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Starting a business requires passion, dedication, and a clear vision—and powerful tools that help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. In September, we shared the results of a new Deloitte report that showed that companies using an above-average number of cloud services grow 26% faster and drive 21% more profit than those that use no cloud tools.

Now we’ve teamed up with international research agency GfK to study cloud adoption among new small businesses—those established up to three years ago—in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Like their peers on the other side of the globe, these businesses are using the cloud as a tool for growth. Here are a few of the key insights we uncovered:

Most new SMBs are cloud users. 77% of companies that participated in the study have adopted cloud services. Cloud technology tends to be easy to set up and manage, so new business owners can let their IT run itself and instead focus their time on the work that matters.

New SMBs that take advantage of the cloud envision a brighter future. 70% of companies that use cloud services expect revenue to increase over the next 12 months, compared to 48% of businesses that don’t. Like the Deloitte study, these results point to a correlation between cloud adoption and fast growth.

Cloud services can help new SMBs build their brand. 72% of companies that adopted a custom email, like name@yourcomany.com, saw an increase in engagement and 74% saw an uplift in sales. Small businesses rely on the use of cloud services to get up and running quickly, and professional email addresses for domains are a common first step.

Getting a new business off the ground is always challenging, and building momentum in the early years can be even harder. Our latest research suggests that cloud services can help young companies build further engagement with customers, drive sales and set the business up for growth.



Cross-posted from the Google for Work blog. Original post by Kevin Ackhurst, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Google For Work 

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From the snow-capped summit of Mount Kosciuszko, to the beaches at Bondi and the seafloor of the Great Barrier Reef, every person can explore our country’s most beautiful locations on Google Maps.

To celebrate the once-in-a-decade IUCN World Parks Congress that’s taking place in Sydney this week, we’ve partnered with New South Wales National Parks and Catlin Seaview Survey to bring 21 parks and 27 underwater locations across Australia to Street View.



From the depths of Sydney Harbour to the iconic Bondi Beach and all along the Great Barrier Reef, we hope you enjoy exploring these locations from a whole new perspective.

 


A Minke Whale in the Great Barrier Reef (Captured by Catlin Seaview Survey)

A Sea Turtle in Norman Reef (Captured by Catlin Seaview Survey)

Dolphins off Myrmidon Reef (Captured by Catlin Seaview Survey)

Beneath the waves at Bondi Beach (Captured by Catlin Seaview Survey)

We hope this new Street View imagery not only inspires adventure, but that it also helps people to learn more about the delicate ecology of our parks and underwater worlds. 

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You didn’t just watch All About That Bass 200+ million times on YouTube. You watched Meghan Trainor perform it live for the first time ever and later with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. You used the song in tens of thousands of your videos, like covering it with an upright bass. Your views helped put the song at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks. And that’s all just for one song.

You've watched, shared, remixed, invented, parodied and whatevered your favorite songs, making YouTube the ultimate place for artists and fans to connect. To celebrate all that music and unlock new ways to enjoy, we’re making it easier to find new music on YouTube and rock out to old favourites.

A new home just for music 

Starting today, you’ll see a new home just for music on your YouTube app for Android, iOS and on YouTube.com that shows your favorite music videos, recommended music playlists based on what you’re into and playlists of trending music across YouTube. You can find a playlist to perfectly fit your mood, whether that’s a morning motivators playlist or Boyce Avenue YouTube Mix. Check out the newest songs from channels you subscribe to, like FKA twigs or Childish Gambino. Or quickly find the songs you’ve been playing over and over and over again.

 



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This week, thousands of people from more than 160 countries will gather in Sydney for the once-in-a-decade IUCN World Parks Congress to discuss the governance and management of protected areas. The Google Earth Outreach and Google Earth Engine teams will be at the event to showcase exemplars of how technology can help protect our environment.

Here are a few of the workshops and events happening in Sydney this week:

  • Monday, November 10th - Tuesday, November 11th: Over the last couple of days, the Google Earth Outreach and Earth Engine teams delivered a 2-day hands-on workshop to develop the technical capacity of park managers, researchers, and communities. At this workshop, participants were introduced to Google mapping tools to help them with their conservation programs. 
  • November 13 - 19: Google will be at the Oceans Pavilion inside the World Parks Congress to demonstrate how Trekker, Street View and Open Data Kit on Android mobile devices can assist with parks monitoring and management. 
  • Friday, November 14, 9:30-10:30am: Join a Live Sydney Seahorse Hunt in Sydney Harbour, via Google Hangout, with Catlin Seaview Survey and Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Richard Vevers, Director of the Catlin Seaview Survey, will venture underwater to his favourite dive site and talk with experts about the unique marine life (including seahorses!) that explorers can expect to find around Sydney. Tune in here at 10:30am to catch all the action. 
  • Saturday, November 15th, 8:30am: Networking for nature: the future is cool. Hear about how technology-driven ocean initiatives can help us better understand and strengthen our connection with our natural environments. WPCA-Marine’s plenary session will includes presentations by Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue, Catlin Seaview Survey, Google, Oceana, and SkyTruth. The session will also feature leading young marine professionals Mariasole Bianco and Rebecca Koss. 
  • Saturday, November 15th, 12:15pm: We’ll be hosting a panel discussion on using Global Forest Watch to monitor protected areas in near-real-time. Global Forest Watch is a dynamic online alert system to help park rangers monitor and preserve vast stretches of parkland.
  • Saturday, November 15th, 1:30 - 3:00pm: At the Biodiversity Pavilion join Walter Jetz from Yale and Dave Thau from Google for a presentation on Google Earth Engine and The Map of Life. The presentation will showcase how Google Earth Engine is being used in a variety of conservations efforts - including monitoring water resources, the health of the world's forests, and measuring the impact of protected areas on biodiversity preservation. We will also announce a new global resource from The Map of Life for mapping and monitoring biodiverse ecosystems. 

We believe that technology can help address some of our world’s most pressing environmental challenges and we look forward to working with Australian conservationists to integrate technology into their work.

You can find us at the Oceans Pavilion inside the World Parks Congress, where we will be joined by our environmental partners including The Jane Goodall Institute, The World Resources Institute and The Map of Life.

We hope to see you at one of our events this week!

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Editor’s note: We invited Kagonya Awori, a PhD candidate in Computer Engineering at the University of Melbourne in Australia, to share her experiences as a Google Anita Borg Scholarship Award recipient in 2014. Twenty-eight women were selected from across Asia Pacific this year to receive funding towards their education and were invited to take part in a retreat in Tokyo earlier this year.  

Kagonya Awori from Nairobi, Kenya currently studying at the University of Melbourne, Australia

When I first heard about the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship three years ago, I did not think I would qualify. I thought one had to conquer the world — kind of like Dr. Anita Borg did — before applying. Fortunately, last year, I got an extra push from my PhD supervisor who thought the program would motivate me further in my research. He was right.

There are few programs that celebrate women in tech. There are even fewer opportunities for women from across Asia who are passionate about technology to get together over workshops, technical talks, and a hackathon. The Anita Borg program challenges that. It is incredibly encouraging to meet like-minded women who have all advanced technology in their own ways — from mentoring others, to designing their own technologies or starting their own businesses.

APAC Google Anita Borg Scholars 2014 in Tokyo 

 The impact from the scholars’ retreat that was held in Tokyo can still be seen and felt. I bonded with women from nine countries and formed a network with other scholars from Australia and New Zealand. A group of us from Australia and New Zealand is working on increasing the participation of women in tech-related fields in our countries, through connecting with high schools, university students and industry. We framed our goal in three words – Inspire, Connect, Increase.

Scholars from Australia and New Zealand 

Receiving an award backed by Google has helped open doors. My PhD research, which looks at designing social and situated technologies that support dispersed learning environments in transnational contexts, has drawn more interest as a result. I have also had the pleasure of being invited to give talks to my university peers thanks to the award. I am honoured to be celebrated at The University of Melbourne for work that I am doing both here and in my home country, Kenya. This recognition encourages me to keep doing what I am doing — if not better.

One of the scholars in her Google Anita Borg Scholarship t-shirt 

I have now returned from Tokyo to Melbourne quite rejuvenated. My fellow scholars have inspired me to continue to investigate how technology can advance the world, and above all, to continue to encourage other women to do so. I never imagined that the time I committed to holding workshops, tech sessions, free class lectures, mentorships and initiating tech chapters would ever be recognised. I am now pleased to say these efforts were never in vain.

Posted by Kagonya Awori, PhD Candidate at The University of Melbourne, Australia and Google Anita Borg Scholarship Award recipient in 2014.

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I have always had a keen interest in promoting greater adoption of accessible digital formats to make sure the web is available to everyone. As someone who is blind and uses a screen-reader to navigate the web, Google’s reCAPTCHA often created a barrier for me when I was trying to access some websites.
Last year, I started a campaign to raise awareness about the challenges of CAPTCHA technology for people with disabilities. Today, I’m pleased to say that the re-invented reCAPTCHA strikes the balance between keeping websites safe from computer bots, spam and malicious activity, while ensuring that the internet remains accessible for people with vision impairment.

In discussions with Google, I learned that they were working on making reCAPTCHA more usable and human friendly. The new technology uses “advanced risk analysis techniques” to differentiate between human users and bots.

This re-invented reCAPTCHA allows people with vision impairment to more easily access secure websites, while it continues to digitise the world’s printed material at the same time. I can now clearly understand the audio test and I have been able to successfully access websites with reCAPTCHA security.

While there may still be people who have both vision and hearing impairments who will continue to struggle to have full unfettered access to the web, Google has done a good job in turning what was a frustrating and often inaccessible website feature into a user-friendly web security tool.

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Good things happen when everybody’s invited. A few years ago, we had the thought that phones (and stuff that hadn’t even been invented yet like smart watches and tablets) would be way more interesting if everyone could build new things together. So we created Android as an open platform, and put it out there for everyone to imagine, invent, make, or buy whatever they wanted.

Since then, all kinds of people—from companies big and small to folks on Kickstarter, kids in schools, and crazy smart developers—have been innovating faster, together, more than we ever could alone. And the best part is that every time someone new joins in, things get more interesting, unexpected, and wonderful for all of us.



Getting everyone in on the party is the same spirit behind Android One —an effort recently launched in India (coming to other countries soon) to make great smartphones available to the billions of people around the world who aren’t yet online. It’s also why we’re excited about Lollipop, our newest software release, which is designed to meet the diverse needs of the billion-plus people who already use Android today.

Joining the party: Android 5.0 Lollipop
As previewed at Google I/O, Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customised for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it’s designed to be shared.


Lollipop is made for a world where moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens—from phones and tablets to TVs. With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, it’s easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones.

As you switch from one screen to another, the experience should feel the same. So Lollipop has a consistent design across devices—an approach we call Material Design. Now content responds to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid. 

Lollipop also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you’re out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen.

And because we’re using our devices a lot more, there’s a new battery saver feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes—helpful if you’re far from a power outlet. We’ve enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private. And you can now secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern, or even by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock. But this is just a small taste of Lollipop. Learn more on android.com.

Meet the Nexus family, now running Lollipop
Advances in computing are driven at the intersection of hardware and software. That's why we’ve always introduced Nexus devices alongside our platform releases. Rather than creating software in the abstract, we work with hardware partners to build Nexus devices to help push the boundaries of what's possible across the mobile ecosystem. And for Lollipop, we have a few new treats to share with you.


First, with Motorola, we developed the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.

Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9, with brushed metal metal sides and 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on. And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.

The devices will be available for pre-order in November. Check out google.com/nexus for more details on availability. Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes on Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, will also be available on Nexus 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

The party’s just getting started
With this latest release of Android Lollipop, we're excited to continue working with our developer community, hardware partners, and all of you. More ideas and more creators is what gets us all to better ideas faster. And since everyone's invited to the party, we hope you'll join in the fun by creating and sharing an Android character that captures a little bit of who you are—one of a kind. Enjoy!