Tag Archives: Google+

Identify Content Gaps Online with Question Hub

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/4_Ja86GgwMEXmnLeCp9Dfmd4_mnU43N8Q1HsdmJL3dzIro15l0x3pyP5segRHi1FkYsHBDOyzNFW6ZX5864m8PaOEfNXNMvRZOGD4gN6NSwYGG4PFDJZ6gdU2AeuvBOLasJS6oxZ
Google Search organizes information to find the most relevant, useful results for each person’s search queries. But what if the content just isn’t there? That’s why we created Question Hub. 


With Question Hub, users can let us know when they haven’t been able to find the content they are searching for. We collect all these unanswered questions, for example “How many revolutions does Chandrayaan 2 make around the Earth”,  and sort them by topic (“Science”). We provide those questions to publishers, so they can use these insights to create richer, better content for their audience. This benefits the publishers who can identify content gaps online, and everyone searching for content on the web.


After several months of testing with journalists and bloggers, we are launching a beta version today so we can continue to grow the product in collaboration with a broader group of publishers. Question Hub is now available in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria, in English, Hindi and Bahasa Indonesia, and we plan to introduce it in other countries and languages in the future. There are many questions lined up waiting for answers, from debunking myths such as “Do mermaid tears really turn into pearls” to everyday useful information like “vegan south indian recipe with no eggplant”. Because Question Hub is just coming out of an experimental phase, we’re still working hard to improve the experience and add additional features. We would love your feedback to  help us grow the product further. 


To access Question Hub, publishers need to link their account to verified properties in Search Console. For publishers without a Search Console account, other options are available. Once they’ve created an account, they can  explore topics relevant to their work by either searching for keywords or browsing categories (e.g. Beauty & Fitness). Once a topic is added, they can view unanswered questions asked by real people. 


Publishers can then use their editorial judgment to review unanswered questions, and expand on them when creating content. For instance, an unanswered question (“mehndi designs for my sister’s wedding in two weeks 2019”) may illustrate a larger need for content on a certain topic (trendy mehndi designs). Publishers can leverage these questions to create more impactful content for their audience. Once they create an article or video, publishers are then able to submit it in Question Hub, where they review content performance metrics.




Are you a publisher? Try Question Hub out, or learn more about how to get started in our FAQ. Click Send Feedback within Question Hub with any comments or issues; we’d love to hear from you.

Posted by Shekhar Sharad, Senior Product Manager, Search and Content Ecosystem

Coral summer updates: Post-training quant support, TF Lite delegate, and new models!

Posted by Vikram Tank (Product Manager), Coral Team

Summer updates cartoon

Coral’s had a busy summer working with customers, expanding distribution, and building new features — and of course taking some time for R&R. We’re excited to share updates, early work, and new models for our platform for local AI with you.

The compiler has been updated to version 2.0, adding support for models built using post-training quantization—only when using full integer quantization (previously, we required quantization-aware training)—and fixing a few bugs. As the Tensorflow team mentions in their Medium post “post-training integer quantization enables users to take an already-trained floating-point model and fully quantize it to only use 8-bit signed integers (i.e. `int8`).” In addition to reducing the model size, models that are quantized with this method can now be accelerated by the Edge TPU found in Coral products.

We've also updated the Edge TPU Python library to version 2.11.1 to include new APIs for transfer learning on Coral products. The new on-device back propagation API allows you to perform transfer learning on the last layer of an image classification model. The last layer of a model is removed before compilation and implemented on-device to run on the CPU. It allows for near-real time transfer learning and doesn’t require you to recompile the model. Our previously released imprinting API, has been updated to allow you to quickly retrain existing classes or add new ones while leaving other classes alone. You can now even keep the classes from the pre-trained base model. Learn more about both options for on-device transfer learning.

Until now, accelerating your model with the Edge TPU required that you write code using either our Edge TPU Python API or in C++. But now you can accelerate your model on the Edge TPU when using the TensorFlow Lite interpreter API, because we've released a TensorFlow Lite delegate for the Edge TPU. The TensorFlow Lite Delegate API is an experimental feature in TensorFlow Lite that allows for the TensorFlow Lite interpreter to delegate part or all of graph execution to another executor—in this case, the other executor is the Edge TPU. Learn more about the TensorFlow Lite delegate for Edge TPU.

Coral has also been working with Edge TPU and AutoML teams to release EfficientNet-EdgeTPU: a family of image classification models customized to run efficiently on the Edge TPU. The models are based upon the EfficientNet architecture to achieve the image classification accuracy of a server-side model in a compact size that's optimized for low latency on the Edge TPU. You can read more about the models’ development and performance on the Google AI Blog, and download trained and compiled versions on the Coral Models page.

And, as summer comes to an end we also want to share that Arrow offers a student teacher discount for those looking to experiment with the boards in class or the lab this year.

We're excited to keep evolving the Coral platform, please keep sending us feedback at coral-support@google.com.

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.