Explore seven continents with Street View on your phone

Thursday, September 30, 2010 | 12:50 PM

Head over to the Official Google Blog to read more about Street View on seven continents.

Two years ago, we added Street View to Google Maps for mobile so you could explore the world at street level right from your phone. Today, we’re happy to announce that you can see Street View imagery on all seven continents, with the addition of Brazil, Ireland and Antarctica – specifically, an area called Half Moon Island. Now, you can really explore the world from the palm of your hand.

We encourage you to go ahead and check out the beaches of Brazil, visit the moors of Ireland or see penguins in Antarctica for yourself.

To use Street View on Google Maps for your supported phone, select a place on the map and then choose the Street View option if available. With an Android-powered phone, try hopping across each continent with the new Street View smart navigation.

Posted by Michael Siliski, Google Mobile Team

Introducing the Google Phone Gallery

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | 8:19 PM

Here at Google, we’re thrilled with the global adoption of Android and with the high quality of devices that are coming to market around the world. Since there are so many great phones, we wanted to make the selection process a little easier for people who are in the market for a new one. Today we’re rolling out the Google Phone Gallery -- a showcase of Android-powered devices that deliver the best Google experience today. Check it out at http://www.google.com/phone.

All the phones in the gallery include Android Market, Google Search, and other Google Mobile services such as Gmail, Maps, and YouTube. There are tools that make it easy to compare phones side by side: you can filter phones by country, manufacturer, and carrier; view and compare technical specifications and features; and find where each phone is available for sale.

We’ll continue adding phones and countries over time, both to round out the gallery and as new phones come to market.

Posted by Ben Serridge, Product Manager, Android

New hyperlocal ad feature helps you find nearby businesses

| 3:30 PM

Imagine driving to work and your Check Engine light comes on. After pulling over and calling a tow truck, you realize you’ll need another car to get to work while yours is getting repaired. You pull out your phone and search for “car rental,” hoping that you can find one nearby. From a Google search ad result you discover there’s an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location just half-a-mile away! You click on the phone number listed in the ad and are instantly connected with the car rental service. Soon, an Enterprise representative is on his way to pick you up.

Visit the Google Mobile Ads blog to read more about how a new hyperlocal ad feature provides distance information to help you know a business is nearby and helps businesses better connect with mobile users on the go.

Updated Gmail app in Android Market

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | 11:13 AM

We just released a new version of the Gmail app in Android Market, so Gmail updates aren’t tied to Android version releases anymore. Now you can get new Gmail stuff faster without having to wait for system updates. To start you off, we’ve improved message replies, access to quoted text, and more.

As you scroll through a conversation, your most important message actions will now stick to the top of the screen, one click away, no matter how long the email is.

Very long thread? Now you can view previous message content more easily, just like in the desktop version of Gmail. Tap “Show quoted text” to reveal the previous message.

Finally, this updated version of the Gmail app has limited support for Priority Inbox. If you’ve enabled Priority Inbox via the desktop version of Gmail, you’ll see an “Important” label that shows all messages flagged as important. You can even add a shortcut to “Important” to your home screen.

The Gmail update requires Froyo (Android version 2.2), so it’s available if you have a Nexus One, HTC EVO, Motorola Droid 2 or Motorola Droid. (Not sure if your device is running Android version 2.2? Check here.)

Get the update from Android Market (just scan the QR code below, or click here if you're on a phone) and check out the new Gmail. We’d love to hear what you think at android-apps-support@google.com.

Update 9/21/10 12:13pm Pacific time: There is a known issue with important actions not sticking to the top of the screen on HTC phones running Anrdoid 2.2, like the EVO 4G and
the Droid Incredible. We are working to address this.

Update 9/23/10 10:52 Pacific time: Sprint and HTC have just released an update to Android 2.2 for the EVO 4G that fixes both the "header not sticking to the top of the screen" and the "secondary account doesn't sync" issues in Gmail. To get the update, go to Menu > Settings > System updates > HTC software update, and check for updates (may take a few tries).

Posted by Simon Arscott and Paul Westbrook, Gmail for Android team

Ocean comes to Google Earth for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Monday, September 20, 2010 | 11:33 AM

(Cross-posted from the Google Lat Long blog)

We recently announced the arrival of ocean bathymetry and ocean layer content to Google Earth for Android. Today, with the latest release of Google Earth 3.1 for iOS, we’re proud to announce that you can now explore underwater landscapes and terrain on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Dive below the ocean’s surface to explore underwater canyons, or travel to the ocean’s deepest point, the Mariana Trench. Once underwater, simply swipe the screen with two fingers to “look around.” You can always reset your view by clicking on the north arrow on the iPad, or on the compass on the iPhone and iPod.As with the desktop and other mobile versions of Google Earth, we’ve also added the “Ocean” layer, which features hundreds of photos and videos from more than 100 contributors curated by the Sylvia Earle Alliance.

This version also includes native support for the new Retina display, which means that if you have an iPhone 4 or the new iPod touch, you’ll get to enjoy an even sharper view of the world.

Google Earth 3.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is available now in the App Store, or navigate to http://m.google.com/earth in your mobile browser. You can also download Google Earth by scanning this QR code:
For help or additional information, visit our help center.

Posted by Peter Birch, Google Earth Product Manager

Search Gmail & Docs with Google Mobile App on BlackBerry

Friday, September 17, 2010 | 10:08 AM

In January we updated Google Mobile App for BlackBerry so it can search your on-device email and contacts. Today we’re pleased to announce it can also search the cloud to find items in your Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Docs.

Here’s a quick example: you've just received an email from a friend who's coming with you on a camping trip this weekend and he's reminded you that you should take a look at the checklist to see what you need to bring along. It's been a while since you created the list, but you can just say 'checklist' to Google Mobile App and find it in your Google Docs in a couple of clicks.

To do this on your BlackBerry you’ll need to start Google Mobile App and log into your Google Account (you’ll only need to do this the first time). Just as with any other query, you can either type or speak to find what you’re looking for.

Search results for "checklist"

Google Docs: Mountain camping checklist

Now that you’re already signed in to your Google Account you can launch web-based apps such as Docs or Reader without having to log in again.

Google takes information security very seriously, so all your Gmail and Google Docs searches are sent over a secure https connection. Your password is never permanently stored on your phone, and your account details are encrypted during transmission.

To download Google Mobile App to your BlackBerry, visit m.google.com. Learn more in our help center.

Live webinar for businesses on 9/23: Google Apps for mobile

Thursday, September 16, 2010 | 9:09 AM

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Enterprise Blog.)

With the rapid adoption of Internet-enabled mobile devices, employees increasingly seek access to their email, documents, and other corporate data from their mobile phones. In addition, employees are bringing their personal smartphones to work or carry multiple devices creating new challenges for IT administrators.

Join me next week for a live webinar where we will share our vision of enabling mobile workers with easy access to information anywhere, anytime. You’ll also learn about the various mobile applications and recent innovations. We’ll also highlight support for Google Apps on mobile devices and also discuss the various tools that are available for IT administrators to manage Google Mobile products for businesses.

Register to attend the live webinar on 9/23 @ 10am PST / 1pm EST / 5 pm GMT. We hope to see you there.

What you say is what you search

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | 1:40 PM

Many of you have searched the web by speaking since the launch of voice search in 2008. In fact, one in every four searches from an Android phone in the US is by voice. In certain situations, voice search just works much better than typing. It’s a lot faster than typing on a small phone screen. You can search things even when you don’t know the correct spelling. It’s more fun as you can share what you’re doing with your friends. And it’s safer when you’re walking around. Once you start using voice search, you start discovering all sorts of new ways to use it.

We’ve thought of a few interesting uses for voice search and made some short videos out of them. Check them out on our new YouTube channel. But we know you can do better. What are some of your most frequent or unusual voice search queries? Leave us a comment below or on our YouTube channel.

Posted by Heaven Kim, Product Marketing, Google Mobile

Walk this way

Thursday, September 9, 2010 | 12:05 PM

Whether you’re going for an urban hike or wandering from your hotel to find that restaurant you passed earlier, you won’t have to flag down a local if you’ve got Google Maps for mobile 4.5 on Android. Maps already had Navigation and walking directions, and today we’re happy to share the perfect marriage of the two: Walking Navigation (Beta). If you need help deciding where to walk (or drive), you can now also use Street View smart navigation or the new Google Maps search bar to guide your choice.

Walking Navigation
Walking Navigation lets you use GPS navigation with walking directions that are more direct and use pedestrian pathways when we know about them. To try it now, choose the “Walking” option from the Navigation icon. Walking Navigation has a few changes that help when you’re on your feet. For example, your phone will vibrate when you need to make a turn. You can even turn off voice guidance and just use these notifications while soaking in the sights and sounds around you. To help you orient yourself with your surroundings, the map will rotate with you as you turn the phone, and walking mode uses satellite view by default. Use it like a virtual compass with satellite imagery to look ahead or help pick out landmarks along the way.

Choose the “Walking” option after selecting the Navigation icon (left) to use Walking Navigation (right).

Keep in mind that Walking Navigation is still in beta, and Google Maps may not always have up-to-date information or optimal walking routes. Whether you’re walking or driving with Google Maps Navigation, you should always be safe and pay attention to road signs, follow signals, and use good judgment about routes that can’t be walked.

Street View smart navigation
If you want a sneak preview of where you’re going, use the new Street View on Google Maps with smart navigation and updated imagery. Just like with Street View smart navigation on your computer, you no longer have to slowly move down a street by tapping arrows along roads repeatedly. Now you can quickly navigate Street View by dragging Pegman from the corner and highlighting where you want to go with a lightly shaded “pancake” on roads or a rectangle on buildings. Let go of the screen when highlighting the front of a building, and you’ll fly there and turn to face it. With a swipe of your finger, you can hop rivers and scale buildings.

You’ll need to download an update for the “Street View on Google Maps” app in Android Market separately from Google Maps. Once you update, access Street View just like before: open Maps, search for a place or long-press the map, and choose the Street View option if available.

New Google Maps search bar
At the top of the map, you’ll find the new Google Maps search bar always available for easy access. Tap it to quickly start searching, open Places, use the Layers menu, or find yourself on the map with My Location. Here are more new features that may be helpful when you’re looking for nearby places:
  • Filter search results by distance or ratings
  • View prices categorized with dollar signs
  • See cross streets for places.
Google Maps for mobile 4.5 and Street View smart navigation are available now for Android 1.6+ everywhere they’re currently available. Search for Google Maps (tap here on your phone) and then Street View on Google Maps (tap here) in Android Market to update both.

Visit our Help Center to learn more or tell us your feedback and questions in our Help Forum. Give us suggestions and vote on other people’s on the Mobile Product Ideas page.

Fast Access to Google Voice with Android Widgets

| 10:05 AM

(Cross-posted from the Google Voice blog)

Mobile is all about getting super fast access to what you’re looking for and Google Voice is no exception. So, today we’re releasing an update to the Android app, which gives you immediate access to your Google Voice Inbox and settings via two new home screen widgets.

The Google Voice Inbox widget brings your most recent voicemails and text messages to your home screen. With the widget, you can now quickly flip through messages in your Inbox, and if you choose to select a message preview, it will open in the Google Voice app.

The Settings widget
gives you quick access to four handy features.

Get instant access to the full Google Voice app by clicking the Google Voice icon.

Quickly compose and send free text messages.

Change what calls to place via Google Voice on the fly. You can have your phone use Google Voice for all calls, or just some of them.

Select Do Not Disturb and all calls to your Google number will be sent straight to Voicemail.

Plus, your credit balance is displayed so you know when it’s time to add a quarter or two.

The widgets can be used together or individually, and are part of the new Google Voice app, available for download from Android Market today. To add the widgets to a home screen panel, press the menu button from the home screen and select “Add>Widgets>Google Voice Inbox or Google Voice Settings”. You will need a valid Google Voice account to use them, and Google Voice is available free to anyone in the US.