Sign in to sites faster and personalize your lock screen

We’re always finding ways to make using Chromebooks as seamless as possible. Today, with our latest Chrome OS release, we’re introducing a faster sign-in experience as well as personalized lock screens. 

And in case you missed it, we’ll share the exciting new Chromebooks that were recently announced at CES 2021.

Faster and easier web sign-in

Forget the hassle of typing in a long password or trying to remember which one you use for a specific online account. Now you can securely sign in to websites with the PIN or fingerprint you’ve set up to unlock your Chromebook with our new Web Authentication (WebAuthn) feature. Websites that support WebAuthn will let you use your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID—if your Chromebook has a fingerprint reader—instead of the password you’ve set for the website. And if you use 2-Step Verification to sign-in, your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID can be used as the second factor, so you no longer need to pull out your security key or phone to authenticate.

To get started, sign in to a supported website like Dropbox, GitHub or Okta, and you’ll be prompted to switch to using WebAuthn for future sign-ins.

Image showing a web page with the WebAuthn tool pulled up. A pop-up on the screen says "verify your identity" and has spaces for numbers to be entered.

Beautify your space with a personalized lock screen

The Chrome OS screen saver lets you transform your Chromebook’s lock screen into a personalized smart display. Show off your favorite photo album from Google Photos or pick from hundreds of art gallery images. You can use your lock screen to check information like the current weather and what music is playing; you’ll also be able to pause a track or skip songs without unlocking your device. 

Go to your Chrome OS Settings  and select Personalization > Screen saver to turn it on now.

Image shows an Android tablet next to an Android tablet pen. On the screen is a photo of a mountain and behind it is a pink-hued sunset.

ICYMI: New Chromebooks announced at CES 2021 

Image showing three laptops.

From left to right: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 and Acer Chromebook Spin 514

Our partners, Acer, ASUS and Samsung, introduced five new Chromebooks earlier this month: The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 are among the first AMD Ryzen Chromebooks in the market and deliver great performance for work and play at an affordable price. There’s also the ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 and the ASUS Chromebook CX9, which are some of the first Chromebooks to come with the latest 11th generation Intel processors, so they’re a powerful option for working or streaming video. And the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 is the first Chromebook to feature a QLED display; it has a thin, light design and comes in Fiesta Red and Mercury Gray. 

That’s all for now—but check back here in March when we’ll have more news about what’s coming to Chromebooks.

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Pixel artists take time to refresh, reflect and create

For Tim Kellner, a nomadic photographer and filmmaker in the program, the COVID-19 pandemic led to  taking a step back from his art. “Quarantine gave me time to think more deeply about the types of things I wanted to create,” he says. “I was surprised after that break to feel a drive to create again that I hadn’t felt for a few years.”

Tim is one of Google Pixel’s Creator Labs artists who’s been exploring the side effects of spending more time alone. Creator Labs is an incubator for emerging photographers, directors and YouTubers that launched last winter, pre-pandemic. All nine of the program’s recurring artists pivoted to working virtually with us this past summer.  

Image showing a person standing in a desert at dusk; the sky is dark blue. A small ping light is shining around him while he holds a lit up object in his hand.

Tim Kellner

Armed with the Pixel 5 and their imaginations, the artists set out to create work grounded in social impact and cultural narrative (captured in a COVID-safe way, of course). 

One theme all of the current Creator Labs artists are embracing is the idea of space. Los Angeles-based Creator Labs veteran Glassface has been exploring isolation and mental health throughout his tenure in the program. “We’re all going through a mass shared traumatic experience right now. It feels like a really necessary time for meaningful art. I’ve been able to hone in on the art and music I want to be making, and I’ve been reminded of why I create in the first place,” Glassface says. “I think art can be a guiding light during difficult times like right now, and that’s informed and inspired my approach heavily. I’m taking a lot more risks and only putting my energy into the creative projects that mean the most to me.”

Image showing a person sitting close to the camera, looking up at the sky and at a white house.

Glassface

New York-based program-newcomer,Andre Wagner, like Tim, decided to turn the camera on himself “I’m always making self portraits but something about this time in particular led me to putting more focus on myself as the subject matter. There have definitely been surprises, and for me that’s needed because it helps sustain the effort.”

A black and white image showing a person sitting on a bench in between two trees. The person is sitting on top of the back of the bench looking up at the trees.

Andre Wagner

Other self portraits celebrated the artists’ heritage, including Los Angeles-based photographers June Canedo and Andrew Thomas Huang. June photographed herself wearing an embroidered handkerchief, representing her family’s history of domestic work, while Andrew’s photos pay homage to the Chinese Zodiac—with a Sci-Fi twist. 

Image showing a person with their back to the camera. There's a kerchief in their hair.

June Canedo

Creator Labs also includes artists Mayan Toledano, Kennedi Carter, Natalia Mantini and Anthony Prince Leslie. You can find their work on Pixel’s Instagram page.

Image showing a person wearing an ornate blue and green suit against a blue green background. They're wearing an intricate mask and holding up their hand, which is painted blue.

Andrew Thomas Huang

The work of our Creator Labs artists is a reminder for all of us that isolation can have a silver lining—in this case, giving us more space to think, reflect, refresh and create. 

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The Apple TV app is on its way to Chromecast with Google TV

As a quick follow-up to welcoming Apple Music to Google smart speakers and displays, we’ll be bringing more of your favorite entertainment into one place with the launch of the Apple TV app on the all-new Chromecast with Google TV. With the addition of the Apple TV app, Chromecast with Google TV users can access Apple TV+ (you’ll need a paid subscription). This makes the Chromecast with Google TV one of the only streaming devices with all the major video subscriptions.

As an Apple TV+ subscriber, you can tune into award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries from the world’s most creative storytellers. This includes titles like “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show,” “Defending Jacob,” “Greyhound” and “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.” Also on the Apple TV app, you can access your library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple, as well as enjoy personalized and curated recommendations and Apple TV channels. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels

With Google TV, you’ll be able to see Apple Originals in your personalized recommendations and search results, making it even easier to find your favorite shows and movies. And, you’ll be able to save them to your Watchlist to catch up on later.

We will roll out the Apple TV app on Chromecast with Google TV early next year, and even more devices powered by Android TV OS in the future.

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5 tips to tailor your Google TV recommendations

Showverload — noun

Show-ver-load — shō-vər-lōd

Definition of showverload

The feeling that overcomes you when you finally sit down to watch television and are faced with too many options. 

Most of us have experienced the feeling defined above. So we built Google TV to help you easily find what to watch and soothe your showverload with recommendations tailored for you. You can find these personalized recommendations in the For You, Movies and Shows tabs, or when you search with Google Assistant.

To provide you with relevant shows and movies, Google TV factors in your watch history, your interests and your streaming services. But you know you best, so we built tools into Google TV to help you tweak your own preferences.  Do you like all sci-fi shows or just the ones with aliens? Are you an action movies buff or more into date night rom-coms? Here are five ways to tailor your Google TV experience for you:

1.Update your streaming services.  Subscribed to a new service? Check in Settings to make sure you’ve added it to your list of streaming services so you can start seeing recommendations from your newest app.

update your streaming services

Add your streaming services in Settings.

2. Use the Watchlist. Google TV uses the shows and movies on your Watchlist to learn what you like to watch. Teach Google what you like by clicking on a title to add it to your Watchlist to save it for later, or look up a hot new show on Google Search and add it to your Watchlist right from your search results so it’s on your TV when you get home.

Add to your watchlist

Watchlist shows and movies to help Google TV learn your interests.

3. Mark what you’ve watched. If you come across a movie or show you’ve seen and loved, click on the title and mark “Watched it.” Google TV will then recommend other movies and shows based on your watch history.

Mark what you've watched

Mark what you’ve watched to get related recommendations.

4. Rate movies and shows. Visit the details page of any movie or show, or long press on any recommendation to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Google TV will use your input to figure out your preferences.

Rate movies and shows

Rate what you watch to help Google TV learn your interests

5. Tune your recommendations. Starting this week, you can help train Google TV on the big screen to give you better recommendations by sharing your preferences. In Settings, click “Content Preferences” and quickly rate a series of movies and shows to instantly refresh your recommendations. This feature will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

Fine tune recommendations

Fine tune your recommendations for an instant refresh of your “For you” tab

Google TV is currently available on the Chromecast with Google TV, and, if you prefer your big screen hits on the little screen, get the Google TV mobile app for Android phones and tablets in the U.S. While you won’t find the ability to rate and tune recommendations in the Google TV mobile app, all the tips here will work across your devices. When you use these tips, your preferences will update anywhere you use your Google account. Enjoy all the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google. 

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Get creative with Chromebooks

When inspiration strikes, you can turn to Chromebook to get creative. To help you get started on artistic hobbies, we’re explaining how simple it is to draw, edit photos, make movies, animate and design on Chromebook—thanks to creativity apps and new Perks. We’re also showcasing new built-in wallpapers that were designed by professional artists using a Chromebook and stylus. Plus, recent software updates for Chromebook styluses make writing or drawing feel like you’re putting real pen to paper.

Up the contrast, tweak the brightness

Load your photos on Chromebook and adjust the lighting and saturation to make your nature photography look its best. Access your photos on your Chromebook through Google Photos, an SD card, an external hard drive—or wherever you have your pictures stored. 

For simple editing, adjust images with the built-in gallery app on Chromebooks, which we recently improved with intuitive crop, rescaling and lighting features. 

We improved the built-in gallery app on Chromebooks for simple photo editing.

We improved the built-in gallery app on Chromebooks for simple photo editing.

For more advanced editing, Chromebooks also support Adobe Lightroom, Photopea, BeFunky and more. Photopea, for instance, lets you import PSDs, Sketch Files and .XCF files, edit them and save them back to your local hard drive right from the web.

Apps like Adobe Lightroom make it easy to edit photos on Chromebooks.

Apps like Adobe Lightroom make it easy to edit photos on Chromebooks.

Your inner videographer

Whether you’re making a short film or documenting a family milestone, you can stitch together and create video content on a Chromebook. Chromebooks support easy-to-use video editing software like WeVideo and Kapwing. You can also use Clipchamp to create, edit and post videos on social media easily.

Edit videos, create custom frames and add audio on a timeline with Clipchamp.

Edit videos, create custom frames and add audio on a timeline with Clipchamp.

Design, animate, illustrate 

You can channel your inner Picasso when using your Chromebook. Build joyful animations with Adobe Spark, create professional and easy-to-share designs with Canva or Figma, and bring your creative vision to life with sketching apps like ArtFlow and Concepts.

Chromebooks enable you to design in the cloud, with tools like Adobe Spark.

Chromebooks enable you to design in the cloud, with tools like Adobe Spark.

Visit our website to find more apps that help you express your creativity on Chromebooks. 

Kickstart your creativity on Chromebook today with Perks 

Chromebook users get access to special deals on apps—which we call “Perks.” We just launched new creativity perks to encourage people to try out some great photo editing, video editing and design apps. The new Perks include a few months of free premium access to WeVideo, Adobe Spark, Canva and more. On your Chromebook, visit chromebook.com/perks to redeem these benefits and kickstart your creativity. 

A bundle of creativity offers are available to Chromebook users today. *Terms apply.

A bundle of creativity offers are available to Chromebook users today.

*Terms apply.

Wallpapers built on Chromebook, for Chromebook

Chromebooks are suited for people who have creative hobbies, and for people who are artistic in their day jobs. To explore the creative potential of Chromebooks, our team worked with Dutch artist Rick Berkelmans, who runs a design studio in the Netherlands and recently began exploring digital illustration on Chromebook. Rick used the built-in Chrome Canvas app with a stylus to design wallpapers just for Chromebooks, using a Chromebook. 

Check out a behind the scenes look into Rick’s studio and his creative process with Chromebook:

Wallpapers built on Chromebook, for Chromebook
10:25

Wallpapers built on Chromebook, for Chromebook

Artist Rick Berkelmans runs a one-man design studio in the Netherlands called Hedof. Dive into his creative space and hear what inspires him as an illustrator and how he’s used a Chromebook for digital illustration.

Now, anyone whose device has the latest Chrome OS update can right click their home screen and choose “Set wallpaper” to access Rick’s designs.

An example of one of Rick’s new wallpapers, built-in with the new Chrome OS update.

An example of one of Rick’s new wallpapers, built-in with the new Chrome OS update.

Smooth drawing and natural handwriting

Finally, we recently improved the Chromebook on-screen keyboard for stylus by strengthening on-device handwriting recognition. This makes the on-screen keyboard better at recognizing different types of handwriting and annotations. So when you finish your next masterpiece and want to email it to a friend, you can do it all without putting down your stylus.

The Chromebook on-screen keyboard has evolved to enable natural annotations with a stylus.

The Chromebook on-screen keyboard has evolved to enable natural annotations with a stylus.

When you write or draw with a stylus on Chromebook, it feels as natural as using real pen and paper. Look out for more stylus and handwriting updates soon.

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The U.K.’s top nostalgic films: Access now on Pixel’s 5G

With so many countries now returning to various forms of lock down, and winter steadily drawing in, many of us are turning to our favorite films and movie moments to find some familiarity in a time of uncertainty. 

In other words, we’re embracing nostalgia.

And why not? The movies we love are usually steeped in happy memories, attached to dreamy locations or feature music that temporarily transports us out of the present moment. They bring us joy and a sense of change, breaking up some of the monotony of life in lock down.

We asked Dr. Wing Yee Cheung, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Winchester, about this, and learned that films are a great way to relive memories of happier times. “Movies are embedded with sensory memories of when we first watched them and whom we watched them with,” she writes. “Sensory inputs and social interactions aretwo key triggers of nostalgia. Watching these can be a way to walk down memory lane and reminisce [about] the way life used to be, what we used to do, and the people surrounding us.”

And because it’s the season of giving, we have our own gift for you: If you’re in the U.K., you can download classic films, such as “Four Weddings and a Funeral” or “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” all from a unique Google Map, now until Dec. 10. Transport yourself to a world of nostalgia by searching the map for symbols that represent the films in relevant locations. If you find one, you’ll receive a code to rediscover and enjoy the movie in Google Play*1

Image showing Four Weddings and a Funeral on a Pixel phone.

Anyone in the U.K. can take part, regardless of what type of phone you have—but of course if you do happen to own a new Pixel 5G-enabled device, you’ll be able to start your viewing party in a matter of seconds1. Thanks to movies on-demand combined with the technology of 5G networks2, you can choose your film, download1 it and settle in on the couch, all while the popcorn is still warm. Currently, 5G2 is one of the fastest ways to download a movie on any device. Both Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a with 5G2 enable you to download a film in seconds1. Whether you’re curled up on your sofa, pottering around the house, or outside on a walk, Pixel with 5G2 gives you access to the stories and characters you know and love, on the go; the speed of a 5G2 device immediately transports you to where you want to be.

So let’s lean into the nostalgia. As Dr. Cheung notes, it actually helps us cope with uncertainty: “Immersing ourselves in nostalgic moments is not about hiding our heads in the past. On the contrary, it can create new memories which can feed into future nostalgic experiences.”

It’s a great way to spend lock down with your family: Watching much-loved classics is a natural way for parents to share their experiences with their children and to make new memories together. And even if you’re physically on your own, you can use Google Duo on Pixel 5 to share your screen and watch your favorites with socially distant family and friends3

“An old movie that makes us feel nostalgia can inject us with a complex range of emotions,” concludes Dr. Cheung. “We feel sentimental, predominantly happy, but with a tinge of longing.” And that’s something we can probably all relate to right now. 

*Offer begins on 25th November 25, 2020 and ends 10th December 10, 2020.  Limited number of codes available. Subject to availability. Terms Apply. See here for full terms. 

1.  Testing based on download speeds for content file sizes between 449MB and 749MB at off-peak times. Average download time was twenty seconds or less. Download speed depends upon many factors, such as file size, content provider and carrier network connection and capabilities. Testing conducted by Google on pre-production hardware in the UK in August 2020. Actual download speeds may be slower.  

2. Requires a 5G data plan (sold separately).  5G service and roaming not available on all carrier networks or in all areas and may vary by country. Contact carrier for details about current 5G network performance, compatibility, and availability. Phone connects to 5G networks but, 5G service, speed and performance depend on many factors including, but not limited to, carrier network capabilities, device configuration and capabilities, network traffic, location, signal strength and signal obstruction. Actual results may vary. Some features not available in all areas. Data rates may apply. See g.co/pixel/networkinfo for info.

3. Requires a Google Duo account. Screen sharing not available on group calls.  Requires Wi-Fi or 5G internet connection.Not available on all apps and content. Data rates may apply. 5G service, speed and performance depend on many factors including, but not limited to, carrier network capabilities, device configuration and capabilities, network traffic, location, signal strength, and signal obstruction.

*Promotional code offer is provided by Google Commerce Limited (Google) for use on Google  Play Store UK only, and subject to the following terms. Offer begins on 25th November 2020 and ends 10th December, 2020 (‘Offer Period’). One (1) promotional code per user per film release, and up to a maximum of five (5) promotional codes per User during the Offer Period. Limited number of codes available. Subject to availability.

Available only to Users 18 or older with a delivery and billing address in the United Kingdom. Users must have internet access and must have or add a form of payment at checkout . Promotional codes cannot be used with Guest checkout, Users must be signed-in to their Google account to redeem the code. 

Promotional codes can be redeemed by visiting play.google.com/redeem or the Google Play Store app and entering the 16 digit code to receive a £5 or £10 discount for purchase or rental of any product on the Google Play Store UK. The discount will be applied at checkout. Promotional code must be redeemed by 31st December, 2021 or it will expire. Promotional codes may only be used once and may not be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Any unused promotional balance will be applied to the associated Google account. Users may continue to use the unused promotional balance for Google Play purchases until such balance is £0, or any remaining promotional balance expires. Promotional codes are a discount off price for up to the promotional amount, are for one-time use only, cannot be transferred to other users, are not reloadable, cannot be exchanged for cash. Google and its third party partners if applicable, are not liable for lost or stolen promotional codes, or for expired promotional codes that are not redeemed within the redemption period. Terms subject to applicable laws. Void where prohibited.

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“The Mandalorian” in AR? This is the way.

In a galaxy far, far away, the Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. But you don’t need a tracking fob to explore the world of the hit STAR WARS streaming series. Google and Lucasfilm have teamed up to bring iconic moments from the first season of “The Mandalorian” to life with “The Mandalorian” AR Experience (available on the Play Store for 5G Google Pixels and other select 5G Android phones) as fans follow the show’s second season. (Check your phone to see if it meets app requirements.)

Animated GIF showing a person's hand holding a Pixel phone while using the Mandalorian AR app.

From dinosaurs to astronauts, Google has been bringing objects and creatures to life with augmented reality. Now, people using compatible Android 5G devices can interact with heroes from the Mandalorian in their own space.

“The Mandalorian” AR Experience puts you in the shoes of a bounty hunter following the trail of Mando himself, Din Djarin and the Child. Explore the world of “The Mandalorian,” interact with characters in augmented reality and capture your very own scenes to share with friends.

To create this original experience, Google, Disney and Lucasfilm worked together to imagine a next-generation augmented reality app optimized for 5G devices. Our teams collaborated to build hyper-detailed models and life-like animations—all while packing scenes with fun surprises.

UsingARCore,Google’s developer platform for building augmented reality experiences, we created scenes that interact with your environment and respond to your surroundings. You can discover and unlock even more effects based on your actions. And thanks to the new ARCore Depth API, we also enabled occlusion, allowing 3D scenes to blend more naturally with our world.

Animated GIF showing the character the Mandalorian in AR standing in someone's kitchen on the screen of a Pixel phone.

New content will keep rolling out in the app each week onMando Mondays, so stay tuned—and Pixel owners should keep an eye out for additional exclusive content outside of the app as well.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & ™ 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Behind the scenes with a Pixel camera product manager

Pixels have always been known for their incredible cameras. The recently-launched Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 are no exception, and include new features like Night Sight in Portrait Mode and Cinematic Pan. 

Anyone can enjoy these new capabilities—or at the very least, the photos they produce. But we thought photography buff and Pixel Camera product manager Isaac Reynolds was best-suited to take us inside what’s new, and even let us in on his photo and video background.

What originally got you into photography?

I wish I remembered! When I scroll way back in Google Photos, I can see I photographed my first airshow at an air force base near Seattle in 2008. That desire to remember special moments beautifully and permanently stays with me today. Since then I’ve gotten into videography as well. It’s so much more challenging and time-consuming, but more rewarding and flexible, creatively. 

What subjects and styles do you like?

Most of my photos are landscapes, since I go on a lot of scenic drives and camping trips. Some of the photos I love the most were taken just pulling over on the side of the road when the conditions were right. Other times I go out of my way at sunrise or sunset to be in the right place at the right time. And I still love airshows.

  • Pixel portrait

    A selection of photos Isaac took with his Pixel. 

  • Pixel landscape

    A selection of photos Isaac took with his Pixel. 

  • Pixel photo

    A selection of photos Isaac took with his Pixel. 

  • Pixel photo

    A selection of photos Isaac took with his Pixel. 

  • Pixel photo

    A selection of photos Isaac took with his Pixel. 

What’s your favorite new feature on the Pixel Camera?

I’m most excited about the video quality on these phones and all of the work we did to make that happen. Cinematic Pan is my personal favorite feature. Fused Video Stabilization on Pixel has always been excellent for correcting shaky hands, but we learned that pros use it as a creative tool more than corrective. Cinematic Pan is designed to allow for specific motions, the same way the pros use rails and dollies in Hollywood to move precisely—but without the equipment and expense.

How were you able to make such big improvements to video quality?

We really started from the basics, looking at fundamental quality improvements. Then we watched videos we loved, like blockbuster movies, and brought in a professional videographer to learn more about what makes the difference between professional and casual content. Cinematic Pan is the result of that investigation. 

It’s also really helped us improve the fundamentals. The exposures are more dramatic, with richer, more accurate colors and tones. Video is also smoother, even in the new 4K60 mode, which is 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, that we introduced for the first time on Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5. This means you can enjoy the creative options of 60 frames per second at the same time as the enhanced quality of 4K in some video modes on the new Pixel phones. 

We’ve also been able to bring smoother video back to Pixel 3 and newer phones, so if you have an earlier generation Pixel, it should be a better tool for you soon. 

Pixel Portrait Mode has been incredibly popular since it launched. How were you able to build on it?

Portrait Mode is definitely super popular; another popular feature is Night Sight, which we introduced in 2018, so people could take beautiful photos even in dimly lit settings. So we thought—why not combine them? That’s precisely what we did with Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5. You can open Portrait and in very low light and Night Sight technology will automatically activate to give you incredible low-light portraits.

I’m also really excited about Portrait Light, which we just introduced. We learned from our users that great lighting is key to great portraits, and bad lighting is one of the most common reasons to discard one. So we added Portrait Light, which automatically improves the lighting in all camera modes without the photographer needing to do anything. Then you can edit that photo later in Google Photos to create even more dramatic or flattering lighting. You can also do the same with any photo, even if it was taken decades ago, or with another camera. 

Do you have any “insider tips” for folks who use Pixel Camera?

I would say start taking advantage of Time Lapse for hand-held capture. It runs stabilization, so it’s great for handheld shots. And while you’re recording in the sped up Time Lapse speed, you can toggle back “normal speed” at any point, so you can easily capture dialog or important moments more naturally. And it can turn what would be a two-minute video into something under 20 seconds that’s perfect for posting on social media.

In my experience, there are some situations that are perfect for handheld Time Lapse shots: unwrapping gifts, cutting a birthday cake, cooking, hiking or skateboarding, driving winding roads, skiing, pedestrians flowing across busy streets, taking off or landing in an airplane and feeding a toddler. 

What do you think the future holds for smartphone cameras?

We already know what it has done socially; it’s made photos a form of communication more convenient than words. In terms of quality, lots of people will tell you about the long-term limitations, but I’ve watched this team break enough “limits” that I don’t subscribe to that thinking. I’ll be following along with excitement the same as everyone else.

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Technology can help facilitate courageous conversations

In my classroom, making connections with students was at the center of my teaching practice and became vital for student success.  Educators are not monolithic. We are counselors, caregivers, social workers and student advocates. As the lines between school and home have blurred, guardians also play those roles in supporting their child with hybrid or distance learning. Teachers in school and families at home are looking for resources to communicate with their students and children about the world around them. Through the use of Google tools and apps and content from our partners, educators and families can begin to have these courageous conversations. 

Google tools can help you connect with students

Use Google Forms for daily mood check-ins, Google Meetto connect one-on-one with students, or younger students can use Google Drawings or Jamboard to illustrate how they’re feeling. For lesson plans and resources, check out Be Internet Awesome for online safety, and G Suite for Education additional services like Applied Digital Skills for lessons for educators on well-being, and Blogger as a journaling tool for students to channel their emotions and communicate how they are feeling. The Google Teacher Center offers a free training module with tips to foster creative community building whether teaching in-person or remotely. Families can also head to Google’s digital wellbeing page for guides and resources for managing screen time and talking about digital wellbeing, as well as social-emotional learning (SEL). 

These apps can help, too

Chromebook apps like Classcraft, ClassDojo, Peppy Pals, Wisdom – Kingdom of Anger, and Headspace help students learn how to express their emotions, and apply what they’ve learned in school to their lives outside the classroom. You can find all of these apps on the Chromebook App Hub, along with great ideas on how to use apps like Adobe Spark for social-emotional learning. Additionally, Sanford Harmony has a curriculum designed to support social emotional learning to develop students into compassionate and caring adults.

Creating space to have courageous conversations

Many educators are finding it challenging to have conversations about social justice or racial inequity with students, especially while remote learning. There are many great resources out there from Google partners, including NEA EdJustice’s guide on creating space to talk about race or Tolerance.org’s empathy through critical discussion and listening are great places to start.  These resources can foster understanding and support as students process complex societal issues. There are also many book recommendations and conversation guides from The Conscious Kid to help facilitate hard conversations and talks about identity.

 

Advice and resources from educators around the world

It’s also important for educators to lean on their community right now, as they’re impacted by these changes and are responsible for talking to their students about them. You can join a Google Educator Group, a global group of educators who share best practices and ideas. We’re also hosting Twitter chats to bring educators around the world together, including one today at 3pm PST on social-emotional learning with Dwayne Reed

More ideas for social emotional learning

If you’re looking for more ideas for improving student SEL, visit the website forCASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning), which offers resources such as webinars, more on Common Sense Media’s app recommendations, and Lalilo’s SEL Lessons and Activities for Distance Learning. You can watch our webinar on SEL, and visit Teach from Anywhere, Google’s hub of information and tools to help teachers during COVID-19.

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Accessory inspiration, courtesy of the Pixel team

A few weeks ago, Google introduced the Pixel 4a (5G) and the Pixel 5. And new Pixels mean new Pixel accessories, starting with the new Made by Google cases. 

As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, the outer fabric of our new cases are made with 70 percent recycled materials. In fact, assuming each bottle contains about nine grams of plastic, two recycled plastic bottles can provide enough knitted outer fabric for five cases. 

We did all of this while delivering a pop of color. In addition to the Blue Confetti, Static Gray and Basically Black, we’re adding two new colors: Green Chameleon for the Pixel 5 and Chili Flakes for Pixel 4a (5G).

  • Pixel 5 Case Sustainability
  • pixel case

  • Pixel 5 Case

Cases are only the beginning, though. How you outfit your phone says a lot about you, so we decided to find out what different members of the Pixel team are using in order to get some accessory inspiration. 

Nicole Laferriere, Pixel Program Manager
No more battery anxiety! The iOttie iON Duo is my perfect WFH companion because it allows me to simultaneously wirelessly charge my Pixel 5 and Pixel Buds. The stand provides a great angle so I never miss a notification and charges my Pixel quickly. And I love the custom Pixel Bud-shaped charging pad because it fits them so perfectly, and there’s no waiting to see if the device starts charging.

Ocie Henderson, Digital Store Certification Lead
What’s your favorite accessory and why?: I love the Power Support CLAW for Stadia because it’s my favorite way to game-on-the-go. 2020 has definitely impacted the amount of places I can go, of course, and the places I’m able to eat. Fortunately the drive-thru is still an option, and my Power Support CLAW can sit atop my Stadia Controller and transform my wait into an opportunity to adventure, too. 

Helen Hui, Technical Program Manager 
Moment lenses are my go-to accessory whenever I go hiking. With the lens on Pixel phones, I can skip the heavy digital camera and still achieve stunning results. Last December, I used the Moment Telephoto 58mm Lens and my Pixel 4 to capture stunning photos of Antelope Canyon in Arizona. I can’t wait to try the new Moment case for Pixel 5.

Janelle Stribling, Pixel Product Marketing
When I’m not working, I’m always on the go—I especially love discovering new hiking trails, so my must-have accessory is my iOttie wireless car charger. I can attach my Pixel 5 with one hand and then I’m hands-free the rest of the drive since I can use Google Assistant and Google Maps to find my destination. I love arriving with a full battery so I can start capturing photos of the views immediately!

Nasreen Shad, Pixel Product Manager
Now more than ever, I like starting off each day working from home with a morning routine with my Pixel Stand. I keep it on my nightstand and use the Sunrise Alarm to gradually brighten my phone’s screen for a gentle wake up. With the new home controls, I can easily change my thermostat settings and turn on my living room lights before even getting out of bed. Once I’m up and at it, Google Assistant gives me daily briefing of headlines from my favorite news outlets And lucky for me, my San Francisco apartment is small enough that I can leave my Pixel on the Pixel Stand and play some music while I get warmed up for a morning jog.

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