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The Breathtaking Breadth of Google
[Photo by Jason Pietra]

Wireless service in sub-Saharan Africa. Cancer research. A microphone-embedded tattoo. These are but a few of the many projects at Google, the No. 1 company on our 2014 list of the Most Innovative Companies in business. Here's what else Google is working on these days, and some of its recent milestones.


Clever $35 bridge that beams web video to the TV screen.

The Sub-$300 Internet Computer

ChromeOS runs the best-­selling laptops from Acer, ­Samsung, Asus, and others.

Video Everywhere

Makes YouTube mobile-friendly, adding offline viewing and support for hundreds of devices, driving 40% of total viewing time.

YouTube Originals

Creates Comedy Week, its own music awards show, and builds out state-of-the-art studios around the world.


Any YouTube channel can now broadcast live.

YouTube’s Revenue

Reportedly $5 billion in 2013.

Project Link

Will bring broadband to Internet-challenged Kampala, Uganda (pop. 3 million.)

Cheap but Good Smartphones

The Moto X and Moto G devices—surprisingly nice!

Maps Mojo

Integrates content from your calendar and other Google apps.

Waze Pays

Traffic-incident reports from tens of millions of Waze users get woven into Google Maps just two months after buying the Israeli mapping startup.

Street View

Now depicts the insides of airports and train stations; users can add their own images.

Wi-Fi Delivery via Hot-Air Balloons

Debuts plans to build wireless networks in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Google Ventures: Growth Accelerator

Invests in more than a company a week—from Uber to Nextdoor, the "Facebook for neighborhoods."

Google Ventures: Cure Accelerator

Funds such companies as Flatiron Health, which uses big data to find oncology insights.

Chromebook Pixel

The high-end laptop shows off Google’s gadget prowess.

Image Aware

Can ID image-searched pics (It’s a dog! It’s a Coca-Cola logo!)

Search Becomes Conversational

Click the query-box microphone icon, say, "What is the Knicks’ record?" and Google reads you the answer. Then ask, "Why are they so bad?" and it
knows what you mean.


It’s acquired robots that can walk and run, and smart-­appliance maker Nest to advance the art of intelligent machines.

Shopping Express

A same-day delivery experiment with both national and local retailers.

Floating Stores

Intends to create interactive showcases of its products—on barges in coastal ports.

Hangouts: The Skype Killer

Slickly lets users group chat via video, voice, GIFs, and emoji.

Hangouts: The Destination

Woos celebrities such as the cast of the Hunger Games sequel to engage with fans

Hangouts: The Field Trip

Educational institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History use Hangouts to host virtual tours.

Tech Tattoos!

A patented temporary tattoo (not for sale—yet?) can be a microphone for a mobile device.

Google to Grim Reaper: Drop Dead

A spin-off company called ­Calico states its awesome mission: combat aging. People can run a lot more Google searches if they’re immortal.

Most Innovative Companies 2014: Google