Category Archives: Official Google Blog

Insights from Googlers into our topics, technology, and the Google culture

With Hidden Figures, Google Play and Made with Code team up to encourage teen girls to code

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Google Play is teaming up with Google’s Made with Code to encourage more teen girls to study computer science. Starting today, you can watch Hidden Figures on Google Play Movies & TV in the U.S. and Canada—two weeks ahead of the Blu-Ray and DVD release. After you watch Hidden Figures, encourage a teen girl in your life to visit Made with Code to code a message of empowerment, honoring the female mathematicians of the movie. Google’s Made with Code, launched in June 2014, inspires millions of teen girls to try coding and to see it as a means to pursue their dreams.

Google Play - Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures tells the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, the brilliant African-American female mathematicians working at NASA who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history: calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

This story of empowerment and perseverance is more relevant than ever, since girls are half as likely than boys to indicate interest in computer science. Hidden Figures carries an endearing and inspiring message that will hopefully encourage more girls to study computer science and STEM-related careers.

Earlier this year, Made With Code brought the magic of the film to local communities by hosting screening and coding parties for teen girls and passionate policy makers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts and New York. Hundreds of Googlers host more than 60 coding and viewing parties in their local communities—reaching over 2,500 girls—throughout February and March.

To keep up the momentum, we’ll provide members of the National Foundation for Women Legislators with free access to the digital version of the movie when they host a Hidden Figures viewing and coding party in their local communities.  

Google Play and Made with Code are committed to fostering a passion for science and technology in the next generation. As they say in Hidden Figures, “You have to see what she becomes.”

With connected devices, a smarter home is just an “Ok Google” away

Google can help make your home smart.

Wait, what does that even mean? Reading it books? Teaching it math? No, not quite. The Google Assistant on Google Home and Android phones can help you take control of your home by connecting to some of your favorite home automation services and letting you use your voice to control your devices from anywhere.

Today, we’re introducing new home automation integrations—in addition to the ones that already exist—that work with the Google Assistant. So you can now connect your Google Assistant to Best Buy Insignia, LIFX, TP-Link and Wink. Making it easier to just say “Ok Google” and:

  • Cool down and “turn on the fan” with the Best Buy Insignia Wi-Fi Smart Plug
  • Set the mood for your dinner party and “change the living room lights to blue” with LIFX
  • Relax and “dim the living room lights” with TP-Link
  • Get comfortable and “turn up the heat” with Wink

To connect smart home devices to your Google Assistant on Google Home, just go to the Google Home app, select settings and then select Home Control, and click “+” to add a new device. You can also connect your devices within your Assistant on Pixel and Android phone settings.

As you may have seen earlier today, we announced that Google Home is coming to the UK. These partners, along with others, will also be available in the UK.

We’ll continue to add more partners and look forward to helping you feel more in control at home and on the go with the Google Assistant!

Google app: the ultimate Search tool for iPhone users

Millions of iPhone and iPad users around the world rely on the Google app as a go-to resource for Search. Now we’ve added some new features to make your Search experience even better. Ready to become an iPhone power user? Here’s how.

Search in any app with the Gboard keyboard extension

Last May, we launched Gboard, a keyboard for iPhone that allows you to search Google and send information, GIFs, emoji, and more — right from your keyboard. While Gboard first launched as a standalone app, it now comes installed with the Google app. Don’t be stifled by the same old texts and smiley faces; with Gboard, expressing yourself with emoji, multiple languages and GIFs has never been easier or more fun. To access, go to your Google app settings to set up Gboard on your device.

gboard_still

Stay in the know with the “Trending on Google” Widget

The “Trending on Google” widget keeps you in the know about hot topics and breaking news from around the world by displaying live trending Google searches. See something that catches your eye? Just tap on the trending search to open up the Google app and learn more.

To access the widget, use 3D Touch on the app icon or swipe right on your home screen. To install it, swipe right on your home screen, scroll to the bottom, tap “Edit”, then add “Trending on Google.”

trending

Save time with 3D Touch

Hard pressing on the Google app icon not only allows you to access the new “Trending on Google” widget, it also opens a set of quick search actions to help you get things done faster. One hard press jumpstarts any search that suits your need—whether you’re typing, talking, looking for images, or surfing on the downlow with incognito mode.

We have also integrated 3D Touch throughout the app. When you’re viewing web pages or search results and want to find out more , just hard press on the G button at the bottom of the page to instantly start a new search. Or you can hard press on Search results, Map results, and cards in your feed to see a preview of the content before opening it all the way.

Take these search tips for a spin and let us know what you think! To share feedback, go to the settings in the app.

Data Journalism Awards 2017: Call for submissions

With trust in journalism under attack, data journalism has never been more vital. And this year, for the sixth consecutive year, we’re proud to support the 2017 Data Journalism Awards.

But you need to get your skates on: The deadline is fast approaching for the only global awards recognizing work that brings together data, visualization and storytelling to produce some of the most innovative journalism out in the world today.

It’s a part of our commitment to supporting innovative journalism both in Europe and around the world.
Data Journalism Awards SS

Past winners of the $1,801 prizes include the New York Times, Buzzfeed, FiveThirtyEight, Quartz and IndiaSpend. 2017 hopefuls don’t have long: the deadline for this year’s awards is April 7, 2017 at midnight GMT.

And if you’re wondering why the prize is $1,801? That’s because in 1801 William Playfair invented the pie chart.

Aimed at newsrooms and journalists in organizations of all sizes—big and small—the #DJA2016 awards will recognize the best work in key categories, including:

  • Data visualisation of the year

  • Investigation of the year

  • News data app of the year

  • Data journalism website of the year

  • The Chartbeat award for the best use of data in a breaking news story, within first 36 hours

  • Open data award

  • Small newsrooms (one or more winners)

  • Student and young data journalist of the year

  • Best individual portfolio

The competition is organized by the Global Editors Network: a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media innovators committed to high-quality journalism, with the support of Google and the Knight Foundation. For Google, the Data Journalism Awards offer another way for foster innovation through partnership with the news industry, in addition to our efforts through the Digital News Initiative and the work of the Google News Lab teams around the world.

Data journalists, editors and publishers are encouraged to submit their work for consideration by joining the GEN community via this form by April 7 at midnight GMT. A jury of peers from the publishing community, including new jury members Esra Doğramacı from Deutsche Welle and Data Journalism China’s Yolanda Ma will choose the winners, which will be announced during a gala dinner at the Global Editors Network Summit in Vienna on June 22.

Good luck!

Simon Rogers is Data Editor at Google’s News Lab and Director of the Data Journalism Awards

Data Journalism Awards 2017: Call for submissions

With trust in journalism under attack, data journalism has never been more vital. And this year, for the sixth consecutive year, we’re proud to support the 2017 Data Journalism Awards.

But you need to get your skates on: The deadline is fast approaching for the only global awards recognizing work that brings together data, visualization and storytelling to produce some of the most innovative journalism out in the world today.

It’s a part of our commitment to supporting innovative journalism both in Europe and around the world.
Data Journalism Awards SS

Past winners of the $1,801 prizes include the New York Times, Buzzfeed, FiveThirtyEight, Quartz and IndiaSpend. 2017 hopefuls don’t have long: the deadline for this year’s awards is April 7, 2017 at midnight GMT.

And if you’re wondering why the prize is $1,801? That’s because in 1801 William Playfair invented the pie chart.

Aimed at newsrooms and journalists in organizations of all sizes—big and small—the #DJA2016 awards will recognize the best work in key categories, including:

  • Data visualisation of the year

  • Investigation of the year

  • News data app of the year

  • Data journalism website of the year

  • The Chartbeat award for the best use of data in a breaking news story, within first 36 hours

  • Open data award

  • Small newsrooms (one or more winners)

  • Student and young data journalist of the year

  • Best individual portfolio

The competition is organized by the Global Editors Network: a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media innovators committed to high-quality journalism, with the support of Google and the Knight Foundation. For Google, the Data Journalism Awards offer another way for foster innovation through partnership with the news industry, in addition to our efforts through the Digital News Initiative and the work of the Google News Lab teams around the world.

Data journalists, editors and publishers are encouraged to submit their work for consideration by joining the GEN community via this form by April 7 at midnight GMT. A jury of peers from the publishing community, including new jury members Esra Doğramacı from Deutsche Welle and Data Journalism China’s Yolanda Ma will choose the winners, which will be announced during a gala dinner at the Global Editors Network Summit in Vienna on June 22.

Good luck!

Simon Rogers is Data Editor at Google’s News Lab and Director of the Data Journalism Awards

Take your shot. Let Google give you the Assist(ant).

Your Google Assistant can help you follow all of the ups and downs of college hoops, from South Carolina’s surprise win to Villanova’s bracket-busting loss to this weekend’s nail-biting matchups.

bball

Here are some questions to ask your Assistant:

  • Tell me the latest sports news
  • How do you make queso dip?
  • What time’s the Wisconsin game tonight?
  • And when you’re with your friends, try: “Tell me a sports joke.”

Whether you’re cheering along with friends or already looking ahead to when you’ll definitely win the pool next year... the Google Assistant is on your team.

The High Five: game time and morphin’ time

This week, we saw lots of high fives on the basketball court and among Power Rangers fans … but not on a particular episode of “Wheel of Fortune.” Here are a few of the top five trending Google searches from the week of March 20.

Tragedy in London

People turned to Google find out more information about the tragic attack in front of the U.K. Parliament in London, and developments in the days that followed. Many questions centered on the identity of the attacker, who killed four people in the deadliest terror attack in the U.K. in over a decade.

It’s searchin’ time

Children of the ‘90s, rejoice—and go, go to the movies. The Power Rangers are back, with a reboot hitting theaters today. Some people are nostalgic and searching about past Power Rangers, while others want to know who’s who in the new movie. One thing’s for sure, the graphics and costumes have improved over the last couple of decades.

Bracket racket

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is in full swing (oops, wrong sport). In addition to bracket updates and scores, people wanted to know: “What are the conference records for the NCAA tournament?” And “Gonzaga Men’s Basketball” is a trending search now that they’re one win away from their first-ever Final Four.

The other type of Court

Searches about Neil Gorsuch continued to rise this week, as the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearing took place in Washington. So far, searchers seem to be in the “small talk at a dinner party” phase—they’re curious about his age, where he lives and his marital status.

wf

Not so fortunate

This week on “Wheel of Fortune,” Tennessee Williams fans groaned. And so did the contestant whose performance left something to be desired. With $600 on the line, Kevin was one letter away from solving a puzzle that read, “A Streetcar N-A-blank-E-D Desire.” He went with K (the correct letter was N). STELLLLAAAAAAA!!!!

Work hacks from G Suite: a new corporate training regimen (no weights required)

In our first G Suite Hacks article, we shared tips from the Transformation Gallery to help employees automate everyday workflows and save time. Today, we’re focusing on corporate training tips that will help your employees stay engaged so they can do their best work.

According to last year's Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, employees at all levels expect their employers to provide consistent opportunities to learn and develop new skills, and 30% of executives see learning as a primary driver of employee development. But training employees has its own set of challenges, like scaling programs and trainers, ensuring easy access to training materials, accommodating learning styles and tracking progress.

Here are a few ways you can improve your corporate training with G Suite:

1. Scale your training program with an online hub

Create one place where employees can access training material any time. Start by uploading or creating your training files in Team Drives, a central place within Drive for teams to house files. Organize these files into shared folders by topic or course level. Next, set up a Site to display all of the content from Drive and add relevant pages, like training videos, slides, guidelines or handbooks. Share your new hub with employees so that they can easily access training materials, even on mobile. And anytime you need to update training materials, just go into Drive and update the files there. Sites will automatically reflect changes.

gif 1

2. Provide live training options, too

It’s also important to provide face-to-face training for your employees. You can create a live training option with Hangouts Meet so that employees can join training sessions from a conference room, their favorite coffee shop, or another remote location. Simply set up Calendar invites for training events and send them to your employees (It’s a good idea to post these events to your new training Site so that anyone who missed the invite can join.). Then, track employee attendance with Forms.

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3. Quiz employees on their knowledge

Once your employees have completed their training course, you’ll want to track their learning progress. You can do this easily by setting up quizzes in Forms and assigning point values for each question. Let your employees see which questions they missed and explain why so that they can continue to master concepts. And to improve your training course, ask for real-time feedback within the Form. Quiz data is tracked in Sheets so you can keep a pulse on who’s completed training courses and who might need some additional help.

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With these quick tips, you can help your employees to do their best work. Check out this G Suite Show episode to learn more, and let the training begin!

The She Word: Kawana T. King, lawyer and “force for good”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the powerful, dynamic and creative women of Google. Like generations before them, these women break down barriers and defy expectations at work and in their communities. Over the course of the month, we’ll help you get to know a few of these Google women, and share a bit about who they are and why they inspire us.

In this installment of the She Word, we talked to Kawana T. King, a lawyer in our New York office. In addition to JD, she’s earned the title of “hostess with the mostess”—just ask anyone who’s attended her annual Christmas party.

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

I usually don't ... I like leaving work at work. But if I need to explain, I say that I provide legal counsel for our advertising products.

Why are you proud to be a woman at Google?

In Google’s legal department, we have four female vice presidents. There’s a lot of talk in tech about needing more women in leadership positions, but I get to witness that everyday. It’s really inspiring.

k

Why did you decide to pursue law, and why practice it at Google?

Growing up I was always told that I argued too much, so becoming a lawyer seemed to be a “natural fit.” Throughout my career, I’ve practiced law across various industries, like entertainment and financial services. Working at Google, I get to bring legal expertise to the development of groundbreaking products and services. And one of the best parts about Google is that I’m not just here to be a lawyer—there are opportunities to pursue personal interests, like our diversity efforts, as well.

If you could ask one woman from history a question … who would it be and what would you ask?

I would ask Harriet Tubman what gave her the strength to face her fears and take action. We are all faced with obstacles that we must overcome, but it’s hard to get past the intimidation. All tips help!

What advice would you give to women starting out in their careers?

Know your worth, display confidence and don't be afraid to ask for what you want. If you doubt yourself, you invite others to do the same.

What do you hope to accomplish on behalf of women everywhere?

Quite simply ... I’ll pay it forward. I’ve been lucky to have powerful and positive female influences in my life (hi Mom!). By exhibiting character, confidence, and a strong work ethic, I hope to be a force for good in another young girl’s life.

How do you spend most of your time outside of work?

I love traveling—Paris and Thailand are my all-time favorite spots. I’ve also gotten hooked on traveling for Carnival, which is an annual festival that occurs in various countries. So far, I’ve celebrated Carnival in  Trinidad, Barbados and Miami. My next trip is to Italy—I’m taking my mom for her 65th birthday!

Work hacks from G Suite: a new corporate training regimen (no weights required)

In our first G Suite Hacks article, we shared tips from the Transformation Gallery to help employees automate everyday workflows and save time. Today, we’re focusing on corporate training tips that will help your employees stay engaged so they can do their best work.

According to last year's Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, employees at all levels expect their employers to provide consistent opportunities to learn and develop new skills, and 30% of executives see learning as a primary driver of employee development. But training employees has its own set of challenges, like scaling programs and trainers, ensuring easy access to training materials, accommodating learning styles and tracking progress.

Here are a few ways you can improve your corporate training with G Suite:

1. Scale your training program with an online hub

Create one place where employees can access training material any time. Start by uploading or creating your training files in Team Drives, a central place within Drive for teams to house files. Organize these files into shared folders by topic or course level. Next, set up a Site to display all of the content from Drive and add relevant pages, like training videos, slides, guidelines or handbooks. Share your new hub with employees so that they can easily access training materials, even on mobile. And anytime you need to update training materials, just go into Drive and update the files there. Sites will automatically reflect changes.

gif 1

2. Provide live training options, too

It’s also important to provide face-to-face training for your employees. You can create a live training option with Hangouts Meet so that employees can join training sessions from a conference room, their favorite coffee shop, or another remote location. Simply set up Calendar invites for training events and send them to your employees (It’s a good idea to post these events to your new training Site so that anyone who missed the invite can join.). Then, track employee attendance with Forms.

still

3. Quiz employees on their knowledge

Once your employees have completed their training course, you’ll want to track their learning progress. You can do this easily by setting up quizzes in Forms and assigning point values for each question. Let your employees see which questions they missed and explain why so that they can continue to master concepts. And to improve your training course, ask for real-time feedback within the Form. Quiz data is tracked in Sheets so you can keep a pulse on who’s completed training courses and who might need some additional help.

gif 2

With these quick tips, you can help your employees to do their best work. Check out this G Suite Show episode to learn more, and let the training begin!