Restricting Payments account usage across manager account hierarchies

Starting September 9, 2019, we are rolling out a change to prevent the same Payments accounts in the Google Ads API (billing accounts in the AdWords API) from being used across manager account hierarchies. Only valid Payments accounts belonging to the Google Ads manager account hierarchy can be used to create and update billing setups in the Google Ads API.

How does this affect you?
For your authenticated Google Ads client account Therefore, you may get fewer results from those API calls than before.

What do you need to do?
Google Ads API
When creating/updating a new billing setup, you will need to select a valid Payments account returned by PaymentsAccountService.ListPaymentsAccounts(). If you use an invalid Payments account during the above processes, the INVALID_PAYMENTS_ACCOUNT error will be thrown.


AdWords API
When creating a new budget order, you will need to specify a valid billingAccountId (the ID of a valid billing account returned by BudgetOrderService.getBillingAccounts()). If you use an invalid billingAccountId during the above process, the BudgetOrderError.INVALID_BILLING_ACCOUNT error will be thrown.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to post your questions on the Google Ads API forum.

Pixel 3a helped me see my vacation through a new Lens

When I was a kid, my mom would tell me on every birthday she wanted me to have a big goal in life: Travel to as many countries as my years on Earth. And though I'm far from that ambitious target, my mom did instill a major travel bug in me. 

Briana Feigon in Oaxaca

Settling in at the Casa Oaxaca hotel. 


But no matter where I travel, I struggle with the same issues many people face: pricey phone bills, subpar photos, a language barrier and, well, getting extremely lost.

So when I traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico last month, I sought out ways to combat these typical tourist problems. And thanks to my Pixel 3a, I was able to make real progress for the next time I visit more countries on my bucket list. Here’s how I did it. 

Navigating on Maps without pricey data fees

Even when I’m traveling, I like to be able to use my phone the same way I would at home. (Meaning, a lot.) For this trip, I decided to set my phone up with Google Fi so I could have unlimited international usage and great coverage. At the end of my trip, my phone bill netted out to be a fraction of my typical charge when I travel internationally.

Thanks to my cheaper data plan, I was also able to navigate with help from Maps. I’d never admit it myself, but some people might say I’m bad at directions. (Okay, a lot of people might say that.) In any case, I really leaned into using Live View in Google Maps, a tool that literally has a big blue arrow staring at me on my screen, pointing me exactly in the direction I should go. Even when in rural areas, outside of cell service, I was grateful to be able to use Google Maps in offline mode—like when I visited the Monte Alban ruins.

Taking in the beauty of Monte Alban with friends.

Taking in the beauty of Monte Alban with friends.

Lens translate

When ordering a juice from a mercado stand, I was able to use Translate in Lens to decipher many of the blends, opting for a juice that promised benefits for my skin. 

A new way to break down the language barrier 

I’m ashamed to say my Spanish isn’t great, so I put the Pixel 3a to the test. Could it magically help me speak a new language? 

Within the camera app, there’s a nifty feature in Google Lens that allows you to hover over text in another language for real-time translations. This came in handy in bustling markets, local restaurants and juice stands that only had menus in Spanish. Even if you don’t have a Pixel phone, you can download the Google Lens app on other Android or iOS devices to try it out yourself.  

The Google Assistant also came in handy when I needed language help. It was easy to ask the Assistant questions like, “Hey Google, how do you say ‘where is the bathroom’ in Spanish?” and get help converting costs from pesos to dollars.

Taking my vacation photos to the next level

In a city as beautiful as Oaxaca, I knew I’d be leaning heavily on the camera quality of the Pixel 3a. I snapped photos throughout a cooking demo making tortillas from scratch, and used features like portrait mode and Night Sight to make the most out of my vacation pics. Here are just a few highlights: 

My Pixel 3a was the ultimate tour guide

I know, I know, it’s just a phone, but I have to say I feel indebted to my Pixel 3a for showing me such a special time in Oaxaca. I think I’ll take it to my next dream travel destination: Japan. 

Source: Google LatLong


Accelerating Europe’s clean energy transition

Europe has long been a leader in renewable energy. Last year, policymakers passed an ambitious set of reforms to take things to the next level, setting a new goal of meeting 32 percent of Europe’s energy needs from renewables by 2030. Google fully supports this ambitious target, and is committed to helping the continent reach its energy and climate goals. One way we can do so is to share successful strategies that we have used to purchase renewable energy for our own operations in Europe. 

The European Commission has published a new case study on Google’s renewable energy purchasing. It describes the motivations, principles and methods behind our purchasing in Europe, where we have signed 14 power purchase agreements (PPAs) to purchase electricity from 900 megawatts of wind and solar projects, enabling €1.2 billion in investment across the continent.

As the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world and the second largest in Europe, we believe corporate PPAs can play a significant role in helping Europe reach its clean energy goals. As the study shows, renewables not only are an important part of solving for climate change, but also make business sense. In an increasing number of geographic areas, renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy available. Competitive and stable renewable energy prices allow us to reduce our costs and hedge against price increases in the future, which helps us plan the growth of our business.

The case study also provides policy recommendations to encourage more corporate renewable energy purchasing. They include revising policies to drive down the cost of renewables, ensuring that corporate renewable energy buyers receive certification (known as “Guarantees of Origin”) for the electricity that they procure and encouraging cross-border PPAs so that competitive renewable electricity produced in one country can be easily purchased in another.  

Google’s work with the European Commission builds on our broader commitment to helping all companies secure a clear and easy path to purchase renewable energy. Last year, we helped launch the RE-Source Platform, a broad coalition of companies and NGOs working to accelerate corporate purchasing of renewables in Europe. 

This year is an important one for renewables in Europe, as member state governments create national plans to accelerate their energy transition over the next decade. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the European Commission to help expand corporate renewable energy sourcing. We hope this case study can help policymakers recognize the important contribution of corporate PPAs to their climate and energy goals, and encourage more companies to explore how cost-effective renewable energy can meet their business needs.

Maintaining the integrity of our platforms

Protecting our users and the integrity of our platforms is essential to Google’s mission. My team works with others across Google to detect phishing and hacking attempts, identify influence operations and protect users from digital attacks.

When identifying and preventing threats, we exchange information with industry partners and law enforcement, and also apply our own internal investigative tools as well as intelligence from third parties.

Earlier this week, as part of our ongoing efforts to combat coordinated influence operations, we disabled 210 channels on YouTube when we discovered channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter.

We found use of VPNs and other methods to disguise the origin of these accounts and other activity commonly associated with coordinated influence operations.

Separately, we are continuing our work to protect users against online security threats. This week, Google announced that we have taken action to protect users in Kazakhstan after credible reports that its citizens were required to download and install a government-issued certificate on all devices and in every browser. This certificate enabled the government to decrypt and read anything a user types or posts, including intercepting their account information and passwords.

These actions are part of our continuing efforts to protect the integrity of our platforms and the security and privacy of our users. Each month, our Threat Analysis Group sends more than 4,000 warnings to our users about attempts by government-backed attackers or other illicit actors to infiltrate their accounts. This is the warning we send if we detect such an attempt:

Security alert

In addition to identifying and detecting the source of threats, we also integrate the most advanced security measures into all of our products so that users are protected automatically. To that end, this month we announced an expansion of the Advanced Protection Program to Chrome to provide extra security for that program’s users when they’re downloading files online. We also just introduced that program as a beta for enterprise customers. Our ​improving ​technology has also enabled ​us to ​significantly ​decrease ​the ​volume ​of ​phishing ​email, and we've rolled out significant protections in Gmail that detect and block over 99.8 percent of attachment malware.

Our teams will continue to identify bad actors, terminate their accounts, and share relevant information with law enforcement and others in the industry.

Professional Collaboration Engineer certification for G Suite admins

Quick launch summary

We recently introduced the Professional Collaboration Engineer certification, which assesses an individual’s ability to deploy, configure, support, manage, and monitor G Suite administrative operations, and demonstrates their ability to increase operational efficiency by implementing solutions across the platform. Visit the Cloud blog to learn more.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Security center improvements: Gmail content, saved investigations, and more

What's Changing

We’re making it easier to assess and manage threats and improve your organization’s security posture using the G Suite security center. With these changes, superadmins or delegated admins with appropriate permissions can:

  • View Gmail content directly in the investigation tool when email content is needed to understand the potential security risk to a user or the domain during an investigation. 
  • Choose whether to include deleted Gmail content in search results and restore emails that have been recently deleted by users when required as part of the security investigation. 
  • Use “Group-by” to group search results around specific attributes when querying logs in the investigation tool.  
  • Save and share investigations with other security admins. 
  • See new charts and use new data sources related to user login logs. 

Note that to see Gmail content, admins must have superadmin status or have the “View detailed content” permission. Additionally, those admins will be required to add justification for accessing email content, which is then stored with the log recording their access. See more details below.

Who’s impacted 

Admins only

Why you’d use it 

The G Suite security center already helps you protect your organization with security analytics and best practice recommendations from Google. It provides a unified security dashboard, a tool to investigate and remediate threats, and more. These new features will make it easier to assess and manage threats in the tool directly, and help you collaborate with colleagues to improve your security posture.

How to get started 




Additional details 


Investigate, remediate, search and restore Gmail Content within the investigation tool. 
Malicious emails can be a critical source of data for an admin investigating attempted attacks within their domain or identifying other potential security risks. Now, superadmins or admins with “View detailed content” permission who enter justification for the access request can choose to view the content of email messages that match their risk criteria directly in the investigation tool. They can also choose whether to include deleted emails as part of the investigation. Use our Help Center to learn more about Gmail message content in the investigation tool.

This makes it easier to understand the full context of risks associated with emails and can make it quicker to identify, triage, and take action on security and privacy issues in your domain.


See Gmail content directly in the investigation tool 


“Group-by” option around specific search attributes when querying logs in the investigation tool 
When customizing a search in the investigation tool, you can group items by a particular search attribute to quickly understand the breadth of an issue. For example, when conducting a search based on device log events, you can group the search criteria based on the device model. Use our Help Center to find out how to add a group-by option when customizing a search.

Save and share investigations in the investigation tool
We want to make sure admins are able to work together to assess their organization’s exposure to security issues. Admins can now save their investigations in the security investigation tool and share them with other admins to improve collaboration. Use our Help Center to learn how to save, share, and change ownership of investigations.

User logs in the security center 
There are new charts in the Security Dashboards and new data sources in the investigation tool related to user login logs and the state of users in the organization. Use our Help Center to see more about how to search and investigate user log events.

Helpful links 

Help Center: About the security center 
Help Center: About the security investigation tool 

Availability 

Rollout details 



G Suite editions 

  • Available to G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and Cloud Identity Premium
  • Not available to G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, G Suite for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits


On/off by default? 
These features will be ON by default.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

The mobile challenge, and how to measure it

Does your mobile website have a lower conversion rate than your desktop version? As some people are spending up to 70% of their time on mobile, imagine how much additional revenue you could gain if the conversion rate levels were the same. 

A recent report showed that mobile conversion rates are 47 percent of the levels achieved on desktop. As more and more of your customers are using mobile devices, you need to ensure your mobile conversion rate is keeping up, and maintain your revenue.


One way you can monitor your mobile website performance is by reviewing your Relative Mobile Conversion Rate (Rel mCvR), which is calculated by dividing the mobile conversion rate with the desktop conversion rate.

Mobile Site Challenge 1

The high traffic share for mobile, with lower conversion rates, will show your stakeholders that there is a gap the company will need to bridge by improving the mobile site.


Mobile and desktop conversion rates are influenced by two main parameters. The first is traffic influencers—this can be things like channel mix, marketing campaign, seasonality. The second is the performance of the website, for example UX and site speed. Any of these can cause your mobile or desktop conversion rate to go up or down.


The benefit of using Rel mCvR to evaluate your mobile performance is that traffic influencers tend to not impact the metric. Why? Because the same campaigns and seasonalities will reach both mobile and desktop versions of your website, a good marketing campaign will make both the mobile and desktop conversion rate go up but leave Rel mCvR stable. When you evaluate the metric over time, it will show us if we have improved our mobile website.


Things to keep in mind when evaluating Rel mCvR: 

  • Always keep an eye on your desktop conversion rate. If Rel mCvR has an abnormal peak, check if it’s due to the desktop having a technical problem that made the desktop conversion rate decrease. 

  • Track your Rel mCvR weekly. Because the metric is based on your entire website’s performance, driving improvement will take time. Reviewing your data daily can be too volatile, look for the large movements over time instead.

  • Be mindful of that companies with physical stores may never reach 100 percent in Rel mCvR, as mobile is often used for doing research before or while visiting a store. 70 percent is a good target to start with.

Mobile Site Challenge 2

How to improve your mobile site and Rel mCvR


A better user experience on your mobile site leads to increased revenue and better Rel mCvR. To get there, I recommend you start A/B testing on your mobile site to improve your mobile conversion rate. It’s through A/B tests that you become guided by your customers and provide what they need. 


Start with these three steps: 

  1. Review the process of conversion optimization in the Optimize Resource Hub. 

  2. Get inspired by what other companies have done.

  3. Set up your first test–for free–in Google Optimize


When you’re focused on improving your mobile site with conversion optimization and A/B tests—your Rel mCvR will start to show your progress.

The Assistant turns your Smart Clock into a digital photo frame

The Lenovo Smart Clock comes with the Google Assistant, so it can help you better manage your morning and evening routines. When you’re not using your Lenovo Smart Clock, the screen can now turn into a digital photo album, displaying pictures from your Google Photos account or featured photos provided by Google. 

But that’s not all. There’s now an optional setting for Continued Conversation that lets you have a natural back-and-forth conversation with the Assistant (starting in English). After you initially trigger the Assistant with a request, the Assistant will stay active for long enough to respond to follow up questions so you don't have to say “Hey Google” as often. The Lenovo Smart Clock also works with most cameras that work with the Assistant, so you can always see on the device who is outside your front door when your hands are full. 

You’ll be getting all of these new features as part of an automatic software update rolling out this week. The Lenovo Smart Clock is now available for sale in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, and Japan, and will be coming soon to India and other countries.


Complete basic PDF forms directly in Google Drive on mobile

Quick launch summary

You can now fill out structured PDF forms within the Google Drive app on Android and iOS devices. You’ll be able to complete text fields, select options from a dropdown menu, and select checkboxes or radio buttons. After filling out the form, you can save your edits as a new revision of the document, or save a copy.

This feature makes it quicker and easier to complete business invoices, event registrations, tax forms and other types of simple forms. This eliminates the need to print, fill-in by hand, and re-upload the document, saving you time.



To begin filling out a form, tap the pencil button in the PDF preview or tap the form field directly. When you’re done, save edits or save a copy of the form.

Note that this feature is not available on XFA forms, and does not support e-signature.

Availability

Rollout details

  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 22, 2019
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 22, 2019

G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions


On/off by default?

  • This feature will be ON by default.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

A pop of color and more: updates to Android’s brand

Over the last decade, Android's open platform has created a thriving community of manufacturers and developers that reach a global audience with their devices and apps. This has expanded beyond phones to tablets, cars, watches, TVs and more—with more than 2.5 billion active devices around the world. As we continue to build Android for everyone in the community, our brand should be as inclusive and accessible as possible—and we think we can do better in a few ways.

Android Q is Android 10

Android with map

First, we’re changing the way we name our releases. Our engineering team has always used internal code names for each version, based off of tasty treats, or desserts, in alphabetical order. This naming tradition has become a fun part of the release each year externally, too. But we’ve heard feedback over the years that the names weren’t always understood by everyone in the global community. 

For example, L and R are not distinguishable when spoken in some languages. So when some people heard us say Android Lollipop out loud, it wasn’t intuitively clear that it referred to the version after KitKat. It’s even harder for new Android users, who are unfamiliar with the naming convention, to understand if their phone is running the latest version. We also know that pies are not a dessert in some places, and that marshmallows, while delicious, are not a popular treat in many parts of the world. 

As a global operating system, it’s important that these names are clear and relatable for everyone in the world. So, this next release of Android will simply use the version number and be called Android 10. We think this change helps make release names simpler and more intuitive for our global community. And while there were many tempting “Q” desserts out there, we think that at version 10 and 2.5 billion active devices, it was time to make this change. 

A refreshed look for the brand

The Android brand has evolved over time. Back in 2014, we updated our logo and brand color, and this year, we’re introducing a more modern, accessible look.

Android new logo with robot

The design of the logo draws inspiration from the most recognizable non-human member of the community, the Android robot. The robot belongs to everyone in the community, and has long been a symbol of the fun and curiosity at the heart of Android. Now, it has a special place in our logo. 

We also changed the logo from green to black. It’s a small change, but we found the green was hard to read, especially for people with visual impairments. The logo is often paired with colors that can make it hard to see—so we came up with a new set of color combinations that improve contrast.  

We’ll officially start using the updated logo in the coming weeks with the final release of Android 10. Thank you to the community for supporting Android and inspiring us over the years.