News and notes from Google Down Under
Introducing Google Cloud and Australia Google Cloud Region
Friday, September 30, 2016
Australian businesses are embracing new technology. For many companies, from start-ups to established enterprises, this means using cloud services to support their operations. As this transformation gains momentum in Australia, we are deepening our local investment with the launch of
Google Cloud Region
in Sydney in 2017.
in San Francisco today, we
unveiled Google Cloud
, our unique portfolio of products, technologies and services that let our users operate in a digital world easily and at peak performance.
We also announced that we are bringing a
to Sydney to offer an even faster experience for Australian developers and enterprise customers. This will come online through 2017.
Further, to meet growing demand, we announced seven more new Google Cloud Regions - Singapore, India, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt.
With more than one billion end users across the world, many people - including key developers like SnapChat creator Snap Inc, Pokemon Go creator Niantic Labs and Evernote - are leveraging the benefits of Google Cloud Platform. In Australia, thousands of businesses like Woolworths, Halfbrick Studios, Ingogo, Upwire and News Corp Australia are building on Google Cloud Platform.
We are continuing to build our partner ecosystem to support businesses as they move to the cloud and we are able to meet our customers where they are with local partners including Shine Solutions, Sakura Sky and 3wks, as well as global partners like Deloitte, Accenture and PwC.
We also unveiled
(previously called Google Apps for Work) which encompasses a set of intelligent apps - Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, and more - designed to bring people together, with real-time collaboration built in from the start.
For more information about these announcements and latest news check out the
Google Cloud Platform
Posted by Rick Harshman, Asia-Pacific Managing Director, Google Cloud
Counting down to bounce-down
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
As footy fans count down to the AFL Grand Final this weekend, we need no reminding of the way football captures the imagination of Australians, right across the country.
Google searches for the AFL Grand Final increased more than
in the past week, peaking just after the game last Saturday, and there was a
in queries about the Brownlow Medal on Monday night.
While footy appeals to people of all ages, some of the most passionate fans are of the junior variety. Kids love watching and learning about football almost as much as they love playing it. That’s why the AFL has partnered with YouTube to create a new
channel, with a raft of new and original content for the next generation of players and fans.
AFL Bounce on YouTube is a mash-up of all things footy. The channel features collaborations with AFL stars, along with well-known characters like
and leading YouTube Kids creators like
and the best trick-shots from
"AFL Bounce is about reaching kids and helping them connect with the stories, heroes and passion of the game in ways that are meaningful to them,” Kylie Robertson, AFL Kids Market Development and Innovation Lead said.
The AFL Bounce channel is available on YouTube and through the
YouTube Kids app
. Fans in Melbourne this week can experience AFL Bounce at the interactive
, part of the Foxtel Footy Festival in Yarra Park outside the MCG until Saturday 1 October.
Posted by Sanoop Luke, YouTube Kids Content Manager, who recently watched
Cookie Monster meets AFL Legend Richo
on AFL Bounce
Are you Australia's Regional Online Hero?
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Businesses across Australia, from Broome to Bendigo, are using the web to innovate and grow. Like
, the teddy bear producer in Central Queensland using the internet to reach new customers across Australia and overseas.
suggests that digitally engaged small businesses are more likely to be expanding, which is great news for jobs and local communities. We know that many regional businesses are doing great things online, so we’ve teamed up with the
Regional Australia Institute
to identify the next
Regional Online Heroes
Whether they are using online marketing to attract new customers or creating an entirely online operation, any small to medium regional business can
We want to find those business people already leading the way with digital engagement and offer them the chance to share their story and develop new skills at an exclusive masterclass at Google in Sydney.
Last year more than 170 small businesses from across Australia applied, ranging from
in Queensland and Broken Hill’s
from the Western Australian wheatbelt. Ten finalists were selected in 2015, with
taking out the national title.
Regional Australia Institute’s, Jack Archer; Hon Michael McCormack MP; Tambo Teddies owner and 2015 Regional Online Hero, Alison Shaw; and Google’s Head of Small Business, John Ball
To apply, businesses should outline how digital engagement has helped their business - maybe it has boosted sales or made it easier to reach new customers.
Applications are now open and will close on 28 October. If you know a small business owner in regional Australia that’s using the internet to grow, encourage them to
Posted by Rich Flanagan, Head of Small Business Marketing, Google Australia
Say hello to Google Allo: a smarter messaging app
Friday, September 23, 2016
Whether it’s planning a night out or just catching up, we all rely on messaging to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. But too often we have to hit pause on our conversations — whether it’s to check the status of a flight or look up that new restaurant. So we created a messaging app that helps you keep your conversation going, by providing assistance when you need it.
Today, we’re releasing Google Allo, a new smart messaging app for Android and iOS that helps you say more and do more right in your chats. Google Allo can help you make plans, find information, and express yourself more easily in chat. And the more you use it, the more it improves over time.
Respond quickly with Smart Reply
Google Allo makes it easier for you to respond quickly and keep the conversation going, even when you’re on the go. With Smart Reply, you can respond to messages with just a tap, so you can send a quick “yup” in response to a friend asking “Are you on your way?” Smart Reply will also suggest responses for photos. If your friend sends you a photo of their pet, you might see Smart Reply suggestions like “aww cute!” And whether you’re a “haha” or “😂” kind of person, Smart Reply will improve over time and adjust to your style.
Express yourself with photos, emojis and stickers
Chat is more than just text, so we’ve created a rich canvas for you to express yourself in Google Allo. You can make emojis and text larger or smaller in size by simply dragging the “send” button up or down. Make photos your own by scribbling on them before you send. And we’ve worked with independent artists and studios around the world to create more than 25 custom sticker packs, because sometimes a “sloth riding a pizza” says it all.
Meet your personal Google Assistant
In Google Allo you’ll also be introduced to a preview edition of the
. With your Assistant in Allo, you can have a conversation with Google — ask it questions and let it help you get things done directly in your chats. You no longer need to leave a conversation with friends just to grab an address, share your favorite YouTube video, or pick a dinner spot. Just type @google to bring your Assistant into any group chat. And of course, you can also chat one-one-one with your Assistant in Allo.
Here are just a few ways your Google Assistant can help in Google Allo:
Make plans with friends.
You can easily move from discussing dinner with friends to making plans for the night, right in your chat. Just add the Assistant to your group chat and ask for movie times, local restaurants and more. You can also research travel destinations, flights and hotels together with friends.
Get the latest info on everything from news, weather, traffic, sports, or your upcoming flights status. Ask the Assistant to send you daily updates on the information you care about.
Have some fun.
Ask your Assistant to share that funny YouTube video or play games with friends right in your group chat -- for instance you can compete to guess a movie title based on a series of emojis.
The Google Assistant is the next chapter in a journey Google has been on for many years to assist people in their everyday lives. We’re starting with a preview edition to show you just one way that your Assistant will work for you in chat. Over the coming months, your Assistant will be available in more Google products, working seamlessly throughout your day at home or on the go. The Assistant will initially be available in English, with more languages coming soon.
Chat in Incognito mode
We take privacy and security seriously in Google Allo. All chats in Google Allo are encrypted using industry standard technologies like
Transport Layer Security
(TLS). But we went a step beyond this and we created a mode within Google Allo called
(h/t Chrome). When you chat in Incognito mode, messages have end-to-end encryption and additional privacy features like discreet notifications and message expiration.
You can also message friends who aren’t yet using Google Allo through
or, for those using Android,
app preview messages
We can’t wait for you to say hello to Google Allo! We’re beginning to roll out Google Allo for
, and the app will be available worldwide in the next few days.
Posted by Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager, Google
See more, plan less with Google Trips
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Whether you’re juggling work, school, family, or just the demands of daily life, everyone needs a little break and a new adventure once in a while.
But knowing what to do when your holiday starts can turn what’s supposed to be fun into a lot of work. You might get recommendations from friends, travel guides, or online reviews — but figuring out how to squeeze everything you want to do into a finite window of time can be stressful, especially when you’re in a new place, often with limited access to the web. In fact, a
showed that 74% of travellers feel the most stressful aspect of travel is figuring out the details.
We wanted to reduce the hassle and help travellers enjoy their hard-earned holidays. So today, we’re introducing a new mobile app to help you instantly plan each day of your trip with just a few taps of your finger:
Google Trips is a personalised tour guide in your pocket. Each trip contains key categories of information, including day plans, reservations, things to do, food and drink, and more. The entire app is available offline — simply tap the “Download” button under each trip to save it to your phone.
Choose your own adventure
For the top 200 cities in the world, Google Trips shows you a variety of day plans featuring the most popular daily itineraries. We’ve automatically assembled the most popular sights, attractions, and local gems into a full day’s tour — all based on historic visits by other travellers. Say you’re visiting Barcelona. You can choose from multiple day plans, like “Eixample District,” which maps out the can’t-miss buildings by Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect.
Plan each day of your trip like magic
Everyone has different interests and time constraints. No matter how popular an itinerary is, there’s no one solution for the perfect day or the perfect trip. Google Trips can help you build your day around places you already know you want to visit.
Say your friends told you that you have to see the Sagrada Familia — and you’re looking for suggestions on things to do around that spot. Press the “+” button in the day plans tile to jump into a map view containing all the top attractions in your destination. If you’re time constrained, you can specify above the map whether you have just the morning or afternoon, versus a full day. Then simply tap and pin the Sagrada Familia to build your itinerary around it. Google Trips automatically fills in the day for you. If you want more options, tap the “magic wand” button for more nearby sights. You can pin new spots, and if you want even more, each tap of the “magic wand” instantly gives you a new itinerary with updated nearby attractions like Palau Macaya or Parc del Guinardo, so you can build your own custom itinerary in minutes while munching on your morning churro.
All your travel info, all in one place
Keeping track of all your flight, hotel, car and restaurant reservations when you travel can be tough. With Google Trips, all your reservations are automatically gathered from Gmail and organised into individual trips, so you don’t have to search and dig up those emails. They’re waiting for you within the reservations tile, even without WiFi.
Holidays are a chance to recharge and experience new places and cultures. For your next trip, let us help you see the sights, without all the hassle. Google Trips, available now on
, has you covered from departure to return.
Posted by Stefan Frank, Product Manager, Google Trips
A vice-regal Expedition with the Governor-General
Monday, September 19, 2016
When I was a kid at school, getting out of the classroom and going on a school excursion was the highlight of any term.
Filing onto a bus with my classmates, being taken on a tour of a museum or gallery or zoo and learning about history or geography or art - these things always created a great sense of excitement and adventure.
It’s been a while since I was at school, and things have changed quite a bit. But one thing’s for sure: excursions aren’t what they used to be. Back then we could only dream of visiting the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Pyramid of Giza, or the Great Wall of China.
There are many kids at school who don’t have the opportunity to visit some of our great landmarks. We’re a big country with people spread thousands of kilometers apart. Now, students and teachers can use the magic of
, to take students on virtual trips all over the world, including many places the school bus can’t go!
His Excellency General the Honorable Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of Australia, is shown the Google Jump Camera.
This month we launched an Expedition for
Government House, Canberra
and an Expedition of the
State Library of Victoria
Nichols Point Primary School
in Mildura, regional Victoria.
It has been fantastic to work with the Governor-General to create an Expedition of Government House; to give all students across Australia, especially those who can’t make the trip to Canberra, the opportunity to visit Government House and learn about the important role that it plays in our Australian democracy.
His Excellency tries out Google Cardboard with kids from Nichols Point Primary School.
It’s also been exciting to work with the State Library of Victoria. I’ve always wanted to see Ned Kelly's armour, which is on display at the Library, and now, through the Library's Expedition and their partnership with the
Google Arts and Culture
, I will finally have the chance.
Since we launched the Expeditions Pioneer Program last September, more than
students from 11 countries have taken one of our 200+ virtual reality trips—from the Great Barrier Reef, to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.
Andrew Hiskens (right), Learning Services Manager of the State Library of Victoria, shows an Expedition to students at Nichols Point.
Today, we’re making Expeditions available to everyone. To get started, all teachers need to do is download the
onto a set of devices and choose where in the world they want to take their class. The app is
available today for Android
and will be available for iPhones and iPads soon.
I can't wait to check out Ned Kelly’s armour, swim Barrier Reef and explore the amazing Angkor Wat… all from our lounge room!
Posted by Sean McDonell, office lead, Google Melbourne
Explore the natural world with Google Arts & Culture
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Many millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth and giant sea creatures were not just Hollywood creations, but fearsome predators that stalked the oceans. Australia once boasted wombats the size of cars and ‘
’ that stood 2.5 metres tall.
It’s a world that vanished long ago, but one that continues to fascinate those seeking to understand the origins of life on our planet.
To allow anyone, anywhere to explore this world, we’ve partnered with more than 50 of the world’s leading natural history institutions and scientists to bring this lost world to life again online. From today, you’ll now be able to browse through more than 150 interactive stories, 300,000 new photos and videos and more than 30 virtual tours on Google Arts & Culture, exploring the beautiful, the dangerous and the endangered.
You can go behind the scenes at the Australian Museum, look at a book in the Queensland Museum that has pictures of creatures drawn by Europeans nearly 500 years ago, and meet Sweetheart, a 5.1m saltwater crocodile at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and study a kiwi up close at the Auckland Museum.
With just a few clicks on
Google Arts & Culture
, you can come face to face with a 180 million year old giant, as virtual reality raises the colossal sea dragon from extinction.
Discovered in Dorset in the UK and residing at London’s Natural History Museum. the
— to give it its formal name — can now be explored in 360 degrees. We also used VR to bring the
back to life in Berlin’s natural history museum. Standing at 13 meters (42 feet), it’s one of the tallest dinosaurs that ever lived. It was twice as tall as today’s giraffes, and could easily put its head through a fourth floor window.
We worked with ecologists, paleontologists and biologists to put virtual skin and flesh on the preserved skeletons. From the size of the eye to the position of the snout and the bend of the neck, the texture and creases of the skin were all painstakingly recreated, and verified by a team of scientists. For the best experience, use a viewer like Google Cardboard to look the beast in the eye.
As well as the VR experiences, we’ve added plenty more artifacts and features for experts and armchair explorers alike:
Incredible images of
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
View the awesome
exhibition at the
’s ancient drawings of
Sea Monks and Sea Bishops
View 3,000 species on display in
one giant cabinet
or find out how our own predecessors may have
With Street View, walk around dinosaurs in New York, explore 30+ natural history museums from
and even go underwater with turtles in
The free collection opens today at
and through the Google Arts & Culture mobile app on
. And if you are a teacher, there are more than 20 new
waiting for you and your classroom to discover. We hope you enjoy this journey through the history of nature as much as we do.
Posted by Alan Noble, Director of Engineering, Google Australia
The power of professional learning
Monday, September 12, 2016
Behind every student who goes on to achieve great things is a teacher who has been a source of inspiration and encouragement.
At Google we know the power that a great teacher has to inspire the next generation of innovators and we’re proud to partner with the University of Adelaide on a new program to build skills in digital technologies in classrooms across Australia.
Associate Prof. Katrina Falkner from the University of Adelaide leading a Teacher PL session.
Based on our
successful collaboration with the University of Adelaide
, which has delivered more than 51,000 hours of professional learning online to more than 5,500 teachers across Australia, we’ve teamed up again to provide even more opportunities for professional development for teachers.
PL-in-a-Box supports professional learning (PL) of digital technologies in your school or community. These resources are designed to help deliver free professional learning sessions, workshops or events for digital technologies. Each PL packs provides up to 3 hours of content teachers to run their very own digital technologies workshop.
We have prepared PL packs in a variety of formats, including
around core digital technologies topics, such as visual programming, algorithms and maker spaces, and
packs associated with our free CSER MOOC courses
. There are even PL packs designed for broad year-bands across both primary and high school. To get started with these resources visit the
Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community & Outreach Manager
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