Monthly Archives: June 2017

Your red, white and blue Google Assistant

Fourth of July is just a few days away. From fireworks to BBQs, here’s how your Assistant can help you get the most out of the holiday weekend:

july4

  • Let’s start with the facts. Ask your Assistant on Google Home “Why do we celebrate the fourth of July?”
  • Get in the summertime spirit. Ask your Assistant on phones “What should I do this summer?”
  • When you’re ready to fire up the grill, ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Add charcoal to my shopping list” or “Find me a burger recipe.”
  • When you’re planning your firework fun, ask your Assistant on phones “What’s the weather on Tuesday?”
  • And if the sound of fireworks is a bit too loud for you (or your pets), you can ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Play white noise.”

Whether you celebrate with fireworks at a park, a local parade or watching TV with your favorite people, your Assistant can help you make the most out of your fourth of July!

Removing Place Add, Delete & Radar Search features

Back in 2012, we launched the Place Add / Delete feature in the Google Places API to enable applications to instantly update the information in Google Maps’ database for their own users, as well as submit new places to add to Google Maps. We also introduced Radar Search to help users identify specific areas of interest within a geographic area.

Unfortunately, since we introduced these features, they have not been widely adopted, and we’ve recently launched easier ways for users to add missing places. At the same time, these features have proven incompatible with future improvements we plan to introduce into the Places API.

Therefore, we’ve decided to remove the Place Add / Delete and Radar Search features in the Google Places API Web Service and JavaScript Library. Place Add is also being deprecated in the Google Places API for Android and iOS. These features will remain available until June 30, 2018. After that date, requests to the Places API attempting to use these features will receive an error response.

Next steps

We recommend removing these features from all your applications, before they are turned down at the end of June 2018.

Nearby Search can work as an alternative for Radar Search, when used with rankby=distance and without keyword or name. Please check the Developer's Guide for more details, in the Web Service or Places library in the Google Maps JavaScript API.

The Client Libraries for Google Maps Web Services for Python, Node.js, Java and Go are also being updated to reflect the deprecated status of this functionality.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we hope that the alternative options we provide will still help meet your needs. Please submit any questions or feedback to our issue tracker.

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Posted by Fontaine Foxworth, Product Manager, Google Maps APIs

The High Five: wave your wand and your flag

snitch

Accio, trends! Translation for non-Harry Potter fans: we’ve summoned five of the top search trends this week, with data compiled by the Google News Lab team. 

20 years of magic

June 26th marked the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series—shall we celebrate with some butterbeers? At Hogwarts, Harry and friends got their answers from the Sorting Hat, but fans are turning to Google to learn more about the four Hogwarts houses. This week search interest in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw was at its highest in the past five months, with interest in Hufflepuff slightly above the others. Did someone say Wingardium Leviosa? Because search interest in Kings Cross Station (where Platform 9 and ¾ was filmed) reached new heights this week.

McEnroe gets served

Serena Williams was in the news this week after John McEnroe claimed that Williams is the best female tennis player, but she’d be ranked 700th on a list of men. His comment prompted people to search, “How fast does Serena Williams serve?” and “What would Serena Williams be ranked in men’s tennis?” Despite McEnroe’s contentious comments, search interest in Williams was still 258 percent higher than him this week.

Oh, say can you search?

It’s America’s 241st birthday, and the country is throwing a big party. And it’s not a party without cupcakes, cookies, jello shots, cheesecake and deviled eggs (top-searched Fourth of July recipes). During this time of year, Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, Ocean Beach, Washington D.C. and Catalina Island are the most searched destinations, and according to YouTube, the most popular Fourth of July songs are Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, Bruce Springsteen’s Born and Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.  

Pooches with paunches

Exercise isn’t just for the two-legged among us. A study from the Banfield Pet Hospital revealed that one in three cats and dogs in the U.S. are overweight due to poor diet and lack of exercise, and pet-lovers unleashed their searches, like “Banfield state of of pet health obesity by state” and “Banfield vet and obese pets.” Though all of our furry friends need to watch their figures, search interest in “dog weight” was 149 percent higher than “cat weight.”  

Literally surreal

This week a judge ordered Salvador Dali’s body to be exhumed for a paternity test, to investigate the claim of a 61-year-old woman who says that Dali is her father. After the judge’s order, search interest in Dali reached its reached its highest peak in five years, with queries like “How old was Salvador Dali when he died?” “Did Salvador Dali have children?” and “How much is Salvador Dali’s estate worth?”

Source: Search


Android Things Hackster Community

Posted by Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT

Android Things makes building connected embedded devices easy by providing the same Android development tools, best-in-class Android framework, and Google APIs that make developers successful on mobile. Since the initial preview launch back in December, the community has turned some amazing ideas into exciting prototypes using the platform.

To empower these makers and developers using Android Things to share and learn from each other, we have partnered with Hackster.io to create a community where aspiring IoT developers can go to showcase their projects and get inspired by the work of others. Hackster.io is a community of 200,000 engineers and developers dedicated to building internet-connected hardware projects. They also seek to educate and challenge members through live workshops and design contests.

We are eager to see the projects that you come up with. More importantly, we're excited to see how your work can inspire other developers to create something great with Android Things. Visit our Hackster.io community to see the amazing projects others have already built and join the community today!

Android Things Webinar

We will be hosting a webinar in cooperation with Hackster.io on July 7th, 2017 at 10AM PST titled Bootstrapping IoT Products with Android Things. During this time, you will learn how we have designed Android Things to address many of the pain points experienced by developers attempting to build IoT products. You will also have the opportunity to send in questions you have regarding the platform and ecosystem. Register today to join us for this exciting event!

Pride 2017: Show love, show progress, #ShowUp

Growing up in Chandigarh, India, a small, conservative city about five hours north of New Delhi, I knew early on that something about me was different. After undergrad, I moved to Champaign, IL to get a master’s degree in engineering, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of India for a small, quiet university town in the Midwest. My newfound independence abroad gave me the space to confront and accept my difference—and come out as gay.

During my first summer in the U.S., I visited Boystown in Chicago, one of the most famous gay neighborhoods in the country. It was a bright summer day and the streets were packed with smiling, laughing people from across the LGBTQ community. It was only a matter of seconds before my friends and I got caught up in the excitement and camaraderie of the place. For the first time, I felt I could be myself.

When I joined Google, I was excited to find a community of LGBTQ Googlers and allies who celebrate Pride across the world, and not just by marching in parades (although we do lots of that, too). As a company, we want to make sure our products help LGBTQ people feel they can be themselves, whether they’re in Chandigarh or Chicago.

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From displaying Pride parade routes in Maps, to the fifth consecutive year of YouTube’s #ProudToBe campaign, 2017 was all about connecting people with local Pride events and sharing experiences across the globe.

In addition to #ProudToBe, which encourages people to share their stories and connect with others around the world, YouTube made a number of commitments to continue supporting the LGBTQ community and shared a video celebrating Pride and all the great LGBTQ YouTube Creators.

#ProudToBe: Celebrate Brave Voices this Pride

Google My Business made it easier for merchants worldwide to let people know their business is “LGBTQ-friendly” or a “Transgender Safe Space.” Once merchants opt into these attributes, they’re shown on business listings in Google Maps and Search to signal to potential visitors that their establishment respects and treats all people equally.

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In New York, Senator Chuck Schumer announced a $1 million Google.org grant to record critical moments in LGBTQ history, including the night of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The Stonewall Uprising is important to the ongoing road to civil rights for LGBTQ communities around the world—and its message is as resonant and necessary today as it was in 1969.

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US Senator Chuck Schumer announcing a Google.org grant to the LGBT Community Center of New York City in support of the Stonewall National Monument

And we launched #ShowUp, a project designed to help people take action in support of the LGBTQ community at a local level. By entering their zip code on the #ShowUp homepage, people can find the nearest parades, marches and LGBTQ-supporting nonprofits in their communities. The campaign also aims to chart progress in LGBTQ rights across eight U.S. cities by recording individual stories about why showing up matters.

We all have a reason to #ShowUp

Boystown made me feel safe to be myself. All people deserve to feel this way. At Google, we hope that, by  connecting people with local events and sharing experiences across the globe, Google can help even a few more LGBTQ people feel safe to be themselves.

Solution guide: Building connected vehicle apps with Cloud IoT Core



With the Internet of Things (IoT), vehicles are evolving from self-contained commodities focused on transportation to sophisticated, Internet-connected endpoints often capable of two-way communication. The new data streams generated by modern connected vehicles drive innovative business models such as usage-based insurance, enable new in-vehicle experiences and build the foundation for advances such as autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.
Through all this, we here at Google Cloud are excited to help make this world a reality. We recently published a solution guide that describes how various Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services fit into the picture.

A data deluge

Vehicles can produce upwards of 560 GB data per vehicle, per day. This deluge of data represents both incredible opportunities and daunting challenges for the platforms that connect and manage vehicle data, including:

  • Device management. Connecting devices to any platform requires authentication, authorization, the ability to push update software, configuration and monitoring. These services must be able to scale to millions of devices and constant availability.
  • Data ingestion. Messages must be reliably received, processed and stored.
  • Data analytics. Complex analysis of time-series data generated from devices must be used to gain insights into event, tolerances, trends and possible failures.
  • Applications. Business-level application logic must be developed and integrated with existing data sources that may come from a third party or exist in on-premise data centers.
  • Predictive models. In order to predict business-level outcomes, predictive models based on current and historical data must be developed.

GCP services, including the recently launched Cloud IoT Core provides a robust computing platform that takes advantage of Google’s end-to-end security model. Let’s take a look at how we can implement a connected vehicle platform using Google Cloud services.
(click to enlarge)

Device Management
: To handle secure device management and communications, Cloud IoT Core makes it easy for you to securely connect your globally distributed devices to GCP and centrally manage them. IoT Core Device Manager provides authentication and authorization, while IoT Core Protocol Bridge enables the messaging between the vehicles and the platform.

Data Ingestion: Cloud Pub/Sub provides a scalable data ingestion point that can handle large data volumes generated by vehicles sending GPS location, engine RPM or images. Cloud BigTable’s scalable storage services are well-suited for time series data storage and analytics.

Data Analytics: Cloud Dataflow can process data pipelines that combine the vehicle device data with corporate vehicle and customer data, then store the combined data in BigQuery. BigQuery provides a powerful analytics engine as-a-service and integrates with common visualization tools such as Tableau, Looker and Qlik.

Applications: Compute Engine, Container Engine and App Engine all provide computing components for a connected vehicle platform. Compute Engine offers a range of different machine types that make it an ideal service for any third-party integration components. Container Engine runs and manages containers, which provide a high degree of flexibility and scalability thanks to their microservices architecture. Finally, App Engine is a scalable serverless platform ideal for consumer mobile and web application frontend services.

Predictive Models: TensorFlow and Cloud Machine Learning Engine provide a sophisticated modeling framework and scalable execution environment. TensorFlow provides the framework to develop custom deep neural network models and is optimized for performance, flexibility and scale  all of which are critical when leveraging IoT-generated data. Machine Learning Engine provides a scalable environment to train TensorFlow models using specialized Google computing infrastructure hardware including GPUs and TPUs.

Summary

Vehicles are becoming sophisticated IoT devices with built-in mobile technology platforms to which third parties can connect and offer advanced services. GCP provides a secure, robust and scalable platform to connect IoT devices ranging from sophisticated head units to simple, low-powered sensors. You can learn more about the next generation of connected vehicles with GCP by reading the solution paper: Designing a Connected Vehicle Platform on Cloud IoT Core.

Dev Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Dev channel has been updated to 61.0.3144.0 (Platform version: 9693.1.0) for most 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). 

Kevin Bleicher
Google Chrome

Modifying events with the Google Calendar API

Originally posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite, on the G Suite Developers Blog.

You might be using the Google Calendar API, or alternatively email markup, to insert events into your users' calendars. Thankfully, these tools allow your apps to do this seamlessly and automatically, which saves your users a lot of time. But what happens if plans change? You need your apps to also be able to modify an event.

While email markup does support this update, it's limited in what it can do, so in today's video, we'll show you how to modify events with the Calendar API. We'll also show you how to create repeating events. Check it out:

Imagine a potential customer being interested in your product, so you set up one or two meetings with them. As their interest grows, they request regularly-scheduled syncs as your product makes their short list—your CRM should be able to make these adjustments in your calendar without much work on your part. Similarly, a "dinner with friends" event can go from a "rain check" to a bi-monthly dining experience with friends you've grown closer to. Both of these events can be updated with a JSON request payload like what you see below to adjust the date and make it repeating:

    
var TIMEZONE = "America/Los_Angeles";
var EVENT = {
"start": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T19:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"end": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T22:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"recurrence": ["RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;INTERVAL=2;UNTIL=20171231"]
};

This event can then be updated with a single call to the Calendar API's events().patch() method, which in Python would look like the following given the request data above, GCAL as the API service endpoint, and a valid EVENT_ID to update:



GCAL.events().patch(calendarId='primary', eventId=EVENT_ID,
sendNotifications=True, body=EVENT).execute()

If you want to dive deeper into the code sample, check out this blog post. Also, if you missed it, check out this video that shows how you can insert events into Google Calendar as well as the official API documentation. Finally, if you have a Google Apps Script app, you can access Google Calendar programmatically with its Calendar service.

We hope you can use this information to enhance your apps to give your users an even better and timely experience.

#teampixel’s rainbow palette

Fittingly for the end of Pride Month, this week’s #pixelperfect shots are all shades of the rainbow—from azul on the coast of Spain to rosa in Stockholm, and from yellow in Australia to Orange in Munich. Take a look at these bold, bright images from #teampixel photographers around the world:

And share your photos with #teampixel—you might be featured on Keyword and Instagram.

AdWords Editor 12 offers a fresh look and new features to help simplify your workflow

A new version of AdWords Editor, with a refreshed design, is now available for all advertisers globally. You'll find it even easier to manage your campaigns at scale with custom rules, faster account downloads and more.


Custom rules help you build high-performing campaigns

With AdWords Editor 12, you can now use custom rules to check for changes that don't align with your best practices. For example, our best practices suggest showing search ads with four or more sitelinks. When you use this rule, AdWords Editor will let you know which campaigns or ad groups don't meet this best practice before your post changes. You can get started by using our recommended rules, or create custom rules based on your own best practices.

Custom rule alerts in AdWords Editor 12



Faster account downloads for new AdWords Editor versions

To reduce the time you spend waiting for your accounts to download after you update AdWords Editor, we'll now transfer more of your data from previous versions.


A new look and feel

You'll also see a new design that better aligns with Google's commitment to material design. While the changes will be subtle and won't affect how you manage your accounts, you'll now have a more cohesive visual experience across AdWords Editor, the new AdWords experience, and other Google products.


and more ...

The new version of AdWords Editor also supports bidding to maximize conversions, uploading up to 20 images and videos for Universal App Campaigns, and using the new customization fields for responsive ads. You can learn more about all Version 12 updates in the AdWords Editor Help Center, or download AdWords Editor 12 here.

Source: Inside AdWords