Author Archives: Aaron Canada

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. 

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.

Grow with Google provides opportunity for all Canadians

At Google, we are technology optimists. Not because we believe in technology, but because we believe in people. When people have access to technology, they have access to information, education and opportunity, and they are capable of achieving great things.

Last week, we released an Economic Impact Report showcasing the value of the open web for Canadian businesses. The report highlights businesses of all shapes and sizes across the country who are experiencing incredible growth thanks to the tools and reach available on the web. These inspiring stories all start with opportunity.

In order to provide that same opportunity for every Canadian, we need to begin with access. Access to the open web, access to digital education, and access to the digital skills needed to grow a business or work in the technology driven economy of tomorrow. Technology is an incredible platform for growth, but we need to provide all Canadians with the skills needed to use it and take it further.

In April, we announced a one million dollar grant in collaboration with MaRS to develop the Employment Pathway Platform, a data driven job opportunity and career guidance tool that is aimed at helping people make the right career transitions as the nature of work shifts alongside technology. We also launched Google For Jobs in Canada, a tool within Google Search that lets Canadians search for jobs that are accurate, relevant and personalized based on search queries.

Today we’re furthering our commitment to helping Canadians prepare for the future of work by launching Grow with Google, an initiative to help Canadians acquire the digital skills they need to grow their business or get a job. As part of that initiative, we’re announcing two million dollars in grants to ensure that our efforts reach Canadians in every community, big and small.

First, we’re partnering with Canada Learning Code to provide Canadians with free tools and training to advance their skills, grow their business or get a job. Through our partnership with CLC, individuals across the country will have access to our Applied Digital Skills Program. The video-based curriculum teaches learners about the basics of working with technology today: everything from spreadsheets to email is covered and available in guided, bite-sized lessons. To make sure those lessons are available to all Canadians, the entire Applied Digital Skills Training Program is offered in both French and English.

And for those looking to explore a career in technology, we’re bringing our Professional IT Support Certification Program to Canada. Developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, this program helps turn beginners into job candidates in just eight months - no experience or degree required. Completing the program is the first step, but we’re also be supporting learners in the next step - the job search. We’ve partnered with leading Canadian companies, like Walmart and RBC, and of course Google Canada, to get graduates information into the hands of HR departments. With over 64 hours of video lessons, hands-on labs and interactive assessments, our IT Support Professional Certificate is the perfect transition for adults looking to reskill and kickstart a new career in technology.

Finally, we’re bringing Grow with Google to a town near you. Googlers are teaming up with libraries and community organizations across the country to bring digital skills training to you. The free events will provide small business owners, entrepreneurs and job seekers with the skills they need to grow. We’ll host hands-on workshops, one-on-one training sessions, and demo stations staffed by Google volunteers. Our first stop is Surrey, British Columbia this Friday, September 21st. Find out where we’re headed next and secure your spot today by visiting our online hub -

We hope that by making our resources available to every Canadian online, by supporting organizations committed to expanding access to digital education, and by bringing our training across the country, we will help individuals grow. Because when one has access to opportunity, they can achieve incredible things. There is one business in particular that really demonstrates the power of the web and the opportunity that lies within it.

Two years ago, the Hadhad family moved to Canada after fleeing their home in Damascus, Syria. They lost everything, including their business, a chocolate factory that had been in the family for 30 years. New beginnings can be hard, but the community of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, together with the opportunity provided by the web, the Hadhad family rebuilt their life and business in Canada. With digital tools like Google Search, YouTube and Google My Business, the Hadhad family launched a new chocolate business, Peace by Chocolate, that reaches customers far beyond Canada. In fact, 65% of their web traffic comes from outside of Canada. Today, Peace by Chocolate sells their product to over 400 vendors across Canada and produces over 1.5 million pieces of chocolate a year.

I’m optimistic about the future of work in Canada. We’ve seen firsthand how access to digital skills and opportunity can transform people’s businesses, careers and lives. Like the Hadhad family, we can open a new door by rebuilding our skill set and reaching new heights. With technology, anything is possible.

Sabrina Geremia, Managing Director, Google Canada

How Google is helping Canadians unlock the prosperity of the open web

Businesses across Canada are using the web to learn, build, connect, and grow. And Google is helping. The opportunities available to businesses today are endless thanks to digital tools, like Google Search and Maps. With the web, location and size is no longer a barrier to building a global business.

According to an Economic Impact Report produced by Deloitte, last year Google’s search and advertising tools helped create over $10.4 billion in economic activity for Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profits, developers, and creators. Thanks to the open web and the accessibility of our tools, Canadian businesses are reaching new heights, fueling growth, creating jobs and giving back to their communities.

Behind these numbers, are the amazing stories of Canadians unlocking the vast potential of the Internet. And I want to share just a few examples.

Peace by Chocolate 
Antigonish, Nova Scotia 
35 employees 

After more than three decades working as a chocolatier in Damascus, Syria, Isam Hadhad’s chocolate factory was destroyed, forcing his family to flee their country. In 2016, the Hadhad’s settled in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where they rebuilt their life and their business, Peace by Chocolate, with help from the web.

The Hadhad’s relied on Google Search to source local suppliers and vendors needed for chocolate production, and turned to Google My Business to drive traffic to their storefront and website. In just two short years since setting foot on Canadian soil, the Hadhad’s have built a brand with international recognition. So much so that 65% of their website traffic comes from consumers outside of Canada. “Our presence on Google has helped us reach audiences across the country and has given us the ability to share our story internationally,” said Tareq Hadhad, CEO at Peace by Chocolate.

Peace by Chocolate, Antigonish, NS 

Toronto, Ontario 
24 employees 

Creating a business that helps entrepreneurs like himself was important to Dawson Whitfield, founder of Logojoy, an online logo company that uses machine learning to create personalized, affordable logos for small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world.

Two years after founding the business, Logojoy has served over 2.5 million entrepreneurs and startups, a milestone the team says wouldn’t be possible without the web. The company uses TensorFlow, Google’s open-source machine learning framework, to refine their logo maker, and Google Ads to reach a hyper-niche audience at the exact moment their product is needed. Today, Google Ads drives almost half of Logojoy’s overall website traffic. “Logojoy is in 188 countries, and Google Search Ads has been a huge part of that,” says Whitfield.

Logojoy, Toronto, ON 

Vancouver, British Columbia 
43 employees

The web creates opportunities for every individual, and Paul Melhus and Dave Vincent are proof of that. “Most of our friends and family thought starting an e-commerce company in our 50s was crazy,” says co-founder Paul Melhus. “We thought it would be a challenge.”

ToursByLocals pairs travellers looking for unique, flexible experiences with local tour guides all over the world. The idea was born 12 years ago after Melhus and Vincent found themselves struggling to find a suitable tour option during a trip to the Great Wall of China. Today, ToursByLocals has served almost one million travellers in 153 countries and counting. The ToursByLocals used Google Analytics to inform their online strategy and today Google Ads makes up the majority of their marketing efforts. “We struggled at first - until we embraced Google Ads,” Melhus adds. “Almost immediately, our sales started to grow and they’ve continued ever since.”

ToursByLocals, Vancouver, BC 

These are just a few inspiring examples of the way Canadian businesses, large and small, use the web to reach new heights. Check out more stories of how businesses and nonprofits are leveraging the open web and Google tools to grow and compete globally.

The MMVAs are coming to YouTube this Sunday!

For the first time ever, you can watch the iHeart Radio MMVAs live on YouTube this Sunday night.

Canada's favourite street party in celebration of the best music videos of the year will be available to fans both at home and around the world on YouTube via the CTV YouTube channel.

 And it promises to be an incredible party with performances and appearances from the hottest artists - from homegrown stars like Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara and Brett Kissel to international favourites like Meghan Trainor, Marshmello, Anne-Marie, Halsey and 5 Seconds of Summer.

 Awkwafina, the breakout star of the box office smash Crazy Rich Asians, whose music and comedy career began on YouTube, will host the show. For a complete list of performers, presenters and all the nominees, please visit

 The party gets started with the pre-game at 7:30 PM ET, red carpet at 8:00 PM ET and the show at 9:00 PM ET!


The world’s best programmers unite in Toronto for Code Jam

Google’s longest-running programming competition, Code Jam, is bringing their World Finals to Google Toronto for the first time ever in August.

Toronto will host 39 of the savviest programmers representing 15 different countries who’ve made it through four rounds of intense, algorithmic challenges to beat out over 60,000 registrants.

Toronto, and the wider Toronto-Waterloo corridor is a hub for technology and innovation, and we are so excited to be able to share this culture with some of the best programmers from around the world.

The finalists joining us next week have dedicated countless hours of hard work and determination in the online rounds to get to this very moment, and will come together in one room to compete for the championship title and grand prize of up to $15,000.

Leading up to the finals, we spoke with Samuel Huang, a software engineer at Google Canada's engineering headquarters in Waterloo, a former Code Jam participant, and a volunteer for this year’s competition about his Code Jam experience.

What was your favourite part about participating in Code Jam? 
Samuel Huang: Day-to-day programming work is like writing books, and solving contest problems is like writing poems. These require related but slightly different skill sets. It's educational and refreshing to solve Code Jam problems. I'm consistently amazed by the creativity of problem writers. Solving a challenging problem is rewarding, and anything I couldn’t solve pointed to a gap in my knowledge that I can improve on. Most of all - I enjoyed the camaraderie. It was nice to meet so many people with similar interests as me. 

Since you’re volunteering at this year’s finals, what are you looking forward to the most?
SH: I’m very excited to meet this year’s contestants and hear the perspectives of a new generation of coders. I can’t wait to be amazed by their skills, and learn from them as well.

What are your words of advice for this year’s finalists?
SH: Be flexible and adapt to the occasion, be it contests, or interviews, or hackathons, or production work. Software engineering is about managing complexity and making trade-offs -- so in addition to doing what you do best, it would be valuable to know to switch gears for different situations, and don't be afraid to ask questions whenever you're unsure. 

To follow along, tune into the Code Jam World Finals livestream on August 10th at 12:30 PM EST. Can’t wait another week? Submit your questions to be featured on the livestream by tagging your social media posts with #TalkToCodeJam and participating in the #CodeJamFinals conversations on Twitter, Facebook and G+.

Placing a bet on building a better world

A few years ago, was looking for a way to encourage innovation in the non-profit sector, especially when the need is urgent and overwhelming, or when the challenge is complex and daunting.

The result was the Impact Challenge, an open-call that travels to different parts of the world to identify and fund organizations that are looking to use technology in transformative ways. 

The first Canadian challenge took place last year, and ten projects were selected. provided five million dollars in grant money, and in partnership with our team at the LEAP | Pecaut Centre for Social Impact, we jointly provided a unique blend of support that includes mentorship, education and access to Google’s tech expertise. LEAP also leveraged the deep bench of experience from our sector partners, the Boston Consulting Group, EY, McCarthy Tétrault, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, and the Offord Group, which provided pro-bono services and worked closely with each of the selected organizations.

Over the past twelve months, we’ve seen up close that Canadian nonprofits can do tremendous things when they are given not only tools, but also the room to fail and the freedom to spend capital where they most need it in order to meet their bigger goals.

The lessons we have learned together over the past year are applicable to any business with tight budgets and a risk-averse culture:

  • Invest in great ideas and visionary leaders - there are lots of good ones, be selective and only choose to invest in the best. Similarly, look for the leaders with ambition who want to drive forward a project. We look for leaders who want open source their technology, who build models with the potential to scale, who will speak publicly about their successes and failures so that others can learn and benefit.
  • The right toolkit is so much more than money - we don’t want to fund projects that dry up as soon as our grant is spent. We help our partners scope their projects to make sure that they can sustain the work after our investment is complete. We empower them to use the technology themselves, we don’t just do it for them. We look to harness their existing talent and expertise, and accelerate their learning in new areas.
  • Learn from each other - all of the nonprofits participating in the Impact Challenge have an opportunity to connect and learn from each other. They share what’s working, what failed, and how they have overcome challenges. They have built a community to continually turn to.

The money invested in non-profit innovation in Canada is already paying dividends. The Impact Challenge participants have done everything from deploy drones to find safe routes through disaster zones to build a digital map of climate change impact on sea ice ecosystems in Hudson Bay. They have developed ways to create educational opportunity for kids living on indigenous reserves and ways to divert surplus food away from landfill and onto the plates of hungry people through Canada’s Food Bank network.

When innovation works, the smart investor re-invests. We’re proud to share that five organizations will be partnering with us for a second year, and have been granted an additional $100,000 each from to continue their work. This brings the total investment across the Impact Challenge Canada to $5.5M in grant money, and an additional $1.5M in pro bono investment across Google Canada, LEAP and our partners.

The projects that will participate in this second phase are:

  • The Rumie Initiative - Only 40% of students on indigenous reserves graduate from high school, compared to 90% of students in the rest of Canada. The LearnCloud Portal is an offline, tablet-based curriculum to help high school students learn about Indigenous culture, history and language while gaining employment skills and financial literacy.
  • World Wide Hearing Foundation International - Globally, 32 million children suffer from significant hearing loss, the majority of whom live in countries where access to hearing care can be a significant barrier. The Teleaudiology Cloud will connect children living in remote communities with audiologists and speech therapists who can assist with remote screening, hearing aid fitting, speech therapy and parent counselling.
  • Arctic Eider Society - With Arctic sea ice declining at over 13% per decade, changing conditions make navigation unpredictable and limits access to traditional foods for Arctic communities. The SIKU platform will provide a set of open-source tools that help Inuit communities map changing sea ice, and build a living archive of Inuit knowledge to help inform decision making for stewardship and sustainable development.
  • Food Banks Canada - Each year, close to $31 billion of food is wasted in Canada, yet nearly one in ten Canadian households have to worry about whether they have food on the table. The FoodAccess App diverts surplus quality food away from landfill by connecting farmers, manufacturers and restaurants with donation agencies and Canadian dinner tables that might otherwise go empty. 
  • Growing North - In Nunavut, nearly 70% of adults are food insecure - meaning they lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Growing North addresses food insecurity issues by building greenhouses that will provide fresh produce all year round in latitudes above the Arctic Circle at about half of the present cost.

Celebrating Pride 2018 with our Canadian tech family

As searches for LGBT-related terms, like “how to come out” and ‘LGBTQIA meaning”, increase year over year, it's clear that, now more than ever, we need to continue supporting Canada's growing LGBTQIA+ community and making sure we’re providing all members with equal opportunity and a voice.

That’s why, this Pride, Google is celebrating families big and small, chosen or inherited. Over 150 employees and their friends and family from our Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo offices will be marching in the Toronto Pride Parade as part of #ThisIsFamily.

For the second year in a row, we're also marching alongside other companies within the wider Canadian tech community, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Indeed, Buzzfeed and more, as "TechProud".

Earlier this week, TechProud collaborated with local non-profit Venture Out to host a panel and workshop series at our Toronto office for more than 150 LGBTQIA+ tech professionals. At Google, we believe in the importance of storytelling as a tool to help connect like-minded individuals and our goal with this Venture Out series was to support and inspire our burgeoning homegrown LGTBQIA+ tech community.

Here are a few other ways we are working to be a resource for LGBTQIA+ Canadians and the wider community around Pride:
  • In Google Maps, this year's parade route is paved with ?rainbows?! 
  • We’re helping Canadian businesses declare their establishments "LGBTQ+ Friendly" or "Transgender Safe Space" on their business listings in Google Maps and Google Search. 
  • You'll also find rainbow "easter eggs" scattered through Google Search and G Suite, and you can join the fun from your desktop by switching your Gmail to a Pride theme for the month of June. 
  • On YouTube, we're celebrating the LGBTQ+ creators who are #ProudToCreate a better future with their imagination, creativity, talent, and truth through our YouTube Spotlight Channel, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Google Arts & Culture has a dedicated Pride collection celebrating LGBTQ+ history, with 20 exhibits and over 2,700 artifacts, part of which comes from the Stonewall Forever project. 
  • has pledged to match up to $100,000 in total in donations to PFLAG, It Gets Better and GLAAD during the month of June. 
Throughout 2018, we want to continue supporting and celebrating diversity in the Canadian tech scene by acting as a better resource for LGTBQIA+ Canadians via our products and programs, improving diversity and inclusion across our offices and uniting Canadian tech leaders in support of the LGTBQIA+ community.

From our family to yours, Happy Pride Canada!!

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium Launch in Canada: It’s All Here

The wait is over! Starting today, YouTube Music is available to everyone in Canada. Now Canadian fans can find more of the music they love and effortlessly discover new favourites.

YouTube Music is a new music streaming service built on top of all the music on YouTube that you can’t find anywhere else - personalized & all simply organized in one place.

Here’s how it all comes together:

  1. It’s ALL here. Not just music videos, but official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube.
  2. Recommendations built for you. A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on the artists and songs you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. Chilling at the beach? Need some motivation? The right music is right here, built just for you.
  3. Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. Try “A Dose of Sun” for brighter tunes on a cloudy day, “The Pop Hotlist” for the biggest hits around the world or Distrito Latino for Latin pop hits of the moment.
  4. Smart search so we’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. “That space-themed Spice Girls song in the desert.” Here you go. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong). It’s “Hold me closer, Tony Danza,” right?
  5. The hottest videos. We’ll keep you on top of what’s hot! The hottest videos in the world right now are right there, on their own dedicated Hotlist screen. So you can go check out that brand-new Degrassi-themed Drake video.
  6. Ad-free listening, downloads and more. Get YouTube Music Premium to listen ad-free, in the background and on-the-go with downloads. Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to. For a limited time, get three months free of YouTube Music Premium here, ($9.99 per month after, $14.99 per month for a Family Plan)*.

YouTube Premium also launches today
Starting today, YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) will also be available in Canada, providing members with the benefits of Music Premium, plus ad-free, background, and downloads across all of YouTube. YouTube Premium members also get access to the full slate of YouTube Originals shows and movies including the hit series Cobra Kai, Impulse, F2 Finding Football and The Sidemen Show. For a limited time, get three months free of YouTube Premium here, ($11.99 per month after, $17.99 per month for a Family Plan)*.

Current Google Play Music subscribers in Canada will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price as it becomes available there. Nothing is changing with Google Play Music - you'll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.
Try YouTube Music and YouTube Premium
Get the new YouTube Music from the Play Store and App Store today or check out the brand new web player at You can sign up for YouTube Premium at

*YouTube Music Premium is $9.99 per month and YouTube Premium is $11.99 per month for individual memberships in Canada.