Bringing the Rubik's Cube to the next generation of problem solvers

As a designer, it's always humbling when you encounter a perfect piece of design. Good design attracts our attention with its beauty, doesn’t need a user manual, is universally understood by anyone in the world, and is simple without sacrificing functionality.

In 1974, the world gave us one such piece of perfect design—the Rubik's Cube. Budapest-based educator and inventor Ernő Rubik created the puzzle originally to help his students better understand spatial geometry. Released to the public in the 1980s, it quickly became an international obsession, bigger than hairspray and breakdancing combined. But the Rubik’s Cube is more than just a toy; it’s a puzzle waiting to be solved and a question waiting to be answered. Over the past 40 years, the cube has puzzled, frustrated, and fascinated so many of us, and has helped spark an interest in math and problem solving in millions of kids. That’s part of why so many of us at Google love the cube, and why we're so excited to celebrate its 40th birthday this year.

As everyone knows (right??), there are 519 quintillion permutations for the Rubik’s cube, so May 19 seemed like a fine day to celebrate its 40th anniversary. To kick things off, we’re using some of our favorite web technologies (HTML5 and Three.js among others) to bring the cube to the world in the form of one of our most technically ambitious doodles yet. You can twist and turn it by dragging along its sides, but with full respect to all the speedcubers out there, we’ve included keyboard shortcuts:
Using the same technology that’s behind the doodle, we built Chrome Cube Lab, a series of Chrome Experiments by designers and technologists that reinterpret Rubik’s puzzle with the full power of the web. Create your own music with experiments 808Cube and SynthCube; make a custom, shareable cube of your own photos and GIFs with ImageCube; or send a scrambly message with the Type Cube. You can visit some of these experiments at the Liberty Science Center’s Beyond Rubik’s Cube exhibition, and if you'd like to explore the cube even further, consider borrowing the cube’s source code to build an experiment of your own.

We hope you enjoy getting to know the cube from a few new angles.

Some new ways to get stuff done in Google Drive

In case you haven’t noticed them already, here are a handful of small updates that will make it easier to find, organize, and view stuff on Drive.
  • Search by person: Can't remember the name of a file but know who shared it with you? Now Drive search auto-completes people’s names making it easier to find the stuff you’re looking for.
  • View Google Earth map files: You can now open, preview, and interact with Google Earth files (.kml and .kmz) right inside Google Drive on the web.
  • Create new folders while organizing files: Now when you select files in your Drive list, in addition to adding them to an existing folder, you can add them directly to a new folder.
  • Drag and drop folders in Chrome: If you’re using Chrome, you can drag and drop entire folders from your desktop to Drive on the web.
  • Search includes your trash: Sometimes files you are looking for accidentally ended up in your trash, so now search results include files there too.
Posted by Josh Hudgins, Product Manager

One click to Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate and keep all your stuff. Of course, there are times you want to start a new document right away–say, to take notes in class or prepare a last-minute presentation for your boss.

To make it even easier for you to create stuff quickly, Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations–now called DocsSheets, and Slides–are available as apps in the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, shortcuts to these apps will appear when you open a new tab in Chrome.


If you use a Chromebook, you’ll see Docs, Sheets, and Slides in your apps list by default following the next update to Chrome OS in a few weeks.


Posted by Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Product Management

Announcing your two most requested features: offline document editing and Drive for iOS

In April, we introduced Google Drive, a place where you can create, share, and keep all your stuff. Today at the Google I/O conference we announced two new ways to get things done in the cloud: offline editing for Google documents and a Drive app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Offline document editing 

No internet connection? No big deal. With offline editing, you can create and edit Google documents and leave comments. Any changes you make will be automatically synced when you get back online.

You can enable offline editing from the gear icon in Google Drive and find more detailed instructions for getting set up in the Help Center. Note that you’ll need the latest versions of Chrome or ChromeOS to edit offline. We’re also working hard to make offline editing for spreadsheets and presentations available in the future.

Google Drive for iOS 

We launched the Drive app for Android phones and tablets a few weeks ago, and starting today, Google Drive is available for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.



With the Drive app, you can open PDFs, photos, videos, documents and anything else stored in your Drive while you're on the go. You can also search all your files, add collaborators to documents, and make files available offline to view them even without an internet connection. For blind and low-vision users, the app also works great in VoiceOver mode. Learn more about what you can do with the app in our Help Center.

Get Drive in the App Store for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5.0+ and visit the Play Store to get the latest on your Android phone or tablet.

To learn more about Google Drive, visit drive.google.com/start.

Posted by Clay Bavor, Product Management Director

Problems with Microsoft Security Essentials

Earlier today, we learned that the Microsoft Security Essentials tool began falsely identifying Google Chrome as a piece of malware ("PWS:Win32/Zbot") and removing it from people's computers.

If Chrome is working correctly for you, then there’s no need to take any action.

We are releasing an update that will automatically repair Chrome for affected users over the course of the next 24 hours. In the meantime, if you want to fix the problem with Microsoft Security Essentials and restore Chrome manually, please follow the instructions below.

How do I know if I am affected?

To repeat, if Chrome is working correctly for you, you don’t need to do anything. If you’re unable to launch Chrome or load new web pages, then you may be affected.

What actions can I take to fix this?

1. First, you need to update the signature files used by Microsoft Security Essentials on your computer. You need to do this before re-installing Chrome!

Run Security Essentials by opening your Start Menu, finding the “Security Essentials” program, and clicking the icon to launch it:


(You may also be able to open Security Essentials using its icon in the Windows system tray, near the clock.)

When Security Essentials loads, click the Update tab in Security Essentials, and press the large Update button:



Once complete, you can verify the update by clicking the triangle next to Help, selecting “About Security Essentials” and verifying that the “Antispyware definition” is 1.113.672.0 or higher.

Note (for advanced users): You can also update the signature files via the command line by running:

cmd.exe /c "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware\MpCmdRun.exe" -SignatureUpdate

2. Next, you will need to un-install and re-install Chrome using the platform-specific instructions below.

Windows XP:
1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove Programs.


2. In the Currently installed programs box, select Google Chrome and click the Remove button.

3. If you are prompted to confirm the removal of the program, click Yes. By default, your local browsing data will not be deleted. Make sure you do not accidentally check the box labeled “Also delete your browsing data?”.


4. Visit www.google.com/chrome in another browser to download and install a fresh copy of Google Chrome.

Windows 7:

1. Click on the Start button , and select Control Panel

2. Click Programs (or Programs -> Programs and Features)



3. Select Google Chrome from the list of programs

4. Click the Uninstall button at the top of the list. By default, your local browsing data will not be deleted. Make sure you do not accidentally check the box labeled “Also delete your browsing data?”.


5. Visit www.google.com/chrome in another browser to download and install a fresh copy of Google Chrome.

Windows Vista:

1. Click the Start button , and select Control Panel

2. Click Programs (or Programs -> Programs and Features)


3. Select Google Chrome from the list of programs.

4. Click the Uninstall button located above the list. By default, your local browsing data will not be deleted. Make sure you do not accidentally check the box labeled “Also delete your browsing data?”.


5. Visit www.google.com/chrome in another browser to download and install a fresh copy of Google Chrome.


To repeat, we are releasing an update that will automatically repair Chrome for affected users over the course of the next 24 hours.

Our plans to support modern browsers across Google Apps

(Cross-posted to the Google Enterprise Blog and the Gmail Blog)

For web applications to spring even farther ahead of traditional software, our teams need to make use of new capabilities available in modern browsers. For example, desktop notifications for Gmail and drag-and-drop file upload in Google Docs require advanced browsers that support HTML5. Older browsers just don’t have the chops to provide you with the same high-quality experience.

For this reason, soon Google Apps will only support modern browsers. Beginning August 1st, we’ll support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version is released, we’ll begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.

As of August 1st, we will discontinue support for the following browsers and their predecessors: Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, and Safari 3. In these older browsers you may have trouble using certain features in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites, and eventually these apps may stop working entirely.

So if it’s been a a while since your last update, we encourage you to get the latest version of your favorite browser. There are many to choose from:
As the world moves more to the web, these new browsers are more than just a modern convenience, they are a necessity for what the future holds.

Google Cloud Print Ready printers now available

Imagine printing an important email from your Chrome notebook on your train ride to work, then finding the completed printout in the printer tray when you reach the office. Or printing your airline boarding pass from your smartphone to your home printer, so you can grab the printout on your way out the door. Today, we are one big step closer to this vision.

Last year, we launched Google Cloud Print, a service that enables users to print from any device, operating system, or browser to any printer without the need for drivers or a PC connection. The service can be used with any printer, but the most seamless experience is offered by Google Cloud Print Ready devices, a new generation of web-connected printers that don’t need to be attached to a computer. Today, HP has announced that all of its ePrint-enabled printers are Google Cloud Print Ready, in most cases right out of the box. With a Google Cloud Print Ready printer, you can print emails, documents and web pages from supported apps without having to hunt for drivers or printer cables.

You can already use Google Cloud Print on Chrome notebooks and in the mobile versions of Gmail and Google Docs. Many more supported apps are on the way. There are also a third-party Android app, Chrome extension and Firefox add-on to help you use Google Cloud Print in more places.

We’re also continuing to release enhancements to the Google Cloud Print service. We’ve released a Mac version of the Google Cloud Print connector for non-cloud printers in the Chrome beta channel. And over the next few days we’ll be enabling printer sharing for current Google Cloud Print users, so your family, friends and colleagues can print their documents from anywhere to anywhere.

Happy printing!

Talking to your computer (with HTML!)

Today, we’re updating the Chrome beta channel with a couple of new capabilities, especially for web developers. Fresh from the work that we’ve been doing with the HTML Speech Incubator Group, we’ve added support for the HTML speech input API. With this API, developers can give web apps the ability to transcribe your voice to text. When a web page uses this feature, you simply click on an icon and then speak into your computer’s microphone. The recorded audio is sent to speech servers for transcription, after which the text is typed out for you. Try it out yourself in this little demo. Today’s beta release also offers a sneak peek of GPU-accelerated 3D CSS, which allows developers to apply slick 3D effects to web page content using CSS.

Lastly, as mentioned in yesterday's blogpost, those of you on the beta channel will start seeing the brand new shiny Chrome icon on your desktops.

Stay tuned as we make all these updates widely available in the stable channel soon!

Correction (March 23, 2011): This beta release's Speech API implementation is a prototype of Google’s proposal to the HTML Speech Incubator Group. The title of the blogpost has been changed to reflect this.

A fresh take on an icon

Some of you on Chrome’s early release channels may have noticed our latest tweak to Chrome’s icon:



Since Chrome is all about making your web experience as easy and clutter-free as possible, we refreshed the Chrome icon to better represent these sentiments. A simpler icon embodies the Chrome spirit — to make the web quicker, lighter, and easier for all.

Even before this effort, the new version of the Chrome logo was already being conjured up by Googlers and Chrome fans. Numerous creative reinterpretations have organically moved the icon towards simplicity and abstraction, so it felt right to make the icon structure cleaner and easier to recreate.

The Modern Browser poster by Mike Lemanski, celebrating Chrome’s 2nd birthday




Chrome Magnets by Tyson Kartchner







Redesigning the icon was very much a group effort. Collectively, we explored many variations, tried the icon in several different contexts, and refined the details as we moved along. It was important to maintain consistency across all media, so we kept print, web, and other possible formats in mind. Once we arrived at a good place, we finished up the icon by resizing, pixel-pushing, and getting everything out the door.

For Chrome users, you’ll see this latest icon reflected in your browsers soon, as we bring the latest features and improvements to the beta and stable channels in the coming weeks!

A dash of speed, 3D and apps

Today, we’re excited to bring several new features from Chrome’s beta channel to the stable build, including WebGL, Chrome Instant, and the Chrome Web Store.

WebGL is a new technology which brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. With WebGL in Chrome, you can experience rich 3D experiences right inside the browser with no need for additional software. Curious about the three-dimensional possibilities? Try out these demos to experience the power of WebGL in the latest stable version of Chrome.

With Chrome Instant (à la Google Instant), web pages that you frequently visit will begin loading as soon as you start typing the URL. (“Look, Mom - no enter key!”). If supported by your default search engine, search results appear instantly as you type queries in the omnibox. To try out Instant, you’ll need to enable it in the Basics tab of Chrome’s options.

Lastly, the Chrome Web Store is now open to all Chrome users in the United States. As part of this, we’ve now added a link to the Chrome Web Store on the New Tab page, along with two sample apps. (If you don’t use these sample apps, they will automatically disappear after some time).

Some of the newest additions in the Chrome Web Store include BBC GoodFood, Autodesk, Sesame Street, nine King.com Games and Marvel Comics. There are also many apps that take advantage of the latest web technologies to deliver an immersive experience, such as Tweetdeck and The New York Times. While the store is currently only available for Chrome users in the U.S., we’re working hard to expand availability to users around the world soon, so stay tuned!