News and notes from Android team
The power of Search, now across apps
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
A task as simple as choosing a movie to see can actually be complex — and the information you want can be in several different places, often in apps. You might get your trivia from IMDb, the box office stats from Wikipedia and ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. Starting today, Google can save you the digging for information in the dozens of apps you use every day, and get you right where you need to go in those apps with a single search. Google Search can make your life a little easier by fetching the answer you need for you — whether it’s on the web, or buried in an app.
Getting you there faster
Let’s say you’re getting ready for the holidays but can’t remember the name of that classic Christmas movie you want to show your children. Now, you can use Google search to find the movie and learn more about it in one of your favorite apps.
Helping you find just the right app
Sometimes, the best answer for a search can be an app. Say you want to explore downhill skiing — now, you can just ask Google for downhill skiing apps and get a collection of useful apps.
These new features are rolling out now on Android (through the
Google Search app
or directly in Chrome and Android browsers). App listings for from Google Play will appear in search when they’re relevant. You’ll be able to search within a select number of apps initially (
). We’re working with developers to add more over the coming months (if you’re a developer,
This is just one step toward bringing apps and the web together, making it even easier to get the right information, regardless of where it’s located.
Posted by Scott Huffman, VP of Engineering
The value of openness in Android security
Monday, December 2, 2013
If you use an Android phone or tablet, there are a lot of benefits that come from Android’s open nature--customization and choice are the most obvious. But an often overlooked benefit of openness is security: by developing in the open, anyone can check Android’s code to verify that it’s trustworthy or discover areas where it can be improved. Furthermore, the security community can even write code to make Android stronger and protect it against unrealized attacks.
Google has always worked closely with the security industry to make the products you use safer and more secure, and we wanted to highlight a few recent examples of that cooperation on Android:
Android, now part of the
Google Patch Reward Program
That’s right, Google actually pays developers when they contribute security-related patches to popular open source projects, and Android is now a part of this program. As a user, this means that you have the broader security community looking out for you and preventing possible threats, before they are acted upon.
Security improvements in Android 4.4, from the community:
In Android 4.4, we reinforced the Android sandbox (which prevents applications from extending outside of their own area and damaging other parts of a device) by putting SELinux into enforcing mode, providing one of the strongest security systems available. The core of SELinux, as well as many of the Android specific extensions have been contributed by third-parties through open source, an example of real security improvements from the community you can use today.
, with Android:
Android was a contributor to the bounty in this year’s
PacSec Security conference
, where teams of security researchers tried to exploit popular mobile devices. And while no exploit was found in Android on the Nexus devices provided, we were ready and waiting to create a patch in the event of an exploit!
The Android team works very closely with the security research community at large to foster public discussions and implement improvements such as the ones above. This openness has helped make the Android phone or tablet you carry with you everyday much more secure.
Posted by Adrian Ludwig, Android Security Engineer
Introducing Google Play Newsstand - one place for all your news
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Staying up on the news can be a daunting task. You have to go to a different website or app for each of your favorite magazines, newspapers and blogs. One place to read and discover all of this would be a lot simpler.
Today we’re launching
Google Play Newsstand
, a new app for your Android phone or tablet which brings together all of your favorite news sources in one experience. Newsstand puts the news you care about most front and center and presents stories that interest you based on your tastes. The more you read the better it will get. You can subscribe to magazines, newspapers, blogs and news sites and we’ll format and optimize them all for reading on your tablet or phone. With the swipe of a finger, you can browse full length articles, with beautiful images, audio and video right inside the app. You can access these articles even when you’re offline or bookmark them to read later.
Google Play Newsstand offers more than 1,900 free and paid, full length publications that you can subscribe to or follow. Some of these include:
Full-length content from some of the world’s top newspapers including
The Australian, The Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, The National Post, The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
Hundreds of HD magazines like
Better Homes & Gardens, The Economist, Esquire, Fast Company, Forbes, Game Informer, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Shape, TIME, Vanity Fair
, from publishers like American Media Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, TIME Inc., and more.
Your favorite blogs like Apartment Therapy, Colossal, Cool Hunting, Flavorpill, Saveur Daily, TMZ and The Verge.
Leading news sites like ABC News, The Atlantic, CBS Sports, CNET, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, The Guardian, NPR, Reuters, The Telegraph, and more.
If you’re in the US, Canada, UK or Australia, the
Google Play Magazines app
will be upgraded to Google Play Newsstand over the next few days. In all other countries, you can download the Play Newsstand app for your Android phone or tablet from Google Play. If you’re a Google Currents user, you can upgrade to Play Newsstand by downloading the new app. You’ll find all of your favorite news sources will be transferred and ready to read the minute you open it.
Google Play is all about bringing you great content on your phone and tablet. No matter what your interests, there’s something for everyone in Newsstand.
Posted by Mussie Shore, Product Manager for Google Play Newsstand
Android for all and the new Nexus 5
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Just in time for Halloween, we have two new treats for Android fans. First, we're excited to unwrap our latest platform release, KitKat, which delivers a smarter, more immersive Android experience to even more people. And second, we're introducing Nexus 5—a new Nexus phone developed with LG.
The first thing you’ll notice about KitKat is we’ve made the experience much more engaging: the book you're reading, the game you're playing, or the movie you're watching—now all of these take center stage with the new immersive mode, which automatically hides everything except what you really want to see.
Bringing more Google smarts to Android
Behind the polish on the screen is the power under the hood. Take the Phone app, which for most people hasn’t really changed since the days of flip phones. Now, we’re making calling easier than ever, by helping you search across your contacts, nearby places, or even Google Apps accounts (like your company’s directory), directly from within the app. And with the
new Hangouts app
, all of your SMS and MMS messages are together in the same place, alongside your other conversations and video calls, so you’ll never miss a message no matter how your friends send it. This is just a small taste of KitKat—learn more on our
Google has always focused on helping users get immediate access to the information they need, and we want to bring this same convenience and power to users on Android. With the new Nexus 5 launcher, Google smarts are deeply integrated into the phone you carry around with you, so getting to the information you need is simple, easy and fast. Swipe once from the home screen to get Google Now literally at your fingertips. Put Google to work for you by saying “OK, Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song you want to hear. And in the coming weeks, we’re enhancing Now with important new card types that bring you information about contextual topics that interest you such as updates from a favorite website or blog.
Reaching the next 1 billion users
Building a platform that makes mobile phones accessible for everyone has always been at the heart of Android. Until now, some lower-end Android phones couldn't benefit from more recent Android releases due to memory constraints. With KitKat, we've slimmed down Android’s memory footprint by doing things like removing unnecessary background services and reducing the memory consumption of features that you use all the time. We did this not only within Android but across Google services like Chrome and YouTube. RAM (or memory) is one of the most expensive parts of a phone, and now Android can run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices that are popular in much of the world, bringing the latest goodies in Android 4.4 within reach for the next billion smartphone users.
Introducing Nexus 5
Along with our
sweet naming tradition
, we also introduce a new device with each platform release to showcase the latest Android innovations. For KitKat, we partnered with LG to develop Nexus 5 -- the slimmest and fastest Nexus phone ever made. Its design is simple and refined to showcase the 5” Full HD display. Nexus 5 also keeps you connected at blazing speeds with 4G/LTE and ultra fast wifi. The advanced new lens on Nexus 5 captures more light for brighter night and sharper action shots. And with optical image stabilization, you no longer have to worry about shaky hands and blurry pictures. A new HDR+ mode automatically snaps a rapid burst of photos and combines them to give you the best possible single shot. Learn more on our
Nexus 5 is available today, unlocked and without a contract, on
in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea (and coming soon to India), starting at $349. Just in the time for the holidays, Nexus 5 will be available soon at the following retailers: Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, Best Buy and RadioShack.
Android 4.4, KitKat, which comes on Nexus 5, will also soon be available on Nexus 4, 7, 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.
How’s that for a treat?
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Here, there and everywhere: Google Keep reminds you at the right time
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Notes are a good way to keep track of all you have to do, but most of us need a little nudge now and then. Google Keep can remind you of important tasks and errands at just the right time and place. For example, Keep works with Google Now to remind you of your grocery list when you walk into your favorite grocery store, and nudges you on Thursday night to take out the trash.
To get started, select the “Remind me” button from the bottom of any note and choose the type of reminder you want to add. You can add time-based reminders for a specific date and time, or a more general time of day, like tomorrow morning. Adding a location reminder is incredibly easy too—as soon as you start typing Google Keep suggests places nearby.
Of course, sometimes plans change. If you get a reminder you’re not ready to deal with, simply snooze it to a time or place that’s better for you.
It’s now even easier to get to all of your notes using the new navigation drawer, which includes a way to view all of your upcoming reminders in one place. And for people who want more separation between their home and work lives, the drawer also lets you easily switch between your accounts.
And finally, we've made it easier to add your existing photos to a Google Keep note on Android. When you tap the camera icon you can choose between taking a new photo or adding one you already have from Gallery.
The new update is gradually rolling out in
, and available now on the web at
and in the
Posted by Erin Rosenthal, Product Manager
Get ready for college with textbooks on Google Play
Friday, August 9, 2013
Heading to college? Be prepared for the typical rites of passage: decorating your dorm room, choosing your classes and buying textbooks. And when it comes to buying textbooks from the campus store, some things never change like long lines, limited supplies and heavy backpacks. Or do they?
Rolling out this week, you can now rent or purchase digital textbooks from the Books section on Google Play. We have a long list of publishing partners, and we’re launching with a comprehensive selection of higher education titles from science and mathematics to history and English, and everything in between.
All your textbooks, anywhere you go
With digital textbooks, there’s no need to worry about which ones you have with you and which ones you left in your dorm room. Because your library is stored in the cloud, you have instant access to the titles you need—when you need them—on your Android tablet, phone, iOS device and on the web. Now an overstuffed backpack is a thing of the past with all your textbooks weighing as much as the device you’re reading them on.
Take great notes, stay organized
With the Google Play Books app, you have convenient tools at hand to make studying simpler and faster. You can instantly search within a textbook for a particular word or phrase, bookmark chapters and pages, highlight and annotate key passages and get quick access to dictionaries, translation tools, Wikipedia and Google search.
Rent and save
Need your textbooks for just a semester or two? You can rent any textbook on Google Play for six months and save up to 80% as compared to buying print textbooks.
Shop for textbooks today on
, and learn more at our
Google in Education
Posted by Scott Dougall, Director, Product Management
Find your lost phone with Android Device Manager
Friday, August 2, 2013
Have you ever lost your phone in between the couch cushions or forgot it in a restaurant? Or maybe searching for your phone before you rush out the door is part of your morning routine? Let the new
Android Device Manager
help you out! It's one of a
few simple features
you can use to keep your device—and the data you store inside—safe and secure.
Locate and ring your misplaced device
If you ended up dropping your phone between those couch cushions, Android Device Manager lets you quickly ring your phone at maximum volume so you can find it, even if it's been silenced. And in the event that your phone or tablet is out of earshot (say, at that restaurant you left it at last night), you can locate it on a map in real time.
You can also remotely add a screen lock to your device through the Android Device Manager. Whether you’re on a phone or a tablet, a
is an important security step to protect the information stored on your device, in case it accidentally gets into the wrong hands. Being able to do this through the Android Device Manager means that even after you lose your phone, you’ll still be able to add a lock (or change an existing lock) to your device.
Protecting your personal information and data
While losing your phone can be stressful, Android Device Manager can help you keep your data from ending up in the wrong hands. If your phone can’t be recovered, or has been stolen, you can quickly and securely erase all of the data on your device.
Availability and getting started
This service is now available on devices running Android 2.2 or above; to use it, you also will need to be signed into your Google Account. There will also be an Android app to allow you to easily find and manage your devices. Stay tuned!
Posted by Benjamin Poiesz, Product Manager, Android
Updated August 7 to reflect availability of Android Device Manager. Access it at www.android.com/devicemanager.
Updated September 24 to reflect ability to remotely add screen lock through Android Device Manager.
Introducing Android 4.3, a sweeter Jelly Bean
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Today we’re releasing Android 4.3 — an upgrade to Jelly Bean that introduces a number of new features, including restricted profiles. Android 4.3 also adds Bluetooth Smart support (a.k.a Bluetooth Low-Energy); the latest in 3D graphics through OpenGL ES 3.0; and more.
Restricted profiles for tablets
Lightweight and portable, tablets are perfect for sharing with others. Last October we added support for multiple users. Each person has a separate space and can freely customize the tablet experience, from lockscreen to wallpaper, apps and folders.
In Android 4.3, we're introducing restricted profiles, which let you manage per-user access to apps and content. Restricted profiles can be used in any number of situations. For example, restricted profiles enable parental controls, so certain family members are prevented from accessing mature content. Alternately, retail stores can use tablets as kiosks that show product information, or shops can use tablets as point of sale systems, all while limiting access to apps.
To set up restricted profiles on your tablet, go to the Users section under Settings.
Bluetooth Smart support (a.k.a. Bluetooth Low-Energy)
Fitness sensors and other devices that use Bluetooth Smart technology open the door for a whole new class of mobile applications. Bluetooth Smart minimizes power usage while measuring and transmitting data, making both sensors and the phones or tablets connected to them more battery-efficient.
With Android 4.3, Nexus 4 can now connect to Bluetooth Smart sensors. Runtastic and many other developers are making Android apps compatible with these sensors.
Accelerated 3D graphics with OpenGL ES 3.0
Devices like the new Nexus 7 support OpenGL ES 3.0, the latest industry standard for accelerated 3D graphics. This brings photorealism to a whole new level in the games you're playing: blades of grass on the soccer field come alive, asphalt on the street looks real as you screech by, stubble on a villains' face almost pokes out of the screen. And with sophisticated effects like self-shadows, that villain looks even more menacing, casting a shadow on himself.
Dial pad autocomplete
With Android 4.3 we’ve introduced a new autocomplete feature in the dial pad. Just start touching numbers or letters and the dial pad will suggest phone numbers or names. To turn on this feature, open your phone app settings and enable “Dial pad autocomplete”.
Improved support for Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, and more
We’ve made major progress on enabling right-to-left layouts across the platform user interface: dialer, home and lock screens, settings, and more. This work builds on the support that we introduced for right-to-left layouts for Hebrew and Arabic speakers in Android 4.2. We’ve also added support for Hindi, Afrikaans, Amharic, Swahili, and Zulu.
There’s more to Android 4.3 than we can fit in this post, so for a detailed list of changes,
Android 4.3 is now rolling out now to Nexus devices, and will be available on the
new Nexus 7
and Google Play edition devices soon. Let us know what you think on our
Google+ page for Android
Posted by Dave Burke and Gabe Cohen, Android Platform team
From TVs to tablets: Everything you love, across all your screens
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
When I was growing up, my family had a single screen we huddled around every day: the television set in the living room. Nowadays, we “huddle” around multiple screens—laptops, smartphones and tablets—using them almost interchangeably as we navigate through our day. In a world of ubiquitous computing, life would be a lot simpler if we didn’t have to learn new behaviors and interfaces each time we switched screens—if we could have one consistent, intuitive experience no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Today, with the launch of
new Nexus 7 tablet
, it’s even more effortless to enjoy content you care about—whether it’s video, music, movies, games—wherever you are, across your devices.
To help make it easy to bring your favorite online entertainment to the biggest screen in your house—the TV—we’re introducing Chromecast. Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to use your phone, tablet or laptop to "cast" online content to your TV screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon. With Chromecast, we wanted to create an easy solution that works for everyone, for every TV in the house.
Once your Chromecast is set up, you can use your phone, tablet or laptop to browse and cast content to your TV, play and pause, control the volume, and more. But unlike other streaming solutions, you can still multitask—send emails or surf the web—while enjoying what’s on the TV screen. It works across platforms—Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome for Mac and Windows (more to come), so your personal device is also now your remote control.
Cast the web to your TV
In addition to apps like Netflix, you can use Chromecast to bring a broad range of content available on the web to your big screen, thanks to a new feature in the Chrome browser that allows you to project any browser tab to your TV. From sharing your family photos to enjoying a video clip from your favorite news site, it’s as simple as pressing a button. This feature is launching in beta, but we’re excited for people to try it out and give us their feedback.
Google Cast SDK preview for developers
To ensure a great Chromecast experience over time, we've built Google Cast, a technology that enables developers to build consistent, intuitive multi-screen experiences across mobile devices and TVs. Today, we’re launching a preview version of Google Cast with more information for developers on our
Google Developers blog
. A handful of early developers are already working on enabling Google Cast technology in their apps, so more supported apps are coming soon. And while the Chromecast device is the first instantiation of Google Cast, we expect the technology to be embedded in a range of hardware from our partners in the future.
The new Nexus 7—the sharpest 7” tablet screen ever
Together with ASUS, we took what you loved about the
original Nexus 7
and made it even better. The first thing you’ll notice is the sharpness of the screen: the 323 pixels packed into every inch of the screen makes it the world's highest-resolution 7-inch tablet. It’s lighter than ever, with more than nine hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or reading. Nexus 7 now features stereo speakers and virtual surround sound from Fraunhofer (the inventors of the MP3 format), giving you rich and immersive audio.
Android 4.3—a sweeter Jelly Bean
Nexus 7 is the first device to ship with Android 4.3, the newest version of Android. Tablets are perfect for sharing with others, so in Android 4.3, we're introducing restricted profiles, which let you limit access to apps and content. For example, restricted profiles enable parental controls, so certain family members are prevented from accessing mature content. Likewise, retail stores can use tablets to show off product information, and shops can use tablets as point of sale systems. Android 4.3 also now supports
technology, opening the door to mobile apps that connect to new devices like fitness sensors. Android 4.3 is rolling out to Nexus devices starting today.
Ready to Play
Google Play Games
app brings your friends together with the games you love, where you can invite a friend and start challenging gamers around the world, compete for top achievements, and race to the top of the leaderboard. You can also enjoy the world’s largest collection of eBooks, listen to millions of music tracks and immerse yourself in thousands of movies, TV shows, magazines and apps on Google Play. Plus, Nexus 7 comes loaded with your favorite Google apps, like Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail and Google Now.
How to get Chromecast and the new Nexus 7
Starting today, the Chromecast device is available for $35 on Google Play, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. It will be available in Best Buy stores across the U.S. starting July 28. For a limited time, you also get three months of Netflix included. More info available in
. Nexus 7 starts at $229, and is available in the U.S. beginning July 30 (with more countries coming soon!). Buy Nexus 7 online on Google Play, or check it out at Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Amazon, Home Shopping Network, Radio Shack, J&R and B&H Photo. Nexus 7 (LTE) is coming soon with support for T-Mobile and Verizon in the coming weeks. Learn more on our
Google Calendar Update for Android: Custom Colors and More
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
One of the most requested features we’ve seen so far for Google Calendar on Android is the ability to customize event and calendar colors directly from your device. Today’s update allows you to do just that. Now you can highlight those super-urgent meetings and important birthdays, or just switch up the color of your calendar whenever your heart desires.
Adding events is now easier and more fun with our redesigned date and time pickers, which let you schedule your special dinner date or the start of your well-deserved vacation in a snap.
For all of you world travelers, our redesigned timezone picker makes it simpler to find the region that you’re looking for, whether you’re in San Francisco, Tokyo or Zurich.
Finally, it’s easier to schedule repeating events. You can now set events to repeat every Tuesday and Thursday, every month, or every 7 weeks, it’s completely up to you.
The latest version of Google Calendar is built for devices running Android 4.0.3 and above (Android 4.1 or higher for custom event colors). Get it on
, rolling out over the course of the day, and
let us know what you think
Posted by James Kung, Software Engineer
A smoother Drive app for Android
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
(cross-posted to the
Google Drive Blog
The process of creating and accessing your stuff shouldn’t be, well...a process. Today, the
Drive app for Android
is getting several improvements to make creating and accessing your stuff on-the-go even easier.
To help you find the content you care about, Drive files will now be displayed in a clean, simple card-style. You can swipe between files to see large previews that let you quickly review and discover the information you’re looking for. And if you want to keep some Drive files on your Android device, you’ll now be able to “download a copy” from the actions menu inside settings.
The updated Drive for Android app also gives you to a way to keep track of important paper documents like receipts, letters, and billing statements. Simply click “Scan” from the Add New menu, snap a photo of your document, and Drive will turn the document into a PDF that’s stored for safekeeping. And because Drive can recognize text in scanned documents using
Optical Character Recognition
(OCR) technology, a simple search will retrieve the scanned document later. No more frantic scrambling through drawers looking for a receipt or digging through your pockets to find that business card -- just scan, upload and search in Drive.
in Google Sheets has also gotten some improvements: now you can adjust font types and sizes for a spreadsheet and tweak the cell text colors and cell alignment right from the app. Plus, the Drive app comes with Cloud Print support so you can print anything from Drive with a
Cloud Ready printer
-- perfect if you need to, say, print that extra resume right before a job interview.
Get the Google Drive app today on
and circle us on
for continued updates.
Posted by Denis Teplyashin, Software Engineer
Android@I/O: Just press Play
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
As our developer audience knows, Android is more than simply a phone or tablet. It’s a platform, an ecosystem, and an opportunity for developers around the world to build exciting services and apps that reach millions of people every day. The flexibility and openness of Android provides developers--and Google, through services like
--the opportunity to build simple, beautiful experiences across multiple devices.
Here’s a quick look at what we announced today at
, our annual developer conference:
Developers, the heart of Google Play
Just a year after launch, there are now more ways than ever for developers to monetize their apps in Google Play, and for users to discover and enjoy apps and entertainment. We’ve passed 48 billion app downloads, with more than 2.5 billion downloads in the last month alone. Today, we
a range of new tools, including services for game developers. For users, this means that you’ll be able to challenge your friends on Google+ to real-time multiplayer competitions, or race against them to the top of the leaderboards. (Check out a few of our favorites:
World of Goo
Super Stickman Golf 2
Beach Buggy Blitz
Eternity Warriors 2
Our library is your library: Google Play Music All Access
Google Play Music All Access
is a new monthly music subscription service that lets you listen to millions of songs across your devices. You can create a radio station from any song or artist you love, browse recommendations from our expert music team or explore by genre. And when millions of songs just aren’t enough, Google Play Music lets you combine our collection with your own collection. You can store 20,000 songs for free in the cloud and listen to them alongside the All Access catalog. It’s $9.99 a month, and you can try it free for the first month. Or better yet, start your trial by June 30 and you’ll pay only $7.99 a month.
Google Play for Education: Android goes to school
Imagine a world in which all classrooms and students are connected to the web. While such a vision will take the efforts of many, Google has contributed to this endeavor through Google Apps and Chromebooks. Today we are excited to expand Google’s education offering by combining the ease and portability of
with highly engaging educational content. Through this new program educators will be able to manage tablets and discover, purchase, and distribute content through Google Play for Education--whether they're in charge of one classroom or one thousand. We’re inviting developers
to get started now
to create world class educational apps for grades K-12. Schools interested in learning more can sign up
Samsung Galaxy S4 on Google Play
Next month, we are adding a new Android device to the store to join our current lineup of Nexus phones and tablets. We’ve worked closely with Samsung to create a special Samsung Galaxy S4 exclusively for Google Play. It brings together cutting edge hardware from Samsung with Google’s latest software and services -- including the user experience that ships with our popular Nexus devices. Starting June 26, it will be available with no contract for $649, supporting both T-Mobile and AT&T, with LTE.
Hugo Barra VP, Product Management, Android
A fresh new look for Google Play
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Whether you’re in the mood to listen to
Justin Timberlake’s new album
Harlan Coben’s latest bestseller
or discover a new game to play, you want the experience of finding and making your purchase to be quick and easy. Today we’ve started rolling out a redesigned Google Play store on Android phones and tablets that is simple, clean and — most importantly — helps you find great entertainment, fast.
The new design focuses on bigger images that jump off the page. Similarly themed content is grouped together so you can hone in on a magazine to read or an app to try. As you move down the page, new recommendations continue to appear so there is always more to see and explore. We’ve also simplified purchasing so you can breeze through checkout and get to enjoying your movie rental or other content.
The redesigned Google Play store app starts rolling out today for Android phones and tablets running Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above. People around the world should see it over the next few weeks. Get ready for a simpler Google Play.
Posted by Michael Siliski, group product manager for Google Play
Get inside your favorite movies with Google Play
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
“What’s his name again? Wasn’t he the guy in that movie with the battle of the bands?” Now, while you're watching a movie on Google Play, you can find out that it’s Jack Black (of course!), who was born in Hermosa Beach and is 43 years old. And with one click you can search the web and learn the fun fact that his parents are both rocket scientists.
Google Play Movies & TV app
so you can easily learn more about the actors, related films and even what song is playing in many of your favorite movies. When you’re watching a film on your tablet, simply press pause and cards will pop up with information about actors on screen. You can tap on an actor’s face to learn more about him, like his age, place of birth, his character in the movie, and his recent work, or scroll through the info cards to learn more about the movie or soundtrack. When you resume the movie, the cards will disappear.
This new feature is offered for
hundreds of movies
in Google Play and we’re adding more every day. If you’re in the U.S. and have a tablet running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher, download the latest version of the
Google Play Movies & TV app
to check it out. We hope to bring info cards to more movies in more countries and devices soon.
Posted by Ben Serridge, Product Manager for Google Play
The World’s Languages in Your Pocket (No Internet Required)
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Have you ever found yourself in a foreign country, wishing you knew how to say "I'm lost!" or "I'm allergic to peanuts”? The Internet and services like Google Translate can help—but what if you don't have a connection?
Today we're launching offline language packages for
Google Translate on Android
(2.3 and above) with support for fifty languages, from French and Spanish to Chinese and Arabic.
You can select [Offline Languages] in the app menu to see all the offline language packages available for download. To enable offline translation between any two languages, you just need to select them in the offline languages menu. Once the packages are downloaded, you're good to go.
While the offline models are less comprehensive than their online equivalents, they are perfect for translating in a pinch when you are traveling abroad with poor reception or without mobile data access.
So go out and explore another language or another culture without worrying about Internet access. There’s a whole world offline out there.
Posted by Minqi Jiang, Associate Product Manager
Google Keep--Save what’s on your mind
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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+).
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
and in the coming weeks you'll be able to do the same directly from Google Drive.
Posted by Katherine Kuan, Software Engineer
chrome + chrome os
Celebrating Google Play’s first birthday
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
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
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,
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
New Google Now: More of the information you need, at just the right time.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
When computers do the hard work, you can get on with the things that matter in life.
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
for devices running Android 4.1 and above.
Posted by Baris Gultekin, Product Management Director
chrome + chrome os
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