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

  • Let's celebrate the season of giving
    It's the season of giving, and there are a lot of ways to give—by donating, by volunteering, by surprising a stranger with a random act of kindness. And we're joining in to help spread the holiday cheer. This month, Google.org is giving more than $15 million in grants to organizations using technology to address some of the world’s biggest problems. From San Francisco to Western Africa, these organizations are making a direct impact on people around the world, every day.

    One of our grants will go to Feeding America. Each year, billions of pounds of surplus food are sent to landfills, while 49 million Americans (including one in five children) go hungry. Our grant will help support their newest food rescue initiative called the Online Marketplace, a program that connects local retail and foodservice businesses who have excess food to those in need. Feeding America serves 3.3 billion meals annually and the Online Marketplace is projected to lead to the recovery of an additional 740 million meals, significantly reducing food waste while giving more families access to food.

    Two of our other grantees are working on the front lines to help ensure lives aren't lost to preventable diseases. Nexleaf Analytics works to get life-saving vaccines to children in India and Mozambique by preserving these vaccines before they spoil by installing low-cost refrigerator sensors in clinics. Malaria No More is fighting to save lives by better understanding the spread of malaria using newly available mobile data to map malaria cases and how they are being treated.

    To learn more about additional nonprofits we’re supporting through these grants, and to see how you can get involved with their efforts, visit g.co/happyholidays and see our slideshow below:




    These are only part of our annual philanthropic efforts. Over the course of the year, we strive to make the world a little bit better through our technology and giving programs, including more than $100 million in grants, $1 billion in technology resources, and 80,000+ volunteer hours donated to causes around the world.

    We're inspired by all the people out there who are working to make a difference—whether it's one of these organizations or simply one person doing a good deed for another. We're glad to do our part spreading some love this holiday season, and look forward to seeing more world-changing work in 2015.

    Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org

  • A Year in Search: the moments that defined 2014
    Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us laugh, smile from ear to ear, or stay gripped to our screens in our annual Year in Search. In 2014, we were struck by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched news unfold about a horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by the beautiful game, and had fun with birds, a bucket of ice, and a frozen princess.

    Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:

    Wishing the genie goodbye
    “You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.” The passing of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember—and putting Williams in the #1 spot on our global trends charts. There was even an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health in the days following his death. We revisited his iconic roles in movies like Aladdin and Dead Poets Society and found solace in gifs and memes that captured Williams’ spirit.

    All the world’s a stage
    Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had everyone glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts.

    While sports brought people together, so did a good cause. This year, awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reached an all-time high around the world due to the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As celebrities and everyday people alike braved a bucket of ice cold water for a cause, donations to help find a cure for the illness hit almost $100 million.
    Into the unknown
    How could a plane just vanish into thin air? In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds: searches for “mh370 found” outnumbered searches for “mh370 lost.”

    Here’s the full list of our top 10 global trending searches:
    You can find more on these top searches and more at google.com/2014

    Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
    On our Year in Search site, you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.
    We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.

    Posted by +Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President, Search


  • Through the Google lens: search trends December 6-11
    From The Colbert Report to astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, here's a look at this week's search stars.

    The presidency is just my day job
    Being the President of the United State is no easy task, but Barack Obama may have just faced his toughest test yet...a seat on The Colbert Report. This is the Commander-in-Chief’s third time on the show, but it’s still no cakewalk with every topic up for grabs—including Obama’s less than ideal approval ratings and his graying hair. Obama proved himself up for the challenge, though, kicking Colbert off his segment and making it his own.

    Not only does Obama moonlight as a comedian—it turns out he can also code. At a White House event with 30 middle school students, the President kicked off Hour of Code, a program that encourages young people to develop their computer and software programming skills. With a little help from one of the kids, Obama wrote a single line of JavaScript, “moveForward(100),” to move the tutorial’s character 100 pixels to the right, and in the process becoming the first U.S. president to write a computer program.
    Winners and losers
    Competition on The Voice is heating up; the three finalists were revealed this week. But there’s a twist in the show’s seventh season: to spice things up, its creators introduced a new wildcard spot, bringing the total number of potential finalists to four. Now the nine remaining contestants who didn’t make it to the top three will duke it out for that fourth spot and a shot at singing glory.

    While The Voice contestants still have a chance to take home the grand prize, other stars were left out in the cold this week when the Golden Globe nominations included several snubs. Names left off the selection sheet were Angelina Jolie and her upcoming film Unbroken, Christopher Nolan and his much-hyped Interstellar, and Bradley Cooper, who gained 40 pounds to portray Chris Kyle in the biopic film American Sniper. Oh well—there's still the Oscars. Meanwhile, movies Birdman and Boyhood snapped up seven and five nominations, respectively—and the TV category is staying interesting with nods for several Netflix original series, Amazon’s first appearance with Transparent, and two surprise nominations for the CW’s quirky Jane the Virgin.

    The sky above
    This week, searchers spent a good chunk of their time looking up. The weather was top of mind as the Pineapple Express—no, not the film—hit the San Francisco Bay Area, causing flooding and power outages. The phenomenon gets its name from its origins in the waters near Hawaii, a.k.a. the Pineapple State, where it develops before heading towards the U.S Pacific Coast.

    Even for those of us trapped indoors, searchers got a chance to look at the stars...on our homepage at least. Searchers looked for more information about astronomer Annie Jump Cannon after a Google doodle marked her 151st birthday. Cannon—who was deaf for most of her adult life, and often overshadowed by her colleague Edward C. Pickering—was instrumental in the development of the Harvard Classification system, which categorizes stars by their temperature (whether or not they were nominated for a Golden Globe).


    Tip of the week
    Need to find something in the apps on your Android phone? Now you can ask your Google app for help—even if it’s in another app. Just say “Ok Google” and then “search YouTube for holiday decorating ideas” or “search Tumblr for Taylor Swift” and jump straight to those results within the other app (if you have it installed).

    And come back next week for Google's Year in Search—a review of the people, moments, and events that captured the world's attention.

    Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [comedian-in-chief] and [team adam].


  • Android dress code: wear what you want
    Deciding what to wear is a really personal thing—it’s one of the ways you show people what you’re about. Wearable technology is no different, so Android Wear offers a wide selection of apps and watches to suit your taste. It’s about expressing who you are, however you want, right on your wrist.

    Today there’s even more ways to show your style with Android Wear, including dozens of new watch faces (powered by an official Watch Face API), a full collection of devices on Google Play, and lots of other improvements based on your feedback. So try ‘em on for size, and let us know what you think.
    Watch faces for whatever you’re into
    Starting today you can download watch faces from Google Play, just like you do with apps. We’ve got dozens of examples to get you started—from the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. And because the new Watch Face API is available to all developers, you can expect even more choices in the weeks and months ahead.

    We’ve also updated the Android Wear app on your phone to make browsing, downloading, and switching watch faces really easy. So pick the one you like the best, or pick a new one every day.

    (Both updates are rolling out over the next week, so don’t worry if you don’t see them yet.)



    Examples of Android Wear watch faces

    A family of watches to choose from
    In only a few short months, the Android Wear collection has grown to include six unique watches—the ASUS ZenWatch, the LG G Watch, the LG G Watch R, the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Some are circular, others are square. Some are traditional, others are sporty. And that’s exactly the point. With different shapes and styles, it’s really easy to make your watch your own.

    So by all means: wear what you want.

    Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear

  • #YouTubeRewind 2014: Celebrating what you created, watched and shared
    2014 was chock full of YouTube moments that vaulted into pop culture. We got pranked by a spider dog in Poland, learned what it’s like to walk the street for 10 hours as a woman in NYC, and watched total strangers share a first kiss. We laughed, we cried, and yes, we sang along to “Let It Go” roughly a bajillion times.

    In celebration of the people, memes and moments that made up an epic year, more than 100 YouTube creators gathered together for our annual Rewind video: a giant, global mashup looking back at the best of 2014 on YouTube. With creators from Japan, Germany, Israel, Mexico, France and beyond, it’s the biggest and most international Rewind video yet.

    And here are the top trending videos for 2014, based on views, shares, comments, likes and more. This year, the list represents the amazing variety of creativity brought to YouTube each day, which can include social commentaries, pranks, advertisements, and thrilling moments from traditional media and big names on YouTube. Collectively these 10 videos have hundreds of millions of views from creators, with more than 21 million cumulative subscribers.

    1. Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega) by SA Wardega
    2. Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more by Nike Football
    3. FIRST KISS by Tatia PIlieva
    4. The Voice IT | Serie 2 | Blind 2 | Suor Cristina Scuccia - #TEAMJ-AX by TheVoiceOf Italy
    5. iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test by Unbox Therapy
    6. Bars & Melody - Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer act | Britain's Got Talent 2014 by Britain's Got Talent
    7. Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial -- "Puppy Love" by Budweiser
    8. Devil Baby Attack by DevilsDueNYC
    9. Goku vs Superman. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 3. by ERB
    10. 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman by Street HarassmentVideo

    When it comes to music, it was a year of powerful female artists, as you can see from our list of top music videos: Women artists took eight of the top 10 spots (Shakira took two!). 2014's top 10 music videos were collectively played billions of times from channels with 55+ million subscribers.

    1. Katy Perry - Dark Horse (Official) ft. Juicy J
    2. Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (Español) ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona
    3. Shakira - Can't Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna
    4. Shakira - La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown
    5. Jason Derulo - "Wiggle" feat. Snoop Dogg (Official HD Music Video)
    6. Iggy Azalea - Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX
    7. Sia - Chandelier (Official Video)
    8. Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
    9. Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass
    10. Nicki Minaj - Anaconda
    ...and check out even more top music videos.

    Check out our YouTube Rewind channel for more top videos of the year from around the world, and our YouTube Brand channel to see a mashup of the top branded videos of the year and a list of the top ads on YouTube for the year. You can also visit google.com/2014 next week for Google's annual look at the people, places and events that captured the world's attention.

    Posted by Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture & Trends

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