Monthly Archives: July 2014

Enhanced reliability and support for Hangouts

Hangouts is now covered under the same Terms of Service that support our other Google Apps for Business products, like Gmail and Google Drive. That means that customers receive 24x7 phone support and 99.9% guaranteed uptime as well as ISO27001, SSAE 16/ISAE 4302 and SOC 2 certification. Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release For more information:

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Hangouts video calls for all

With today’s launch, people using Google Apps with access to Google Talk or Google Hangouts chat will now have the ability to create and join Hangout video calls for up to 15 participants. Participants will no longer need to ensure Google+ premium services are enabled, nor have a Google+ profile. Features such as sharing one’s screen to a team or automatically adding a Hangout to any Calendar event will also be available. Before a Google+ profile is created, a Hangouts participant will be able to:
  • Start Hangout video calls with up to 15 participants
  • Include any external guests who have a Google account
  • Add, change or join a video call in a Google Calendar entry (coming soon)
  • Join or start a Hangout by URL or at g.co/hangout/ (and g.co/present/ to just present)
Please note that people without a Google+ profile will not be able to use Hangout apps other than screen share and chat, nor invite Google+ circles to a Hangout video call.
This enhancement will be supported in a coming version of the Android and iOS Hangout apps.

Release track:
  • Hangouts features (launching today) - Rapid release and Scheduled release
  • Calendar features (coming soon) - Rapid release, followed by Scheduled release two weeks later

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Doodle 4 Google 2014: Doodle your dreams for South Africa

Sharpen your pencils, spark your imagination and reveal your artistic talent in the first Doodle 4 Google competition in South Africa!

We’re inviting school students between the ages of 6 and 17 to create a Google Doodle depicting the “South Africa of My Dreams”. From today, you can register to take part and have a chance to win fantastic prizes for you and your school, as well as the chance to see your doodle displayed on the home page of Google.

We have gathered a panel of local guest judges who are passionate about children’s art to help select our winner, including DJ Fresh, Springbok great Pat Lambie; Survivor champ Graham Jenneker, author John van de Ruit, media and tech entrepreneur Seth Rotherham, music diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and Spud star Sven Ruygrok.

They will select the best Doodles in four age groups: Ages 6-8; Ages 9-11; Ages 12-14; and Ages 15-17. We’ll then ask the public to vote for their favourite Doodles from each age group and the winners will receive prizes, including tablets, Google Play vouchers and R100,000 worth of technology for the national winner’s school. A Google doodler will select the overall winner, whose doodle will be shown on the Google homepage for a day for millions of South Africans to enjoy.



To help encourage creativity, as well as the use of technology in the classroom, we have teamed up with Pearson to create lesson plans and activities for teachers and parents, including Connected Classroom virtual field trips to historic spots in South Africa, such as Robben Island. Connected Classrooms allow schools from all over the world to visit people and places virtually, using Google+ Hangouts. Keep an eye on the Doodle 4 Google site for more information.

The deadline for parents and teachers to submit their childrens’ entries is 22 October 2014 - entry forms can be downloaded on the Doodle 4 Google site. Doodles can be uploaded digitally to the site or sent by post. There’s no limit to the number of doodles from any one school or family, as long as there is only one doodle per student.

So hurry, get doodling - we can’t wait to see your big dream for South Africa!


Posted by Elizma Nolte, Country Marketing Manager, Google South Africa


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Doodle 4 Google 2014 : Dessinez vos rêves pour l'Afrique du Sud

Taillez vos crayons, laissez aller votre imagination et révélez vos talents artistiques pour le premier concours Doodle 4 Google dédié à l'Afrique du Sud !

Nous invitons tous les élèves âgés de 6 à 17 ans à créer un "Google Doodle" décrivant “L'Afrique du Sud de mes rêves” - vous pouvez vous inscrire dès aujourd'hui pour participer et tenter de gagner un des fantastiques prix pour vous et votre école, ainsi que la possibilité de voir votre dessin affiché en page d'accueil de Google.

Nous avons réuni un jury local, composé de personnes passionnées par l'art des enfants pour nous aider à sélectionner le gagnant, parmi lesquels le DJ Fresh, le grand rugbyman Pat Lambie des Springbok ; le champion de Survivor Graham Jenneker, l'écrivain John van De Ruit, l'homme de média Seth Rotherham, la diva musicale Yvonne Chaka Chaka et la star de Spud Sven Ruygrok.

Ils sélectionneront les meilleurs Doodles dans quatre tranches d'âge : 6-8 ans ; 9-11 ans ; 12-14 ans ; 15-17 ans. Nous demanderons ensuite au public de voter pour leur dessin préféré dans chaque tranche d'âge et les lauréats recevront des super prix, dont des tablettes, des bons Google Play et pour 100 000 rands de technologie pour l'école lauréate nationale. Un dessinateur Google sélectionnera le gagnant général, dont le dessin sera affiché sur la page d'accueil de Google pendant une journée, pour le plus grand plaisir de millions de Sud-Africains.

Pour encourager la créativité, ainsi que l'utilisation de la technologie dans la classe, nous nous sommes associé à Pearson avec qui nous avons créé des plans de cours et des activités pour les enseignants et les parents, dont Connected Classroom, des voyages virtuels vers des sites historiques en Afrique du Sud, tels que Robben Island. Connected Classrooms permet à des écoles du monde entier d'aller rentre visite virtuellement à des personnes et visiter des lieux, à l'aide de Google+ Hangouts. Pour en savoir plus, gardez un œil sur le site Doodle 4 Google .

La date limite pour les parents et les enseignants pour soumettre les créations des enfants est le 22 octobre 2014 - les formulaires d'inscription sont disponibles sur le site Doodle 4 Google . Les dessins peuvent être téléchargés au format numérique sur le site ou envoyés par la poste. Il n'y a pas de limite au nombre de dessins envoyés par une école ou une famille, mais il ne doit y avoir qu'un seul dessin par enfant.

Alors, ne perdez pas de temps, mettez-vous au dessin - nous sommes impatient de voir votre grand rêve pour l'Afrique du Sud !

Publié par Elizma Nolte, Responsable Marketing Pays, Google Afrique du Sud



Little Rippers

Melbourne small business owners sharing tips at our Google Small Business Breakfast

Australia’s small businesses keep the country running. Baristas keep our bodies pumping with coffee, booksellers keep our ideas flowing, and sparkies keep the lights on.

It’s a tough gig running a small business, and small business owners can do with all the help they can get to grow. One place every small business owner can get a boost is online.

The internet is like a double shot of espresso for small business. It means small businesses can set up sticks in the world’s biggest shopping mall, for free (that’s the internet, by the way…). It helps new customers find them, and helps old friends write great reviews.

Yesterday, we got some small business owners together over breakfast in Melbourne and heard from some of them who are doing a great job online. For instance, Leon Mugavin, owner of the Leaf Store, in Elwood, said he thought of his online presence as being a direct extension of his shopfront. Karin Voelske, of Yarn & Co, in Fitzroy, said that the web helped create a sense of community among her customers. Chris Crouch of Happy Valley store in Collingwood, and Emma Moore of Clip 'N Climb in Richmond also had some great tips.

The Minister for Small Business, the Hon. Bruce Billson MP, and the CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kate Carnell, joined us and reminded us of research from Deloitte Access Economics that shows that small businesses that are making the most of the web are growing twice as fast as those that aren't.  That’s great news for the ¼ million small Aussie businesses that Google and our partners will support this year.

We also took the opportunity to get an update from Deloitte Access Economics on the barriers and opportunities facing small business, and found that digital experts are tipping the mobile web as the next big opportunity for small businesses to reach customers.

But you don’t need to be a digital expert to make the internet work for your small business. Google has recently launched a new and easy way for small businesses to get online. And it’s free. To find out more, have a look at Google My Business.

Grow with Google Play: Scaled Publishing and New App Insights

By Kobi Glick, Google Play team

If you're growing your business on Google Play, the Google Play Developer Console is one of the most important tools at your disposal. At Google I/O, we introduced a number of new changes that give you valuable insight into how your app is performing. Here's an overview of some of the improvements you can now take advantage of.

Publishing API for scaling your app operations

Today we're happy to announce that the Google Play Developer Publishing API is now available to all developers. The API will let you upload APKs to Beta testing, Staged rollout and Production, and integrate publishing operations with your release processes and toolchain. The Publishing API also makes it easier for you to manage your in-app products catalog, provide tablet-specific screenshots, and localize your store listing text and graphics. The Publishing API will help you focus on your core business, with less time managing your releases, even as your business grows to more apps and markets.

Actionable insights at the right time

Email notifications for alerts

Recently, we added Alerts in the Developer Console to let you know when there are sudden changes in important stats like app installs, ratings, and crashes. You can now turn on email notifications for Alerts so that, even while you’re not in the Developer Console, you’ll be informed of relevant events before they can have a broader effect on your app. You can turn on email notifications for one or more of your apps under Email Preferences in the Developer Console settings.

New Optimization Tips

You’ll now see new Optimization Tips with instructions when we detect opportunities to improve your app. For example, we’ll let you know when updated versions of APIs you use are available — such as new Google Play in-app billing or Google Maps APIs. For games developers, we’ll also surface opportunities to use Google Play game services that can help improve users’ gaming experience and drive engagement. To see what tips we suggest for you, go to your app in the Developer Console and click on Optimization Tips.

Better data to inform your business decisions

Enhanced revenue statistics

To help you better understand your commercial success, we’ve enhanced revenue statistics in the Finance section of the Developer Console. We now let you see the average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) and give you more ways to analyse buyer data, such as comparing returning buyers (i.e., those who also made purchases in the past) to new buyers.

Bulk export of reviews

You can already engage with your users by reading and replying to reviews in the Developer Console and we’ve now added bulk export of reviews so you can download and analyze your app’s reviews en masse. This is particularly useful if you receive a large volume of reviews and want to perform your own sentiment analysis.

Improved stats for beta releases and staged rollouts

Since last year’s launch, you’ve used beta testing to release alpha and beta versions of your app, and staged rollout to gradually launch your app to production. To help you make the most of this feature, we’re now improving the way alpha, beta and staged rollout specific stats are displayed. When viewing your app and crash statistics you can now filter the app version by alpha, beta, or staged rollout to better understand the impact of your testing.

Improved reporting of native crashes

If you develop in native code, we’ve improved the reporting and presentation specifically for native crashes, with better grouping of similar crashes and summarizing of relevant information.

Deep-linking to help drive engagement

Finally, we’ve also added website verification in the Developer Console, to enable deep-linking to your app from search results. Deep-linking helps remind users about the apps they already have. It is available through search for all apps that implement app indexing. For example, if a user with the Walmart Android app searches for “Chromecast where to buy”, they’ll go directly to the Chromecast page in the Walmart app. The new App Indexing API is now open to all Android developers, globally. Get started now.

We hope you find these features useful and take advantage of them so that you can continue to grow your user base and improve your users’ experience. If you're interested in some other great tools for distributing your apps, check out this blog post, or any of the sessions which have now been posted to the Google Developers Channel.

AdWords API Workshops: Feedback in Action!

If you’ve attended one of our AdWords API Workshops, you will know how important we think your feedback is to the growth of the API. We also have surveys you can fill in to let us know what you think. Many of the changes brought about in AdWords API v201406 were influenced by your requests, including:
  • Labels have been introduced to the API, for filtering and in reporting, which has been our most asked for feature for over a year now.
  • Destination URL customization has been improved, which along with greater Analytics functionality, improves your ability to track and manage actions from your Ads.
  • The Status fields of all the entities have been made more consistent. This has meant changing some enumeration fields, for instance, but the result should cause less confusion going forward.
  • Shared Sets are back - currently for whitelisted customers only.
  • Managed Customer Service can now move whole subMCC trees between MCCs.
We want to thank you again for your feedback, and ask that you continue to let us know what you need to use the API more effectively. Your input really does matter, and makes things happen.

Finally, if you want to see the content of our last AdWords API Workshops round, we’ve recorded a series of videos of the presentations we gave. We hope you find them useful and interesting.

Reminder: AdWords Migration to Search Network with Display Select

In April, we announced that Search Network with Display Select support would begin in AdWords API v201402. Now that all previous API versions have been sunset, we’re on schedule to begin migrating all Search and Display Network campaigns to Search Network with Display Select beginning September 16, 2014.

This blog post will walk through everything you need to know about setting up your campaigns, including what this migration means for your campaign-creation code. You can proactively migrate your campaigns by setting their displaySelect property to true.

Remember, this will not affect Search-only or Display-only campaigns. Only campaigns that target both networks simultaneously will be migrated.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact us on the forum or via our Google+ page.

Launching new features for bicyclists

While the Tour de France may just have completed its final lap around the Champs Elysees, our Maps team continues to pedal ahead at top speed. Want to avoid that brutal Mountain Stage while you’re cycling to work? The latest version of Google Maps for Android update puts elevations in bike directions, so you can arrive with leg muscles intact.

We first added biking directions three years ago to our maps for a number of countries in Europe, from Austria to the United Kingdom. It proved to be a popular feature among cycling amateurs and enthusiasts and we’ve expanded the product to cover almost the entire continent. Enthusiastic users have added hundreds of kilometers of biking paths through Google Mapmaker.

We’re also innovating before you hop onto the bicycle. Do you sometimes get a sudden urge for a pizza or a banana split? The improved GoogleMaps for desktop lets you click and drag to measure your next road trip, bike ride or run—even if you’re taking a few sharp turns.

Oh, and what about the Tour de France? With the race over, you might want to relive its high moments, visiting the routes the riders took up the same mountains with StreetView, starting in Saint-Étienne and climbing into the Alps to finish at Chamrousse. And if you want to say au revoir to Le Tour de France, look below, or click on an EarthView on the Champs Élysées.


Reaching the Digitally Savvy U.S. Hispanic Market

It’s projected that U.S. Hispanics will make up 30% of the country’s population by 2050.  It’s an audience that’s growing yet remains largely underserved, and now marketers have a huge opportunity to connect with this population through digital. Research shows that U.S. Hispanics lead in the adoption of new devices, and they are power users of mobile and video.

On Think with Google, our head of global ad marketing, Lisa Gevelber, discusses three important lessons for marketers to keep in mind when looking to connect with these digital trendsetters.



Real-time Bidding with OpenRTB and DoubleClick Ad Exchange

Working with multiple exchanges is a key pain point for those developing real-time bidders. To-date, individual exchanges have used their own distinct protocols requiring the time-consuming development of a separate model for each exchange. In response, the OpenRTB consortium introduced standards for communication in real-time bidding that greatly simplifies the process of adding support for new exchanges. That’s why we are pleased to announce two new open source libraries that implement the OpenRTB specification and are now available on GitHub—google/openrtb and google/openrtb-doubleclick.

The openrtb library provides support for the core OpenRTB model and was designed with extensibility in mind to support the development of libraries for other exchanges. The openrtb-doubleclick library is an extension of openrtb for DoubleClick Ad Exchange that provides interoperability between the OpenRTB model and DoubleClick's Real-Time Bidding protocol. The library also includes DoubleClick-specific utilities. In summary, these libraries provide the following:
  • The model - The RTB model, as seen in the OpenRTB specification.
  • The mapper - Translates DoubleClick’s native model to/from OpenRTB.
  • The serializer - Translates JSON to/from the OpenRTB model.
  • DoubleClick Ad Exchange utilities - Utilities to handle bid validation, DoubleClick crypto and metadata.
For more information about the OpenRTB specification, check out the documentation on their Github page.