Santa Tracker: ready for take-off

For the last 23 days the residents of the North Pole have been working day and night to help Santa Claus get ready for his big flight. And if you’ve stopped by Santa’s Village this month, you know the elves are coding, geography and dancing machines!

Now the time has come to #TrackSanta on his round-the-world mission with Donner, Cupid, Comet and Vixen (Rudolph and the other reindeer too). 

Starting today you can follow Kris Kringle around the world as he delivers presents to all the good boys and girls. Get a front-row seat to the show using Android, Google Maps or Google.com. You can also stream Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast.

Santa Tracker on devices

Happy holidays from the Google elves at the North Pole!

Santa Tracker: ready for take-off

For the last 23 days the residents of the North Pole have been working day and night to help Santa Claus get ready for his big flight. And if you’ve stopped by Santa’s Village this month, you know the elves are coding, geography and dancing machines!

Now the time has come to #TrackSanta on his round-the-world mission with Donner, Cupid, Comet and Vixen (Rudolph and the other reindeer too). 

Starting today you can follow Kris Kringle around the world as he delivers presents to all the good boys and girls. Get a front-row seat to the show using Android, Google Maps or Google.com. You can also stream Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast.

Santa Tracker on devices

Happy holidays from the Google elves at the North Pole!

Santa Tracker: ready for take-off

For the last 23 days the residents of the North Pole have been working day and night to help Santa Claus get ready for his big flight. And if you’ve stopped by Santa’s Village this month, you know the elves are coding, geography and dancing machines!

Now the time has come to #TrackSanta on his round-the-world mission with Donner, Cupid, Comet and Vixen (Rudolph and the other reindeer too). 

Starting today you can follow Kris Kringle around the world as he delivers presents to all the good boys and girls. Get a front-row seat to the show using Android, Google Maps or Google.com. You can also stream Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast.

Santa Tracker on devices

Happy holidays from the Google elves at the North Pole!

Santa Tracker: ready for take-off

For the last 23 days the residents of the North Pole have been working day and night to help Santa Claus get ready for his big flight. And if you’ve stopped by Santa’s Village this month, you know the elves are coding, geography and dancing machines!

Now the time has come to #TrackSanta on his round-the-world mission with Donner, Cupid, Comet and Vixen (Rudolph and the other reindeer too). 

Starting today you can follow Kris Kringle around the world as he delivers presents to all the good boys and girls. Get a front-row seat to the show using Android, Google Maps or Google.com. You can also stream Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast.

Santa Tracker on devices

Happy holidays from the Google elves at the North Pole!

Take a virtual tour of New York City’s iconic holiday windows

Ice skating bunny rabbits, Santa’s high tech command center, couture cotton candy dresses, the characters of “South Park” — these are just some of the wonders awaiting visitors to New York City’s magical holiday window displays.

Each year, more than 5 million people travel to Manhattan during the holiday season. Many of them brave the icy weather and chaotic holiday traffic to take in the displays lining Madison, Fifth Avenue and beyond.

Now for the first time, anyone from anywhere in the world can peer into New York City’s magical windows with Window Wonderland. Using your smartphone or computer, you can take a virtual tour of holiday windows from 18 stores, even if you can’t make the trip in person.

We’ve taken hundreds of high-resolution photos of each window and stitched them together with a new technique that creates a rich, life-like panorama — you’ll feel like you’re standing on the streets of Manhattan during the holidays, gazing at the windows as if you were walking next to them. If you have a virtual reality headset like Google Cardboard or Daydream, you can even be surrounded by the sounds and sights of the city street, taking in the storefront view alongside other onlookers.  

Barneys - Window Wonderland

Barneys New York window at 660 Madison Ave, New York, NY

Some windows let you enter a magical world: in Lord & Taylor’s Enchanted Forest, bunnies ice skate while raccoons fish on a frozen pond. Others are a chance to visit the museum — such as Barney’s, where artist Nick Cave takes on the issue of race and gender in sculpture. At Saks 5th Avenue, it’s runway meets holiday, where designers like Carolina Herrera, Marchesa and Jason Wu were commissioned to create bespoke couture gowns inspired by holiday treats like cotton candy, cake icing and peppermint sticks. We’ve captured displays from 17 stores in all: ABC Carpet and Home, American Girl, Barneys New York , Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Fendi, Henri Bendel, Lord & Taylor, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co. and Tory Burch.

At any point in your virtual walk, you can zoom in to see the details on these intricate displays, like gorillas peering out from a lush green jungle embellished by beads and flowers at Bergdorf Goodman. You can also listen to audio guides from the stores’ creative directors, as they describe the process and painstaking detail that goes into the displays. Or head over to the special Google shopping gift window to find the perfect presents for the special people in your life.

With all of the artistry and time that goes into creating these holiday windows, we want to open them up to the whole world. So go ahead, walk down the wide avenues of Manhattan, peer into Santa’s high-tech communications command center at Macy’s flagship store, imagine sitting atop the 9 ½ foot tall Jackalope at Bergdorf Goodman, take in all the sights and sounds — and enjoy the magic of a New York holiday.

Happy Holidays from Project Fi

‘Twas four weeks before New Year’s, when all through the land,

Project Fi subscribers were chatting, Pixel or Nexus in hand

As they bustled about in their holiday scurry,

Multiple networks had them covered, there was no need to worry

With data credits racked up, bills charged very rationally,

There’s savings to fill stockings and take trips with Fi internationally.

From hot chocolate to ice skating, joyous time with their clans,

They looked forward to bonding — and maybe a new member for their group plans!

But before the celebrations begin, with friends far and near, 

Fi would like to say thanks, and help spread the cheer:

Four wonderlands scattered with treats and surprises, 

Holiday fun for Fi subscribers, of all shapes and all sizes.

Enjoy this small gift, wrapped under the tree,

Click below to get started — let us know what you see!

Two new (and one tried-and-true) ways to get through turkey day with Google Maps

We’re just days away from Thanksgiving – the busiest American travel holiday of the year. Just in time for the mad dash to grandma’s house or your bestie’s friendsgiving across town, we’ve got two new and one tried-and-true way for Google Maps to get you where you’re going without the holiday traffic hassle.

Beat event traffic with real-world info 

If you spend Thanksgiving in Chicago, Detroit, Houston or New York City then the local Thanksgiving Day parades are likely a popular pre-feast activity. But what often comes with the fun is gridlock, roadblocks, and longer commute times. This year we’ve incorporated the road closures, transit schedule changes, and detours associated with the parades into Google Maps in each of these cities. Now those headed to the parade – or trying to avoid it – will see the parade route visualized on the map and Google Maps navigation will take into account the real-life local changes when navigating you around these cities.

       

Beat the gridlock with real-time traffic alerts and re-routing

Don’t live in one of those cities? Don’t worry. We’ve already told you the best and worst times to leave for and return from your Thanksgiving road trips and once you’re on your way we’ll keep you on track with traffic alerts and real-time rerouting. Just input your destination and you get alerted about upcoming traffic conditions. While on the road, you’ll get a heads up if congestion lies ahead along with an estimate of how long the delay will be. When a faster alternative route is available, Google Maps will suggest it to you.

Real-time Traffic

Beat the crowds with Popular Times in real-time 

We looked at historical Google Maps data to determine the top five trending locations during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s safe to say that if you’re planning to stop by a ham shop, outlet mall, pie shop, electronics store, or Christmas tree lot around Thanksgiving, you’ll run into throngs of last minute shoppers and deal hunters just like yourself. So just in time for holiday hordes, we’ve added a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now to help you decide when to go or whether you should head somewhere else.

 

If you’re dreading a holiday headache, let Google Maps be your Thanksgiving guide to a hassle free holiday.

Two new (and one tried-and-true) ways to get through turkey day with Google Maps

We’re just days away from Thanksgiving – the busiest American travel holiday of the year. Just in time for the mad dash to grandma’s house or your bestie’s friendsgiving across town, we’ve got two new and one tried-and-true way for Google Maps to get you where you’re going without the holiday traffic hassle.

Beat event traffic with real-world info 

If you spend Thanksgiving in Chicago, Detroit, Houston or New York City then the local Thanksgiving Day parades are likely a popular pre-feast activity. But what often comes with the fun is gridlock, roadblocks, and longer commute times. This year we’ve incorporated the road closures, transit schedule changes, and detours associated with the parades into Google Maps in each of these cities. Now those headed to the parade – or trying to avoid it – will see the parade route visualized on the map and Google Maps navigation will take into account the real-life local changes when navigating you around these cities.

       

Beat the gridlock with real-time traffic alerts and re-routing

Don’t live in one of those cities? Don’t worry. We’ve already told you the best and worst times to leave for and return from your Thanksgiving road trips and once you’re on your way we’ll keep you on track with traffic alerts and real-time rerouting. Just input your destination and you get alerted about upcoming traffic conditions. While on the road, you’ll get a heads up if congestion lies ahead along with an estimate of how long the delay will be. When a faster alternative route is available, Google Maps will suggest it to you.

Real-time Traffic

Beat the crowds with Popular Times in real-time 

We looked at historical Google Maps data to determine the top five trending locations during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s safe to say that if you’re planning to stop by a ham shop, outlet mall, pie shop, electronics store, or Christmas tree lot around Thanksgiving, you’ll run into throngs of last minute shoppers and deal hunters just like yourself. So just in time for holiday hordes, we’ve added a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now to help you decide when to go or whether you should head somewhere else.

 

If you’re dreading a holiday headache, let Google Maps be your Thanksgiving guide to a hassle free holiday.

“Stranger Things” are happening in Google Allo

Mind control. Demogorgons. Barb. This Halloween, there’s no question we’ll see people out in costume as characters from this summer’s addictive Netflix original series, “Stranger Things.” To help bring you back into the ‘80s supernatural mindset, we’re partnering with Netflix to bring the Upside Down right to your chats in Google Allo, our smart messaging app for Android and iOS.

A new “Stranger Things” sticker pack is now available for download in Google Allo, featuring exclusive artwork inspired by the show. So whether you’re researching how to create a DIY Eleven costume with friends or debating whether Barb will reappear in season two, we got you covered.

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These stickers aren’t the only new thing in Google Allo this week. You can now reply to messages directly from your notifications on Android and iOS. So if you’re cooking up a French Onion Barb, you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to reply back to friends.

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We’ve also added support for Android N so you can take advantage of its features. With split-screen mode you can now chat with friends and rewatch season one at the same time. App shortcuts help you quickly start a new conversation from the home screen. And for iOS users, we’ve brought the ability to doodle on your photos to iOS, so you can craft a masterpiece before sharing in Google Allo.

Beware the flickering lights, and have a safe and happy Halloween!

P.S. Google Allo will help you unlock your powers today in New York City. Stay tuned to Google on Twitter for a hint on where the drop-off from Hawkins National Laboratories will take place.

Live the Day of the Dead

Mexican poet Octavio Paz once wrote, “Our cult of death is also our cult of life.” Those words capture the spirit with which Mexicans celebrate Día de Muertos. On November 1 and 2, families in Mexico honor those who have departed, setting up colorful altars at home and in public places with the images of loved ones. These ancestors are greeted with their favorite foods, drinks, sugar skulls, colored paper, marigold flowers, candles and incense. It’s a true celebration of culture and family — and has even been declared “Intangible Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO.

Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life (English Subtitles)

Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life (English Subtitles)

Today, we want to invite everyone to experience Mexico’s tradition of paying tribute to life, through the Day of the Dead exhibition on Google Arts & Culture. The content is curated by 10 cultural organizations from Mexico, Peru and the United States and explores the Pre-Columbian roots of this festivity, its many transformations through history and its contemporary manifestations as told by pieces of archaeology, folk art, prints, paintings, sculptures, street art and many other artforms. The collection includes over 500 artworks and artifacts, 20 exhibits, 11 Street View virtual tours through cemeteries and museums and two guided tours that users can experience with a Cardboard viewer. A Google Expedition also allows teachers around the world to take their classes on a virtual field trip through the history of the Day of the Dead.

Start the exhibition online at g.co/diademuertos or download the Google Arts & Culture app for iOS or Android to dive into the ancient roots of the Day of the Dead through codices and sculptures.  You can explore the different representations of death in folk art pieces from all over the country; savor the paintings of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and learn about Jose Guadalupe Posada, Mexico’s most famous illustrator and father of the iconic Catrina.

If you’re new to this tradition, get to know the elements that make up an Offering; enjoy the calaveras crafted by the legendary family Linares, visit the colossal skulls made by Mexican artisans for the 2015 James Bond movie, Spectre and even take a stroll through the San Andrés Mixquic’s cemetery during Día de Muertos.

Whichever route you choose, we invite you to explore death as a celebration of life.