News and notes from Google Down Under
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
#ShareGood: Introducing YouTube Creators for Change in Australia
Friday, November 4, 2016
YouTube is a powerful force for positivity, inclusion, diversity, respect and love. However, we know that unfortunately, there are people who use Internet platforms including YouTube as a means to spread negativity and hate.
Our YouTube creators have long known the power of video to express themselves, encourage new perspectives, and inspire solidarity—think about online movements such as the
It Gets Better Project
, which brought support and global attention to the importance of tolerance.
A few months ago in London, we
the launch of YouTube Creators for Change, a global initiative to empower creators to act as role models and as forces for positive social change. From combating hate speech, to countering xenophobia and extremism, to simply making the case for greater tolerance and empathy toward others, these creators are helping generate positive social change with their global fan bases.
Didgeridoo player Jeremy Donovan, who also sat on a panel session at the YouTube creators bootcamp.
Today, at the
YouTube Pop-up Space Sydney
, we launched the Australian chapter of YouTube Creators for Change. Global Creator for Change ambassador
, along with emerging YouTube star
and Kosta Lucas from
People Against Violent Extremism
, participated in a bootcamp for social influencers from across Australia focusing on how to create videos responding to racism, extremism, violence, anti-refugee sentiment, and homophobia.
YouTube stars Natalie Tran and Jake Bley on a panel discussion with YouTube's Kristen Bowen.
We also announced a partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians and Vice to encourage Australians to use digital platforms to promote diversity and inclusivity and address issues relating to hate speech. To support and amplify ambassadors and emerging creators alike, we are committing US$1m globally in equipment and production grants as part of the Creators for Change program. Our efforts don’t stop here — we’ll also continue working with NGOs, schools, and media companies around the world to launch more local programs as part of Creators for Change. We recently introduced a program in France that brought together more than 700 participants who created 140 videos under the theme of fraternité.
In Germany, YouTube creators joined forces under #NichtEgal, a movement dedicated to unite Germans in countering online hate. And you can be a part of this movement right here in Australia with #ShareGood — we look forward to seeing your videos and posts to inspire solidarity and understanding. We hope these new programs and resources will continue making YouTube a place where anyone can have a voice and where anyone can use the power of video to help generate positive social change.
Samantha Yorke, Public Policy and Government Relations Counsel, Australia and New Zealand, recently watched Superwog’s
Uber vs Taxi
First ever YouTube Pop-up Space Sydney opens its doors at AFTRS
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
YouTube creators in Australia punch above their weight in terms of talent: with more than 30 homegrown channels that boast over a million subscribers, Australian creators are some of the most popular creative forces in the world. Some of today’s biggest superstars, like
, went from vlogging in his bedroom on his laptop in Perth to performing around the world promoting his Billboard-topping album.
For creators looking to bust out of their bedrooms and onto the world stage, we’ve got good news for you. From November 2 to 6, we’ll be hosting Australia’s first ever YouTube Pop-up Space in association with the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (
) in the Entertainment Quarter of Fox Studios.
Over the course of five days, creators will be able to shoot in multiple professional studios, with access to all the latest audiovisual and editing equipment to produce original and innovative digital video content for their own YouTube channels.
Rising Aussie creators such as
will be shooting new original content in the Space. Some creators will even be shooting in collaboration with others for the first time.
YouTube and AFTRS will be holding a variety of events and production workshops for creators, such as networking events, a business-building workshop, and a hands-on deep dive on Virtual Reality/360 videos.
On November 3, we’ll be kicking off the Australian YouTube
Creators for Change
program, featuring sessions with creators including
, and a bootcamp to help creators promote awareness, tolerance, and empathy among their YouTube communities.
We’re especially pleased to be working with a renowned institution like AFTRS to discover and foster the next generation of Aussie talent.
Unfortunately slots for shoots are already full up, but you can follow the action on social media at #YouTubeSpaceSYD and stay informed of the latest news about activities and events. If you’re a budding YouTube creator, you can find more YouTube creator resources at
and learn more about the YouTube Spaces across the world at
Posted by Felicity McVay, Head of YouTube Content Partnerships, Australia and New Zealand, who recently watched
Primitive Technology’s Spear Thrower
A data platform to help the homeless
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
How many people around Australia are experiencing homelessness or are at risk and looking for help - whether it’s food or shelter, health services or counseling support?
That’s a question the people at
asked back in January when they launched
, a free mobile website that connects people who are homeless or at risk with over 350,000 services nation-wide.
Ask Izzy was built using funds and support from Google, through the Google Impact Challenge, as well as
News Corporation Australia
. Its designers included people who have lived through being homeless, and the frontline workers who support them.
Google Australia & New Zealand managing director Jason Pellegrino, Infoxchange chief executive David Spriggs and Google.org director Jacquelline Fuller.
The free mobile site provides crucial information for people in need, whether it’s counselling or legal advice, or even just to a meal and shelter for the night.
When Ask Izzy
Infoxchange chief executive David Spriggs predicted it might have 100,000 users over a two-year period; instead it reached that number in two months, and to date it has enabled more than 200,000 anonymous searches for support. One of the comments from an early user was it had taken him two years on the street to work out what he could find out using Ask Izzy in minutes.
Launching Ask Izzy in January, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull spoke with people who consulted on the design of Ask Izzy.
The next step for Ask Izzy is to create a new open data platform that will discover exactly what support services people in need are searching for, and where. Google's charitable arm,
, last week
pledged another $500,000
in funding to Infoxchange to help build the platform. The data will help to inform service providers and policymakers so they can tailor services to specific communities.
But it goes beyond just data - with a detailed view of supply and demand across the country, Australia can begin to make systemic changes that will hopefully result in better outcomes for vulnerable people in our community.
Further, the open-data approach will foster innovation and encourage other organisations to become involved. Research from the
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
shows that there is a mismatch between the supply and demand of services, but we’ve never had the right tool to address this. Ask Izzy is that tool. The Ask Izzy open data platform will be launched in 2017 and will be publicly available.
Alan Noble, director of engineering, Google Australia
agencies adwords TV
Getting Aussie Business Online
Google App Engine
Google Apps for Business
Google Apps for Education
Google Art Project
Googlers and culture
Stupid Google employee tricks
Summer of Code
Give us feedback in our
Official Google Blog
Public Policy Blog
Lat Long Blog
Ads Developer Blog
Android Developers Blog