Let Google be your guide to Rio de Janeiro

The modern Olympic Games have been a defining moment for athletes and fans alike dating back to 1896. Next week, the 2016 cauldron will be lit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where thousands of athletes will come together to represent the strength and pride of their home countries with the world as their audience.

In celebration of the next chapter in Olympics history, we’re bringing the best our products have to offer to help people around the world stay up-to-date with the Olympic Games Rio 2016:

  • Discover the event schedule, medal counts, and athlete information in Search
  • Get results and view TV schedules in 30+ countries
  • Watch official broadcasters’ event highlights on YouTube in 60+ countries
  • Explore Rio and venues in Google Maps
  • Keep up to date with the latest search Trends from around the world

On Google, searching for information about your favorite athletes and sports, the medal race, or your country’s schedule has never been easier. Pro tip: if you search on the Google app on Android and iOS, you’ll also see an option to get automatic updates on top event and medal wins, so you’ll never miss a beat.

To give you a glimpse into the Games, watch official broadcasters’ video highlights on YouTube in more than 60 countries around the world. And as an added bonus, YouTube is sending 15 top creators to Rio, giving you a taste of what it’s like to be there with mobile live streaming.

With Street View in Google Maps, everyone can enjoy the magic of Rio de Janeiro. Even if you’re a world away, preview the places where the world’s most talented athletes will make history and explore the breathtaking beauty of Brazil.

Google Trekker operator captures 360-degree imagery from inside Rio’s Olympic Park

Great triumphs, victories and stunning surprises await us all this summer. This is just a hint of what’s to come—we hope you’ll let Google be your guide.

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Source: Google

Explore Rio from every angle

With its beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscape, Rio de Janeiro is a city that appears on every traveler’s bucket list. Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, you can now explore the “Marvelous City” and its rich cultural heritage even if you can’t make the trip. We partnered with eight of Rio’s top cultural institutions to create an interactive online collection of some of the city’s most famous art exhibits and landmarks, including some inspiring real-life stories from the city’s favelas, all available on Google Arts & Culture. Bem-vindos ao Rio!

Arts, monuments and more
The collection includes 360° panoramas with Street View technology, some 3,000 images from photo archives and art exhibits, virtual reality tours with Google Cardboard and videos showcasing a new generation of Cariocas making their mark in the city’s cultural landscape. From iconic monuments and spectacular views, to the history of Guanabara Bay and the majestic Theatro Municipal, these online exhibits capture Rio from every angle.

Take an interactive tour of Rio’s best-known monument—the Christ the Redeemer statue perched atop Corcovado mountain—or explore its storied musical history through album covers designed by Elifas Andreato.

Left: Bronze statue of Carlos Drummond de Andrade Right: Exploring Elifas’ album covers through time

You can also go back in time by taking a peek at one of the richest collections of archival photographs of Rio, or tag along on a guided tour of the works of Rio-based artist and author Ziraldo, whose comics and children’s books have marked the lives of generations of Brazilians.

Take a virtual reality tour with Cardboard

Mapping the whole city
A huge part of Rio’s history and culture resides in the hillside favelas that dot the landscape. In fact, one in five Rio residents live in favelas, but only 0.001 percent of the city’s favelas appear on the map. That means 1.4 million people have no addresses to list on job applications or bank accounts, and aren’t able to access many economic opportunities, essential services, even basic rights as citizens. So we teamed up with local NGO Grupo Cultural AfroReggae to map the favelas. Two years later, streets and 10,000+ local businesses in 26 favelas now appear on Google Maps, thanks to “Tá no Mapa,” our “On the Map” project.

The Rocinha favela before and after our mapping project

Beyond the Map

Along the way, we met some amazing people with remarkable stories, so we decided it was time to go “Beyond the Map” and shine a spotlight on an often overlooked side of Rio. With AfroReggae’s help, we brought Street View and 360° technology to favelas for the first time, creating an immersive experience that lets you go beyond GPS coordinates and get to know the people and culture of communities that many people otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to visit. You can even experience what it feels like to zip through the narrow streets of a favela on a motorcycle taxi!

This new online collection opens its virtual doors today at g.co/riodejaneiro on Google Arts & Culture. It is available on the web on mobile, tablet and desktop, and on the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS and Android devices. The Beyond the Map project can also be viewed at g.co/beyondthemap.

With the world’s eyes on Rio, we’re excited to give you a glimpse of all the splendor and creativity the city has to offer!

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZnsjBGqEP3k/V5rGIC2KcZI/AAAAAAAASvM/dkja-J0UdA0DaVMm4r8ERbFB1wrdZlX1wCLcB/s1600/Conservac%25CC%25A7a%25CC%2583o%2BRio%25282%2529.jpg

Update Aug 1: Added information about the “Beyond the Map” experience.
Source: Google

Google Play Family Library: Share what you love with the ones you love

(Cross-posted on the Google Blog)

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!


Source: Android

Google Play Books introduces Bubble Zoom

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



Source: Android

Stay connected abroad with high speed data from Project Fi

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


Source: Android

Introducing Nearby: A new way to discover the things around you

The Play Store offers over one million apps – many of which are created to be used in specific locations or situations. The right app at the right moment lets you get more done. For example, at a store, you may want a barcode scanner to check prices and reviews for an item. Or when you’re at a museum, an audio tour would enhance the experience as you make your way around the exhibits.

But, getting the right apps at the right time can be tough if you don’t already know about them. So, we’re introducing a new Android feature called Nearby, which notifies you of of things that can be helpful near you.

For example:

Select Google devices, including Google Cast and Android Wear watches, will also let you set them up simply by tapping a notification when you’re near them.
Earlier this year, we started experimenting with surfacing websites relevant to a place in Chrome through the Physical Web project. In addition to displaying relevant apps, Nearby will surface these websites directly from Android. To deploy your own beacons that work with Nearby, check out our developer blog post.

To use Nearby, just turn on Bluetooth and Location, and we’ll show you a notification if a nearby app or website is available. Once you’ve opted-in, tapping on a notification takes you straight into the intended experience. If you’re not interested, just swipe it away to give us a clear signal.

Nearby has started rolling out to users as part of the upcoming Google Play Services release and will work on Android 4.4 (KitKat) and above.


Posted by Akshay Kannan, Product Manager, Nearby


Source: Android

More speed and coverage with U.S. Cellular — now part of Project Fi

Mobile connectivity is central to everything we do. The speed and consistency of our network determines whether we can share a photo with a loved one or get that split-second answer when we need it most. With Project Fi, you can get the highest quality connection at all times – whether on Wi-Fi or one of our partner cellular networks. Today, we’re excited to introduce U.S. Cellular as our newest partner network.
U.S. Cellular, one of the top mobile networks in the U.S., offers service in 23 states with 4G LTE coverage for more than 99% of their subscribers, both urban and rural. With the addition of a third network, Project Fi now gives you more coverage and speed, helping you stay connected wherever you are.

How does this work?
In most areas, multiple cellular networks are available — in fact, the majority of Project Fi usage occurs in areas where more than one of our partners offers LTE coverage. But factors like obstructions from nearby buildings can meaningfully impact the speed and coverage available from each LTE connection. By analyzing speeds from each network, Project Fi is able to predict the fastest network at your location — down to the city block — and automatically connect you. We’re constantly adapting to consider how factors like new cell towers and newly-available radio frequencies are impacting real-world speeds.

Part of Project Fi’s promise is to ensure you have connection when you need it, even in areas with poor speeds or limited coverage. Your Fi device recognizes when your connection is weak and adjusts in real time. By accessing multiple cellular networks, Fi users have a connection nearly 99% of the time, and spend about 95% of cellular time on LTE — which will improve even further with the addition of U.S. Cellular.

U.S. Cellular coverage will be automatically rolling out to all users over the coming weeks. We’re excited to add our third partner and hope you’ll join us, too.

Posted by Evan Jacobs, Product Manager, Project Fi


Source: Android

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