Monthly Archives: July 2016

Dev Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Dev channel has been updated to 53.0.2785.36 (Platform version: 8530.35.0) for all Chrome OS devices. 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 vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser).

Ketaki Deshpande
Google Chrome

Google Ads Developer Blog 2016-07-29 22:08:00

A new episode of The Mobile Ads Garage has hit YouTube! If you haven't seen it before, The Mobile Ads Garage is a video tutorial series that covers how to use the Mobile Ads SDK to display ads from AdMob and Doubleclick for Publishers. Each episode covers one aspect of the SDK, breaks down the feature, and shows screencasts of real implementations on both Android and iOS – all in a friendly format.

Did you know that AdMob serves ads to more than two hundred countries and territories? To celebrate, The Mobile Ads Garage presents Episode 8 in two languages! Katie from the Mobile Ads SDK team stops by to help Andrew talk about rewarded video mediation. You'll hear the basics of how and why to use AdMob mediation and the Mobile Ads SDK to show rewarded video ads in both English and Chinese.

Rewarded video is a full-screen ad format in which users watch ads in exchange for something, typically an in-game reward. Because users hold the power of choice, they don't have to see ads they aren't interested in. Plus, publishers can build the view/reward cycle into the mechanics of their games, creating monetization strategies that actually increase user engagement. When you add all that to AdMob's ability to automatically prioritize mediated networks by eCPM, you've got a complete solution.


If you like the video, save the Mobile Ads Garage playlist to your YouTube Playlist collection and you'll never miss an episode.

We’d love to hear which AdMob features you’d like to learn more about. The comment sections for the videos are open, and you're welcome to toss out ideas for new episodes and examples you'd like to see. If you have a technical question relating to something discussed in one of the episodes, you can bring it to our support forum.

Now you can build multi-stop road trips on Google Maps for iOS

With many people looking to sneak one more getaway into their summer plans, we’ve launched multi-stop directions for Google Maps on iOS (already available on Android). Here’s how it works: Just open the app, enter a destination, tap the corner menu, and then tap “Add stop”. To rearrange the order of your stops, tap and hold the stop you want to move and drag it to the position you want. Once you’ve added all your stops, tap “Done” and your multi-stop route is complete. When you enter navigation mode you’ll have the same seamless driving experience you’re used to, whether you’re going from errand to errand or hitting scenic spots along Route 66.


Posted by Aditya Dhanrajani, Product Manager, Google Maps

Source: Google LatLong


Bringing HSTS to www.google.com


For many years, we’ve worked to increase the use of encryption between our users and Google. Today, the vast majority of these connections are encrypted, and our work continues on this effort.

To further protect users, we've taken another step to strengthen how we use encryption for data in transit by implementing HTTP Strict Transport Security—HSTS for short—on the www.google.com domain. HSTS prevents people from accidentally navigating to HTTP URLs by automatically converting insecure HTTP URLs into secure HTTPS URLs. Users might navigate to these HTTP URLs by manually typing a protocol-less or HTTP URL in the address bar, or by following HTTP links from other websites.



Preparing for launch

Ordinarily, implementing HSTS is a relatively basic process. However, due to Google's particular complexities, we needed to do some extra prep work that most other domains wouldn't have needed to do. For example, we had to address mixed content, bad HREFs, redirects to HTTP, and other issues like updating legacy services which could cause problems for users as they try to access our core domain.

This process wasn’t without its pitfalls. Perhaps most memorably, we accidentally broke Google’s Santa Tracker just before Christmas last year (don’t worry — we fixed it before Santa and his reindeer made their trip).
Deployment and next steps
We’ve turned on HSTS for www.google.com, but some work remains on our deployment checklist.

In the immediate term, we’re focused on increasing the duration that the header is active (‘max-age’). We've initially set the header’s max-age to one day; the short duration helps mitigate the risk of any potential problems with this roll-out. By increasing the max-age, however, we reduce the likelihood that an initial request to www.google.com happens over HTTP. Over the next few months, we will ramp up the max-age of the header to at least one year.


Encrypting data in transit helps keep our users and their data secure. We’re excited to be implementing HSTS and will continue to extend it to more domains and Google products in the coming months.

Three Things You Should Know Before Choosing AdWords Express

Online advertising is a powerful, affordable way to grow your business, but you have to start with the right tools. Many small businesses are interested in reaching new customers online, but don’t know where to start, and don’t have much time to spare. As Benoit Ballon – the owner of King Florist in Austin, Texas – puts it, “We just wanted a platform where we would be able to keep it simple. For our small business, that’s a big plus.”

For business owners like Benoit, we recommend AdWords Express, a smart advertising tool from Google that’s designed to manage your ads for you, helping you get the most out of your budget and allowing you to stay focused on your business. A lot has been written about choosing the best product for you, and it can be overwhelming to sift through everyone’s recommendations. So if you’re considering AdWords Express for your online ads, here are the top three things we think you should know:
  1. It uses expert techniques to manage campaigns for you.
    AdWords Express is constantly fine-tuning your campaigns. It monitors how often and where your ad appears on Google (and across the web), adjusts spend, and makes sure your ad is placed in front of the right people, to help you maximize the number of clicks or calls for the budget you selected.
  2. It’s designed to make setup easy and results clear.
    Setting up your first AdWords Express ad takes just 15 minutes – it’s as simple as answering a few questions about your business. Once your campaign has had some time to run, AdWords Express shows you focused results – including views, clicks, and calls – in an easy-to-read dashboard, available on desktop and in the mobile app. You’ll also get an email of your results every month, so you can keep track of things right from your inbox.
  3. It’s improving along with the rest of Google.
    One of the best features of AdWords Express is the work it does on your behalf, and we’re making it even smarter with cutting edge technology from Google Brain. We also recently announced the addition of Google Analytics to help advertisers get even deeper insights into their performance. We’re constantly improving AdWords Express, so keep an eye out for even more features in the coming months.
For Benoit at King Florist, the difference AdWords Express makes clear. “With AdWords Express, we can actually see an increase in business. If tomorrow I turn off the AdWords Express campaign, two or three days later I can feel it. The phone isn’t ringing as much. Our presence online isn't as much. Every day, on one of our campaigns there is an impact.”

AdWords Express is designed to be effective for all types of business and all sizes of budget, so sign up today and get it working for you. To see a full list of features, and more information on choosing between AdWords Express and AdWords (including a detailed comparison), visit our help center.

Stories from Google Code-in: FOSSASIA and Haiku

Google Code-in is our annual contest to help pre-university students gain real-world computer science experience by taking on tasks of varying difficulty levels with the help of volunteer mentors. These tasks are created by open source projects so while learning, the students are contributing to the software many of us use on a daily basis.

The finalists and winners for our 2015/2016 season were announced in February and, in June, the grand prize winners joined us for four days of learning and celebration. Students and their guardians came from all around the world. One of my favorite things, as one of the Googler hosts, was seeing the light bulbs go on above parents’ heads as they came to understand open source and why it’s so important. These parents and guardians were even more proud of the students as they learned how much their teenager has contributed to the world through participating in Google Code-in.

We’ve invited contest winners and organizations to write about their experience and will be sharing their stories in a series of blog posts. This marks the first post in the series.

Google Code-in 2015 Grand Prize Winners and Mentors

Let’s start with Jason Wong, a student from the US who worked with FOSSASIA. FOSSASIA supports open source developers in Asia through events and coding programs.

Jason got into computer science during middle school at a summer camp where he built a website describing the differences between Linux, OS X, and Windows.  He dove deeper into web development by learning PHP and JavaScript through YouTube videos. He enjoyed being able to build more complex and dynamic websites. Like many new developers, Jason became very confident but did not concern himself with important aspects of programming like testing.

He learned about Google Code-in when Stephanie Taylor, fellow open source program manager who manages the GCI program here at Google, gave a talk at his school. Jason dove right in picking FOSSASIA as the project he would contribute to.

FOSSASIA offered Jason a chance to learn a lot about development and open source. He worked on their event pages, integrated Loklak and added an RSS section to their website, gaining experience with version control, Docker, Pharo and Node.js in the process. Most importantly, Jason learned about collaboration. He had this to say:

“Collaboration is so important in the open source community as it allows everyone to come together to help the world. Google Code-in has persuaded me to contribute to open source in the future.”

Next up we have Hannah Pan, another US student. She chose to work on Haiku, an open source operating system built for personal computers, because it used the C/C++ language which she was already confident with.

Hannah got into computer science through a high school AP course and discovered Google Code-in through this blog (woohoo!). She decided to participate even though it had already been underway for two weeks. Aiming just to make the top 10 in order to have a chance at being a finalist (and earn a hoodie), Hannah finished as a grand prize winner! 

The learning curve was steep: *nix commands, build tools and GitHub all presented new challenges. She was surprised how much code she had to sift through sometimes just to isolate the cause of minor bugs.

Like all of the participants, Hannah found her mentors to be crucial in providing both technical guidance and moral support. She explained, “I was amazed at my mentors’ expertise, dedication, modesty, and high standards. They taught me to strive for excellence rather than settle for mediocrity.”

Among other things, Hannah added localization support to the Tipster app, fixed extractDebugInfo, and even wrote a how-to article relating to the work. Reflecting on her experience, Hannah wrote:

“On the technical side, not only have I learned a lot, but I have realized how much more I have yet to learn. In addition, it has taught me some important life skills that no doubt will benefit me in my future endeavors. I’d like to thank my mentors and other students who inspired me and pushed me to do my best.”

Thank you to Jason and Hannah both for contributing to open source and sharing their Google Code-in experiences with us. Stay tuned as we continue this series in our next blog post!

By Josh Simmons, Open Source Programs Office

Updated and expanded: Google Cloud Platform for AWS Professionals

Last year, we published a guide for our customers who had familiarity and expertise with AWS but wanted to learn how it compares to Google Cloud Platform. The guide had a really positive reception, helping customers understand things like how Cloud Platform delivers Infrastructure as a Service with Google Compute Engine and how our VPN works.

Today, we're happy to announce a major expansion to the Cloud Platform for AWS Professionals guide, with new sections covering Big Data services, Storage services and Containers as a Service (Google Container Engine).
Amazon ECS vs. Google Container Engine at a glance
How Amazon Elastic MapReduce compares to Google Cloud Dataproc and Cloud Dataflow
As we said last year, this guide is a work-in-progress. We have some ideas about what topics we’d like to tackle next (services like Databases and Development tools) but we’d also love to hear what you think we should cover.

We hope you find this information useful and makes learning about Cloud Platform enjoyable. Please tell us what you think, and be sure to sign up for a free trial!

Mobile Ads Garage: Episode 8 – Rewarded Video Mediation

Episode eight of The Mobile Ads Garage is live on YouTube! If you haven't seen it before, The Mobile Ads Garage is a video tutorial series that covers how to use the Mobile Ads SDK to display ads from AdMob and Doubleclick For Publishers. Each episode covers one aspect of the SDK, breaks down the feature, and shows screencasts of real implementations on both Android and iOS – all in a friendly format.

Did you know that AdMob serves ads to more than two hundred countries and territories? To celebrate, The Mobile Ads Garage presents Episode 8 in two languages! Katie from the Mobile Ads SDK team stops by to help Andrew talk about rewarded video mediation. You'll hear the basics of how and why to use AdMob mediation and the Mobile Ads SDK to show rewarded video ads in both English and Chinese.

Rewarded video is a full-screen ad format in which users watch ads in exchange for something, typically an in-game reward. Because users hold the power of choice, they don't have to see ads they aren't interested in. Plus, publishers can build the view/reward cycle into the mechanics of their games, creating monetization strategies that actually increase user engagement. When you add all that to AdMob's ability to automatically prioritize mediated networks by eCPM, you've got a complete solution.


If you like the video, save the Mobile Ads Garage playlist to your YouTube Playlist collection and you'll never miss an episode.

We’d love to hear which AdMob features you’d like to learn more about. The comment sections for the videos are open, and you're welcome to toss out ideas for new episodes and examples you'd like to see. If you have a technical question relating to something discussed in one of the episodes, you can bring it to our support forum.

Remember to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.

Source: Inside AdMob