August update to Display & Video 360 API v1

Today we’re releasing an update to the Display & Video 360 API v1 which includes the following features:


More detailed information about this update can be found on the Display & Video 360 API release notes page.

Before using these new features, make sure to update your client to the latest version. For more information on how to use some of these new features, you can read our new User Management guide and Auditing Account Limits page.

If you run into issues or need help with these new features, please contact us using our support contact form.

August update to Display & Video 360 API v1

Today we’re releasing an update to the Display & Video 360 API v1 which includes the following features:


More detailed information about this update can be found on the Display & Video 360 API release notes page.

Before using these new features, make sure to update your client to the latest version. For more information on how to use some of these new features, you can read our new User Management guide and Auditing Account Limits page.

If you run into issues or need help with these new features, please contact us using our support contact form.

Dev Channel Update for Desktop

The Dev channel has been updated to 86.0.4221.3/.4 for Windows & Mac, 86.0.4221.3 for Linux platforms.
A partial list of changes is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how. 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.
Google Chrome
Prudhvikumar Bommana

Delivering security and privacy for Exchange on Android

For many Android users, Microsoft Exchange is the backend for their company email. Until recently, many email applications on Android used Device Admin capabilities to enforce the necessary security requirements on users’ devices, whether they were issued by their company or personally owned.

These APIs, which we began deprecating in Android 9 Pie, gave IT control over core security features such as device passcode requirements and remote data wipe. While this gives IT admins controls to promote data protection on the devices when using Exchange email clients, it also adds unnecessary complexity.

We've worked closely with Microsoft to create a new set of APIs that give email developers tools to secure their apps while adhering to the high standards we've set in Android for user privacy.

Google and Microsoft work together for user privacy

We teamed up with Microsoft to build a new way to offer the security that IT needs when using Microsoft Exchange, while offering the privacy employees have come to expect on personal Android devices.

IT admins have the option to require a user to follow a specified level of password complexity (options are for high, medium or low) to use their Exchange email app. If they don’t follow the set guidelines, they won’t be able to sync and access their corporate email. If IT needs to restrict or remove access on the device, no personal information, such as photos or downloads, will be removed. 

Combined with other Android technologies like the SafetyNet Attestation API, Android hardware-backed brute force protections and Google Play Protect, IT professionals can feel confident their data is protected by enterprise-grade security while giving their employees greater autonomy over their device. 

Bringing these improvements to more users

To make sure as many users as possible can benefit from this change, the Android team has developed a backwards-compatible implementation of this approach in Google Mobile Services. Email app developers can migrate away from Device Admin on any version of Android they support.

Gmail will showcase this new functionality later this month. As Android app developers update apps to meet the official Device Admin deprecation requirements in Android 10 later this year, look for your favorite email client to take advantage of this functionality soon.

For companies whose needs evolve and would benefit from even greater management capabilities, we invite them to learn more at android.com/enterprise.

How insights from people around the world make Google Search better

Every Google search you do is one of billions we receive that day. In less than half a second, our systems sort through hundreds of billions of web pages to try and find the most relevant and helpful results available.


Because the web and people’s information needs keep changing, we make a lot of improvements to our search algorithms to keep up. Thousands per year, in fact. And we’re always working on new ways to make our results more helpful whether it’s a new feature, or bringing new language understanding capabilities to Search.


The improvements we make go through an evaluation process designed so that people around the world continue to find Google useful for whatever they’re looking for. Here are some ways that insights and feedback from people around the world help make Search better.


Our research team at work

Changes that we make to Search are aimed at making it easier for people to find useful information, but depending on their interests, what language they speak, and where they are in the world, different people have different information needs. It’s our mission to make information universally accessible and useful, and we are committed to serving all of our users in pursuit of that goal.


This is why we have a research team whose job it is to talk to people all around the world to understand how Search can be more useful. We invite people to give us feedback on different iterations of our projects and we do field research to understand how people in different communities access information online.


For example, we’ve learned over the years about the unique needs and technical limitations that people in emerging markets have when accessing information online. So we developed Google Go, a lightweight search app that works well with less powerful phones and less reliable connections. On Google Go, we’ve also introduced uniquely helpful features, including one that lets you listen to web pages out loud, which is particularly useful for people learning a new language or who may be less comfortable with reading long text. Features like these would not be possible without insights from the people who will ultimately use them.


Search quality raters

A key part of our evaluation process is getting feedback from everyday users about whether our ranking systems and proposed improvements are working well. But what do we mean by “working well”? We publish publicly available rater guidelines that describe in great detail how our systems intend to surface great content. These guidelines are more than 160 pages long, but if we have to boil it down to just a phrase, we like to say that Search is designed to return relevant results from the most reliable sources available.


Our systems use signals from the web itself—like where words in your search appear on web pages, or how pages link to one another on the web—to understand what information is related to your query and whether it’s information that people tend to trust. But notions of relevance and trustworthiness are ultimately human judgments, so to measure whether our systems are in fact understanding these correctly, we need to gather insights from people.


To do this, we have a group of more than 10,000 people all over the world we call “search quality raters.” Raters help us measure how people are likely to experience our results. They provide ratings based on our guidelines and represent real users and their likely information needs, using their best judgment to represent their locale. These people study and are tested on our rater guidelines before they can begin to provide ratings.


How rating works

Here’s how a rater task works: we generate a sample of queries (say, a few hundred). A group of raters will be assigned this set of queries, and they’re shown two versions of results pages for those searches. One set of results is from the current version of Google, and the other set is from an improvement we’re considering.


Raters review every page listed in the results set and evaluate that page against the query, based on our rater guidelines. They evaluate whether those pages meet the information needs based on their understanding of what that query was seeking, and they consider things like how authoritative and trustworthy that source seems to be on the topic in the query. To evaluate things like expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—sometimes referred to as “E-A-T”—raters are asked to do reputational research on the sources.


Here’s what that looks like in practice: imagine the sample query is “carrot cake recipe.” The results set may include articles from recipe sites, food magazines, food brands and perhaps blogs. To determine if a webpage meets their information needs, a rater might consider how easy the cooking instructions are to understand, how helpful the recipe is in terms of visual instructions and imagery, and whether there are other useful features on the site, like a shopping list creator or calculator for recipe doubling. 


To understand if the author has subject matter expertise, a rater would do some online research to see if the author has cooking credentials, has been profiled or referenced on other food websites, or has produced other great content that has garnered positive reviews or ratings on recipe sites. Basically, they do some digging to answer questions like: is this page trustworthy, and does it come from a site or author with a good reputation?  


Ratings are not used directly for search ranking

Once raters have done this research, they then provide a quality rating for each page. It’s important to note that this rating does not directly impact how this page or site ranks in Search. Nobody is deciding that any given source is “authoritative” or “trustworthy.” In particular, pages are not assigned ratings as a way to determine how well to rank them. Indeed, that would be an impossible task and a poor signal for us to use. With hundreds of billions of pages that are constantly changing, there’s no way humans could evaluate every page on a recurring basis.


Instead, ratings are a data point that, when taken in aggregate, helps us measure how well our systems are working to deliver great content that’s aligned with how people—across the country and around the world—evaluate information.


Last year alone, we did more than 383,605 search quality tests and 62,937 side-by-side experiments with our search quality raters to measure the quality of our results and help us make more than 3,600 improvements to our search algorithms. 


In-product experiments

Our research and rater feedback isn’t the only feedback we use when making improvements. We also need to understand how a new feature will work when it’s actually available in Search and people are using it as they would in real life. To make sure we’re able to get these insights, we test how people interact with new features through live experiments.


They’re called “live” experiments because they’re actually available to a small proportion of randomly selected people using the current version of Search. To test a change, we will launch a feature to a small percentage of all queries we get, and we look at a number of different metrics to measure the impact.


Did people click or tap on the new feature? Did most people just scroll past it? Did it make the page load slower? These insights can help us understand quite a bit about whether a new feature or change is helpful and if people will actually use it.


In 2019, we ran more than 17,000 live traffic experiments to test out new features and improvements to Search. If you compare that with how many launches actually happened (around 3600, remember?), you can see that only the best and most useful improvements make it into Search.


Always improving

While our search results will never be perfect, these research and evaluation processes have proven to be very effective over the past two decades. They allow us to make frequent improvements and ensure that the changes we make represent the needs of people around the world coming to Search for information.


Source: Search


Automatic Deployment of Hugo Sites on Firebase Hosting and Drafts on Cloud Run

Posted by James Ward, Developer Advocate

Recently I completed the migration of my blog from Wordpress to Hugo and I wanted to take advantage of it now being a static site by hosting it on a Content Delivery Network (CDN). With Hugo the source content is plain files instead of rows in a database. In the case of my blog those files are in git on GitHub. But when the source files change, the site needs to be regenerated and redeployed to the CDN. Also, sometimes it is nice to have drafts available for review. I setup a continuous delivery pipeline which deploys changes to my prod site on Firebase Hosting and drafts on Cloud Run, using Cloud Build. Read on for instructions for how to set all this up.

Step 1a) Setup A New Hugo Project

If you do not have an existing Hugo project you can create a GitHub copy (i.e. fork) of my Hugo starter repo:

Step 1b) Setup Existing Hugo Project

If you have an existing Hugo project you'll need to add some files to it:

.firebaserc

{
"projects": {
"production": "hello-hugo"
}
}

cloudbuild-draft.yaml

steps:
- name: 'gcr.io/cloud-builders/git'
entrypoint: '/bin/sh'
args:
- '-c'
- |
# Get the theme git submodule
THEME_URL=$(git config -f .gitmodules --get-regexp '^submodule\..*\.url$' | awk '{ print $2 }')
THEME_DIR=$(git config -f .gitmodules --get-regexp '^submodule\..*\.path$' | awk '{ print $2 }')
rm -rf themes
git clone $$THEME_URL $$THEME_DIR

- name: 'gcr.io/cloud-builders/docker'
entrypoint: '/bin/sh'
args:
- '-c'
- |
docker build -t gcr.io/$PROJECT_ID/$REPO_NAME-$BRANCH_NAME:$COMMIT_SHA -f - . << EOF
FROM klakegg/hugo:latest
WORKDIR /workspace
COPY . /workspace
ENTRYPOINT hugo -D -p \$$PORT --bind \$$HUGO_BIND --renderToDisk --disableLiveReload --watch=false serve
EOF
docker push gcr.io/$PROJECT_ID/$REPO_NAME-$BRANCH_NAME:$COMMIT_SHA

- name: 'gcr.io/cloud-builders/gcloud'
args:
- run
- deploy
- --image=gcr.io/$PROJECT_ID/$REPO_NAME-$BRANCH_NAME:$COMMIT_SHA
- --platform=managed
- --project=$PROJECT_ID
- --region=us-central1
- --memory=512Mi
- --allow-unauthenticated
- $REPO_NAME-$BRANCH_NAME

cloudbuild.yaml

steps:
- name: 'gcr.io/cloud-builders/git'
entrypoint: '/bin/sh'
args:
- '-c'
- |
# Get the theme git submodule
THEME_URL=$(git config -f .gitmodules --get-regexp '^submodule\..*\.url$' | awk '{ print $2 }')
THEME_DIR=$(git config -f .gitmodules --get-regexp '^submodule\..*\.path$' | awk '{ print $2 }')
rm -rf themes
git clone $$THEME_URL $$THEME_DIR

- name: 'gcr.io/cloud-builders/curl'
entrypoint: '/bin/sh'
args:
- '-c'
- |
curl -sL https://github.com/gohugoio/hugo/releases/download/v0.69.2/hugo_0.69.2_Linux-64bit.tar.gz | tar -zxv
./hugo

- name: 'gcr.io/cloud-builders/wget'
entrypoint: '/bin/sh'
args:
- '-c'
- |
# Get firebase CLI
wget -O firebase https://firebase.tools/bin/linux/latest
chmod +x firebase
# Deploy site
./firebase deploy --project=$PROJECT_ID --only=hosting

firebase.json

{
"hosting": {
"public": "public"
}
}


Step 2) Setup Cloud Build Triggers

In the Google Cloud Build console, connect to your newly forked repo: Select the newly forked repo: Create the default push trigger: Edit the new trigger: Set the trigger to only fire on changes to the ^master$ branch: Create a new trigger: Give it a name like drafts-trigger, specify the branch selector as .* (i.e. any branch), and the build configuration file type to "Cloud Build configuration file" with a value of cloudbuild-draft.yaml Setup permissions for the Cloud Build process to manage Cloud Run and Firebase Hosting by visiting the IAM management page, locate the member with the name ending with @cloudbuild.gserviceaccount.com, and select the "pencil" / edit button: Add a role for "Cloud Run Admin" and another for "Firebase Hosting Admin": Your default "prod" trigger isn't read to test yet, but you can test the drafts on Cloud Run by going back to the Cloud Build Triggers page, and clicking the "Run Trigger" button on the "drafts-trigger" line. Check the build logs by finding the build in the Cloud Build History. Once the build completes visit the Cloud Run console to find your newly created service which hosts the drafts version of your new blog. Note that the service name includes the branch so that you can see drafts from different branches.

Step 3) Setup Firebase Hosting

To setup your production / CDN'd site, login to the firebase console and select your project:

Now you'll need your project id, which can be found in the URL on the Firebase Project Overview page. The URL for my project is:

console.firebase.google.com/project/jw-demo/overview

Which means my project id is: jw-demo

Now copy your project id go into your GitHub fork, select the .firebaserc file and click the "pencil" / edit button:

Replace the hello-hugo string with your project id and commit the changes. This commit will trigger two new builds, one for the production site and one for the drafts site on Cloud Run. You can check the status of those builds on the Cloud Build History page. Once the default trigger (the one for Firebase hosting) finishes, check out your Hugo site running on Firebase Hosting by navigating to (replacing YOUR_PROJECT_ID with the project id you used above): https://YOUR_PROJECT_ID.web.app/

Your prod and drafts sites are now automatically deploying on new commits!

Step 4) (Optional) Change Hugo Theme

There are many themes for Hugo and they are easy to change. Typically themes are pulled into Hugo sites using git submodules. To change the theme, edit your .gitmodules file and set the subdirectories and url. As an example, here is the content when using the mainroad theme:

[submodule "themes/mainroad"]
path = themes/mainroad
url = https://github.com/vimux/mainroad.git

You will also need to change the theme value in your config.toml file to match the directory name in the themes directory. For example:

theme = "mainroad"

Note: At the time of writing this, Cloud Build does not clone git submodules so the cloudbuild.yaml does the cloning instead.

Step 5) (Optional) Setup Local Editing

To setup local editing you will first need to clone your fork. You can do this with the GitHub desktop app. Or from the command line:

git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/USER/REPO.git

Once you have the files locally, install Hugo, and from inside the repo's directory, run:

hugo -D serve

This will serve the drafts in the site. You can check out the site at: localhost:1313

Committing non-draft changes to master and pushing those changes to GitHub will kick off the build which will deploy them on your prod site. Committing draft to any branch will kick off the build which will deploy them on a Cloud Run site.

Hopefully that all helps you with hosting your Hugo sites! Let me know if you run into any problems.

Instantly share files with people around you with Nearby Share

The Android community has long asked for a way to quickly share content with each other from their devices. So after years of development, Android is launching Nearby Share, a platform to enable reliable and easy sharing across thousands of Android phone models and billions of people.

Nearby Share is rolling out to Android 6.0+ phones today, making it easier to instantly share files, links, pictures and more with people around you, all while protecting your privacy. 


Easily share content both online and offline

When you just want to quickly share something with a friend or someone nearby, it can be a hassle to open your messages, find a contact and then find the file you’d like to attach. Nearby Share allows you to cut down on that time with simple taps and see a list of devices in your proximity with which you can share content. Once you select the receiver, they will be notified with the option to either accept or decline the file. Nearby Share then automatically chooses the best protocol for fast and easy sharing using Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC or peer-to-peer WiFi — allowing you to share even when you’re fully offline.


ASL_Nearby_Share_Creative_V07.gif

Safely share and receive files with those around you

Nearby Share was built with privacy at its core, so you can share and receive files with peace of mind. Now you don’t have to worry about exchanging contact information, because Nearby Share allows you to both send and receive files anonymously. It also allows you to adjust your privacy settings from your phone’s Quick Settings at any time. You can be “hidden,” visible to “some contacts” or visible to “all contacts,” so you never receive files that you didn’t ask for.

Nearby_Pixel_Shell_Settings-03.png

Works smoothly with Chromebooks

In the coming months, Nearby Share will work with Chromebooks so you can swiftly share files between an Android phone and a Chromebook, and vice versa. Chromebooks already have features that make them work especially well with Android, like Instant Tethering, and Nearby Share will make Android and Chromebook work even better together. 

Nearby_CHROME_PIXEL-02.png

Select Google Pixel and Samsung devices will be the first smartphones to receive Nearby Share starting today. We will continue to work with our partners to bring Nearby Share to more smartphones in the Android ecosystem over the next few weeks. Visit our support page to learn more about how to enable Nearby Share and adjust your visibility settings.

Access checker for Slides ensures inserted video and audio is playable

What’s changing 

Access checker is a feature in Gmail and Google Chat that ensures the recipients of a Drive file have permission to access it. We're now expanding Access checker to Google Slides, to make sure that anyone who is viewing or presenting a Slides presentation can play embedded videos and audio files. 

When you insert a video or audio file that is stored in Drive into Slides, Access checker will automatically look to see if the people who have access to the presentation also have access to the audio or video file you just inserted. If they don’t, Access checker will suggest changing the permissions for the audio or video file so that all viewers, commenters, editors, and owners of the presentation will be able to see and hear its content. 

We are also working toward launching functionality in the future that will perform an access check for all Drive video and audio files in the presentation after you share the presentation with additional users. At that point, we may suggest permission changes for multiple files used in the presentation. We will post any updates about this in-progress feature on the G Suite Updates Blog. 


Who’s impacted 

End users 


Why it’s important 

When a user can’t play videos and audio files within a presentation, it can be disruptive. When presenting, it can be an awkward or negative experience for the presenter. However, manually checking that permissions are correct before presenting or distributing a presentation is time-consuming. By adding Access checker to Google Slides, we’re making it easier to ensure all viewers of the presentation will get a complete experience. 

Getting started 

Rollout pace 

  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 4, 2020 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 26, 2020 

Availability 

  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal accounts. 

Resources 

Access checker for Slides ensures inserted video and audio is playable

What’s changing 

Access checker is a feature in Gmail and Google Chat that ensures the recipients of a Drive file have permission to access it. We're now expanding Access checker to Google Slides, to make sure that anyone who is viewing or presenting a Slides presentation can play embedded videos and audio files. 

When you insert a video or audio file that is stored in Drive into Slides, Access checker will automatically look to see if the people who have access to the presentation also have access to the audio or video file you just inserted. If they don’t, Access checker will suggest changing the permissions for the audio or video file so that all viewers, commenters, editors, and owners of the presentation will be able to see and hear its content. 

We are also working toward launching functionality in the future that will perform an access check for all Drive video and audio files in the presentation after you share the presentation with additional users. At that point, we may suggest permission changes for multiple files used in the presentation. We will post any updates about this in-progress feature on the G Suite Updates Blog. 


Who’s impacted 

End users 


Why it’s important 

When a user can’t play videos and audio files within a presentation, it can be disruptive. When presenting, it can be an awkward or negative experience for the presenter. However, manually checking that permissions are correct before presenting or distributing a presentation is time-consuming. By adding Access checker to Google Slides, we’re making it easier to ensure all viewers of the presentation will get a complete experience. 

Getting started 

Rollout pace 

  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 4, 2020 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 26, 2020 

Availability 

  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal accounts. 

Resources 

Get ready for the school year with Google

I've always loved the start of a new school year. There's something magical about watching my kids reach new milestones, tackle new assignments and surprise me with their newfound interests and passions. While heading back to school won’t be the same this year, Google is helping families like mine stay on track with new features like Family Bell, communicate better with targeted broadcast messages and make learning from home a little more fun.


Virtual class - Family Bells, Google Assistant

Keep your family on track and organized

These days, my family can use extra help keeping on top of our schedules. With a new feature called Family Bell, we can add bell reminders throughout the day that announce when it's time to start an online class, take a break, settle in for reading time, have a snack or even for bedtime. To get started, simply say “Hey Google, create a Family Bell” or tap on Family Bell in your Assistant settings. It includes suggested bells for activities like recess, nap time or math time, or you can customize bells to alert someone in your household of an upcoming activity. One of my bells helps keep my son on track by saying, “Hi superhero, it’s time for math!”  You can even have different bells go off at the same time on different devices—super helpful when both of my kids have various activities going on. You can create and manage bells on Assistant-enabled Android and iOS phones to play on smart speakers or Smart Displays in your home. This feature is starting to roll out today in English in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and India.

And surely, most parents can relate when I say that sometimes my kids need that little nudge to get excited about the day—whether that means heading to school or starting a day of virtual learning. I can say, “Hey Google, start the school day!” or “Hey Google, school’s in session!” and Smart Displays like Nest Hub Max will show a school-themed visual and play the familiar sounds of school—like kids ruffling through their lockers. And since we have smart lights set up in our living room, this will also trigger the lights to flash upbeat red, orange and yellow colors—which my kids love. This feature also works on Assistant-enabled smart speakers and is now available around the globe.

Bells

A popular feature on Google Assistant is the ability to broadcast and reply to messages around the house, and starting to roll out today, you can broadcast to a specific room or device—making it even easier to communicate at home (no shouting needed). So when I’m working in my bedroom office, my husband can broadcast a message to me by saying, “Hey Google, broadcast to the bedroom, ‘breakfast is ready!’” This feature is rolling out in English on Assistant-enabled smart speakers and Smart Displays around the world.

And to remind learners when to start homework, try setting a fun alarm with some of their favorite characters. Just ask your Assistant-enabled smart speaker or Smart Display, “Hey Google, set a Hatchimals alarm for 4:00 p.m.” and you’ll hear signature music, jokes, facts, words of encouragement and other fun messages when it goes off. 


Make learning from home fun

I appreciate getting to spend extra time with my kids, and now Google helps me make the most of it by teaching my daughter (and often me) some new facts. On Assistant-enabled smart speakers and Smart Displays in the U.S., say, “Hey Google, tell me about the animal of the day” and hear fun facts about a new animal every day, listen to the sound each animal makes and even receive a creative daily challenge, like drawing what the animal looks like.

From homework help to how-to’s, on YouTube Kids you’ll find videos that give kids a greater understanding of the world around them. To get started, make sure you’ve linked your YouTube Kids account in your Google Home app. Try watching a video on your Smart Display by saying,“Hey Google, watch Brave Wilderness on YouTube Kids.” 

To get some help together, parents and older learners can also ask, “Hey Google, help me with my homework" for suggestions to learn about historical events, the periodic table or for help with calculations. Google can also help with spelling (“Hey Google, how do you spell rhythm?”) or math (“Hey Google, what's 3 x 7 + 80?”). Google Assistant can even act as a translator and interpreter for language learning—try asking, “Hey Google, how do you say butter in Spanish?” 

With their parent's permission, children under 13 (or the applicable age in their country) can have their own personalized Google Assistant experience when they log in with their own account, powered by Family Link.


Spend quality time together as a family

Game nights have surged in popularity at our house. My kids like to ask, “Hey Google, play a kids game” to discover new games.

And when it’s time to wind down for the day, say, “Hey Google, tell me a story,” or if your family loves fairy tales like mine, try “Hey Google, tell me a fairy tale” and listen along. We also enjoy listening to classics from Storynory, like “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella,” “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and more. 

The balancing act of working, parenting and schooling at home continues, and as it does, we hope these new tools will help  keep your family on track in your new routine.