Google Analytics adopts Privacy Shield

Today, we’re glad to announce that we have self-certified our adherence to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.

The Privacy Shield establishes a new framework for transfers of personal data from Europe to the United States. It is a significant milestone for the protection of Europeans’ personal data, legal certainty of transatlantic businesses, and trust in the digital economy.

From now on, Google has committed to applying the Privacy Shield’s principles and safeguards to EU-U.S. transfers of personal data, by default. No action is required on our customers’ part. Google’s certificate will soon be accessible here.

See a snapshot of information about a file in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Today, you can view the details of any file or folder stored in Google Drive, including the file or folder owner’s name, the last time it was opened or modified, its location, and more. With this launch, you’ll gain that same capability in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web.

To see details of a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation, simply select Document details from the File menu.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

All end users

Change management suggested/FYI

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Test and deploy to Google App Engine with the new Maven and Gradle plugins


Here at Google, we strive to make it easy for developers to use Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Today, we're excited to announce the beta release of two new build tool plugins for Java developers: one for Apache Maven, and another for Gradle. Together, these plugins allow developers to test applications locally and then deploy them to cloud from the Command Line Interface (CLI), or through integration with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as Eclipse and IntelliJ (check out our new native plugin for IntelliJ as well).

Developed in open-source, the plugins are available for both standard and flexible Google App Engine environments and are based on the Google Cloud SDK. The new Maven plugin for GAE standard is offered as an alternative to an existing plugin for App Engine standard. This allows users to choose the existing plugin if they wish to use tooling based on the App Engine Java SDK, or the new plugin if they wish to use tooling based on Google Cloud SDK (all other plugins are fully based on Google Cloud SDK).

After installing the Google Cloud SDK, you can install the plugins using the pom.xml or build.gradle file:


buildscript {
dependencies {
   classpath "" // latest version  } }
apply plugin: ""

And then, to deploy an application:
$ mvn appengine:deploy
$ gradle appengineDeploy

Once the application is deployed, you'll see its URL in the output of the shell.

For enterprise users who wish to take their compiled artifacts such as JARs and WARs through a separate release process, both plugins provide a staging command that copies the final compiled artifacts to a target directory without deploying them to the cloud. Those artifacts can then be passed to a Continuous Delivery/Continuous Integration (CI/CD) pipeline (see here for some of CI/CD offerings for GCP).

$ mvn appengine:stage
$ gradle appengineStage

You can check the status of your deployed applications in the Google Cloud Platform Console. Head to the Google App Engine tab and click on Instances to see your application’s underlying infrastructure in action.

For additional information on the new plugins, please see the documentation for App Engine Standard (Maven, Gradle) and App Engine Flexible (Maven, Gradle). If you have specific feature requests, please submit them at GitHub, for Maven and Gradle.

You can learn more about using Java on GCP at the Java developer portal, where you’ll find all the information you need to get up and running. And be on the lookout for additional plugins for Google Cloud Platform services in the coming months!

Happy Coding!

Introducing Casting into Hangouts

Google offers its Google Apps customers useful and simple-to-use video chat features to make communication better. Whether communicating changes to remote teams, presenting demos to stakeholders, or just getting things done quicker in real time, screen sharing is an effective way to present content to your audience. That’s why we’re excited to roll out a new integration between Google Chrome and Google Hangouts that makes screen sharing from your Chrome browser to a Google Hangout easier than ever before.

With this launch, signed-in Chrome users on Chrome 52 or higher will be able to use the “Cast…” menu item from Chrome to share the contents of a browser tab or their entire desktop into a Hangout. Hangouts that are scheduled on the user’s Google Calendar are shown automatically, but they can also be joined manually using the “Search” text box. 
Google Cast does not need to be installed on the user’s machine, as this is now natively available in Chrome 52 or higher. We hope this makes the feature easier to roll out to users, allowing screen sharing to be just 1-2 clicks away.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility)

All end users on Chrome 52

Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

Launch release calendar
Launch detail categories
Get these product update alerts by email
Subscribe to the RSS feed of these updates

Announcing Open Registration and Exhibitors for Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco, Sept. 24

Posted by Jamil Moledina, Google Play, Games Strategic Lead

To celebrate the art of the latest innovative indie games, we’re hosting the first Google Play Indie Games Festival in North America on September 24th in San Francisco. At the festival, Android fans and gamers will have a unique opportunity to play new and unreleased indie games from some of the most innovative developers in the US and Canada, as well as vote for their favorite ones.

Registration is now open and the event is free for everyone to enjoy.

We’re also excited to announce the games selected to exhibit and compete at the event. From over 200 submissions, we carefully picked 30 games that promise the most fun and engaging experiences to attendees. Fans will have a chance to play a variety of indie games not yet available publicly.

Check out the full list of games selected here and below.

Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite games at the festival, along with an authoritative panel of judges from Google Play and the game industry. They include:

  • Ron Carmel, Co-founder of Indie Fund; co-creator of World of Goo
  • Hyunse Chang, Business Development Manager at Google Play
  • Lina Chen, Co-founder & CEO of Nix Hydra
  • David Edery, CEO of Spry Fox
  • Maria Essig, Partner Manager, Indies at Google Play
  • Noah Falstein, Chief Game Designer at Google
  • Dan Fiden, Chief Strategy Officer of Funplus
  • Emily Greer, CEO of Kongregate
  • Alex Lee, Producer, Program Manager, Daydream & Project Tango at Google
  • Jordan Maron, Gamer and independent YouTuber “CaptainSparklez”

We are also thrilled to announce that veteran game designer and professor Richard Lemarchand will be the emcee for the event. He was lead designer at Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog, and is now Associate Chair and Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media and Games Division.

The winning developers will receive prizes, such Google Cloud credits, NVIDIA SHIELD Android TVs and K1 tablets, Razer Forge TV bundles, and more, to recognize their efforts.

Join us for an exciting opportunity to connect with fellow game fans, get inspired, and celebrate the art of indie games. Learn more about the event on the event website.

Google Cast is now built-in to Chrome

Two years ago we launched Google Cast, an extension for Chrome that allowed you to show content from your favorite websites on the best screen in your home — your TV — using Chromecast.  Whether watching your favorite show on Netflix, or sharing a photo slideshow at a family gathering, Google Cast makes it easy to extend the web to the big screen.  

Since we launched Chromecast, we’ve been working to make casting even better. We've launched new Cast devices like Chromecast Audio and partnered with other manufacturers to make Cast-enabled TVs and speakers.  We’ve also made significant improvements in quality, with the vast majority of casting sessions now in HD.

Casting from Chrome has become incredibly popular: In the past month alone, people have casted more than 38 million times from Chrome, watching and listening to more than 50 million hours of content.

Today we’re happy to announce that Google Cast is now built fully into Chrome, and anyone can now Cast without having to install or configure anything.  When you’re on websites that are integrated with Cast, you’ll see the Cast icon appear when you’re on the same network as a Cast device — and with a couple of clicks you can view your content on your TV or listen to music on your speakers:

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 10.49.32 AM.png

You can also view websites that are not integrated with Cast on your TV by selecting the “Cast…” menu item from the Chrome menu:

And you can now cast to even more places — including sharing with participants on a video call in Google Hangouts and the Cast for Education app, which we announced recently.  Now you can share your presentation with your coworkers during a Hangout or to your peers in the classroom.

With Google Cast and Chrome, you can share what you love to watch with those around you. We’re excited to make this available to everyone.  To get the new built-in Cast functionality all you need to do is make sure you have the latest version of Chrome.

Stephen Konig, Product Manager and House of Cards Binge-Watcher

Tango developer workshop brings stories to life

Posted by Eitan Marder-Eppstein, Senior Software Engineer for Tango

Technology helps us connect and communicate with others -- from sharing commentary and photos on social media to a posting a video with breaking news, digital tools enable us to craft stories and share them with the world.

Tango can enhance storytelling by bringing augmented reality into our surroundings. Recently, the Tango team hosted a three-day developer workshop around how to use this technology to tell incredible stories through mobile devices. The workshop included a wide range of participants, from independent filmmakers and developers to producers and creatives at major media companies. By the end of the workshop, a number of new app prototypes had been created. Here are some of the workshop highlights:

  • The New York Times experimented with ways to connect people with news stories by creating 3D models of the places where the events happened.
  • The Wall Street Journal prototyped an app called ViewPoint to bring location-based stories to life. When you’re in front of a monument, for example, you can see AR content and pictures that someone else took at that site.
  • Line experimented with bringing 3D characters to life. For example, app users could see AR superheros in front of them, and then their friend could jump into the characters’ costumes.
  • Google’s Mobile Vision Team brought music to life by letting people point their phones at various objects and visualize the vibrations that music makes on them.

We even had an independent developer use Tango to create realtime video stabilization tool. We’re looking forward to seeing these apps—and many more—come to life. If you want to start building your own storytelling and visual communication apps for augmented reality, check out our developer page and join our G+ community.

Enterprise-Class Tag Management: Announcing Workspaces

Companies of all sizes use Google Tag Manager, but larger organizations often have very different needs than others. That’s why, over the past year, we’ve launched Google Tag Manager 360, and have been working to build features that better address the needs of enterprise customers.

Today, we’re excited to announce one of these new features: workspaces in Google Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360!

Until now, all tag changes were prepared in a single container draft before being versioned and published. This sometimes led to complicated workflows and workarounds for multi-user teams and their agencies. Workspaces give you more than one space to do your work. Teammates can now easily work on tags at the same time, or make quick changes without publishing everything that’s in the works. Simply create a new workspace, make your changes, and hit publish. Tags, triggers, and variables being worked on in other workspaces will remain unaffected.

The new workspaces are essentially places to work on sets of changes that will become versions. When a workspace is versioned or published, its name, notes and list of changes will be carried over to the version, so you have a full history of what’s changed in your container and when.

What happens if tags you’re working on in one workspace are changed in another? Not to worry. Tag Manager will let you know if there are conflicts when a new version is created. Then it will guide you through merging them into your workspace with an easy-to-use conflict resolution tool!

You’ll also notice that we've made the Google Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 interfaces faster and easier to use. Need to enable a built-in variable while working on a tag? Sliding screens let you configure related tags, triggers, and variables without dropping out of your current editing flow. Want to know which tags a certain trigger is applied to? Trigger and variable screens now tell you exactly where they’re being used. Not sure what type of variable to use to grab a value from your site? Configuration screens are now easier to read and include more in-line guidance.

Starting today, Tag Manager 360 customers will be able to create unlimited workspaces in their containers! Having unlimited workspaces is ideal for the large organizations and complex collaboration efforts that Tag Manager 360 was designed for. If you’re a Tag Manager 360 customer, or a customer of another Google Analytics 360 Suite product, reach out to your Account Manager to learn more.

Users of the standard version of Tag Manager will also benefit. All containers will be enabled for up to three concurrent workspaces (a default workspace—similar to the container draft today—and two additional custom workspaces). The enhanced interface will also give you greater visibility into exactly what changes are being made when you hit publish.

We'll keep thinking about how to make tagging easier for you. We already have improvements planned for workspaces and other areas of Google Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 to make our products even more powerful and easy to use. We’ll have more to share soon!

Interested in Google Tag Manager 360? Visit our website to learn more.

Shippingsettings to replace Accountshipping in Content API for Shopping

We’ve launched a new Shippingsettings service which supports the new shipping settings in Merchant Center. This service replaces the old Accountshipping service, which has been deprecated and will be retired March 1st, 2017.

The new service uses rate tables instead of rate trees to describe complex rate systems, and also supports retrieving the available shipping services. Check out the updated Account-level Tax and Shipping guide and reference documentation if you're interested in what the new service looks like!

A note to users of Accountshipping: you can retrieve settings uploaded via Accountshipping through Shippingsettings, but not vice versa. Thus, if you currently have shipping settings, you can see what your current settings would look like in the new format expected by Shippingsettings by retrieving them using the new service.

If you're migrating from Accountshipping, we suggest you either first experiment with Shippingsettings on another Merchant Center account used for testing, or keep the code to upload settings via Accountshipping around until you're sure your new Shippingsettings code behaves as expected.

If you have any questions or feedback on the Shippingsettings service or other questions about the Content API for Shopping, please let us know on the forum.

From Summer of Code to Game of Thrones on the back of a JavaScript Dragon (Part 3)

This guest post is a part of a short series about Tatyana Goldberg, Guy Yachdav and Christian Dallago and the journey that was inspired by their participation as Google Summer of Code mentors for the BioJS project. Check out the first and second posts in the series.

This blog post marks the end of our short series following our adventures in open source. As you may recall, it all started thanks to Google Summer of Code (GSoC) which brought our team together. The GSoC collaboration spurred us to start a class Technical University of Munich (TUM) that eventually took on the Game of Thrones data science project and became an international sensation.

The success of our Game of Thrones project opened a lot of doors which is what we discuss in this post. First, we were invited to participate in the Morpheus Cup which is a prestigious university olympiad that brings together students from all over Europe to compete in digital challenges.

Our team rocked the competition winning two challenges and making it to the finalist stage in the third challenge. We were honored to represent our university and grateful for Google’s sponsorship of our team.
WhatsApp-Image-20160510 (1).jpeg
The students and mentors of the Game of Thrones project at the Morpheus Cup challenge in May 2016. From left to right: Georgi Anastasov, Emiliyana Kalinova, Maximilian Bandle (all students), Guy Yachdav (mentor), Christian Dallago (mentor), Tobias Piffrader, Theodor Chesleran (both students) and Tatyana Goldberg (mentor).
Another opportunity that followed was an invitation to speak at a TEDx event at TUM on July 28th, 2016. In the event, titled “The Common Extraordinary,” Guy presented our work with data mining as bioinformaticians, sharing how we’ve made the field of data science accessible to our students and how we helped popularize it through the Game of Thrones project.

More speaking engagements are already scheduled: at meetups, coffee talks and conferences where we plan to keep evangelizing data mining and tell the story of our open source adventure.

What’s next? We’re excited to continue as mentors and org admins in GSoC and to carry on teaching data science and JavaScript at the university. A recent trade media report pointed out that the “out-of-the-box” thinking demonstrated in our course may revolutionize entire industries. In fact, we are currently signing up industry collaborators to work together on data mining projects.

It’s also extremely rewarding to see how our project resonated with so many people with diverse backgrounds and interests. Friends, family members, colleagues and even strangers ask us whether we can help them use data mining to answer questions on subjects ranging from politics, science, sports and even their personal lives.

Just the other day we were approached with the idea of developing an app that would take in a set of personality traits, process them along with social network data and help in suggesting life decisions: Should I date that person? Should I really take this job? Is Baltimore the city for me?

In the near future we dream of starting our own consultancy, as we already have requests from companies that want our help with upcoming data science projects. It seems our team has found its entrepreneurial bent!

We hope enjoyed this trilogy of blog posts, that our story has inspired you and that you too will continue to adventure in open source and collaborative development. If you’re not involved with Google Summer of Code, consider joining. It’s a great way to build up your project and share it with the world. More importantly, it lets you work with amazing people with whom, as we learned, it is possible to reach the sky.

By Tatyana Goldberg, Christian Dallago, and Guy Yachdav, BioJS