Monthly Archives: March 2019

YouTube launches student plans for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium

Today, we’re introducing new student plans for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, giving eligible higher education students discounted access to a world of music, original series and movies — all ad-free and at a wallet-friendly price.
Looking for some lo-fi to help you concentrate while studying for exams - check out our Chill Beats Bliss - or a crowd-pleaser playlist for that end-of-semester party? Need a great binge-worthy series for Easter break like Cobra Kai, Impulse or Wayne? Could you use a physics boost from undergraduate and maths enthusiast Toby? We’ve got you covered!
Last year, we introduced the new YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscription plans to help users get more from their YouTube experience. YouTube Music is a music streaming service with official albums, playlists and singles, as well as a vast catalogue of music videos, remixes, live performances, covers and more — all with ad-free, background and offline access. YouTube Premium extends that ad-free experience across all of YouTube, and includes access to YouTube Originals.
Student plans are available for YouTube Music Premium for $5.99 and YouTube Premium for $8.99.
How to Watch, Listen and Stream 
Student plans are currently available to all full-time higher education students at a government registered Australian or New Zealand education provider in Australia or New Zealand. Click here to learn more about eligibility requirements.

Sssnakes on a map

Google Maps shows you how to get around on foot, car, train and bicycle, and now, you can ssslither to your destination too. Starting today, you can play a twist on the snake game in different locations across the world—including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo–right from Google Maps. To start playing, simply open the Google Maps app, tap on the menu icon on the top left corner, then select "Play Snake" to get your daily dose of 90s nostalgia (boy bands, fanny packs and slap bracelets not included).

snake gif

Once you’ve selected a city, start picking up as many passengers as you can as your train travels around the world—stopping everywhere from Big Ben, the Great Sphinx of Giza to the Eiffel Tower. But make sure you don’t run off the map (or into yourself)!

Snake on Google Maps starts rolling out worldwide on Android and iOS today, and will be live in the app for about a week. Anticipating a snake addiction? Us, too. Head over to our standalone site to keep playing, long after April Foolsss is over.

A look back at 2018 with the Android Security & Privacy Year in Review

The Android Security & Privacy team is devoted to protecting each of the more than two billion active Android devices worldwide. This level of security and privacy is essential for enterprises, where compromises mean lost time, revenue or essential data.

As part of our commitment to updating customers, partners and Android users on our security efforts, we recently published our fifth annual Year in Review report. This document details the many advancements that the Android Security & Privacy team has made over the last year and gives you a transparent look at some of the key metrics we’ve collected.

In 2018, programs like Android Enterprise Recommended, combined with platform improvements like Treble and new OEM agreements, contributed to substantial progress in releasing security updates. In the short video below, you’ll get an overview of how the Android security team’s core pillars of layered security, transparency & openness, and Google-backed intelligence underpin our work.

Hear from Dave Kleidermacher, VP of Android Security and Privacy, as he discusses the highlights of Android Security's 2018 Year in Review report. View the full report at

For further details, check out the full report by going to

Android Security & Privacy Year in Review 2018: Keeping two billion users, and their data, safe and sound

We're excited to release today the 2018 Android Security and Privacy Year in Review. This year's report highlights the advancements we made in Android throughout the year, and how we've worked to keep the overall ecosystem secure.
Our goal is to be open and transparent in everything we do. We want to make sure we keep our users, partners, enterprise customers, and developers up to date on the latest security and privacy enhancements in as close to real-time as possible. To that end, in 2018 we prioritized regularly providing updates through our blogs and our new Transparency Reports, which give a quarterly ecosystem overview. In this year-in-review, you'll see fewer words and more links to relevant articles from the previous year. Check out our Android Security Center to get the latest on these advancements.
In this year's report, some of our top highlights include:
  • New features in Google Play Protect
  • Ecosystem and Potentially Harmful Application family highlights
  • Updates on our vulnerability rewards program
  • Platform security enhancements
We're also excited to have Dave Kleidermacher, Vice President of Android Security and Privacy, give you a rundown of the highlights from this report. Watch his video below to learn more.

Threading changes in Gmail conversation view

What’s changing

We are launching some changes to how Gmail threads messages when you have conversation view turned on. Previously, Gmail would thread together messages when either of the two conditions below are true:

  1. A message is sent in reply to another
  2. A message has:
    1. The same sender or recipients,
    2. The same subject,
    3. And is sent within one week of an earlier message in the thread.

With this change, we’re adding the requirement that an incoming message’s Reference header, if present, must reference IDs of previous messages in order to thread (see image below for example). This means that if you receive two emails with the same subject from the same sender, these emails will not be threaded together unless one explicitly references the other.

Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use it

This change helps to make sure that messages are only threaded when there is a definite relationship between them.

How to get started

  • Admins: No action required.
  • End users: No action required. You’ll see these changes roll out on Gmail on the web and on mobile apps.

Additional details

If you are managing a system that sends email notifications to users and want your emails to be threaded in Gmail conversation view, then you have to ensure that your notifications:

  • Have the same subject
  • Have reference headers that reference IDs seen earlier in the thread, or have references headers that consistently refer to the same message ID

Additionally, if you don’t want your messages to be threaded in Gmail, you can either have different subjects or send each message with a unique References header value that will never match another message.

Helpful links


Rollout details

G Suite editions
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One week until Code Jam kicks off—here’s why you should register

Code Jam, Google's longest-running programming competition, is returning for its sixteenth year. We’re offering another season of challenging algorithmic problems (including some that are interactive) for our global community. Whether you're a seasoned contestant or brand new to the coding competition space, here are three reasons why you shouldn't miss Code Jam 2019:

  1. Solve intriguing and fun problems. Every year, the Code Jam engineering team and a dedicated group of Google contributors spend thousands of combined hours creating, testing and publishing some of the toughest problem sets in the world. Despite the complexity of these problems, we hear from contestants that they enjoy the playful nature of Code Jam problem statements. (Who wouldn't want to help a group of raucous mathematicians with their party acoustics?) One of our more recent and unusual problems, Name-Preserving Network, required contestants to evaluate a scrambled network (of their own design) to prove they could map it back to its original configuration. This was also an interactive problem, in which contestants' code had an adaptive conversation with our judge. We introduced problems like this to Code Jam in 2018, and we're proud to offer many more this year. The best part? All you need to get started is access to a computer and an internet connection.
  2. Experience some of the old, plus some of the new. We’re bringing back the beloved "ask a question" feature this year, which gives contestants the opportunity to interact with Code Jam engineers during online rounds. We're also introducing new concepts, like the ability to test a solution on our servers as well as providing certificates to our competitors. Our website and platform received a refreshed look and feel that we're debuting this season. But don’t worry—the Code Jam staples you may know and love aren't going away. We're retaining our contest structure and the coveted prizes—our World Champion will take home $15,000, while the top 1,000 competitors will win a limited edition 2019 t-shirt. And speaking of the World Finals...
  3. Join us back where it all started. After our last online round wraps up in June, we're looking forward to returning to the Bay Area for the World Finals. Out of the tens of thousands of contest participants, only the top 25 will qualify to attend on Friday, August 9th at Google's San Francisco office. As always, we'll livestream the competition on YouTube so that you can watch the action from anywhere. While this is our inaugural World Finals in San Francisco, we're feeling nostalgic about heading back to the Bay Area for the first time in ten years. Almost all of the early Code Jam final rounds took place at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

The Qualification Round takes place on April 5 (one week from today!), so now’s the time to register for this year’s Code Jam. For the exact time zone in your location, visit our schedule page. We also recommend warming up with previous problems to improve your chances of advancing to Round 1. Do you have what it takes?

A day in the life of a local reporter

Editor’s note: Manny Ramos is a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. He joined the Chicago Sun-Times as part of Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that works to strengthen local journalism through placing emerging journalists into newsrooms around the country, with support from the Google News Initiative.

I look forward to my half-hour train ride into work every morning.

I can look out the window as it twists and turns itself through neighborhoods with the sun casting its stark lighting on the floor of the train car. I sometimes get lost in thought while following the light as the train wheels rhythmically clank on the tracks.

But the reason I love this ride is that it’s a reminder of how neighborhoods can change from block to block. One moment you see abandoned buildings boarded up, and the next moment you see street graffiti appropriated for new brunch spots.

For almost a year now I have been riding this train as I head into the office where I work as a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. I am one of 13 journalists with Report for America who have been placed in newsrooms across the country to help bolster hyperlocal community news in areas that are often overlooked.

And for me, that means covering areas like the one I grew up in.

Last week, as I was commuting into the office, I started wondering how neighborhoods have changed since the 2008 housing crisis. I started seeing vast stretches of land that were vacant, and I wondered: Were houses once there? And if so, what happened to them, and what history dissipated with the demolition of those homes?

When I got into the office that day, I immediately began to search random addresses on the city’s Southwest Side, a neighborhood that has seen a significant number of residential homes demolished. Before I went into a city block to report and gather sources, I wanted to be able to see how that block looked before the demolitions started ramping up.  

I jumped in a virtual time machine through Google Maps’ Street View and saw how the neighborhood looked in 2007. As I toggled through the years, I saw homes razed to the ground.   

I started collecting a list of addresses I was interested in viewing, and compiled the list based on the maps. Then I set out to visit city blocks, and that's when I met 3-year-old Harmony.

Harmony loved eating Cheetos and collecting rocks for me to hold as I walked down the street with her mother, Marquita. As I spoke with Marquita about how her block has changed over the last 10 years Harmony would playfully interject to lighten the mood.

I already knew what the neighborhood looked like in the past, but Marquita shared intimate details of the people who once lived on her block. That history has been voided, and is only kept through her memory now.

Marquita has lived on this block her entire life, and Harmony has for most of her short life as well. But the neighborhood that Marquita grew up in will be one starkly different than the one Harmony will grow to know.

Still, they smile for my camera. And I get back on the train and head back to the office to tell their story.

Beta Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Beta channel has been updated to 74.0.3729.38 (Platform version: 11895.35.0) for most Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements. A list of changes can be found here.

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser).

Daniel Gagnon
Google Chrome

AOSP Application Updates

Posted by Raman Tenneti, AOSP Software Engineer and Ally Sillins, AOSP Program Manager

When we started the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) 10 years ago, we included some basic applications in the AOSP build for three main purposes:

  1. to provide a usable set of applications for someone building an Android device from our AOSP
  2. to serve as a demonstration for the nascent Android app developer community, showcasing how they should build some of these applications
  3. to, as part of the platform, provide functionality to other Android applications that would interact with them through the standard Android APIs like the common intents

However, as the Android ecosystem has matured over time, we've noticed a healthy growth of alternative applications - both as open source and proprietary implementations - developed by the developer community. These alternative applications are not only capable to serve the first two purposes, but often times showcase richer set of features demonstrating the power of Android. Late last year, we began to clean up these applications in AOSP to focus more effectively on the last purpose — their role to provide functionality to other Android applications as part of the platform.

To date, the following 3 apps have been cleaned up: Music, Calendar, and Calculator. See below for details on these updates. Going forward, you can expect to see similar efforts with the other applications in the AOSP repository.

As always, we're excited to hear your feedback on the developer website or through our AOSP forum.

Music Application

AOSP's Music app can now playback music, one file at a time, and exposes itself as an intent handler for the The app has controls to play and pause, and a slider moving forward and backward. Features removed include: Music Icon, Artists, Albums, Songs, Playlists, Search, and Settings.

Calendar Application

AOSP's Calendar app now exposes itself as an intent handler for the calendar events. New events cannot be created and existing events cannot be edited or deleted. The following features have been deleted: support for multiple accounts, reminders and settings. In addition, some features remain that are not needed for providing a part of the platform functionality: views for day, week, and month. This app may be further simplified in the future.

Calculator App

The calculator application is a standalone app, and does not function as part of the platform and hence has been removed from the AOSP build. However, the application will continue to exist as an open source project separately.

Take action faster with customizable swipe actions in Gmail on iOS

Quick launch summary

You can now set up swipe actions in Gmail on iOS to do any of the following actions: Archive, Trash, Mark as read/unread, Snooze, and Move to.

We recently announced a brand new mobile redesign for Gmail with many new productivity improvements.To help you get things done even more quickly, you can now customize the actions you can take when swiping on an email in Gmail on your iOS device.

You can access the swipe configuration settings by going into the Gmail iOS app and navigating to Settings > Swipe actions, and choosing the swipe options that work best for you.

In addition to using swipe actions to quickly triage your email, you can also use the same actions to triage your notifications as well. For example, if you like to snooze emails, you can press firmly (3D Touch) or long press on a Gmail iOS notification, and click on "Snooze" directly to pick the date and time when to snooze the email until.


Rollout details

  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on March 28, 2019
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on March 28, 2019

G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?

  • This feature will be ON by default

Stay up to date with G Suite launches