Galaxy Nexus now available in the U.S.

Thursday, December 15, 2011 | 9:24 AM

Starting today, Galaxy Nexus by Samsung will be available in the U.S. on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network. Visit google.com/nexus to buy it online, or go to your nearest Verizon Wireless, Best Buy, Costco or Radio Shack store. Galaxy Nexus is also available through our carrier partners in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Korea and Japan. Soon, it will be available in Australia, France, Russia, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and elsewhere!

Galaxy Nexus is the first phone with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and combines the latest Google software with cutting-edge Samsung hardware. With a super slim profile, Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65” Contour Display with a true high definition (720p) resolution HD Super AMOLED screen. Galaxy Nexus also features a lightning-fast dual-core 1.2GHz processor combined with 4G LTE or HSPA+ technology. To see Galaxy Nexus in action, check out this video:

Paired with Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest Android software, Galaxy Nexus is simple and beautiful. WIth innovations like Android Beam, a camera with fun Live Effects and zero-shutter lag for instant photo capturing, a deeply integrated Google+ experience, and a new People app, Galaxy Nexus is beyond smart. Galaxy Nexus is also the first device to feature Face Unlock, which uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone. For a look at how powerful your smile can be, check out the video below.



Posted by Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile

Androidify yourself with new winter gear

Friday, December 9, 2011 | 11:00 AM

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year and Androidify yourself with a bunch of new winter gear. Dress up your Android with candy canes, mittens, skis, antlers, sweaters and more! (Did someone say 2012 party glasses?) Head over to Android Market to get the latest Androidify update and make your Android ready for the season!




Posted by Thomas Gayno, Marketing Manager, Creative Lab

Now playing: Faster movie search on Android and iPhone

| 8:30 AM

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search blog)

With the December movie season in full swing, we’ve just made it even faster and easier to discover movies, showtimes and theaters, all from your smartphone. Now when you search for [movies] or your favorite theater like [century san francisco] on Google.com from your phone, you’ll see interactive results for movies in a new swipeable ribbon, with the most relevant information displayed at the top of the page.

For each movie, you’ll see the movie poster, a short summary, ratings and the nearest theaters and showtimes. Designed to help you quickly browse what’s playing in theaters now, this information instantly updates as you slide through the movie posters -- no need to wait for a page to load or to use the back button.




To learn more about a movie, tap the movie title to find details like the cast and a full summary. And if you see a play button on the movie poster, you can tap to view the official trailer. You can even buy tickets directly from your smartphone by tapping on underlined showtimes -- and skip past those long holiday box office lines!




So the next time you head out to see sagas of vampires, the world’s biggest Muppets fan, dancing penguins or nearly impossible heists, try the new interactive results for movies by visiting Google.com on your iOS or Android phone’s browser and searching for [movies], [theaters] or a movie title. This feature is available in English, in the US.

Google Currents is hot off the press

Thursday, December 8, 2011 | 11:42 AM

We strive to give you beautiful and simple ways to experience all the content the web has to offer, such as sharing photos on Google+, watching YouTube videos and discovering books, movies and music from Android Market. Today we’re expanding our content offering with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger.



Ready for consumers
We’ve worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline.

To get started, simply download the app and choose the publications you want to subscribe to for free. You can also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions you’re already following. In addition to consuming your favorite media, you can also use the trending tab to discover related content that matches your tastes.

Ready for publishers
Alongside Google Currents, we’re also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content. For example, if you’re a small regional news outlet, a non-profit organization without access to a mobile development team, or a national TV network with web content, you can effortlessly create hands-on digital publications for Google Currents.


Great content needs a great audience, which is why Google Currents is integrated with Google+ so users can share articles or videos they’ve enjoyed with their circles. Publishers can also associate their account with Google Analytics in order to increase their awareness of consumers’ content preferences, device use and geographic distribution.

Google Currents is now available for download in Android Market and the Apple App Store for US users. Whether you’re a reader or a publisher, we hope that Google Currents helps you easily experience the best content on the web. Try it here now and stay tuned for more to come.

Posted by Mussie Shore, Product Manager, and Sami Shalabi, Technical Lead

Tablet image results in new carousel view

| 8:00 AM

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search blog)

In July, we started to evolve the Google design and experience on Android and iOS tablets by updating features like larger touch targets and enhanced image viewing to make searching faster and easier. Today, we’re building on that foundation by adding a new image carousel for viewing large image results within a few swipes.

As someone who enjoys being outdoors, I like exploring beautiful images of nature. With the new image carousel, I can discover photos of bright sea anemones or colorful lorikeet birds on my tablet in a more interactive and immersive way. Now when I tap on an image result, it’ll expand in the carousel view and I can swipe through the search results. To learn more about an image, a tap on the web page preview, title, description or URL will take me directly to the webpage. See how you can take the image carousel for a spin:





Try out the new image carousel by going to Google on your iOS or Android tablet’s browser and searching for your favorite images. This feature is currently available in over 40 languages.

I hope you enjoy searching for beautiful images in this new view.

Continuous improvements with Google Goggles 1.7

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | 10:25 AM

With Google Goggles, you can quickly add someone to your contacts, learn about paintings, translate foreign text, and even solve Sudoku. Starting today, with Goggles 1.7 for Android, we’re making your visual search experience much faster and providing better results with new features like continuous mode, improved text recognition and contributed results.

Skip the shutter with continuous mode
Continuous mode is a quick and easy new way to use Goggles. You can now get results instantly without having to take a picture - no shutter press required! Goggles will scan the scene continuously so you don’t need to worry about taking multiple pictures. The new continuous mode works best with books, products, artwork, and landmarks. Snapshot mode is still available, and has some tricks that aren’t in continuous mode yet, including translating text and adding a contact. Also, images recognized in continuous mode sessions won’t show up in your Goggles Search History, so if you’d like to refer back to something, such as a painting in a gallery you should use snapshot mode.

Goggles also scans multiple items in continuous mode

Get richer results with text recognition
Starting today, when Goggles recognizes a portion of text, you’ll get results that have a close match to the text you’ve scanned. Let’s say you’re reading a magazine article you really like and want to share it with your friends. Just point Goggles at a part of the page, and instantly find a link to an online version to share immediately or read again later. You won’t even need the entire article in the frame. Goggles will also pull up more information from pages around the web where that text is mentioned, so its easier to learn about what you’re seeing.

Goggles finds web results to provide more information

More comprehensive results with your suggestions
Since Goggles 1.4, you’ve been able to suggest better results when Goggles doesn’t recognize what you’re searching for. To date, hundreds of thousands of submissions have been made to improve Goggles. Starting today, if you choose to suggest a better result or submit a new object altogether, your suggestion could become a result for the next user who searches for a similar object with Goggles. I’ve added a snapshot of the album cover from my old band so that my fans can use Goggles to find out about our music online. Now, if a fan searches for the cover of our album, they will see the information I suggested, along with my name and link to my Google profile.

Submitting the result for my band’s album cover

Google Goggles 1.7 is available for all Android devices, but you’ll need a device running Android 2.3 or newer to use Continuous Mode. Scan the QR code below to download, or visit Android Market. Tell us what you think on our Google + page.

Download the new Goggles in Android Market

Posted by David Petrou, Software Engineer

10 Billion Android Market downloads and counting

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | 10:03 AM

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog and Android Developer's Blog)



One billion is a pretty big number by any measurement. However, when it’s describing the speed at which something is growing, it’s simply amazing. This past weekend, thanks to Android users around the world, Android Market exceeded 10 billion app downloads—with a growth rate of one billion app downloads per month. We can’t wait to see where this accelerating growth takes us in 2012.




To celebrate this milestone, we partnered with some of the Android developers who contributed to this milestone to make a bunch of great Android apps available at an amazing price. Starting today for the next 10 days, we’ll have a new set of awesome apps available each day for only 10 cents each. Today, we are starting with Asphalt 6 HD, Color & Draw for Kids, Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, Fieldrunners HD, Great Little War Game, Minecraft, Paper Camera, Sketchbook Mobile, Soundhound Infinity & Swiftkey X.

Of course, none of these apps would have existed if it weren’t for the developers who created them. Every day, these developers continue to push the limits on what’s possible and delight us in the process. For that, we thank them.

Please join us in this 10-day celebration and check in every day to see what new apps our developer partners are making available on Android Market - for only a dime.

Voice Search arrives in the Middle East

Monday, December 5, 2011 | 12:53 AM

Today, we are very pleased to announce the launch of Voice Search in Arabic and Hebrew for Android and iPhone users.

Users in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, UAE, and Israel can now speak Arabic and Hebrew into their phones to get search results quickly and easily. With this launch, Voice Search is now supported in 29 languages and accents in 37 countries.


When building support for Arabic and Hebrew into our language model we faced some unique challenges, including how to understand words with diacritics (accents that indicate a difference in pronunciation, a linguistic phenomenon called “Nikud” in Hebrew, and “Tashkil” in Arabic) and words appended with other words (“and” for example) that can have many different nuanced meanings.

To train our system we collected over one million utterances in Arabic and Hebrew, using the languages as they are spoken in the more populated parts of each country. For Arabic, we trained the system to recognize Gulf, Levant and Egyptian dialects. While initially we may not accurately recognize words spoken in every regional accent and dialect, one of the major benefits to Google’s cloud-based model is that the more people use Voice Search, the more accurate it becomes.

Availability
How you get started with Google Voice Search depends on what kind of phone you have. If your phone runs Android 2.2 or later, and you see the microphone icon on the Google Search widget on your homescreen, all you have to do is tap the icon to start a voice-powered search. Otherwise, you can install the Voice Search app from Android Market. Note that you can only speak one language into the app at any time and that you may need to change your language setting first.

To get Google Search App for iPhone, search for ‘Google Search App’ in the App Store or follow this link. If you already have Google Search App installed, you can enable voice search by selecting the new languages from the settings panel within the app.

Posted by Bertrand Damiba, Product Manager