Monthly Archives: March 2018

Stable Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Stable channel has been updated to 65.0.3325.167 (Platform version: 10323.58.0/1) for most Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes and security updates. Systems will be receiving updates over the next several days.

New Features
  • Enterprise policy for keeping account sign-in consistent between browser and device
  • Local files now available in Launcher search results  
  • Kiosk mode now supports mix mode for external displays, extended and mirroring mode simultaneously
  • Automatic Re-Enrollment for managed devices
  • Select-to-Speak word highlighting and additional options
  • Support device-wide certificates in SAML SSO sign-in
  • ARC++ WM resize shadow and drag magnetization
  • MIDI API support for Android apps running on Chrome OS
  • Short video recording for profile pictures
  • Advanced options screen for tablet setup
  • Expanded unzipping support within Files app for files hosted on Drive
  • New setting for more accurate timezone detection

Security Fixes
Note: Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix. We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven’t yet fixed.

  • Intel devices on 3.14 kernels received the KPTI mitigation against Meltdown with Chrome OS 65.
  • All Intel devices received the Retpoline mitigation against Spectre variant 2 with Chrome OS 65.
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).

Bernie Thompson

Google Chrome

Firebase Crashlytics graduates from beta

Originally posted on the Firebase Blog by Jason St. Pierre, Product Manager.

Back in October, we were thrilled to launch a beta version of Firebase Crashlytics. As the top ranked mobile app crash reporter for over 3 years running, Crashlytics helps you track, prioritize, and fix stability issues in realtime. It's been exciting to see all the positive reactions, as thousands of you have upgraded to Crashlytics in Firebase!

Today, we're graduating Firebase Crashlytics out of beta. As the default crash reporter for Firebase going forward, Crashlytics is the next evolution of the crash reporting capabilities of our platform. It empowers you to achieve everything you want to with Firebase Crash Reporting, plus much more.

This release include several major new features in addition to our stamp of approval when it comes to service reliability. Here's what's new.

Integration with Analytics events

We heard from many of you that you love Firebase Crash Reporting's "breadcrumbs" feature. (Breadcrumbs are the automatically created Analytics events that help you retrace user actions preceding a crash.) Starting today, you can see these breadcrumbs within the Crashlytics section of the Firebase console, helping you to triage issues more easily.

To use breadcrumbs on Crashlytics, install the latest SDK and enable Google Analytics for Firebase. If you already have Analytics enabled, the feature will automatically start working.

Crash insights

By broadly analyzing aggregated crash data for common trends, Crashlytics automatically highlights potential root causes and gives you additional context on the underlying problems. For example, it can reveal how widespread incorrect UIKit rendering was in your app so you would know to address that issue first. Crash insights allows you to make more informed decisions on what actions to take, save time on triaging issues, and maximize the impact of your debugging efforts.

From our community:

"In the few weeks that we've been working with Crashlytics' crash insights, it's been quite helpful on a few particularly pesky issues. The description and quality of the linked resources makes it easy to immediately start debugging."

- Marc Bernstein, Software Development Team Lead, Hudl

Pinning important builds

Generally, you have a few builds you care most about, while others aren't as important at the moment. With this new release of Crashlytics, you can now "pin" your most important builds which will appear at the top of the console. Your pinned builds will also appear on your teammates' consoles so it's easier to collaborate with them. This can be especially helpful when you have a large team with hundreds of builds and millions of users.

dSYM uploading

To show you stability issues, Crashlytics automatically uploads your dSYM files in the background to symbolicate your crashes. However, some complex situations can arise (i.e. Bitcode compiled apps) and prevent your dSYMs from being uploaded properly. That's why today we're also releasing a new dSYM uploader tool within your Crashlytics console. Now, you can manually upload your dSYM for cases where it cannot be automatically uploaded.

Firebase's default crash reporter

With today's GA release of Firebase Crashlytics, we've decided to sunset Firebase Crash Reporting, so we can best serve you by focusing our efforts on one crash reporter. Starting today, you'll notice the console has changed to only list Crashlytics in the navigation. If you need to access your existing crash data in Firebase Crash Reporting, you can use the app picker to switch from Crashlytics to Crash Reporting.

Firebase Crash Reporting will continue to be functional until September 8th, 2018 - at which point it will be retired fully.

Upgrading to Crashlytics is easy: just visit your project's console, choose Crashlytics in the left navigation and click "Set up Crashlytics":

Linking Fabric and Firebase Crashlytics

If you're currently using both Firebase and Fabric, you can now link the two to see your existing crash data within the Firebase console. To get started, click "Link app in Fabric" within the console and go through the flow on

If you are only using Fabric right now, you don't need to take any action. We'll be building out a new flow in the coming months to help you seamlessly link your existing app(s) from Fabric to Firebase. In the meantime, we encourage you to try other Firebase products.

We are excited to bring you the best-in class crash reporter in the Firebase console. As always, let us know your thoughts and we look forward to continuing to improve Crashlytics. Happy debugging!

Beta Channel Update for Desktop

The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 66 to the beta channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. Chrome 66.0.3359.33 contains our usual under-the-hood performance and stability tweaks, but there are also some cool new features to explore - please head to the Chromium blog to learn more!

A full list of changes in this build is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels?  Find out how here. 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.

Abdul Syed
Google Chrome

Introducing Google Play Instant, a faster way to try apps and games

People all over the world come to Google Play to discover great games. In the last year, the number of Android users who installed a game has more than doubled. To help you discover new games or get to the ones you already love, we’ve redesigned our Google Play Games app. In the new “Arcade” tab, you can check out game video trailers or use tags like “New” or “Action” to find a particular type of game. We’ll also show you news and YouTube videos related to your favorite games to help you boost your skills and become a game master.

Comp 1_5.gif

To make it even easier to dive right in and enjoy new apps and games on Android devices, we’re also introducing Google Play Instant. With Google Play Instant, you can just tap and try a game without having to download it first—whether you’re looking to storm a castle on Clash Royale or become a wordmaster with Words with Friends 2. Google Play Instant experiences will be available in the Google Play Store, the Google Play Games app, or wherever game links are shared. Today you can check out some of the titles from the Instant Gameplay collection. Love what you’re experiencing? Just tap the “Install now!” button to install the game.

To start, we’ll have a handful of games to play instantly on more than 1 billion Android devices worldwide. Check back later this year as more games become available to play right away.

Zendaya and help a community school bloom

In 2015, Roses in Concrete Community School opened in East Oakland, California. With a name inspired by a book of poetry written by Tupac Shakur, the school aims to create a model for urban education that prioritizes the needs of youth and families in the community it serves. It’s founder, Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, believes education is the way to help young people understand that they can transform not only their community, but the world. By creating the conditions for our youngest change-makers to flourish, this education model can be a pathway to building healthy and sustainable communities across the U.S.

In the school’s first year, provided $750,000 to help launch its unique vision. And last Friday at Google’s San Francisco community space, teachers, students, artists, education advocates, Googlers and Oakland-native actress Zendaya celebrated the announcement of our additional $650,000 grant to help the school build a first-of-its-kind computer science (CS) curriculum, which will serve as a model for other schools across the U.S. The curriculum will be culturally and community relevant, building on Duncan-Andrade’s philosophy that education shouldn’t push students out of communities, but should instead help students transform them.

Research shows that Black and Latino students are interested in learning CS, but are underrepresented in the field due to limited access to learning opportunities, coupled with the lack of relatable role models. Through this new program, Roses in Concrete helps students see the connection between CS and their communities, and hopes to equip them with the skills they need to solve real problems, starting in their own neighborhood.

The purpose of education is not to escape poverty, but to end it. Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade
Founder of Roses in Concrete Community School

During the evening’s events, Roses students shared dance, art, and poetry performances for the crowd, which included Zendaya, an avid supporter of the school. Growing up in Oakland as the daughter of two teachers, she has fond memories of spending time in the same classrooms that now make up the Roses in Concrete campus, and credits pretending to grade papers as some of her earliest acting experience. During a student-led interview, Zendaya shared her appreciation for organizations like this progressive community school that are thoughtfully closing equity divides in her hometown. She encouraged the students to “Always lead with your heart and chase the happiness that fuels you,” and reminded them that technology is one possible medium for them to express themselves and make a positive difference.

As a lab school, Roses in Concrete will share this new curriculum with national school leaders, policy makers and researchers. And alongside Roses, we can identify more ways to provide meaningful CS experiences to students of color, and by doing so, provide pathways for them to grow, thrive, and create change—in their own communities, and around the world.

Source: Education

Our big bet on mobile games at Game Developers Conference 2018

Posted by Benjamin Frenkel, Product Manager, Google Play Instant

We've been working hard to make Google Play the premier platform for game discovery and a place for you to grow your business. In the last year, the number of Android users who installed a game has more than doubled. Nearly 40% of that growth came from emerging markets, including Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico. Our investments extend beyond the Play Store and include many key Google products:

  • Last week, we introduced a gaming solution from Google Maps APIs that enables you to build game worlds based on real world data to find the best places for gameplay.
  • We also launched Agones, an open source, dedicated game server hosting product built on Google Cloud Platform, in collaboration with Ubisoft, to support multiplayer games.
  • At last month's Mobile World Congress, we released version 1.0 of ARCore, our augmented reality SDK for Android, enabling you to publish AR apps and games to Google Play for the first time and reach 100M devices across the Android ecosystem.
  • Over the next few months, we'll roll out a beta for click-to-play video ads on Google Play—a new way to reach players with sight, sound and motion. These placements will help you showcase your games.

Today, during our annual Google Developer Day at the Game Developers Conference, we introduced new tools and platforms to improve the overall game discovery on Google Play and give you more ways to deliver engaging player experiences.

Introducing Google Play Instant

With all the great games available on Google Play, we want to make discovery easier and remove friction during the install process. Installing and opening a game takes time and results in many players never getting to experience your game. We're thrilled to announce that instant apps is now available for games.

This means that with a tap, players can try a game without having to download it first. Games available instantly today include: Clash Royale, Words with Friends 2, and Bubble Witch 3 Saga, and other titles from Playtika, MZ, Jam City, and Hothead Games.

[Insert YouTube vido]

We're calling this new experience Google Play Instant. To try it out, simply launch the Google Play Store on your Android device and visit the Instant Gameplay collection. Or, you can visit the "Arcade" in our redesigned Google Play Games app and launch any of the "Instant Gameplay" collection games. Google Play Instant makes it easier to have your players invite their friends to try out games right away through social invites and lets you share games through marketing campaigns.

Google Play Instant is still in closed beta and we look forward to opening it more broadly later this year. It provides a collection of extensions to the instant apps framework that better support the needs of game developers; including a higher APK size limit to 10MB, progressive download support for executable code and game assets, and support for NDK and game engines using existing tool chains. We're also working with popular game development platform Unity, and others including Cocos, to add IDE support making it easy for developers to build instant apps. Developers can sign up for more information about Google Play Instant as it becomes available.

Discover insights from game developers who have successfully benefited from Google Play Instant. Read how Zynga, King, Hothead Games, Jam City, Playtika, MZ and Magma Mobile successfully used instant apps to acquire new users, improve retention, and effectively cross-promote their games.

Google Play Console tools to build high quality games

We also added some useful tools to the Play Console to help you build great games, including:

  • A new internal testing track that will allow you to quickly test and iterate on new games and features. The track is additional to the alpha and beta testing tracks, and makes your game available for up to 100 testers within seconds.
  • Demo loops for the pre-launch report, a new feature that lets you predefine a likely series of actions in a game and have this "loop" run on on live devices in the Test Lab (bypassing the robo crawler).

This is just the start of what we have planned for 2018. We can't wait to see Google Play Instant bring new audiences to your games.

Coding your way into cinemas

This is a guest post from apertus° and, open source organizations that participated in Google Summer of Code last year and are back for 2018!

The apertus° AXIOM project is bringing the world’s first open hardware/free software digital motion picture production camera to life. The project has a rich history, exercises a steadfast adherence to the open source ethos, and all aspects of development have always revolved around supporting and utilising free technologies. The challenge of building a sophisticated digital cinema camera was perfect for Google Summer of Code 2017. But let’s start at the beginning: why did the team behind the project embark on their journey?

Modern Cinematography

For over a century film was dominated by analog cameras and celluloid, but in the late 2000’s things changed radically with the adoption of digital projection in cinemas. It was a natural next step, then, for filmmakers to shoot and produce films digitally. Certain applications in science, large format photography and fine arts still hold onto 35mm film processing, but the reduction in costs and improved workflows associated with digital image capture have revolutionised how we create and consume visual content.

The DSLR revolution

Photo by Matthew Pearce
licensed CC SA 2.0.
Filmmaking has long been considered an expensive discipline accessible only to a select few. This all changed with the adoption of movie recording capabilities in digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. For multinational corporations this “new” feature was a relatively straightforward addition to existing models as most compact digital photo cameras could already record video clips. This was the first time that a large diameter image sensor, a vital component for creating the typical shallow depth of field we consider cinematic, appeared in consumer cameras. In recent times, user groups have stepped up to contribute to the DSLR revolution first-hand, including groups like the Magic Lantern community.

Magic Lantern

Photo by Dave Dugdale licensed CC BY-SA 2.0.
Magic Lantern is a free and open source software add-on that runs from a camera’s SD/CF card. It adds a host of new features to Canon’s DSLRs that weren't included from the factory, such as allowing users to record high-dynamic range (HDR) video or 14-bit uncompressed RAW video. It’s a community project and many filmmakers simply wouldn’t have bought a Canon camera if it weren’t for the features that Magic Lantern pioneered. Because installing Magic Lantern doesn’t replace the stock Canon firmware or modify the read-only memory (ROM) but runs alongside it, it is both easy to remove and carries little risk. Originally developed for filmmaking, Magic Lantern’s feature base has expanded to include tools useful for still photography as well.

Starting the revolution for real 

Of course, Magic Lantern has been held back by the underlying proprietary hardware routines on existing camera models. So, in 2014 a team of developers and filmmakers around the apertus° project joined forces with the Magic Lantern team to lay the foundation for a totally independent, open hardware, free software, digital cinema camera. They ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for initial development, and they completed hardware development of the first developer kits in 2016. Unlike traditional cameras, the AXIOM is designed to be completely modular, and so continuously evolve, thereby preventing it from ever becoming obsolete. How the camera evolves is determined by its user community, with its design files and source code freely available and users encouraged to duplicate, modify and redistribute anything and everything related to the camera.

While the camera is primarily for use in motion picture production, there are many suitable applications where AXIOM can be useful. Individuals in science, astronomy, medicine, aerial mapping, industrial automation, and those who record events or talks at conferences have expressed interest in the camera. A modular and open source device for digital imaging allows users to build a system that meets their unique requirements. One such company for instance, Mavrx Inc, who use aerial imagery to provide actionable insight for the agriculture industry, used the camera because it enabled them to not only process the data more efficiently than comparable camera equivalents, but also to re-configure its form factor so that it could be installed alongside existing equipment configurations.

Google Summer of Code 2017

Continuing their journey, apertus° participated in Google Summer of Code for the first time in 2017. They received about 30 applications from interested students, from which they needed to select three. Projects ranged from field programmable gate array (FPGA) centered video applications to creating Linux kernel drivers for specific camera hardware. Similarly, an open hardware project for live event streaming and conference recording, is working on FPGA projects around video interfaces and processing.

After some preliminary work, the students came to grips with the camera’s operating processes and all three dove in enthusiastically. One student failed the first evaluation and another failed the second, but one student successfully completed their work.

That student, Vlad Niculescu, worked on defining control loops for a voltage controller using VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL) for a potential future AXIOM Beta Power Board, an FPGA-driven smart switching regulator for increasing the power efficiency and improving flexibility around voltage regulation.
Left: The printed circuit board (PCB) (printed circuit board) for testing the switching regulator FPGA logic. Right: After final improvements the fluctuation ripple in the voltages was reduced to around 30mV at 2V target voltage.
Vlad had this to say about his experience:

“The knowledge I acquired during my work with this project and apertus° was very satisfying. Besides the electrical skills gained I also managed to obtain other, important universal skills. One of the things I learned was that the key to solving complex problems can often be found by dividing them into small blocks so that the greater whole can be easily observed by others. Writing better code and managing the stages of building a complex project have become lessons that will no doubt become valuable in the future. I will always be grateful to my mentor as he had the patience to explain everything carefully and teach me new things step by step, and also to apertus° and Google’s Summer of Code program, without which I may not have gained the experience of working on a project like this one.”

We are grateful for Vlad’s work and congratulate him for successfully completing the program. If you find open hardware and video production interesting, we encourage you to reach out and join the community–both apertus° and are back for Google Summer of Code 2018.

By Sebastian Pichelhofer, apertus°, and Tim 'mithro' Ansell,

Security in the cloud

Security is one of the biggest issues of our time. Countless companies and governments have lost data because of security incidents. And just one breach could cost millions in fines and lost business—and most importantly, lose customer trust.

As a result, security is increasingly top of mind for CEOs and Boards of Directors. That’s why, this week, I’ll join Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene and many of our colleagues in New York, where we’ll meet with more than 100 CEOs to discuss security in the cloud.

At its most basic level, security is a human issue. Whether performed by individuals or organizations, cybersecurity attacks are ultimately carried out by people, regardless of motive.

Often these attacks rely on exploiting human nature, such as through phishing emails. And it’s people that they ultimately affect. By some accounts, 179 million personal records were exposed just in 2017 through data breaches.

And as a human issue, security is something we can tackle together.

Leveraging the cloud to protect against threats

Cloud providers offer a vast army of experts to protect against threats—one far larger than almost any internal team a company could invest in. In fact, if businesses were to go it alone, there wouldn’t be enough security professionals in the world to adequately protect every single company and their users.

In industries from financial services to healthcare to retail, companies are relying on the automation and scale offered by the cloud to protect their data and that of their customers—allowing their employees to focus on building their business. Many are coming to the same conclusion we have: In many cases, if you’re not moving to the cloud, you’re risking your business.

Take the CPU vulnerabilities that were disclosed in January, for example. These were major discoveries; they rocked the tech industry. But for the most part, cloud customers could go about their business. Here at Google Cloud, we updated our infrastructure through Live Migration, which required no reboots, no customer downtime, and did not materially impact performance. In fact, we got calls from customers asking if we had updated our systems to protect against the vulnerabilities—because they experienced no impact.

These won’t be the last security vulnerabilities to be uncovered; humans will never write perfect code. But the cloud makes it much easier to stay on top of them. The scale of the cloud security teams that find and mitigate emerging threats, the ability to update many systems at scale, and the automation to scan, update and protect users all contribute to cloud’s unique position to keep information and people secure.

Security at Google Cloud

Security has been paramount to Google from the very beginning. (I would know!) We’ve been operating securely in the cloud for almost 20 years, and we have seven apps with more than a billion users that we protect from threats every single day, and GCP itself connects to more than a billion IPs every day. We believe that security empowers innovation—that if you put security first, everything else will follow.

Security is in the details—and we pay attention at the most granular level. We were the first to introduce SSL email by default in 2010, we created the U2F security token standard in 2014, Chrome was the first browser to support post-quantum crypto in 2016, and in 2017 we introduced Titan, a purpose-built chip to establish hardware root of trust for both machines and peripherals on cloud infrastructure. These examples show the level of depth that we go into when thinking about security, and the role we take in pushing the industry forward to stay on top of evolving threats.

In addition, Google’s Project Zero team hunts for vulnerabilities across the internet, and have been behind the discoveries of “Heartbleed” as well as the recently-discovered “Spectre” and “Meltdown.” We also provide incentives to the security community to help us look for and find security bugs through our Vulnerability Reward Program.

We know how complex the security landscape is, and we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to solve this tough challenge. We’ve developed principles around security that define how we build our infrastructure, how we build our products, and how we operate.

For example, we believe it’s not enough to build something and try to make it secure after the fact. Security should be fundamental to all design, not bolted on to an old paradigm. That’s why we build security through progressive layers that deliver true defense in depth, meaning our cloud infrastructure doesn’t rely on any one technology to make it secure.

Now more than ever, it’s important for companies to make security an utmost priority and take responsibility for protecting their users. That’s true for Google too. At the end of the day, any organization is accountable to people above all, and user trust is crucial to business. If we don’t get security right, we don’t have a business.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about cloud as a means to improve security. Google has always worked to protect users across the internet. With Google Cloud, we’re extending those capabilities to help businesses protect their users as well.

In the coming days, we'll share more about how we're pushing cloud security forward. Stay tuned.

Source: Google Cloud

Google Cloud Next ’18—Registration now open!

Registration for Google Cloud Next ’18 isnow open—we hope you’ll join us July 24-26, 2018 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Each year at Next, we bring together a community of leaders, developers, and entrepreneurs to explore the ways we can build the future of the cloud, together. Join us to hear an inspiring line-up of industry innovators and Google executives including Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud.

Building on the energy of Next ‘17 with over 12,000 attendees, Next ‘18 will bring even more interesting keynotes, hundreds of hands-on learning opportunities, and 400 breakout and spotlight sessions on topics ranging from accessible machine learning to advances in security. We look forward to hearing from customers and partners building their businesses with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), G Suite, Maps and the latest technology across all of Google.

Space is limited, so we encourage you to secure your spot early and take advantage of the early-bird rate of $999, a savings of $500 off full-priced admission. You can learn more on the Next ’18 website.

We can’t wait to see you in July!

Source: Google Cloud

Introducing the ability to connect to Cloud Shell from any terminal

If you develop or administer apps running on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you’re probably familiar with Cloud Shell, an on-demand interactive shell environment that contains a wide variety of pre-installed developer tools. Up until now, you could only access Cloud Shell from your browser. Today, we're introducing the ability to connect to Cloud Shell directly from your terminal using the gcloud command-line tool.

Starting an SSH session is a single command:

erik@localhost:~$ ls
erik@localhost:~$ gcloud alpha cloud-shell ssh
Welcome to Cloud Shell! Type "help" to get started.
erik@cloudshell:~$ ls  README-cloudshell.txt

You can also use gcloud to copy files between your Cloud Shell and your local machine:

erik@localhost:~$ gcloud alpha cloud-shell scp cloudshell:~/data.txt localhost:~
data.txt                                           100% 1897    28.6KB/s   00:00
If you're using Mac or Linux, you can even mount your Cloud Shell home directory onto your local file system after installing sshfs. This allows you to edit the files in your Cloud Shell home directory using whatever local tools you want! All the data in your remotely mounted file system is stored on a Persistent Disk, so it's fast, strongly consistent and retained across sessions and regions.

erik@localhost:~$ gcloud alpha cloud-shell get-mount-command ~/my-cloud-shell
sshfs ekuefler@ /home/ekuefler/my-cloud-shell -p 6000 -oIdentityFile=/home/ekuefler/.ssh/google_compute_engine
erik@localhost:~$ sshfs ekuefler@ /home/ekuefler/my-cloud-shell -p 6000 -oIdentityFile=/home/ekuefler/.ssh/google_compute_engine
erik@localhost:~$ cd my-cloud-shell
erik@localhost:~$ ls  README-cloudshell.txt
erik@localhost:~$ vscode

We're sure you'll find plenty of uses for these features, but here are a few to get you started:
  • Use it as a playground — take advantage of the tools and language runtimes installed in Cloud Shell to do quick experiments without having to install software on your machine.
  • Use it as a sandbox — install or run untrusted programs in Cloud Shell without the risk of them damaging your local machine or reading your data, or to avoid polluting your machine with programs you rarely need to run.
  • Use it as a portable development environment — store your files in your Cloud Shell home directory and edit them using your favorite IDEs when you're at your desk, then keep working on the same files later from a Chromebook using the web terminal and editor.
The full documentation for the command-line interface is available here. The cloud-shell command group is currently in alpha, so we're still making changes to it and welcome your feedback and suggestions via the feedback link at the bottom of the documentation page.