“Without standards, things don’t work right,” said Alex Danilo, a Googler working on the HTML5 specs, trying to help us all build a better web.
In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter mission failed because of a bug, where onboard software represented output in one standard of measurement, while a different software module needed data in a different format. Alex discusses many other examples of how the lack of industry standards can result in problems, such as early rail systems having different gauge widths in different states, impeding travel.
Alex works with the Web Platform Working Group, whose charter is to continue the development of the HTML language, improving client-side application development, including APIs and markup vocabularies.
He shares with us details of the upcoming HTML 5.1, a refinement of HTML 5, showing us the great validator tool that makes it easier for developers to ensure that their markup is meeting standards, and the test the web forward initiative to help uncover bugs and compatibility issues between browsers.
You can learn more about Google and Web development at the Web Fundamentals site.
If you’ve ever used any of the Google Maps or Geo APIs, you’ll likely have watched a video, read a doc, or explored some code written by Ankur Kotwal. We sat down with him to discuss his experience with these APIs, from the past, to the present and through to the future. We discuss how to get started in building mapping apps, and how to consume many of Google’s web services that support them.
We also discuss the Santa Tracker application, that Ankur was instrumental in delivering, including some fun behind the scenes stories of the hardes project manager he’s ever worked with!
One of the great benefits of Android development is in the flexibility provided by the sheer number of APIs available in the framework, support libraries, Google Play services and elsewhere. While variety is the spice of life, it can lead to some tough decisions when developing -- and good guidance about repeatable patterns for development tasks is always welcome!
With that in mind, Joanna Smith and Ian Lake started Android Development Patterns to help developers not just know how to use an API but also which APIs to choose to begin with.
In this episode of Coffee with a Googler, Laurence Moroney meets with Ian Lake to talk about some of the new features in Android N, including updates to Doze, giving greater power savings, and expanding on what was available in Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Android for Work balances an IT admin’s need for security with the needs of users for simplicity, making your favorite smartphone or tablet a great business tool. Laurence meets with Android for Work Product Manager Janice Wong to catch up with what’s latest and greatest in the Android for Work space, and how developers can get started with developing Business Apps.
Over the past few years, Android has become a reliable mobile platform for the enterprise. Janice describes her role in unleashing Android for the workplace and providing users more choice over their devices. Janice shares about her passion for productivity in the workplace, including work that she’s done on apps, for example working with mobile versions of popular enterprise email and calendaring applications. To learn more about where you can get started with developing, visit http://developer.android.com/work.
Google Now on Tap is a feature for Android phones that lets you get quick information about what you’re doing without leaving your app, simply by holding the Home button. Laurence catches up with Paige Dunn-Rankin a product manager for Now on Tap to discuss this great technology.
It builds upon what Google Now has already done -- but making it much more personal, based on what’s on your screen right now.
She demonstrates a chat session with a friend, where from the context of their conversation, Now on Tap can figure out the landing time for the flight he’s on, the location and reviews of the restaurant they want to attend, and even integrate neatly with calendar to create a calendar event. She also shows me how natural language processing does this -- in the conversation they didn’t talk about a calendar, just about having dinner, but Now on Tap figured out the correct time and date for them. For example, when watching a YouTube video, you can hold the Home button to launch Now on Tap and it will give you related content and events!
Now on Tap works on top of most apps with no changes needed. If you want to make sure that Now on Tap works seamlessly on top of your app, make sure to check out "Optimizing Content for the Assistant" here. To make your app show up in Now on Tap links, use App Indexing.
Coffee with a Googler catches up with Adam Dawes, leader of Google’s Federated Identity team. His team builds seamless identity experiences for users. He tells us about Google Sign-In, and the simplifications to the APIs, focusing on decoupling from the Google+ sign-in to make the user experience more streamlined.
The landscape for users has changed over the last few years, and the user’s expectation of information that they provide for signing in is very different now. Adam shares about how his team have been engineering sign in APIs to meet these needs.
Adam demonstrates the new APIs using the runkeeper app as an example, and how it avoids ‘cognitive overload.’
We learn about OpenID connect, to make it super simple to use the authentication APIs with your own backend servers. It’s a much simpler experience, so that if all you want to do is sign the user in, without social, we made it simpler for you to do so.
One question we’ve had extensively is with using iOS apps with Google Sign-In. Adam shares how Google Sign-In uses the new Safari View Controller in iOS 9 to ensure that the API will work well on iOS.
To learn more about all these offerings, visit developers.google.com/identity.
Coffee with a Googler catches up with Steven Soneff, Product Manager for the Google Identity Platform to talk about Smart Lock for Passwords. If you’re not familiar with it, this is a terrific technology that takes the hassle out of signing in across devices to your favorite apps and websites. Smart Lock can save passwords to your Google account, and then help you use your passwords securely and conveniently on the websites you use in Chrome and the apps you use in your Android devices.
Steven demonstrates use of Smart Lock with Netflix, where at home he may sign in with the browser on his desktop, but over coffee he signs in using his smartphone. We discuss the great blog post that Steven wrote about Smart Lock, showing how it works, and how you can code your Android applications to use it. To learn more about the Google Identity Platform, check out the developers site here.
Coffee with a Googler caught up with David East to talk about Firebase and what’s been happening over the last few months with this platform. In this interview, David tells Laurence Moroney all about what he calls ‘The Holy Grail of Development’ -- a platform that makes building mobile backends really easy and quick.
David also talks about how Google has invested a lot of resources into Firebase to make it even better and more useful, such as providing tools for Unity3d developers to take advantage of the real time database features.
Elsewhere, David walks through the steps on how to get started with Firebase to power your app’s backend, including data storage, user authentication, static hosting and more at Firebase.com.