Latest Posts
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
PC & Laptop

8 things to help you get started with Windows 8

With the launch of Windows 8, buyers are about to discover a computing experience unlike anything they've seen before. Here's a guide to getting past some of the hurdles.

The main thing to know is that Windows 8 is designed especially for touch-screen computers, to make desktops and laptops work more like tablets. It is Microsoft's way of addressing the popularity of tablets, namely the iPad. But Windows 8 will work with mouse and keyboard shortcuts, too. It'll take some getting used to, though.

There are two versions of Windows 8, or more precisely, there's Windows 8 and there's Windows RT. They look the same, but they run on different processing chips. Windows 8 runs on standard chips from Intel and AMD and is the version you'd get if you're upgrading your home desktop or notebook PC. Windows RT is the version for light, small tablets and laptop-tablet hybrids.

Windows 8 will run programs written for older versions of Windows. Windows RT won't. It's limited to applications specifically written for it and available through Microsoft's store. (As a consolation, a version of Microsoft Office is included free on Windows RT devices).

Here are some tips on how to navigate the new Windows:

1) When you start a Windows 8 machine, you're greeted with a screen that shows the time and a pretty picture. To get past it with a touch-screen device, swipe upwards with your finger from the bottom edge of the screen. If you have a keyboard, hit any key.

2) Next, you'll see a mosaic of Live Tiles, each representing an application. Programs specifically written for Windows 8 will run in this new environment, which is unofficially nicknamed Metro. Each application fills the screen when you run it. Applications written for older Windows versions will open up in something that looks very much like the old Windows Desktop environment. You can switch back and forth between Metro and the new Desktop, though Microsoft wants people to eventually use only Metro.

3) The Desktop screen lacks a Start button, so it's hard to start programs from there. Microsoft's idea is that users should learn to go to the Metro tiles to start programs or access settings, even if many programs, including some Windows utilities, will open up in Desktop. To get back to the tiled Start screen with a mouse or touchpad, move the mouse cursor to the top right corner of the screen, then swipe it down to the "Start" icon that appears. If you have a touch screen, reveal the Start icon by swiping in from the right edge of the screen.

4) In the Desktop environment, you can glance at the Taskbar to see which Desktop programs are running. If you're a mouse or touchpad user in Metro and want to see what's running, you have to know this trick: Move the cursor into the top left corner of the screen, then drag it down along the left edge of the screen. If you have a touch screen, swipe in from the left edge, then quickly swipe back in.

5) Neither environment will show you programs that are running in the other environment, but if you have a touch screen, swiping in from the left side of the screen lets you jump between open applications. The "Alt-Tab" combination does the same thing with a keyboard, in case you aren't using a touch screen.

6) There are two versions of Internet Explorer, one for each environment. A Web page you open in one doesn't appear in the other, so if you're trying to find your way back to a page, it helps to remember which browser you were using.

7) When using Metro on a touch screen, you close a program by first swiping your finger down from the top edge of the screen. That shrinks the window. Then you swipe your finger down to the bottom edge of the screen. Don't stray to the right or left edges of the screen, or the app will end up "docked" in a column along that edge. You can perform the same action with a mouse cursor by clicking and dragging from the top edge of the screen, but using the old "Alt-F4" command is easier.

8) In the Desktop version of Internet Explorer, you can see at a glance which pages you have open in "tabs." In Metro, each Web page fills the screen, leaving no room for tabs.

To see which other pages are open on a touch-screen computer, you swipe your finger down from the top of the screen to reveal thumbnails of the other windows. Don't sweep too far, or you'll shrink the window instead.

If you're using a mouse in Metro, you right-click anywhere on the screen to reveal the tabs. Of course, this means right-clicking no longer does any of things it can be used for in previous versions of Windows, such as letting you open a link in a new tab.

 When Microsoft introduced Windows 95, some people thought it was amusing and counterintuitive that the procedure for shutting down the computer began with the "Start" button. In Windows 8, that incongruity is gone along with the Start button, but shutting down with a mouse or touchpad isn't obvious either. Move the cursor into the top right corner of the screen. A menu will pop out. Sweep down to the "Settings" button that appears, and click it. Then click "Power," then "Shut down." If you're on a touch screen, start by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, then tap "Settings."

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
PC & Laptop

Top 10 features in Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft Corp. unveiled the customer preview of the new Microsoft Office that features an intuitive design that works with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets. "We are taking bold steps at Microsoft," Steve B...