October 28, 2014

Meet the 12 Doodle4Google 2014 finalists from India and vote to choose the winners!


Entries now open for online voting for users to choose the winner.

We’re very excited that the annual Doodle4Google (D4G) competition with the theme ‘A place in India I wish to visit’ has reached its final stages. The competition has seen amazing response from across the country and we are glad to announce our 12 Finalists.

Details of the finalists along with their doodles are showcased at: http://www.google.co.in/doodle4google/. Online voting to pick the final winner has been ongoing from  October 27 and will close on November 10. Our final champion doodler will be announced on November 12 at an event in New Delhi.

As always, this year’s D4G participants are grouped into three categories: Group 1 comprising students from Class 1 to 3; Group 2 with students from Class 4 to 6; and Group 3 with students from Class 7 to 10. Breaking all previous records, this year, we received more than 1 Million entries! These went through a 2 rounds of judging, first by a group of Art Schools, and then by our national jury of Cartoonist Ajit Ninan, Art Director at Tinkle Savio Mascarenhas and Google Doodle Team Lead Ryan Germick.

You get to now vote for your choices online to choose one winner from each group. Finally, on the basis of your votes and on the basis of the ranking by the reputed national jury, the national winner will be selected from all the finalists. The winning doodle will be placed on the google.co.in homepage on November 14, National Children’s Day.

Here is the list of the 12 finalists from across India:

Group 1: Class 1 to 3
1.     Pranav V Chhatbar – The Rajkumar College, Rajkot
2.     Manasvi N. Gaikwad – St. Xaviers High School, Mumbai
3.     Sarvagjna Miriyala – DAV Public School, Mumbai
4.     Shaurya Jadon – Model School, Faridabad

Group 2: Class 4 to 6
1.     Amna Firdous – St. Anthony’s Day School, Kolkata
2.     V Sai Latha Rani - Sri Prakash Vidya Niketan, Vizag
3.      Isa Chowdhury – Model School, Durgapur
4.     Reba Philip – Pallikoodam School, Kottayam

Group 3: Class 7 to 10
1.     Joel Valentine – Army Public School, Bengaluru
2.     Vaidehi Reddy – Army Public School, Pune
3.     Samyak Singh – Sharda Vidya Mandir, Bhopal
4.     Y Sai Greeshma – Sri Prakash Vidya Niketan, Vizag

About the History of the Doodle:
Over the years, doodles on the Google homepage have made search on Google more fun and enjoyable for its users worldwide. When doodles were first created, nobody had anticipated how popular and integral they would become to the Google search experience. Nowadays, many users excitedly anticipate the release of each new doodle and some even collect them!

Doodles are known as the decorative changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists. Having a little bit of fun with the corporate logo by redesigning it from time to time is unheard of at many companies but at Google, it is a part of the brand. While the doodle is primarily a fun way for the company to recognize events and notable people, it also illustrates the creative and innovative personality of the company itself.

Posted by Sandeep Menon, Director of Marketing, Google India.

October 16, 2014

Android: Be together. Not the same.

[Cross posted from the Official Google Blog]

Good things happen when everybody’s invited. A few years ago, we had the thought that phones (and stuff that hadn’t even been invented yet like tablets and smart watches) would be way more interesting if everyone could build new things together. So we created Android as an open platform, and put it out there for everyone to imagine, invent, make, or buy whatever they wanted.
Since then, all kinds of people—from companies big and small to folks on Kickstarter, kids in schools, and crazy smart developers—have been innovating faster, together, more than we ever could alone. And the best part is that every time someone new joins in, things get more interesting, unexpected, and wonderful for all of us.
Getting everyone in on the party is the same spirit behind Android One—an effort recently launched in India (coming to other countries soon) to make great smartphones available to the billions of people around the world who aren’t yet online. It’s also why we’re excited about Lollipop, our newest software release, which is designed to meet the diverse needs of the billion-plus people who already use Android today.
Joining the party: Android 5.0 Lollipop
As previewed at Google I/O, Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it’s designed to be shared.
Lollipop is made for a world where moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens—from phones and tablets to TVs. With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, it’s easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones.
As you switch from one screen to another, the experience should feel the same. So Lollipop has a consistent design across devices—an approach we call Material Design. Now content responds to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid.
Lollipop also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you’re out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen.
And because we’re using our devices a lot more, there’s a new battery saver feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes—helpful if you’re far from a power outlet. We’ve enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private. And you can now secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern, or even by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock. But this is just a small taste of Lollipop. Learn more on android.com.
Meet the Nexus family, now running Lollipop
Advances in computing are driven at the intersection of hardware and software. That's why we’ve always introduced Nexus devices alongside our platform releases. Rather than creating software in the abstract, we work with hardware partners to build Nexus devices to help push the boundaries of what's possible. Nexus devices also serve as a reference for the ecosystem as they develop on our newest release. And for Lollipop, we have a few new Nexus treats to share with you.
First, with Motorola, we developed the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.
Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9, with brushed metal sides and 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on. And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.
Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes on Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, will also be available on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.
The party’s just getting started

With this latest release of Android Lollipop, we're excited to continue working with our developer community, hardware partners, and all of you. More ideas and more creators is what gets us all to better ideas faster. And since everyone's invited to the party, we hope you'll join in the fun by creating and sharing an Android character that captures a little bit of who you are—one of a kind. Enjoy!

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

October 13, 2014

Music knows no boundaries, so why should you?

Find out what YouTube’s 1 billion users across the world can mean to you as a Musician/Artist...

For Cody Simpson, a teenage Australian pop artist,  it meant going from recording covers in his bedroom to signing a record deal. For PSY, a South Korean singer, songwriter, dancer and rapper, it meant getting global fame. Closer to home in India, for  Maati Bani, a world Music band based out of Mumbai which combines elements of Hindustani Classical with various styles of Folk music and New age sounds, it opened up opportunities to collaborate with artists from around the world.

Over the years YouTube has become the leading platform for musicians to get discovered and noticed, build a global audience and connect with their fans. It has also opened up avenues for new gigs, collaborations, fame and fortune.

YouTube in association with 93.5 RED FM invites you to "Indie Music Outreach", a perfect event to come and learn from YouTube experts on how you can use YouTube to reach global audience! Whatever your craft is, or language or genre of music, this event is open to everyone who has a passion for music and considers the world their stage. Only requirement is to have a YouTube channel or create one if you don’t  (Its Free!). Sign up here for any of the sessions below
7th November
10th November
11th November
13th November
15th November

What’s more these sessions will be followed by a series of Music Video Production Workshops where an expert will have practical sessions around “How to produce videos economically”, “Shooting with a Mobile device”, “How to use home lights to create effects” and “Post Production” etc.

Based on participation in the workshops and the videos produced post the initial sessions, 20 bands/artists, will be selected by 93.5 RED FM. The selected bands/ artists  will get production support for a Music Video in Jam Format from 93.5 RED FM.

Interested? Fill this form and register for the workshops and let the music play!

Posted by: Gaurav Dobhal, YouTube Partner Manager, Recently Watched Rang Rangiya Maati Bani Ft Komal Rizvi

October 3, 2014

Announcing fast access for mobile users

The Internet is a global gathering space of infinite opportunity, where people from around the world can exchange ideas and access humanity’s knowledge. Everyone should have equal access to the Internet’s information to improve their everyday lives, regardless of who they are or where they live.

Increasingly, people in India are accessing the Internet through mobile devices such as their smartphones. However, not all of these devices come with fast, cheap connections. Today, we're launching a new streamlined version of our search results page in India to help.

Now, we will automatically check to see if a user has a slow wireless connection and deliver a fast loading version of Search. Fewer bytes means you get your answer faster—and cheaper! Google's high-quality results will remain the same, but elements such as images and maps will only show up when they are an essential part of the result.

This is just another step Google is taking to organize the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone, including those who do not have fast mobile connections.

September 30, 2014

Preserving Orkut’s history

[Cross posted from the Official Orkut Blog]

Today, we are bidding farewell to Orkut. But, as we announced at the end of June, while the service may be going away, its history of connections and conversations will live on. For a decade now, millions of people, spread around the world, have been brought together by common interests and lively discussion to form a vast collection of vibrant communities. And, as of today, public content on those communities is being preserved in the Orkut Community Archive: 51 million communities, 120 million topics, and more than 1 billion interactions.

Whatever the topic—from futebol to horror movies—there was a place for you to connect with others who shared your passions. And now you can go back and revisit them anytime. These conversations don’t just represent a history of Orkut, but will serve as an important time capsule of the early history of the social web. Of course, if you don't want your posts or name to be included in the Archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account at any time.

Orkut Futebol

And, while you won’t be able to access Orkut itself anymore, users can still export their profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). Please visit our Help Center for further details.

Orkut’s history is a sign of a great future, as the web explodes every day with new and great options for social interaction. We hope that the decades to come will be filled with even more of the connections, communities, and conversations that made Orkut special.

Posted by Paulo Golgher, Engineering Director

September 23, 2014

For those who dream big: Announcing the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair

[Cross posted from the Official Google Blog]

Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow became interested in addressing the global food crisis after learning about the Horn of Africa famine in 2011. When a gardening project went awry, they discovered a naturally occurring bacteria in soil called Diazotroph. The girls determined that the bacteria could be used to speed up the the germination process of certain crops, like barley and oats, by 50 percent, potentially helping fulfill the rising demand for food worldwide. Oh—and they’re 16 years old.

Today, Ciara, Émer and Sophie were named the Grand Prize Winner and the 15-16 age category winners of our fourth annual Google Science Fair. They are some of thousands of students ages 13-18 who dared to ask tough questions like: How can we stop cyberbullying? How can I help my grandfather who has Alzheimer's from wandering out of bed at night? How can we protect the environment? And then they actually went out and answered them.

From thousands of submissions from 90+ countries, our panel of esteemed judges selected 18 finalists representing nine countries—Australia, Canada, France, India, Russia, U.K., Ukraine and the U.S.—who spent today impressing Googlers and local school students at our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. In addition to our Grand Prize Winners, the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair are:

  • 13-14 age category: Mihir Garimella (Pennsylvania, USA) for his project FlyBot: Mimicking Fruit Fly Response Patterns for Threat Evasion. Like many boys his age, Mihir is fascinated with robots. But he took it to the next level and actually built a flying robot, much like the ones used in search and rescue missions, that was inspired by the way fruit flies detect and respond to threats. Mihir is also the winner of the very first Computer Science award, sponsored by Google.
  • 17-18 age category: Hayley Todesco (Alberta, Canada) for her project Waste to Water: Biodegrading Naphthenic Acids using Novel Sand Bioreactors. Hayley became deeply interested in the environment after watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Her project uses a sustainable and efficient method to break down pollutant substances and toxins found in tailing ponds water in her hometown, a hub of the oil sands industry.
  • The Scientific American Science in Action award: Kenneth Shinozuka (Brooklyn, New York) for his wearable sensors project. Kenneth was inspired by his grandfather and hopes to help others around the world dealing with Alzheimer's. The Scientific American award is given to a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge.
  • Voter’s Choice award: Arsh Dilbagi (India) for his project Talk, which enables people with speech difficulties to communicate by simply exhaling.

As the Grand Prize winners, Ciara, Émer and Sophie receive a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands provided by National Geographic, a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a personalized LEGO prize provided by LEGO Education and the chance to participate in astronaut training at the Virgin Galactic Spaceport in the Mojave desert.

Thanks to all of our young finalists and to everyone who participated in this year’s Google Science Fair. We started the Science Fair to inspire scientific exploration among young people and celebrate the next generation of scientist and engineers. And every year we end up amazed by how much you inspire us. So, keep dreaming, creating and asking questions. We look forward to hearing the answers.

Posted by Clare Conway, on behalf of the Google Science Fair team.

September 17, 2014

Read all about it! Magazines and newspaper subscriptions now available in Google Play Newsstand

We’re pleased to announce that Google Play users in India can now subscribe to top Indian newspapers and international magazines through the Google Play Newsstand Android app.

Get the latest headlines from NDTV, catch up with politics in Hindustan Times, get fashion advice from Vogue, and dream about the destination for your weekend with Conde Nast Traveller.

Newsstand brings together your favourite magazines, national newspapers and blogs in one seamless 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 optimise 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.
It offers thousands of full-length publications (free and paid) that you can subscribe to or follow. Some of these include:

  • News Subscriptions: Full-length content from leading Indian and International news publishers including Financial Times, New York Times, NDTV, Hindustan Times, Dainik Jagran, Mid-day, ABP Live, Mint, TV9, and more.
  • Magazines: Hundreds of HD magazines like India Today, Business Today, GQ, Vogue, Conde Nast Traveller, Cosmo, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Men’s Health.
  • Blogs: Your favorite blogs like Apartment Therapy, MissMalini, Colossal, Cool Hunting, Flavorpill, Saveur Daily, TMZ and The Verge.
  • Sites: Leading web sites like ESPNCricinfo, Indiatimes, MensXP, iDiva, Luxpresso, and more.
You can download the Google Play Newsstand app for your Android phone or tablet from Google Play. No matter your interests, there’s something for everyone in Newsstand.

Posted by Shiva Kumar, for Google Play Newsstand