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Now cards in the Google app give you relevant information at the right time, without you having to ask for it—whether it’s the score from the Rockets game, your flight status, or the latest story on Greece’s new government. But a lot of useful information lives inside apps on your phone, from your favorite music to last-minute hotel deals to home-buying tips. Today, you have two ways to get information from these apps—either remember to constantly open them up and look, or get a notification, which you may forget to act on if it shows up at the wrong time.

Starting today, the Google app on Android can help you keep up with all the good stuff in 40 different apps  at a glance—it’ll bring you Now cards to help you out with your day-to-day life, giving you information that’s helpful to you, right when you need it.

In the morning, catch up on news of the day with cards from The Guardian. On your commute, Pandora can give you recommendations for music to play, based on what you like, or you can be reminded to complete your daily French lesson on Duolingo. During your downtime, you can take care of the groceries, with a card from Instacart reminding you to stock up on the things you often order. If you’re planning a trip and looked up places to stay on your Airbnb app but couldn't make up your mind, you’ll see Now cards from Airbnb for the location and dates you’ve researched. And when you land at an airport, you’ll see a card to order a Lyft.

We’ve teamed up with 30+ developers to bring you these and other new cards, which are rolling out over the next few weeks. Check out some examples on our site—we plan to add more cards and expand this feature over time. Until then, make sure to update to the latest version of the Google app and your other favorite apps, and be on the lookout for handy Now cards to help you with tasks big and small.

Posted by Aparna Chennapragada, Director of Product Management

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Often the hardest part of traveling is navigating the local language. If you've ever asked for "pain" in Paris and gotten funny looks, confused "embarazada" with "embarrassed" in Mexico, or stumbled over pronunciation pretty much anywhere, you know the feeling. Now Google Translate can be your guide in new ways. We’ve updated the Translate app on Android and iOS to transform your mobile device into an even more powerful translation tool.

Instant translation with Word Lens
The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera—so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu. While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen—even if you don't have an Internet or data connection.

This instant translation currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and we’re working to expand to more languages.
Have an easier conversation using the Translate app
When talking with someone in an unfamiliar language, conversations can... get... realllllllly... sloowwww. While we’ve had real-time conversation mode on Android since 2013, our new update makes the conversation flow faster and more naturally.

Starting today, simply tap the mic to start speaking in a selected language, then tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognize which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation. For the rest of the conversation, you won’t need to tap the mic again—it'll be ready as you need it. Asking for directions to the Rive Gauche, ordering bacalhau in Lisbon, or chatting with your grandmother in her native Spanish just got a lot faster.

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Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us laugh, smile from ear to ear, or kept us gripped to our screens in our annual Year in Search. It was a year in which we were struck by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched news unfold about a horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by the beautiful game, and had fun with birds, a bucket of ice, and a frozen princess. 

Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:
           
Wishing the genie goodbye
“You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.” The passing of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember—and putting Williams in the #1 spot on our global trends charts. There was even an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health in the days following his death. We revisited his iconic roles in movies like Aladdin and Dead Poets Society and found solace in gifs and memes that captured Williams’ spirit.

All the world’s a stage
Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had everyone glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts.

While sports brought people together, so did a good cause. This year, awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reached an all-time high around the world due to the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As celebrities and everyday people alike braved a bucket of ice cold water for a cause, donations to help find a cure for the illness hit almost $100 million.

Into the unknown How could a plane just vanish into thin air? In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds: searches for “mh370 found” outnumbered searches for “mh370 lost.”

Here’s the full list of our top 10 global trending searches:
You can find more on these top searches and more at google.com/2014
Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site, you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.



We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.

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Today we released our annual wrap up of top trending searches around the world. Once you've had your fill, you may be interested to check out some updates in Google Trends and in your search results.

2014 Trending Topics in Search

Sometimes you just want to know what's been trending -- and today we're rolling out a simple way to explore 2014 trending topics in Search. Search for [2014 trending topics], [2014 trends] or similar queries in 45+ languages and you'll discover a new feature listing the top trends of the year based on Google Trends data.


Click on any of the topics listed to quickly perform a search and learn more, or click the menu to explore trends in 61 countries around the world.

Trending on YouTube in 27 countries 

The web is about much more than searching—it's about reading, sharing, listening, watching, creating... What if you want to explore the pulse of everything happening online?

Last month we took a small step in that direction, introducing a new feature to explore videos Trending on YouTube in the United States. Now you can explore videos trending on YouTube in 27 countries. Visit google.com/trends and click on “Trending on YouTube” and you'll discover a list of videos spiking in popularity.



The new YouTube lists in Google Trends are our most comprehensive and dynamic yet, taking Google Trends technology and building on earlier efforts that started with YouTube Trends and the YouTube Popular Now Channel. Depending on the day, you'll find up to 200 newly trending videos, so you can keep a pulse on the latest trending game highlights, late night satires, and Minecraft voiceovers.

Fresh design for a fresh new year Today we've also rolled out a number of design updates to the Google Trends website designed to make it simpler, cleaner, and more colorful. Among other tweaks, you'll notice an updated navigation menu, updated typography, spacing, and a refreshed design for Top Charts (home of our annual trending topics). Check it out and be sure to tell us what you think by clicking "Send Feedback" at the bottom of Google Trends pages.

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Cross-posted from the Google Translate Blog

Whether you're teaching yourself a new language or trying to make a new friend, Google Translate can be a powerful tool for crossing language barriers. Today, we're adding 10 languages to Translate, bringing our total number of supported languages to 90. These 10 new languages will allow more than 200 million additional people to translate text to and from their native languages. These languages are available now on translate.google.com and will roll out soon to our mobile apps and to the built-in translation functionality in Chrome.  

If it weren't for the active Translate Community participation, we wouldn't be able to launch some of these languages today. While our translation system learns from translated data found on the web, sometimes we need support from humans to improve our algorithms. We're very grateful for all the support we're getting today and we hope that together with our community, we can continue improving translation quality for the languages we support today and add even more languages in the future.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 12.04.12 AM.png

Spotlight on our new languages

Africa gets more language coverage with Chichewa, Malagasy, and Sesotho:

  • Chichewa (Chinyanja) is spoken by 12 million people in Malawi and surrounding countries. It is one of 55 languages used in the greetings that now travel the galaxy on the Voyager interstellar probes.
  • Malagasy is spoken by 18 million people in Madagascar, where it is the national language. It is one of only a few languages which puts the verb first in sentences, followed by the object and then the subject.
  • Sesotho has 6 million native speakers. It is the national language of Lesotho and one of 11 official languages in South Africa.

In India and Southeast Asia, we are adding Malayalam, Myanmar, Sinhala, and Sundanese:

  • Malayalam (മലയാളം), with 38 million native speakers, is a major language in India and one of that country’s 6 classical languages. It’s been one of the most-requested languages, so we are especially excited to add Malayalam support!
  • Myanmar (Burmese, မြန်မာစာ) is the official language of Myanmar with 33 million native speakers. Myanmar language has been in the works for a long time as it's a challenging language for automatic translation, both from language structure and font encoding perspectives. While our system understands different Myanmar inputs, we encourage the use of open standards and therefore only output Myanmar translations in Unicode.
  • Sinhala (සිංහල) is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka and natively spoken by 16 million people. In September the local community in Sri Lanka organized Sinhala Translate Week, and since then, participants have contributed tens of thousands of translations to our system. We're happy to be able to release Sinhala as one of the new languages today!
  • Sundanese (Basa Sunda) is spoken on the island of Java in Indonesia by 39 million people. While Sundanese does have its own script, it is today commonly written using the Latin alphabet, which is what our system uses.

In Central Asia, we are adding Kazakh, Tajik, and Uzbek:

  • Kazakh (Қазақ тілі) with 11 million native speakers in Kazakhstan. We've received strong support from Kazakh language enthusiasts, and we hope to continue collaborating with the local communities in the region to add even more languages in the future, including Kyrgyz.
  • Tajik (Тоҷикӣ), a close relative to modern Persian, is spoken by more than 4 million people in Tajikistan and beyond.
  • Uzbek (Oʻzbek tili) is spoken by 25 million people in Uzbekistan. In addition to receiving Uzbek community support, we've incorporated the Uzbek dictionary by Shavkat Butaev into our system.

We’re just getting started with these new languages and have a long way to go. You can help us by suggesting your corrections using "Improve this translation" functionality on Translate and contributing to Translate Community.

Posted by the Google Translate engineering team

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Think of it as our early holiday gift to you — today we’re releasing the rebuilt Google app for iOS. It’s ready for download in the App Store and will help you multitask more merrily this season. You can now see and return to your recently visited pages or start a new search with a single tap, as well as find nearby places and explore interactive maps right inside the Google app. All of this is wrapped up in the sleek packaging of Material Design.

When you’re busy searching for everything from your favorite online stores to the hours of the local ice skating rink to recipes for gingerbread cookies—likely all at the same time—the new “recents” button helps keep you organized. Tap it and you’ll find recently viewed pages open and waiting for you. Flip through them with a flick of your finger to juggle all your tasks.
You also no longer have to worry about how to get back to the mic (or search box if you’re more of a typing, um, type) to ask your next question. The new Google button at the bottom of the app will take you right back there with one tap.
Last but not least: you can now search Google Maps within the Google app! Now, whenever you search for a place—whether it’s a tree farm or a restaurant after a long day of shopping—you’ll see a map right there with the results. You can get a quick sense of where you’re headed, or even explore Street View if you want to take a closer look. When you’re ready to get going, your trusted Google Maps app will be waiting a tap away with directions.
Once your plans are made, Now cards in the Google app will help you keep track of it all: you can count on a notification letting you know when the perfect gift you ordered will ship, and the flight you booked or table you reserved for your office party will pop up in helpful cards as well.

With the Google app by your side, we hope your holiday season is a little less hectic, and a little more happy!

Posted by Nick Hobbs, Product Manager, Search

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Have you ever visited a website using Google Search on your mobile phone, only to find that the text was too small, the links were tiny, and the content could not be viewed without scrolling sideways? This usually happens when the website has not been optimized to be viewed on a mobile phone and can be a frustrating experience.
Surfing the web on your mobile phone should be enjoyable and effortless, which is why we’re now helping you find out in advance which websites offer a good experience on mobile devices. Look for the mobile-friendly label in our mobile search results like this:
We hope this helps everyone to have a better mobile web experience. You can hop on for the ride too! If you notice that your favorite websites don’t have the mobile-friendly label, reach out to the site owners or webmasters and let them know about your mobile experience on their sites. And if you want to make mobile-friendly websites, visit our Guide for mobile websites.

Let’s ditch the pinching, scrolling and aimless tapping, and welcome the new wave of mobile-friendly sites.