Want to build a better world? Google’s 2017 Year in Search shows us ‘how’

“How” is the theme of Google’s 2017 Year in Search video, the search giant’s annual breakdown of the year’s search trends. It’s a video that celebrates humanity’s constant need to question, to discover, and to help.

But given so much of what’s happened this year, the video doesn’t begin on such an optimistic tone. The Californian wildfires, the troubles with North Korea, the devastation wrought by hurricanes … the video starts by highlighting searches that probed the year’s disruptions — how do hurricanes begin? How far can North Korean missiles reach? How many refugees are there in the world? Google’s search trends have always shown our fears and our need to better understand the world.

But the video’s tone shifts as the music changes from its initial foreboding drumbeat. Instead of questions about natural disasters, or international politics, the searches become questions with more concrete answers. From questions on how to board up your house during a hurricane, or how to calm a dog during a storm, the queries move on to more positive messages of hope. “How to help flood victims” isn’t just a search query — it’s an unspoken pledge of assistance. It’s a rallying cry that no matter how hard things get, we will always band together as a group to help, to support, and to rebuild.

It was also a year of change — social, political, and personal, and the video includes scenes from protests around the world, of newly elected political leaders, and the #metoo phenomenon. Google’s video reminds us the world is constantly changing, and that change can be for the better if we’re willing to go out there and effect it ourselves.

Google has separated the searches of the year into specific categories, which you can view over on their Trends section. It’s no surprise that the big events of the year are present in the search trends. Hurricane Irma sits high on overall searches, while the sexual harassment scandals from the year dominate the searches for people and actors — though Meghan Markle’s engagement to the U.K.’s Prince Harry puts her high on both lists.

The “how to” section of the search results reveals the resurgence of “slime,” with millions searching how to make the goopy substance, while the solar eclipse takes up two slots, with questions on how to view it, and how to make eclipse glasses. In tech, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were unsurprisingly top of the list, with the Nintendo Switch and the Galaxy S8 following.

The categories are numerous, with some more serious than others. You can check out the full list on Google’s trends website, and see how Google’s Simon Rogers breaks down the data in Google’s blog.


How the Google Stadia could lead to a new era of multi-GPU gaming

Google's Stadia could use more than one graphics card to deliver the high-performance visuals it's promised. If that leads to better developer support for multi-GPUs, could that mean gaming with two or more graphics cards could finally be…
Emerging Tech

Google’s Street View is mapping Earth’s most Mars-like terrain

Devon Island is a remote location in Canada's Arctic that's said to be the most Mars-like place on Earth. Street View recently visited the island to map the terrain and meet some of the scientists working there.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.

Apple's iOS 12.2 brings support for Apple News Plus and new AirPlay 2 features

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.

Apple News Plus gives you access to more than 300 magazines for $10 per month

At Apple's services event, the company unveiled a new news subscription service called Apple News Plus. The service gives you access to more than 300 magazines and newspapers and costs $10 per month.

Does the box for AirPods 2 reveal Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat?

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.

Apple Pay will be available at 70 percent of U.S. retail locations this year

Apple Pay is growing rapidly, so we've built a list of all the vendors, retailers, and companies worldwide that plan to support Apple's burgeoning mobile payment platform or already do.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.

Samsung Galaxy Fold pre-orders will start April 26, with shipment on May 3

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

Huawei P30 Pro is a gorgeous-looking smartphone packed with camera ingenuity

Huawei has kicked off the new year by launching the new Huawei P30 Pro and P30. With upgraded hardware, new software tricks, and some absolutely stunning cameras, Huawei's new phones are serious contenders.
Product Review

Huawei re-engineers the camera on the P30 Pro for stunning night photography

Huawei’s P-series phones place an emphasis on the camera. That’s why the company partnered with Leica on the camera tuning. The latest phone is the Huawei P30 Pro, and it must fill the big shoes of last year’s stunning P20 Pro. Is it…