Holiday stress? Google Mobile to the rescue!

Thursday, December 20, 2007 | 9:00 AM

The holiday season can be a stressful time in the U.S., but it should be enjoyable. Whether you need flight updates, store locations, or price comparisons, let Google Mobile offer you some peace of mind.

At the airport...

  • Search for flight info: You're heading to the airport to pick up your relatives from New Jersey and want to check the status of their flight. Just go to on your cell phone and search for the flight number to get departure and arrival times.
  • Find a popular restaurant: Once at the airport, you suddenly realize you forgot to make dinner reservations! Crisis? Not at all. Find them the best lasagna money can buy -- just go to on your cell phone, search for "Italian restaurants", and see ratings and reviews of local favorites.
  • Keep track of to-do lists: Keep your family's wish lists, grocery lists, and all your other "To-Dos" in Google Notebook and access them while you're out and about. Easily update them online on your computer, then visit on your cell phone when you're on the go.
  • Compare prices: Before heading to the cash register, compare in-store prices to online retailers' prices by texting product names, ISBN or UPC numbers ("price mp3 player," "price 1591841410") to GOOGLE (466453). We'll send the results back to your cell phone in a snap, so you'll always know where to get the best deal.
On the way to the holiday party...
  • Get directions: Try the "My Location" feature on the newest version of Google Maps for Mobile to find out where you are. Then, enter the destination address and get directions to the party. You can even turn on the traffic overlay to find out which highways to avoid. Just go to on your cell phone to download the application.
  • Find a last-minute gift: The moment you find your way, you realize you forgot to pick up a gift for the hosts! Avoid a social faux pas. Dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-4664-411) and say "florist" to find a flower shop on your way. GOOG-411 can even connect you directly. If you have an iPhone, say "map it" and we'll send you a link to a map showing the florist's location.
Discover some other ways Google Mobile can help you reduce stress this season.

Happy holidays from the entire Google mobile team!

Upload Geo-Tagged YouTube Videos from your Helio Ocean

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | 12:18 PM

Christine LeeProduct Marketing Manager, YouTube

Helio has just released a custom-built application that enables you to watch, record, upload, and share YouTube videos on your Helio Ocean phone. Now, you can really interact with the YouTube community on your Helio Ocean by rating videos, posting text comments, sharing videos with friends, saving videos to your Favorites and Playlists, and subscribing to new channels. You can even let everyone know where you shot a video by attaching a "geo-tag," which includes the GPS coordinates for the location where you shot the video.

You can also personalize your YouTube experience on the Helio Ocean by customizing your video feeds like My Subscriptions, My Favorites, My Playlists, My Videos and Received Videos. Of course, you can always view traditional YouTube categories like Most Viewed, Most Recent, Top Rated and Recently Featured.

What better way to show you than via this video:

To get the new application in the U.S., just "JUMP" to YOUTUBE by entering 9688823 (YOUTUBE) from the Helio Ocean idle screen. You'll then receive a link to download the application.

This is a nice example of how mobile providers can bring YouTube to their customers. We're pretty excited about the opportunities for YouTube on the small screen. Now people can watch YouTube on their phones and participate in the YouTube community without having to be at their computers.

No more excuses for being late

| 10:07 AM

Marcus FosterProduct Manager, Google mobile team, London

A few months ago we released a mobile version of Google Calendar. I find it incredibly useful, especially when traveling and running from one meeting to the next. I know that wherever I am, my Google Calendar travels with me.

Since we know how much Calendar users depend on their schedules, we are always trying to make it easier to access at any time. For example, I live in London, and like many people in major metropolitan areas around the world, I spend a lot of time underground, on the Tube (a.k.a. subway, Metro, U-Bahn...). At least in London, there is no mobile network coverage on the Underground, so I cannot always access Google Calendar on my phone.

But now there's a solution. Starting today, you can use Google Sync for mobile to synchronize your BlackBerry handheld with Google Calendar. Simply go to in your mobile browser to download and install the Google Sync for mobile application.

Once installed, simply click on the Google Sync icon (which looks like this):
Then, sign in to your Google Account or your Google Apps account, and that's it. The Calendar application on your BlackBerry will always be synchronized with your Google Calendar. You can even edit events or create new ones on the handheld.

Get more information on Google Sync.

Picasa Redefined for your iPhone

| 8:00 AM

Joe WalnesSoftware Engineer, Google mobile team in London

I was sitting in the pub recently (I'm a Brit, it's what I do), and I wanted to show my friend a photo of the sunset I saw on my honeymoon. I pulled out my phone and started typing in the URL for Picasa Web Albums. Before I could continue, he threw his shiny iPhone into my hand. He told me to launch the Safari browser bundled on the iPhone and give that a try.

I had a look around some websites and I really liked how they looked on the iPhone. I could get to everything I needed. I went to but it didn't quite feel right. It was using some very cool AJAXy features, but these were designed with a desktop web-browsing experience in mind. So the next day I had a go at creating a new interface for Picasa Web, designed for the iPhone.

Today, I'm happy to tell you that we've just released this new iPhone interface for Picasa. After you go to Picasa on your iPhone and log in, you can quickly see all your albums that you've uploaded to Picasa Web. If you click on any of the albums, you can get a full view of your picture with comments from your friends. Or you can click on Slideshow, sit back and watch the pictures scroll. You can also search for photos in your album or through community photos. Finally, with one of my favorite features, you can view your friends' albums through favorites.

What are you waiting for? If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch go to and check it out. Alternatively, you can go to and launch the application from the "More" tab. Note that we've only launched in English so far, so you'll have to change your language preference if you're not in an English-speaking country.

For those that have never used Picasa before, visit our web site for PC users or Mac users. You can easily upload all your photos from your desktop. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please leave us a comment below.

Update Google Mobile Products on your BlackBerry with One Click

Thursday, December 6, 2007 | 1:35 PM

If you find it hard to keep your BlackBerry up to date with Google's expanding mobile product suite, we hope we just made your life a little easier. The new Google Mobile Updater for BlackBerry makes it simple for you to stay informed and current by telling you when new products and updates are available for your phone and allowing you to install them with a single click. The Updater will even put an icon for each product on your BlackBerry's main menu, making it as easy as possible for you to get to your favorite Google mobile products.

Now you can easily get the latest Google mobile applications like Google Maps for Mobile with My Location (the magical blue circle on your map), and web applications like Picasa Web Albums and Google Docs -- all of which you can choose to install to your BlackBerry's main menu for easy access.

Google Mobile Updater is also the only way you can get the latest, fastest Google mobile search for BlackBerry. In under a second, you can start entering your query without waiting to load the Google home page. This saves you valuable time when you are trying to find the answer to that quiz question, the address of a nearby restaurant or the latest price of your favorite stock. You can assign a convenience key to make it even easier to access Google search.

To get Google Mobile Updater, visit on your BlackBerry and click "Download all" under "Get all Google products in one go." From there, you can get the latest Google search application by selecting "Search" and then "Update." Note that right now, Google Mobile Updater and the new Google search experience are only available for BlackBerry devices in the U.S. In the future, whenever we launch new products or updates we will let you know by changing the Google Mobile Updater icon to have a green arrow, like this:

Google on the iPhone: Fast and Fluid

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 | 7:00 AM

Posted by

We all know that using the web on mobile phones can be a challenge sometimes. Compared to our personal computers, the screens are smaller, it's more difficult to navigate and enter text, the network connections are slower, and the browsers lack many of the features we've become accustomed to. I deal with this every day as both a developer and a user of mobile web applications. So you can imagine how excited I was when the iPhone launched with a large touch screen, Wi-Fi, and a full-blown Safari web browser!

I started thinking about how to use AJAX technology to improve Google on the iPhone. I set out to create an application that would preload my favorite Google products and allow me to switch between them instantly. I wanted web results as well as image, local, and news results without having to repeat my search. I wanted to check Gmail and my news feeds in Google Reader without having to load a new page every time. I also wanted Google Suggest to save me time typing queries on the virtual keyboard.

I created a prototype and showed it to some fellow Googlers. After that, things started moving pretty quickly. A few weeks (and a few gallons of mint tea) later, I had an improved version which Googlers throughout the company were using on their iPhones (it works great on the iPod Touch too). Now we want to share it with everyone.

Our guiding principles were "fast" and "fluid." We think we've achieved both, thanks to some AJAX magic made possible by the iPhone's Safari browser. To try it out, just go to on your iPhone.

We want to know what you think! You can post your comments below or submit specific questions on our discussion board. We hope you'll like it.