News and notes from Google Down Under
Announcing Google Play’s “Best of 2016”
Friday, December 2, 2016
A Big Year for Dance Music in Australia
As the year draws to close and summer is officially here, we’re thrilled to announce Google Play’s most popular apps, games and music in 2016.
In Australia, Meghan Trainor’s “Mee Too”, followed by Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” were the most streamed songs of the year. All in all, 2016 was a big year for dance and electronic music in Australia, with a third of the top 100 most streamed songs falling under the genre, on par with Pop for the first time.
Top 10 Streamed Songs of 2016 in Australia
Me Too, Meghan Trainor
Cheap Thrills, Sia
We Don't Talk Anymore (feat. Selena Gomez), Charlie Puth
Stay (feat. Maty Noyes), Kygo
Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya), The Chainsmokers
Never Be Like You (feat. Kai), Flume
Can't Stop the Feeling!, Justin Timberlake
One Dance (feat. WizKid & Kyla), Drake
Work (feat. Drake), Rihanna
Closer (feat. Halsey), The Chainsmokers
Globally, Twenty One Pilots have no need to feel “Stressed Out” with their single coming in as the number one most streamed song of the year. In case you missed any of 2016’s biggest hits, we’ve our top five global lists for each category to help you sort through the most popular content of the year. For complete local lists, visit
Google Play's Global Best of 2016 Lists
TOP TRENDING APPS of 2016
Face Changer 2
Lumyer - Photo & Selfie Editor
Castbox - Podcast Radio Music
Emoji Keyboard Pro
TOP TRENDING GAMES of 2016
Dream League Soccer
TOP 5 STREAMED SONGS of 2016
, Twenty One Pilots
, Justin Bieber
One Dance (feat. WizKid & Kyla)
Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya)
, The Chainsmokers
Me, Myself & I
Posted by Kara Bailey, Director of Merchandising, Google Play
Opening the doors to The Digital Garage in Western Sydney
Monday, November 28, 2016
It may not look like your ordinary garage but it’s a place to learn, build and explore… Google and the NSW Business Chamber teamed up to take
The Digital Garage
on the road to Western Sydney last week.
The Digital Garage
is an online training platform for small business to learn the digital skills they need to make the most of the web.
The Digital Garage workshop in Pemulwuy on Friday 25 November gave more than 50 local small business owners the chance to learn how they can use online tools to help grow their business.
We know businesses thrive when they embrace technology.
research found small businesses that make the most of the web are 1.5 times more likely to be growing revenue and 8 times more likely to be creating jobs. That’s good news for everyone!
Participants had the chance to hear from digital experts and ask questions about digital engagement. Local business owner, Tony Rahme, owner of
spoke about how he used online advertising to become one of the largest sellers of artificial plants across Australia and Raymen Sri from local
shared how professional web agencies can help time poor business owners make the most of the web.
We were joined by the local Member for McMahon, Chris Bowen MP, who spoke about the importance of small businesses in his electorate and the opportunities presented by digital technology, along with David Borger, Western Sydney Director of the
Sydney Business Chamber
The Digital Garage will be visiting more locations around Australia in 2017, so stay tuned for events near you! In the meantime you can check out the
training, anywhere and anytime.
Posted by John Ball, Head of Google Marketing Solutions Australia
Introducing Chromecast Ultra: The Fastest Chromecast Yet
Thursday, November 24, 2016
is available in Australia starting today. Get ready to have stunning content served right to your living room. All that’s needed is one small addition to your current system: Chromecast Ultra. Stream content right from your phone, tablet or computer and enjoy videos and more on your big screen.
Chromecast Ultra has everything you love about Chromecast. Plus, it comes with advanced features like 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) support for a fuller, crisper picture as well as faster speed and Wi-Fi improvements. At first, you’ll be able to stream 4K content from Netflix and YouTube, and we’re working to make more 4K and HDR content available.
Chromecast Ultra loads videos 1.8 times faster than other Chromecast devices and includes major Wi-Fi improvements to support streams from full HD to Ultra HD without a hitch. For those tricky Wi-Fi environments, we’re also adding Ethernet support for a wired connection.
Just like the original Chromecast, you can cast all of your favorite content from thousands of apps using your phone, tablet or laptop. Mirror any content from your Android device or from a browser tab on your laptop (using Chrome) to the TV. And it comes in a small size that hides nicely behind your TV, without adding clutter to your living room.
is available starting today for $99 from
Posted by Mickey Kim, Director of Product Planning and Partnerships, APAC
Now your photos look better than ever, even those dusty old prints
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Photos from the past, meet scanner from the future
Google Photos is a home for all your photos and videos, but what about those old prints that are some of your most treasured memories?
Such as photos of grandma when she was young, your childhood pet, and that hairstyle you wish you could forget.
We all have those old albums and boxes of photos, but we don’t take the time to digitize them because it’s just too hard to get it right. We don’t want to mail away our original copy, buying a scanner is costly and time consuming, and if you try to take a photo of a photo, you end up with crooked edges and glare.
We knew there had to be a better way, so we’re introducing
, a brand new, standalone app from Google Photos that easily scans just about any photo, free, from anywhere. Get it today for
PhotoScan gets you great looking digital copies in seconds - it detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes glare. Scanned photos can be saved in one tap to Google Photos to be organized, searchable, shared, and safely backed up at high quality -- for free.
See how the PhotoScan technology works behind the scenes by watching
from our friends Nat & Lo.
Pro edits, no pro needed
After all that time in the attic, your photos might need a few polishes. Or you might even want to edit that selfie from this morning. Getting the right look can take a lot of time and with so many editing tools it’s tough to know where to begin.
Today we’re rolling out three easy ways to get great looking photos in Google Photos: a new and improved auto enhance, unique new looks, and advanced editing tools.
Open a photo and then tap the pencil icon to start editing. First, for auto enhance, just select Auto, and see instant enhancements
a pro editor might make - like balancing exposure and saturation to bring out the details.
Second, our 12 new looks take style to the next level. These unique looks make edits based on the individual photo and its brightness, darkness, warmth, or saturation, before applying the style. All looks use machine intelligence to complement the content of your photo, and choosing one is just a matter of taste.
Third, our advanced editing controls for Light and Color allow you to fine tune your photos, including highlights, shadows, and warmth. Deep Blue is particularly good for images of sea and sky where the color blue is the focal point.
The Google Photos app with the new photo editor will begin rolling out today across Android, iOS and the web. Just in time for your next set of holiday memories.
Jingyu Cui, Software Engineer, Google Photos
Introducing the new Google Play Music
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Whether reminding you to leave to catch your flight, helping you
of your daughter’s recital, or suggesting the right
, Google builds tools that help you make the world of information more accessible and useful. And at Google Play Music, we strive for the same.
Building on our commitment to help you find the right music for any moment, today we’re introducing the new
Google Play Music
— a fresh take on our music streaming service that is smarter, easier to use, and much more assistive.
To deliver that, Google Play Music uses machine learning to figure out what music you like and then mixes in signals like location, activity, and the weather along with hand-picked playlists to personalize music for wherever you are and whenever you want tunes. Starting this week on
, the new experience will roll out globally (62 countries, to be precise).
DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S ALL RIGHT
To provide even richer music recommendations based on Google’s understanding of your world, we’ve plugged into the contextual tools that power Google products. When you opt in, we’ll deliver personalized music based on where you are and why you are listening — relaxing at home, powering through at work, commuting, flying, exploring new cities, heading out on the town, and everything in between. Your workout music is front and center as you walk into the gym, a sunset soundtrack appears just as the sky goes pink, and tunes for focusing turn up at the library.
WHAT YOU WANT? BABY I GOT IT
The new Google Play Music has a brand new home screen built just for you. Think of it as the ultimate personal DJ—one who listens not only to what you like, but also when you like it, so the music that you care about
is always at the top of your screen. Maybe that's your favorite new release on Friday, the dance party playlist you listen to after work, or more music from a new artist you've just fallen in love with. Regardless, it will be there waiting for you to press play. Powered by Google's machine learning systems and honed by our team of expert music curators, your experience will keep evolving (and improving) as we get to know you better.
PLEASE DON’T STOP THE MUSIC
No connection? Lost in the desert? No problem. Well...except for the lost part (try Google Maps for that). When you subscribe, you’ll always be prepped with an offline playlist based on what you’ve listened to recently. As long as you remember to charge your phone, you’ll have your favorite tunes, even if you forgot to download them ahead of time.
From parks to airports to bars, whether you're walking, biking, or driving, the right music makes any moment better. With the new Google Play Music, we’re here to help with the perfect soundtrack for the things you do every day. After all, the only thing better than finding the perfect music is the perfect music finding you.
Elias Roman, Lead Product Manager, Google Play Music
Four Aussie YouTube Creators Skip Ahead
Friday, November 11, 2016
A singing and dancing
musical inspired by traffic jams
zombie-fied version of Neighbours
. Traveling through the
Australian outback with borrowed cars
. What do all these videos have in common? They were all made possible by Screen Australia and YouTube’s
program, which supports the next generation of Australian online storytellers.
For the third year, YouTube has teamed up with
to give emerging Australian YouTube creators the opportunity to make more ambitious, longer form content and develop their skills. After receiving dozens of applications for the program, we’re pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Skip Ahead funding (
drum roll please
Brothers Theo and Nathan Saidden, AKA
with their dysfunctional-family comedy;
Kitchen wizards Charli and Ashlee Kelly, who present one of YouTube’s most popular kids-only baking shows,
Charli’s Crafty Kitchen
Adelaide brothers Danny and Michael Philippou who are behind the live action videos on
Science educator and communicator, Vanessa Hill who explores the human brain on
The four recipients will share $725,000 between them to realise their projects. Thanks to this funding, YouTube creators will be able to make longer narrative-driven films of at least 30 minutes in length, which can either be one-off films, a series of episode installments, or a pilot for a future idea. Previous Skip Ahead winners such as the
Mighty Car Mods
How to Cook That
have gone on to reach bigger audiences and global recognition.
Congratulations to this year’s
creators — we look forward to seeing what they’ll come up with next. Watch this space!
Posted by Kristen Bowen, Head of Top Creators, YouTube Asia Pacific, recently watched
Are You a Chronic Procrastinator
Experience Daydream today
Friday, November 11, 2016
seeing a dinosaur come back to life
traveling to the farthest reaches of Pluto
saving a runaway goat from dangerous traps
, Daydream brings you immersive virtual reality adventures powered by a smartphone. And now you can experience it all with Daydream View, a VR headset and controller made by Google, for $119 (AUD) – available now on
, as well as Telstra from November 22nd.
Fresh featured content front and center
, available on any Daydream-ready phone starting with
Pixel and Pixel XL
, lets you launch your favorite VR experiences and browse from an ever-growing collection of apps, games and videos. Plus, the app brings new featured content front and center so there’s always something fresh when you put on your headset.
Enjoy the best of Google in VR
With Daydream, you can experience some of the most popular Google apps like
Google Play Movies
in virtual reality. Visit 150 of the world’s most amazing places like the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal with
Google Street View
Youtube VR App
, you can watch the entire library of YouTube videos on a virtual big screen and experience hundreds of thousands of immersive videos from top creators. The new standalone app was built from the ground up and optimized for VR. You just need a Daydream-ready phone like Pixel and the new Daydream View headset and controller to get started. Every single video on the platform becomes an immersive VR experience, from 360-degree videos that let you step inside the content you watch to standard videos shown on a virtual movie screen in the new theater mode.
Google Arts & Culture
And we’re also bringing Google Arts & Culture to Daydream. Step inside a virtual gallery and view masterpieces from over 50 world-renowned museums. Whether it’s Vincent van Gogh’s landscapes from the
Metropolitan Museum of Art,
a collection of the Most Beautiful Cats from
one of the first oil paintings of Sydney
, you can zoom in to see brushstroke-level details. The app is launching today as a Preview Edition with more enhancements to come in future updates.
Explore, watch and play
In addition to Google apps, there are
many other experiences available
on Daydream. Explore new worlds, kick back in your personal VR cinema and get in the game with an intuitive controller that puts you at the center of action.
Our goal with Daydream is to bring high quality, mobile VR to everyone. And this is just the beginning. There will be even more
coming to Daydream in the next few weeks and even more Daydream-ready phones available over the next few months.
Posted by By Andrey Doronichev, Group Product Manager, VR
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