Google Friends Newsletter - January 2011

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Google Friends Newsletter

Jan 31, 2011, 9:01:54 PM1/31/11
to Google Friends
Greetings to our Google Friends. We hope you enjoy this month’s update
on our products and services.


Port your existing number to Google Voice

Google Voice helps you manage your communications by giving you more
control over your phones and voicemail, but until this week, you had
to get a new Google phone number in order use all of Google Voice’s
features. With Number Porting, existing Google Voice users can now use
their mobile numbers as their Google Voice numbers. This means you can
now use all of Google Voice’s features, like ringing multiple phones
at once, without having to change your number. To get started with
Number Porting, log in to your Google Voice account, visit the
Settings page and click on “Change / Port” next to your Google Voice
number. Be sure to read our blog post for more info about Number


Google Places with Hotpot App for the iPhone

Our local recommendation engine for Google Places, powered by you and
your friends, is now available for the iPhone. The Places with Hotpot
app makes it easy to rate places on the go and help you find places
near you, plus it personalizes your search results to give you the
best places for you. The more you rate, the more you’re sharing about
your tastes and the more we can give you personally tailored
recommendations. Find the Google Places app with Hotpot by searching
for Google Places in the App Store.

Doodle 4 Google: 2011

The 2011 Doodle 4 Google contest is now open for K-12 students in the
U.S. to redesign Google’s logo around the theme “What I’d like to do
someday...”. The winning student, chosen by Google employees and a
panel of guest judges, will have their design displayed on
for millions to see, and take home a $15,000 scholarship and a $25,000
technology grant for his or her school or after-school program. We’ll
also choose 40 regional finalists, whose artwork will be featured in a
special exhibition in partnership with the Whitney Museum of American
Art. This year, the contest is open to parents to register their
school-age children directly, and we’re working with the Boys & Girls
Clubs of America and Girls Scouts of the USA so kids in those
organizations can participate too. Educators at public, private and
home schools can also register their students.

Updated Google Translate Android app and Conversation Mode

The Google Translate Android app now features better dropdown boxes to
help select the languages you want to translate from and into, an
improved input box, and cleaner icons and layout. You can also try out
Conversation Mode, a new, experimental interface in alpha within
Google Translate that’s optimized to allow you to communicate fluidly
with a nearby person in another language. Conversation Mode is only
available for English and Spanish at the moment. To use it, press the
microphone for your language in the app and start speaking. Google
Translate will translate your speech and read the translation out
loud. Your conversation partner can then respond in their language,
and you’ll hear the translation spoken back to you.

New YouTube homepage

We gave a preview of a redesigned YouTube homepage in late 2010, and
now all logged-in users will see the new version when they visit
YouTube. The new homepage is designed to answer the question “What
should I watch today?” so there’s more focus on videos that matter to
you—including subscriptions, friends’ sharing and recommendations. You
can also filter your homepage to show only the latest uploads from
your subscriptions and get quick access to the inbox when you have new
messages or comments. If you’ve already watched a video, it will be
grayed out on your homepage—and you can remove any video with a simple


We’ve partnered with Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based center for
remembering the Holocaust's victims and survivors, to bring more than
130,000 images from their collections online, in full resolution. You
can find the images on Yad Vashem’s collections site or by searching
the web; we transcribed the text from many of the images with optical
character recognition to make them more findable across the Internet.
Add a personal story to a photo or document on Yad Vashem’s site by
clicking on the “share your thoughts” section.

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