Monday, December 2, 2013 | 2:28 PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 | 2:38 PM
If you are like many Canadians you have already started researching online to kick off your holiday shopping, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday now a permanent part of the shopping landscape – this weekend is expected to be a busy one both online and in stores.
Can you believe that searches for Black Friday terms are actually surpassing boxing day? Nearly 60 per cent of Canadians are now going online to find out about Black Friday and Cyber Monday and believe them to be the most influential of the holiday shopping days.
So, who are the lucky people we’re shopping for? It may be no surprise that 95% of us are shopping for our family – and fully 50% of Canadians are shopping for that perfect toy to put under the tree to give Santa a hand in fulfilling holiday wishes.
Over the past week, we saw Canadians searching these top 10 toys for their wish lists:
- Rainbow Loom
- Disney Infinity
- LeapPad Ultra
- Lego Minecraft
- Furby Boom
- Vtech InnoTab 3
- Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo
- Rainbow Loom
- Sew Cool Sewing Machine
- Crayola Marker Maker
- Shimmer 'N Sparkle Cra-Z-Loom Bracelet Maker
Posted by Wendy Bairos, Google Canada Communications Team
Friday, November 22, 2013 | 9:39 AM
You don’t need to be besties with a Wizard to share an adventure in Middle-earth—just point your favorite browser togoo.gl/TheHobbit on your laptop, phone or tablet to check out “Journey through Middle-earth,” the latest Chrome Experiment.
Inspired by the upcoming motion picture "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Journey through Middle-earth” brings the locations and characters from the movie trilogy to life with a mix of modern web technologies. It was developed by North Kingdom in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
The immersive 3D graphics in “Journey through Middle-earth” were built with CSS3 and WebGL, which you might recognize from previous Chrome Experiments. But “Journey through Middle-earth” is the first Chrome Experiment designed to bring this beautiful, 3D experience to mobile, thanks to support for WebGL in Chrome for Android on devices with high-end graphics cards.
The rich audio effects and sound manipulation are delivered through the Web Audio API, which is now supported on both Chrome for Android and Chrome for iPhone and iPad. Although WebGL isn’t supported on iOS, Chrome users can still experience most of “Journey through Middle-earth” on their iPhones and iPads. We can’t wait to see what sort of rich experiences developers will build as modern web technologies become available on more types of devices.
Circle +Google Chrome to stay updated as more Middle-earth locations get released in the coming weeks. You can also check out the Chromium Blog and read the team’s technical case study if you feel like geeking out a bit more.
Adventure is a click away. Just watch out for the trolls!
Posted by Posted by Christos Apartoglou, Product Marketing Manager & Part-time Dragon-slayer
Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 9:41 AM
Cross-posted from the Official Android Blog. In Canada, you can find terrific news content from sources including The National Post, Toronto Star, CBC News & Sports, Canada.com, Huffington Post Canada, Maclean's, Chatelaine, Reader's Digest Canada, Canadian Living, House & Home, iVillage Canada, Le Journal de Montréal and Le Journal de Québec, among many more.
Staying up on the news can be a daunting task. You have to go to a different website or app for each of your favorite magazines, newspapers and blogs. One place to read and discover all of this would be a lot simpler.
Today we’re launching Google Play Newsstand, a new app for your Android phone or tablet which brings together all of your favorite news sources in one experience. Newsstand puts the news you care about most front and center and presents stories that interest you based on your tastes. The more you read the better it will get. You can subscribe to magazines, newspapers, blogs and news sites and we’ll format and optimize them all for reading on your tablet or phone. With the swipe of a finger, you can browse full length articles, with beautiful images, audio and video right inside the app. You can access these articles even when you’re offline or bookmark them to read later.
- Newspaper Subscriptions: Full-length content from some of the world’s top newspapers including The Australian, The Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, The National Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
- Magazines: Hundreds of HD magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, The Economist, Esquire, Fast Company, Forbes, Game Informer, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Shape, TIME, Vanity Fair and WIRED, from publishers like American Media Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, TIME Inc., and more.
- Blogs: Your favorite blogs like Apartment Therapy, Colossal, Cool Hunting, Flavorpill, Saveur Daily, TMZ and The Verge.
- News sites: Leading news sites like ABC News, The Atlantic, CBS Sports, CNET, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, The Guardian, NPR, Reuters, The Telegraph, and more.
If you’re in the US, Canada, UK or Australia, the Google Play Magazines app will be upgraded to Google Play Newsstand over the next few days. In all other countries, you can download the Play Newsstand app for your Android phone or tablet from Google Play. If you’re a Google Currents user, you can upgrade to Play Newsstand by downloading the new app. You’ll find all of your favorite news sources will be transferred and ready to read the minute you open it.
Google Play is all about bringing you great content on your phone and tablet. No matter what your interests, there’s something for everyone in Newsstand.
Posted by Mussie Shore, Product Manager for Google Play Newsstand
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 9:24 AM
Labels: Google Maps
One the best things about working at Parks Canada is the opportunity to share our fantastic national parks and national historic sites with Canadians and people around the world. And that’s what makes the collaboration between Parks Canada and Google Maps so exciting. Today, we’re inviting you to explore Canada’s cultural and natural heritage through the unique panoramic lens of Google Street View. From the dramatic mountain ranges of Banff National Park to the fortifications of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, it’s now possible to enjoy a virtual visit to some of Canada’s most iconic places.
Explore Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites
From planning a summer vacation to augmenting classroom lesson plans, the partnership between Parks Canada and Google will better connect Canadians to the amazing places and geography that defines this country. To take a Street View tour of a Parks Canada location, simply drag the “Pegman” over the map to reveal the blue-coloured Street View trajectories now ready for you to explore.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | 9:02 AM
My family had a small Canadian Tire franchise back in the day when your local Canadian Tire store was no more than a corner store, with a thousand products – hockey sticks to tire rims – jammed floor to ceiling on shelves so narrow you couldn’t squeeze past the next shopper.
I remember the day we received product catalogues on microfiche. That innovation dramatically reduced the time it took to look up product information to about... 5 minutes. Can you imagine waiting 5 minutes to get the results for a product search?
Today, the Internet is redefining the game for small businesses everywhere. Ninety-seven percent of Canadians who use the Internet—pretty much all of us—look online for local products and services. So it should come as no surprise that the impact on businesses of being online is huge.
Take for example The Scottish Lion, a purveyor of tartans, kilts and Highland wear in Halifax, Nova Scotia since 1972. 40 years is a good, long run for any business. But like many Canadian businesses, the economic downturn of the past few years hit it hard.
Innis Campbell, their managing director, described trying to weather the downturn like “being taken out at the knees.” But today, The Scottish Lion has become a thriving online business, crediting their investment in the digital space for turning the business around when others might simply have folded their tent.
It’s a challenge faced by many Canadian businesses – of all sizes – but the clear message is you can be a business of any size, in any part of the country, and succeed online.
It’s because of stories like The Scottish Lion, and other online success stories like Cassidy’s Flowers in Newmarket, Rampes & Balcons in Saint-Sauveur, Yogacara Studios in Whistler, and Tourism Canmore, that we’re proud to recognize five great Canadian communities with a 2013 Google eTown Award.
We worked with independent research firm IPSOS to analyze the online strength of local businesses in cities and towns across Canada. The winning cities range from rural communities to large city centres, from popular ski resorts to fast-growing suburban towns. In each, small businesses are using the web to grow and thrive in today’s increasingly connected world.
We hope these “digital capitals” are an inspiration to cities and businesses throughout Canada of what can be accomplished by embracing the opportunities of the web.
Congratulations to Canada’s 2013 eTowns!
Posted by Chris O’Neill, Managing Director, Google Canada
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 | 9:44 AM
Labels: Google Hangouts
What if getting help for a computer glitch, a leaky pipe, or a homework problem was as easy as clicking a button? What if you could connect via real-time video to a music teacher or a yoga instructor from the comfort of your home? What if you could get someone knowledgeable to get you “unstuck” when you really need it?
Today, we’re announcing Helpouts—a new way to get and give help over live video. Our goal is simple: help people help each other. We want to use the convenience and efficiency of the web to enable everyone, no matter where they are or what time it is, to easily connect with someone who can help.
Help might be a quick answer to a problem you’re having right now, like how to fix your garage door, or how to remove a computer virus; or it might be guidance completing a project, like building a deck. It might be learning a new skill, like how to speak conversational French or how to draw cartoons; or it might be general advice on how to improve your fitness or your writing (I could use this right now).
With Helpouts, you can choose who you get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews. You can connect instantly or book in advance. You can get help from individuals or from brands you already know and trust, like Sephora, One Medical, Weight Watchers, Redbeacon (a Home Depot company), andRosetta Stone. Once you’re in a Helpout, you can do more than just talk—you can share your computer screen, collaboratively edit a presentation, or record your Helpout. And if the experience doesn’t meet your expectations, we offer a full money back guarantee.
Today is just the beginning. We’re starting small and in a few categories. The number of people giving help on Helpouts and the type of help available will grow over time. Helpouts may not be suitable for every occasion, and it will take time to get used to interactions via real time video. We hope that the efficiency, convenience and global reach of Helpouts will make people’s lives easier in the long term.
We hope you’ll give Helpouts a try and give us your feedback through ratings and reviews, or talk to us on Google+,Twitter or Facebook. And if you’re interested in giving help on Helpouts yourself, let us know.
Posted by Udi Manber, VP Engineering