Category Archives: Australia Blog

News and notes from Google down under

YouTube Shorts Fund expands to Australia

Australian creators are now eligible for a Shorts Fund bonus! We started the YouTube Shorts Fund to reward creators who make creative and unique Shorts - and now we’re expanding eligibility to over 30 new countries, including Australia! 
First announced by Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer in August, the US$100M fund will be distributed over 2021-2022. Each month, we’ll invite thousands of eligible creators to claim a payment from the Fund. This is the first step in our journey to build a monetisation model for Shorts on YouTube and any creator that meets our eligibility criteria can participate. 
We’re excited about what this means for creators in Australia. Not only does the Shorts Fund reward the next generation of mobile creators for their original contributions to Shorts, it also offers them a new way to earn money and build a business on YouTube. 
YouTube has helped a growing community of creators and artists to transform their creativity into viable businesses. We laid the groundwork for this modern-day creator economy over 14 years ago when we launched the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) — a first-of-its kind business model that shares the majority of revenue generated on the platform with creators. Along the way, we’ve continued investing in new monetisation options for creators beyond advertising, including, Merchandise, Channel Memberships, Super Chats and Super Stickers. In just over the last three years, we’ve paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies. And in Q2 2021, we paid more to YouTube creators and partners than in any quarter in our history. 
What do How Ridiculous, Economics Explained and Saksham Magic all have in common? They’re storytellers, directors, editors, marketers, and entrepreneurs — all in one. The incredible range of talents and skills of creators is inspiring. To give creators the opportunities they need to find success, YouTube has evolved from being just a place where people upload and share videos. It’s now a destination where creators can find new audiences, connect with fans in different ways, and build growing businesses. Our shared goal with creators is to help them build robust and diversified business models that work with both their unique content and community of fans. 
Alongside the Shorts Fund, here are more ways creators can make money and build a business on YouTube: 
  • Shorts Fund 
    • The YouTube Shorts Fund, a US$100M fund distributed over 2021-2022, launches today! Each month, we'll reach out to thousands of eligible creators to claim a payment from the Fund - creators can make anywhere from US$100 to US$10,000 based on viewership and engagement on their Shorts. The Shorts Fund is the first step in our journey to build a monetisation model for Shorts on YouTube and is not limited to just creators in YPP — any creator that meets our eligibility criteria can participate. We're also dedicated to providing funding via our Black Voices Fund
  • Ads 
    • Ads have been at the core of creators’ revenue streams, and continue to be the main way that creators can earn money on YouTube. Creators receive the majority of the revenue generated from ads on YouTube. 
  • YouTube Premium 
    • YouTube Premium is a paid subscription option which enables members to enjoy ad-free content, background playback, downloads, and premium access to the YouTube Music app. The majority of subscription revenue goes to YouTube partners. 
  • Channel memberships 
    • With channel memberships, creators can offer exclusive perks and content to viewers who join their channel as a monthly paying member at prices set by the creator. 
  • Super Chat 
    • Fans watching livestreams and Premieres can purchase a Super Chat: a highlighted message in the chat stream that stands out from the crowd to get even more of their favorite creator’s attention. 
  • Super Thanks 
    • Now viewers can give thanks and appreciation on uploaded videos as well through Super Thanks. As an added bonus, fans will get a distinct, colourful comment to highlight the purchase, which creators can respond to. 
  • Super Stickers 
    • Another way followers can show support during livestreams and Premieres is with Super Stickers, which allows fans to purchase a fun sticker that stands out. 
  • Merchandise 
    • The merch shelf allows channels to showcase their official branded merchandise right on their watch page on YouTube. Creators can choose from 30 different retailers globally. 
  • Ticketing 
    • Music fans can learn about upcoming concert listings and with a simple click, go directly to our ticketing partners’ sites to purchase tickets. 
Every new fan that subscribes to their favourite creators’ channels, every new member that joins, every like, comment received and every dollar earned goes into building the business ventures of tomorrow. At YouTube, the passion and ambition of our creators fuels us to continue innovating new ways to help them realise their goals and we are committed to introducing more revenue opportunities for our creators. As creators become the next generation of media companies, we’ll continue to deliver more ways to help them do just that. 

Pixel Buds A-Series: Rich sound, iconic design, just $159

When we first introduced our truly wireless Pixel Buds, we were most excited about how such a small product could pack so much functionality. Now, we’re making that same premium sound quality, along with hands-free help from Google Assistant and real-time translation, available at an even more affordable price. 
Introducing Pixel Buds A-Series: rich sound, clear calls and Google helpfulness, all in a low-profile design – for just $159. 

A premium audio experience 
Our research shows that most people describe great sound as full, clear and natural. This is what guides our audio tuning process and shows up in other devices, like Nest Audio. And Pixel Buds A-Series are no exception. Custom-designed 12mm dynamic speaker drivers deliver full, clear and natural sound, with the option for even more power in those low tones with Bass Boost. 
To experience the full range of the speaker’s capabilities, especially in the low frequencies, a good seal is essential. We’ve scanned thousands of ears to make Pixel Buds A-Series fit securely with a gentle seal. In order to keep the fit comfortable over time, a spatial vent reduces in-ear pressure. 
Each earbud also connects to the main device playing audio, and has strong individual transmission power, to keep your sound clear and uninterrupted. 
Sound quality can also be affected by your environment. The new Pixel Buds A-Series come with Adaptive Sound, which increases or decreases the volume based on your surroundings. This comes in handy when you're moving from the quiet of your home to somewhere noisy like a city street, or while jogging past a loud construction site. 
And your calls will have great sound too. To make sure your calls are as clear as they can be, Pixel Buds A-Series use beamforming mics to focus on your voice and reduce outside noise, making your calls crystal clear (though of course, overall call quality depends on signal strength, environment, network, and other factors). Once your call is over, quickly get back to your music with a simple “Hey Google, Play my music.” 

Stylish and hardworking 
For Pixel Buds A-Series, we wanted to bring back the iconic Clearly White, but added a twist with new grey undertones. 
Pixel Buds’ design is inspired by the idea that great things can come in small packages: Pixel Buds A-Series include up to five hours of listening time on a single charge or up to 24 hours using the charging case. And with the ability to get a quick charge — about 15 minutes in the case gives you up to three hours of listening time — you can keep listening anywhere.1 
They’re comfortable enough for those long listening sessions, and don’t worry if some of that time is devoted to a sweaty workout or a run in the rain: The earbuds are also sweat and water-resistant.2 

Hands-free access to the best of Google 
Google Assistant is built right into the Pixel Buds A-Series. You can get quick hands-free help to check the weather, get an answer, change the volume, or have notifications read to you with a simple “Hey Google.” 

Added accessories 
To help protect your new Pixel Buds A-Series, there is now the Tech21 EvoSlim — a lightweight case to shield your smallest tech from drops and scratches. It is made with a built-in microbe-reducing formula and has an easy-to-attach carabiner to help keep your Pixel Buds A-Series safe and close to hand. Available on the Google Store soon. 
Pixel Buds A-Series are now available for pre-order in Australia from the Google Store, arriving to customers from August 25. Pixel Buds A-Series will be available online from August 25 at JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Officeworks, and available at Optus and Vodafones later this year. Pixel Buds A-Series will also be available online at Telstra from August 27. For more country availability and waitlist options, visit

1 All listening times are approximate and were measured using music playback with pre-production hardware and software, with fully charged Pixel Buds A-Series and case, and other features disabled. Case is used to recharge Pixel Buds A-Series when their batteries are depleted. Charging times are approximate. Use of other features will decrease battery life. Battery life depends on device, features enabled, usage, environment and many other factors. Actual battery life may be lower. 
2 Pixel Buds A-Series (earbuds only) have a water protection rating of IPx4 under IEC standard 60529. Water resistance is not a permanent condition and may be compromised by normal wear and tear, repair, disassembly, or damage. 

New from Google Nest: The latest Cams and Doorbell are coming

Google Nest’s mission is to build products that make a more helpful home. All of this starts with helping you understand what’s happening within the walls of your home and outside of it. 

One of Nest’s first goals was to simplify home security, and it helped millions of people across the globe do this. So when we started dreaming up our next generation of cameras and doorbells, we wanted to incorporate the way the connected home — and your expectations — were heading. That included smarter alerts, wire-free options for installation flexibility, greater value and beautiful designs, plus enhanced privacy and security. We wanted our newest line to give you the most comprehensive set of intelligent alerts right out of the box, and easily work with your other Nest products, like displays. 

Today we’re introducing our next-generation Nest Cams and Doorbell: Google Nest Cam (battery) is our first outdoor/indoor battery-powered camera ($329); Google Nest Doorbell (battery) is our first battery-powered doorbell ($329). Learn more about 11 things to love about the new Nest Cam and Doorbell
Meet the new Google Nest Cam and Google Nest Doorbell

Then there’s Google Nest Cam with floodlight, our first connected floodlight camera ($549) and finally the second-generation Google Nest Cam (wired), a wired indoor camera and our most affordable Nest Cam ever ($169). 

We’ve heard how much people appreciate it when their Nest products all work well together. These new devices are no different. With the new Nest Cams and a display, you can keep an eye on the backyard from your kitchen and get alerts when the doorbell rings. Our new cameras are also fully integrated with the Google Home app. The Google Home app works with any compatible Android or iOS device, giving you access to all your compatible home devices in one place, anywhere and anytime. 

The new battery-powered Nest Cam and Nest Doorbell will go on sale on August 25, and are available for preorder today from the Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and The Good Guys. And for those who preorder, you can also secure an extra gift of a second-generation Nest Hub from selected retailers. 

Nest Cam with floodlight and the new wired indoor Nest Cam are coming soon. 

To learn more, visit the Google Store

Aussies can now save vaccination certificates on Android devices

Since the onset of the COVID-19, Australia has faced many seasons and surges of the pandemic. As we continue to battle the Delta variant across multiple states, Government and health authorities are working harder than ever to test and vaccinate people – and pave the way to safely open up communities. 

To support these efforts, we’ve been working with Services Australia to give you a convenient and secure way to view, save and show your vaccination status and information, straight from your smartphone. 

So, we just expanded our COVID Card feature to Australia – providing a simple, private and secure way to save and access vaccination information on Android smartphones after you’ve had your second jab. Vaccine information is only stored on your device (it is not stored by Google). 

To access your vaccination certificate, simply login to the Express Plus Medicare app or via the Medicare portal of the MyGov website and select the options to ‘View your COVID-19 digital certificate’ and ‘Save to Phone.’  

For added convenience, you can access your vaccine information even when you’re offline, which means you do not need mobile or wifi connection. If you have the Google Pay app on your Android phone, you can also access the certificate from the same place where you access your other cards and other passes.

Every time you access your certificate, you will be asked for the password, pin or biometric method that you have set up for your Android device. If you do not have this set up on your phone, you’ll be prompted to do so to strengthen security. 

The launch of the COVID Card feature in Australia builds on the many ways we’ve been working to help authorities, businesses and Australians stay safe and informed during the pandemic. This includes surfacing the latest updates, health and travel advice from authorities, and giving almost $5M AUD in ad grants to the Federal Government to support these public health initiatives. We’ve provided regular updates on Search trends and launched COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to offer local insights on the impact of social distancing. And to help meet the cost of the virus, we’ve offered $20M in ad credits to businesses to support their pivot to online trading during these challenging times. To keep across the latest news, check out our local COVID microsite featuring the latest updates and health resources: 

YouTube Shorts arrives in Australia

Last year, we announced that we are building YouTube Shorts, a short-form video experience for anyone who wants to create short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones. Since then, we’ve expanded our beta to 26 more countries and have already seen many creative, awesome Shorts from our community. 
We’re excited to share that YouTube Shorts is going global. We’re now rolling out our beta across more than 100 countries around the world where YouTube is available — including Australia. 
We plan to introduce more features as we continue to build Shorts alongside creators and artists. Here’s an update on what to expect from YouTube Shorts as it rolls out. 
Unlocking a new playground of creativity 
Creation is at the core of short-form video, and we want to make it easy and fun to create Shorts. Shorts already includes foundational creation tools like a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, the ability to record with music, control speed settings, and more. As we continue to build Shorts alongside our creators and artists, we’ve added more features to try, like: 
  • Add text to specific points in your video 
  • Sample audio from other Shorts to remix into your own creation 
  • Automatically add captions to your Short 
  • Record up to 60 seconds with the Shorts camera 
  • Add clips from your phone’s gallery to add to your recordings made with the Shorts camera 
  • Add basic filters to colour correct your Shorts, with more effects to come in the future 
We’ve also been starting to roll out the ability to sample audio from videos across YouTube - which includes billions of videos worldwide - unlocking a new playground of creativity like never before. This means you can give your own creative spin on the content you love to watch on YouTube and help find it a new audience — whether it’s reacting to your favourite jokes, trying your hand at a creator’s latest recipe, or re-enacting comedic skits. Creators will be in control and will be able to opt out if they don’t want their long form video remixed. 
We’ve also worked alongside our music partners to make sure artists and creators have a large library of songs to use in their Shorts. As we expand Shorts, the library and number of partners will continue to grow. 
Stay tuned for more creation tools rolling out in the future as we continue to build Shorts. 

Delivering a seamless viewing experience across YouTube 
We know that creation is only one part of the Shorts experience. We also want to help people find Shorts to enjoy and help creators get discovered. We’ve introduced a row on the YouTube homepage especially for Shorts, have launched a new watch experience that lets you easily swipe vertically from one video to the next, and will soon add a Shorts tab on mobile that makes it easier for you to watch Shorts with a single tap. 
We’re also exploring how to deepen your connection with Shorts content, creators, and artists you’re most interested in by integrating it with the YouTube you already know and love. For instance, if you hear a snippet of a song on Shorts, you can easily find the full song, watch the music video, or learn more about the artist — all on YouTube. And it works both ways. Tap the create button right from a video to make your own Short with that audio, or check out how others are using it on Shorts. 
As more people create and watch Shorts, we expect that our systems will get even better, improving our ability to help you discover new content, trends, and creators you’ll love. 

Supporting mobile creators 
YouTube has helped an entire generation of creators turn their creativity into businesses and become the next generation media companies. Over the last three years, we’ve paid more than US$30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies. 
Shorts is a new way to watch and create on YouTube, so we’ve been taking a fresh look at what it means to monetise Shorts and reward creators for their content. We are deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts, and are actively working on what monetisation options will look like in the future. 
As our first step in this journey, we recently introduced the YouTube Shorts Fund, a US$100M fund distributed over the course of 2021-2022. 
The Shorts beta is rolling out globally and will be available to everybody soon. We know that it will take us time to get this right, but we can't wait for you to try Shorts and help us build a first-class short-form video experience right on YouTube. 

Assessing the Economic, Societal, and Cultural Impact of YouTube in Australia

Every day, YouTube helps Australians learn new skills, start businesses, and enrich their lives. And this felt particularly true in 2020, when Australians turned to YouTube to learn, be entertainment or stay active with at-home fitness classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
I personally tuned into a lot of YBS Youngbloods to escape into the Aussie wilderness, I got tips from Self Sufficient Me to upgrade my veggie garden, and I followed Dr Matt & Dr Mike to learn more about COVID-19. 
Now, for the first time, we’re quantifying what happens on YouTube with the effects of the ecosystem in Australia comprehensively examined in a detailed study. The independent consulting firm, Oxford Economics, based in England, with a branch in Sydney, has compiled A Platform for Australian Opportunity: Assessing the Economic, Societal, and Cultural Impact of YouTube in Australia

So, what was the key finding? 
The YouTube creative ecosystem contributed A$608 million to the Australian economy and supported 15,750 full time equivalent jobs in 2020. 

YouTube creators (regardless of whether they are independent creative entrepreneurs*, media companies or the music industry) benefit from income that is generated directly via YouTube, for example, as advertising income or license fees. And we can see that the number of YouTube channels making five figures or more in revenue is up more than 30% year over year. 
In addition, YouTube helps many creators earn income from additional sources - whether that’s generating revenue by promoting a brand on video, or selling more of a product thanks to their YouTube profile. This off-platform income leads to further economic effects: for the creators themselves, across the corresponding Australian supply chains - as creators purchase goods for filming or pay for services like video editing - and, in turn, through expenses by employees. 

What did we learn about YouTube Creators? 
Australian creators are finding opportunities and audiences on YouTube, often leading to new doorways opening away from the platform. The report showed: 
  • 67% of creative entrepreneurs said YouTube has had a positive impact on their professional goals. 
  • 68% of creators agreeing YouTube gives them the opportunity to work in a way that suits their needs. 
  • 50% of creative entrepreneurs indicated YouTube had brought them additional opportunities away from the platform. 
Chloe Ting is just one of our homegrown stars and now one of the biggest fitness YouTube creators in the world. Her channel gained more than 14 million subscribers in 2020 alone, as she inspired a global movement of people staying healthy, connected and uplifted, particularly during COVID-19. Her accessible virtual classes and challenges not only help people move their bodies, but support their mental health by giving them a sense of belonging and a place to feel supported. 

How are businesses using YouTube? 
YouTube has become a significant tool for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). Through their own channel, targeted adverts or simply from watching YouTube content, businesses use YouTube to grow sales, connect with customers, and become more competitive. 
  • 75% of SMBs who advertise on YouTube agreed that YouTube ads have helped them grow sales. 
  • 63% of SMBs with a YouTube channel agreed their YouTube presence helps customers to find them. 
  • 75% of SMBs agreed or strongly agreed that YouTube is a convenient and cost-effective way of providing staff training. 
  • 68% of users agree YouTube has helped them learn about new career paths. 
When Sanjna Pathania’s morning routine video working for "The Big Four" went viral on YouTube, the former risk management consultant set out to help young Aussies kick start their career by sharing her corporate lifestyle and the lessons she had learned along the way. Now, Success by Sanjna is a one-stop shop for young people to get job-ready, and her strategies and insights are so in-demand, she’s left behind the corporate world and used her channel to launch a professional development consulting service. It’s all part of her mission to support a generation of confident and ambitious goal-chasers. 

Who are our creators? What are they saying? 
Anyone can become a creator - all you need is an idea or a passion. YouTube offers people with different backgrounds, of any age and from all parts of Australia the opportunity to share their voice. Because of this open culture, YouTube has now become a kind of content library. This content not only has the potential to generate a social dialogue and build new communities, but also to drive social change. 
  • 76% of creators agreed that YouTube provides a platform for undiscovered talent that is not being surfaced by traditional media. 
  • 64% of creators who self-identified as a minority agreed that they feel like they have a place to belong as a YouTube creator. 
  • 77% of users agreed that YouTube is home to diverse content. 
Each day, YouTube allows millions of new voices to be heard and stories to be told, and provides a place to belong for people around the world. Feeling alienated and alone when she was diagnosed with autism, Chloé Hayden channelled her emotions into building a YouTube channel that welcomes - and celebrates - diverse Australian voices in a safe and comforting space. Chloé’s channel is a place for people to find safety, share their experiences and offer support to each other. And her 33 thousand subscribers are more than her audience - they’re her inspiration and championing their stories helps the 23-year-old change the mindsets of the wider community and normalise discussions around disabilities. 

Is local culture being exported? 
Australian creators and artists punch above their weight and are receiving local and global recognition. And we’re proud that, whether it’s amplifying local voices like Baker Boy or promoting uniquely Aussie content like Brinkley Davies, YouTube has enabled homegrown talent to access audiences around the world. In fact, the report has shown us: 
97% of music and media companies with a YouTube channel agreed that the platform helps them reach new audiences across the world. 
Over 90% of watch time on content produced by Australian channels came from outside Australia in 2020.

What did we find in terms of “learning”? 
More and more people are coming to YouTube to access information and learn something new, and with over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute, there are constantly new learning opportunities at people’s fingertips. In both private and professional life, YouTube enables Australians to acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge - to save money, gain qualifications or even make a career jump. 
Dr Matt & Dr Mike are one example of creators helping audiences expand their minds. The lecturers unpack the mysteries of science in front of hundreds of thousands of people and democratise education through their fun and easy-to-understand YouTube tutorials. They first created their short videos as extra student resources, but their simple and relatable style soon triggered a world-wide reaction, and the pair are now on a mission to give everyone free access to world-class science and medical education. 
From teachers to parents, to small businesses and students, YouTube is enabling Australian users to acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge. 
  • 70% of teachers who use YouTube agreed that the platform gives students the flexibility to learn at their own pace. 
  • 71% of parents who use YouTube agreed that YouTube (or YouTube Kids for children under 13) makes learning more fun for their children. 
  • 77% of users agree YouTube has helped them supplement their formal education. 
  • 92% of users said they use YouTube to gather information and knowledge. 
These acquired skills and knowledge don’t go to waste. Leo Bailey turned to YouTube tutorials to teach himself how to make a range of different products after buying his first 3D printer. But when he saw a call-out for health-care supplies during COVID-19, the 13-year-old focused his attention towards making essential PPE supplies for hospitals across the state. During the pandemic, Leo made more than 100 masks for health staff and touchless ‘button pushers’ for local residents to use in public spaces to avoid directly touching surfaces. 

To read more about Australian creators and the report findings at

*The term creative entrepreneur here stands for YouTube creators, regardless of their gender identity, with at least 10,000 subscribers on their largest channel and for creators with fewer subscribers who receive funds directly from YouTube, generate funds from other sources with their YouTube videos and / or permanently employ other people to support their YouTube activities. 

About Oxford Economics: Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a joint venture of Oxford University's Business College to provide economic forecasting and models for UK companies and financial institutions planning to expand abroad. Since its inception, the organisation has grown into one of the leading global and independent consulting firms in the world, providing reports, forecasting and analysis tools in over 200 countries, 250 industries and 7,000 cities and regions. 
With headquarters in Oxford, England and regional centers in Frankfurt, London, New York and Singapore, Oxford Economics employs 400 full-time employees, including 250 economists, industry experts and business writers. The highly qualified team offers a wide range of research techniques and has groundbreaking expertise, including in areas such as econometric modeling, scenario framing and impact analyses, but also market surveys, case studies, expert panels and web analyses. 

The best of Australian photojournalism is now on Google Arts & Culture

Discover 12 highlights from “Paper Tigers” 

Starting today, World Press Freedom Day, people around the world can discover 60 images from 60 of Australia’s best photojournalists online on Google Arts & Culture, thanks to a new partnership with Head On Foundation

To celebrate this new collection, we sat down with Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, Founder and Artistic Director of the Head On Photo Festival, to learn more about the important moments these photographs capture and the incredible stories behind them. 

“The 60 images selected represent a small snippet of what Australia was like over the past four decades. Images that defined modern Australia, images that reflect the culture we live in, images that make political statements and images of diverse aspects of our world,” said Head On Foundation Director, Moshe Rosenzveig OAM. 

With so many moments to explore, here are Moshe’s 12 picks to get you started: 
  • Mervyn Bishop's historic 1975 image captures then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring a handful of earth back into the hand of Gurindji elder and traditional landowner Vincent Lingiari. This image represented the Australian government’s recognition of Aboriginal land rights and became an icon of the land rights movement and Australian photography. 

  • Martine Perret’s beautiful image ‘Levi and Keneisha’, taken as a part of her project Ngala Wongga (come and talk): Cultural Significance of Languages in the Western Australian Goldfields it captures local woman, Glenys Williams grandchildren floating in the clay pan around the Wiluna Mission. 

“I am thrilled for Head On to partner with Google Arts & Culture - this is such an important platform that ensures arts and culture can continue to thrive and fulfil their vital role in our society. Anyone, anywhere, can see excellent photography in a COVID-19 safe way at a time and place that suits them,” said Head On Foundation Director, Moshe Rosenzveig OAM. 

Keep exploring the eight virtual exhibits, or in the Head On Foundation collection audiences can also explore 100 incredible images from the Head On Photo Award 2020 finalists. 

Make your home a little more helpful: new Nest features

Nest devices are changing the way we get things done at home - and the best part is that they keep getting more and more helpful over time with regular updates. You may have already noticed and started using new features like: 

Get access to award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries with the Apple TV app now on Chromecast with Google TV. You’ll now see Apple Originals in your recommendations on Google TV, and you can add them to your Watchlist. 

New to Chromecast with Google TV? 
Set up is quick and easy. Now you're on the way to discover even more content from many of your favourite apps, including 400,000+ movies and TV episodes, plus millions of songs. 

Guest Mode 
We introduced Guest Mode on Nest devices, an easy way to control your privacy on your speakers and displays, like Nest Audio and Nest Hub Max. You can enjoy all your favourite features, like asking questions, controlling smart home devices, setting timers or playing music and your Google Assistant interactions will not be saved to your account. Just say, “Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode,” to turn it on. 

These are just some of the ways we are helping you to get more out of your Nest devices. Keep an eye out for more helpful features. 

*Chromecast with Google TV requires a TV with an HDMI port, a Wi-Fi network, a Google Account, a nearby electrical outlet, and a compatible mobile device. Minimum OS requirements are available at 
**Subscription required for Apple TV+.

How we’re helping Aussies in their search for support

Editor’s note: This post is co-authored by Rachel Bowes, Head of Crisis Services and Quality at Lifeline Australia and Jill Newby, Associate Professor at Black Dog Institute. 

Early intervention and access to mental health support services are now more important than ever, following a difficult 14 months for Australians with bushfires, drought and COVID-19. 

Search interest for "What is depression?" reached its highest peak in more than a decade in March 2020 in Australia, so there is a great opportunity to direct people to the support they need — right at the moment they are looking for information. 

Starting today, anyone in Australia searching for depression can not only view trusted information on the condition, but also opt to take a 9-question self-assessment that is based on a clinically-validated questionnaire called PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9). This questionnaire is used by healthcare providers to evaluate someone’s level of depression and identify resources that would be most suitable to their needs. 

After completing Google’s new self-assessment, people can see their risk for depression as well as connect with evidence-based resources, crisis hotlines, and additional support from our teams at Black Dog Institute and Lifeline. 

With over 3 million people in Australia living with anxiety or depression, the more access to support that is offered the better. 1 in 5 Aussies will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year – and roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help. So when organisations take steps to ensure people are aware that support is available and how to access them, we know it will help save lives. 

Over the past year, Lifeline’s Volunteer Crisis Supporters have been on the frontline, holding people safe as they battle the invisible effects of disaster – the impact on mental health. At Lifeline, the ‘new normal’ is responding to over 3,000 calls every day. That’s a person in crisis now reaching out for support every 30 seconds. 

Meanwhile the Black Dog Institute was quick to conduct research on how Australians were coping with the pandemic. Realising three quarters of participants said their mental health had worsened as a result of COVID-19, the medical research institute stepped up support through its online clinic offering telehealth support so everybody has the same access to support, no matter their location in Australia. 

Collectively, the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline welcome new resources that help people better understand their condition and empower them to seek out appropriate mental health support services. We are glad to work with Google to extend existing, clinically-validated tools to meet the needs of Australians, especially during this critical time.

Meet the new Nest Hub

Introducing the second-generation Nest Hub! Since we launched Google’s first smart display two years ago, it’s brought help to thousands of homes and we’ve been dedicated to exploring ways to make our devices even more helpful. 

The Nest Hub you love, but better 
The new Nest Hub’s speaker is based on the same audio technology as Nest Audio and has 50 percent more bass than the original Hub for a bigger, richer sound to fill any room with music, podcasts or audiobooks from services like YouTube Music and Spotify — or enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies with a subscription from providers like Netflix, Disney+ and Stan. With Quick Gestures, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display. 
The new Nest Hub shows all your compatible connected devices in one place so you can control them with one tap. And with a built-in Thread radio, Nest Hub will work with the new connectivity standard being created by the Project Connected Home over IP working group, making it even simpler to control your connected home. 

Nest Hub is also full of help for your busy family. See your calendar, set timers, and create reminders with Family Notes, digital sticky notes to share chores and to-dos so everyone stays on track. 

New sleep features for better rest 
The Nest Hub has always helped you tackle the day; now, it can help you rest well at night. Many of us don’t get enough sleep, which is becoming the number one concern for adults when it comes to health and wellness. 
As people have started to recognise the need for better sleep, sleep trackers have continued to become a popular solution. But we wanted to offer an alternative way for people who may not want to wear something to bed to understand their sleep. 
We dug into the data, and because we also knew people felt comfortable with Nest Hub at their bedsides thanks to its camera-free design, we went to work. The result is Sleep Sensing, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep — and is available as a free preview until next year. 
Sleep Sensing is completely optional with privacy safeguards in place so you’re in control: You choose if you want to enable it and there's a visual indicator on the display to let you know when it’s on. Motion Sense only detects motion, not specific bodies or faces, and your coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device — it isn’t sent to Google servers. You have multiple controls to disable Sleep Sensing features, including a hardware switch that physically disables the microphone. You can review or delete your sleep data at any time, and consistent with our privacy commitments, it isn't used for personalised ads. 
Even if you choose not to enable Sleep Sensing, you can still fall asleep and wake up easier with Nest Hub. The display dims to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, and the “Your evening” page helps you wind down at night with relaxing sounds. When it’s time to wake up, Nest Hub’s Sunrise Alarm gradually brightens the display and increases the alarm volume. If you need a few more ZZZs, use Motion Sense to wave your hand and snooze the alarm. 

Sustainable design that matches any room 
The new Nest Hub will be available to Australians in two colours, to complement most rooms in the house: Chalk and Charcoal. It features an edgeless glass display that’s easy to clean and makes your Nest Hub an even more beautiful digital photo frame. And continuing our commitment to sustainability, Nest Hub is designed with recycled materials with its plastic mechanical parts containing 54 percent recycled post-consumer plastic. 

The second-generation Nest Hub is $149. It can be preordered online in Australia at the Google Store and other retailers from today.