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Android, Latest Technology

Google Keep–Save what’s on your mind

Every day we all see, hear or think of things we need to remember. Usually we grab a pad of sticky-notes, scribble a reminder and put it on the desk, the fridge or the relevant page of a magazine. Unfortunately, if you’re like me you probably often discover that the desk, fridge or magazine wasn’t such a clever place to leave the note after all...it’s rarely where you need it when you need it.

To solve this problem we’ve created Google Keep. With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you. Your notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all your devices so you can always have them at hand.

If it’s more convenient to speak than to type that’s fine—Keep transcribes voice memos for you automatically. There’s super-fast search to find what you’re looking for and when you’re finished with a note you can archive or delete it.


Changing priorities isn’t a problem: just open Keep on your Android phone or tablet (there’s a widget so you can have Keep front and center all the time) and drag your notes around to reflect what matters. You can choose the color for each note too.

Pro tip: for adding thoughts quickly without unlocking your device there's a lock screen widget (on devices running Android 4.2+).



Google Keep is available on Google Play for devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and above. You can access, edit and create new notes on the web at http://drive.google.com/keep and in the coming weeks you'll be able to do the same directly from Google Drive.

Posted by Katherine Kuan, Software Engineer
Android, Latest Technology

Celebrating Google Play’s first birthday

Accessing digital entertainment should be simple, whether you like to read books on your tablet, listen to music on your phone and computer, or watch movies on all three. That’s why one year ago today we launched Google Play, where you can find and enjoy your favorite music, movies, books and apps on your Android phone and tablet, or on the web.

Google Play has grown rapidly in the last year, bringing you more content in more languages and places around the globe. In addition to offering more than 700,000 apps and games, we’ve partnered with all of the major music companies, movie studios and publishers to bring you the music, movies, TV shows, books and magazines you love. And we’ve added more ways for you to buy them, including paying through your phone bill and gift cards, which we're beginning to roll out in the U.K. this week.

Since no birthday is complete without presents, we’re celebrating with a bunch of special offers across the store on songs, TV shows, movies and books. We’re even offering a collection of games with some fun birthday surprises created by developers.

It’s been a busy year, but we’re just getting started. We look forward to many more years of bringing you the best in entertainment!


Posted by Jamie Rosenberg, VP of Digital Content, Google Play
Android, Latest Technology

New Google Now: More of the information you need, at just the right time.

When computers do the hard work, you can get on with the things that matter in life. Google Now helps you do just that, giving you the information you need, before you even have to ask. Like updating you with flight times, pulling up your boarding pass when you arrive at the airport, or showing you the weather at your next travel destination. Today, we’re making Google Now even more useful by integrating new partners and making all your information even easier to access.

Going to the movies? Movie cards now include the latest ratings from Rotten Tomatoes, so you can pick the right movie. Purchase your tickets through Fandango, and Google Now will remind you when you need to leave for the theater, and pull up your tickets once you arrive.


In the market for a new home? Google Now can provide you with nearby real estate listings from Zillow. Plus, when you are checking out that remodeled kitchen at the open house, Now will automatically pull up more information about the listing.


Of course, all of this information is most helpful when it’s front and center and ready when you are. The new Google Now widget brings all your important Now cards to your home or lock screen, so you don’t even have to open the app.



When Google Now first launched last summer, we promised it was just the beginning, and it would continue to get better at delivering you more of the information you need, before you even ask. This is the fourth update since launch, and we’re just getting started!


To try out these new cards, get the latest version of the Google Search app for Android, available on Google Play for devices running Android 4.1 and above.

Posted by Baris Gultekin, Product Management Director
Android, Latest Technology

Introducing Magazines on Google Play for the UK

Following hot on the heels of the recent launch of music on Google Play in the UK, we’re pleased to announce that from today, you’ll also be able to buy digital versions of your favourite magazines for reading on the go.

Popular titles from some of the world’s leading publishers such as Condé Nast UK, Dennis Publishing, Future, Haymarket, Hearst UK, Immediate Media and IPC Media are now available for purchase on your Android phone or tablet.

Get in shape with Men’s Fitness, cook up a storm with olive, work off all that turkey and Christmas pudding with Slimming World, catch up on the latest must-have gadgets with T3 and read a preview of The Hobbit in this month’s edition of Total Film.

You can stay abreast of the week’s key events with Hello!, New Statesman and The Spectator and keep on top of the latest lifestyle news with Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Tatler. Petrolheads can pick out some new wheels with What Car?, while domestic goddesses can take their inspiration from Good Housekeeping.

Browse the Play Store to find your favourite magazines, discover new titles with a 30-day free trial, buy single issues or purchase a money-saving monthly or annual subscription to leading titles such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Wired. New Nexus devices even come pre-loaded with free issues of Men’s Fitness, .net and Vogue to get you started.

All your latest issues will be instantly available on your Android tablet or phone, or online, using our web reader, and organised in your collection in the cloud. You can flip through your magazine carousel to quickly decide what to read next or simply search for a specific title in your magazine collection.


Magazines are available today to enjoy on the sofa or on the go via your Android devices and on play.google.com, so please take a look.

Posted by Avi Yaar, Product Manager, Google Play
Android, Latest Technology

Sound Search for Google Play widget, now available on Google Play

“What's this song?” Starting today, the Sound Search for Google Play widget is available to download from the Play store, so you can start identifying music playing around you, directly from your Android device’s homescreen.

 

Sometimes, you hear a song you like while you’re out and about but don’t want to download it right at that moment. The Sound Search widget syncs across all of your devices, so that song you recognized with your phone in the coffee shop can be quickly purchased from your tablet at home.

For devices running Android 4.2, you can add the widget directly to your device’s lockscreen, letting you recognize songs without even unlocking your phone, making it even easier for you to catch that song at the club.

The Sound Search for Google Play widget is available on Google Play for devices in the U.S. running Android 4.0 and above. After you’ve installed it, go to the widget picker and drag the Sound Search widget onto your homescreen. You can click on the widget at any time to start recognizing music around you.

Posted by Annie Chen, Software Engineer
Android, Latest Technology

New in Google Currents: Scan via your favourite classes, versions and breaking information

Keeping up on the news out there can be overwhelming. That's where Google Currents comes in—an app that allows you to discover, share and read your favorite news outlets, blogs and online magazines (what we together refer to as “editions”) on your smartphone or tablet—even when you’re offline. Currents is filled with great editions like The Los Angeles Times, CBS Sports, Android Central, The Guardian, Shortlist, and Forbes. Today, we’re revamping Currents to make it even easier to scan through all your favorite categories and specific editions with just the swipe of a finger. And, we’re using some of the technology behind Search to bring you breaking stories on those celebrity scandals, that fiscal cliff negotiation or hottest holiday gift.

Scan through categories 
We’re now grouping editions into categories to help you keep track of your existing subscriptions and discover new ones. Check out editions related to your interests through categories like Entertainment, Sports, Lifestyle and more. All of your content will be grouped in these categories, accessible from a sidebar. And you can organize your editions in each category with favorites on top.

We’ve also made it easy to quickly browse through top articles from all your favorite editions in a category—just swipe horizontally. If you subscribe to more than a dozen News editions like The Atlantic, ABC News and The Telegraph, you can quickly swipe through the entire category and dive into editions with articles of interest.

 

Scan through editions 
We’ve also made it easier to scan headlines in a particular edition—just swipe vertically. Want to see what’s new in Popular Science? Just swipe through through the headlines. After you view a story we’ll mark it as read, so it’s easier to see new content each time you use Currents.



Scan through breaking stories 
To help you stay up-to-date with the latest news, Google Currents now uses some of the technology behind Search to deliver the hottest breaking stories in categories such as World, Entertainment, Sports, Science and more. You’ll find new articles from hot topics that interest you, while discovering existing Currents editions you can subscribe to. Breaking stories are customized to your country and language—so we’ll only show you relevant news.


Currents optimizes editions to look great on whatever type of device you're using. Now articles shine, with larger images and layouts that are intelligently optimized for your device, whether you're on a phone or a tablet. Check out some of our newest featured partners like Cars.com, Voice of America News and New Scientist.

Back in April we expanded Google Currents internationally. Since then millions of readers around the world have downloaded Currents, reading over 700 publisher editions and tens of thousands of self-produced editions. The updated app is now available for download on Google Play and coming soon to iOS. We hope that today’s updates make keeping up with the latest news fast, easy and fun no matter where you are or what device you’re using.

Posted by Mussie Shore, Group Product Manager
Android, Latest Technology

New Google Now: the perfect travel companion for the holidays

Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen! For Santa’s holiday travel this season, Google Now is just the prescription.

As you head off this holiday season, the latest update to Google Now makes it even more useful for traveling. Before you even leave your house, Google Now will tell you what the weather will be like at your destination (just in time to make sure you remember to pack those mittens). At the airport, your boarding pass is automatically pulled up, helping you breeze through to the gate (launching shortly for United Airlines, with more to come). And once you've arrived at your destination, Google Now can help you uncover some great activities, by showing you events happening around you, suggesting websites for you to explore as you research things to do, or allowing you to learn more about specific pieces while you’re at a museum (using Google Goggles).



All of this builds on top of some of the other cards designed for travel, like the currency conversion, translation, and flight status cards -- hopefully taking a little bit of the stress out of holiday travel so you can focus on family and fun.

We're also making Voice Search even more powerful: you can find out the name of the song that’s playing (“What’s this song?”), quickly find product info (“Scan this barcode”) and post updates to Google+ simply by using just your voice.



These goodies are waiting for you in the updated Google Search app, available on Google Play for devices running Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, or higher.

Posted by Baris Gultekin, Product Management Director
Android, Latest Technology

Edit spreadsheets on the go with the Drive mobile app

You’re making your list, you’re checking it twice -- and now you can do it from anywhere.

Just in time for this year’s holiday season, you can edit Google Sheets on your mobile device, just like you can with Google Docs. From the Drive app on your Android device, you can create a new spreadsheet or edit an existing one. You can switch fonts, resize columns, sort data, and more. And just like on your computer, you’ll be able to see other people’s edits in real time as they’re made.


Beyond spreadsheets, you may notice a few other tweaks to the Drive app, including better text formatting when you paste from one Google document to another. And from your Android device, you can edit text within tables in documents and add a shortcut on the homescreen of your device to any specific file in Drive.

Whether it’s holiday recipes, shopping lists, or just your family budget, the Drive app on your mobile device makes it easy to get stuff done wherever you are.

Get the Google Drive app today on Google Play.

Posted by Shrikant Shanbhag, Software Engineer
Android, Latest Technology

Google Shopper 3.0 – New features to help with your holiday shopping

As you hit the mall this holiday season, chances are you’ll be accompanied by a reliable personal shopping companion: your mobile phone. Four out of five mobile phone and tablet owners plan to use their device for holiday shopping - for comparing prices, locating nearby stores, and searching for coupons. Today, with the launch of Google Shopper 3.0 for Android, you can easily browse for gift ideas, research products, and locate great deals on the go. 
Search for products and get gift ideas on the redesigned home page
The app’s redesigned home screen features a bigger search box for easier navigation. When you browse curated gift ideas and latest trends on the home page or search for apparel and accessories, larger photos let you view product designs in more detail.


                 

Find great sales and special offers
Shopper now makes it quick and easy to find great deals at local and online stores. From the new Sales page, you can view weekly circulars from nearby stores, along with a handful of featured current promotions which you can redeem online or in person. Shopper also shows you store promotions, such as ‘30% off’ or ‘free shipping’, as you search for products in the app.


      

Use GoodGuide rating to Identify healthy, safe, and eco-friendly products 
Whether you shop with a conscience or would like a reason to start, Shopper now features GoodGuide ratings, a rating system that indicates on a scale of one to ten whether a product is healthy, safe and environmentally friendly. When GoodGuide ratings are available for a product, you can view these by scrolling down the product detail screen, as shown below. You can learn more about the GoodGuide rating system here.




You can download Shopper 3.0 for your Android device from Google Play.

Posted by John Shriver-Blake, Product Manager, Google Shopper
Android, Latest Technology

Nexus: The best of Google, now in three sizes

People increasingly have more than one device, and they switch between them many times a day. Nexus—Google’s hardware line for Android devices—gets rid of the hassle. Just sign in with your Google Account and everything is there ready to go, whatever device you’re using: photos, emails, contacts, bookmarks, even your entertainment on Google Play.

Today, we’re excited to announce three great new Nexus devices … in small, medium and large. And they all run Android 4.2, a new flavor of Jelly Bean—which includes the latest version of Google Now and other great new features.




Nexus 4 with Google Now and Photo Sphere 
Nexus 4 is our latest smartphone, developed together with LG. It has a quad-core processor which means it's super fast, a crisp 4.7" (320 ppi) display that's perfect for looking at photos and watching YouTube, and with wireless charging you just set the phone down on a charging surface to power it up, no wires needed. While Nexus 4 is incredibly powerful under the hood, it also features the latest version of Jelly Bean, Android 4.2—the simplest and smartest version of Android yet. Starting with the camera, we've reinvented the photo experience with Photo Sphere, which lets you capture images that are literally larger than life. Snap shots up, down and in every direction to create stunning 360-degree immersive experiences that you can share on Google+ with friends and family—or you can add your Photo Sphere to Google Maps for the world to see.

Android 4.2 brings other great goodies like Gesture Typing, which lets you glide your finger over the letters you want to type on the keyboard—it makes typing fast, fun and a whole lot simpler. Android 4.2 also adds support for wireless display so you can wirelessly watch movies, YouTube videos and play games right on your Miracast-compatible HDTV. 

Learn more about all of the new features in Android 4.2, Jelly Bean, here

Google Now—even more useful 
We designed Google Now to make life simpler by giving you the right information at just the right time in easy to read cards, before you even ask. And the feedback has been awesome. So today we’re adding more cards that we hope you’ll find useful. Flight information, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations and shipping details—how often have you found yourself wading through your email to get this information at the last moment? So next time you book a table for dinner, you’ll get a reminder with all the details without ever having to lift a finger. You’ll also get cards for nearby attractions, interesting photo spots, movies times at nearby theaters or concerts by your favorite artists.

Nexus 7: Thin, light and now even more portable
Nexus 7 brings you the best of Google–YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Maps–and all the great content from Google Play in a slim, portable package that fits perfectly in your hand. To give you more room for all that great content you can now get Nexus 7 with 16GB ($199) or 32GB ($249) of storage. But we also wanted to make this highly portable tablet even more mobile. So we added HSPA+ mobile data. Nexus 7 is now also available with 32GB and HSPA+ mobile ($299), which can operate on more than 200 GSM providers worldwide, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. 

Nexus 10: Powerful and shareable 
Nexus 10 is the ultimate tablet for watching movies or reading magazines. We wanted to build a premium entertainment device, so we partnered with Samsung to do just that. Nexus 10 is the highest resolution tablet on the planet with a 10.055" display at 2560-by-1600 (300ppi), that's over 4 million pixels right in your hands. It comes with a powerful battery that will get you up to nine hours of video playback and more than 500 hours of standby time. With a set of front-facing stereo speakers, you can watch movies right from your Nexus 10 and they simply sound awesome. But what makes Nexus 10 unique is that it's the first truly shareable tablet. With Android 4.2, you can add multiple users and switch between them instantly right from the lockscreen. We believe that everyone should have quick and easy access to their own stuff -- email, apps, bookmarks, and more. That way, everyone can have their own home screens, their own music, and even their own high scores.

Google Play: More entertainment, more countries
We’ve recently added a ton of great new entertainment to Google Play, such as movies and TV shows from Twentieth Century Fox. Earlier this year we expanded our service beyond movie rentals and now you can purchase movies and build a library of your favorites in Google Play. Today we’re bringing movie purchasing to more countries - Canada, the U.K., France, Spain and Australia.
We’re also excited to announce two new partnerships. We’re now working with Time, Inc. to bring you even more magazines like InStyle, PEOPLE, TIME and others. And we’ve partnered with Warner Music Group who will be adding their full music catalog with new songs coming each day. We’re now working with all of the major record labels globally, and all the major U.S. magazine publishers, as well as many independent labels, artists and publishers.

On November 13, we're bringing music on Google Play to Europe.  Those of you in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be able to purchase music from the Google Play store and add up to 20,000 songs—for free—from your existing collection to the cloud for streaming to your Android devices or web browser. We’re also launching our new matching feature to streamline the process of uploading your personal music to Google Play. We’ll scan your music collection and any song we match against the Google Play catalog will be automatically added to your online library without needing to upload it, saving you time. This will be available in Europe at launch on November 13 and is coming to the U.S. soon after. This will all be for free—free storage of your music, free matching, free syncing across your devices and free listening.

Great value
We’ve always focused on building great devices at great value.  And we think today’s devices offer the very best that money can buy. Here are more details on when and where you can pick up your next Nexus device:
  • Nexus 4: 8GB for $299; 16GB for $349; available unlocked and without a contract on 11/13 on the Google Play store in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada. The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a 2-year contract (check here for more details).
  • Nexus 7: 16GB for $199 and 32GB for $249; available in U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan, and also through our retail partners Gamestop, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples and Walmart.
  • Nexus 10: 16GB for $399; 32GB for $499; available on 11/13 in the Google Play Store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. You'll also be able to purchase the 32GB version in over 2,000 Walmart stores in the U.S.
A Nexus device is much more than simply a phone or tablet. It’s your connection to the best of Google—all of your stuff and entertainment, everywhere you go with no hassle.  Now you have three new Nexus devices, a new improved version of Jelly Bean and more entertainment than ever before—all available on Google Play. The playground is open.


Posted by Andy Rubin, SVP, Mobile and Digital Content
Android, Latest Technology

Bringing Google Calendar to the Play Store

Posted by Michael Chan, Tech Lead

Previously available only on select Android devices like Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, you can now download the official Google Calendar app for Android from Google Play. Google Calendar makes it easy for you to manage all your calendars in one place, including those from your Google accounts and other calendars synced to your Android device. Beyond supporting the basics such as creating, editing, deleting events and responding to invitations, the new Google Calendar app has extra features that help you manage your time and communication more easily:
  • Snooze events directly from a notification if you’re not quite ready and want to be reminded later.
  • Use predefined messages to send quick "I'll be late" updates to your event participants directly from the notifications or the event itself (of course, you can always write your own).
  • Pinch to zoom in and out of a day.
  • Set a home time zone to help you manage your time better when traveling.
In addition, we also expanded the sync period so you can review past events from up to one year ago directly on your device. Download Google Calendar on Google Play today for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3+) or Jellybean. Use the Google Feedback feature in the app to let us know how we can make Calendar work better for you!


(Cross-posted on the Official Gmail Blog)
Android, Latest Technology

Google Play hits 25 billion downloads

Whether you’re looking for directions, checking email or sharing a picture with friends, apps are now an indispensable part of life. And if you’re using Android, it all starts with Google Play, home to 675,000 apps and games. That’s a lot of choice. We’ve now crossed 25 billion downloads from Google Play, and to celebrate we’re offering some great discounts for the next five days.


Every day you’ll be able to choose from a collection of apps from some of the world’s top developers including Gameloft, Electronic Arts, Rovio, runtastic, Full Fat and more. And all for just 25 cents. We’ll also be offering some special collections like 25 movies you must own, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world and our 25 top selling magazines, all at special prices. Visit Google Play a little later today to check them out.

Twenty-five billion is more than twice the distance, in miles, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has travelled since its launch 35 years ago. It’s the amount of time, in minutes, that have passed since some of our earliest ancestors began to set foot in Europe. And now, thanks to all of you, it’s a Google Play milestone. We look forward to the next 25 billion.

Posted by Jamie Rosenberg, Director, Digital Content