Google sponsoring “thousands” of women with vouchers for coding lessons

Google X VP Megan Smith

Google X VP Megan Smith

If you’re a woman in the tech industry and interested in learning coding, you can now apply to Google for vouchers for online lessons from c<>de school.

The initiative follows Google publishing a diversity report showing that only 30 percent of its employees are women, the company stating that this is “miles from where we want to be.” Google VP Megan Smith did reveal some progress, however, reporting that twice as many women were attending I/O this year compared to last year …  Read more

Google I/O schedule now live

Google I:O Schedule

Google’s annual I/O conference is a little over a month away and today the company has shed a little light on this year’s show by releasing its schedule. The overall theme of the event appears to be “design, develop and distribute,” so segments will most likely focus on these talking points. Things are set to start on June 25th at Moscone West in San Francisco. The first day of the show will include presentations about making your cloud apps faster, cross-platform design, an introduction to Polymer and an interactive Android fireside chat.

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Google integrates Google Wallet with Gmail for sending and receiving money

Following its I/O keynote address today, Google just announced on its commerce blog that it will soon be integrating Google send_money-Google-wallet-GmailWallet features into Gmail to allow users to send and receive money. The feature will be available to those with a Google Wallet account and will initially be available to users 18 and older in the US:

Google Wallet is now integrated with Gmail, so you can quickly and securely send money to friends and family directly within Gmail — even if they don’t have a Gmail address. It’s free to send money if your bank account is linked to Google Wallet or using your Google Wallet balance, and low fees apply to send money using your linked credit or debit card.

Google will be adding a new $ icon next to the paperclip icon for attachements that will allow users to “attach money” to messages in Gmail by simply entering the amount and clicking send.

Google noted that the feature will first only be available on the desktop, but that users can also send money through wallet.google.com on mobile devices.

Look for the feature to start rolling out in the coming weeks but earlier access will be granted to those that receive money from others using the feature. You can learn more about sending money with Gmail here.

New Hangouts coming to Gmail (optionally) starting today

Google today announced today that Google’s new hangouts service/experience  would be available in Gmail:

What does this mean for your Gmail? You now have the option to switch from the current version of chat to Hangouts. Simply click “Try it out” next to your chat list to switch to Hangouts and give your chat an instant facelift (literally!). You’ll now see the profile photos in the order of your most recent conversations. With Hangouts, you’ll also be able to quickly send messages, have video calls with up to ten people at once, and share photos. You can start a conversation with just one friend or even a whole group.

Google announces conversational Voice Search coming to desktop through Chrome

Google today announced that it is revamping the Google voice search feature available in Chrome. While users have always been able to search with their voice through Chrome, Google is attempting to make the service work more like it does through Google Search apps and Google Now on mobile devices.

Chrome will now include “conversational search” with a brand new interface that doesn’t require users to click in order to search with their voice. Like on mobile devices with Google Now, users will now be able to simple say “Google” in order to activate voice search.

Today, we previewed what this conversational experience will look like in Chrome on your desktops and laptops. Soon, you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer. Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.

The new interface, as pictured above from Google’s demo of the feature, is much like the voice search interface for Google Now on Android devices.

While not a full blown Google Now experience yet, the feature will allow users to pull up flight information, email, calendar entries and more by taking advantage of Gmail field trial features that some users have already opted in to try.

The new feature will be coming to Macs and PCs through Chrome soon.

Google also briefly showed off some new content coming to Google Now including new cards for Reminders, Music Albums, TV Shows, Books, Public Transit, and Video games rolling out today: Read more

Google+ Stream redesigned with three column view, intelligent hashtags, responsive design

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 1.31.14 PM

Google+ will receive a card-based interface redesign featuring a new three column view. The new interface is responsive to the user’s display size. The new multi-column view is customizable meaning you can toggle back to the previous single column view if you prefer.

Google+ will also begin rolling out intelligent hashtags for photos, meaning if you post a photo of the Eiffel Tower, Google+ can automatically recognize the subject and appropriately tag it for you.

Users will now be able to view related photos by clicking on the current photo and seeing related hashtags on the flip side of the photo. A video below highlighting the related hashtag feature is below.

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Google announces Hangouts messaging service coming to iOS, Android, and desktop today

Update: The apps are now live on Google Play and the App Store.

Google today launched its much rumored messaging service live on stage at its I/O keynote and announced the service would be coming to multiple platforms today. While some thought the service would be dubbed “Babel,” Google instead rolled out a standalone app called simply “Hangouts” that will be coming to iOS, Android and desktop later today.

Google execs provided a demo of the app running on Android today, but also gave us a glimpse of the iOS version as pictured above. The demo mostly focused on showing a list of conversations (not contacts) as well as one-on-one and group messaging, photo albums stored in the cloud, and the ability to start text conversations and video calls with contacts in one tap.

As for Gmail:

What does this mean for your Gmail? You now have the option to switch from the current version of chat to Hangouts. Simply click “Try it out” next to your chat list to switch to Hangouts and give your chat an instant facelift (literally!). You’ll now see the profile photos in the order of your most recent conversations. With Hangouts, you’ll also be able to quickly send messages, have video calls with up to ten people at once, and share photos. You can start a conversation with just one friend or even a whole group.

Google made a point of noting that conversations are stored and saved in the cloud, allowing users to have long-lasting conversations and browse a full history that dates back months or years. The app will unify and replace the Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and the Google+ Hangout apps that currently make up Google’s messaging services.

The service will be launching as a new standalone app called Hangouts for iOS devices, Android, and on the desktop some time today.

Google announces Google Play for Education launching this fall

Google today announced a new service called Google Play for Education that allows schools to easier find and distribute Google Play content to Android devices in schools.

The Google Play Education store will allow schools to search for content by subject matter and grade level and provide content that has been recommended by other educators. Google is teaming up with partners such as NASA and PBS for content but it will also begin accepting app submissions from developers this summer before the education store launches this fall.

Rather than using credit cards in an education environment, teachers will be able to purchase bulk quantities of apps and charge licenses against a balance from the school’s purchase order. The Google Play for Education service will also allow school’s that use Google Apps to instantly distribute an app to multiple devices in a school by setting up a Google Group

Google Play for Education will be launching this fall. You can learn more at https://developers.google.com/edu/.

Google announces Google Play Music ‘All Access’ streaming service, launching today for $9.99/month

Google just announced its much rumored new music service that it is calling Google Play Music “All Access” live on stage at its Google I/O event keynote presentation.

Google execs focused on showing off curated playlists but also made a note of pointing out a “radio” feature that will automatically create an endless radio station based on the song you’re currently listening to. The service will also allow users to search for a particular song or view the “playlist” of a radio station to remove unwanted songs.

The service also includes a feature called “Listen Now” that will provide quick access to recently listened to songs, customized radio stations based on your preferences, and recommendations for new releases from artists you like.

The service will be available on the web, tablets, and phones and cost users $9.99 per month with a 30 day free trial in the US. Those that sign up before the end of June will be able to get the subscription for just $7.99/month and Google said the service will land in other countries soon.