Tag Archives: Google on iOS

Add these new Google widgets to your iPhone

We rely on our phones for nearly every part of our day, from navigating to work to kicking back with our favorite shows. That’s why we’re always working to make your device more helpful, including giving you easier ways to find what you need — and keep your day running smoothly.

Widgets for Google apps are a big part of how we do that. OurLock Screen widgets for iOS 16 are officially available, so you can access features from your favorite Google apps with a quick tap or even just a glance at your iPhone Lock Screen. Between these and our Home Screen widgets, we’ve got you covered across all your favorite Google apps.

Let’s take a closer look at ways you can use all these new widgets.

Customize your Lock Screen for work and play

Set up a separate Lock Screen to stay focused during the workday. The Gmail widget can automatically show you the number of new messages since you last opened your inbox and which categories they're in, helping you stay on top of emails even if you’re heads down on a project. And with our Drive widgets, you can open a suggested or starred file in just one tap.

An iPhone Lock Screen with a photo of a bridge and the Gmail and Drive Lock Screen widgets. The Gmail widget shows there are eight new messages and the Drive widget shows a suggested file with the text “Q4 Lock Screen Widgets, you opened this recently.”

When you’re done for the day, simply switch to another Lock Screen to catch up on anything you missed at work — like headlines from the Google News Lock Screen widget. And when you’re ready to head home, use the Maps Frequent Trips widget to see estimated travel times and start your navigation in just a tap.

An iPhone Lock Screen with a photo of a dog and the Maps and News Lock Screen widgets. The Maps widget shows an estimated travel time to Home in 14 minutes on the train, while the News widget displays a headline that says “The Keyword: Google announces new customizable Lock Screen widgets on iOS.”

Navigate new territory with Maps, Search and Chrome

Out of town and looking for places to go? Add the Maps Search widget and customize it to find nearby restaurants, gas stations and more with one tap from your Lock Screen.

An iPhone Lock Screen with a photo of a bridge and four Google Maps Lock Screen widgets. The widgets are configured for restaurants, gas stations, coffee and hotels.

Even farther from home? Add a shortcut to Google Lens from the Google app’s Lock Screen widget to use your camera to start translating text in over 100 languages.

An iPhone Lock Screen with a photo of pink flowers and two Search Lock Screen widgets. One shows the Google Search bar, the other shows the Lens Translate icon.

Add the Chrome Lock Screen widgets to find something fast while you’re on the go. Quickly launch Chrome, start a search with your voice or open Incognito mode. If you have a long commute, tap the Dino game widget to help pass the time.

An iPhone Lock Screen with a photo of a rock formation and four Chrome Lock Screen widgets: Search, Voice Search Incognito Search and the Chrome Dino game.

Tune in with new YouTube and YouTube Music widgets

With our new YouTube Home Screen widget, just tap to watch Shorts or new videos from your favorite creators in the YouTube app. Or, start searching for a video right from your Home Screen.

An animation shows two YouTube Search Home Screen widgets switching into dark mode. The small widget displays “Search YouTube,” while the other widget shows a search box with a microphone at the top and options for Home, Shorts and Subscriptions underneath.

And with the new YouTube Music Lock Screen widget, start listening to your favorite songs in the app in just one tap.

An iPhone Lock Screen with a photo of a peace sign and two YouTube Music Lock Screen widgets. The rectangular widget displays a “Super Chill” playlist as Recently Played, while the other has “Super Chill” on a circular widget.

Can’t remember the name of a song? Configure the Google app’s Lock Screen widget to start a voice search — and start humming or singing a few bars.

An iPhone Lock Screen with a photo of concert stage and a Search Lock Screen widget with a microphone icon configured for voice search.

To try out these Google widgets, first make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS and your Google apps are up to date. Then, press and hold down on your Lock Screen or Home Screen to start customizing. Check out step-by-step instructions for adding Lock Screen widgets.

Customize your Lock Screen with Google apps in iOS 16

iOS 16 has arrived. And along with many new features, you can now customize your Lock Screen to put the information you need front and center.

Your Lock Screen is the first thing you see when you pick up your phone, and Lock Screen widgets for lots of Google apps are on the way. You’ll be able to unlock your device to access your favorite Google features in just one tap — and even see some updates right on your Lock Screen.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s coming.

Find what you’re looking for, fast

Search

Need an answer fast? Start your Google search right from your Lock Screen. You can even configure the Search widget to start searching with your voice or camera — to translate, get homework help or shop what you see.

GIF of various Google Search Lock Screen widgets, including a rounded rectangular Search bar and four circular widgets for Voice, Lens, Translate via Lens, Shopping via Lens and Homework via Lens.

Chrome

Try our Chrome Lock Screen widgets to quickly launch Chrome, start a search with your voice or in incognito mode, or load our beloved dino game.

Four Chrome Lock Screen widgets, including Search in Chrome, Voice Search, Incognito mode and Chrome Dino game.

Drive

Access your files with our Drive widgets. Open a suggested Drive file or your starred files and folders with a single tap to pick up where you left off with that work project or short story draft.

A Google Drive rectangular Lock Screen widget displaying a suggested file titled “Project Lopez 2022” and a circular Lock Screen widget of a starred Drive folder.

Get where you need to go

Google Maps

With the Maps Frequent Trips widget, get real-time traffic updates and estimated travel times to places like home and work right on your Lock Screen. When you’re ready to head out, just tap to open the app and start navigating.

You can also find restaurants, shops and other favorite nearby spots by tapping the Maps Search widget.

GIF of two rectangular Lock Screen widgets displaying trips to “Home” and “Google San Francisco”; four circular Lock Screen widgets for restaurants, shopping, coffee and hotels in Google Maps

Stay in the know

Gmail

Stay on top of your email with Gmail’s Lock Screen widget, which will automatically show you the number of new messages in your inbox. You can also customize the widget to see which inbox categories, like Social or Updates, contain new messages.

GIF of Gmail Lock Screen widget showing eight unread emails in an inbox.

Google News

See real-time headlines with a quick glance at the Google News widget. And if something in particular catches your eye, simply tap to read more in the app.

Google News Lock Screen widget displaying a news headline that says “The Keyword: Google announces new customizable Lock Screen widgets on iOS.”

Look out for all these widgets in the coming weeks. In the meantime, get ready by installing your favorite Google apps on your iPhone. Once our widgets are available, just press and hold down your Lock Screen to start customizing.

Make Google Maps your copilot with these new updates

Say goodbye to road trip and vacation planning woes with new updates to Google Maps 👋 . Whether you’re driving around a new city or heading out on a weekend road trip, we’re launching new improvements including toll prices, a more detailed navigation map, and iOS updates to help you plan your drive, save money and explore a new place.

To toll or not to toll? Pick the best route with new toll prices

Long-distance drives, poor road conditions, and heavy traffic can dampen the mood of any road trip. In those moments, you might want to take a toll road. To help make the choice between toll roads and regular roads easier, we’re rolling out toll prices on Google Maps for the first time.

Soon, you’ll see the estimated toll price to your destination before you start navigating thanks to trusted information from local tolling authorities. We look at factors like the cost of using a toll pass or other payment methods, what the day of the week it is, along with how much the toll is expected to cost at the specific time you’ll be crossing it.

Not a fan of toll roads? No problem. When a toll-free route is available, we’ll still show you that route as an option. Like always, you can choose to avoid seeing routes with toll roads completely. Simply tap on the three dots at the top right corner of your directions in Google Maps to see your route options and select ‘Avoid tolls.’

You’ll start seeing toll prices on Android and iOS this month for nearly 2000 toll roads in the U.S., India, Japan and Indonesia — with more countries coming soon.

Phone screen showing new toll prices in Google Maps

New toll prices in Google Maps will help you decide the best route for you.

A more detailed map so you can navigate new roads with ease

Driving on unfamiliar roads can be stressful — especially when you’re driving at night or with a car full of people. We’re adding rich new details to Google Maps’ navigation experience so you can explore with confidence. You’ll soon see traffic lights and stop signs along your route, along with enhanced details like building outlines and areas of interest. And, in select cities, you’ll see even more detailed information, like the shape and width of a road, including medians and islands–you can better understand where you are, and help decrease the odds of making last-minute lane changes or missing a turn.

The new navigation map starts rolling out to select countries in the coming weeks on Android, iOS, Android Auto and CarPlay.

A Pixel phone and an iPhone showing updated navigation featuring stop signs and traffic lights

Google Maps will soon show traffic lights and stop signs along your route, as well as other enhanced details

Easier ways to explore on iOS

When you’re out and about, efficiency matters — whether you want to be unattached to your iPhone, use Siri to look up directions while behind the wheel, or quickly search within Google Maps. We’re rolling out new iOS updates that make Google Maps easier to use on the go.

  • Access Google Maps from your home screen with new widgets: Our new pinned trip widget lets you access trips you’ve pinned in your Go Tab right from your iOS home screen — making it even easier to get directions. You can see your arrival time, the next departure for your transit trip, and even a suggested route if you’re driving. And because good things come in small packages, we’re also making the existing Google Maps search widget smaller so you can search for your favorite places or navigate to frequent destinations with one tiny tap. Make sure you have the latest version of the Google Maps app downloaded to see these widgets in the coming weeks.
  • Navigate from your Apple Watch: If you have an Apple Watch and constantly find yourself away from home — and away from your phone — you’ll soon be able to get directions on Google Maps directly from your Watch. Starting in a few weeks, you’ll no longer need to begin navigation from your iPhone. Simply tap on the Google Maps shortcut in your Apple Watch app, and the navigation will start automatically on your Apple Watch. You can also add the “Take me home” complication to your watch and tap it to start the navigation home on Google Maps.
  • Search and get directions with Siri and Spotlight: Google Maps is integrating directly into Spotlight, Siri, and the Shortcuts app on iOS. Once you’ve set up the shortcuts, just say “Hey Siri, get directions” or “Hey Siri, search in Google Maps” to access Google Maps’ helpful information instantly. You’ll start seeing this feature in the coming months, with enhanced Siri search functionality coming later this summer.

We’re always looking for more ways to bring new information to Maps to help you explore. For more on how to use Maps as your copilot for road trip travel, check out these tips.

Get more done with these Google updates on iOS

We’re adding new features to Google apps on iPhones and iPads to help you get more done — whether you’re at work, at school or on the go.

New widgets will give you easier access to your favorite Google apps, while updated Chat and Gmail notifications can help you stay on top of important pings. Read on for more.

Translate over 100 languages from your Home Screen

The new Google Translate widget puts the app’s most popular features within easy reach — like taking a photo to translate text, using conversation mode to chat in two languages and translating copied text with a single tap. Plus, with the widget on your Home Screen, you can easily brush up on your language skills.

The Google Translate widget animates between light and dark mode on iOS. It has a text bar to translate from Spanish to French, with options for “Camera,” “Conversation” and “Transcribe” underneath.

Get more work done on your iPad

If you’re using an iPad to get things done, the new XL widget for Google Drive will give you easier access to your important files.

Designed specifically for the iPad and rolling out next week, the XL widget will show more files right on the Home Screen. It will also have more shortcuts to help you quickly get to your Priority files and Shared drives — so that big presentation for work or final paper for school is right where you need it.

The Google Drive XL widget animates between light and dark mode on iOS. It has a “Search in Drive” text bar, along with various Docs, Sheets and Slides.

And XL isn’t the only option. With different Drive widget sizes available, you can easily personalize your iPad Home Screen — adding more or less Drive features depending on what’s most useful to you.

Medium, Large and Extra Large Google Drive widgets in light mode on iOS. Each widget shows a “Search in Drive” text bar with different amounts of Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Never miss an important ping

Later this month, we’re updating the Gmail and Chat apps so that a sender’s profile photo will appear in your chat notification — making it easier to see who’s messaged you.

This update will also give you more control over which Chat and Gmail chat notifications break through Focus on your iPhone or iPad. This can be handy if you’re trying to cut down on screen time but don’t want to miss an important message.

Simply choose the contacts you want notifications from when Focus is on, and Gmail or Chat will do the rest — notifying you about those specific chat messages, even when other notifications are silenced.

An iPhone Home Screen showing Gmail and Chat notifications in Work Focus Mode. The iPhone’s background is ocean waves, and the chat notifications are from “Sunny Chou” and “Sawyer Vaughan” with a dog and cat as their profile photos.

Stay productive with these Google features on iOS

If you use Google apps to get work done on your iPhone or iPad, we’re making some improvements to help you stay organized and productive.

Keep on top of your inbox with the new Gmail widget

Thanks to your helpful feedback on our first Gmail widget, we’re adding a new one so you can better manage your inbox on iOS. With the new widget, you’ll see the senders and subjects of your most recent emails right on your Home Screen.

Gif of the Gmail widget, fading from a gray to a black background. It shows an icon with a picture of a dog next to three emails. Each email shows the sender and subject line.

The new Gmail widget will put more of your inbox on your Home Screen

Multitask with Google Meet

ICYMI, we recently made multitasking easier on Google Meet. With Picture-in-Picture support, you can still participate in your meeting as you move between apps on your iOS device.

For example, you might want to forward an email, share a document or just look something up while you’re chatting. Simply navigate out of the Google Meet app, and your meeting will be minimized in a window that you can move around your Home Screen. You can also resize the meeting window, or slide it off to the side if you need more space to get something else done.

We’re launching this same feature on the Gmail app in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

A gif showing different examples of the Picture-in-Picture screen floating above other screens on the iPhone. It transitions from Gmail, to Photos, to a Google Doc while the Google Meeting screen is in the foreground.

Picture-in-picture supports multitasking with Google Meet

Do more with Google Sheets

If you work with spreadsheets, keyboard shortcuts can be really useful. So we’re adding shortcut support to Google Sheets on iOS.

Shortcuts make it easier to complete common and advanced tasks on Google Sheets using a small keyboard — like selecting a whole row or finding and replacing certain values. Shortcuts will also work if you’re using a Bluetooth or Magic Keyboard on your iPad. Just hold down the command key to see the available shortcuts.

A gif cycling through Google Sheets screens, showing the pop-up keyboard shortcut menu on an iPad.

Get more done in Google Sheets for iOS, with new keyboard shortcuts

We hope you enjoy these new features launching in the next few weeks, and that they help make it easier to get your work done on iOS devices.

Bring the best of Google to your iPhone 13

Just got the new iPhone 13? Check out these tips to help you bring the best of Google to iOS.

Personalize your Home Screen

We know how important it is to get your Home Screen just right — and you can personalize it with our selection of widgets. With the right combination, you’ll never even have to leave your Home Screen to catch up on the latest.


For example, you can search the web, keep an eye on your commute, review your latest workout, and rock out to your favorite playlist all at once with our Google app, Google Maps, Google Fit and YouTube Music widgets.

iPhone 13 showing Google Maps, Google Fit, YouTube Music and Google Photos widgets.

Catch up with your favorite widgets as part of your morning routine.

Or if you have a busy work day ahead, you can choose to keep your Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Drive widgets front and center — plus any other apps you need to stay focused.

iPhone 13 in dark mode, showing Google Drive, Google Calendar and Gmail widgets.

Create your own personal workspace. 

Starting a new school year? There are also plenty of widgets to help you have a productive day of studying. And you can easily place them around any other apps you need, like Google Classroom or YouTube.

iPhone 13 with a pink background showing a widget set-up with the Google app, Keep, Gmail and Google Calendar.

Get ready to study with your own widgetized Home Screen.

Organize your favorite Google apps with Smart Stacks

If you prefer to keep your Home Screen clear of distractions (except photos of your dog, of course), give Smart Stacks a try. A Smart Stack of Google widgets will help you organize your Home Screen even better and keep your favorite Google apps at the ready.

An iPhone 13 screen with a pink background showing a user cycle through a Smart Stack of Google widgets.

Try Smart Stacks to prioritize your Home Screen — pet photos included.

Smart Stacks let you stack widgets of the same size on top of one another. Simply drag and drop widgets of the same size, the same way you do with apps to create a folder.

An iPhone 13 screen with a pink background showing a user dragging different Google widgets over one another to build a new Smart Stack.

Set Chrome as your default browser for helpful Google features

When you click a link or open a website on your iPhone, you can get helpful benefits from Google by setting your default browser to Chrome. 


If you’re signed into Chrome and syncing, your tabs will sync across any of your devices using Chrome, and your saved passwords and autofill information will be ready to use. Not to mention, Chrome’s security features will continue to work in the background to keep you safe.


As the default browser, Chrome also integrates with Spotlight. So when you search for something using Spotlight, Chrome is helping you get the results you’re looking for.


If you need help setting Chrome as your default browser, check out our Help Center article.

An iPhone 13 screen showing a user searching with Spotlight and seeing results from Chrome.

Set Chrome as your default browser to get Google results in Spotlight.

We hope you enjoy these features — they’re designed to help keep you organized, updated and entertained with the best of Google on your iPhone 13.

Google apps, meet iOS 15

Get ready to hit update. iOS 15 is here — and with it, many new features to improve your favorite Google apps.

Fewer interruptions when you focus

If you’re someone who gets non-stop notifications throughout the day, we bet you’ll enjoy the new Focus mode on iOS. Focus mode is really useful when you’re trying to get work done, study or just need a digital break. We’ve updated Google apps to work with Focus mode and make notifications as relevant and timely as possible.

For example, if you’re navigating somewhere with Google Maps, we’ll still let you know when you need to make a turn or if there are changes to your route — like road closures or unexpected traffic. Focus mode won’t silence these helpful, timely reminders.

Similarly, the Google Home app will let you know if there’s an unfamiliar face at your door. And if you set a reminder in Google Tasks that’s linked to a specific time, like “take the cupcakes out of the oven at 11:45,” we’ll be sure to notify you.

But notifications that aren’t as urgent or don’t require immediate action will go right to the Notifications Center, where you can check them whenever is most convenient for you.

In the coming weeks, you’ll start to see these new notification changes roll out across Gmail, Meet, Tasks, Maps, Home and many other Google apps. Try it out, your future self will thank you.

Animated gif showing different Time Sensitive notifications for Google Maps, Google Tasks, Google Calendar and Google Home.

 Time Sensitive notifications will remain as relevant and timely as possible.

Bigger widgets for iPad

You’ve told us our iPhone widgets are really useful for accessing your favorite Google apps and features. Now, we’re bringing them to the iPad in a big way.

Animated gif of XL iPad widgets featuring a surfer at sunset in Google Photos and a “Dance Hits” playlist in YouTube Music.

Photos and YouTube Music widgets are coming to iPad.

In the coming weeks, Google Photos and YouTube Music will roll out extra large versions of their popular widgets so you can easily access some of your best Memories and favorite music on your iPad Home Screen.

Easier access to Google on iOS

We’ve already made it easy to find what you need in Google Drive using Spotlight. And starting today, if you search for your favorite song in Spotlight, you can start playing it directly in YouTube Music.

Animated gif showing a search for musician Tate McRae in Spotlight Search and tapping on the result to open YouTube Music.

Search for your favorite song in Spotlight and start playing it directly in YouTube Music.

From widgets to dark mode: 3 updates to Google Maps on iOS

Chocolate or vanilla. 🍦 Crunchy peanut butter or smooth. Androids or iPhones. No matter what your (device) preferences are, Google Maps is here to help you navigate, explore, and get things done as easily as possible. Today, we’re rolling out three new ways to more conveniently access Google Maps’ information about the world right from your iPhone. And while we’re at it, our Googlers are sharing handy tricks you might have forgotten you could do on iOS. 😉


Share your live location right from iMessage

If you’re meeting up with friends or family, you can now share your real-time location while you’re texting so you can stay safe and never miss a beat. Just tap on the Google Maps button in iMessage and —  voilà — your location will be shared for one hour by default, with the option to extend up to three days. To end your share, simply tap the “stop” button on the thumbnail.
A GIF of Location Sharing in iMessage

Share your live location right from iMessage

The information you need, fast

One of Google Maps’ most powerful features is the ability to see live traffic conditions in an area. With the new nearby traffic widget, you can now access this information for your current location right from your home screen. So if you're about to leave home, work, school, or any other place, you’ll know at a glance exactly what traffic is like, and can plan accordingly.

Heading to one of your regular spots? With the new Google Maps search widget, you can search for your favorite places or navigate to frequent destinations with just a quick tap. 

An image of the new Google Maps widgets

Access Google Maps’ helpful information right from your iPhone’s home screen.

To install either widget, make sure you have the latest Google Maps app downloaded from the App store and follow these steps:

  1. From your home screen, touch and hold a widget or an empty area until your apps jiggle.

  2. In the upper-left corner, tap the Add button.

  3. Search for and tap the Google Maps app.

  4. Swipe to select a widget, then tap Add Widget.

  5. Tap Done.

A GIF that shows how to install the new Google Maps widgets on iOS

Hold down an app or empty space on your home screen to start installing your new widgets.

Come to the dark side

Experiencing screen fatigue or want to personalize your app? You’re in luck: dark mode on Google Maps for iOS starts rolling out in the coming weeks so you can give your eyes a break or save on battery life. To turn it on, head to your Settings, tap on dark mode, then select “On”.

A screenshot of Google Maps on iOS in dark mode

Rest your eyes and save your battery life with dark mode in Google Maps on iOS.

But that’s not all. To help you get the most out of Google Maps on iOS, check out these tips — using features both new and old — from the people behind Google Maps.

Photo of a male Googler sitting outside

Stay safe 


Google Maps has a ton of features that help me feel more safe when getting around. Whenever I head to a new place, I make sure to use the “Save my parking location” tool so I’m not wandering around looking for my car, especially if it’s dark out. And the offline maps feature is awesome. If I’m going on a hike or I know I’ll have a spotty connection, I download a map of the area to help me avoid getting lost. - Max Kaplan, Social Media 


A photo of a female Googler in front of a restaurant

Make it YOUR map


Whenever I’m on the hunt for a new restaurant, I use the “Your Match” score to figure out how likely I am to like a spot based on my unique tastes (please tell me they have almond milk) so I never waste time and money on a place I probably won’t enjoy. When I’m looking for things to do, I turn to my Community Feed to get an overview of what’s happening in an area, including helpful information from Local Guides, businesses and articles from some of my favorite publishers like The Infatuation. - Madison Gouveia, Communications


Photo of a male Googler wearing a plaid shirt

Use your map to do good


I’m passionate about supporting a diverse set of businesses, and Google Maps makes it easy to do so. With a quick search, I can find nearby businesses that are Women, Black-owned or LGBT-friendly, and quickly learn more about their products, services, and mission with just a few taps. Then, I use Live View, our AR-powered walking directions, to quickly navigate there.  - Bilawal Sidhu, Product 


Make sure to check out all of today’s newest features, which will be available for everyone using Google Maps on iOS this month.

Source: Google LatLong


Tips and tricks from Google’s resident iOS expert

Luke Wroblewski has been thinking about mobile design since...well, since mobile design was a thing. “I got my start in the mid-90s developing tools for scientists working with the first graphical web browser at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications,” he says. “Back then, people thought the internet was mostly just for scientists to share data.” But Luke was looking at what else could be done with the web, and like many other people, he realized very early on that the future was mobile.

“I remember back then, the mindset was, ‘People aren’t going to watch videos on their phones, and people aren’t going to buy anything on their phones,’” he says. “But it was clear this was going to grow and it was going to grow really fast.” Today, Luke doesn’t just work on one mobile app — he works on nearly 100 of them. As the lead of the iOS at Google team, he coordinates all of Google’s iOS apps.

Luke’s job is to make sure Google’s entire family of products work as well on iOS as they do on Android — and that Google apps make use of the latest iOS functionality to work better with people’s iPhones, iPads and more. “We really want people to see that having our products on their iPhone makes Google more helpful for them,” he says. “And every time Apple updates its operating system, it just gives us even more opportunities to make Google apps better by taking advantage of the new things these devices are capable of.”

Given his expertise, we asked Luke to run us through some of his favorite things you can do with Google apps on iOS. Here are his iOS Google app power user tips:

Widgets, your way: “Right now, everybody does this dance of open the phone, find the app, tap the app, open the app, go to the feature tap on the feature, and on and on… so we’ve been doing a bunch of things to try and bring the most useful stuff to you when you need it instead.” Like widgets, Luke says, which let you easily access key features of your Google apps from your homescreen. Luke’s favorite is the Google Photos widget, which shows Memories featuring his photos from years past, recent highlights, favorite activities and more without any action on his part.  

Rendering of various Google products as iPhone widgets.

Personalize your Search widget:While he loves his Photos widget, there’s nothing quite like having the world’s information just a tap away with the Google Search widget. And now, you can personalize your Search widget backgrounds and skins, and even have them refresh daily. Coming from a design background, Luke loves the ability to make his widget look uniquely his own on his home screen. 

Chrome mobile to desktop handoff:“One feature I use a lot is moving a Chrome tab from my phone to my desktop,” Luke says. With Handoff, you can start browsing a website on your iPhone and easily continue on your Mac. “So if I’m on a webpage on my phone and I sit down at my desk, the Chrome icon pops up in the Dock on my Mac with that link and, boom, I can transition easily.”

Image showing the Chrome Dino widget next to a Chrome widget showing the Search bar.

Bonus! If you need a little break, check out the Chrome Dino widget, part of the latest Chrome release. The hidden game shows itself on the new tab page when Chrome is offline — but now you can quickly launch it right from your homescreen. Just watch out for that cactus...

Send directions to your iPhone from your computer: You can send directions to your iOS device in Maps. Just click the ‘Send to your phone’ button on desktop Maps. Luke finds this particularly helpful when he’s about to head out the door. “This is something that’s really important to us: Integrations not only between our apps, but between various devices and platforms,” Luke says. “If you see a phone number, you should be able to click on it to call — same with directions. You should be able to send them wherever you need to.” 

Instant news delivery:Luke’s also a big fan of his Siri shortcut for Google News. Siri shortcuts automatically detect your app usage routines and suggest them when you’re most likely to undertake them, like reading the news every morning and afternoon. “I think it’s a really useful experience when commonly used actions, like checking the news, just show up on your phone when you need them,” Luke says. You can create your own shortcuts with the Shortcuts app. 

Easily toggle incognito mode:In the Google App, long press your avatar to switch to Incognito Mode. This can be especially helpful if you need to use your iPhone as a work and personal device.

Privacy screen: If you’re doing work in public and want an extra layer of privacy, you can require Face or Touch ID to login to your Google Drive app to keep your files private.

Let Assistant find your phone:Of course, the most useful app tip is what to do when you can’t even find your phone. “If you lose your phone, which does all of this cool stuff I just mentioned, don’t worry,” says Luke. “You can use Assistant.” All you have to do is have the Google Assistant app enabled — prior to losing it — and then say, “Hey Google, where’s my phone?” And then you can get back to playing Chrome Dino. 

Our work to keep you safe and in control of your privacy

Building helpful products starts with keeping you and your information safe online. The data you trust us with provides helpful and personalized experiences for you in Google products, whether it’s letting you know if you’ve been near someone with COVID-19, or simply being able to find an old email with a special family recipe. It’s also why we keep you and your data safe, and provide easy-to-use settings that put you in control. 


Our privacy and security engineers remain focused on building the most advanced protections into the products you use every day. Treating your information responsibly, protecting it with world-class security and keeping you in control are the principles that guide our work. 


Today we’re sharing a look back at how we kept you safe in the last year, and the ways we’re always working to keep you in control of your privacy.

Responsible data practices designed to keep your personal information safe

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges in 2020, and we helped people stay safe and informed last year. We worked with Apple to launch the Exposure Notifications System to help with contact tracing in a privacy-preserving way. All Exposure Notification matching happens on your device, and the system does not share your identity with other users, Apple, or Google, nor does it collect or use the location from your device. We continue to make this technology available to public health authorities globally, and now more than 50 countries and states have launched Exposure Notification apps in six months, including most recently California. And people are downloading their regional apps: Forty percent of the population in the UK have downloaded the app, and in the United States, 53 percent of Washington, D.C. residents have enabled Exposure Notifications. 

We continue to invest in differential privacy—the world-class anonymization technology used in our products every day—and have made it available to all developers through an open-source version of the differential privacy library. In the last year, we’ve released new versions of the library to make it even easier for developers to use. Our COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports also use differential privacy to help public health officials as they make critical decisions for their communities. As we head into 2021, we’ll continue to invest in these privacy technologies to help keep your personal information private and secure.

World-class security that protects you automatically

Protecting your privacy starts with the world’s most advanced security. Last year we continued  to invest in industry leading security that automatically detects and blocks a wide range of threats to keep people safe online. One example is Safe Browsing, which gives you state-of-the-art protections from phishing, malware and other web-based threats when you use Chrome. And we continue to work on our long-term effort to make the web more private and secure with the Privacy Sandbox initiative and will share more updates soon. Google Workspace regularly adds new security and privacy safeguards to keep our customers and users and their information protected, including for Google Meet that continues to keep your video meetings for work, school or family gatherings safe. And when it comes to keeping your passwords safe, Google’s Password Manager and Security Checkup help by automatically offering to save your passwords and making them more secure, and Sign-in with Google continues to make it easier to securely sign into new apps and sites—now with just one tap.
GIF showing Google’s Password Manager and Security Checkup, including a notification suggesting changing compromised passwords

New, simple ways to control what gets saved and deleted across platforms and devices

As we work to keep your data private and secure, we’re also always working to make it easy for you to manage or delete it. We launched auto-delete controls so you can choose to have Google automatically and continuously delete activity data from your Google Account after 3, 18 or 36 months. Last June we made auto-delete the default when you first turn on your core activity settings, which are Location History, Web & App Activity and YouTube History. We also brought Incognito mode to Google’s most popular apps, including Maps, Search and YouTube, so you can use those products without saving your activity data to your Google Account. Last year Chrome rolled out new controls to help you simply manage your information and we announced Guest mode as a new way to use your Google Assistant on home devices.
The auto-delete options for your data

Easy-to-use Account controls and settings 

In 2020 we continued to invest in easy-to-use privacy and security settings, which are automatically built into every Google Account and Google products. How you use our products and services is a personal choice: When you sign up for Google products and services, we offer you settings that let you choose how to personalize your experience, and control what activity gets saved to your Google Account. And you can change these settings at any time. 


These privacy and security controls are available in your Google Account and the products you use every day across platforms and devices, including on iOS. For example, Your Data in Search, Maps and YouTube helps you easily understand how data makes these apps work for you and quickly access the right controls, directly in the apps. You can also just search for things like “Is my Google Account secure?” and a box only visible to you will show your privacy and security settings so you can easily review or adjust them. Google Pay, which was recently redesigned in the U.S., has strong privacy and security controls built-in that are easy to understand and simple to set up, access and manage.
GIF showing "Your data in Search" and the ability to delete Search activity

As Google’s iOS apps are updated with new features or to fix bugs, you’ll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details. These labels represent the maximum categories of data that could be collected—meaning if you use every available feature and service in the app. The data you provide to Google products delivers helpful services to you, and you can always control your privacy settings by visiting your Google Account or going directly to the Google products you use on iOS.


Keeping you safe online is core to everything we do. And as we make privacy and security advancements in 2021, we’ll continue to advocate for sensible data regulations around the world, including strong, comprehensive federal privacy legislation in the U.S. We look forward to sharing more with you about our ongoing work in the coming weeks and months. Visit our Safety Center to learn more about how our products keep you safe every day.