Beta Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Beta channel has been updated to 49.0.2623.47 (Platform version: 7834.32.0) for all Chrome OS devices except New Pixel (2015). This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements.  A list of changes can be found here.

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the browser).

Josafat Garcia
Google Chrome

The YouTube AdBlitz Champion of 2016 is …

Another football season is in the books, but the Big Game ads continue to live on - on YouTube. While there’s been plenty of Monday morning quarterbacking about the best Big Game spots, fans have been weighing in this week by voting for their favorite ads on YouTube AdBlitz.

All the votes have now been tallied, and it’s time to reveal the Top 5 winners. With more brands and more overall ads competing in this year’s YouTube AdBlitz than ever before, the competition was fierce. But one brand rose to the top as the clear-cut fan favorite:

Congratulations to Pokémon! With over three times as many votes as the second place ad, and more votes overall than the other four winners combined, Pokémon has been voted by fans as the YouTube AdBlitz Champion of 2016!

 

Here are the rest of the Top 5 - all fan favorites as determined by your votes. Second place belongs to T-Mobile’s “Drop The Balls” starring a completely faultless (this time) Steve Harvey:

 

In third place is … T-Mobile again! This time featuring a very agreeable Drake:

 

It would be hard to imagine a Big Game ads season without puppies, monkeys or babies. So Mountain Dew Kickstart came to the rescue, snagging fourth place with PuppyMonkeyBaby:

 

Finally, KFC became the first brand ever to make the YouTube AdBlitz Top 5 without airing their ad during the Big Game’s national TV broadcast. The ad aired during the CBS live stream of the Big Game, connecting with fans online who then came to YouTube AdBlitz to cast their votes.

 

Visit YouTube AdBlitz to watch all of this year’s Big Game ads.

Posted by Natalie Marchant, YouTube Sponsorships Program Manager, recently watched "Beyoncé & Bruno Mars Crash Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show | NFL."

Source: YouTube Blog


Finding the ad copy and landing page that your customers will love

Valentine's Day is the #2 holiday for last-minute gift shopping1, and consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones to help them plan their celebration.

In our personal lives, we write the perfect message in a card and attach it to the perfect gift. In our professional lives as search marketers, we try to write that perfect message in our ad copy and attach it to the right landing page, but this hasn't always been easy. That’s why we are excited to share our latest enhancements to DoubleClick Search which will help you quickly find the ad copy and landing page that your customers will love - this Valentine's Day and beyond.

Find the perfect message

Using search, 50% of consumers lookup brands they’ve never purchased2. Being there with useful information can help you win the love of new customers. Ad copy testing in DoubleClick Search helps you test new ad copy in order to make sure your campaigns are having their greatest impact. Ad copy testing works by normalizing the variables that can impact campaign performance such as flight dates, device type, and display frequency, and measuring the performance of what matters most - the ad copy.

Testing ad copy in DoubleClick Search requires just three quick steps:

  • Step 1: Write your new ad copy
  • Step 2: Choose a test goal such as click-through rate, action rate or revenue.
  • Step 3: Measure results.

When your test is over, you can make changes to your campaigns directly from the testing interface.

"Ad copy testing is a task all SEM managers know to be absolutely necessary and a pillar of a successful account. Previous to DoubleClick Search ad copy testing, we would have to rely on in-house scripts or expensive and clunky 3rd party tools to get the job done. Now that we can take direct action inside of DoubleClick Search, we’re able to save several hours every week putting together and reporting on our testing data and use that time more effectively to help strategically drive our clients’ business forward.” -Kyle Petzinger | Lead, Paid Search, iProspect

To learn how to use ad copy testing in DoubleClick Search, watch our training video or read about it in the Help Center.

Mobile insights on landing page performance

With so much last minute shopping, brands that find ways to be useful to consumers in the moments when they are seeking information for their purchases will win. So, when a consumer clicks one of your search ads, which page should you show? A promotional page? A product details page?

A DoubleClick Search landing page test helps answer this question by randomly splitting ad traffic among multiple landing pages on your site. For AdWords engine accounts, we’ve added the ability to specify the device(s) consumers used to reach your landing page in order to ensure you have the most actionable insights about your page performance, no matter what device a consumer used to get there.

We're excited to see DoubleClick Search customers use the mobile landing page test to optimize the journey for their customers from mobile search to mobile landing page to action.

To learn how to start a landing page test, visit the Help Center.

Meeting all your search marketing needs

Ad copy testing and improved landing page testing in DoubleClick Search are just two of the many ways we are enhancing DoubleClick Search to help save you time and boost your performance. If these features make a difference for your business, let your account manager know. We'd love to hear about your success.

Posted by Amit Varia
Product Manager, DoubleClick Search

1 Google Trends, January 2013-December 2015, United States.
2 Google, “The Role of Mobile on the CPG Purchase Journey” study, United States, September 2015. n=371

Google Apps for Work helps deliver projected savings of £500,000 for The Cordant Group



Editor's note: Today we hear from Craig Bell, IT Service Delivery Director at The Cordant Group, a specialist recruitment and integrated services company employing up to 50,000 staff during peak times, and turning over £750 million a year. Here, Craig tells us how Google Apps for Work has not only helped them work smarter and more flexibly thanks to a business-wide rollout, but has also helped deliver a projected savings of £500,000 to the company’s bottom line in just a year.

It may have grown since it was founded in 1957, but ours is still a family business, and one that values the input of every individual, whether they’re one of our 2,500 permanent employees, or one of our tens of thousands of seasonal workers. But with so many staff, we realised we needed an IT solution that would answer the needs of each person, rather than asking each of them to answer to our inflexible IT system. Our solution is Google Apps for Work, which has transformed the way we operate our business at every level.

With 200 locations nationwide, as well as offices in Germany and Australia, we launched our rollout of Google Apps for Work so our staff can work as a team, wherever they are. Gmail gives access to our accounts whether in the office, at home or on the road — and the fact that it’s multi-device compatible means no more lugging laptops around just to check our inboxes. The flexibility and immediacy it provides ensures that important messages don’t fall through the cracks, and now we’re so speedy and effective with email communications that we send and receive up to 16 million emails each month.

Hangouts also allows us to communicate (face-to-face in this case) at any time, no matter where any of us are based. With over a thousand Hangouts happening across the Group every month, Hangouts have become so crucial to the way we run our business and communicate with each other that we now often use it to conduct interviews for IT recruits. It’s a great way to asses how intuitively candidates use technology tools, in particular Google Apps. Using Hangouts for interviews also benefits our bottom line: we now spend an average of 25% less time on interviews for IT team members, simply because we don’t have to spend time on things like collecting interviewees from reception and making them cups of tea.

As a recruitment company, we have a frequent turnover of staff. Having forward-looking and familiar tools helps us appeal to the very best new recruits. Web-based mail, instant messaging and online communities like Google+, are cloud-based tools that younger generations have grown up with — and are now ready to work with. This familiarity allows new starters to work efficiently from the moment they log on and saves us time and money on training. Plus Google Apps tools are also incredibly easy to scale up or down.

Knowledge is also easy for us to scale now. We share documents hosted on Google Drive almost half a million times every month and add 125,000 new files each month. And everything we do is reusable rather than disposable. Our own internal teams can manage and roll out successful solutions to every one of our 200 locations without needing armies of external IT service providers to support us, a change that along with keeping specialist knowledge in-house and doing things more efficiently has played a significant part in reducing our operational expenditure by hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.

With the virtual nature of Google for Work products, we can also keep costs and downtime at a minimum when relocating to new offices as we grow. Google’s ability to integrate data and systems to the cloud so seamlessly means shifting office spaces and acquiring new companies is now more economically viable. When considering the total cost of acquisition for a subsidiary business, we look at how easily a business can be “Googlised.” Using Chrome OS allows us to almost instantly integrate existing businesses with often outdated legacy apps into our Group. This has opened up a host of opportunities that we otherwise would not have taken because of prohibitive IT costs.

In just one year, Google Apps for Work has completely changed the way we operate, which says a lot coming from a large and established business. As part of our company-wide “New World” IT rollout, we estimate that the new tools will enable us to save about £500,000, thanks to a combination of lower licensing costs, reducing capital expenditure by purchasing 2,000 compatible devices at more than half the previous cost of replacement, minimising use of external suppliers and relying more heavily on in-house skills and efficiencies. And there’s no doubt that we’ve also saved and earned a whole lot more thanks to working smarter with IT-led solutions.

Notification settings and more in the latest Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides Android apps

The latest versions of the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides Android apps include several new features that make working on your mobile phone or tablet easier and more efficient. Check out some of what’s new below:

Notification settings in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides Android apps
As of last November, you can receive mobile notifications when a Drive file is shared with you or someone requests access to a Drive file you own. Previously, the only way to disable those notifications was via a setting in Drive. With this launch, we’ll allow you to enable or disable those notifications from the Settings menus in the Docs, Sheets, and Slides Android apps as well.

View existing Named Ranges in the Google Sheets Android app
In Google Sheets on the web, you can name a range of cells so that they’re easier to keep track of and find later and to simplify the process of creating formulas. With this launch, you can now view those named ranges and quickly navigate to their locations in the Google Sheets app for Android.

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

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action: 
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Turn mobile notifications on or off
Help Center: Name a range of cells

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

Launch release calendar
Launch detail categories
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Stable Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Stable channel has been updated to 48.0.2564.109 (Platform version: 7647.78.0) for all Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes, an update to Adobe Flash Player (20.0.0.306-r2) and security fixes. Systems will be receiving updates over the next several days.

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the browser).

Josafat Garcia
Google Chrome

Announcing the People API

Originally posted on Android Developers blog
Posted by Laurence Moroney, Developer Advocate

We’re delighted to announce the availability of the People API. With it, you can retrieve data about an authenticated user’s connections from their Contacts. Previously, developers had to make multiple calls to the Google+ API for user profiles and the Contacts API for contacts. The new People API uses the newest protocols and technologies and will eventually replace the Contacts API which uses the GData protocol.

For example, if your user has contacts in her private contact list, a call to the API (if she provides consent to do so) will retrieve a list containing the contacts merged with any linked profiles. If the user grants the relevant scopes, the results are returned as a people.connections.list object. Each person object in this list will have a resourceName property, which can be used to get additional data about that person with a call to people.get.

The API is built on HTTP and JSON, so any standard HTTP client can send requests to it and parse the response. However, applications need to be authorized to access the APIs so you will need to create a project on the Google Developers Console in order to get the credentials you need to access the service. All the steps to do so are here. If you’re new to the Google APIs and/or the Developers Console, check out this first in a series of videos to help you get up-to-speed.

Once you’re connected and authorized, you can then get the user’s connections like this (using the Google APIs Client Library for Java):


 ListConnectionsResponse response =   
peopleService.people().connections().list("people/me").execute();
List<Person> connections = response.getConnections();

Full documentation on the people.connections.list method is available here.

The list of connections will have details on all the user’s social connections if the required scopes have been granted. Contacts will only be returned if the user granted a contacts scope.

Each Person item will have a resource_name associated with it, so additional data for that person will be accessible via a simple call:

Person person = peopleService.people().get("resourceName").execute();

Details on this API call can be found here.

In addition to merging data from multiple sources and APIs into a single cohesive data source, the new People API also exposes additional data that was not possible to get before, such as private addresses, phone numbers, e-mails, and birthdays for a user who has given permission.

We hope that these new features and data along with simplified access to existing data inspires you to create the next generation of cool web and mobile apps that delight your users and those in their circles of influence. To learn more about the People API, check out the official documentation here.

“Dev Channel Update

The dev channel has been updated to 50.0.2645.4 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

A partial list of changes is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug. The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues.

Anantha Keesara
Google Chrome

Managing your time effectively in the #AdMobSAC16

Here are some pointers for managing your time as your team gets started  in the #AdMobSAC16.

  • January to February:
    • Organize your team; if you haven’t found a team, utilize Collabfinder to ensure you find the best team possible.
    • Assign tasks and deliverables for people according to their strengths.
    • Brainstorm your ideas for your app.
    • Put together your strategy for project completion.

Tip: This is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the AdMob app policy, which can be found in the AdMob Help Center.

  • March: As springtime approaches, your team should be in the heart of building the application. Focus on:
    • Design work and developing the basic elements of the app.
    • Aim to have a working prototype by the end of the month.
    • Don’t forget to integrate AdMob ads into your app. This is a key requirement.
    • Open it up for testing among a small group of trusted developers who are willing to provide detailed feedback.
    • Start thinking your app’s promotional strategy.

Tip: A large portion of #AdMobSAC16 is scored on the success of your app (such as the number of downloads and ratings - check the judging criteria for the full details) - you will need to give yourself enough time to put effort into promoting your app.

  • April:
    • Complete final testing and make refinements based on user feedback. Your app should be high quality, and part of that is responding to user suggestions.
    • Release your app on an app store and start promoting it.
    • Remember to submit your app and AdMob account ID to AdMob so we know you’ve built it.

  • May to June:
    • Continue promoting your app. Think about creative ways to do it.
    • Now will be the time to start readying your business report, which is due on June 28, 2016 by 5:00PM PST. The Challenge website already has a recommended template on it.
    • Remember, your project will be reviewed by a panel of app experts from Google, so your business report will need to be thorough and of professional-level quality.

Be sure to visit the AdMob website to register. Follow us on AdMob G+ and Twitter and keep an update on #AdMobSAC16 too, for regular updates on the challenge.


Posted by Jeff Miner

AdMob Student App Challenge Team

B Mine Canada! Share your Romantic Street View Locations with #SVHeartCanada

While Canadians may be romantics at heart, when it comes to planning February 14th, we’re stumped. Searches for Valentine’s Day Date Ideas are at an all-time high in Canada.

So, let’s help out our fellow love-struck Canadians with some ideas inspired by - what else - Canada! Here’s your challenge: find the most romantic places on Street View and share on social media using #SVHeartCanada. Let’s give Canadians searching for a great date some inspiration.

To get you started, we’ve put together a map of some of the most romantic locations in the country. From Polar Bear Watching on Canada’s Tundra, riding the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls to exploring the Cape Breton Highlands, enjoy some of Canada’s most interesting, remote and romantic locations with stunning Street View imagery.
Canada-Vday-mobile-love.png

Or how about Love, Saskatchewan? This aptly named village in Saskatchewan has received international recognition as people from around the world send their wedding invitations, Valentine’s Day cards and more to be stamped with the romantically oriented postmark before being forwarded to their final destinations.
Canada-Vday.png

And there’s also Old Quebec City. Dating back to 1608, this historic French colonial neighbourhood is like a little slice of Europe in Canada with its cobblestone streets lined with bistros and boutiques.

These are just a few romantic locals we came up with and we’ve mapped out even more hotspots here (create your own custom map using My Maps). But we’re just getting started.

This Valentine’s Day, let’s help our fellow Canadians out with some ideas for romantic destinations in Street View.

Make sure to share yours using #SVHeartCanada and we’ll re-post our favourites.

Love, Google Canada.