Monthly Archives: May 2022

Our best Chromecast yet, now with Google TV

Image: Chromecast with remote

Chromecast changed the way we enjoy our favourite movies, TV shows and YouTube videos by making it easy and inexpensive to bring your online entertainment to your TV—a revolutionary idea back in 2013. Today, we have more content choices than ever, sprinkled across an ever-expanding variety of apps, which can make it difficult to find what to watch. This inspired us to rethink what simple and easy content discovery on your TV should look like. We've made our biggest leap yet to help you navigate your entertainment choices, bringing together the best of local and global content into one convenient location, with the all-new Chromecast with Google TV. 

Starting from June 22 Chromecast with Google TV will be available in New Zealand for $110, from retailers Noel Leeming, The Warehouse, JB Hifi, Harvey Norman and PB Tech.

Best Chromecast yet 

Chromecast with Google TV has your favourite Chromecast features and now comes with the Google TV entertainment experience. Google TV experience brings together movies, shows and more from across your apps and subscriptions and organises them just for you. We're also bringing our most requested feature—a remote—to Chromecast. 

A new look, inside and out 

The new Chromecast with Google TV comes in a compact and thin design and is packed with the latest technology to give you the best viewing experience. It neatly plugs into your TV's HDMI port and tucks behind your screen. Power it on and you'll be streaming crystal clear video in up to 4K HDR at up to 60 frames per second in no time. With Dolby Vision, you’ll get extraordinary colour, contrast and brightness on your TV. We also support HDMI pass-through of Dolby audio content.

Image: Chromecast in a television

More power in your hand 

The new Chromecast voice remote is comfortable to hold, easy to use and full of new features. It has a dedicated Google Assistant button that can help you find something to watch, answer everyday questions like “how's the weather?” or play your favourite artist on YouTube Music all with just your voice. And when it's time to cozy up on the couch for movie night, you can control your smart home lights to set the mood. We also have dedicated buttons for popular streaming services, YouTube and Netflix, to give you instant access to the content you love. Best of all, you won't have to juggle multiple remotes thanks to our programmable TV controls for power, volume and input. 

TV just for you 

In need of some good movie or TV recommendations? Google TV's For You tab gives you personalised watch suggestions from across your subscriptions organised based on what you like to watch. Google TV’s Watchlist lets you bookmark movies and shows you want to save for later. You can add to your Watchlist from your phone or laptop, and it will be waiting on your TV when you get home. 

Best of all, you'll also have access to thousands of apps and the ability to browse 400,000+ movies and TV shows sorted and optimised for what you like—ask Google Assistant to see results from across your favourite apps, like YouTube, TVNZ, Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video, among others.

The Apple TV app, including Apple TV+, is also available on the new Chromecast with Google TV. To access the Apple TV app, navigate to the Apps tab or the apps row in the For You tab. 

Google TV gives users with subscriptions to Apple TV+ the ability to tune into award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries from the world’s most creative storytellers, including Apple Originals, including series like “Ted Lasso” and movies like “Greyhound”. The Apple TV app also gives you access to your library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple, as well as personalised and curated recommendations and Apple TV channels. 

And with Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV+ and Apple TV channels. With Google Assistant, you can also use your voice to ask Google to open the Apple TV app or play an Apple Original title. If you aren’t ready to watch right away, you can add Apple Originals to your Watchlist for later. These features will roll out globally in the coming months.

Post content

Connect with Google Fiber

Welcome to Connect! The official Google Fiber blog has a new look, but remains the place to get the latest news and information on what’s happening with Google Fiber and our products, meet our team, and get an inside look at each of our cities, along with anything else in the GFiber-sphere.

Connect is what we do in the real world — bringing fast, reliable internet to more people and businesses in our communities every day, so we thought it was a fitting title for how we tell our stories online. We hope you’ll check in regularly and you can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram for updates. 

Posted by Sunny Gettinger, Head of External Communications 

Angular GDE Todd Motto encourages developers to care for their bodies and minds

Posted by Janelle Kuhlman, Developer Relations Program Manager

Photo of a man in a wetsuit swimming in the water. He is mid stroke and is taking a breath of air

The second of two interviews with GDEs about mental health, during Mental Health Awareness Month

Angular GDE Todd Motto would love to see people talk about mental health more freely–in tech and in other areas of life.

“Everyone struggles inside,” he says. “I see talking about it a good thing. Our brains are highly complex and need maintenance and good fuel.”

Todd says he silently struggled through most of his life with depression and anxiety, so it has become increasingly important to him to be forthright about it. He says ignoring feelings often makes things worse.

“The thing is, you can go through life just thinking it’s normal to feel this way, and you assume everyone else has bad days like that, as well, but things can slowly progress to become worse, without you realizing,” he says. “It took me a very long time to realize I had mental health issues–some issues were from my past, and I had adapted unhealthy lifestyle patterns to deal with those. I was pouring fuel on my own fire and not realizing it. That’s why it is important to me to raise awareness.”

He sees mental health as a balancing act and believes it’s important to take care of your body and mind every day. He recommends choosing your work projects and responsibilities carefully, if possible, to avoid taking on too much, and to pay attention to your internal thoughts.

“It’s important to be in tune with your body and also how your mind feels,” he says. “We all feel stress, but sometimes we just sit on autopilot and ignore it. This is when it’s time to protect your mental health. Keep an eye on your stress levels, as, at least for me, this played a huge role in the rest of my mental health.”

Todd copes with stress by carefully managing his workload, learning new things away from the keyboard, taking breaks from work throughout the day, and taking down time.

“To cope, I don’t overwhelm myself, and I take regular breaks, even if it’s just 1-2 minutes to walk into the kitchen and grab water,” he says. “Maybe I’ll walk into the garden and research a personal topic I’m interested in for a few moments.”

He also incorporates daily exercise, like running, swimming, and weight training, which he says helps his concentration, sleep, and mood.

“I have been running and swimming for years now, and swimming gives you time out from reality,” he says. “When you get physically stronger, you will unlock new levels of mental strength. That is my guarantee.”

Todd’s version of physical and mental challenges might be running up mountains and swimming in lakes, but your version might be going on a walk around the block, picking up a new instrument, or learning how to cook a new meal. Whatever it is, Todd feels it’s important to make time for these challenges, in order to achieve that balancing act he mentioned. He reminds other developers to keep work, life, body, and mind in balance as much as possible.

“I aim to have regular breaks and not overwhelm myself,” he says. “It’s easy to get stressed and have a bad work/life balance. Take breaks, and keep your stress levels low by doing so. You are more than worth it!”

Learn more about Todd on Twitter @toddmotto

3 things to know about Form Factors at Google I/O’22

Three different form factors- a phone, watch, and tablet 

With close to half a billion cars, TVs, watches and laptops running on Android, it is more important than ever for apps to work seamlessly across every device. This year at I/O, we renewed our focus on form factors and announced major updates for Wear OS and Large Screens. To help you get to the bottom of what’s new, here are the three things you need to know about Form Factors at Google I/O:

#1: Building Wear OS and fitness apps is simpler than ever

Compose for Wear OS GIF 

At I/O we announced the Beta release of Compose for Wear OS, our modern declarative UI toolkit designed to help developers build exceptional user experiences for Wear OS. Compose for Wear OS shares the foundation and principles of Jetpack Compose, helping to simplify and accelerate UI development. Additionally, Compose for Wear OS offers the Material catalog with components that are optimized for the watch experience.

We’ve been developing Compose for Wear OS with open source community feedback and participation. Since the Developer Preview, we’ve added and improved a number of components such as navigation, scaling lazy lists, input and gesture support and many more. Compose for Wear OS is now feature complete for the 1.0 release coming soon and the API is stable - so you can begin building beautiful, production-ready apps.

Health Services Logo

Health Services—the power efficient and easy-to-use library for collecting real-time sensor data on smartwatches—will soon be available in beta and ready for production use. Health Services enables apps to take advantage of modern smartwatch architecture, thus helping conserve battery while still delivering high frequency data. Since the alpha release last year, we have been working hard to increase performance and improve the developer experience. We have also made some improvements to the API in response to your feedback.

If you have an existing health and fitness app for Wear OS you want to update, or have a completely new app in mind, we suggest you look at Health Service to provide the best experience for Wear 3 users and prepare your app for additional devices and sensors in the future. For example, this library will power all the Google- and Fitbit-branded health and fitness experiences on the recently announced Google Pixel Watch.

Health Conect Logo

And, last but not least, we just launched Health Connect. With Health Connect, users will be able to securely store health and fitness data on their phone and connect and share that data with some of their favorite health and fitness apps. Samsung Health, Google Fit and Fitbit are integrating with Health Connect, along with many popular health and fitness apps. Health Connect is a common set of APIs for storing & sharing health data on Android phones. Developers can read from & write data to an on-device data store and we’ve standardized the schema and API behavior, making it easy for you to use the data. We know how important the privacy of each user’s health data is, so we centralized permissions and privacy controls - making it clear and simple for your users to manage and control this data.

#2: Google is all-in on tablets

Google is going big on large screens with innovations in hardware, optimizations in the operating system and a major investment in our app ecosystem. In the first quarter of this year, we saw active large screen users approaching 270 million, making it a great time to optimize for tablets, foldables and Chrome OS.

Since last I/O we launched Android 12L, a feature drop that makes Android 12 even better on large screens. With Android 13, we are including all of these improvements and more. Android 12L and 13 have a huge number of optimizations for large screens, including the task bar, multi-tasking, keyboard and mouse support, and a compatibility mode for applications. We also have exciting updates to guidance, testing and tools. To take the guesswork out of optimizing and testing your app for large screens, we created a set of Large Screen Quality guidelines and a number of Material Design Canonical Layouts. Our guidance is implemented in our Jetpack libraries, which bake in many of the most common tasks for Large Screen development, such as drag and drop.

Quote from Developer at Meta 

Hardware innovation is a cornerstone of Google’s investment in large screens - this year and beyond. At I/O, we announced the Google Pixel tablet, coming in 2023. Plus, our partners are creating some amazing devices with tablets, Chromebooks, and foldables coming from companies like Samsung, Lenovo, and OPPO.

With the incredible hardware and operating system innovations, more apps than ever are optimizing for large screens. Apps like Facebook, TikTok, HBO Max and Zoom look great on large screens. Here at Google, we recognize the opportunity with large screens. Apps like YouTube, Google Maps, Google Photos, Chrome, and many of our most popular apps are rolling out large screen optimizations, with more to come.

These apps - and more - are available on the Play Store, where we have made some of our most impactful updates to date. We are committed to helping users find the best large-screen optimized apps in the Play Store with new large screens focused editorial content and separate reviews and ratings for large-screen applications. Plus, we are updating Google Play to look awesome on a tablet, Chromebook or foldable device.

#3: We’re here to support you!

To make your apps even better on large screens and Wear OS, we’ve created in-depth content for making your app work better across different types of inputs, screen sizes and devices.

In Android Studio Dolphin Beta and Electric Eel Canary we’ve added new features for Wear OS and Large screens to help you be more productive when developing and testing for different form factors. Read more

Looking to get started? Here’s all the amazing I/O content to help you on your way:

Long Term Support Channel Update for ChromeOS

LTS-96 has been updated in the LTS channel to 96.0.4664.209 (Platform Version: 14268.84.0) for most ChromeOS devices. Want to know more about Long-term Support? Click here

This update contains multiple Security fixes, including:

1316946 High  CVE-2022-1638 [v8] Integer overflow leading to OOB/CHECK in icu_71::FormattedStringBuilder::prepareForInsertHelper

1316990 High CVE-2022-1633 Security: Heap-use-after-free in ash::sharesheet::SharesheetBubbleView::CloseWidgetWithReason

1322744 High CVE-2022-1859 Security: UAF in DiscardsGraphDumpImpl

1297283 High CVE-2022-1636 Security: use after free in JS self-profiling API

1278608 High CVE-2021-43527 Security: CA certificate import exploitable with large DSA and RSA-PSS signatures on Linux/ChromeOS

1304660 High CVE-2022-23308 CrOS: Vulnerability reported in dev-libs/libxml2

1278608 High CVE-2021-43527 Security: CA certificate import exploitable with large DSA and RSA-PSS signatures on Linux/ChromeOS

1304660 High CVE-2022-23308 CrOS: Vulnerability reported in dev-libs/libxml2

1278608 High CVE-2021-43527 Security: CA certificate import exploitable with large DSA and RSA-PSS signatures on Linux/ChromeOS

1315563 Medium CVE-2022-1867 Security: can lead to mutation XSS

1300561 Medium CVE-2022-1489 Security: container-overflow in ash::ScrollableShelfView::ShouldCountActivatedInkDrop

Giuliana Pritchard

Google Chrome OS

Chrome for iOS Update

Hi, everyone! We've just released Chrome 102 (102.0.5005.67) for iOS; it'll become available on App Store in the next few hours.

This release includes stability and performance improvements. You can see a full list of the changes in the Git log. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug.

Harry Souders

Google Chrome

Spotlight: The first Google for Startups Ukraine Support Fund recipients

Over the past three months, the world has witnessed the resilience and spirit of the Ukrainian people. We’ve seen how an entire population has responded to unimaginable circumstances and demonstrated not only a will to survive, but to persevere and succeed.

We know this spirit well from the strong and vibrant Ukrainian startup community, which boasts its share of “unicorn” startups including GitLab, Grammarly, Genesis,, and Firefly Aerospace.

To help Ukrainian entrepreneurs maintain and grow their businesses, strengthen their community and build a foundation for post-war economic recovery, in March we announced a $5 million Google for Startups Ukraine Support Fund to allocate equity-free cash awards throughout 2022. Selected Ukraine-based startups will receive up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding as well as ongoing Google mentorship, product support, and Cloud credits.

Meet the first recipients

Today, we are proud to announce the first cohort of recipients of the Google for Startups Ukraine Support Fund.

  • Almexoft: A low-code platform for business process automation and electronic document management.
  • CareTech Human: A fully-automated, plug-and-play device for daily health checks and early disease detection.
  • Discoperi: An AI-powered video control system that collects traffic data to prevent car accidents and make roads safer.
  • Dots Platform: A cloud-based, all-in-one food delivery platform.
  • A text-to-video platform that allows users to generate video content with virtual presenters from text.
  • An HR software that empowers leaders to build high-performing teams.
  • An internal сommunications platform offering a personal virtual assistant for employees.
  • Lab24: A digital medical laboratory marketplace connecting customers to affordable services.
  • Mindly: An end-to-end mental health platform for online therapy that offers AI-powered patient care and clinical admin automation.
  • PRAVOSUD: A litigation analytics platform enabling lawyers to craft successful legal strategies.
  • pleso therapy: A mental health platform that efficiently matches patients with therapists.
  • Private Tech Network: An AI-driven “venture capital-as-a-service” platform, designed to make fundraising faster and more efficient.
  • Releaf Paper: The world's first manufacturer of paper products made from fallen leaves.
  • Respeecher: A high-fidelity voice cloning (voice conversion) system for content creators.
  • Skyworker: A hiring app providing tech recruiting and human resources services.
  • VanOnGo: An AI-powered, direct-to-consumer delivery platform.
  • ZooZy: A one-stop pet care mobile app streamlining all of your pet’s needs—food, training advice, healthcare, and other essentials—into a single platform.

Startups are selected based on the criteria and evaluation of an interview, and Ukrainian-founded startups that meet the criteria can apply on a rolling basis here. And while some companies may not qualify for the Fund itself, Google for Startups continues to offer other forms of support that can be found here.

Key challenges, according to one Ukrainian founder

We spoke to Ukraine Support Fund recipient Dimitri Podoliev, CEO and co-founder of mental health support app Mindly, to better understand the specific challenges that Ukrainian founders face as they navigate running their businesses during a war.

When Mindly participated in last year's Google for Startups Accelerator: Europe - for healthtech and wellbeing startups - Podoliev’s focus was “to build a team that will be able to quickly, efficiently and effectively use a data-driven approach to build an amazing product.”

An office showing Mindly’s CEO and co-founder Dimitri Podoliev (on screen) meeting with Sundar Pichai

Mindly’s CEO and co-founder Dimitri Podoliev (on screen) meeting with Sundar Pichai

Now, Mindly is pivoting to help make mental health support accessible to all Ukrainians, in the war zone and beyond. During a round table with Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai at the Google for Startups Campus in Warsaw, Podoliev shared that the support extends to psychotherapists as well as patients. “Therapists are people too, and they are all from Ukraine and in very difficult situations, I feel it unfair to ask them to work for free. During the time of war, Mindly has committed to invest 100% of its income in mental health therapy for Ukrainians who currently can’t afford to pay for it themselves. Our goal is to maximize the number of free-of-charge therapy sessions we can provide and people we can help,” said Podoliev.

With Google’s support, Mindly plans to expand to Poland, which has seen a huge increase in Ukrainian population. Podoliev sees Warsaw as a key player in helping Ukraine’s economic recovery, and will use the Ukraine Support Fund resources to scale in Poland, generate new revenue streams, and provide virtual therapy to as many people affected by the crisis as possible.

Support for Ukrainian founders like Podoliev will help them succeed and build the tech that their country needs now. Stay tuned as we continue to announce more Ukraine Support Fund recipients over the next few months.

Chrome for Android Update

Hi, everyone! We've just released Chrome 102 (102.0.5005.78) for Android: it'll become available on Google Play over the next few days.

This release includes stability and performance improvements. You can see a full list of the changes in the Git log. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug.

Krishna Govind
Google Chrome

Google Workplace GDE Alice Keeler on balancing responsibilities and using coding as self-care

Posted by Janelle Kuhlman, Developer Relations Program Manager

Photo of GDE Alice Keeler smiling. She has blonde hair and is wearing a violet top. Her image is next to the GDE logo

The first of two interviews with GDEs about mental health, during Mental Health Awareness Month

“I don’t think I have work-life balance,” says Google Workplace GDE Alice Keeler. “I could use some. I’m not very good at self-care, either…my idea of a good time is coding.”

Alice may be humble, but she juggles numerous responsibilities successfully. In addition to her freelance programming work and the books she has published, she has five children, all of whom have various mental health challenges. An educator known for publishing add-ons, schedulers, and Google Classroom tips, Alice teaches math to high school seniors. She says they also struggle with mental health, often due to poverty and family issues.

“I see firsthand as an employer, mom, and teacher how mental health challenges affect people, yet we expect everyone to suck it up and go to work, attend school, and respond to family events,” she says. “I’ve really been thinking about this a lot, as I see the challenges my family and students are going through. I try to offer lots of grace and flexibility to others.”

She points out that mental health is very personal. “Of the 20 people I feel closest to in my life, no one solution would work for all of them,” she says.

Coding as self-care

In Alice’s experience, tech has provided a means of self-care, professional opportunity, and academic support. “I think one of the benefits of coding is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be done at a certain time and can offer some flexible creative options for people,” she says. “I can code at 3am, and no one cares. It’s not very social, which is helpful for people who struggle with social expectations.”

And during those coding sessions, Keeler builds creative solutions.

“You can make really cool things,” she says. “When I solve a problem with ten lines of code, it’s a nice way for me to feel valued.”

Alice has found the GDE community to be tremendously supportive, even though at first, she worried no one would want to hear from her.

“I post in the GDE chat, and people respond with, ‘Alice!’,” she says. “I teach math; I’m not a full-time coder. I’m self taught; everything I do, I figure out myself. I don’t feel like an imposter anymore. I’ve gotten 14 add-ons approved.”

She has realized over time that even “experts” are still learning.

“You think everyone knows everything, but they don’t, and people may be considered experts, but you can put something out there they hadn’t even thought of,” she says. “You realize quickly that it’s not like a tower, and you’ve reached the top, it’s more like scattered LEGOs: I know some of this, and some of that, and you know this, and it’s scattered.”

Alice’s coding expertise grew out of her desire to create technological solutions for herself and other teachers that simplified their processes and reduced stress. She’s enthusiastic about the educational technology tools that help both teachers and students decrease stress and improve well-being.

Educational technology for improved well-being

Alice appreciates classroom technology that makes life easier for teachers and students. For example, she cites the tablet as “one of the best things that ever happened to special education,” because it provides students with learning challenges an alternative way to share their thoughts and demonstrate their understanding of academic material. Alice explains that tablets and Chromebooks make it easy to give students extra time on assignments and assessments when needed.

“It brought in an enormous amount of inclusivity that had been impossible,” she says. “It literally gives some kids a voice; they can submit questions and responses digitally, without raising their hands.”

Alice’s focus, as an educator, developer, and parent, is on using technology to streamline tasks and balance responsibility, which reduces stress, improves well-being, and benefits her mental health. During the pandemic, she appreciated how technology allowed her to teach online, write code, and also be present for her family. She had more time to go to her kids’ events and was able to dial down her stress. Like all of us, she’s still figuring out what comes next, but she’s committed to supporting her loved ones and students.

Learn more about Alice on her website or on Twitter @alicekeeler