Banner

Follow Along

RSS Feed Join Us on Twitter On Facebook

Get Engaged

Banner

Related Reading

Our Sponsors

Banner
Banner
Banner

Join Us

Banner
Newsfeeds from around the industry
The Official Google Blog
Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture.

  • For the next five billion: Android One
    Knowledge is a game changer. I’ve long been inspired by the Internet and how it opens the doors to opportunity. It provides access to knowledge, no matter who you are or where you are. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Nobel Laureate at a world-class research center or a young student at a rural school in Indonesia, with Google Search, you have the same information at your fingertips as anyone else.

    If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it’s through a smartphone. While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population—over five billion more—do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.

    That’s where Android One comes in. At I/O, we first talked about this initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. And today we’re introducing the first family of Android One phones in India.
    Addressing key barriers—hardware, software and connectivity
    There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone. First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.

    Android One aims to help tackle these challenges. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.
    To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices will receive the latest versions of Android directly from Google. So you’ll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. It also means Android One devices will be some of the first to be updated to the Android L release later this year. For our hardware partners, they’ll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.

    In an effort to reduce data costs, if you have an Airtel SIM card, you’ll get these software updates for free for the first six months. As part of this same Airtel offer, you’ll also be able to download up to 200MB per month worth of your favorite apps (that’s about 50 apps overall) from Google Play—all without counting toward your mobile data usage.

    More to come
    This is just the beginning of the Android One journey. The first phones, from our hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available starting today in India from leading retailers starting at Rs 6,399. We’re also excited to welcome more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. We expect to see even more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Finally, we plan to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.

    Access for access’s sake is not enough. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.

    Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps

  • Through the Google lens: search trends Sept 5-11
    New phones, new games, new looks. Let’s take a peek at all the happenings this week in search:

    All you can eat? 
    The Olive Garden learned this week that it’s risky to get between people and their food. The restaurant chain’s new “Never Ending Pasta Pass” offered up to 1,000 people seven weeks of unlimited pasta, salad and those sneaky-good breadsticks for just $100. The rush of pasta lovers eager for a deal crashed the Olive Garden website before the pass was even for sale—and thousands more turned to search to learn more about the debacle.

    The latest edition
    It was a big week for our neighbors from Cupertino. Apple’s latest announcement this week flooded the search trends, with more than 10 million searches for the new iPhone 6, along with its release date and price. People were also curious about the new Apple Watch, the band U2—whose latest album Apple gave away for free to all iTunes users—and how the announcement was affecting AAPL stock.

    And baby makes four for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who announced this week that they’re expecting a little brother or sister for one-year-old Prince George. People turned to the web to learn more about the news. Start your office naming pools now! 

    Football frenzy 
    A full 15 out of 20 top searches on Sunday were related to the first Sunday of football season, with the Cowboys, Steelers and Broncos topping the pack—on search, at least. But unfortunately, it was events off the field that had many people turning to the web this week. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely from the league on Monday, after TMZ released a video that appears to show him assaulting his then-fiancee in an elevator. More than 2 million searches for Rice followed—the highest spike ever. People were also looking for more information on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in an effort to understand whether the league’s leadership had knowledge of the incident earlier in the year.


    POTUS and ISIS
    Just a day earlier, President Obama announced that the U.S. military would expand its air strikes in Iraq and now Syria, against the extremist group ISIS. Searches for ISIL, the term the President used for the group, climbed the day of his speech as people looked for more information on the news. 

    Transformations 
    The latest season of “The Biggest Loser” premiered yesterday with new trainers and a new concept—“Glory Days,” in which former athletes compete to regain their former fitness—leading people to the web to learn more. And “The Sixth Sense” star Haley Joel Osment was in the news this week—but we won’t blame you if you missed it, since he was nearly unrecognizable from his former self. Osment is filming a new Kevin Smith movie “Yoga Hosers,” in which he plays Canadian fascist journalist Adrien Arcand.

    Tip of the week 
    September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. With the Google Search App, you can get warnings from Google Public Alerts when bad weather is on its way. Take a few minutes to get prepared by learning more about Alerts, which are available on Google Now, Search and Maps.

    Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [ducktales intro] and [adichie city arts]

  • Google Drive and the Docs editors: designed with everyone in mind
    Imagine trying to keep track of another person’s real-time edits in a document—using only your ears. Or trying to create a table from spreadsheet data—without being able to clearly see the cells. Whether you’re backing up a file in Drive or crunching some numbers in Sheets, it should be easy to bring your ideas to life using Google’s tools. But if you’re blind or have low vision, you may need to rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers and Braille displays—and that can make working in the cloud challenging. While screen readers can parse static webpages (like this blog) relatively easily, it’s much harder for them to know what to say in interactive applications like Google Docs because the actions they need to describe are much more complex.

    With these reasons in mind, today we’re announcing some improvements to Drive and all our editors—Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms—specifically designed with blind and low-vision users in mind.
    Improved screen reader support in Drive and Docs 
    In June, we introduced a new version of Drive that’s sleeker, easier to navigate and much faster. But just as importantly, the new Drive also includes better keyboard accessibility, support for zoom and high-contrast mode and improved usability with screen readers.

    Across Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms, you’ll find that it’s now much easier to use a screen reader, with nicer text-to-voice verbalization and improvements to keyboard navigation. You’ll also notice other updates, including:
    • Support for alt text on images in Docs, so you can tell a screen reader what they should say to describe an image 
    • Better support for using a keyboard to edit charts and pivot tables in Sheets 
    • Additional screen reader improvements specifically for Docs, Sheets and Slides, including support for spelling suggestions, comments and revision history 
    • The ability to quickly search the menus and perform actions in Docs, Slides and Drawings (and soon Sheets and Forms)—even if you don’t know the action’s key sequence 
    Collaborating with others is easier too: in Docs, Sheets, Slides or Drawings, screen readers announce when people enter or leave the document, and you’ll now also hear when others are editing alongside you.

    Refreshable Braille display support 
    If you use a Braille display, you can now use it to read and enter text in Docs, Slides and Drawings. Even if you don't use a Braille display, with Braille support, your screen reader’s settings for character echoing are automatically followed. Enabling Braille also dramatically reduces the lag between when you press a key and when it’s announced by your screen reader, and improves the announcements of punctuation and whitespace. Learn how to enable Braille support in our Help Center.

    Get up and going faster
    The first time you use a screen reader or a Braille display, getting up to speed can be a daunting task. But it’s simpler with new step-by-step guides for Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings.
    You can also access the in-product “Help” menu at any time without interrupting your work, or use the updated shortcut help dialog to easily search through keyboard shortcuts if you don’t remember them.

    Finally, we’re offering phone support for Google Drive accessibility questions. If you get stuck, visit support.google.com/drive to request a phone call and someone from our team will reach out to you.

    What’s next
    Referring to recent updates to Google Drive, Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said at this year’s National Convention: “The progress...during the last few months has just been positively extraordinary.” We’re pleased the community has welcomed these improvements, and will continue to work with organizations like the NFB to make even more progress.

    Everyone, regardless of ability, should be able to experience all that the web has to offer. To find out more about our commitment to a fully accessible web, visit the new Google Accessibility site at www.google.com/accessibility.

    Posted by Alan Warren, Vice President, Engineering

  • Call me maybe? Introducing free voice calls from Hangouts
    We know how important it is to keep in touch with friends and family, especially when they’re spread around the world. Hangouts already makes it easy to send a quick message, or start a group video chat. But sometimes it’s best to just call to say “I love you,” and with the new version of Hangouts you can.

    Starting today you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web. It’s free to call other Hangouts users, it’s free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and the international rates are really low. So keeping in touch is easier and more affordable than ever.

    To get started on Android, just grab the new version of Hangouts (v2.3, rolling out over the next few days), then install the accompanying dialer to turn on voice calls. On iOS and the web, voice calls will be available the next time you open the app.

    Voice calls in Hangouts: call history (left); dialer (middle); in a call (right)

    Whether it’s your sister in Paris, your best friend in Boston or Jenny at 867-5309, Hangouts lets you call the people you care about at little or no cost. So download the app and dial your loved ones today!

    Posted by Amit Fulay, Product Manager

  • A solar project on top of an old oil field in California’s Kern County
    We recently finalized an investment that will put a 82MW solar power plant on top of an old oil and gas field in Kern County, Calif. The new deal with SunEdison will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes.

    Our investment in the Regulus solar project will give new life to a long-valued piece of land, and there's something a little poetic about creating a renewable resource on land that once creaked with oil wells. Over the years, this particular site in California has gone from 30 oil wells to five as it was exhausted of profitable fossil fuel reserves. The land sat for some time and today we’re ready to spiff things up. With the help of our $145 million equity commitment, SunEdison is draping it in high-tech, sleek panels that collect energy from the sun, while bringing 650 jobs to the Kern County area and 82MW of clean energy to the grid.
    Like many states, California has a goal of increasing the amount of energy procured from renewable sources. This project helps support that quest and marks 17 renewable energy investments for Google since 2010, including five here in the Golden State.

    We’re continually looking for newer, bigger and better projects that help us create a clean energy future. The more than $1.5 billion we’ve brought to these projects to date not only helps provide renewable energy to the grid and to the public, but as they perform, they allow us to invest in more renewable energy projects. This cycle makes financial sense for Google and our partners while supporting construction jobs in local communities and clean energy for the planet we share.

    Posted by Nick Coons, Renewable Energy Principal

All the Latest

Getting Around the Site

Home - all the latest on SNC
SEO - our collection of SEO articles
Technical SEO - for the geeks
Latest News - latest news in search
Analytics - measure up and convert
RSS Rack - feeds from around the industry
Search - looking for something specific?
Authors - Author Login
SEO Training - Our sister site
Contact Us - get in touch with SNC

What's New?

All content and images copyright Search News Central 2014
SNC is a Verve Developments production, the Forensic SEO Specialists- where Gypsies roam.