Monthly Archives: August 2022

Chrome Stable for iOS Update

Hi everyone! We've just released Chrome Stable 105 (105.0.5195.69) for iOS; it'll become available on App Store in the next few hours.

This release includes stability and performance improvements. You can see a full list of the changes in the Git log. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug.

Harry Souders
Google Chrome

Introducing the Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders Class of 2022

Posted by Matt Ridenour, Head of Startup Developer Ecosystem - USA

Image contains logos and headshots of the most recent class of Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders.


Today only 1% of venture capital goes to Black founders in the US, with Black women founders receiving even less. At Google, we are committed to building racial equity in the North American startup ecosystem. In May, we announced an open call for applications for our third class of Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders, bringing the best of Google's programs, products, people and technology to Black founders across North America. From hundreds of applicants, we're proud to announce the 12 exceptional startups selected to join the accelerator:

  • Beam.city DNA (Toronto, Ontario): A growth coordination AI Platform helping businesses maximize growth using ads, email and social.
  • EdLight (Melrose, Massachusetts) Uses AI to better read, interpret and digitize handwritten student work, reducing misconceptions and increasing equity amongst students, teachers and families.
  • HumanSquad (Toronto, Ontario): Simplifies the immigration and study abroad system by empowering immigrants everywhere with the resources, products and personalized support to immigrate conveniently and affordably.
  • Innovare (Chicago, Illinois): An app that aggregates and displays data from a variety of systems to empower education leaders to make data-driven decisions that positively impact students and communities.
  • Mozaic (Chicago, Illinois): An API-first global payment platform built for co-creators on any project, providing smart contracts that automate split income among creative teams.
  • Node (Toronto, Ontario): A gig marketplace that allows small businesses to hire local influencers in their neighborhood.
  • Onramp (Oakland, California): A workforce development platform helping companies build more diverse candidate pipelines by providing them with a mechanism to invest in skills development for current and future candidates.
  • Paerpay (Boston, Massachusetts): A contactless payment and loyalty experience for restaurants and their guests that doesn't require a new point of sale (POS) system.
  • Smart Alto (Birmingham, Alabama): A conversational sales platform for local service providers, enabling them to set meetings with clients without cold calling.
  • TurnSignl (Minneapolis, Minnesota): A mobile platform that provides real-time, on-demand legal guidance from an attorney to drivers, all while their camera records the interaction.
  • WearWorks (Brooklyn, New York): Uses the skin as a communications channel to deliver information. Their product, Wayband, is a Haptic navigation app and wristband to guide users using vibration without visual or audio cues.
  • XpressRun (Louisville, Kentucky): Provides same-day and next-day delivery at competitive rates for direct-to-consumer brands.

This fall, these startups will embark on a 10-week virtual program consisting of mentorship, technical support and curriculum covering product design, machine learning, customer acquisition, and leadership development for founders.

Please visit the company’s websites and reach out to them for more information.

Announcing Google’s Open Source Software Vulnerability Rewards Program



Today, we are launching Google’s Open Source Software Vulnerability Rewards Program (OSS VRP) to reward discoveries of vulnerabilities in Google’s open source projects. As the maintainer of major projects such as Golang, Angular, and Fuchsia, Google is among the largest contributors and users of open source in the world. With the addition of Google’s OSS VRP to our family of Vulnerability Reward Programs (VRPs), researchers can now be rewarded for finding bugs that could potentially impact the entire open source ecosystem.


Google has been committed to supporting security researchers and bug hunters for over a decade. The original VRP program, established to compensate and thank those who help make Google’s code more secure, was one of the first in the world and is now approaching its 12th anniversary. Over time, our VRP lineup has expanded to include programs focused on Chrome, Android, and other areas. Collectively, these programs have rewarded more than 13,000 submissions, totaling over $38M paid. 


The addition of this new program addresses the ever more prevalent reality of rising supply chain compromises. Last year saw a 650% year-over-year increase in attacks targeting the open source supply chain, including headliner incidents like Codecov and Log4Shell that showed the destructive potential of a single open source vulnerability. Google's OSS VRP is part of our $10B commitment to improving cybersecurity, including securing the supply chain against these types of attacks for both Google’s users and open source consumers worldwide.

How it works

Projects

Google's OSS VRP encourages researchers to report vulnerabilities with the greatest real, and potential, impact on open source software under the Google portfolio. The program focuses on:


  • All up-to-date versions of open source software (including repository settings) stored in the public repositories of Google-owned GitHub organizations (eg. Google, GoogleAPIs, GoogleCloudPlatform, …).


  • Those projects’ third-party dependencies (with prior notification to the affected dependency required before submission to Google’s OSS VRP).


The top awards will go to vulnerabilities found in the most sensitive projects: Bazel, Angular, Golang, Protocol buffers, and Fuchsia. After the initial rollout we plan to expand this list. Be sure to check back to see what’s been added.

Vulnerabilities 

To focus efforts on discoveries that have the greatest impact on the supply chain, we welcome submissions of:


  • Vulnerabilities that lead to supply chain compromise

  • Design issues that cause product vulnerabilities

  • Other security issues such as sensitive or leaked credentials, weak passwords, or insecure installations


Depending on the severity of the vulnerability and the project’s importance, rewards will range from $100 to $31,337. The larger amounts will also go to unusual or particularly interesting vulnerabilities, so creativity is encouraged.

Getting involved

Before you start, please see the program rules for more information about out-of-scope projects and vulnerabilities, then get hacking and let us know what you find. If your submission is particularly unusual, we’ll reach out and work with you directly for triaging and response. In addition to a reward, you can receive public recognition for your contribution. You can also opt to donate your reward to charity at double the original amount.


Not sure whether a bug you’ve found is right for Google’s OSS VRP? Don’t worry, if needed, we’ll route your submission to a different VRP that will give you the highest possible payout. We also encourage you to check out our Patch Rewards program, which rewards security improvements to Google’s open source projects (for example, up to $20K for fuzzing integrations in OSS-Fuzz).

 

Appreciation for the open source community


Google is proud to both support and be a part of the open source software community. Through our existing bug bounty programs, we’ve rewarded bug hunters from over 84 countries and look forward to increasing that number through this new VRP. The community has continuously surprised us with its creativity and determination, and we cannot wait to see what new bugs and discoveries you have in store. Together, we can help improve the security of the open source ecosystem. 


Give it a try, and happy bug hunting! 


Turn curiosity into customers this holiday season

The holiday season is the most beautiful time of the year and, for retailers, it’s also the busiest. This year has been particularly challenging for retailers and shoppers, alike, with the presence of global uncertainties like supply chain disruptions. Still, holiday shopping is poised to surge and retailers can turn to Google to drive sales.

This past holiday season, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels, like video and social media, to shop over a two-day period.[209121]With Google's full range of promotional channels, retailers can show up across the shopping journey and stay top-of-mind for consumers. Here are a few tips to set you up for success this holiday season.

For more holiday insights, tune into Think Retail on Air at 10 a.m. PDT later today and check out in-depth recommendations in our Holiday Best Practices guide.

Show up to the party early

The countdown is officially on as holiday shopping kicks off earlier in the year. In May, we found that, on average, 17% of consumers in surveyed markets have started their holiday shopping and more than a third (36%) say they already have ideas for gifts they are going to buy.[b6dc7b]Get ready to reach these shoppers with the following Google Ads insights and tools.

Make your grand entrance with demand forecasts on the Insights page. This predicts upcoming trends relevant to your business so you can adjust your budget and bidding strategy to capture growing demand. Additionally, use Performance Planner to understand how these changes to your advertising spend will impact your predicted clicks, conversions and conversion values.

Beyond optimizing your campaign settings, you’ll also need to get your product feed in shape. Product-specific insights are now at your disposal at the account level in the Google Ads products tab. These insights let you spot underperforming offers, identify products with missing feed attributes and compare your bidding strategy with your top competitors’.

Desktop UI of product-specific insights on the Google Ads products tab

Review product-specific insights on the products tab in Google Ads

Make the rounds

With more ways to shop than ever, it can be difficult to keep up with complex purchasing journeys. Last holiday, we saw that shoppers who used at least five channels to inform their decisions and complete their holiday shopping reported making two times more purchases and spending twice as much, on average, compared to those who just used one or two channels.[c8c668]With the best of Google automation at your fingertips, you can stand out to shoppers across the full range of Google Ads channels.

It starts with Search where people conduct billions of searches every day.[d6b18a]Maximize your reach by showing your ads to shoppers who search for terms related to your keywords using broad match and Smart Bidding. Then use responsive search ads to tailor your messaging based on shoppers’ search terms.

But Search is just one part of the equation. Complement keyword-based Search campaigns with Performance Max, which finds even more converting customers across channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.[84e8c1]As the next generation of Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, Performance Max connects with your product feed to drive sales both online and in-store. Keep an eye out for seasonal templates launching this fall. They’ll help you create video ads in a matter of minutes for Performance Max campaigns.

Round off your advertising strategy by inspiring shoppers when they least expect it. For example, 60 percent of people say they often or sometimes get prompted to buy something even when they weren’t actively shopping.[184b9b]You can now harness the power of your Google Merchant Center product feed with YouTube Video action campaigns and Discovery ads, which present new shoppable opportunities for your brand in moments of inspiration and discovery.

Finally, don’t forget about your mobile-first shoppers. In the next 2-3 years, 68% of retail marketers anticipate increasing apps use as a primary means of increasing customer loyalty.[8e7b4e]Promote your app to shoppers across Google’s largest properties such as Search, Google Play, YouTube and more with App campaigns and give users a seamless web-to-app purchase experience by setting up deep links.

Be scroll-stopping

Give shoppers a reason to turn from browsers to buyers wherever they may be. More than half a million online businesses use Google Merchant Center to show their products for free across Google websites and apps.[99e10e]Join them by listing your products on Google to unlock access to different levers that can make your products shine during the holidays.

More than half (55%) of holiday shoppers across surveyed countries are planning to hold off on buying gift items until they are on sale.[a90cb9]Fuel demand by adding your sales and promotions early. The Content API is also now available to make it even easier for you to upload and manage your deals at scale.

Like last year, shoppers are still anxious about getting what they need in time where 3 in 10 consumers are shopping for things they don’t need until later because of stock concerns.[828740]Keep stockings stuffed by adding estimated delivery times such as “Get it by 12/20”, and help shoppers stay worry-free by highlighting your flexible return policies like “Free 90-day returns.”

Mobile UI of sales price annotations and shipping and return options (US example)

View sales price annotations and shipping and return options (US example)

Take it offline

Your audience won’t just be shopping online. In-store shopping has made a big comeback this year, as searches for "store open" have grown globally by over 400% YoY.[a8c784]Offering a seamless experience between brick-and-mortar and online shopping will be key to winning shoppers.

Make it easy for shoppers to find you by updating your Business Profile with store hours, location and images. Then grow in-store foot traffic and sales by promoting your location to online shoppers in the area with Performance Max campaigns for store goals, such as in-store promotions or seasonal specials. You now have more control over your Smart Bidding to meet your store visits or store sales goals this holiday season.

And for last-minute shoppers or shoppers who prefer to browse in-person, you can use local inventory ads to promote your in-store inventory online and convenient curbside or in-store pickup options.

Join the conversation at Think Retail on Air

We’re here for you this season to help you hit your holiday milestones, so make Think Retail on Air your next stop to get more insights. We will be going live today at 10 a.m. PDT. For more recommendations, visit the Holiday Best Practices guide.

Google Ads Best Practices button

Insert emojis inline with text in Google Docs

Quick summary 

Building upon the recently announced emoji reaction feature, you can now express yourself in a new way by searching for and inserting emojis directly inline with your text in Google Docs. 

Getting started 

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature. 
  • End users: To search for and add emojis directly inline with text in Docs, follow one or all of the options below: 
    • Type “@” followed by a descriptor, such as “@smile” 
    • Type “@:” or “:” to see a dropdown list of emojis and the option to navigate to the entire catalog of emojis 

Rollout pace 


Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers 
  • Available to users with personal Google Accounts 

Resources 


Roadmap 

Easily customize digital signage on your Google Meet hardware through Appspace

What’s changing 

In December 2021, we announced the ability for admins to use their displays as digital signage when their Meet hardware devices are not in use. Today, we’re giving admins more options for customization by using their Appspace digital signage content. 



Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users 



Why it’s important 

You can leverage the screensaver on your Google Meet hardware devices to display corporate signage or customized content across your hardware fleet. 


We know many of our customers use Appspace for general digital signage needs within their organizations. This update makes it easier for you to use Appspace as a source for content to display on your Google Meet hardware devices. 


Please note that screen savers are not interactive—tapping your touch controller or using the remote will cause the screen saver to be dismissed, and the device will return to displaying the agenda on the homepage. 


Additional details 

We highly recommend you use Appspace’s advanced registration flow to make it easier to pre-register all of your Google Meet hardware at once. Note that Appspace is a paid service and there may be additional costs associated with registering your devices on their platform. 


In some cases, this feature can conflict with the power-saving feature on your Meet hardware devices. To ensure that your custom screen saver is visible, be sure to set displays as active during working hours in the organizational unit you’re targeting. 


Getting started 


To use Appspace content on Meet Hardware, you need to: 

Register your devices on Appspace. Every hardware device now has an integration ID for use in Appspace’s pre-registration flow. You can find the integration ID on the Device detail page in the Admin console under Devices > Google Meet hardware > Devices or in the new “integrationId” column in your fleet data export file. 


You’ll need to add the integration IDs from your hardware devices in the Appspace console ahead of time before configuring your custom screensavers using the Appspace PWA. 


Once these steps are complete, navigate to Devices > Google Meet hardware > Settings > Device Settings > Screen saver



Select the “Custom” option and then choose Appspace as your Digital Signage Provider. Input the appropriate Appspace PWA URL in the URL field, depending on whether you use Appspace’s Public Cloud or Private Cloud: 

    • Public Cloud:https://cloud.appspace.com/app/?registrationmode=passive
    • Private Cloud: https://<customer>.cloud.appspace.com/app/pwa/?registrationmode=passive

If you do not pre-register your devices with Appspace before changing the screen saver, the screen saver will prompt you to manually pair each device using a code displayed in the room.


For more information on how to configure your content to display on Appspace, please refer to their help article

Rollout pace 


Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 
  • Available for all supported Google Meet hardware devices that have not yet reached their auto-update expiration date 

Resources

Dark Canvas theme now available on Google Meet hardware home screen

What’s changing 

We’re adding support for a dark home page theme for Google Meet hardware devices. When using Dark Canvas, devices will now feature dark user interface elements on the home screen when not in an active call. Dark Canvas mode can be applied to any Google Meet hardware device in your fleet. 






We’re also adding a new batch of Canvas wallpapers, which are specially designed by various artists to look great on Google Meet hardware devices. 


Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users 


Why it’s important 

We know it’s important that your devices look their best when they’re not in use, so we’ve extended our collaboration with the Canvas Project to deliver a fresh new group of wallpapers from top artists. 


Additionally, with the upcoming launch of the Series One Desk 27”, we know many users may be sitting closer to their devices than before. Dark Canvas mode is a great way to reduce the brightness of your display while keeping them looking great. 


Additional details

The existing “Wallpaper” setting in the Admin console has now been renamed “Home screen” and the Canvas option has been split into two options: “Canvas - light” and “Canvas - dark”. Each option will have a unique selection of wallpapers specially chosen that pair well with the selected home screen theme. 


Note that custom wallpapers will continue to use light mode. 


Getting started 

  • End users: There is no action required. 
  • Admins: This is an opt-in feature and is managed at the OU level. No changes will be made to previous selections and no custom wallpapers will be affected.

    The Home screen policy can be managed at Devices > Google Meet hardware > Settings > Device Settings > Home screen




Rollout pace 


Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 
  • Available for all supported Google Meet hardware devices that have not yet reached their auto-update expiration date

Resources

Google Earth Engine GDE Liza Goldberg uses tech to fight climate change

Posted by Janelle Kuhlman, Developer Relations Program Manager

Photo of Liza Goldberg, Google Earth GDE
Liza Goldberg, Google Earth GDE

Google Earth Engine GDE Liza Goldberg uses tech to fight climate change

Liza Goldberg learned to code through Google Earth Engine at age fourteen, when her mentors at NASA, where she was an intern, introduced the tool as a way to model global trends in environmental change. Liza, who had arrived at NASA with no coding or remote sensing experience, gradually gained expertise in the platform, thanks to strong mentorship, Google training, and guidance from the Google Earth Engine developer community. The fact that Google Earth Engine is built for scientists and has a clear world impact aligned with Liza’s commitment to using technology to combat climate change. “Earth Engine enabled me to write each line of code knowing that my algorithms could eventually make true change in climate monitoring,” she says. “The visualization-focused interface of Earth Engine showed me that coding could be simple, data focused, and broadly influential across all fields of climate science.”

Liza Goldberg on stage speaking at the Geo for Good Summit
Liza Goldberg speaking at the Geo for Good Summit


Becoming a GDE


Liza used Earth Engine for years at her NASA internship, which grew into a part-time research position. In 2022, her longtime collaborator on the Google Earth Engine team, Tyler Erickson, nominated Liza for the GDE Program, and she became a GDE in April 2022.

“When I found out about my nomination, I felt admittedly nostalgic,” she says. “I remembered my 14-year-old excitement when I first opened Earth Engine – how the whole world suddenly seemed open to me. Becoming a GDE felt like coming full-circle; in many ways, I grew up with Earth Engine.”

Liza hopes her GDE role encourages other young students to explore new technologies.

“I hope that my position as a GDE can show other young students - particularly women - that starting with no knowledge of a field doesn’t need to be a barrier towards accomplishing your ultimate goals,” she says. “As the youngest female GDE in North America, I hope to break the barriers that prevent other young women from chasing down their passions in male-dominated arenas.”

In her GDE role, Liza is collaborating with Google India and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) to launch a series of Google Earth Engine trainings across the country, building technical capacity among the next generation of climate scientists.

“We’ll be guiding students in basic geospatial skills, preparing them for fellowships with partner conservation organizations in the coming year,” she says. “I’m optimistic that this program can distribute the advanced computing power of Earth Engine to students who can leverage its tools for local-to-national scale change.”

Working at NASA


Liza has continued her longtime work on global mangrove ecosystem vulnerability at NASA, analyzing the impact of various mangrove protection and governance models on the degree of forest disturbance. Liza is spending the summer in West Africa with her NASA colleagues, completing mangrove-based fieldwork and delivering Google Earth Engine trainings to academic and conservation institutions in the area.

Liza is also currently leading The Atlantis Project, a global initiative to enable the Earth’s most climate vulnerable populations to develop community disaster response capacity, at NASA.

“We’re using Google Earth Engine to map the key barriers toward a community’s recovery from impending climatic disasters, enabling aid organizations to more effectively target the right stressors in the right communities,” she says. “We’re currently training highly flood vulnerable communities in early warning system deployment and household disaster preparation and response.”

Her team is also collaborating with NGOs in India to educate communities on their post-disaster aid rights.

Studying at Stanford


Liza is also a college student, studying Earth Systems and international development policy at Stanford University.

“I seek to better understand how climate change can further trap the extreme poor in cycles of lagging economic growth,” she says. “I will then combine my remote sensing knowledge with this policy and climate change background to develop new solutions for climate adaptation across the developing world.”

Ultimately, Liza seeks to use technology to help the planet’s most climate-vulnerable populations respond most effectively to climate impacts.

“I’ve found that satellite analysis is among the most effective ways to tackle many of these challenges, but I’ve fallen in love with the problem, not any particular solution to it,” she says. “In my professional future, I seek to continue applying satellite tech towards building these critical bridges between technical capacity and on-the-ground need.”

Learn more about Liza on LinkedIn.

The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.

Dev Channel Update for ChromeOS

The Dev channel is being updated to 106.0.5249.12 (Platform version: 15054.14.0) for most ChromeOS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes and security updates.

If you find new issues, please let us know one of the following ways

  1. File a bug
  2. Visit our ChromeOS communities
    1. General: Chromebook Help Community
    2. Beta Specific: ChromeOS Beta Help Community
  3. Report an issue or send feedback on Chrome

Interested in switching channels? Find out how.

Cole Brown,
Google ChromeOS

Google Workspace Updates Weekly Recap – August 26, 2022

New updates

Unless otherwise indicated, the features below are fully launched or in the process of rolling out (rollouts should take no more than 15 business days to complete), launching to both Rapid and Scheduled Release at the same time (if not, each stage of rollout should take no more than 15 business days to complete), and available to all Google Workspace and G Suite customers. 


To unmute yourself, press and hold the spacebar. To mute again, release the spacebar. 
To quickly unmute yourself during a meeting, you can now hold down the spacebar to be unmuted, then release the spacebar to return to a muted state. We hope this makes it even easier for you to participate in your meetings by quickly unmuting to say something. This feature will also help in situations where you forget to mute again after unmuting yourself. This feature is OFF by default and can be enabled in the Google Meet settings. | Roll out to Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains begins September 9, 2022 at a Gradual pace (up to 15 days for feature visibility). | Available to all Workspace customers and users with personal Google Accounts on all web browsers. | Learn more


Previous announcements 

The announcements below were published on the Workspace Updates blog earlier this week. Please refer to the original blog posts for complete details.


Updated “Hey Google” voice control behavior for Google Meet hardware devices 
We’ve changed how the “Hey Google” voice control works for Google Meet hardware devices. With this update, the Google assistant will only be active when a device is not in a meeting and within 10 minutes of an upcoming meeting. | Available for all supported Google Meet hardware devices that have not yet reached their auto-update expiration date. | Learn more

Upgrade to OAuth 2.0 to continue using Calendar Interop by October 1, 2022 
On October 1, 2022, Microsoft will begin to remove the ability to use Basic authentication in Exchange Online for Exchange Web Services. To continue using Calendar Interop, upgrade to OAuth 2.0 authentication before October 1, 2022. | Impacting Workspace customers using Calendar Interop with Basic authentication on Microsoft Office 365. | Learn more

Adding more flexibility to functions in Sheets 
We’ve introduced named functions, a new feature that allows you to create high-performance custom functions that support built-in Sheets formula constructs. | Available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, and Education Plus customers only. | Learn more

More ways to collaborate using visitor sharing in Google Drive 
You can now use visitor sharing to allow non-Google users to upload content or create files within shared drives owned by organizations and users on Google Workspace. | Available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Education Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus customers only. | Learn more

Easily search for Chat spaces in Gmail 
We’ve introduced the ability to find and join spaces through Gmail search on web. | Learn more


For a recap of announcements in the past six months, check out What’s new in Google Workspace (recent releases).