And absolutely one of my favourite projects this year.
Part of Hack to Help.
Our communities are facing all types of challenges with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In the midst of all of it, we’ve been inspired by the small hacks people are making to help in any way they can. So we’ve created this page as a resource for others who might want to help – whether that means creating something, contributing to others’ efforts, or simply volunteering your time to those in need.
Did you know that the average person looks at their phone over 52 times a day? 📱Unplugging can be tough. To find focus, try our new #DigitalWellbeingExperiments—a collection of ideas and tools to help you find a better balance with technology → https://t.co/sFGbsNKZnk pic.twitter.com/pYOeWpCsqn
— Google (@Google) October 23, 2019
— Google (@Google) October 23, 2019
— Android (@Android) October 24, 2019
🌎To launch Google’s new Digital Wellbeing platform I’ve teamed up with Google Creative Labs 👏 and produced a short film to kick it all off. Full credit list here… https://t.co/IstOXm01uj pic.twitter.com/m9fe2tB9om
— Jack Cunningham (@jackcunningham) October 25, 2019
Some more coverage here:
The Unlock Clock app is delicious. https://t.co/CiFlriUmc0
— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) October 24, 2019
— The Verge (@verge) October 23, 2019
NEW from @Google 🚨
A set of apps to help you spend less time on your phone 🤗📲 https://t.co/Hxh8ySnjAv
— Product Hunt (@ProductHunt) October 24, 2019
Google just released a “phone” made of paper https://t.co/KID6AdWgoS
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) October 25, 2019
Google’s newest phone is literally just a piece of paper https://t.co/wiZwJYu5mq
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 28, 2019
I recently took a Mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course for leaders called Search Inside Yourself.
It’s a two-day course, and I learnt a ton of really good stuff about Mindfulness, Self awareness, Self management, Motivation, Empathy and Leadership.
Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment in the mind, body and external environment, with an attitude of curiosity and kindness.
– Mindful Nation UK Report
I’m trying to build some new habits around a few of the core ideas that stood out for me personally. Especially five minute meditation, focussed attention, mindful listening, compassionate management and VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) environments.
One thing it’s also made me do is take a long hard look at my phone usage. Everything is now stripped back, simplified. Everything is now better.
I’m back on a 4‑inch phone (iPhone SE). I’m carrying a compact camera (Sony RX100 V). So it’s time for a mobile and apps screenshot post. I haven’t had an excuse to do this for 10 years, to the month.
Oh yeah… one more… the no devices in the bedroom thing. It’s a biggie. I promise. You really should get into that.
There are lots of people writing and thinking about this stuff right now. That’s not what this is about. I’m simply posting a small change I’ve made, that has helped me in some way. You are all smart and understand the why. Next, I’m hoping to try out this kind of approach on social and email usage.
Read more about what Google is doing
Read more about Search Inside Yourself
Here’s an quick overview
How do the best leaders manage change, stay resilient, and inspire growth? Developed at Google by leading experts in neuroscience, business, and psychology, we teach you the practical mindful leadership and emotional intelligence tools to bring out your best. What began as a mindful leadership initiative within Google has spread to over 30 countries and 100 cities around the world. Our training has been proven to: reduce stress, improve focus, raise peak performance, and improve interpersonal relationships.
Happy to have played a small part in this. The team work on developing the idea, naming, branding, language, and created some some high level UX/UI and design guidelines to help this important feature rollout consistently across our platforms and products.
AI Experiments is live.
— Google (@Google) November 16, 2016
There’s a bunch of amazing experiments on the site; but this one below is the one I spend the most time with during its early development phase.
Honestly; I never felt more out of my depth on a project than at the beginning of this one. Sat in the kickoffs with Alex, Kyle and Yotam who were deep in the weeds talking about t-SNE, dimensionality reduction, hi-dimensional space, convolutional neural networks, and supervised vs un-supervised learning. Was a full-on nose-bleed, crash course, in ML. But so worth it. Do not fear this stuff. It’s a different world to start; but after a few weeks it starts to take. So please enjoy….
The Infinite Drum Machine
— Google (@Google) November 18, 2016
Sounds are complex and vary widely. This experiment uses machine learning to organize thousands of everyday sounds. The computer wasn’t given any descriptions or tags – only the audio. Using a technique called t-SNE, the computer placed similar sounds closer together. You can use the map to explore neighborhoods of similar sounds and even make beats using the drum sequencer.
Here’s the explainer video:
For an extra sneak peak into the development process; here’s a video showing an earlier prototype. This one has around ~40k short samples from Freesound! For the final version we licensed ~17k.
This is one of the last projects I started working on in New York, so it’s great to see it out in the real world. Mad props to Alex, Catherine, Manny, Yotam, Eric, Jonas, Kyle, Gene and bunch of other very smart people.
And yea…. what Kyle said.
— Kyle McDonald (@kcimc) November 16, 2016
AI Experiments website:
In 2014 a few of us had been talking about future surfaces and interfaces. There’d been some conversations about text as interface and other stuff. We’d played with the idea of using the keyboard as a space to try a little hack. But nothing had bitten, so we put it away in the top drawer.
In 2015 another project we’d been working on inspired a few people to take a fresh look. They made a Spark Card (a one-page slide that summarizes an idea) for a Google powered keyboard and called it Gboard. We sketched design concepts. Made mocks and thew together a quick prototype. People were into it. So we made a shiny deck and site, put a bow on it, and gave the idea to Google.
We then paused everything to focus on creating a new brand system for Google. You can read more about that here – but it meant we were heads down and went dark for months.
During that time a team in Mountain View starting looking at making a keyboard for iOS. Google had a great keyboard for Android and wanted to make something for iPhone users. We started talking and soon a small team from Creative Lab were out on the West Coast for a design sprint.
In a few months we had builds ready for Teamfood, Fishfood, Dogfood and shortly afterwards a production build ready to ship. We got our final Apple approvals and on Thursday May 12th we flipped the switch…. Gboard was live in the AppStore.
Google announced it:
— Google (@google) May 12, 2016
Shared the videos on YouTube:
Press starting talking about the features:
And people seem to like it:
Google just put search, GIFs, and more into a really great keyboard—for iOS https://t.co/RDCtzIfQyz
— WIRED (@WIRED) May 12, 2016
— The Verge (@verge) May 12, 2016
— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) May 26, 2016
— Katie Jacobs Stanton (@KatieS) May 20, 2016
I can’t believe how much I love Gboard.
— Glenn Fleishman (@GlennF) May 16, 2016
— Levi Benton (@levibenton) May 15, 2016
If you haven’t done it yet, stop doing what you do and Install Google’s new iOS keyboard “Gboard” – Best thing since their Search Engine.
— Tobias van Schneider (@vanschneider) May 14, 2016
And the number of Google apps on my iPhone keeps growing: Just downloaded GBOARD pic.twitter.com/eXBeVfVk7m
— Mallory Johns (@mmsuperflyjr) May 14, 2016
Gboard team thought of all the things.
— Josh Williams (@jw) May 14, 2016
OK. Google’s swipe keyboard is amazing.
— Craig Mod (@craigmod) May 13, 2016
★ Gboard: https://t.co/16w6bRfJSt
— Daring Fireball (@daringfireball) May 13, 2016
The One Incredibly Important Gboard Keyboard Setting You Need To Turn Off Right Now! pic.twitter.com/rsxezth5yh
— mat honan (@mat) May 12, 2016
— darth™ (@darth) May 12, 2016
The fascinating thing about the Google keyboard is that it does what many bot apps aspire to do except much better.
— sean rose (@sean_a_rose) May 12, 2016
smart, low-hanging fruit for googlehttps://t.co/7AQ4tkqz1X
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) May 12, 2016
Some very clever stuff possible with new Google Gboard keyboard, like this: pic.twitter.com/Vfer31ayT9
— Paul Kedrosky (@pkedrosky) May 12, 2016
— GIPHY (@giphy) May 12, 2016
Early results look good:
– #1 in App Store
– 4.5★ rating from 3,500+ reviews
– 350k downloads on day 1 in US
I’m happy with this one. A new product from beginning to end, and supporting launch comms. A small team with a wide skill set came together to make something great. Love that. It would’ve been impossible to get it done without an amazing team. You know who you are. Thanks for the big effort. And to everyone who’s still reading… download, install, enjoy, we hope you like it.
Get it now in the App Store in English in the U.S., with more languages to come.