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Android Wear now works with iPhones

When you wear something every day, you want to be sure it really works for you. That’s why Android Wear offers countless design choices, so you can find the watch that fits your style. Want a round watch with a more classic look? Feel like a new watch band? How about changing things up every day with watch faces from artists and designers? With Android Wear you can do all of that. And now, Android Wear watches work with iPhones.

Android Wear for iOS is rolling out today. Just pair your iPhone (iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2+) with an Android Wear watch to bring simple and helpful information right to your wrist:

  • Get your info at a glance: Check important info like phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite apps. Android Wear features always-on displays, so you’ll never have to move your wrist to wake up your watch.
  • Follow your fitness: Set fitness goals, and get daily and weekly views of your progress. Your watch automatically tracks walking and running, and even measures your heart rate.
  • Save time with smart help: Receive timely tips like when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions like “Is it going to rain in London tomorrow?” or create to-dos with “Remind me to pack an umbrella.”

Today, Android Wear for iOS works with the LG Watch Urbane. All future Android Wear watches, including those from Huawei (pictured above), Asus, and Motorola will also support iOS, so stay tuned for more.

Dr. Seuss once said: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” We agree. So whoever You are, and whatever You like—Android Wear lets you wear what you want.

The terrible images from the WDBJ shooting in Virginia dominated Google searches over the last few days. Here's a look back at the week in search.

WDBJ tragedy
A small TV station in Roanoke, Va., is reeling after two of its journalists were shot and killed live on air Wednesday morning. Police identified the gunman as a former reporter for the station, and if his horrible crime was designed for maximum shock and attention, it worked. Searches for Bryce Williams—the on-air name former employee Vester Flanagan went by—ran into the tens of millions as people looked for information and video of what had happened.

Searches in the path of the storm
Thursday marked 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, but searchers in the U.S. over the last 48 hours have been looking ahead to another storm. Today, news outlets are reporting that Tropical Storm Erika has already been responsible for deaths in the Caribbean island of Dominica. As Florida’s governor declared a state of emergency ahead of Erika’s predicted U.S. landfall Monday, the city of Hialeah in South Florida is the top of the list of cities searching for information on the storm. But whether the storm searches are coming from the U.S. or the Caribbean, “Erika path” and related terms are up more than 1000 percent this week.

Reading the search tea leaves on Swift, Minaj and Styles
Get out the popcorn. MTV’s annual Video Music Awards is coming up this Sunday, and all eyes will be on Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj following their much-buzzed about Twitter spat over nominations for Music Video of the Year. We turned to search to see if trends could show us whether people are leaning Team Swift or Team Minaj headed into the weekend. Tay-Tay’s music video “Blank Space” is in the lead in the Best Female Video category, followed by Minaj’s “Anaconda.” Though “Anaconda” was not nominated for Music Video of the Year—a category that Swift also leads for “Bad Blood,” according to Google searches—Minaj is top of the search pile in the Best Hip Hop Video category.

In other music news, a report that One Direction will be parting ways up brought a 200,000 search spike earlier in the week. “Are One Direction splitting up?” (perhaps we should make that “ARE ONE DIRECTION SPLITTING UP??!?! :(:(:(”) was the top search question, before the band clarified they are actually just taking a break. As former band member Zayn Malik has already decided to go solo, we read the search tea leaves to see what kind of popularity the current members have should the band, well, disband. Most likely to launch a successful solo career based on search buzz? Harry Styles is the resounding winner, taking a whopping 60 percent of the 1D searches. Our advice for Liam Payne: at 1 percent, don’t give up your day job.

Improving Public Alerts for hurricane season

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States, flooding cities, displacing thousands of people, and causing billions of dollars worth of damage. It is the costliest natural disaster, and one of the deadliest hurricanes, in U.S. history.

After rescue efforts began in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, some Googlers wondered how they could connect people with useful information and resources related to the storm. With the help of many third-party organizations, small groups of our employees worked to display satellite imagery of affected areas in Google Earth and helped build searchable databases so people could check on the safety of friends and loved ones. These early efforts later became some of the standard actions taken today by the Google Crisis Response Team following natural disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes to tsunamis.

As the U.S. enters hurricane season again, Katrina remains a stark reminder of the devastation a storm like that can cause. We want to be as prepared and as helpful as possible for the next one—no matter where it hits, or how big it is. So we’re always working to improve our Crisis Response efforts to help people stay safe and informed during these events.

With that in mind, we've launched some improvements to weather forecasts and Public Alerts in Google Search to track storms during this year's U.S. hurricane season. Now, when you search the web for information about particular storms or tornadoes, you may see:

  • A map showing your location in relation to the oncoming storm
  • Visualizations of its forecasted track, wind severity and arrival time, courtesy of NOAA
  • Concise instructions for preparing and staying safe, customized for the estimated intensity of the storm and its arrival time relative to your location, from FEMA and ready.gov

The safety recommendations you receive will be tailored to reflect the current status of the event and your context. For example, if you search for a specific storm when it’s still several days away, you may see a map of the developing weather event and a recommendation to start preparing an emergency kit. If the storm is only hours away from your location, you might receive a reminder to start charging your phone in case power goes out. And if you search when the storm is nearby, you'll get the most urgent information, like how to avoid injury from fast-moving water or flying debris.

Tropical storm alert with precise location, wind details and customized safety checklist. Improved tropical storm alerts like this will appear in Search on mobile and desktop.

Not every storm is as devastating as Katrina was, but they all have the potential to cause damage, disrupt lives, and uproot communities. By providing useful, accurate, early-warning information, we want to do our part to help people prepare. More information won’t stop natural disasters from occurring, but it can go a long way to keeping people safe, and in some cases, could even save lives.

The tradition of ringing in each New Year with resolutions (whether we stick to them or not) is always an opportunity to reflect and start the year ahead on the right foot. As students and teachers around the world return to campuses and classrooms this fall, we’re embarking on a different kind of fresh start: a New (School) Year. And we want to help you make the most of it. So we’ve put together a few resolution ideas, plus tips to help you stick to them. We’ve also made a resolution of our own: to bring the best of Google technology to education.

The best of Google, for education
Like many resolutions, ours might sound familiar—and that’s because the Google for Education team has been working on it for a while. Over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time with teachers and students, witnessing firsthand how technology is helping in the classroom and learning about challenges that are yet unsolved. With feedback from schools, we’ve improved products like Google Apps for Education and Docs, building in new features specifically useful for education. We’ve also created new learning experiences like Google Classroom—a sort of mission control for teachers and students, offering a single place to keep track of all class materials, eliminating paperwork and making it easy for teachers to collaborate with students, and students to collaborate with each other.

So as part of our resolution this school year, we’re launching some new features in Google Classroom. Teachers can now easily ask students questions in Classroom, alongside all the other class materials in the stream. Teachers also told us that they want more ways for students to engage with each other, and flex their critical thinking muscles. So now students can comment on each other’s answers in Classroom and have open-ended discussions. In the next month, we'll also make it possible for teachers to add assignments, due dates and field trips to a shared calendar.

So what’s your resolution?
We’re sure you’ve already set some big goals for the year ahead—from acing AP Bio to landing that killer internship. Whatever your plans, it can be tough to stick with those goals once assignments and social commitments start to pile up. So we’ve collected 50+ tips from more than 15 Google products to help you follow through with your resolutions. Here are some ideas:

Resolution 1. Get (and stay) organized
When you’re bogged down by clutter, it can be tough to get stuff done. Make this your year to be more organized. Never miss another study group with help from Google Calendar. Use Google Sheets to keep all your classmates' info in one place, and better manage your inbox by emailing everyone at once with a Google group.

Resolution 2. Get (mentally) fit
Push yourself to take your studies to the next level. Teach yourself how to code with Made with Code. Make the most of language class by saving your most used words and phrases with Google Translate or magically translating webpages with Google Chrome.

Resolution 3. Get some worldly perspective
Not studying abroad this year? No problem. You can still unleash your inner explorer with Google Maps Treks and visit the Pyramids of Giza or the Great Barrier Reef without leaving your room. Or bring your art history class to life by seeing those masterpieces up close and in perfect detail with Cultural Institute.

We hope these give you new ideas for how you can make this school year your best yet. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing more tips and other updates—so follow along with #GoogleEdu and on Google+. We’ll be doing our homework to stick to our resolution, so we can hopefully give you what you need to do the same. Now go hit those books!

Over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time with teachers and students, witnessing firsthand how technology is helping in the classroom and learning about challenges that are yet unsolved.

Inspirational women. A surreal theme park. And a third-party candidate we can all get behind. This week had a little of everything—read on for a look at the top topics on Google Search.

Top tabs
Lieutenant Shaye Haver and Lieutenant Kristen Griest are the first women to break a major gender barrier and graduate from the rigorous Army Ranger School this week. The course is known for its tough physical challenges and a high dropout rate, and this was the first year women were admitted. Search interest in Haver and Griest has spiked more than 150X since Tuesday; at today’s graduation, they earned their tabs—and a place in history.

This Presidential campaign is Nuts
The Republican Presidential candidates continue to draw headlines in the long lead-up to the 2016 election. One of the top topics this week? Immigration, after Donald Trump said in an interview that he would overturn the law that grants citizenship to people born in the U.S.—a law better known as the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It didn’t take long for the other candidates to take a stand one way or the other on the “birthright citizenship” issue, while searchers turned to the web to learn more about the Amendment and the ongoing debate. In less political political news, Trump also drew ire this week when he said that supermodel Heidi Klum—a knockout at 42—was “no longer a 10.” More than 200,000 searches—and a smart comeback from Heidi—weren’t far behind.

Meanwhile, there’s a new presidential candidate on the scene in Iowa. A 15-year-old high school sophomore named Brady Olson made quite the splash after he submitted his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission as “Deez Nuts.” Not only is he polling at a not-too-shabby 9 percent against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in North Carolina—Nuts was a trending topic on Twitter and he’s surpassed Clinton in search interest, too.

Cheater, beware
The cheating site Ashley Madison was a top trending term this week, after hackers stole user account and payment information and posted the data online. There were more than 1 million searches for [Ashley Madison] on Tuesday, with more than half a million for [Ashley Madison List] as people tried to find out whether someone they knew had a profile. But questions about the hacking were myriad, and sometimes innocent. Many wanted to know “who is Ashley Madison?” (spoiler: not a real person) while others asked “What is the dark web?” in an effort to find out more about the anonymous and hidden network where the data was released.

Be careful what you wish for
A new tourist attraction in the U.K. is already living up to its name. “Dismaland,” an art exhibit by the elusive Banksy, and "the U.K.'s most disappointing new visitor attraction,” features a derelict castle with a dirty moat, gloomy park attendants, and bizarre works by 50+ artists. After being shrouded in secrecy, the “bemusement park” debuted this week to the tune of 200,000+ searches, and today search interest in Dismaland surpassed that of Disneyland’s. (One of searchers’ top questions: “What does Disney say about Dismaland?”) Unfortunately (or, appropriately, depending on your viewpoint), the park has also had its fair share of troubles already. As its website crashed under the weight of 6 million hits, and hundreds of people lined up outside the resort, many are wondering whether they’re on their way to see a conceptual art work, or already a part of one.

Ugh...not again. You get home at the end of the day, and sit down to stream a new movie or upload vacation photos — and your Wi-Fi slows to a crawl or just stops working. Instead of relaxing in front of the screen or sharing those photos with friends, you spend it unplugging and re-plugging cords, trying to decipher blinking lights, or contemplating a call to customer support.

While we count on Wi-Fi more than ever to be entertained, productive, and stay connected, we’re streaming and sharing in new ways our old routers were never built to handle. So today, with our partner TP-LINK, we’re launching OnHub, a different kind of router for a new way to Wi-Fi. Instead of headaches and spotty connections, OnHub gives you Wi-Fi that’s fast, secure, and easy to use.

Designed for the Home
Many of us keep our router on the floor and out of sight, where it doesn’t work as well. We replaced unruly cords and blinking lights with internal antennas and subtle, useful lighting, so you’ll be happy placing OnHub out in the open, where your router performs its best.

Starts Fast, Stays Fast
During setup, OnHub searches the airwaves and selects the best channel for the fastest connection. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance. You can even prioritize a device, so that your most important activity — like streaming your favorite show — gets the fastest speed.

A simple mobile app
OnHub makes it simple to set up and manage your Wi-Fi, all from the Google On app, available on Android or iOS. The Google On app tells you how much bandwidth your devices are using, lets you run a network check, and if there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi, the app offers suggestions to help. And, instead of lost passwords and sticky notes, it even reveals your password with a single tap and lets you text or email it to friends.

Just gets better
OnHub automatically updates with new features and the latest security upgrades, without interrupting your connection. In the future, OnHub can support smart devices that you bring into your home, whether they use Bluetooth® Smart Ready, Weave, or 802.15.4. We also plan to design new OnHub devices with other hardware partners in the future. Stay tuned for news from our second partner, ASUS, later this year.

Starting today, OnHub is available for pre-order for $199.99 from online retailers in the U.S. including the Google Store, Amazon, and Walmart.com. It will be available for sale in retail stores in the U.S. and in Canada in the coming weeks.

At the end of the day, we want our Wi-Fi to just work, so that we can do all the things we love to do online. Here’s to Wi-Fi with the reliability, speed, and security you want at home, without the frustrations you don’t.

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for an A-through-Z of the week’s Google Search trends (see what I did there?)

Per-see … what is it?
As the skies lit up with the Perseid Meteor shower this week, there were more than a million Google searches around the topic from people on the hunt for shooting stars. Along with questions on how to pronounce it (that would be something in the region of “percy-id”), people were asking where to watch and how to photograph the summer show, with NASA promising up to a hundred meteors an hour if you got up early enough. These meteors streak through the Earth’s atmosphere for our viewing pleasure every year -- check out the annual spike in Google searches over the last decade for a record of when we spotted them.

Headlines from China
Shocking images of destruction continue to come out of China’s northern port city of Tianjin after a massive chemical explosion Wednesday. This eye-witness video posted on YouTube by Daniel Van Duren -- who says he was watching for shooting stars when the explosions happened -- has more than 60,000 views in 24 hours. With news outlets reporting that smoke is still rising from the industrial area where the blasts occurred, the million Google searches about Tianjin are focused on the “who, what, where, when, why” of the disaster.

This was the second time news from China appeared in the world’s Hot Trends this week. China’s surprise decision to devalue its currency prompted an additional 50,000 searches Tuesday.

Because there’s apparently a day for everything
It was an awesome week for left-handed middle children everywhere. Wednesday was National Middle Child Day, where the top rising search on Google was for this meme, which pretty much sums it up. Then Thursday was Left Handers Day, prompting a spike of more than 100,000 Google searches. Looking at the top questions asked on Google around this important day for southpaws, you all wanted to know how many people in general are left-handed, and how many US presidents in particular (hard to confirm, but the White House tweeted that President Obama is one of them). Which brings us, naturally, to the next burning question on people’s minds: “Is Donald Trump left-handed?” File that one under “August.”

G is for Google

As Sergey and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.” As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make “smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses.” From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.

We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.

We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.

Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet (http://abc.xyz). I am really excited to be running Alphabet as CEO with help from my capable partner, Sergey, as President.

What is Alphabet? Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity). Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related. Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed. We will rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well. We'll also make sure we have a great CEO for each business, and we’ll determine their compensation. In addition, with this new structure we plan to implement segment reporting for our Q4 results, where Google financials will be provided separately than those for the rest of Alphabet businesses as a whole.

This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities we have inside of Google. A key part of this is Sundar Pichai. Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I’ve been tremendously enjoying our work together. He has really stepped up since October of last year, when he took on product and engineering responsibility for our Internet businesses. Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company. And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google. I feel very fortunate to have someone as talented as he is to run the slightly slimmed down Google and this frees up time for me to continue to scale our aspirations. I have been spending quite a bit of time with Sundar, helping him and the company in any way I can, and I will of course continue to do that. Google itself is also making all sorts of new products, and I know Sundar will always be focused on innovation -- continuing to stretch boundaries. I know he deeply cares that we can continue to make big strides on our core mission to organize the world's information. Recent launches like Google Photos and Google Now using machine learning are amazing progress. Google also has some services that are run with their own identity, like YouTube. Susan is doing a great job as CEO, running a strong brand and driving incredible growth.

Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things. Alphabet will also include our X lab, which incubates new efforts like Wing, our drone delivery effort. We are also stoked about growing our investment arms, Ventures and Capital, as part of this new structure.

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. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.

For Sergey and me this is a very exciting new chapter in the life of Google -- the birth of Alphabet. We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity's most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for! I should add that we are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products--the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands.

We are excited about…

  • Getting more ambitious things done. 
  • Taking the long-term view. 
  • Empowering great entrepreneurs and companies to flourish. 
  • Investing at the scale of the opportunities and resources we see. 
  • Improving the transparency and oversight of what we’re doing. 
  • Making Google even better through greater focus. 
  • And hopefully...as a result of all this, improving the lives of as many people as we can.

What could be better? No wonder we are excited to get to work with everyone in the Alphabet family. Don’t worry, we’re still getting used to the name too!

The best conversations just flow: you barely have to think about what to say. With Hangouts, we want to help you stay in the moment, no matter what device you’re using or how you’re getting your voice across, from texting to talking to video. So we’ve been hard at work on big improvements to make Hangouts faster, simpler, and easier on the eyes.

Today, we’re releasing Google Hangouts 4.0 for Android, with a fresh new look, improved speed, and features that make it even easier to reach people the way you want to reach them.

New ways to compose, attach and use your watch make Hangouts simpler than ever

Here's what’s new:

  • Hangouts is sleeker. Now updated with material design, Hangouts has a new look and feel: items respond to your touch in more intuitive ways and transitions between tasks are more fluid. 
  • Hangouts is simpler. The new Compose button makes it easier for you to start a new group or conversation. Our streamlined contacts list helps you find the right person quickly. And attachments have been revamped and simplified, so sharing—of emoji, GIFs, your location, even multiple photos at once—is a snap. 
  • Hangouts is faster. Whether you’re sending a quick message or video chatting with family, you don’t want hold-ups. We’ve been obsessively fixing bugs and speeding up message delivery to make Hangouts faster and more reliable. Bonus: less battery consumption.


And more…
Make affordable calls from the Hangouts Dialer, now with Outbound Caller ID (so your friends won’t get any more calls from the great “Unknown”). Receive and reply to group MMS messages in Hangouts using Google Voice. Use Hangouts on Android Wear when you really have an eye on the time (just say, “Ok Google, send a Hangouts message,” into your watch). And if you’re not around but want friends to know what’s on your mind? Custom status messages are back.

The new Hangouts starts rolling out to Android users today and will be available in the Play Store (iOS users recently got many of the same updates). We hope you enjoy the new look and feel. And we look forward to keeping the conversation flowing!

Has it been a week or what? It most definitely has, which means it’s time to kick back, relax and read on as we dig into Google’s trending searches list to find out what the world wanted to learn more about this week.

The Grand Old Party
With 10 candidates on stage for the prime-time event, Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate debate did seem quite a bit like a party. An estimated 24 million people tuned in to watch the broadcast on the Fox News Channel (a record for the network, and cable TV, it turns out), and searches for “Republican debate” topped 5 million.

Not surprisingly, the candidates themselves generated some serious search action. Donald Trump claimed the “most searched” position in the days before and hours after the event, and held on to the spot for nearly all of the debate itself, save a few appearances from Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Lindsey Graham.

See a full-size version of this incredible data viz here. You can also explore the most searched issues during the debate as well -- education, taxes and abortion all took turns in the top spot.

Jon-Voyage
All good things come to an end, and this week the world said goodbye to Jon Stewart -- at least as host of The Daily Show. Airing just moments after a debate that was ripe for Stewart’s particular brand of editorializing, Thursday night’s show was his last. Searches for the (now former) host topped 500,000 this week.

Check out another cool data viz -- this one on search interest in Jon Stewart across the United States -- right here.

The Doctor is in
Artist turned producer turned mogul Dr. Dre gave us all a gift this week -- his first new album in 16 years. Compton -- which Dre is calling his grand finale -- is self-reflective and grand in all the best ways, and dripping with appearances and collaborations from generations of other artists. It also brought in an impressive 200,000 searches.

Makeups and breakups
Continuing what seems like a very common theme this summer, the week’s trending searches had no shortage of celebrity couple gossip. Jennifer Aniston, who pulled off a surprise backyard wedding to Justin Theroux, made the list with 200,000+ searches. The world panicked (and searched 100,000+ times) following news that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were divorcing -- news that turned out not to be true at all, according to the couple. Reba McEntire, however, is definitely separating from her husband (100,000+ searches for that news), as are Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale (200,000+ searches) -- and there’s no doubt about that one, either.

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