With more than 5 million books to read on the go, what will you discover next? Google Play Books is introducing Discover, a new way to find books by browsing the latest reviews, news, lists, videos and more.
Available in 75 countries on both iOS and Android and the web, Google Play Books is the world’s largest ebookstore and offers readers like you smart technology that caters to your lifestyle — where you can start reading a book on your tablet at night and pick up where you left off the next day from your smartphone, as well as easily browse, skim, highlight and make notes.
Discover launches today in the U.S. in the Google Play Books Android app, and is coming soon to iOS. The feature is designed to enhance your reading experience even further by helping you discover new books and find what’s right for you with:
The best stories from around the web — Is a book being made into a movie? Which novels does NPR recommend this fall? Discover identifies news, reviews, lists, and videos about books from trusted sources around the web, and brings them to readers in an easy to browse way.
A smart experience with personalized stories for you — Google’s algorithms will surface just the right stories based on the books you read on Play Books. When you’re reading an article or watching a video, Discover automatically pulls out the books that are mentioned, so you can start reading a free sample or buy the book in just a few taps.
Weekly Highlights delivers a roundup of the best stories each week — Short on time? Weekly Highlights is a digest delivered each week, showcasing a roundup of the most important news, reviews and videos of the week, so you are always up to date with the stories that everyone is talking about.
Google Play Editorial showcases today’s biggest authors and books — With the launch of Discover we are introducing Google Play Editorial, where readers can find original articles, including author interviews, essays by favorite writers and book selections from some of the literary world’s leading voices.
Android Pay helps millions of people pay for things simply and securely with their Android smartphones. We’ve expanded to the UK, Singapore and Australia and added hundreds of new banks, enabling people to tap to pay at millions of stores – and in hundreds of apps, including recent order-ahead newcomers: Domino’s in Australia, hungryhouse in the UK and Grubhub and Seamless in the US.
Today, we’re excited to share some updates:
More banks in the US and UK
It’s with great delight that we welcome Chase, one of the largest banks in the US, to the Android Pay family. Starting today, Android Chase customers can add their eligible Chase Visa cards like Freedom, Slate, Sapphire, United Mileage Explorer and Hyatt Credit Card to Android Pay. Customers will be able to enjoy the same benefits and protections they’re used to getting with their Chase card – while making contactless purchases in stores and apps. You can learn more about how to get started with Chase and Android Pay here, and see a full list of all the banks supported in the US.
And across the pond in the UK, Santander and TSB customers and more will soon be able to add their cards to Android Pay. This rollout will start over the coming weeks – you can follow @Android on Twitter to find out exactly when.
More value from your favorite merchants We’ve also been working closely with our merchant partners to streamline the checkout experience and increase the value people get from Android Pay.
At Walgreens, we recently integrated their Balance Rewards loyalty program with Android Pay at more than 8,100 locations nationwide. Now, with just two taps at checkout, Walgreens customers paying with Android Pay can enjoy savings, earn and redeem loyalty points, and pay for their purchases. And there’s no need to even open the app – it’s smart enough to know when to pull up a customer’s Balance Rewards card and when to pay. We’re also thrilled to partner with Dunkin’ Donuts and Chili’s, who will both be integrating their loyalty programs with Android Pay in the coming months.
With Uber, we’re excited to be the first mobile wallet to deeply integrate with their new Payment Rewards program, which allows users to unlock timely discounts. Starting today through October 15th, all Android Pay users in the US can enjoy 50% off 10 Uber rides.* No codes, no hassle – just use Android Pay on Uber to get your discounted rides.
More checkouts made simple We’re moving beyond mobile apps and bringing the simplicity and security of Android Pay onto the mobile web. Users will soon be able to speed through mobile checkout on Chrome using Android Pay on sites like Groupon.com, 1-800-Flowers.com and many more to come. Just like in stores and in apps, Android Pay does not share actual account numbers with merchants, so users can shop online with confidence, knowing that Android Pay keeps their card number secure.
Groupon.com mobile checkout experience on Chrome coming soon
We’re looking forward to bringing Android Pay to more countries, more banks, and more of your favorite stores, sites, and apps. Stay tuned for more updates soon.
Posted by Pali Bhat, Global Head, Payments Products
Whether you were enjoying a Classic Rock Summer with a campfire cookout or having the Best Summer Ever while chilling by the pool, Google Play Music helped you find a selection of summer hits to match your mood and activities, both day and night.
As we close out this year’s season of sun and fun, Google Play Music is releasing our official 2016 Songs of the Summer list, featuring the most streamed songs on our music service.
Drake took “controlla” and rose to the top of the Google Play Music charts with just “One Dance.”
Using data compiled from Memorial Day Weekend through August 28, the Canadian hip hop artist’s song with WizKid and Kyla is the most popular Song of the Summer on both Google Play Music’s U.S. and global lists. The Chainsmokers didn’t let anyone down as their song made the #2 slot and Twenty One Pilots is not “stressed out” as fans came along for the “Ride” to help two of their songs make the top 10.
The full list of Google Play’s most streamed songs of summer 2016 is below and if you still “need a one dance” before the summer ends, check out the 2016 Summer Dance Party playlist on Google Play featuring these top tracks.
Google Play Global Top 10 Streamed Songs of Summer 2016
From Tokyo to Toronto, Google Play Music listeners in over 60 countries wanted “One Dance” with Drake.
Today, we’ll begin rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices. And with more ways to make Android your own, it’s by far our sweetest release yet.
We took a different approach to building and launching Nougat this year. For starters, we invited developers to take a sneak peek at Android N back in March, so they could bring their apps to the new platform earlier. And of course we asked you to help us come up with names for this year’s release, resulting in lots of great ideas, and a delicious unveiling back in June.
Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans and developers all over the world. There are over 250 major features in Android Nougat, but we wanted to highlight a few of the features you’ve been most excited about.
More personal Providing more ways to customize your phone to fit your personality is kind of a big deal, and Android has been leading the way since day one (Homescreen widgets, anyone?). With Android Nougat, you’ll have even more ways to make your phone your own, including:
Expanded emoji: There are now over 1,500 different emoji built into Android, including 72 new ones, so go ahead: express yourself.
Quick Settings controls: Quick Settings gives you easy access to things like bluetooth, WiFi and the all-important flashlight. With Android Nougat, you can actually control what tiles go where, and move ‘em around to fit your needs.
Multi-locale support: Apps can tailor their content based on your locale settings. So if you speak multiple languages, for instance, then search engines can show results in each of those languages.
Expanded emoji and Quick Settings controls
More productive Whether you’re responding to work emails or making plans with friends, Android Nougat helps you multitask with ease with new features like Multi-window, Direct reply, and Quick switch.
Multi-window: Run two apps side-by-side. The windows are resizable, too, by simply dragging the divider.
Direct Reply: Reply directly to notifications without having to open any app.
Quick Switch: Switch between your two most recently used apps by simply double tapping the Overview button.
More battery smarts Starting with the release of Android Marshmallow last year, we have been making the battery smarter. That’s why we made the Doze feature even dozier with Android Nougat. Your device can now drop into lower power usage when it’s getting jostled around in your pocket or bag while on the move.*
More immersive Android Nougat is designed with immersive experiences in mind—including support for VulkanTM (an advanced 3D rendering API) and Daydream (Google’s platform for mobile virtual reality).
VulkanTM: Games will now leap to life thanks to high-speed, next-generation graphics — all powered by your device’s multi-core processor.
Daydream: Android Nougat is ready to transport you to virtual worlds with Daydream-ready phones, headsets and controllers — all coming later this year.
More secure As always, Android is built with powerful layers of security and encryption to keep your private data private. For new devices coming this fall, we’ve also added new features like Seamless updates, File-based encryption and and Direct Boot.
Seamless updates: New Android devices with Nougat can install software updates in the background which means you won’t have to wait while your device installs the update and optimizes all your apps for the new version. And for current Nexus users, software updates now install much faster, so you won’t have to wait for minutes while your device reboots.
File-based encryption: Android Nougat can better isolate and protect files for individual users on your device.
Direct Boot: Direct Boot helps your device startup faster, and apps run securely even before you unlock your device when your device reboots.
And for those of you who also want to use your Android device at work, there are also new security features for using Android in enterprise, which you can learn more about on the Android for Work website.
Coming soon, to a device near you Today, and over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over the air software update** to Android 7.0 Nougat. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.
And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20 which will be the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box. You can learn even more about Android Nougat at www.android.com/nougat.
Posted by Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android & Google Play
*Hey, just a reminder that actual battery performance varies and will depend on a number factors including signal strength, network configuration, battery age, operating temperature, features selected, device settings, and voice, data, and other application usage patterns.
**The Nexus and Pixel C update to Android 7.0 Nougat occurs in stages and some carriers will receive the update later than others. This update will be pushed simultaneously to devices in the Android Beta Program.
Friday night is movie night at our home, and my wife and I look forward to our weekly ritual of putting the kids to bed, getting some takeout, and catching up on our movie wishlist. Whether it’s making the BLUE STEEL face from Zoolander, swapping tips on playing Monument Valley, or reading Dragons Love Tacos to the kids at bedtime, these shared moments bring us closer together.
For families like mine, who bond over shared entertainment, we’re introducing Family Library, a way for up to six family members to share purchases on Google Play. When you buy an eligible app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family—across devices—with no additional sign-up fee.
Share across your family’s devices Today’s families have a lot of devices, and it should be easy to share content no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Everyone in my family loves the Star Wars movies and we all want to be able to watch them, on our phones, tablets, laptops, or TV. All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, and movies, TV shows, and books can be enjoyed on iOS devices and the web.
Easily manage sharing and family purchases As with most family matters, flexibility and choice is important. With Family Library, you can choose which items you want to share and which to keep to yourself—for example, I’ll probably keep my collection of comic books in my personal library. Flexibility is also built into your purchasing options. When you sign up, you’ll select a credit card to share as your family payment method, but your family members will always have the option of buying stuff with their personal credit cards or gift cards. And for your younger family members, you’ll have the option to approve each of their purchases.
Share a Music subscription with your family Finally, if your family loves music, you can also subscribe to the Google Play Music family plan. On this plan, up to six family members can stream millions of songs on demand for $14.99 a month. We launched the family plan late last year, and today we’re expanding it to Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and New Zealand. And you can now sign up on the web, in addition to your Android device.
Starting today, Family Library will be rolling out over the next few days and will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. To get started, sign up in Google Play, invite your family members, and start sharing what you love!
Posted by Raj Iyengar, Product Manager, Google Play
Whether it’s reading up on the origins of Justice League or enjoying a reboot like Invincible Iron Man, we all love our heroes and villains and there’s nothing more thrilling than flipping through your favorite comic when the battle is on — THWACK!
Last year, Google Play made it easier to find and read your favorite comics on your phone or tablet, including a new vertical scrolling experience. We wanted to use our superpowers, like machine learning, to improve the digital comics experience even further. Machine learning is the technology that makes the digital things in your life more useful, like finding the right image in Google Photos by searching for “hugs” to “dogs.” So what happens when we bring our machine learning capabilities to the world of comics?
At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, we just announced Bubble Zoom: a new way to read digital comics on phones and tablets. Using the same technology to recognize objects in photos, we trained our system to identify speech bubbles in comics. Bubble zoom expands the speech bubbles of a comic one-tap-at-a-time, making them super easy to read on your mobile device. It’s much easier to read digital comics one-handed as Bubble Zoom automatically identifies and expands each speech bubble for readability. No more compromising the full-page experience or getting lost while panning around.
“Justice League (2011) Origin – Vol 1.” and “Invincible Iron Man Vol 1.” read using Bubble Zoom
Bubble Zoom will be available on the latest version of Google Play Books app for Android as a technical preview with all Marvel and DC collected volumes supported. We’re also celebrating this preview with a 50% off sale on select DC Comics and Marvel comics in the Google Play Store — just use the code SDCC2016 by July 24th, 2016.
Rolling out today, you can upgrade Play Books and provide feedback on supported comic volumes in the app as this exclusive experience is only the first step. As we continue to teach our machines to read more comic book styles, our goal is to eventually bring Bubble Zoom to all the comics and manga ever made.
So stay on the lookout for Bubble Zoom and by Odin’s beard…go read some comics!
Posted by Greg Hartrell, Head of Product, Google Play Books
When you’re traveling abroad, your phone is an essential tool – for finding a great restaurant, posting pics of your trip online, or translating a sign. But the data we have access to when traveling abroad often isn’t fast or affordable enough to let us do the tasks that matter most. Which could be why only 20% of Americans opt to use their cellular data when traveling internationally,1 instead choosing to jump between Wi-Fi hotspots or scramble for a local SIM card.
Starting today, all Project Fi subscribers have access to high speed data in 135+ destinations. With the addition of Three to the Project Fi network, we’re now able to deliver speeds 10-20X faster than before. And, just as before, there are no extra fees for using data internationally – you pay the same $10/GB that you do at home.
We’re also now offering more coverage internationally, with service in more than a dozen additional countries totaling 135+ destinations worldwide. Fi customers now have access to high speed data in over 97% of the places Americans travel internationally.2
Leaving home shouldn’t mean leaving connectivity behind. With the addition of faster speeds and more countries for the same fair price, we’re one step closer to making your phone as easy to use abroad as it is at home.
P.S. To help make your first trip abroad with Project Fi a little easier we’ll be offering $150 off the Nexus 6P for the next week when you buy and activate with Project Fi. The promotion will go live on our website at 10:00 am PT today.
Posted by Tyler Kugler, Product Manager, Project Fi 1) Google Consumer Survey, U.S., 6/29/16, n=4032) U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, United States Resident Travel Abroad Report, 2012
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