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Google Cloud Next ’18—Registration now open!

Category: Google | Mar 19, 2018

Registration for Google Cloud Next ’18 isnow open—we hope you’ll join us July 24-26, 2018 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Each year at Next, we bring together a community of leaders, developers, and entrepreneurs to explore the ways we can build the future of the cloud, together. Join us to hear an inspiring line-up of industry innovators and Google executives including Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud.

Building on the energy of Next ‘17 with over 12,000 attendees, Next ‘18 will bring even more interesting keynotes, hundreds of hands-on learning opportunities, and 400 breakout and spotlight sessions on topics ranging from accessible machine learning to advances in security. We look forward to hearing from customers and partners building their businesses with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), G Suite, Maps and the latest technology across all of Google.

Space is limited, so we encourage you to secure your spot early and take advantage of the early-bird rate of $999, a savings of $500 off full-priced admission. You can learn more on the Next ’18 website.

We can’t wait to see you in July!


Google Pay’s got your transit ticket, starting in Las Vegas

Category: Google | Mar 19, 2018

Crowded public transportation can completely derail your day—especially when you’re standing in line to buy a ticket and the train whizzes by. But the next time you’re traveling around Las Vegas, you can skip the line and get there faster with Google Pay. Today, we’re launching mobile tickets for the Las Vegas Monorail, which is powered by NXP’s MIFARE contactless technology. Now you’ll be able to purchase your ticket online, save it to Google Pay instantly, and use your phone to ride—no need to open the app.

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The Las Vegas Monorail is the first transit agency where you can use prepaid tickets or passes with Google Pay instead of a credit or debit card, and it’s coming to more cities soon. Once you’ve saved your ticket, you’ll find info in the app to guide you along your journey—you can see recent transactions, trips, or the location of the nearest Monorail station.

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Ready to give it a go? Make sure you have the latest version of Google Pay, then purchase a ticket on the Las Vegas Monorail site and save it to the app. If you bought your ticket on a mobile device, you’re ready to ride! Just hold your phone near the fare gate. Once you see a check mark, you’re good to go.


Team Pixel is in bloom this spring

Category: Google | Mar 16, 2018

Our community of photographers is on the rise, and the #teampixel tribe is officially 35,000 members strong (and counting)! This week’s highlights range from colorful plum blossoms in Sakura, Japan to a confetti-filled wedding.

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    Left: @archibajda – Upside down in Kraków, Poland. Right: @tanyakhanijow – confetti party in portrait mode, India
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    @zuvamart – tea time in Hyperbad, India
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    Left: @motivates – plum blossoms in Sakura, Japan. Right: @juicegee – Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
  • teampixel_315_3.jpg
    @peter.hudston – neon skies in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

If you’re looking for a daily dose of #teampixel photos, follow our feed on Instagram and keep spreading the loves and likes with fellow Pixel photographers.


OK Go makes some noise in the classroom

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2018

Editor’s Note: Many of us on Google’s Science Journal team are huge fans of OK Go, the popular rock and YouTube sensation. Their music videos are a spectacular blend of science, engineering, and creativity—a great formula for engaging classroom activities. So when professor AnnMarie Thomas approached us about the OK Go Sandbox, a collection of materials for K-12 educators, we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity. OK Go frontman Damian Kulash tells us more in this guest post.

I’m always so proud and excited when I hear from a teacher who uses an OK Go music video in the classroom, and over the years, I’ve heard it more and more frequently—from pre-school teachers to grad school professors. We know our videos are joyful and nerdy (we’ve done a Rube Goldberg machine and a dance in zero gravity, for instance), but we didn’t plan them for the classroom environment. It’s a wonderful surprise to hear they’re sneaking in there on their own, and we want to support that in any way we can.

Last year I met Dr. AnnMarie Thomas, who leads the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas. Together we brainstormed ways to open up our videos for classrooms, and we set up a survey to ask educators for their ideas. Within just a few days, nearly a thousand teachers sent us their thoughts, and, with support from Google, we took this feedback and together developed our new OK Go Sandbox. It’s a collection of materials created for and with K-12 educators: design challenges, educator guides, and more.

Here’s Dr. AnnMarie Thomas and me meeting with teachers to go over OK Go Sandbox materials.

It was especially cool to work with Google’s Science Journal team to develop tools that allow students to explore the world around them through music. Their new pitch detection feature makes it possible to make sounds using glasses of water (like we did in the Rube Goldberg machine for “This Too Shall Pass”, and in the musical performance of a robotic car for “Needing/Getting”), and there’s now an option to play data values as pitches which lets students use their phone’s sensors to compose new sounds and interpret their data in a new way.

OK Go Sandbox - Surrounding Sounds

So whether we’re exploring frame rates by making flip books, or using a light sensor to make music (with Google’s Science Journal app), we hope that the challenges in the OK Go Sandbox help stoke curiosity and encourage learning through joy and wonder. And we particularly look forward to learning more from educators as this stuff gets into the world.

Educators! Please reach out to us at hello@OKGoSandbox.orgwith your input and ideas so that we can grow and adapt this to be maximally useful in inspiring your students. The best part of a sandbox is that we can try building lots of new things, even if we occasionally have to knock some things down and start over.


Keeping cloud entry points secure with Google Chrome Enterprise

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2018

When we introduced Chrome Enterprise last August, our aim was to provide a single solution that connected employees while giving admins the flexibility and control they needed to keep their businesses protected. Since then, security has only become more of a priority for enterprises. In fact, last year alone, 98% of businesses were affected by malware, and employee endpoints—like laptops, tablets, and smartphones—were increasingly the target of attacks.

Enterprise IT admins know this all too well. With hardware, firmware, browsers, apps and networks to protect, admins now face more risks than ever, while managing more devices than ever. We built our Chrome Enterprise ecosystem with this complex landscape in mind, and today we’re adding new enhancements and partnerships as we continue to make Chrome Enterprise the most secure endpoint solution for businesses in the cloud.

Here’s a look at how these updates can help protect businesses, and their data, at every cloud access point.

Offering more ways for businesses to manage their devices from a single unified management solution

For many businesses, managing a broad range of devices within one unified endpoint management solution is a necessity. Last year, we announced our first enterprise mobility management (EMM) partnership with VMware AirWatch, the first third-party solution with the capability to manage Chrome OS. Today, we’re expanding this with four new partnerships with EMM providers, which gives IT admins the ability to manage and implement security policies across their full fleet of devices from a single place.

  • Cisco Meraki offers a comprehensive set of solutions that includes wireless, switching, security, endpoint management, and security cameras, all managed through Meraki’s web-based dashboard interface.

  • Citrix XenMobile provides device and application management for comprehensive mobile security, and pairs well with other recent Citrix integrations.

  • IBM MaaS360 with Watson delivers a cognitive approach to unified endpoint management, enabling the management of endpoints, end users and everything in between.

  • ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus (a division of Zoho Corp) is a unified endpoint management console for configuring, managing and securing mobile devices, desktops and apps.

With these partnerships in place, enterprises can pick the solution that fits their business best.

Helping enterprises manage Chrome OS alongside legacy infrastructure with more Active Directory enhancements

Building on our initial integration with Active Directory last August, we’ve added a number of enhancements to help admins manage Chrome OS alongside legacy infrastructure. Administrators can now configure managed extensions directly through Group Policy Objects. Users can authenticate to Kerberos and NTLMv2 endpoints on their local network directly from Chrome OS. We’re also expanding our support for common enterprise Active Directory setups like multiple domain scenarios. And we’ve improved our existing certificate enrollment flows with Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS).

Continuing to deepen and expand management capabilities in Chrome Browser and Chrome OS

The less time IT has to spend on mundane, manual tasks means more time to focus on business critical projects. That’s why Chrome Enterprise was designed to give IT admins the ability to grant, manage and adjust user permissions at scale, with fewer repetitive tasks. Chrome Enterprise already lets admins fine tune more than 200 security policies and grant secure, authorized employee access to online resources, and we’re continuing to add additional controls to help. In recent months, we’ve added the following controls to help admins:

  • Per-permission extension blacklisting lets admins restrict access to extensions based on the permissions required, for example, extensions that require the use of a webcam. This allows admins to now authorize an employee’s access to more extensions in the Google Chrome Web Store but maintain fine-grained admin controls across web properties.

  • Sign-ins can be disabled from an outdated OS to help administrators comply with security policies that dictate how many versions behind their users are allowed to run on.

  • Admins can ensure that only managed devices can connect to their single sign-on servers by gating that access with device-wide certificates. These certificates effectively attest to the Chrome endpoint’s managed state.

  • Newly added support for automatic forced re-enrollment will now allow a Chrome device that has been wiped or recovered to re-enroll into the corporate domain without requiring administrator credentials. This will help ensure corporate devices remain enrolled without requiring any admin intervention.

With Chrome Enterprise, our focus is not only on Chrome OS, but how businesses use Chrome Browser across all their platforms. Last December we announced a number of security enhancements for Chrome Browser with the aim to help enterprises stay safe. We’ve now added  a policy that allows IT to require users to sign-in to Chrome Browser, ensuring security policies are applied to browsing sessions across platforms. And in the coming months, we’ll be adding enterprise reporting capabilities in Chrome Browser that give IT admins access to data about installed extensions, status of configured policies, telemetry data and much more. With this information, IT can better understand security status of each endpoint under their control.

Continually managing vulnerabilities to help businesses stay protected

All of today’s announcements help admins stay on top of their organization’s security, and these features are in addition to the benefits admins already get with Chrome Enterprise.

For example, keeping hardware up to date is one of the easiest ways IT admins can keep endpoints secure, yet it can also be one of the most time-intensive tasks in an admin’s day. That’s why we built Chrome OS so that it automatically deploys security updates to ensure all devices run the latest version of Chrome OS. Chrome Browser prevents exposure to phishing and malware, and if threats are detected on third-party apps, admins can uninstall apps remotely with managed Google Play.

The proactive protection, control, and endpoint management advantages offered by Chrome Enterprise are why companies such as Sanmina Corporation are deploying Chrome across their businesses.

“As a multinational manufacturing and supply chain company that makes everything from the electronics in your car to mission critical systems for aerospace and medical products, security is of the utmost importance to us,” said Manesh Patel, CIO of Sanmina. “Deploying Chrome OS and G Suite in our facilities all over the world has allowed us to transform our workforce and collaborate securely in the cloud. It gives us peace of mind to know that our data is secure, and allows us to focus on building world-class products.”

More to come

In the coming weeks there’ll be additional blog posts that offer deeper looks into what these enhancements can mean for businesses. In the meantime, you can learn more about security in Chrome Enterprise on our website.


Android Wear, it’s time for a new name

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2018

Android Wear was founded on the belief that wearable technology should be for everyone, no matter what style you wear on your wrist or what phone you have in your pocket. Since then, we’ve partnered with top watch and electronics brands to create more than 50 watches to help you manage your fitness, connect with the people who matter most, and show you the information you care about. The best part: We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible with wearables and there’s even more exciting work ahead.

As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone. So as the watch industry gears up for another Baselworld next week, we’re announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all—the people who wear our watches. We’re now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone. 

Wear OS, by Google logo lockup

You’ll begin to see the new name on your watch and phone app over the next few weeks.


Introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2018

Google Maps was built to help people navigate and explore the world, providing  directions, worldwide, to people traveling by car, bicycle or on foot. But in city centers, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs. Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn’t always readily available or easy to find. To make public transit work for everyone, today we’re introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs.

Adam, Lucy, Omari and Meridyth shared their experience using public transportation.

To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration—for example, whether a transit station has accessible stops, platforms, entrances and exits.  Starting today, this feature is rolling out in major metropolitan transit centers around the world, starting with London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney. We’re looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps.


In addition to making public transportation more accessible, people around the world have been helping us add accessibility information to Google Maps. Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions—like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom—for more than 12 million places. Additionally, we’ve been busy capturing and updatingStreet View imagery of transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time.



We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you’re on crutches or pushing a stroller. With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contribute local knowledge, we’re making progress toward a more accessible world for everyone.


Pinkoi: Sharing love for local craft in a global marketplace

Category: Google | Mar 14, 2018

Pinkoi’s founders (from left to right): Mike Lee, Maibelle Lin and Peter Yen.

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with people across the Asia-Pacific who use the internet as a tool to connect, create and grow, we spoke with Peter Yen, the CEO of Pinkoi, Asia’s leading online marketplace for original design and art products. Peter founded Pinkoi seven years ago along with Mike Lee, Pinkoi’s Chief Technology Officer and Maibelle Lin, Pinkoi’s Chief Product Officer. From a staff of three, Pinkoi has grown to a business of 82 employees serving more than two million customers in 88 countries. The platform is now home to more than 50,000 artisans and designers.

Why did you start Pinkoi?

My wife loves craft fairs and vintage markets. That’s where I first connected with artisans and designers. They produce great original products, but are often unsure about how to promote them or connect with their customers. I also thought that the designer community lacked an online space to share their creative and business experiences.


Some of the 50,000 designers and artisans on Pinkoi.

How did you meet your two co-founders Mike and Maibelle?  

It was the internet that brought us together. When I got the idea for Pinkoi, I researched developer blogs extensively and that is how I came across Mike. We chatted and exchanged ideas for the business on Gmail and Hangouts. We connected to Mai through a mutual friend who introduced us online.

With the help of the internet, we gradually conceived and developed the idea for Pinkoi, although we did not live in the same place at the time. Although we are all tech geeks at heart, we also shared a common passion for design and helping the designer community. Our passion resulted in us becoming not just business partners, but also good friends!

A few of the 980,000 items for sale on Pinkoi.

What impact do you think the Internet has had on your business?

The internet is the reason why a platform like Pinkoi can work. Pinkoi gives anyone in the world easy access to our designers’ quality products. We think beautiful design is a universal language and should be shared. It’s not just our business, but also the livelihoods of all our designers. With the Internet,  our designers have the opportunity of making a living while pursuing their passions. Most designers are hobbyists when they join Pinkoi, but quite a few become full-time entrepreneurs after receiving training from us. 

In particular, Google is like our oxygen and our business wouldn’t survive without it. Our online business relies on Google’s solutions. We use Google Analytics to understand performance across all acquisition channels and to gain insights into what people are searching for. We also have the ability to advertise to relevant segments of the population with Google Adwords. GSuite and Google Calendar are the backbone of our daily communications.

What’s the best part about working with artists and designers from around the world on Pinkoi? 

It’s really empowering to know that you can have a positive impact on livelihoods and lives, even across borders. Our designers also pay that positive impact forward to their customers. Many of them have told us about online customers finding them at offline events to express their appreciation for products they bought on Pinkoi. Pinkoi isn’t just an online marketplace for transactions, it’s a platform to connect real people across the world.  

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    Peter, CEO of Pinkoi: Early on my engineering career, my goal was to become a software architect. I didn’t think entrepreneurship was in the cards for me. However, I was inspired by many colleagues at Yahoo who left to start their own companies. Like Maibelle, it definitely took some persuading before my family members began to support my decision. They did not believe that an engineer like me could run a business or connect effectively with the designer community.
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    Maibelle, Chief Product Officer of Pinkoi: Growing up I wanted to be a diplomat or fashion designer, so I didn’t know I was going onto the entrepreneur path until I was already on it. Both of my parents hold 9-to-5 jobs and they wanted me to continue my day job as a user experience designer in Silicon Valley. But they eventually supported my decision after I convinced them of my passion for Pinkoi.

    Time, or the lack of it, is my biggest challenge. I became a new mom this year and the time I’m able to spend with my family has become more precious than ever. I had to learn how to prioritize and become comfortable with making tough decisions. I think motherhood has made me a better manager and entrepreneur!

  • Pinkoi_CTO

    Mike, Chief Technology Officer of Pinkoi: Since college I’ve thought about launching my own business and started to learn coding online. I opened a shaved ice dessert shop which was my first try at running my own business. However, the hours were long and the business model wasn’t scalable. At that time I began looking into web startups and then Peter coincidentally found me via my developer blog.

    As an entrepreneur, I appreciate having the opportunity to face new challenges and problems from our designer community and customers everyday. Since Pinkoi is an international platform, it forces me to think globally whenever I’m applying a new tech strategy so I can better consider the needs of designers and customers worldwide.


Open sourcing Resonance Audio

Category: Google | Mar 14, 2018

Spatial audio adds to your sense of presence when you’re in VR or AR, making it feel and sound, like you’re surrounded by a virtual or augmented world. And regardless of the display hardware you’re using, spatial audio makes it possible to hear sounds coming from all around you.

Resonance Audio, our spatial audio SDK launched last year, enables developers to create more realistic VR and AR experiences on mobile and desktop. We’ve seen a number of exciting experiences emerge across a variety of platforms using our SDK. Recent examples include apps like Pixar’s Coco VR for Gear VR, Disney’s Star WarsTM: Jedi Challenges AR app for Android and iOS, and Runaway’s Flutter VR for Daydream, which all used Resonance Audio technology.

To accelerate adoption of immersive audio technology and strengthen the developer community around it, we’re opening Resonance Audio to a community-driven development model. By creating an open source spatial audio project optimized for mobile and desktop computing, any platform or software development tool provider can easily integrate with Resonance Audio. More cross-platform and tooling support means more distribution opportunities for content creators, without the worry of investing in costly porting projects.

What’s included in the open source project

As part of our open source project, we’re providing a reference implementation of YouTube’s Ambisonic-based spatial audio decoder, compatible with the same Ambisonics format (Ambix ACN/SN3D) used by others in the industry. Using our reference implementation, developers can easily render Ambisonic content in their VR media and other applications, while benefiting from Ambisonics open source, royalty-free model. The project also includes encoding, sound field manipulation and decoding techniques, as well as head related transfer functions (HRTFs) that we’ve used to achieve rich spatial audio that scales across a wide spectrum of device types and platforms. Lastly, we’re making our entire library of highly optimized DSP classes and functions, open to all. This includes resamplers, convolvers, filters, delay lines and other DSP capabilities. Additionally, developers can now use Resonance Audio’s brand new Spectral Reverb, an efficient, high quality, constant complexity reverb effect, in their own projects.

We’ve open sourced Resonance Audio as a standalone library and associated engine plugins, VST plugin, tutorials, and examples with the Apache 2.0 license. This means Resonance Audio is yours, so you’re free to use Resonance Audio in your projects, no matter where you work. And if you see something you’d like to improve, submit a GitHub pull request to be reviewed by the Resonance Audio project committers. While the engine plugins for Unity, Unreal, FMOD, and Wwise will remain open source, going forward they will be maintained by project committers from our partners, Unity, Epic, Firelight Technologies, and Audiokinetic, respectively.

If you’re interested in learning more about Resonance Audio, check out the documentation on our developer site. If you want to get more involved, visit our GitHub to access the source code, build the project, download the latest release, or even start contributing. We’re looking forward to building the future of immersive audio with all of you.


The She Word: how Emily Hanley shares her passion for computer science

Category: Google | Mar 14, 2018

Editor’s Note: The She Word is a Keyword series all about dynamic and creative women at Google. Last week, the Grow with Google tour—which brings workshops, one-on-one coaching, and hands-on demos to cities across the U.S.—stopped in Lansing, Michigan. Emily Hanley, one of our very own software engineers and a Michigan native, taught introductory coding classes at the event. We spoke to her about returning to her hometown to teach, exposing more kids to computer science, and how her Google Home helps her have more dance parties with her kids.

Emily Hanley.jpg

What was your biggest takeaway from Grow with Google in Lansing?
It was inspiring to see so many people excited about the opportunity to not only interact with Google products, but to try out programming.

What was one memorable moment of the day?
Seeing the “ah ha” moments when people realized they had actually written code and produced something on their own. The classrooms were packed all day long, and it was so neat to interact with people who realized the potential of what they had just learned to do. People shared their stories of how they were already using technology in their fields, and this class helped them think about how they could do even more.

Lansing Grow with Google event was close to where you grew up.What was it like to go back to your hometown?
It’s amazing to see the investment in towns like Lansing, and to witness the revitalization that’s happening. People are bringing new ideas and technology to industries that have existed in Michigan for decades.


How did you get your start at Google?
I started as an intern in 2007 and have been here ever since—you could say I’ve grown up with Google.

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?
I’m a software engineer—I speak the language of computers. I work on the Chrome browser and make sure that other engineers who write code for Chrome don’t make it slower.

What advice do you have for girls who want to be engineers?
Don’t be afraid to dig in. Sometimes that means failing, but failure is a natural discovery that helps you figure out what you’re good at. Always ask the question that’s on your mind—chances are half the room is thinking the same thing, and more importantly, it’s how you grow.

Tell us about your path to computer science.
I didn’t learn about computers until college. I was more into physics and chemistry, and computers seemed like a black box. That’s part of why I’m so passionate about computer science education—if I can pass on what I’ve learned to the next generation, they can make something even bigger. They’ll do it tenfold.

When kids are exposed to CS at a young age, it becomes a crucial tool for them. It’s not just a platform for playing games. And you can use CS no matter what your passion is. If it’s fashion or journalism or something else, CS can be a part of it.

Who has helped you along your journey?
My mom always told me there’s never a dream too big. She was always an advocate and a dreamer. Whenever I’ve felt intimidated, or had less technical experience that others in the room, I thought, “Dang it, I’ll work harder and find the next door to bang down.” My mom taught me that.

How do you pass that advice onto your own (five!) kids?
The biggest thing I want to give all my children is confidence in themselves and their abilities to pursue their passion (I always say “pursue your passion, not a paycheck”). So often people internalize criticisms and roadblocks as indications they aren’t good enough to keep going on that path, instead of seeing those roadblocks as opportunities to grow.

What role does technology play in your family life?
I have five kids under the age of 7. I try to make technology part of our everyday life, but not the main focus of it. We utilize our Google Home for things like dance parties and measurements when cooking. We use Google for school projects, printing coloring sheets and buying birthday presents. We take tons of photos and make Google Photobooks from our phones so we can have them on our coffee table. I want them to use technology as a tool to aid in their lives, but I don’t want it to replace human connections.