News and notes from Google Down Under
Does my YouTube look big in this?
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Chromecast comes to Aussie lounge rooms
the latest antics from Rake
Indie covers of K-pop classics
, Aussies will now be able to use a
to bring their favourite content on a phone, tablet or laptop to the biggest screen in their homes — the TV.
A streaming media device that plugs into any HDTV in your house, Chromecast makes it easy to watch your
favourite music videos
or the latest episodes of
Jamie Private School Girl
on the big screen. With
of YouTube views in Australia coming from mobile devices and
90% of people switching
between four devices every day, Chromecast will help Aussie mobile content lovers bridge the gap between their devices and their TV.
Fast and easy to setup, Chromecast tucks neatly away behind your TV and works with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and ChromeOS devices. It taps into the same experience of using apps and browsing the web that you’re familiar with on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop, so there’s nothing new to learn. You can cast from your Chrome browser, phone or tablet by simply opening a supported app or the browser and pressing the cast icon.
With Chromecast y
our phone, tablet or laptop acts like a remote — you can press play and pause, control the volume, and more — but unlike other streaming solutions, you can still multitask. This means you can continue to laugh at
The Big Bang Theory
on the TV and send an email to your mates to tell them how great it is at the same time.
In Australia, Chromecast currently supports YouTube, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music, as well as apps from partners
. With the the
open software development kit (SDK)
, any developer can integrate their app or website with Cast to make their content available.
Since launching in the US
over 5,000 developers worldwide have signed up to bring their apps and websites to Chromecast and we’re looking forward to seeing the range of great TV shows, movies, music and more from local content creators which will soon be available for Aussie audiences.
You can pick a Chromecast up for $49 from select
stores nationally, or online from the
Google Play store
. Happy casting!
Posted by Raunaq Shah, Chromecast Product Manager
When creativity and technology go to the beach
Monday, May 26, 2014
Technology is already helping solve some of the world’s toughest problems, from
spreading internet access more evenly
making roads safer
But what if it could be used to help tackle a situation a little closer to home? Optus is teaming up with
Shark Mitigation Systems
, an Australian company, on a project that aims to help spot sharks at our beaches, and then
lifeguards so they can take action.
How will they do it? Their idea is to place newly-developed sonar technology on a series of ‘clever buoys’ around popular beaches. If the buoys detect a shark-like object in the water, they can give lifeguards a heads up using a combination of the Optus Network and Google+ technology.
The idea for the project came about in a brainstorm between Optus, Google, and M&C Saatchi. We think it’s a great example of what happens when creativity and technology get together (and go to the beach).
The project is still in a proof-of-concept R&D phase, and is being tested in WA and NSW. Optus have big plans for this project, and we’re delighted to be supporting them.
Posted by Roberta Macdonald, Head of Creative Agency Engagement, Google Australia and New Zealand
Creating an innovation culture
Friday, May 23, 2014
Editor’s note: This is an edited version of remarks that Lucinda Barlow delivered at the AIIA/UTS Innovation Awards ceremony on 28 February, 2014. You can see a clip of event highlights below.
Google operates in an incredibly fast moving world. Our mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, and in doing so, our business is innovation. The primary factor pushing our pace of innovation is culture.
To understand Google’s culture, you need to understand engineers. We’re an engineering-led company, started and run by engineers. If you talk to an engineer they see the world in a different way. Where most of us accept what we see or adapt to our environments, an engineer asks simple but interesting questions. “Why does my laptop take so long to start up? Why can’t 2/3rds of the world’s population get online? Why do I need to find a parking space for my car?”. This passion for solving problems is what drives a lot of our culture and our products.
From the top, it’s instilled in Googlers the belief that you don't change the world incrementally, you need to take big bets. It’s actually easier in some ways to execute on big ideas than small ones, because it's easier to attract great people, crazy people, to your cause. Critically, it does not matter if you fail if you attempt something that is audacious enough. Failure is a part of the learning process and should be celebrated.
culture of innovation needs openness and inclusion. The old model of innovation happening in an R&D facility in another city no longer applies. Innovation today has to occur in
aspect of the organisation, and everyone must consider their job to be an innovator. We share knowledge and open up our systems for scrutiny and competition. This makes us work faster. This openness is at the heart of the internet and has fueled tremendous innovation and creativity at unprecedented speed.
A culture of innovation also needs passionate, curious people.
This summer 60 young, passionate university students interned at Google Australia. They worked on some of the world’s biggest software problems - how to make maps more accessible, how to make systems more secure, how to make uploading documents to the cloud faster.
We look for smart, passionate and diverse generalists whose skills can be adapted in a fast moving world. Here in Australia, we have around 900 Googlers from dozens of nationalities, that includes an asylum seeker, a tennis champion, and we have a strong LGBT community. Diversity brings new perspectives, backgrounds and culture, critical to the creation of better products, services and ideas.
Finally, innovation needs more than ideas and creativity. It needs pragmatism to bring to market and ultimately to change the world. All of Google’s successful product launches to date have had at their core a technical breakthrough, such as
Maps, which added the ability to drag and drop your way around a map; Gmail offering 250x storage space; Chromebooks getting users onto the web in seconds without software updates. Technology breakthroughs need substantial investment in research, often solving problems that may seem to have little application today. Innovation means questioning assumptions about today’s world and building for tomorrow. At a global view, this means investing in the next generation of innovators.
Australia has so much going for it - freedom, openness, a culture of consumption - we’re among the highest users of technology in the world. Our engineers today are world class but the problem is that there are way too few of them. If we want Australia to fulfil its innovation potential, we need to invest in the next generation of innovators and we need to start early. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we made coding the second language taught in every school? I would love to see, and we should see, the next Google start up here, in a garage downunder.
Posted by Lucinda Barlow, Head of Marketing, Google Australia and New Zealand
Aussies can now have better meetings with Chromebox for meetings
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The best meetings are face-to-face—you can brainstorm openly, collaborate closely and make faster decisions. But these days, we often connect with each other from far-flung locations, coordinating time zones and dialing into
awkward conference calls
from our phones.
Meetings need to catch up with the way we work—they need to be face-to-face, easier to join, and available from anywhere and any device. Starting today, they can be. Any Aussie business can upgrade the way they do meetings with the new
Chromebox for meetings
Chromebox for meetings
brings together Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps in an easy-to-manage Chromebox, making it easy for any company to meet face-to-face and get things done. Here are a few highlights:
Instant meeting room
. Chromebox for meetings comes with a Chromebox, a high-definition camera, a combined microphone and speaker unit and a remote control. You can set up your entire room in minutes and easily manage all meeting rooms from a web-based management console. All you need is the display in your room, and you’re good to go.
Simpler and faster meetings
. Walk into the room, click the remote once and you’re instantly in the meeting. No more complex dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs. Share your laptop screen wirelessly, no need for any cords and adaptors. Integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar.
Meetings with anyone, anywhere
. Up to 15 participants can join the video meeting from other conference rooms, their laptops, tablets or smartphones. Need to meet with a customer who doesn’t use Chromebox for meetings? That’s easy too—all they need is a Gmail account. You can also connect to rooms that have traditional video conferencing systems using a new tool from
, and participants who prefer phones can join your meeting with a conference call number from
Chromebox for meetings
is available for $1,450 which includes the ASUS Chromebox and everything you need to get going. That means for the same price that companies have typically paid for one meeting room, they'll be able to outfit 10 rooms—or more. SYNNEX and other Google resellers will help bring Chromebox for meetings to customers and resellers in Australia and help you and your coworkers see eye-to-eye. Happy meetings, everyone!
Posted by Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management
Previewing a new Classroom
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
[Cross-posted from the
Google Enterprise blog
As a former high school math teacher, I know all too well that teachers spend a ton of valuable time doing things other than teaching—waking up early to grade quizzes, collecting and returning piles of paper assignments, and battling copy machine paper jams. But with today’s technology it doesn’t have to be this way. Many teachers and professors have found ways to use technology to be better educators and avoid busy work. We spent the past year working closely with many educators to understand the systems they use to simplify their workloads, so they can get back to doing what they love—teaching.
we’re announcing a preview of
, a new, free tool in the
Google Apps for Education
suite. It helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease. Classroom is based on the principle that educational tools should be simple and easy to use, and is designed to give teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn.
With Classroom, you'll be able to:
Create and collect assignments:
Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly. They can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback to individual students.
Improve class communications:
Teachers can make announcements, ask questions and comment with students in real time—improving communication inside and outside of class.
Classroom automatically creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily see what’s due on their Assignments page.
We know that protecting your students’ privacy is critical. Like the rest of our Apps for Education services, Classroom
contains no ads
, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools.
Starting today, teachers and professors can
apply for a preview
of Classroom. Based on the requests we receive, we’ll be inviting a limited number of educators to try Classroom in about a month. By September, Classroom will be available to any school using Google Apps for Education. Since we want to make sure Classroom plays well with others, if you’re a developer or partner,
to learn more about integrating with Classroom.
We’ve been working with more than a dozen pilot schools and universities to try out Classroom and provide feedback—and we can’t thank them enough. We can’t wait to hear your feedback, and to work together to make Classroom even better.
Posted by Zach Yeskel, Product Manager, Classroom
Romeo, Juliet and Google Australia
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Join us for the culmination of our stunningly successful week of celebrations for William Shakespeare’s 450
in our week long celebration of Shakespeare's 450th Birthday between Google Australia and Bell Shakespeare has delivered some highly entertaining and informative events, including a
live acting workshop based on Hamlet
Hangout in History with Shakespeare
and his contemporaries and an
interview with Lily Cole
, to name but a few. You can see all the events
On Friday you can actually join us in performing live on a Hangout On Air a scene from
Romeo & Juliet
– everyone gets the chance to utter a line – you can find the details
on how to join.
Shakespeare himself travelled with his troupe of actors, taking his plays to the masses. We think he would be delighted to see his work broadcast all over the world on screens large and small, and just as interactive as it was in his own day!
This partnership is thus carrying on a time-honoured tradition.
tours all over Australia playing in theatres, schools and all sorts of communities. Each year we reach over 165,000 people, our
alone reaches 80,000 students but, using the new technologies available, that figure can expand dramatically.
For the last 24 years our mission has been to make Shakespeare and other great classics available to all Australians...Thank you Google Australia for helping us to realise that vision.
John Bell, AO
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