Go indoors with Google Maps 6.0 for Android

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | 9:35 AM

Google Maps for mobile had its sixth birthday earlier this month and we’re celebrating by releasing the next generation of Google Maps for Android, which is first to get indoor Google Maps—announced moments ago on the Official Google Blog. We also have two other great additions in this release: a new way to switch between features in the toolbar and a new Places home screen.

Mapping the vast indoors

When you’re inside an airport, shopping mall, retail store, or other public space, Google Maps 6.0 for Android brings the freestanding map directory to the palm of your hands -- helping you determine where you are, what floor you're on, and where to go indoors. For example, in this busy travel season, you can use Google Maps 6.0 to help you find your way around airports.


Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed-in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar “blue dot” icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the map will automatically update to display which floor you’re on.

See the full announcement for more details or to demo indoor Google Maps, start here.


Mall of America in Minneapolis before and after, with a floor selector


San Francisco International Airport before and after, with 3D tilt

Switching between features gets easier

When you open Google Maps for Android, you can do many things: view your location on the map, discover where to go with Places, get GPS turn-by-turn directions with Navigation, check in to share your location, and more. We wanted to make it easier to hop from one feature to another; so, we’ve added a drop-down menu to the top toolbar for quick access.

New drop down menu to switch between features

We hope this menu helps you get to your favorite parts of Google Maps faster or shows you some features you haven’t tried yet.

Discovering what’s great nearby with the new Places home screen

The new Places home screen includes popular searches for your current location, so you can find the best spots in any area you travel.

Redesigned Places home screen with popular searches for your area

To start using Google Maps 6.0 for Android, download the update from Android Market. This update works for Android OS 2.1+ devices everywhere Google Maps is currently available.

Google Catalogs is now available for Android tablets

Monday, November 28, 2011 | 9:08 AM

For many of us, the arrival of piles of catalogs marks the start of the holiday shopping season. But what if you could have all your favorite catalogs in one place, with the latest issues always available at your fingertips?

Starting today, Google Catalogs is available for Android tablets, as well as the iPad, giving you a new way to shop from the comfort of your couch. With rich product images, videos, and the ability to curate your own personal collages to share with friends, Google Catalogs makes browsing your favorite mail order catalogs easy, fun and interactive.

Google Catalogs features more than 125 brands you know and love like Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Nike and Sephora. The app currently has over 400 digital catalog issues to browse across categories such as mens & women’s apparel, jewelry, gifts, gourmet, toys, kids, gadgets, sports & athletics and outdoor adventure.

Download the free Google Catalogs app for Android available in the US from Android Market or the iPad from the App Store today. To learn more, visit www.google.com/catalogs.



Posted by Abigail Holtz, Business Product Manager, Google Catalogs team


Interactive weather results, now in 34 languages

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | 3:11 PM

Earlier this year, we introduced interactive weather information in mobile search results and now this feature is available in 33 more languages. Now when you search for ‘météo’, ‘tempo’, ‘날씨’, or ‘weather’ in your language, you’ll see the current temperature, humidity level and wind speed for your location. You’ll also get an overall forecast and the weather outlook for the next few days. To see weather conditions at various times throughout the day, move the slider across the next 12 hrs; that way you’ll know if you’ll need a light jacket in the afternoon or perhaps an umbrella in the evening.





Give it a try by searching Google for ‘weather’ in your language on your Android or iOS mobile device.

The new Google Search app for iPad

Monday, November 21, 2011 | 10:28 AM

(Cross posted on the Inside Search Blog)

Today, we’re very pleased to be launching a significant redesign for the Google Search app for iPad. As you can see in our video, whether you’re doing research and comparing results, or exploring beautiful imagery, we have added new features to make the app more interactive, more visual and to help you find what you want more easily.


More interactive
You’ll notice that searching is faster and more interactive from your first keystroke. As soon as you begin to type, Google Instant starts to display results, so you don’t even need to press the search button.

Once you pick a web page to visit, you’ll see the page load on a new, slide-in pane that will layer over the search results. You can slide the pane to the right to get back to your search results, and even keep scrolling through the results as your web page is loading. This allows you to go back and forth from results to web pages quickly to get the information you are looking for.

View search results on the left and a web page on the right in the slide-in pane


More visual
Viewing image results in the app is now much more vivid. Tap on any image result to use the new image carousel, which lets beautiful images shine. You’ll see the image you selected expand, and you can easily swipe through the carousel to see other similar images.

Swipe through the image carousel


Often you may be looking to find something you have seen before again or are continuing research on a topic. But on a tablet, typing can be a challenge. That is why we have created a visual way to explore your search history. Swipe right to view snapshots of pages you’ve visited, stacked and organized by search term. You can also manage your search history from this new view.

See your past searches with a new, visual history


With this release, we also brought Instant Previews to the app so you can quickly compare web pages before you choose your result. Tapping on an icon in the top right of the screen brings you into a visual preview of the pages for your search result, easy to scroll through with the swipe of a finger.

Find easily
Finally, we added a few extra features that we hope will help you find what you want more easily.

After you’ve selected a result, a new tool helps you find exactly what you need within a web page. Tap the magnifying glass on the top right-hand corner to highlight the most relevant section of the page. You can recommend pages you like with the new +1 button, right next to the magnifying glass, and help others find relevant sites more easily as well.

Helpful tools while you search


We’ve also made it easier to find and use your favorite Google services like Google News, Calendar and more in the new Apps menu. Tap on an icon to quickly read an email in Gmail, or share a post on Google+ within the slide-in pane. When you slide the pane to the right, you’ll be right back to searching.

Easily find more Google services


The app is available worldwide for iPads with iOS 4.0+. Download it in the App Store and start enjoying a faster and more interactive experience now.

Posted by Daniel Fish, Software Engineer
, Google Search app

Gmail app for iOS available in the App Store (again)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | 9:45 AM


Two weeks ago, we introduced our Gmail app for iOS. Unfortunately it contained a bug which broke notifications and displayed an error message, so we removed it from the App Store. We’ve fixed the bug and notifications are now working, and the app is back in the App Store. For an overview of what’s available in the Gmail app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, check out this blog post.

In the short time the app was public we received a lot of helpful feedback and feature requests. This included requests for everything from bigger features like multiple account support to customizations like improved notifications and mobile specific signatures.

We’re just getting started with the Gmail app for iOS and will be iterating rapidly to bring you more features, including all the ones listed above plus many more. Based on your comments we have already improved our handling of image HTML messages - they are now sized to fit to the screen and you can pinch to zoom in.

To try out the Gmail app today, install it from App Store on any iOS 4+ device. Those who already have the Gmail app released Nov 2 must uninstall or log out of the old app prior to installing the new app.

Translate more Indic languages with the updated Google Translate for iPhone app

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | 9:48 AM

(Cross posted on the Google Translate Blog)

Back in June, we launched five new experimental Indic languages for Google Translate on the desktop and mobile webapp. Today, we’ve updated the Google Translate for iPhone app to add these new alpha languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. This brings the total number of languages supported by the app to 63 languages.


The updated app supports the ability to view dictionary results for single words and to display romanizations for these new Indic languages. So even if you can’t read the script the words are written in, you can still take a shot at reading the translation.

Since these are still experimental alpha languages, you can expect translations be less fluent and include many more untranslated words than some of our more mature languages—like Spanish or Chinese—which have much more parallel data to power our statistical machine translation approach. Despite these challenges, we believe users will find these new languages helpful and we’re excited to be making them available through the Translate app.

Updates will appear in the App Store in supported countries throughout today. Google Translate for iPhone now supports text translation among 63 languages, voice input in 17 of those languages, and text-to-speech in 24 of them. Get the latest version of Google Translate for iPhone app from the App Store and start breaking down language barriers wherever you are!

Posted by
Jeff Chin, Product Manager, Google Translate

Google Catalogs: More brands, more categories, more fun

Monday, November 7, 2011 | 11:36 AM

(Cross posted on the Google Commerce Blog)

Since our launch in August, we’ve been hard at work to bring more great content to Google Catalogs. Today we're excited to announce that we’ve doubled our collection of catalogs to include more than 100 brands and 300 individual issues from the catalogs you love, like Williams-Sonoma, Sephora and Nordstrom.

Thanks to our ever-growing list of partners, we’ve expanded the app to include six new catalog categories for you to shop. Love gadgets or the great outdoors? Looking for that perfect holiday treat to send to a friend? Well, look no further than our newly launched catalogs and categories:

Google Catalogs lets you create a collage of your favorite items from across many catalogs. You can even share your collages with friends and family - a visual way to show them what’s on your list this holiday season!

We’ve also added a number of great brands to our existing categories, including: Barneys, Tory Burch and Trina Turk (Fashion & Apparel); BeautyBar (Beauty); Blu Dot, FLOR, and Ballard Designs (Home); Hanna Andersson, CWDkids, and Serena & Lily (Kids); and Garnet Hill, Uncommon Goods, and Wine Enthusiast (Gifts).

In the mood to kick off your holiday shopping? Visit the App Store to download the free Google Catalogs app for iPad.

A new Android app for Google Offers

Thursday, November 3, 2011 | 6:06 AM

Today we’re announcing our new Google Offers mobile app, that allows you to discover, buy and redeem your favorite deals on the go. The free app will notify you about all the great Offers that match your interests. You can purchase offers in just a few clicks and even redeem paperlessly with select merchants.


Check out today’s deal from REI on the Google Offers app: $15 for $25 to spend on gear at the national outdoor retailer.


Visit Android Market to download the app and check out www.google.com/offers to learn more about Google Offers.

The Google Offers mobile app is only available in the US.

By Eric Rosenblum, Director of Product Management, Google Offers

Introducing the Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | 8:23 AM



Waiting. Walking. Watching TV. Working out. Winding down. Waking up. We check email pretty much everywhere these days. And when we do, we want easy access to our important messages so we can respond quickly and get back to life -- or slinging birds at thieving green pigs.

With that in mind, we’ve created a new Gmail app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. We’ve combined your favorite features from the Gmail mobile web app and iOS into one app so you can be more productive on the go. It’s designed to be fast, efficient and take full advantage of the touchscreen and notification capabilities of your device. And it’s one more reason to switch to Gmail.

Speed
We want to give you the information you need quickly, with minimal effort and distraction. So we’ve included some time-saving features:

  • Get alerted to new messages with push notifications and sounds
  • Find an email in seconds with search across your entire inbox
  • Autocomplete email addresses from your Gmail contacts or select from your device’s address book
  • Upload photos with a click using the new attachment button in compose view
  • On iPad, navigate your inbox and read your mail simultaneously with split view


Upload photos
Reply, move, label and more


Efficiency
Our inboxes overflow with dozens and even hundreds of messages a day—and this can be even more challenging on a smaller screen. The new Gmail app helps organize your mail so you don’t have to go wading through your inbox to find that key message from your boss or loved one:

  • Focus on your important messages first with Priority Inbox
  • Quickly scan countless emails on the same subject with threaded conversations
  • Organize your mail by archiving, labelling, starring, deleting and reporting spam


Threaded conversations on the iPad


Touch
We’ve also optimized the interface so you can perform common actions in Gmail with the lightest touch:

  • Pull down your inbox to rapidly refresh if you’re eager for new mail
  • Swipe right to view your labels without ever leaving your inbox
  • Swiftly scroll through dozens of emails just by sliding your finger


Pull down to refresh
Swipe right to view labels

We hope the Gmail app makes checking email on the go a little easier. It is available in the App Store today and works on all devices running iOS 4+. For more information, check out our help center.

Update: 11/16/11 On 11/2 we launched a new Gmail app for iOS but after finding a bug removed the app from the App Store. Starting today, the Gmail app is now available again.