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February 17, 2016

Google's Think Tank Becomes Jigsaw

Google's executive Chairman Eric Schmidt announced the expansion of Google Ideas, Google's think tank, as a technology incubator called Jigsaw. The team's mission will be to use technology to tackle the toughest geopolitical challenges, from countering violent extremism to thwarting online censorship to mitigating the threats associated with digital attacks.

Jared Cohen, who ran Google Ideas, will serve as President of Jigsaw. He will also continue to serve as an advisor to Schmidt, who is also Google's former CEO now called Alphabet.

Many of the team's current products aim to protect access to information, including Project Shield, which harnesses Google's computing infrastructure to protect independent voices from DDoS attacks; contributions to open-source efforts like uProxy, which lets people share access to the free and open internet; and Password Alert, which helps protect against phishing.

The team has also explored global challenges using data visualizations, such as the Digital Attack Map, which displays the top digital attacks in the world in real time, and the global arms visualization, which illuminates the global arms trade.

February 2, 2016

Alphabet Reports Fourth-Quarter Earnings

Alphabet, parent company of Google, reported strong fourth-quarter earnings yesterday with $21.3 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, an increase of 18% from a year ago. Net income was $4.92 billion in the quarter.

"Our very strong revenue growth in Q4 reflects the vibrancy of our business, driven by mobile search as well as YouTube and programmatic advertising, all areas in which we've been investing for many years. We're excited about the opportunities we have across Google and Other Bets to use technology to improve the lives of billions of people," said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet.

For all of 2015, Alphabet reported $74.5 billion in revenues from the Google portion of the business and its other segments, which it calls Other Bets, generated just $448 million in revenue in 2015.

The company reported total cash available at $73.0 billion and headcount of 61,814.

Google's own websites generated $14.9 billion in revenues in the fourth quarter, up 15% from last year. Google's network partners via Adsense generated $4.1 billion in revenues in the fourth quarter, up 7%. Cost-per-click was down 13% in the quarter.

November 25, 2015

Google Introduces Compare Tool for Mortgages

Google has launched a mortgage comparison tool as part of its suite of Google Compare products. The mortgage tool is now available for California only and was first announced earlier this year.

Google Compare for mortgages provides a seamless, intuitive experience that connects lenders with borrowers online. Whether you're a national lender or one local to California, people searching for mortgages on their smartphone or desktop computer can now find you, along with a real-time, apples-to-apples comparison of rate quotes from other lenders -- all in as little as a minute. Borrowers can also see ratings and read helpful reviews, and enter relevant information -- like loan amount, estimated credit score, or home value to receive rate quotes that match their needs. They can then visit your website to apply directly online or over the phone through one of your agents or loan officers.

The mortgage comparison product is the newest addition by Google which also has a car insurance comparison feature that was launched in March and airline flight comparison.

Zillow and Lending Tree are among the partners for Google Compare for mortgages.

October 29, 2015

Google Extends Ad Deal With IAC

IAC announced that it has entered into a new agreement with Google which will extend their long-term relationship through March 2020. The new agreement will take effect on April 1, 2016 (following expiration of the current services agreement in place between the parties) and run through March 31, 2020.

IAC operates a diverse range of websites including OKCupid, Tinder, Match.com, About.com, Ask.com, Dictionary.com, College Humor and Daily Beast.

Under the new agreement, Google will continue to provide IAC and its affiliate partners with sponsored listings and other search-related services for display on both desktop and mobile platforms. The new agreement is largely exclusive with respect to desktop platforms, with economics for IAC consistent with the current arrangement between the parties. With respect to mobile platforms, the arrangement is non-exclusive, but at a lower revenue share for IAC.

"I'm extremely pleased to announce the extension of our 14-year relationship with Google," said Joey Levin, CEO of IAC. "We've generated nearly $10 billion in revenue to date through the life of our partnership, and this extension makes clear that we have plenty more to deliver. Google's search and search advertising products remain the strongest in the world, and we believe that this renewal puts us in a solid position for the years ahead."

August 20, 2015

Google Joins the Alphabet

In one of the most unusual moves in Silicon Valley history, Google announced it will create a new umbrella company called Alphabet that will include its highly profitable search business, Chrome, Android and YouTube. Founder Larry Page will be the new CEO of Alphabet and the company's other founder Sergey Brin will be President of Alphabet.

Sundai Pinchar, who was Product Chief at Google, has been promoted and named the new CEO of Google.

The move to Alphabet creates a holding company that will house Google and its various businesses but won't include other projects embarked by the company such as Life Sciences, which has been developing glucose-measuring contact lenses, and Calico, a business focused on helping humans live longer lives.

Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. The company's two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.

August 11, 2015

Google Joins the Alphabet

In one of the most unusual moves in Silicon Valley history, Google announced it will create a new umbrella company called Alphabet that will include its highly profitable search business, Chrome, Android and YouTube. Founder Larry Page will be the new CEO of Alphabet and the company's other founder Sergey Brin will be President of Alphabet.

Sundai Pinchar, who was Product Chief at Google, has been promoted and named the new CEO of Google.

The move to Alphabet creates a holding company that will house Google and its various businesses but won't include other projects embarked by the company such as Life Sciences, which has been developing glucose-measuring contact lenses, and Calico, a business focused on helping humans live longer lives.

Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with all of the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. The company's two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.

July 30, 2015

Google Translate Adds 20 New Languages

Google announced that its Translate app is now available in 20 additional languages.

The Google Translate app already lets you instantly visually translate printed text. Just open the app, click on the camera, and point it at the text you need to translate -- a street sign, ingredient list, instruction manual, dials on a washing machine. You'll see the text transform live on your screen into the other language. No Internet connection or cell phone data needed.

Translate started out with seven languages -- English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Now you can translate to and from English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You can also do one-way translations from English to Hindi and Thai.

The company is also making real-time voice translations a lot faster and smoother -- so even more people can experience the world in their language.

To try out the new languages, go to the Google Translate app, set "English" along with the language you'd like to translate, and click the camera button; you'll be prompted to download a small (~2 MB) language pack for each.

July 17, 2015

Google Reports $17.7 Billion in Revenues

Google reported second quarter results and generated evenues of $17.7 billion with growth of 11% year over year. Shares in the company exploded on Friday after the earnings report.

"Our strong Q2 results reflect continued growth across the breadth of our products, most notably core search, where mobile stood out, as well as YouTube and programmatic advertising," said Ruth Porat, the new Chief Financial Officer of Google. "We are focused every day on developing big new opportunities across a wide range of businesses. We will do so with great care regarding resource allocation."

The company reported total advertising revenues of $16.02 billion, an increase of 11%. Google's own sites generated $12.4 billion in revenues and Google partner sites with Adsense generated $3.62 billion in revenues.

Total paid clicks on Google's own websites increased 30% from the previous year but declined 9% on partner sites. Total cost-per-click was down 11%. The company paid $3.29 billion to Adsense network members and distribution partners.

Google finished the quarter with $69.7 billion in cash and equivalents and total employee headcount of 57,148, up from 48,584 a year ago.

May 29, 2015

Google Launches New Photo Service

Google has launched a new photo-sharing service called Google Photos that offers unlimited space for your photos and videos.

Google Photos gives you a single, private place to keep a lifetime of memories, and access them from any device. They're automatically backed up and synced, so you can have peace of mind that your photos are safe, available across all your devices.

With Google Photos, you can now backup and store unlimited, high-quality photos and videos, for free. Google will maintain the original resolution up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos, and store compressed versions of the photos and videos in beautiful, print-quality resolution.

You have the choice to share your photos and videos however you want across any service you choose, from Hangouts to Twitter to WhatsApp. But even then, it s still remarkably difficult to share a lot of photos just with friends and family and keep the ones shared with you it usually involves a lot of downloading and re-uploading across a number of different services. We wanted to make sharing much simpler and more reliable. You can now take any set of photos and videos, or any album, and simply create a link to share hundreds of photos at once. The recipient can see what you shared without a special app or login, then immediately save the high-quality images to their own library with a single tap. So now it's easier to hang on to the photos you care about even if you weren't the one holding the camera.

April 21, 2015

Google Modifying Search Algorithm for Mobile Sites

Google is modifying its search algorithm for mobile sites to give preference to sites which are deemed to be mobile friendly. The move is expected to begin today and could affect tens of thousands of websites and their search engine ranking. However, users may not notice any changes for up to one week as the new results makes its way to the entire index.

This change will only affect mobile searches worldwide and in all languages according to Google. Searches from tablets and desktop computers are not changed. Mobile users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices.

Recently, Google Search also began to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking search results displayed to signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, Google Search may now show content from indexed apps more prominently in search.

Google is offering their own test for developers and website owners to see if their site is mobile friendly.

April 16, 2015

European Commission Investigates Google

The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Google alleging the company has abused its dominant market position for general search services in the European Economic Area (EEA) by systematically favouring its own comparison shopping product in its search results. Sending a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

The Commission has also formally opened a separate antitrust investigation into Google's conduct as regards the mobile operating system Android.

EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said: "The Commission's objective is to apply EU antitrust rules to ensure that companies operating in Europe, wherever they may be based, do not artificially deny European consumers as wide a choice as possible or stifle innovation".

"In the case of Google I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe."

"I have also launched a formal antitrust investigation of Google's conduct concerning mobile operating systems, apps and services. Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people's daily lives and I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company."

April 1, 2015

Google Turns Maps into Pac-Man Game

Google Maps is now letting users convert almost any map into a version of Pac-Man and it's no April Fool's joke.

Now almost any street map in Google's mapping service can be used to play the iconic 1980s arcade game featuring Pac-Man being chased by four ghosts -- Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde -- around various city streets. It's uncertain if this feature will only last for one day or it will be a permanent fixture on Google Maps.

The Pac-Man game only works on Google's own Chrome browser on the desktop and the latest version of Google Maps for Android and iOS on mobile devices.

March 31, 2015

Google Partners With J&J on Robotics

Johnson & Johnson announced that Ethicon, a medical device company in the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, has agreed to enter into a strategic collaboration with Google, Inc., working with the Life Sciences team on advancing surgical robotics to benefit surgeons, patients and health care systems.

The companies will bring together capabilities, intellectual property and expertise to create an innovative robotic-assisted surgical platform capable of integrating advanced technologies with the goal of improving health care delivery in the operating room. The collaboration was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation in California.

Robotic-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses technology to give surgeons greater control, access and accuracy during the surgical procedure while benefitting patients by minimizing trauma and scarring, enabling accelerated post-surgical healing. The companies seek to develop new robotic tools and capabilities for surgeons and operating room professionals that integrate best-in-class medical device technology with leading-edge robotic systems, imaging and data analytics.

"For more than 60 years, Ethicon has developed products and technologies that have transformed the way surgery is done," said Gary Pruden, Worldwide Chairman, Global Surgery Group, Johnson & Johnson. "This collaboration with Google is another important step in our commitment to advancing surgical care, and together, we aim to put the best science, technology and surgical know-how in the hands of medical teams around the world."

March 24, 2015

Google Hires New CFO

Google Inc. announced that Ruth Porat, currently Chief Financial Officer at Morgan Stanley, will join its management team as CFO.

Ruth joined Morgan Stanley in 1987 and has played several key roles at the company, including Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group and and co-Head of Technology Investment Banking. Throughout the financial crisis, Ruth led the Morgan Stanley teams advising the U.S. Treasury on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank on AIG. She has been the lead banker on numerous milestone technology financing rounds, including for Amazon, eBay, Netscape, Priceline and Verisign as well as for The Blackstone Group, GE and the NYSE. As CFO she helped improve resource optimization across different businesses through better capital and funding allocation, as well as expense reductions. Ruth has a B.A. from Stanford University (Economics & International Relations), a M.B.A. with distinction from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a M.Sc., from the London School of Economics (Industrial Relations). She is Vice Chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, a member of the U.S. Treasury s Borrowing Advisory Committee, a Board Director at The Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Advisory Council of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Ruth will start at Google as CFO on May 26, reporting to Google CEO and Co-Founder, Larry Page.

"We're tremendously fortunate to have found such a creative, experienced and operationally strong executive," said Larry Page. "I look forward to learning from Ruth as we continue to innovate in our core--from search and ads, to Android, Chrome and YouTube--as well as invest in a thoughtful, disciplined way in our next generation of big bets. Finally, huge thanks to Patrick Pichette for his seven super successful years as CFO".

"I'm delighted to be returning to my California roots and joining Google," said Ruth Porat. "Growing up in Silicon Valley, during my time at Morgan Stanley and as a member of Stanford's Board, I've had the opportunity to experience first hand how tech companies can help people in their daily lives. I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get started."

February 27, 2015

Google Proposes Futuristic Office Space

Google is proposing to build new office space at four sites in Mountain View and has presented the ideas to the City Council. This is the first time the company will design and build offices from scratch and it hopes new design plans by Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio will lead to a better way of working.

The company described its goals in a Google Blog post by David Radcliffe, Vice President of Real Estate at Google:

The idea is simple. Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we'll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas. (Our self-driving car team, for example, has very different needs when it comes to office space from our Search engineers.) Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air. With trees, landscaping, cafes, and bike paths weaving through these structures, we aim to blur the distinction between our buildings and nature.

Of course, this project is about much more than just office space; it's about doing more with the local community as well. So we're adding lots of bike paths and retail opportunities, like restaurants, for local businesses. We also hope to bring new life to the unique local environment, from enhancing burrowing owl habitats to widening creek beds. And we're committed to do everything we can to save energy -- our recent agreement to offset our energy consumption in North Bayshore with renewable energy includes the development of this proposal.

We chose Mountain View for our headquarters 15 years ago because we love the beauty of the bay, the close proximity to great universities, the family-friendly environment and the chance to work in a city at the heart of Silicon Valley. Today, we want to create office spaces that don't just provide a great home for Google, but which also work for the city that has given us so much.

February 24, 2015

Google Wallet Teaming Up With Softcard

Google Wallet announced that it is working with AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, as well as their mobile payments company Softcard, to help more Android users get the benefits of tap and pay. Softcard was founded in 2010 and is owned jointly by these three major cellular carriers and a pioneer in NFC-based mobile payments.

Under this relationship, the Google Wallet app, including the tap and pay functionality, will come pre-installed on Android phones (running KitKat or higher) sold by these carriers in the US later this year. Google is also acquiring some technology and intellectual property from Softcard to help make Google Wallet better.

This could be a big advantage for Google Wallet as it looks to fend off Apple Pay, the new mobile payment system available only with the new iPhone 6.

January 30, 2015

Google Rolling Out Fiber to Four New Cities

Google has announced that its high-speed Google Fiber service is coming to 18 cities across four new metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham. All are in the Southeastern U.S.

It's been five years since Google first offered to build fiber-optic network as in experiment in Kansas City. Now Google Fiber is available in Kansas City; Austin, TX; and Provo, UT; giving customers access to gigabit speeds for surfing the Web and downloading files and videos that are up to 100 times faster than traditional broadband connections.

The company says it is continuing to explore bringing fiber to five additional metro areas -- Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose, and will have updates on these potential Fiber cities later this year.

In Kansas City and Provo, Google Fiber costs $120 per month with TV service including 150 HD channels, $70 per month for just Gigabit Internet service only and free Basic Internet at 5 Mpbs but this requires a $300 construction fee.

January 27, 2015

NFL Teams Up With Google's YouTube

The National Football League and Google's YouTube have announced a partnership that will deliver NFL content to fans around the world, combining the world's most popular sports league with the world's largest video platform. Through a newly launched official NFL channel on YouTube, and video directly viewable for Google Search users, this partnership will enable fans to engage with NFL video content on PCs, tablets, and mobile phones.

Located at YouTube.com/NFL, the NFL's official channel on YouTube allows viewers to access a uniquely packaged, seven-day-a-week NFL content programming schedule. Content posted to the NFL's official channel on YouTube will include game previews, in-game highlights, post-game recaps as well as clips featuring news, analysis, fantasy football advice, and other select content from NFL Network and NFL.com.

Additionally, official NFL game highlights and content will be available through Google Search. A simple Google search will display official NFL video along with related news and information all delivered to the user in one distinct box at the top of the search results. Kickoff time and broadcast information for every NFL game will also be prominently displayed in Google Search.

Days from the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIX, the newly launched NFL channel will contain clips of many of the top plays, games, and performers from the 2014 season, as well as content featuring the sights and sounds from Arizona and previewing the matchup between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. The official NFL channel on YouTube and Google search results will also contain in-game highlights from Super Bowl XLIX.

"Partnering with YouTube and Google provides the NFL unique access to millions of highly engaged fans through the global leader in video and search," said Hans Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Media Strategy, Business Development, & Sales for the National Football League. "We continue to see an insatiable appetite for digital video content, and this partnership further expands fans' ability to discover and access NFL content throughout the year."

January 23, 2015

Google Invests Big in SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has raised a billion dollars in a financing round with two new investors, Google and Fidelity. They join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity will collectively own just under 10% of the company.

The investment gives SpaceX a valuation of $10 billion, whose CEO is Elon Musk and also the CEO of Tesla Motors.

SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches the world's most advanced rockets and spacecraft. This funding will be used to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing. Headquarters are in Hawthorne, CA.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 and has over 3,000 employees. It is the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in December 2010. The company made history again in May 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft attached to the International Space Station, exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth  a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. Since then Dragon has delivered cargo to and from the space station multiple times, providing regular cargo resupply missions for NASA.

January 17, 2015

Google Partners With Lending Club

Lending Club, the world's largest online marketplace connecting borrowers and investors, announced a new pilot program in partnership with Google, Inc. to facilitate low-interest financing to eligible Google partners. The program leverages Lending Club's ability to provide access to credit in a highly automated, cost-efficient manner, and allows Google to purchase the loans, thus investing its own capital in its partner network to drive business growth. Lending Club will service the loans.

Eligible Google partners will have access to financing with low interest and no fees, enabling them to invest in business development and other growth opportunities, hire additional staff and plan for future expansion.

"This first of its kind program enables Google to invest its own capital in the growth of its partners," said Renaud Laplanche, founder and CEO of Lending Club. "This is a new delivery model for financial services; this program opens up many possibilities for Lending Club partners to enable credit for consumers and business owners."

Google for Work has built a network of more than 10,000 partners in recent years, including resellers, consultants, and system integrators, which help Google distribute its applications and services. The company recently launched a new incentive program for partners, boosting the rewards for top performers. The partnership with Lending Club is part of this expanded incentive program.

Currently, the pilot program is available to Google reseller partners in the U.S. who meet certain eligibility criteria. Eligible partners can obtain two-year loans of up to $600,000 to invest in growth initiatives. With an interest-only structure in the first year and a fully amortizing second year, the loan payback schedule is designed to match the cash-flow profile of growth investments.

December 23, 2014

Google Shows Off Self-Driving Car

Google has unwrapped the first version of its self-driving vehicle. The company first showed off a vehicle in May but it was an early mockup -- it didn't even have real headlights! Below is a photo of the first prototype.

Since then, the Google team has been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car -- for example, the typical "car" parts like steering and braking, as well as the "self-driving" parts like the computer and sensors. The company has now put all those systems together in this fully functional vehicle -- the first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.

Google says it's going to be spending the holidays zipping around with the vehicle on the test track, and hopes to try it out on the streets of Northern California in the new year. Safety drivers will continue to oversee the vehicle for a while longer, using temporary manual controls as needed while the researchers continue to test and learn this new self-driving vehicle.

google car

December 4, 2014

Target Partners With Google on Mobile Game

Target Corporation, the nation's second largest retailer, announced it is partnering with Google on the latest Art, Copy & Code project -- an interactive, in-store mobile experience designed to delight Target guests of all ages this holiday season. Bullseye's Playground is a mobile game experience that features Target's bull terrier mascot Bullseye and other characters. In select Target stores, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Bullseye's Playground using Google's new Project Tango Development Tablet that will transform the store into a 3D winter playground.

"Target and Google are creating a new kind of holiday magic with Bullseye's Playground," said Alan Wizemann, vice president of product, Target.com and Mobile. "With this partnership, we're using cutting-edge mobile technology to elevate the in-store holiday experience to provide Target guests a glimpse into the future of retail -- where mobile brings together virtual experiences and physical stores."

Target guests can use their mobile devices to access Bullseye's Playground both in and out of stores. Guests can visit Target.com/Play on their mobile device to play six interactive games, including sledding, ice fishing, snowball fights and more. In-store signage will prompt guests to play and discover special codes throughout the store to unlock characters and new game levels. For every game played with Bullseye's Playground, Target will donate $1 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital -- up to $1 million.

November 12, 2014

Google Signs 60-Year Lease for Moffett Field

In an effort to reduce costs and shed surplus property, NASA announced it has signed a lease with Planetary Ventures, LLC -- a Google subsidiary -- to manage Moffett Federal Airfield (MFA), an agency facility located a few miles from Google headquarters, and rehabilitate its historic Hangar One. NASA estimates the lease will save the agency approximately $6.3 million annually in maintenance and operation costs and provide $1.16 billion in rent over the 60-year lease term.

MFA, currently maintained by NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, includes approximately 1,000 acres of land located on South San Francisco Bay. The land includes Hangars One, Two and Three, an airfield flight operations building, two runways and a private golf course.

"As NASA expands its presence in space, we are making strides to reduce our footprint here on Earth," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "We want to invest taxpayer resources in scientific discovery, technology development and space exploration -- not in maintaining infrastructure we no longer need. Moffett Field plays an important role in the Bay Area and is poised to continue to do so through this lease arrangement."

After a fair and open competition, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA selected Planetary Ventures, LLC as the preferred lessee in February 2014 and began lease negotiations. The negotiated lease, which is neither a procurement action nor a government contract, will put Hangar One to new use and eliminate NASA's management costs of the airfield, with the federal government retaining title to the property.

"Hangar One is an important landmark in Silicon Valley," said GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini. "GSA was proud to support NASA in delivering the best value to taxpayers while restoring this historic facility and enhancing the surrounding community."

Planetary Ventures currently plans to invest more than $200 million in capital improvements to the property and commits, in this lease, to several undertakings that will benefit the public upon completion, including:
-- Refurbishing and protecting historic Hangar One in accordance with standards established for historic properties by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior;
-- Rehabilitating historic Hangars Two and Three;
-- Operating MFA in accordance with the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for public and private use; and,
-- Creating an educational facility where the public can explore the site s legacy and the role of technology in the history of Silicon Valley.

October 23, 2014

Google Testing Inbox App for Managing E-Mail

Google has launched a new app called Inbox that will let users better manage their e-mail. Some of the features include:

Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you'd like to see grouped together.

Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do's on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.

Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn't in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.

Google is still testing Inbox and is sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can't arrive soon enough for you, you can email Google at inbox@google.com to get an invitation as soon as more become available.

October 21, 2014

Google Generated $16.5 Billion in Revenues

Google Inc. reported consolidated revenues of $16.52 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, an increase of 20% compared to the third quarter of 2013.

Sites Revenues - Google sites generated revenues of $11.25 billion, or 68% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2014. This represents a 20% increase over third quarter of 2013 sites revenues of $9.38 billion.
Network Revenues - Google's partner sites generated revenues of $3.43 billion, or 21% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2014. This represents a 9% increase over third quarter of 2013 network revenues of $3.15 billion.
Other Revenues - Other revenues were $1.84 billion, or 11% of total revenues, in the third quarter of 2014. This represents a 50% increase over third quarter of 2013 other revenues of $1.23 billion.
International Revenues - Revenues from outside of the United States totaled $9.55 billion, representing 58% of total revenues in the third quarter of 2014, compared to 58% in the second quarter of 2014 and 56% in the third quarter of 2013.

"Google had another strong performance this quarter, with revenue up 20% year on year, at $16.5 billion," said Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google. "We continue to be excited about the growth in our advertising and emerging businesses."

Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of Network members, increased approximately 17% over the third quarter of 2013 and increased approximately 2% over the second quarter of 2014. Sites paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads serve on Google owned and operated properties across different geographies and form factors including search, YouTube engagement ads like TrueView, and other owned and operated properties like Maps and Finance, increased approximately 24% over the third quarter of 2013 and increased approximately 4% over the second quarter of 2014. Network paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on non-Google properties participating in our AdSense for Search, AdSense for Content, and AdMob businesses, increased approximately 2% over the third quarter of 2013 and decreased approximately 4% over the second quarter of 2014.

Average cost-per-click declined 2% in the quarter. Traffic acquisition costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google's partners, increased to $3.35 billion in the third quarter of 2014, compared to $2.97 billion in the third quarter of 2013.

Employment at Google increased during the quarter. On a worldwide basis, the company employed 55,030 full-time employees (51,564 in Google and 3,466 in Motorola Mobile) as of September 30, 2014, compared to 52,069 full-time employees (48,584 in Google and 3,485 in Motorola Mobile) as of June 30, 2014. Google is selling its Motorola Mobile business to Lenovo.

October 14, 2014

Google Express Expands to Boston, Chicago, DC

Google Shopping Express announced it is changing its name by shortening it to just Google Express. The delivery service is also expanding to three new cities: Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

The service is already available in San Francisco, the Peninsula and San Jose, Manhattan and West Los Angeles. Google says that more than 7 million people can now access its same-day delivery service, and in Northern California almost 12 million can use next-day service.

Google Express is also adding more merchants: 16 in total over the last couple of months. New national brands include 1-800-Flowers, Barnes & Noble, Nine West, PetSmart, Vitamin Shoppe and Sports Authority, and regional merchants such as Paragon Sports in New York and Vicente Foods in Los Angeles. In the new markets, Google has added regional brands including Stop & Shop in Boston; Giant Food in D.C.; and Lux Roses, TigerDirect, Treasure Island Foods and Wrigleyville Sports in Chicago.

Customers over 21 in the Bay Area can now order alcohol for delivery.

Membership costs $95/year or $10/month. Or you can choose to pay as you go, at $4.99 per eligible order. Google says members can now get free same-day or next day delivery on eligible orders over $15. Membership can also be shared with a household member.

October 10, 2014

Google Unveils Street View for California Parks

The California State Parks and Google Maps officially unveiled panoramic street view imagery collected by Google's Trekker cameras of 14 popular state park destinations and trails. The imagery will allow people all over the world to virtually explore California's state parks, trails and beaches, and is helping to modernize the way the department is connecting with visitors.

"We are listening to our customers, and doing what we can to meet the needs of our visitors, in our parks and online," said Lisa Mangat, Acting Director of California State Parks. "By using the Google Street View Trekker, we can make our parks even more accessible to the public, as this gives users a virtual and personal tour of our parks and trails before they step foot in them."

The project is part of a partnership between State Parks and Google, which was signed this past summer with the intent of showcasing some of our state parks virtually and connecting to a 21st Century audience. Today s unveiling is part of an ongoing project that will eventually cover more state parks across California.

"There's nothing quite like looking at the sights of our state parks, and with this technology, parks are going to be seen in a way they have never been seen before," said John Laird, Natural Resources Secretary. "Google Trekker is an innovative way to add value to the state parks system by putting visitors in the middle of destinations to experience them, and gain an appreciation of the diversity and beauty of our state."

Trekker is Google's newest camera platform that takes the street view camera system and fits it all into a wearable backpack to take still photos as the operator walks. The images collected allow viewers to virtually travel along parks, trails, and pedestrian routes via their computers or mobile devices in a 360 degree angle. During the summer, Google Trekker operators visited state parks carrying the Trekker device to take hundreds of pictures.

October 3, 2014

Google Drive Offers Free Storage for Education

Google has announced the launch of Drive for Education, online cloud storage exclusively for schools. The company says that more than 190 million people worldwide use Google Drive regularly at home, work and school. For many of the 30 million students and educators using Google Apps for Education, Drive has even replaced their bookbags.

Drive for Education will be available to all Google Apps for Education customers at no charge and will include:

  • Unlimited storage: No more worrying about how much space you have left or about which user needs more gigabytes. Drive for Education supports individual files up to 5TB in size and will be available in coming weeks. 
  • Vault: Google Apps Vault, a solution for search and discovery for compliance needs, will be coming free to all Apps for Education users by the end of the year. 
  • Enhanced Auditing: Reporting and auditing tools and an Audit API easily let you see the activity of a file, are also on the way. 

Google says that Drive will be free for all nonprofit educational institutions with no ads or ad-scanning of content.

September 16, 2014

Google Launches Low-Cost Android One Phones

Google is launching a new line of low-cost smartphones starting in India called Android One.

According to a blog post by Sundar Pichai, Google's Sr. VP of Android, the company is working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components to make it easier for partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. Google has also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio in the Android One phones.

The average income in India is about $250 per month, putting the cost of current smartphones out of reach for most people.

The first Android One phones, from hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available now in India from leading retailers starting at Rs 6,399 or $104 U.S. dollars. The company said it is also welcoming more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. More high-quality, affordable devices are expected this year with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Google plans to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.

September 4, 2014

Google's Calico to Partner With AbbVie

AbbVie and Calico announced a novel Research and Development collaboration intended to help the two companies discover, develop and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, including for neurodegeneration and cancer.

Calico is the Google-backed life sciences company led by Arthur Levinson, Ph.D. (former chairman and CEO of Genentech) and Hal Barron, M.D. (former Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Genentech). The agreement paves the way for Calico to establish a world-class research and development facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Under the agreement, the companies will combine their complementary strengths to accelerate the availability of new therapies for age-related diseases:

- Calico will use its scientific expertise to establish a world-class research and development facility, with a focus on drug discovery and early drug development; and
- AbbVie will provide scientific and clinical development support and its commercial expertise to bring new discoveries to market.

Calico plans to build a leading R&D facility in the San Francisco Bay Area focused on aging and age-related diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer. Calico expects to begin filling critical positions immediately, and plans to establish a substantial team of scientists and research staff in the San Francisco Bay Area.

AbbVie and Calico will each initially provide up to $250 million to fund the collaboration with the potential for both sides to contribute an additional $500 million.

August 29, 2014

Google Testing Drones for Deliveries

Google is testing a drone delivery program that could one day deliver products ordered online across cities within minutes according to a report in The Atlantic.

The drone development is known as Project Wing and is part of Google X, a research lab involved in exploratory projects such as self-driving cars and Google Glass eyewear. The drone program is similar to a project that Amazon.com is also testing to one day deliver packages to customers.

Google admits the drone delivery service is still years away from actually happening and could run into FAA restrictions in the future.

The company has posted a YouTube video about the project and testing done in Australia.

August 12, 2014

Google Part of Consortium to Build Underwater Cable

Google is part of a consortium of six global companies that have signed commercial agreements to build and operate a new Trans-Pacific cable system to be called "FASTER" with NEC Corporation as the system supplier. The FASTER cable network will connect the United States to two landing locations in Japan. The total amount of investment for the FASTER system is estimated to be approximately USD $300 million.

In order to address the intense traffic demands for broadband, mobile, applications, content and enterprise data exchange on the Trans-Pacific route, FASTER will feature the latest high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies, with an initial design capacity of 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs).

This new cable system will be landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan and will feature seamless connectivity to many neighboring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations. Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the US West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.

The six-company consortium is comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel. The name FASTER was adopted to represent the cable system's purpose of rapidly serving surging traffic demands.

Construction of FASTER will begin immediately and the system is targeted to be ready-for-service during the second quarter of 2016.

July 16, 2014

Novartis to License Google Smart-Lens Technology

Novartis announced that its eye care division Alcon has entered into an agreement with a division of Google Inc. to in-license its "smart lens" technology for all ocular medical uses. The agreement with Google[x], a team within Google that is devoted to finding new solutions to big global problems, provides Alcon with the opportunity to develop and commercialize Google's "smart lens" technology with the potential to transform eye care and further enhance Alcon's pipeline and global leadership in contact lenses and intraocular lenses. The transaction remains subject to anti-trust approvals.

The agreement between Google and Alcon represents an important step for Novartis, across all of its divisions, to leverage technology to manage human diseases and conditions. Google's key advances in the miniaturization of electronics complement Novartis's deep pharmaceuticals and medical device expertise. Novartis aims to enhance the ways in which diseases are mapped within the body and ultimately prevented.

"We are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs," said Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. "This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye."

"Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people," said Sergey Brin, Co-Founder, Google. "We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true."

Under the agreement, Google[x] and Alcon will collaborate to develop a "smart lens" that has the potential to address ocular conditions. The smart lens technology involves non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturized electronics which are embedded within contact lenses.

Novartis' interest in this technology is currently focused in two areas:

- Helping diabetic patients manage their disease by providing a continuous, minimally invasive measurement of the body's glucose levels via a "smart contact lens" which is designed to measure tear fluid in the eye and connects wirelessly with a mobile device;

- For people living with presbyopia who can no longer read without glasses, the "smart lens" has the potential to provide accommodative vision correction to help restore the eye's natural autofocus on near objects in the form of an accommodative contact lens or intraocular lens as part of the refractive cataract treatment.

July 11, 2014

Google Ventures Launches $100 Million European Fund

Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google, is launching a new venture fund with $100 million to invest in the best ideas from European entrepreneurs.

Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, said in a blog post, "We believe Europe's startup scene has enormous potential. We've seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond -- SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others."

Google Ventures launched in 2009 and has invested in over 250 companies. Beyond funding, Google Ventures provides startups with more than just capital to succeed: they also benefit from engineering support, design expertise, and guidance with recruiting, marketing and product management.

July 2, 2014

Google Acquires Music Site Songza

Google has acquired Songza, a music streaming service, according to a post on Google+. Terms of the deal weren't announced but reports have put the acquisition price above $30 million.

Based in New York, Songza lets users listen to music via apps for Android and iOS. Songza offers a Concierge feature which plays music according to your mood or preference.

Google announced the following on its site:

We're thrilled to welcome Songza to Google. They've built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time. We aren't planning any immediate changes to Songza, so it will continue to work like usual for existing users. Over the coming months, we'll explore ways to bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music. We'll also look for opportunities to bring their great work to the music experience on YouTube and other Google products.

Launched in 2007, investors in Songza include Amazon.com, Metamorphic Ventures, Deep Fork Capital, William Morris Endeavor.

June 26, 2014

Google Shows Off New Versions of Android

Google unveiled new versions of its Android operating software including versions called Wear for your wrist and Auto for automobiles.

Google announced at its I/O Conference that 1 billion people are using Android worldwide on their phones and tablets. The company announced that two Android wearables, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, are available to order today on Google Play, and the Moto 360 from Motorola will be available in the coming months.

Google also showed off Android Auto, which allows you to connect your Android phone to a car, and you'll have what you need at your fingertips such as turn-by-turn navigation from Google Maps, your curated playlists and radio stations through Play Music, simple-to-use voice search, and reminders from Google Now. This is accessible through your car's controls, and more importantly, is far safer than fumbling around with your phone. You'll start to see Android Auto in cars later this year.

A new version of Google's Chromecast dongle for TVs was introduced along with Android TV, a set-top box that brings apps and games to your TV. You can use voice search to find a live TV show, a good flick from Google Play, or a music video on YouTube. Plus, you'll be able to play your favorite Android games, reimagined for TV and with a gamepad. Android TV, which, like Chromecast, supports Google Cast technology, will ship with products from a range of consumer electronics companies later this year.

June 21, 2014

Google Nest to Acquire DropCam for $555 Million

Nest Labs, a division of Google, announced that it has entered into an agreement to buy Dropcam for $555 million in cash, subject to adjustments.

Dropcam is based in San Francisco and lets users monitor their homes or businesses with cloud-based Wi-Fi cameras that can be viewed online or through Android or iOS apps. The company is backed by Accel Partners, Menlo Ventures, Mitch Kapor, David Cowan, Aydin Senkut, Ben Narasin, Institutional Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.

Nest is a maker of thermostats and smoke detectors that can be controlled via apps. It was acquired by Google earlier this year for $3.2 billion in cash.

Nest founder and director of engineering Matt Rogers shared the news about the deal on the Nest blog:

Although this was a big decision for us, it wasn't a difficult one to make. Before deciding to extend an offer to Dropcam, we spent a lot of time looking at camera companies and technologies around the world. And I can say without a doubt, Dropcam has the best products, services, and customer experience in the business.

Dropcam lets you check in on your home, no matter where you are in the world. But that's not the only reason we re excited about adding them to the Nest family. Our companies actually have a lot in common.

June 11, 2014

Google Buying Skybox Imaging for $500 Million

Google said it plans to buy Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash. Skybox is headquartered in Mountain View, not far from Google's own headquarters, and has over 100 employees.

Skybox has built the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, which captures useful images and videos everyday. Skybox investors include Khosla Ventures, Draper Associates, Canaan Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Partners and Youniversity Ventures. It has raised over $91 million to date.

The company was founded in 2009 and originated from a business plan at a Stanford University graduate entrepreneurship course.

Skybox's satellites will be used to help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, Google says it hope that Skybox's team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief -- areas Google has long been interested in.

May 29, 2014

Google Releases Company Diversity Statistics

Google has released groundbreaking statistics on diversity at the company and the numbers show a workforce dominated by white males.

According to a blog post from Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations for Google, the workforce at Google as broken down by ethnicity: 61% white, 30% Asian, 3% Hispanic and 2% Black. A total of 70% of Google employees are male and 30% are female. On the executive level, 72% are white, 23% are Asian and 2% are Black with Hispanics only 1%.

There are lots of reasons why technology companies like Google struggle to recruit and retain women and minorities according to Bock. For example, women earn roughly 18 percent of all computer science degrees in the United States. Blacks and Hispanics make up under 10 percent of U.S. college grads and collect fewer than 5 percent of degrees in CS majors, respectively.

More information about diversity at Google can be found at http://www.google.com/diversity

May 7, 2014

Google Expands Shopping Express to NY, LA

Google is expanding its same-day home delivery service called Google Shopping Express to Manhattan in New York City and West Los Angeles. The service has been available to shoppers in the Bay Area since last year.

In the Los Angeles area, shoppers in Culver City, Inglewood, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, West Los Angeles, and Westwood can now shop from some of their favorite retailers like Costco, Guitar Center, L'Occitane, Smart & Final, Staples, Target, Toys 'R 'Us/Babies 'R 'Us, and Walgreens. In the coming months, Shopping Express will be expanding delivery to other parts of Los Angeles, Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and West Hollywood.

In New York, Google is starting with service to the entire island of Manhattan with Babies 'R 'Us, Costco, Fairway Market, L'Occitane, Staples, Target, and Walgreens. It plans to bring Shopping Express to shoppers in Queens and Brooklyn in the coming months.

Google Shopping Express is offering six months of free delivery with subscription plus $10 off the first purchase. Users can order online and via iOS and Android apps.

April 22, 2014

Google Reports $15.4 Billion in Revenue

Google Inc. reported consolidated revenues of $15.42 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, an increase of 19% compared to the first quarter of 2013. Net income was $3.45 billion.

Traffic acquisition costs totaled $3.23 billion, or 23% of advertising revenues, in the first quarter. This was paid out to Google's site partners through Adsense program.

"We completed another great quarter. Google's revenue was $15.4 billion, up 19% year on year", said Larry Page, CEO of Google. "We got lots of product improvements done, especially on mobile. I'm also excited with progress on our emerging businesses."

Sites Revenues - Google sites generated revenues of $10.47 billion, or 68% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2014. This represents a 21% increase over first quarter of 2013 sites revenues of $8.64 billion.

Network Revenues - Google's partner sites generated revenues of $3.40 billion, or 22% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2014. This represents a 4% increase over first quarter of 2013 network revenues of $3.26 billion.

Other Revenues - Other revenues were $1.55 billion, or 10% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2014. This represents a 48% increase over first quarter of 2013 other revenues of $1.05 billion.

International Revenues - Google's revenues from outside of the United States totaled $8.76 billion, representing 57% of total revenues in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 56% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 55% in the first quarter of 2013.

Total paid clicks for Google were up 26% but cost-per-clicks were down 9%.

On a worldwide basis, the company employed 49,829 full-time employees (46,170 in Google and 3,659 in Motorola Mobile) as of March 31, 2014, compared to 47,756 full-time employees (43,862 in Google and 3,894 in Motorola Mobile) as of December 31, 2013. Google plans to sell Motorola Mobile to Lenovo Group.

April 15, 2014

Google Buying Drone Maker Titan Aerospace

Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones based in New Mexico. The Wall Street Journal first reported about the acquisition and terms of the deal weren't disclosed by Google. Facebook had also looked at acquiring the company but instead purchased Ascenta, a British-based drone maker, for $20 million in March.

Google said Titan would work closely with its Project Loon venture, which is building large, high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to remote areas of the world that are currently not online.

Titan Aerospace posted the following message on their website:

At Titan Aerospace, we're passionate believers in the potential for technology (and in particular, atmospheric satellites) to improve people's lives. It's still early days for the technology we're developing, and there are a lot of ways that we think we could help people, whether it's providing internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation. That's why we couldn't be more excited to learn from and work with our new colleagues as we continue our research, testing and design work as part of the Google family.

April 8, 2014

Google to License Room 77 Booking Software

Google is licensing hotel booking software from Room 77 to increase hotel bookings from its own search engine according to Bloomberg.

Room 77 co-founder Calvin Yang and many of its engineers will be joining Google. Room 77 helps users search multiple travel sites to find the best deal for hotels and Google is hoping to add this technology to make it easier for people to book rooms via smartphones.

Room 77 is based in Mountain View, only a few miles from Google's headquarters. The company has raised over $43 million in venture capital since it was founded in 2009.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed but Bloomberg reports Room 77 will be returning tens of millions of dollars in excess cash to investors.

March 20, 2014

Google Extends Android to Watches

Google has introduced Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. And the company is starting with the most familiar wearable—watches. Going well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time, a range of new devices along with an expansive catalogue of apps will give you:
  • Useful information when you need it most. Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favorite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more. 
  • Straight answers to spoken questions. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm. 
  • The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk. 
  • Your key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear lets you access and control other devices from your wrist. Just say “Ok Google” to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favorite movie to your TV. There’s a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build. 

Google says it is working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to develop watches powered by Android Wear later this year.

March 4, 2014

Google Donates $6.8 Million for Kids' Bus Passes

Google announced a $6.8 million gift to the city of San Francisco to fund an additional two years of Free Muni for Low Income Youth. The popular pilot program is currently funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission through June 2014 and provides monthly free muni passes to more than 31,000 low-income San Francisco youth ages 5 to 17. The $6.8 million gift is one of the largest private contributions towards direct City services in San Francisco history.

"Continuing to provide free Muni for thousands of young people from lower-income households will help make our City more affordable for working families," said SF Mayor Edwin Lee. "With this unprecedented gift from Google, we can keep this successful pilot program running for at least two more years at no cost to taxpayers or Muni riders and free up critical funds for other vital Muni maintenance and services. Google is demonstrating with real action and real resources that they are a true partner in addressing our City's affordability crisis for lower and middle-income families. I want to thank Google for this enormous gift to the SFMTA, and I look forward to continuing to work with this great San Francisco employer towards improving our City for everyone."

Preliminary data shows that Free Muni for Low Income Youth has had a positive impact on San Francisco's transportation network. Clipper card data shows 266,000 more rides by youth Muni riders in May 2013 than in May 2012. Approximately 45 percent of Free Muni for Low Income Youth participants plan to ride public transportation as an adult, while 70 percent would recommend Muni to their friends, according to the San Francisco Unified School District Student Survey results.

"Well over half of our 56,000 public school students come from households where their families struggle to make ends meet, so having free access to Muni removes a barrier to their educational opportunities," said SFUSD Superintendent Richard A. Carranza. "Keeping Muni free for low-income youth is a great way for Google to support our children and their families."

February 21, 2014

Google Launches New Investment Fund

Google announced it has launched a new investment fund called Google Capital, a new growth equity fund backed by Google and led by partners David Lawee, Scott Tierney and Gene Frantz.

The company already has a fund called Google Ventures that focuses mainly on early-stage investments but Google Capital is looking to invest in companies solely as they hit their growth phase. That means finding companies that have already built a solid foundation and are really ready to expand their business in big ways.

Google Capital investments to date include SurveyMonkey, Lending Club and Renaissance Learning.

Renaissance Learning is a Wisconsin-based assessment and learning analytics company that has reportedly received $40 million from Google Capital this year.

February 14, 2014

Google to Take Over Moffett Field

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA have selected Planetary Ventures LLC, a Google subsidiary, as the preferred lessee to rehabilitate historic Hangar One and to manage Moffett Federal Airfield, currently managed by NASA's Ames Research Center. The lease will put Hangar One to new use and eliminate NASA's management costs of the airfield.

As a tenant to NASA, Planetary Ventures will be required to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and policies, including those on topics of historic preservation, environmental compliance, security, health and safety, and airfield operations to support ongoing missions and other government objectives. Planetary Ventures' lease proposal includes a number of key benefits for the local community.

The proposal commits to:

-- Re-skin and protect Hangar One
-- Rehabilitate historic Hangars 2 and 3
-- Upgrade the existing golf course
-- Create a public use/educational facility
-- Eliminate NASA's operation and maintenance cost of Moffett Federal Airfield
-- Operate Moffett Federal Airfield in accordance with Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (such as maintaining the status quo such as airfield operations)
-- Comply with security and airfield management requirement

Moffett Field is just a few miles from Google's headquarters and will reportedly be used for Google's robotic and aerospace research projects.

February 4, 2014

Google to Split Shares 2-for-1

Google Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a distribution of shares of the Class C capital stock as a dividend to stockholders with a dividend record date of March 27, 2014 and a dividend payment date of April 2, 2014.

The company also reported consolidated revenues of $16.86 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, an increase of 17% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. GAAP net income, including net loss from discontinued operations, in the fourth quarter of 2013 was $3.38 billion, compared to $2.89 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Google-owned sites generated segment revenues of $10.55 billion, or 67% of total Google segment revenues, in the fourth quarter of 2013. This represents a 22% increase over fourth quarter 2012 Google sites segment revenues of $8.64 billion.

Google's partner sites generated segment revenues of $3.52 billion, or 23% of total Google segment revenues, in the fourth quarter of 2013. This represents a 3% increase over fourth quarter 2012 Google network segment revenues of $3.44 billion.

Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of its Network members, increased approximately 31% over the fourth quarter of 2012 and increased approximately 13% over the third quarter of 2013. Average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and Network members, decreased approximately 11% over the fourth quarter of 2012 and decreased approximately 2% over the third quarter of 2013.

As of December 31, 2013, Google reported cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $58.72 billion.

The company said it had 47,756 full-time employees (43,862 in Google and 3,894 in Motorola Mobile) as of December 31, 2013, compared to 46,421 full-time employees (42,162 in Google and 4,259 in Motorola Mobile) as of September 30, 2013.

January 31, 2014

Google Sells Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 Billion

Chinese PC maker Lenovo and Google have entered into a definitive agreement under which Lenovo plans to acquire the Motorola Mobility smartphone business. With a strong PC business and a fast-growing smartphone business, this agreement will significantly strengthen Lenovo's position in the smartphone market. In addition, Lenovo will gain a strong market presence in North America and Latin America, as well as a foothold in Western Europe, to complement its strong, fast-growing smartphone business in emerging markets around the world.

The purchase price is approximately $2.91 billion, including $1.41 billion paid at close, comprised of $660 million in cash and $750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a share cap/floor). The remaining $1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note. Google originally bought Motorola Mobility in 2011 for $12.5 billion.

Lenovo, which in 2005 acquired IBM's PC business and its legendary PC brand, will now acquire world-renowned Motorola Mobility, including the MOTOROLA brand and Motorola Mobility's portfolio of innovative smartphones like the Moto X and Moto G and the DROID Ultra series. In addition to current products, Lenovo will take ownership of the future Motorola Mobility product roadmap.

Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.

January 27, 2014

Google, Samsung Sign Patent Agreement

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Google Inc. furthered their long-term cooperative partnership with a global patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of technologies and business areas. The mutually beneficial agreement covers the two companies' existing patents as well as those filed over the next 10 years.

"We're pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung," said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google. "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation."

With this agreement, Samsung and Google gain access to each other's industry-leading patent portfolios, paving the way for deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future products and technologies.

"This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry," said Dr. Seungho Ahn, the Head of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center. "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."

Google's patent portfolio of more than 50,000 patent assets is ranked as one of the top patent portfolios in the high-tech industry.

January 17, 2014

Google Working on Smart Contact Lenses

Google announced on its corporate blog that it is working on a scientific project to develop contact lenses that can help people with diabetes measure glucose levels in the body. The special lenses would contain miniature chips and glucose sensors that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.

The project is being run by Google employees Brian Otis and Babak Parviz. According to Bloomberg, Otis is on leave to Google from the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is an associate professor in the electrical engineering department.

Parviz was involved in the Google Glass project and has talked about putting displays on contact lenses, including lenses that monitor wearers' health.

In 2012, the two were among the co-authors in a paper titled "Glucose Sensor for Wireless Contact-Lens Tear Glucose Monitoring" for the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits.

Google says it has talked to the FDA about turning the technology into a system that people can use. It is also looking for corporate partners who are experts in bringing products to market.