi requires broadband Internet. Strength and speed of signal will depend on your Internet provider. Each Wifi point requires a nearby electrical outlet. The app requires a mobile device with Android 4 and up or iOS 8 and up.