Tag Archives: Google+

Developer Student Clubs – Apply to be a Lead today. Deadline extended to June 15!

Posted by Erica Hanson, Google Developer Relations

This spring, Google and Developer Student Clubs are looking for new passionate student leaders from universities across the globe!

Developer Student Clubs is a program with Google Developers. Through in-person meetups, university students are empowered to learn together and use technology to solve real life problems with local businesses and start-ups.

Less than two years ago, DSC launched in parts of Asia and Africa where 90,000+ students have been trained on Google technologies; 500+ solutions built for 200+ local startups and organizations and 170+ clubs participated in our first Solution Challenge!

computer shot from up top

Bridging the gap between theory and practical application, Google aims to provide student developers with the resources, opportunities and the experience necessary to be more industry ready.

computer

You may be wondering what the benefit of being a Developer Student Club Lead is? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Help students grow as developers
  • Gain access to Google technology and platforms at no cost
  • Build prototypes and solutions for local problems
  • Participate in a global developer competition
  • Get invitations to select Google events and conferences
  • Be recognized as a collaborator with Google Developers

Apply to be a Developer Student Club Lead at g.co/dev/dsc.

Deadline to submit applications has been extended to June 15th.

Flutter and Chrome OS: Better Together

Posted by the Flutter and Chrome OS teams

Chrome OS is the fast, simple, and secure operating system that powers Chromebooks, including the Google Pixelbook and millions of devices used by consumers and students every day. The latest Flutter release adds support for building beautiful, tailored Chrome OS applications, including rich support for keyboard and mouse, and tooling to ensure that your app runs well on a Chromebook. Furthermore, Chrome OS is a great developer workstation for building general-purpose Flutter apps, thanks to its support for developing and running Flutter apps locally on the same device.

Flutter is a great way to build Chrome OS apps

Since its inception, Flutter has shared many of the same principles as Chrome OS: productive, fast, and beautiful experiences. Flutter allows developers to build beautiful, fast UIs, while also providing a high degree of developer productivity, and a completely open-source engine, framework and tools. In short, it’s the ideal modern toolkit for building multi-platform apps, including apps for Chrome OS.

Flutter initially focused on providing a UI toolkit for building apps for mobile devices, which typically feature touch input and small screens. However, we’ve been building keyboard and mouse support into Flutter since before our 1.0 release last December. And today, we’re pleased to announce that Flutter for Chrome OS is now stronger with scroll wheel support, hover management, and better keyboard event support. In addition, Flutter has always been great at allowing you to build apps that run at any size (large screen or small), with seamless resizing, as shown here in the Chrome OS Best Practices Sample:

The Chrome OS best practices sample in action

The Chrome OS best practices sample in action

The Chrome OS Hello World sample is an app built with Flutter that is optimized for Chrome OS. This includes a responsive UI to showcase how to reposition items and have layouts that respond well to changes in size from mobile to desktop.

Because Chrome OS runs Android apps, targeting Android is the way to build Chrome OS apps. However, while building Chrome OS apps on Android has always been possible, as described in these guidelines, it’s often difficult to know whether your Android app is going to run well on Chrome OS. To help with that problem, today we are adding a new set of lint rules to the Flutter tooling to catch violations of the most important of the Chrome OS best practice guidelines:

The Flutter Chrome OS lint rules in action

The Flutter Chrome OS lint rules in action

When you’re able to put these Chrome OS lint rules in place, you’ll quickly be able to see any problems in your Android app that would hamper it when running on Chrome OS. To learn how to take advantage of these rules, see the linting docs for Flutter Chrome OS.

But all of that is just the beginning -- the Flutter tools allow you to develop and test your apps directly on Chrome OS as well.

Chrome OS is a great developer platform to build Flutter apps

No matter what platform you're targeting, Flutter has support for rich IDEs and programming tools like Android Studio and Visual Studio Code. Over the last year, Chrome OS has been building support for running the Linux version of these tools with the beta of Linux on Chrome OS (aka Crostini). And, because Chrome OS also supports Android natively, you can configure the Flutter tooling to run your Android apps directly without an emulator involved.

The Flutter development tools running on Chrome OS

The Flutter development tools running on Chrome OS

All of the great productivity of Flutter is available, including Stateful Hot Reload, seamless resizing, keyboard and mouse support, and so on. Recent improvements in Crostini, such as high DPI support, Crostini file system integration, easier adb, and so on, have made this experience even better! Of course, you don’t have to test against the Android container running on Chrome OS; you can also test against Android devices attached to your Chrome OS box. In short, Chrome OS is the ideal environment in which to develop and test your Flutter apps, especially when you’re targeting Chrome OS itself.

Customers love Flutter on Chrome OS

With its unique combination of simplicity, security, and capability, Chrome OS is an increasingly popular platform for enterprise applications. These apps often work with large quantities of data, whether it’s a chart, or a graph for visualization, or lists and forms for data entry. The support in Flutter for high quality graphics, large screen layout, and input features (like text selection, tab order and mousewheel), make it an ideal way to port mobile applications for the enterprise. One purveyor of such apps is AppTree, who use Flutter and Chrome OS to solve problems for their enterprise customers.

“Creating a Chrome OS version of our app took very little effort. In 10 minutes we tweaked a few values and now our users have access to our app on a whole new class of devices. This is a huge deal for our enterprise customers who have been wanting access to our app on Desktop devices.”
--Matthew Smith, CTO, AppTree Software

By using Flutter to target Chrome OS, AppTree was able to start with their existing Flutter mobile app and easily adapt it to take advantage of the capabilities of Chrome OS.

Try Flutter on Chrome OS today!

If you’d like to target Chrome OS with Flutter, you can do so today simply by installing the latest version of Flutter. If you’d like to run the Flutter development tools on Chrome OS, you can follow these instructions to get started fast. To see a real-world app built with Flutter that has been optimized for Chrome OS, check out the the Developer Quest sample that the Flutter DevRel team launched at the 2019 Google I/O conference. And finally, don’t forget to try out the Flutter Chrome OS linting rules to make sure that your Chrome OS apps are following the most important practices.

Flutter and Chrome OS go great together. What are you going to build?

Launchpad Accelerator announces startup selections in Africa, Brazil, and India

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Founder of Launchpad Accelerator

For the past six years, Launchpad has connected startups from around the world with the best of Google - its people, network, methodologies, and technologies. We have worked with market leaders in over 40 countries across 6 regional programs (San Francisco, Brazil, Africa, Israel, India, and Tokyo). Launchpad also includes a new program in Mexico announced earlier this year, along with our Indie Games Accelerator and Google.org AI for Social Good Accelerator programs.

We are pleased to announce that the next cohort of startups has been selected for our upcoming programs in Africa, Brazil, and India. We reviewed over 1,000 applications for these programs, and were thoroughly impressed with the quality of startups that indicated their interest. The startups chosen represent those using technology to create a positive impact on key industries in their region and we look forward to supporting them and connecting them with startup ecosystems around the world.

In Africa, we have selected 12 startups from 6 African countries for our 3rd class in this region:

  • 54Gene (Nigeria) - Improving drug discovery by researching the genetically diverse African population
  • Data Integrated Limited (Kenya) - Automating and digitizing SME payments, connecting the street to high finance.
  • Instadiet.me (Egypt) - Connecting patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight online.
  • Kwara (Kenya) - Providing a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem.
  • OkHi (Kenya) - A physical addressing platform for emerging markets - on a mission to enable the billions without a physical address to "be included."
  • PAPS (Senegal) - Logistics startup focused on last mile delivery and domestic market, with strong client care orientation, allowing live tracking, intelligent adresses system and automatic dispatch.
  • ScholarX (Nigeria) - Connecting high potential students with funding opportunities to help them access an education
  • Swipe2pay (Uganda) - A web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for SMEs by making it easy for them to accept mobile as a mode of payment.
  • Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya) - Turning a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors, and clinical information to come up with a diagnostic report.
  • Voyc.ai (South Africa) - A CX Research Platform that helps companies understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, profiles, and customer journey maps.
  • WellaHealth (Nigeria) - A pharmacy marketplace for affordable, high-quality disease care driven by artificial intelligence starting with malaria.
  • Zelda Learning (South Africa) - Providing free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and linking them to funding and study opportunities.

In India, for our 2nd class, we are focused on seed to growth-stage startups that operate across a number of sectors using ML and AI to solve for India-specific problems:

  • Opentalk Pte Ltd - an app that connects people around the world to become better speakers and make new friends.
  • THB - Helping healthcare providers drive full potential value from their clinical data
  • Perceptiviti Data Solutions - An AI platform for Insurance claim Ffagging, payment integrity, fraud, and abuse management
  • DheeYantra - Cognitive conversational AI for Indian vernacular languages
  • Kaleidofin - Customized financial solutions that combine multiple financial products such as savings, credit, and insurance in intuitive ways to help customers achieve their financial goals.
  • FinancePeer - A P2P lending company that connects lenders with borrowers online.
  • SmartCoin - A go-to app for providing credit access to the vastly underserved lower- and middle-income segments through advanced AI/ML models.
  • HRBOT - Using AI and Video Analytics to find employable candidates in tier 2 & 3 cities remotely.
  • Savera.ai - Remotely mapping roofs to reflect the attractiveness of a solar power plant for your roof, followed by chatbot based support to help you learn about solar (savings, RoI, reviews etc.) and connections to local service providers.
  • Adiuvo Diagnostics - Rapid wound infection assessment and management device.

In Brazil, we have chosen startups that are applying ML in interesting ways and are solving for local challenges.

  • Accountfy - SaaS platform focused on FP&A tools. Users upload trial balances and financial statements are easily built through accounting figures. harts, alerts, reports and budgets can be created too.
  • Agilize - An online accounting firm that provides annual savings of $1,500, predictability, and transparency to small-sized business through a friendly platform and massive automation.
  • Blu365 - An innovative, data-driven, customer-centric debt negotiation platform that has been transforming positively the relationship between companies and customers .
  • Estante Mágica - Estante Mágica is a free platform that, in partnership with schools, turn students into real authors, making children protagonists of their own stories.
  • Gesto - GESTO is a health tech consulting firm that uses data science to intelligently manage health insurance.
  • Rebel -A data, tech, and analytics-driven platform whose mission is to lead the transformation of the financial services market in Brazil by empowering consumers.
  • SmarttBot - Empowering individuals with the best automated investment tools in order to give them edge against bigger investors and financial institutions and improve their chances of making money.
  • Social Miner - A technology able to predict if an e-commerce visitor will buy or not and create experiences based on the consumer journey phases.

Applications are still open for Launchpad Accelerator Mexico - if you are a LATAM-based startup using technology to solve big challenges for that region, please apply to the program here

As with all of our previous regional classes, these startups will benefit from customized programs, access to partners and mentors on the ground, and Google's support and dedication to their success.


Stay updated on developments and future opportunities by subscribing to the Google Developers newsletter, as well as The Launchpad Blog.

Google+ APIs shutting down March 7, 2019

As part of the sunset of Google+ for consumers, we will be shutting down all Google+ APIs on March 7, 2019. This will be a progressive shutdown beginning in late January, so we are advising all developers reliant on the Google+ APIs that calls to those APIs may start to intermittently fail as early as January 28, 2019.

On or around December 20, 2018, affected developers should also receive an email listing recently used Google+ API methods in their projects. Whether or not an email is received, we strongly encourage developers to search for and remove any dependencies on Google+ APIs from their applications.

The most commonly used APIs that are being shut down include:

As part of these changes:

  • The Google+ Sign-in feature has been fully deprecated and will also be shut down on March 7, 2019. Developers should migrate to the more comprehensive Google Sign-in authentication system.
  • Over the Air Installs is now deprecated and has been shut down.

Google+ integrations for web or mobile apps are also being shut down. Please see this additional notice.

While we're sunsetting Google+ for consumers, we're investing in Google+ for enterprise organizations. They can expect a new look and new features -- more information is available in our blog post.

Placing a bet on building a better world

A few years ago, Google.org was looking for a way to encourage innovation in the non-profit sector, especially when the need is urgent and overwhelming, or when the challenge is complex and daunting.

The result was the Google.org Impact Challenge, an open-call that travels to different parts of the world to identify and fund organizations that are looking to use technology in transformative ways. 

The first Canadian challenge took place last year, and ten projects were selected. Google.org provided five million dollars in grant money, and in partnership with our team at the LEAP | Pecaut Centre for Social Impact, we jointly provided a unique blend of support that includes mentorship, education and access to Google’s tech expertise. LEAP also leveraged the deep bench of experience from our sector partners, the Boston Consulting Group, EY, McCarthy Tétrault, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, and the Offord Group, which provided pro-bono services and worked closely with each of the selected organizations.

Over the past twelve months, we’ve seen up close that Canadian nonprofits can do tremendous things when they are given not only tools, but also the room to fail and the freedom to spend capital where they most need it in order to meet their bigger goals.

The lessons we have learned together over the past year are applicable to any business with tight budgets and a risk-averse culture:

  • Invest in great ideas and visionary leaders - there are lots of good ones, be selective and only choose to invest in the best. Similarly, look for the leaders with ambition who want to drive forward a project. We look for leaders who want open source their technology, who build models with the potential to scale, who will speak publicly about their successes and failures so that others can learn and benefit.
  • The right toolkit is so much more than money - we don’t want to fund projects that dry up as soon as our grant is spent. We help our partners scope their projects to make sure that they can sustain the work after our investment is complete. We empower them to use the technology themselves, we don’t just do it for them. We look to harness their existing talent and expertise, and accelerate their learning in new areas.
  • Learn from each other - all of the nonprofits participating in the Google.org Impact Challenge have an opportunity to connect and learn from each other. They share what’s working, what failed, and how they have overcome challenges. They have built a community to continually turn to.

The money Google.org invested in non-profit innovation in Canada is already paying dividends. The Impact Challenge participants have done everything from deploy drones to find safe routes through disaster zones to build a digital map of climate change impact on sea ice ecosystems in Hudson Bay. They have developed ways to create educational opportunity for kids living on indigenous reserves and ways to divert surplus food away from landfill and onto the plates of hungry people through Canada’s Food Bank network.

When innovation works, the smart investor re-invests. We’re proud to share that five organizations will be partnering with us for a second year, and have been granted an additional $100,000 each from Google.org to continue their work. This brings the total investment across the Google.org Impact Challenge Canada to $5.5M in grant money, and an additional $1.5M in pro bono investment across Google Canada, LEAP and our partners.

The projects that will participate in this second phase are:

  • The Rumie Initiative - Only 40% of students on indigenous reserves graduate from high school, compared to 90% of students in the rest of Canada. The LearnCloud Portal is an offline, tablet-based curriculum to help high school students learn about Indigenous culture, history and language while gaining employment skills and financial literacy.
  • World Wide Hearing Foundation International - Globally, 32 million children suffer from significant hearing loss, the majority of whom live in countries where access to hearing care can be a significant barrier. The Teleaudiology Cloud will connect children living in remote communities with audiologists and speech therapists who can assist with remote screening, hearing aid fitting, speech therapy and parent counselling.
  • Arctic Eider Society - With Arctic sea ice declining at over 13% per decade, changing conditions make navigation unpredictable and limits access to traditional foods for Arctic communities. The SIKU platform will provide a set of open-source tools that help Inuit communities map changing sea ice, and build a living archive of Inuit knowledge to help inform decision making for stewardship and sustainable development.
  • Food Banks Canada - Each year, close to $31 billion of food is wasted in Canada, yet nearly one in ten Canadian households have to worry about whether they have food on the table. The FoodAccess App diverts surplus quality food away from landfill by connecting farmers, manufacturers and restaurants with donation agencies and Canadian dinner tables that might otherwise go empty. 
  • Growing North - In Nunavut, nearly 70% of adults are food insecure - meaning they lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Growing North addresses food insecurity issues by building greenhouses that will provide fresh produce all year round in latitudes above the Arctic Circle at about half of the present cost.

Learn Kotlin Fast with new Kotlin Bootcamp course

Posted by Aleks Haecky, Training Developer & Word Artist, Google+, LinkedIn, Medium

The Kotlin Bootcamp Udacity course is a free, self-paced online course that teaches you the basics of the Kotlin programming language. This introduction to Kotlin was created by Google experts in collaboration with Udacity and is for people who already know how to program.

The Kotlin language lets you create apps in less time, writing less code, and with fewer errors.

This modern object-oriented language offers a strong type system, type inference, null safety, properties, lambdas, extensions, coroutines, higher-order functions, and many other features. Kotlin is so concise that you can create complete data classes with a single line of code.

Kotlin is officially supported for building Android apps, fully interoperates with the Java programming language and libraries, and is included with IntelliJ and Android Studio.

In this course you will learn everything you need to program in Kotlin, including:

  1. Basics: Write Kotlin statements and expressions in the IntelliJ REPL Kotlin interpreter using nullable and non-nullable variables, data types, operators, and control structures.
  2. Functions: Create a main() function, create and call functions with default and variable arguments, pass functions as arguments to filters, program simple lambdas, function types, and compact single-expression functions.
  3. Classes: Create a class with methods and properties. Implement constructors and init(). Learn about inheritance, interfaces, and abstract classes. Use the special purpose classes data, object, enum, and sealed.
  4. Beyond the Basics: Dive deeper into Pairs, collections, and constants. Learn how to write extensions, implement generics, apply annotations, and use labeled breaks.
  5. Functional Manipulation: Explore more about lambdas, higher-order functions, and inline.

You'll learn how to use extension functions to add helpful functionality to existing classes.

Extend built-in types:

fun Int.print() = println(this)
5.print() // prints 5

Extend Android classes:

fun Context.toast(text: CharSequence, duration: Int = Toast.LENGTH_SHORT): Toast {
   return Toast.makeText(this, text, duration).apply { show() }
}
toast("Hello Toast")

Extend your own classes:

class AquariumPlant(
       val color: String)

fun AquariumPlant.print() =
       println("Pretty Aquarium Plant")

val plant = AquariumPlant("green")
plant.print()
// prints -> Pretty Aquarium Plant

When you've completed the course, you will be able to create programs in Kotlin, taking advantage of the features and capabilities that make Kotlin unique.

The course is available free, online at Udacity; take it in your own time at your own pace.

Go learn how to build apps with less code at https://www.udacity.com/course/ud9011.

Google Home and Google Home Mini launches in India

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/oJQ6oer9k-oKSnaW3KR5MwCfRndlnGcAU-FN0yA9kkYKRtwSGa3fSclA27uJ7h5rPzT1yEXW2U7wCkdYfJKj4vMZM5IPVKYOhWAHcCZ5n1qevNxrtJTE_cnGHcXNL4zsOhY9ElbG
Bringing together the best of Google’s AI, software and hardware, now with a desi twist


Whether you’re getting the kids ready for school, doing a batch of laundry, or answering the doorbell for the morning vendors, Indian homes are busy ones. From catching that Bollywood blockbuster on your smart TV, to whipping up a quick Chole Bhature, to sinking into soulful Sufi tunes at the end of a tiring day, you can now get hands-free help.


Beginning today, Indian users can welcome in their lives Google Home -- our voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. With a simple “Ok, Google” or “Hey Google”, you can get answers, turn up the music, manage everyday tasks or even control smart devices around your home.


Google Home understands Indian accents, and will respond to you with uniquely Indian contexts. What’s great about the Google Assistant is that it’s the same across all your devices, so that it works seamlessly for you wherever you need a helping hand. You can for instance ask it for the quickest route to office, then tell it to push the directions to Google Maps on your smartphone, and you’re ready to navigate as you head out.


Designed to fit seamlessly into your home
We didn’t want Google Home to feel like a gadget, and took inspiration from consumer products that are commonly found in homes, like wine glasses, candles, and even donuts for Mini.


The top surface has LEDs that provide visual feedback when Google Home recognizes “Hey Google”, so you know when it is listening. In those rare moments when voice won’t do, the top surface is also a capacitive touch panel. You can simply use your finger to pause the music or adjust the volume.
Google Home was designed with two microphones to enable accurate far-field voice recognition. The microphone system uses a technique called neural beam forming. We’ve simulated hundreds of thousands of noisy environments and applied machine learning to recognize patterns that allow us to filter and separate speech from noise. This allows us to deliver best-in-class voice recognition and minimize error rates -- even from across the room. Home will be available in India in the Chalk color variant.
Google Home Mini is sleek and smooth, with no corners or edges. And it's small enough to easily place anywhere in your home. It’s almost entirely enclosed in custom fabric. We created this material from scratch, right down to the yarn. It’s durable and soft, but also transparent enough to let through both light and sound. And it is available in Chalk and Charcoal, with Coral coming soon. The four LED lights underneath the fabric that light up to show you when it hears you or when it’s thinking. Mini has far-field mics so it can hear you even when there’s music playing or loud noise in the background: its circular design it can project 360-degree sound, with just one speaker.


These devices join the Made by Google family of hardware products in India, and will be available for purchase online exclusively on Flipkart, and in over 750 retail stores across the country including Reliance Digital, Croma, Bajaj Electronics, Vijay Sales, Sangeetha, and Poorvika.


Tap into the power of Google with your Assistant
Need answers to a problem? Ask questions, translate phrases, run simple maths calculations and look up the meaning of a word. Too busy to stay on top of the news? Ask and you shall receive the latest stories from sources such as Times of India, NDTV, Dainik Bhaskar, India Today, Aaj Tak and more. Need a helping hand in the kitchen? Find ingredient substitutes, pull up nutritional information and unit conversions without having to wash your atta-covered fingers.


Google Home is truly ‘desi’
With a distinctly Indian voice, your Assistant on Google Home speaks and understands your language. Ask it “Hey Google, how desi are you?”, put its cricket knowledge to the test with “Hey Google, what is a silly point?”, tell it to “Play songs from the movie Satte Pe Satta”, or even get step-by-step cooking instructions in the kitchen with, “Hey Google, give me a recipe for Dum Biryani”.


Get personalised help for your everyday tasks
The Google Assistant on Google Home has been designed to help you get more stuff done when you have your hands full. With your permission, it will help with things like your commute, your daily schedule and more. And the best part? Up to six people can connect their account to one Google Home, so if you ask your Assistant to tell you about your day, it can distinguish your voice from other people in your family, and give you personalised answers. Just ask “Hey Google, tell me about my day” or say, “Hey Google, how long will it take to get to work?” and you’ll get up to speed on everything you need to know. It can wake you up in the morning (or let you snooze), set a timer while you’re baking, and so more.


Turn up those tunes
Find the right rhythm for every occasion, whether you’re getting into the zone with sunrise yoga, hosting a dinner party, or burning off calories dancing with your little ones. You can play songs, playlists, artists, and albums from your favourite music subscription services like Google Play Music (with a six-month subscription, on us), along with offers from Saavn and Gaana*. You can also pair Google Home or Home Mini with your favorite Bluetooth speaker and set it to be the default output for all your music.


Control your smart home
Google Home can help you keep track of everything going on in your home--you can control your lights, switches and more, using compatible smart devices from brands like Philips Hue, D-Link and TP-Link. Just ask your Google Home, and your Assistant will turn off the kitchen light. If you have a Chromecast, you can also use voice commands to play Netflix, or YouTube on your TV and binge watch your favorite shows. Enjoy multi-room by grouping Google Home devices together (with Chromecast Audio, Chromecast built-in and Bluetooth speakers) to listen to the same song in every room.


A speaker for any occasion
Whether you’re hosting a dinner or a solo dance party, Google Home delivers crystal-clear sound and creates an enjoyable listening experience. Plus, we designed Home to fit stylishly into any room. And you have the option to customize the base with different colors to reflect your home’s style.


With Google Home, we’re working with our partners to bring you many great launch offers: when buying Google Home or Google Home Mini on Flipkart you get a free JioFi router along with special offers on exchange and streaming music subscriptions; when buying a Google Home at Reliance Digital or MyJio stores you get a free JioFi router with 100GB of high-speed 4G data (worth Rs 2,499)**, and at select Philips Hue and Croma outlets you get a Philips Hue + Google Home Mini at a special bundled price. Also ACT Fibernet retail customers subscribing to 12-month advance rental plans of 90MBPS and above, will receive a Google Home Mini. And above all, users get 10 percent cashback when purchasing using HDFC Bank credit cards***.


Google Home and Google Home Mini will be priced at Rs 9,999, and Rs 4,499 respectively.


It’s just the beginning...
Your Assistant on Google Home will continue to get better over time as we add more features (look out for Hindi support coming later this year!) And Google Home is open to third-party apps for the Assistant, so expect even more of your favourite services and content.

Posted by Rishi Chandra, VP,  Product Management, Google Home


Note:
*Both available from April 10 to October 31, 2018, for all Google Home and Home Mini users in India
**Offer valid until 30th April 2018
***Cashback limited to 10% of MRP

Cryptography, Cloud and Equality: a Q&A with Google Security expert Maya Kaczorowski

Note from the editor: What do Julie Payette, Indira Samarasekera and Jenni Sidey have in common? They are just some of Canada’s fierce female masterminds who’ve graduated in the field of either science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) and who continue to impact our society. We already have plenty of talent in Canada. However, we are not turning out enough computer science graduates to keep up with demand, especially not enough women. It's never been more critical that we give our young girls the tools they need to become the technology builders of tomorrow. One of the ways we can better equip them, is by exposing young women to how their future studies could directly apply in the real world and make them aware of the exciting career opportunities in STEM. In the hopes of doing just that, we’ve sat down for an interview with one of own trailblazers, Montrealer Maya Kaczorowski, a Product Manager at Google in Security & Privacy. 


Can you tell us about your current role at Google and how you got here? 
Currently, my focus is on securing workloads running in containerized environments – which is a mouthful! To clarify, containers are a relatively new way of running workloads especially in the cloud. Our team uses tools such as Docker and Kubernetes which ultimately make our customer’s applications more portable.

Prior to this, I focused on encryption at rest and encryption key management, and was the Product Manager for Google Cloud Key Management Service (Cloud KMS). Before joining Google, I worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, serving financial, healthcare and insurance customers on a variety of topics, where I discovered my passion for security strategy.
What’s your educational background?
I completed a BA&Sc in Mathematics and Economics at McGill University in Montreal and then pursued a Master in Science in Applicable Mathematics, focusing on cryptography and game theory at the London School of Economics.

Can you tell us what motivated you to pursue a career in science and technology? 
I always liked solving puzzles and when I took a number theory class at McGill, I realized cryptography was a great mesh of puzzles, math, and practical use cases in security. I pursued my interest in cryptography, and ended up doing a Master's degree in the field. It wasn’t a straight path from there to a technical role in the industry, however, by seizing the right opportunities when they arose, I ultimately ended up in role that was meant for me, at Google working with the encryption team. I’m especially excited about working in infrastructure security, which is a huge focus given the uptake of the cloud industry. There’s a lot of opportunity for development, and for innovation in this space.

What challenges did you face as a woman during your studies and then throughout the course of your career?
Being taken seriously has always been difficult. I can remember going to some of my first conferences in security, and people asking me if I was a reporter, or what I ‘really’ worked on, even if I had Google written on my badge. No one will give you the benefit of the doubt, you have to initially prove yourself. I’m lucky that I had the opportunities to do so, and the courage to not let people dismiss me easily.
Why is now a great time for women to pursue careers in tech?
There are two complementary forces at work - it’s a friendlier and more attractive industry for women; and companies are also realizing they need women to be more successful. In general, there are already more women in tech, and more women in leadership roles - mentoring and acting as role models for the next generation of women.

Why are women uniquely qualified to excel in some of these leadership roles? 
Without over-generalizing, women bring different viewpoints to the workplace. Research has shown that more diverse teams lead to better business outcomes, and teams with more women tend to have more individuals actively participating in decision-making processes. In any product, but especially in security, having individuals from a variety of backgrounds leads to building better, more useful products.

What advice would you have for other women considering following a career in science and tech? 
Simply, just go for it. Given how accessible information and tutorials are nowadays, you can teach yourself anything. I often see people falter in their belief that they need to have gone to a particular school, or have a particular degree, or particular life experience, in order to have a particular job. Compared to men, women are less likely to apply to jobs where they don’t meet all the requirements, but there’s really no harm in trying. Ask others in the industry how they got where they are, teach yourself that, ask questions where you don’t understand, and go for it.

Additionally, when I studied mathematics, about half of my class was women - which I know is unusual. We were a headstrong bunch, each taking on leadership roles in student government, research, and other campus activities; and standing up for each other if needed. I would encourage women to support each other and to take on leadership roles either within your program of study, in the community or specific ecosystem they are aiming to persevere in.
What do you think would encourage more women to pursue studies in science and technology? 
I don’t think there’s an easy solution to gender equality in tech, which is why we’re all trying to improve it! I think having more exposure to how your studies are directly applicable in the real world, in the form of internships and co-ops, helps any student get a better idea of whether or not this work interests them, and what’s needed to be successful.