News and notes from Android team
Google Play Family Library: Share what you love with the ones you love
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
(Cross-posted on the
Friday night is movie night at our home, and my wife and I look forward to our weekly ritual of putting the kids to bed, getting some takeout, and catching up on our movie wishlist. Whether it’s making the BLUE STEEL face from
, swapping tips on playing
, or reading
Dragons Love Tacos
to the kids at bedtime, these shared moments bring us closer together.
For families like mine, who bond over shared entertainment, we’re introducing
, a way for up to six family members to share purchases on
. When you buy an eligible app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family—across devices—with no additional sign-up fee.
Share across your family’s devices
Today’s families have a lot of devices, and it should be easy to share content no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Everyone in my family loves the
movies and we all want to be able to watch them, on our phones, tablets, laptops, or TV. All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, and movies, TV shows, and books can be enjoyed on iOS devices and the web.
Easily manage sharing and family purchases
As with most family matters, flexibility and choice is important. With Family Library, you can choose which items you want to share and which to keep to yourself—for example, I’ll probably keep my collection of comic books in my personal library. Flexibility is also built into your purchasing options. When you sign up, you’ll select a credit card to share as your family payment method, but your family members will always have the option of buying stuff with their personal credit cards or gift cards. And for your younger family members, you’ll have the option to approve each of their purchases.
Share a Music subscription with your family
Finally, if your family loves music, you can also subscribe to the
Google Play Music family plan
. On this plan, up to six family members can stream millions of songs on demand for $14.99 a month. We
the family plan late last year, and today we’re expanding it to Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and New Zealand. And you can now sign up on the web, in addition to your Android device.
Starting today, Family Library will be rolling out over the next few days and will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. To get started,
in Google Play, invite your family members, and start sharing what you love!
Posted by Raj Iyengar, Product Manager, Google Play
Google Play Books introduces Bubble Zoom
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Whether it’s reading up on the origins of
or enjoying a reboot like
Invincible Iron Man
, we all love our heroes and villains and there’s nothing more thrilling than flipping through your favorite comic when the battle is on — THWACK!
Last year, Google Play made it easier to find and read your favorite comics on your phone or tablet, including a new
vertical scrolling experience
. We wanted to use our superpowers, like machine learning, to improve the digital comics experience even further. Machine learning is the technology that makes the digital things in your life more useful, like finding the right image in Google Photos by searching for “hugs” to “dogs.” So what happens when we bring our machine learning capabilities to the world of comics?
At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, we just announced
: a new way to read digital comics on phones and tablets. Using the same technology to recognize objects in photos, we trained our system to identify speech bubbles in comics. Bubble zoom expands the speech bubbles of a comic one-tap-at-a-time, making them super easy to read on your mobile device. It’s much easier to read digital comics one-handed as Bubble Zoom automatically identifies and expands each speech bubble for readability. No more compromising the full-page experience or getting lost while panning around.
“Justice League (2011) Origin - Vol 1.” and “Invincible Iron Man Vol 1.” read using Bubble Zoom
Bubble Zoom will be available on the latest version of
Google Play Books app
for Android as a technical preview with all Marvel and DC collected volumes supported. We’re also celebrating this preview with a 50% off sale on select DC Comics and Marvel comics in the Google Play Store — just use the code
by July 24th, 2016.
Rolling out today, you can upgrade Play Books and provide feedback on supported comic volumes in the app as this exclusive experience is only the first step. As we continue to teach our machines to read more comic book styles, our goal is to eventually bring
to all the comics and manga ever made.
So stay on the lookout for Bubble Zoom and by Odin’s beard…go read some comics!
Posted by Greg Hartrell, Head of Product, Google Play Books
Stay connected abroad with high speed data from Project Fi
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
When you’re traveling abroad, your phone is an essential tool – for finding a great restaurant, posting pics of your trip online, or translating a sign. But the data we have access to when traveling abroad often isn’t fast or affordable enough to let us do the tasks that matter most. Which could be why only 20% of Americans opt to use their cellular data when traveling internationally,
instead choosing to jump between Wi-Fi hotspots or scramble for a local SIM card.
Starting today, all Project Fi subscribers have access to high speed data in 135+ destinations. With the addition of
to the Project Fi network, we’re now able to deliver speeds 10-20X faster than before. And, just as before, there are no extra fees for using data internationally – you pay the same $10/GB that you do at home.
We’re also now offering more coverage internationally, with service in more than a dozen additional countries totaling
135+ destinations worldwide
. Fi customers now have access to high speed data in over 97% of the places Americans travel internationally.
Leaving home shouldn’t mean leaving connectivity behind. With the addition of faster speeds and more countries for the same fair price, we’re one step closer to making your phone as easy to use abroad as it is at home.
P.S. To help make your first trip abroad with Project Fi a little easier we’ll be offering $150 off the Nexus 6P for the next week when you buy and activate with
. The promotion will go live on our website at 10:00 am PT today.
Posted by Tyler Kugler, Product Manager, Project Fi
1) Google Consumer Survey, U.S., 6/29/16, n=403
2) U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, United States Resident Travel Abroad Report, 2012
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