Tag Archives: codelabs

International Women’s Day’19 featuring Actions on Google

Posted by Marisa Pareti, Rubi Martinez & Jessica Earley-Cha

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Women Techmakers hosted its sixth annual summit series to acknowledge and celebrate women in the tech industry, and to create a space for attendees to build community, hear from industry leaders, and learn new skills. The series featured 19 summits and 305 meetups across 87 countries.

This year, Women Techmakers partnered with the Actions on Google team to host technical workshops at these events so attendees could learn the fundamental concepts to develop Actions for the Google Assistant.Together, we created hundreds of new Actions for the Assistant. Check out some of the highlights of this year’s summit in the video below:

Technical Workshop Details

If you couldn’t attend any of our meetups this past year, we’ll cover our technical workshops now so you can start building for the Assistant from home. The technical workshop kicked off by introducing Actions on Google — the platform that enables developers to build Actions for the Google Assistant. Participants got hands-on experience building their first Action with the following features:

  • Users can start a conversation by explicitly calling the Action by name, which then responds with a greeting message.
  • Once in conversation, users are prompted to provide their favorite color. The Action parses the user’s input to extract the information it needs (namely, the color parameter).
  • If a color is provided, the Action processes the color parameter to auto-generate a “lucky number” to send back to the user and the conversation ends.
  • If no color is provided, the Action sends the user additional prompts until the parameter is extracted.
  • Users can explicitly leave the conversation at any time.

During Codelab level 1, participants learned how to parse the user’s input by using Dialogflow, a tool that uses Machine Learning and acted as their Natural Language Processor (NLP). Dialogflow processes what the user says and extracts important information from that input to identify how to fulfill the user’s request. Participants configured Dialogflow and connected it to their code’s back-end using Dialogflow’s inline editor. In the editor, participants added their code and tested their Action in the Action Simulator.

In Codelab level 2, participants continued building on their Action, adding features such as:

  • Supports deep links to directly launch the user into certain points of dialog
  • Uses utilities provided by the Actions on Google platform to fetch the user’s name and address them personally
  • Responds with follow-up questions to further the conversation
  • Presents users with a rich visual response complete with sound effects

Instead of using Dialogflow’s inline editor, participants set up a Cloud Functions for Firebase as their server.

You can learn more about developing your own Actions here. To support developers’ efforts in building great Actions for the Google Assistant, the team also has a developer community program.

Alex Eremia, a workshop attendee, reflected, “I think voice applications will have a huge impact on society both today and in the future. It will become a natural way we interact with the items around us.”

From keynotes, fireside chats, and interactive workshops, the Women Techmakers summit attendees enjoyed a mixture of technical and inspirational content. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved, follow us WTM on twitter, check out our website and sign up to become a member.

To learn more Actions on Google and how to build for the Google Assistant, be sure to follow us on Twitter, and join our Reddit community!

Android codelab courses are here!

Posted by Jocelyn Becker, Senior Program Manager, Google Developer Training

The Google Developers Training team recently published an updated version of our Android Developer Fundamentals course as a series of Google codelabs.

Android Developer Fundamentals course landing page

Codelabs made their debut as onsite tutorials at Google I/O in 2015, and have skyrocketed in popularity as a way for developers to learn how to use Google technologies, APIs, and SDKs. A codelab is a short, self-contained tutorial that walks you through how to do a specific task. More than 2 million users have worked through Google codelabs this year.

Our Android courses were originally intended as classroom-based courses. However, we found that many people work through the courses on their own, outside of formal teaching programs. So, when we updated the Android Developer Fundamentals course, in addition to supporting classroom-based learning, we made the material available as a sequential series of codelabs.

Android Developer Fundamentals course

The updated Android Developer Fundamentals (V2) course includes lessons on using the Room database and other Architecture Components. All the apps have been updated to reflect that the Empty Activity template in Android Studio uses ConstraintLayout, and we've updated all apps to a later version of Android Studio. For more details on the differences, see the release notes.

Advanced Android course

We've also re-published the Advanced Android Developer course as a series of codelabs. This course provides step-by-step instructions for learning about more advanced topics, and adding features to your app to improve user engagement and delight. Learn how to add maps to your apps, create custom views, use SurfaceView to draw directly to the screen, and much more.

Screenshots for apps that display a customized map marker, a customized fan controller view, and an Android hiding in the dark

Teaching materials for both courses

Android logo wearing graduation cap

If you want to teach either course in the classroom, or use it as the basis of a study jam, the complete package is still available, including slide decks, source code in GitHub, and concept guides, in addition to the step-by-step codelabs.

Gmail Add-ons framework now available to all developers

Originally posted by Wesley Chun, G Suite Developer Advocate on the G Suite Blog

Email remains at the heart of how companies operate. That's why earlier this year, we previewed Gmail Add-ons—a way to help businesses speed up workflows. Since then, we've seen partners build awesome applications, and beginning today, we're extending the Gmail add-on preview to include all developers. Now anyone can start building a Gmail add-on.

Gmail Add-ons let you integrate your app into Gmail and extend Gmail to handle quick actions.

They are built using native UI context cards that can include simple text dialogs, images, links, buttons and forms. The add-on appears when relevant, and the user is just a click away from your app's rich and integrated functionality.

Gmail Add-ons are easy to create. You only have to write code once for your add-on to work on both web and mobile, and you can choose from a rich palette of widgets to craft a custom UI. Create an add-on that contextually surfaces cards based on the content of a message. Check out this video to see how we created an add-on to collate email receipts and expedite expense reporting.

Per the video, you can see that there are three components to the app's core functionality. The first component is getContextualAddOn()—this is the entry point for all Gmail Add-ons where data is compiled to build the card and render it within the Gmail UI. Since the add-on is processing expense reports from email receipts in your inbox, the createExpensesCard()parses the relevant data from the message and presents them in a form so your users can confirm or update values before submitting. Finally, submitForm()takes the data and writes a new row in an "expenses" spreadsheet in Google Sheets, which you can edit and tweak, and submit for approval to your boss.

Check out the documentation to get started with Gmail Add-ons, or if you want to see what it's like to build an add-on, go to the codelab to build ExpenseItstep-by-step. While you can't publish your add-on just yet, you can fill out this form to get notified when publishing is opened. We can't wait to see what Gmail Add-ons you build!

Start planning your Google I/O 2017 schedule!

Posted by Christopher Katsaros, Product Marketing Manager

Whether you're joining us in person or remotely, we're looking forward to connecting with you at Google I/O, on May 17-19. It's the best way to learn about building apps for the Google Assistant, how to go from Zero to App with Firebase, all of the goodies inside Android O, and much more!

Over 150 Technical Sessions, Livestreamed

The show kicks off at 10AM PDT on Wednesday, May 17 with the Google Keynote, an opportunity to hear about the latest product and platform innovations from Google, helping connect you to billions of users around the world. After that, we'll be diving into all of the ways developers can take advantage of this newness in a Developer Keynote at 1PM PDT. From there, the 14 tracks at Google I/O kickoff, with over 150 technical sessions livestreamed (i.e. all of them!) at google.com/io.

We've just published more talks on the I/O website, so you can start planning your custom schedule ahead of the conference (shhh! we've got a few more sessions up our sleeve, so don't forget to check back directly after the Developer Keynote).

You can also take advantage of Codelabs - self-paced tutorials on a number of technical topics to get you up and running with a Google product or feature. These Codelabs will be available both to those who are joining us in person at Shoreline, and online for those of you tuning in from around the world. More details will be available on the schedule soon.

Joining in person?

We received a lot of great feedback from attendees last year, and have been working hard since then to make sure this is the best Google I/O, yet. To help make it easier to attend your favorite talks and minimize lines, you'll be able to reserve seats across sessions before I/O starts. But don't worry, we're saving a few seats in each session that will be available on a first-come, first-served basis onsite. We've also increased the size of each of the tents this year, giving you more opportunities to see all of your favorite talks in-person.

Finally, we've doubled the number of Office Hours available, since you told us that being able to connect directly with Googlers to get your questions answered was extremely valuable. On top of that, all of the sandbox demo areas will be inside climate-controlled structures, making it easier to avoid the elements (but don't forget to bring your layers – Shoreline Amphitheatre is still an outdoor venue, after all).

See you in 3 weeks!

We're looking forward to seeing you in just a few weeks. We've got a few more updates to share before then; be sure to check out the Google I/O website for more details, or follow the conversation using the #io17 hashtag.