Monthly Archives: December 2016

Santa Tracker: ready for take-off

For the last 23 days the residents of the North Pole have been working day and night to help Santa Claus get ready for his big flight. And if you’ve stopped by Santa’s Village this month, you know the elves are coding, geography and dancing machines!

Now the time has come to #TrackSanta on his round-the-world mission with Donner, Cupid, Comet and Vixen (Rudolph and the other reindeer too). 

Starting today you can follow Kris Kringle around the world as he delivers presents to all the good boys and girls. Get a front-row seat to the show using AndroidGoogle Maps or Google.com. You can also stream Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast.

Santa Tracker on devices

Happy holidays from the Google elves at the North Pole!

Santa Tracker: ready for take-off

For the last 23 days the residents of the North Pole have been working day and night to help Santa Claus get ready for his big flight. And if you’ve stopped by Santa’s Village this month, you know the elves are coding, geography and dancing machines!

Now the time has come to #TrackSanta on his round-the-world mission with Donner, Cupid, Comet and Vixen (Rudolph and the other reindeer too). 

Starting today you can follow Kris Kringle around the world as he delivers presents to all the good boys and girls. Get a front-row seat to the show using AndroidGoogle Maps or Google.com. You can also stream Santa’s journey on your TV using Chromecast.

Santa Tracker on devices

Happy holidays from the Google elves at the North Pole!

Source: Search


Taking the pulse of Google Code-in 2016

GCI official horizontal_1372x448dp.png

Today is the official midpoint of this year’s Google Code-in contest and we are delighted to announce this is our most popular year ever! 930 teenagers from 60 countries have completed 3,503 tasks with 17 open source organizations. The number of students successfully completing tasks has almost met the total number of students from the 2015 contest already.

Tasks that the students have completed include:
  • writing test suites
  • improving mobile UI 
  • writing documentation and creating videos to help new users 
  • working on internationalization efforts
  • fixing and finding bugs in the organization's’ software 
Participants from all over the world
In total, over 2,800 students from 87 countries have registered for the contest and we look forward to seeing great work from these (and more!) students over the next few weeks. 2016 has also seen a huge increase in student participation in places such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Google Code-in participants by country

Please welcome two new countries to the GCI family: Mauritius and Moldova! Mauritius made a very strong debut to the contest and currently has 13 registered students who have completed 31 tasks.

The top five countries with the most completed tasks are:
  1. India: 982
  2. United States: 801
  3. Singapore: 202
  4. Vietnam: 119
  5. Canada: 117
Students, there is still plenty of time to get started with Google Code-in. New tasks are being added daily to the contest site — there are over 1,500 tasks available for students to choose from right now! If you don’t see something that interests you today, check back again every couple of days for new tasks.

The last day to register for the contest and claim a task is Friday, January 13, 2017 with all work being due on Monday, January 16, 2017 at 9:00 am PT.

Good luck to all of the students participating this year in Google Code-in!

By Stephanie Taylor, Google Code-in Program Manager

All numbers reported as of 8:00 PM Pacific Time, December 22, 2016.

Mobile Ads Garage: Episode 12: Native Express in a UITableView

Episode twelve of The Mobile Ads Garage is live on YouTube! If you haven't seen it before, The Mobile Ads Garage is a video tutorial series that covers how to use the Mobile Ads SDK to display ads from AdMob and DoubleClick for Publishers. Each episode covers one aspect of the SDK, breaks down the feature, and shows screencasts of real implementations on both Android and iOS – all in a friendly format.

With their customizable presentations and ability to be precached, Native Express ads fit right in with list-based user interfaces:

In this deep dive episode of the Mobile Ads Garage, you'll learn how to integrate Native Express ads into an iOS app that uses a UITableViewController for its primary UI. Along the way you'll get a detailed set of step and see screencasts of an implementation in Xcode. The episode also covers a handy technique for tapping into the ad lifecycle to load native express ads sequentially, from the top of the list to the bottom.

If you like the video, save the Mobile Ads Garage playlist to your YouTube Playlist collection and you'll never miss an episode.

We’d love to hear which AdMob features you’d like to learn more about. The comment sections for the videos are open, and you're welcome to toss out ideas for new episodes and examples you'd like to see. If you have a technical question relating to something discussed in one of the episodes, you can bring it to our support forum.

Remember to stay connected on all things AdMob by following our Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.

Source: Inside AdMob


Happy holidays and an anomalously great New Year



2016 is winding down, and we wanted to take this chance to thank you, our loyal readers, and wish you happy holidays. As a little gift to you, here’s a poem, courtesy of Mary Koes, a product manager on the Stackdriver team channeling the Clement Clarke Moore classic.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Cloud
Not a creature was deploying; it wasn't allowed.
The servers were all hosted in GCP or AWS
And Stackdriver was monitoring them so no one was stressed.


The engineers were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of dashboards danced in their heads.
When then from my nightstand, there arose such a clatter,
I silenced my phone and checked what was the matter.


Elevated error rates and latency through the roof?
At this rate our error budget soon would go poof!
The Director OOO, the CTO on vacation,
Who would I find still manning their workstation?


Dutifully, I opened the incident channel on Slack
And couldn't believe when someone answered back.
SClaus was the user name of this tireless engineer.
I wasn't aware that this guy even worked here.


He wrote, "Wait while I check your Stackdriver yule Logs . . .
Yep, it seems the errors are all coming from your blogs."
Then in Error Reporting, he found the root cause
"Quota is updated. All fixed. :-)" typed SClaus.


Who this merry DevOps elf was, I never shall know.
For before we did our postmortem, away did he go.
Just before vanishing, he took time to write,
"Merry monitoring to all and to all a silent night!"

Happy holidays everyone, and see you in 2017!

High-speed Wi-Fi rolls into 100th railway station in India


“I visit [Jaipur station] every 3 to 4 days to get fast access to the Internet. I stop there for a few minutes, download apps, update them and get things my daughter wants. She is in 10th grade and uses my smartphone in the evenings to fulfill her educational needs. She also teaches my wife, her mother, to read and write using my smartphone.”

This is the story of Bhagwan Sahay, whom our team met at Jaipur Railway station, one of the earliest stations to be connected to Railwire Wi-Fi. It’s also one of the many stories we’ve heard from people across India who are using the Wi-Fi in ways that improve their daily lives.

With Railwire Wi-Fi rolling into Udhagamandalam (Ooty) today, we’ve now brought high-speed Internet to 100 of the busiest railway stations across India. That means the 10 million people (think the entire population of Sweden) who pass through these stations every day now have access to fast enough Internet to stream (or offline) an HD video, research their destination or download a new book or game for the journey ahead. And for 15,000 people, every day, these stations connect them to the Internet for the first time, ever.



We’re really excited about how far we’ve come since we announced that we were partnering with Indian Railways and RailTel to provide Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations throughout the country. But what has really inspired us are the stories of how people, like Bhagwan, are using this high-speed access to the full and open Internet.

They’re using Railwire Wi-Fi to be more productive with their time and to get things done more efficiently. Somesh Singh in an engineering graduate who logs on at Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi to search the web for job opportunities and prepare for interviews without having to wait for slow loading pages or worry about the cost of browsing. Ajay Jain is a teacher who uses the Wi-Fi to get schoolwork done on his daily commute from Indore to Ujjain, so he can spend more time with his family once he gets home. And there’s Sandesh Awasthi, a cricket fan who no longer has to miss another game if he can stream matches live while waiting at Churchgate station in Mumbai.

And because it's high-speed, quality Wi-Fi, travellers are now able to connect with their loved ones more regularly and can even see them using video calling apps.


“I am migrant worker from Bihar and I travel to Rajasthan for work. Traveling usually means I won’t have a good connection. I got so excited when I saw free Wi-Fi here at the station. I just called my wife, and the voice and picture clarity were so good. I haven’t seen her face this clear in so long, whenever I talk the image is blurred because the network isn’t great. She also got so excited to see my call, she was very surprised to see me. I feel so good after speaking to her.
I can’t stop smiling.” — Bholu
A traveler checks train timetables online

A look inside Churchgate station, one of Mumbai's busiest, which came online in August.


What’s next? In September we announced Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places. With all the possibilities that our partnership with Indian Railways and Railtel have created for 10 million Indians passing through 100 stations every day, we look forward to the many more opportunities that Google Station will open up to every Indian and the stories we hope to hear from them.

Posted by Gulzar Azad, Country Head - Connectivity, Google India

Google Cloud Architect Certification (beta) – registration now open



Last week, we opened registration for two Google Certified Professional beta exams — Cloud Architect and Data Engineer — to the public. As companies move to the cloud, demand for competent technical professionals has grown, and these certifications can help people and companies connect. In particular, our new Cloud Architect Certification is helpful to businesses making the shift into cloud infrastructure and platform as a service.

A Google Certified Professional - Cloud Architect enables organizations to leverage Google Cloud technologies through an understanding of cloud architecture, Google Cloud Platform and users thereof. She has demonstrated her ability to design, develop and manage dynamic solutions that are robust, scalable and highly available.
At its core, the Cloud Architect Certification strives to support our company-wide mission to build the most open cloud for all. If you look at the Google Cloud Architect Certification Exam Guide, you’ll see that a Cloud Architect should also be experienced in microservices and multi-tiered distributed applications that span multi-cloud or hybrid environments. We want Cloud Architects to be able to complement existing on-premises infrastructure with cloud services, even if they’re not all on our cloud.

To earn your certification, you must successfully pass our Cloud Architect exam. We invite you to take our beta exam by January 18, 2017, and qualify for these additional benefits:
  • Save 40% on the cost of certification.
  • Prove early adoption by claiming a low certificate number if you pass.
  • Get exclusive access to the Certification Lounge at Google Cloud Next ’17 if you pass.
Ready? Register now and we’ll see you in the cloud!

Find public toilets in the National Capital Region and Madhya Pradesh on Google Maps

Next time you are on the road and nature calls, don’t fear, Google Maps is here!
Starting today, Google will make information about thousands of public toilets in India’s National Capital Region and Madhya Pradesh available on Google Maps. Working closely with the Ministry of Urban Development, Google is adding the location, address and opening hours of over four thousand community and public restrooms to Maps, aiming to provide easy access to information to people in India and and make it convenient for them to find public restrooms.


With over four thousand listings covering Delhi NCR including Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh - Indians and visitors alike will now be able to easily find the nearest public toilet on Google Maps — both on the mobile app as well as on desktop. This service will be accessible to users both in English and Hindi language.


From now on, when you search for “public toilet” on Google Maps in an area where the service is available, you’ll see a list of restrooms near you, including the respective address and opening hours. For instance, if you’re traveling on the national highway 8 in Gurugram, locating a public toilet can be challenging and most often the only option is going to nearby restaurants and cafes. Having this information handy can make things much easier.




Public toilet listings in english
Public toilet listings in hindi


Improving sanitation is an important cornerstone of the government's Swachh Bharat campaign for a clean India. This includes making information about existing sanitation facilities easily accessible to people. The Ministry of Urban Development plans to continue to provide information about public restrooms for more cities.


We’re beginning to roll out these new local listings on Google Maps today, and they will be available to users both on desktop and Google Maps for Mobile (Android | iOS).

Posted by Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps


High-speed Wi-Fi rolls into 100th railway station in India

Jaipur train station
Jaipur station in Rajasthan was among the first stations to be connected to Railwire Wi-Fi.

“I visit [Jaipur station] every 3 to 4 days to get fast access to the Internet. I stop there for a few minutes, download apps, update them and get things my daughter wants. She is in 10th grade and uses my smartphone in the evenings to fulfill her educational needs. She also teaches my wife, her mother, to read and write using my smartphone.” 

This is the story of Bhagwan Sahay, whom our team met at Jaipur Railway station, one of the earliest stations to be connected to Railwire Wi-Fi this year. It’s one of the many stories we’ve heard from people across India who are using this Wi-Fi in many ways, big and small, that improve their daily lives. 

With Railwire Wi-Fi rolling into Udhagamandalam (Ooty) today, we’ve now brought high-speed Internet to 100 of the busiest railway stations across India. That means the 10 million people (think the entire population of Sweden) who pass through these stations every day now have access to fast enough Internet to stream (or offline) an HD video, research their destination or download a new book or game for the journey ahead. And for 15,000 people, every day, these stations connect them to the Internet for the first time.

100 stations with Railwire WiFi

We’re really excited about how far we’ve come since announcing our partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel to provide Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations across India. But what has really inspired us are the stories of how people, like Bhagwan, are using this high-speed access to the full and open Internet to make their lives a little bit better.

Somesh Singh, an engineering graduate, has been using the Wi-Fi at Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi to search the web for job opportunities and prepare for interviews. The high-speed connection helps him save money and time since he doesn't have to wait for slow-loading pages or worry about the cost of browsing. Ajay Jain, a teacher, uses the Wi-Fi to get schoolwork done on his daily commute from Indore to Ujjain, so he can spend more time with his family once he gets home. And Sandesh Awasthi, an avid cricket fan, has been having a lot more fun while waiting at Churchgate station in Mumbai, since he can now stream his favorite games to his phone in HD.

A traveler calls home
A traveler calls home while waiting for his train in Pune 

“I am migrant worker from Bihar and I travel to Rajasthan for work. Traveling usually means I won’t have a good connection. I got so excited when I saw free Wi-Fi here at the station. I just called my wife, and the voice and picture clarity were so good. I haven’t seen her face this clear in so long, whenever I talk the image is blurred because the network isn’t great. She also got so excited to see my call, she was very surprised to see me. I feel so good after speaking to her. I can’t stop smiling.” Bholu

What’s next? In September we announced Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places. With all the possibilities that our partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel have created for 10 million Indians passing through 100 stations every day, we look forward to the many more opportunities that Google Station will open up to every Indian and the stories we hope to hear from them.


High-speed Wi-Fi rolls into 100th railway station in India

Jaipur train station
Jaipur station in Rajasthan was among the first stations to be connected to Railwire Wi-Fi.

“I visit [Jaipur station] every 3 to 4 days to get fast access to the Internet. I stop there for a few minutes, download apps, update them and get things my daughter wants. She is in 10th grade and uses my smartphone in the evenings to fulfill her educational needs. She also teaches my wife, her mother, to read and write using my smartphone.” 

This is the story of Bhagwan Sahay, whom our team met at Jaipur Railway station, one of the earliest stations to be connected to Railwire Wi-Fi this year. It’s one of the many stories we’ve heard from people across India who are using this Wi-Fi in many ways, big and small, that improve their daily lives. 

With Railwire Wi-Fi rolling into Udhagamandalam (Ooty) today, we’ve now brought high-speed Internet to 100 of the busiest railway stations across India. That means the 10 million people (think the entire population of Sweden) who pass through these stations every day now have access to fast enough Internet to stream (or offline) an HD video, research their destination or download a new book or game for the journey ahead. And for 15,000 people, every day, these stations connect them to the Internet for the first time.

100 stations with Railwire WiFi

We’re really excited about how far we’ve come since announcing our partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel to provide Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations across India. But what has really inspired us are the stories of how people, like Bhagwan, are using this high-speed access to the full and open Internet to make their lives a little bit better.

Somesh Singh, an engineering graduate, has been using the Wi-Fi at Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi to search the web for job opportunities and prepare for interviews. The high-speed connection helps him save money and time since he doesn't have to wait for slow-loading pages or worry about the cost of browsing. Ajay Jain, a teacher, uses the Wi-Fi to get schoolwork done on his daily commute from Indore to Ujjain, so he can spend more time with his family once he gets home. And Sandesh Awasthi, an avid cricket fan, has been having a lot more fun while waiting at Churchgate station in Mumbai, since he can now stream his favorite games to his phone in HD.

A traveler calls home
A traveler calls home while waiting for his train in Pune 

“I am migrant worker from Bihar and I travel to Rajasthan for work. Traveling usually means I won’t have a good connection. I got so excited when I saw free Wi-Fi here at the station. I just called my wife, and the voice and picture clarity were so good. I haven’t seen her face this clear in so long, whenever I talk the image is blurred because the network isn’t great. She also got so excited to see my call, she was very surprised to see me. I feel so good after speaking to her. I can’t stop smiling.” Bholu

What’s next? In September we announced Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places. With all the possibilities that our partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel have created for 10 million Indians passing through 100 stations every day, we look forward to the many more opportunities that Google Station will open up to every Indian and the stories we hope to hear from them.