April 25, 2012

Introducing Google Drive... yes, really

Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive. It turns out, one of the two actually does exist.

Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancĂ© or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.

With Google Drive, you can:
  • Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items. 
  • Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just... there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader. 
  • Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.
We know you rely on your files to get work done every day. Drive uses the same infrastructure as other Google Apps services, meaning it also has the same admin tools, security and reliability, including: 
  • Centralized management: New tools available in the Apps control panel for administrators to add or remove storage for individuals or teams of users. 
  • Security: Encryption on data transfer between your browser and our servers, and optional 2-step verification that prevents unauthorized account access by having users sign in with a secure code from their mobile phone. 
  • Data Replication: Simultaneous data replication in multiple data centers, so that in the unlikely event that one data center is unavailable, your files will still be safe and accessible. 
  • Uptime: 99.9% uptime guarantee so you can be confident that your files will be available whenever you need them. 
  • Support: 24/7 support for assistance when you need it. 
By the way, the Google Engineering teams in Bangalore and Hyderabad conceptualized and built these centralized management tools, security features and billing systems, so the India team in particular is excited about this launch.

You can get started with 5GB of storage for free—that’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future.

Google Drive is rolling out globally over the next several weeks. If you’re interested in being one of the first people to try Google Drive, visit drive.google.com/start.

This is just the beginning for Google Drive; there’s a lot more to come.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome & Apps

April 20, 2012


Google+ helps you share the right things with the right people when you are online, but how about when you are not connected to the Internet? A team of motivated engineers in India realized the importance of connecting you with the right people on Google+ -- regardless of where you are or what kind of device you're on -- and we've introduced Google+ SMS features as a result.

a) Post your updates to Google+ via SMS

b) Receive SMS notifications & reply to them over SMS

To get started, activate your phone number on the Google+ settings page (Supported mobile operators)

When Google+ launched in June last year, SMS features were available only in India and the US. Today we’re pleased to announce the expansion of Google+ SMS to 41 new countries:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo (DRC), Cote D'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

April 10, 2012

Google Art Project launches with Museums in Delhi

I am very excited to announce the launch of Google Art Project in India. This launch allows users across the world to view artwork collection supported by 2 museums in New Delhi - National Gallery of Modern Art and National Museum, from the comfort of their homes at www.googleartproject.com. We hope to add many more such museums in time and welcome partnerships from museums across India to participate in this program. Sign up form is here.

Globally, we have launched 151 cultural institutions in 41 countries with 30,000 artworks from 6,000 artists.

Users from anywhere can find excellent portalist from Kerala, Raja Ravi Varma’s oil paintings during the 1890s to Jamini Roy’s inspiration from tribal and folk culture that connects towns to villages. Also check out the miniatures from the early Chola Art at the National Museum - outstanding bronze image of Nataraja in chatura-tandava posture from Tiruvarangulam and cosmic dance of Lord Shiva symbolizing fivefold aspects of Divine control of the universe namely; creation, preservation, destruction, illusion and grace.

Global collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery in London, the Palace of Versailles in France, the White House in Washington DC, the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and many more. Don’t forget to check out the museum view located on the left bottom panel of the site.

The platform gives you a fun and unique way to interact with art and we hope this inspires you to visit the real thing. Users all over the world can now interact with art in a way that was never possible before - brush level strokes of paintings, virtual tour of the museums and a feature that allows you to create your own collection to share with your friends and family.

Here are a few things in the Art Project that you might enjoy:

  • Using tools called Explore and Discover, you can find artworks by period, artist or type of artwork, displaying works from different museums around the world.
  • Google+ and Hangouts are integrated on the site, enabling you to create engaging personal galleries.
  • Street View images are displayed in finer quality. A specially designed Street View “trolley” took 360-degree images of the interior of selected galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of more than 385 rooms within the museums. You can also explore the gallery interiors directly from within Street View in Google Maps.
  • We have 46 artworks available with our “gigapixel” photo capturing technology, photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution so you can study details of the brushwork and patina that would be impossible to see with the naked eye.
  • An enhanced My Gallery feature lets you select any of the 30,000 artworks—along with your favorite details—to build your own personalized gallery. You can add comments to each painting and share the whole collection with friends and family. (It’s an ideal tool for students.)

We’re incredibly excited about this project—it’s our first step toward making great art more accessible, and we hope to add more museums and works of art in time.

April 1, 2012

A New Way to Multitask

On December 9, 1968, Douglas Engelbart rocked the computing world with The Mother of All Demos. One of the many advancements Engelbart discussed was the creation of a simple, intuitive pointing device that would allow you to manipulate a cursor on a screen with the movement of your hand. The world met the mouse.

Before the mouse, the primary way to interact with a computer was to type a command, wait for a response, and type a second command. The ability to coordinate between the movement of a marker on the screen and a flick of the wrist was truly revolutionary, and has transformed the way we interface with our machines today.

However, for decades, the full power of the mouse has been limited. While we’ve been mousing away with one hand, our other hand has often been idle. As information has moved faster and faster, our mousing capacity has stayed the same.

On the Chrome team, we’ve been working to address this problem. Today, we’d like to announce a new way to get twice as much web from your browser. We call it Multitask Mode.

Multitask Mode lets you have access to multiple mice at the same time, so you can make a chess move while you watch a dance move, or draw a horse while you draw on a friend for relationship advice.

Chrome can handle as many mice, touchpads, styli, joysticks, trackballs, and other pointing devices as you can plug into your computer, so you and your friends can browse dozens of sites at the same time.

Try it out and let us know what you think!