Language. It’s the foundation for communication, and an important part of cultural identity. And it’s for these reasons that we’ve made Gmail available in 71 different languages so far—about 95 percent of the world’s internet population. We’re always working to support more languages and the cultures they represent—from Cherokee and Welsh to Mongolian and Zulu—so today we’re proud to add Gaeilge (Irish).
Irish, in case you didn’t know, is the national and first language of the Republic of Ireland. It’s taught to all schoolchildren, and it’s spoken daily in the Gaeltacht, so for many Irish people it sparks memories of a shared history—from summers on the Western coast to the story of Peig and the Blasket Islands.
With Gmail as Gaeilge we’re honored to help bring this Irish tradition online. So whether you’re a committed Gaeilgeoir, or you just want to experience a cúpla focal (a few words of Irish), you can select Irish today in your Gmail language settings.
Posted by Michel Benard, University Relations Manager and Cova Soto, Product Marketing Manager, Business Marketing Madrid
According to Eurostat data, over 5 million people under age 25 are currently out of work in Europe, in contrast to an increasing demand for people with digital skills such as Digital Marketing, Big Data, Ecommerce, Mobile App Development and Cloud Computing. In particular, Spanish employers are finding it difficult to find individuals with the right skills, due to the lack of the digital education available.
The inspiration for Google Activate began with the summer 2012 launch of Course Builder, an experimental platform developed on Google technologies designed to provide the capability for anyone to create an online environment that can be used for a wide variety of education-related activities. In September of that same year, Course Builder was made available in Europe, as part of the Google Faculty Summit in London.
Among the early adopters of Course Builder in Europe was a partnership that included the University of Alicante, who in October 2012 launched Unimooc Aemprende, a MOOC for entrepreneurs. This is just one example of the use of Course Builder to build a MOOC designed to solve a broad problem, in this case the acquisition of skills for launching a small business. More than 30,000 people have participated in Unimooc since its launch.
As of today, more than 148,000 people have registered for Activate with 13% of participants earning a certificate, which is obtained after 13 exams certified by either the EOI, Universidad Complutense de Madrid or or the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). Such certificates are being used by the awardees in their LinkedIn profile to position themselves for a job in the digital economy, where many jobs are being created. More than 19,000 students are already certified in one of the 5 digital areas.
Google Activate has plans to increase the number of students with digital skills reaching 160,000 with plans to expand further to other countries in the world.
Today, we're pleased to announce that Extension Warehouse has just crossed into the realm of fully functional app store. This means that in addition to the hundreds of fantastic SketchUp extensions that are freely available, you can now purchase and install paid extensions directly through Extension Warehouse, in just a few clicks.
Now, Extension Warehouse lets you purchase and install paid extensions from SketchUp developers.
We hope that enabling the sale of paid extensions will be a game changer for SketchUp users and developers alike. Users get direct access to awesome paid extensions that streamline modeling workflows. Developers get an awesome E-commerce platform with access to millions of customers who are looking for great modeling utilities and add-on tools. Win-win? We think so.
It’s worth noting that credit card transactions are processed securely by the same store platform we use to sell SketchUp licenses. And we’re using the same licensing platform that SketchUp uses. Each extension is still carefully moderated by the SketchUp Extensibility team to ensure quality and security. So, the purchase process for extensions is as smooth and safe as buying SketchUp Pro.
Initially, you’ll find the following paid extensions now available through Extension Warehouse:
If you are a developer, our new E-commerce platform means that instead of spending a major portion of your time implementing your own licensing system, maintaining your own store front or worrying about how you’ll process your transactions, you can focus on developing great tools for SketchUp. For more information on distributing extensions check out our developer center.
Over the past two months, we’ve rolled out a series of tools built for AdWords power users. Designed with our most sophisticated advertisers in mind, these tools help simplify your workflow and reduce the time spent on campaign management. And as announced today on our global livestream, we’ve launched an exciting update to one of our most popular tools: AdWords Editor.
AdWords Editor 11.0 represents the biggest update to the application since we released it in 2006. It’s been redesigned from the ground up: we’ve enhanced all of the features you know and love while adding new ones to help you do more in less time. With a brand new visual design and faster interface, AdWords Editor 11.0 is built to make you more efficient as you view and make changes across your accounts and campaigns. Manage accounts and items side by side
In AdWords Editor 11.0, you can open multiple windows to view different parts of your account at the same time. For instance, you can now open a new window to view your keyword list while creating your ads. You can also easily manage multiple accounts at once by opening as many account windows as you like. Arrange them side by side and even copy and paste or drag-and-drop items between them. You can also add and manage all of your accounts, download data, and monitor status in the new accounts manager.
Find what you’re looking for faster
As your accounts grow, so does the need to find the things you’re looking for. In AdWords Editor 11.0, we’ve introduced a new panel for selecting type lists. This feature removes the need to navigate using tabs, so you can quickly perform common tasks while instantly accessing your campaigns, advanced features, and settings.
If you’re looking for something specific, use the improved, advanced search bar. You can now apply multiple search criteria and filters, and even save popular searches for future use. And once you’ve found what you’re looking for, it’s easy to navigate and make changes using simple keyboard shortcuts (Mac, Windows). Jump to an ad group and create a new set of keywords in seconds. You can also quickly access your favorite bulk editing tools from any view -- find and replace ad text with just a few clicks or change capitalization across multiple keywords.
Perform more actions in bulk and at scale
Making large-scale changes is even easier in AdWords Editor 11.0. Advanced multi-select functionality makes viewing and updating specific parts of your account simple. Select any combination of campaigns and ad groups to view their ads or keywords, and paste them into multiple campaigns and ad groups at once.
Manage your Shared Library to assign bid strategies and sitelinks across multiple campaigns and ad groups. The “Make multiple changes” tool now automatically organizes your text into rows and columns as you add, update, or remove multiple items on the fly. And a detailed history of your recent changes is now just a click away, along with the option to quickly undo or redo multiple changes in sequence or in bulk.
Upgrade to AdWords Editor 11.0
The latest version of AdWords Editor is now available globally for Mac and Windows -- upgrade today! You can learn more about AdWords Editor 11.0 in the AdWords Help Center.
Support for previous versions of AdWords Editor will continue for four months to allow you time to upgrade. To ensure uninterrupted use of AdWords Editor, you will need to upgrade to 11.0 by April 10, 2015.
Posted by Geoff Menegay, Product Manager, AdWords Editor
Welcome to the Inside AdWords livestream! Today, Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management for AdWords, explores our most innovative products of 2014, shares customer stories and best practices, and wraps up the year with an announcement you won’t want to miss. Tune in to the livestream on YouTube or watch below.
We’re pleased to announce that the official Android Wear Watch Face API is now available for developers. Watch faces give users even more ways to express their personal style, while creating an opportunity for developers to customize the most prominent UI feature of the watches. Watch faces have been the most requested feature from users and developers alike, and we can’t wait to see what you build for them.
Watch faces are services that run from your wearable app, so you can provide one or multiple watch faces with a single app install. You can also choose to have configuration activities on the phone or watch, for example to let a user change between 12 and 24-hour time, or to change the watch face’s background. You can use OpenGL to provide smooth graphics, and a background service to pull in useful data like weather and calendar events. Watch faces can be analog, or digital, or display the time in some new way that hasn’t been invented yet––it’s up to you.
Updates to existing devices
Over the next week, the latest release of Android Wear, based on Android 5.0 and implementing API 21, will roll out to users. All Android Wear devices will be updated to Android 5.0 via an over-the air (OTA) update. The update allows users to manage and configure watch faces in the Android Wear app on their phone, and install watch faces from Google Play. Any handheld device running Android 4.3 or later will continue to work with all Android Wear devices.
Upgrade your watch faces
Developers are incredibly resourceful and we’re impressed with the watch faces you were able to create without any documentation at all. If you’ve already built a watch face for Android Wear using an unofficial approach, you should migrate your apps to the official API. The official API ensures a consistent user experience across the platform, while giving you additional information and controls, such as letting you know when the watch enters ambient mode, allowing you to adjust the position of system UI elements, and more. Using the new API is also necessary for your app to be featured in the Watch Faces collection on Google Play.
Deployment of watch faces to Google Play
We recommend you update your apps on Google Play as soon as the Android Wear 5.0 API 21 OTA rollout is complete, which we’ll announce on the Android Wear Developers Google+ community. It’s important to wait until the OTA rollout is complete because a Watch Face requiring API 21 will not be visible on a watch running API 20. Once your user gets the OTA, then the watch face will become visible. If you want to immediately launch your updates during the OTA rollout, make sure you set minSdkVersion to 20 in your wearable app, otherwise the app will fail to install for pre-OTA users. Once the rollout is complete, please transition your existing watch faces to the new API by January 31, 2015, at which point we plan to remove support for watch faces that don't use the official API.
Android Wear apps on Google Play
Starting today, you can submit any of your apps for designation as Android Wear apps on Google Play by following the Distributing to Android Wear guidelines. If your apps follow the criteria in the Wear App Quality checklist and are accepted as Wear apps on Play, it will be easier for Android Wear users to discover them. To opt-in for Android Wear review, visit the Pricing & Distribution section of the Google Play Developer Console.
In the few short months since we’ve launched Android Wear, developers have already written thousands of apps, taking advantage of custom notifications, voice actions, and fully native Android capabilities. Thanks to you, users have infinite ways to personalize their watches, choosing from six devices, a range of watch bands, and thousands of apps. With support for custom watch faces launching today, users will have even more choices in the future. These choices are at the heart of a rich Android Wear ecosystem and as we continue to open up core features of the platform to developers, we can’t wait to see what you build next.
Whether you’re planning an epic road trip with friends or mapping out your favorite runs for a ski vacation, it’s easy with Google My Maps, our custom map creation tool. Starting today, you can access My Maps right from Google Drive, so it’s even easier to create, access and share your custom maps.
Creating a custom map is just as easy as opening up a new Google Doc. Just select “New,” then “More,” then “Google My Maps” to tap into your inner cartographer.
Create a new custom map right from Google Drive
Over the next week, all the maps you’ve created will also be accessible in Google Drive, so you can easily organize, manage and share them. Create folders such as “Travel,” “Hiking” and “Holidays,” and search through them to find your favorite custom maps—which might be as varied as Fourth of July Trip, Half Marathon, or SantaCon.
In addition to accessing your Google My Maps in Drive, you can now add more layers and points of interest to your map, import bigger spreadsheets and include more details in each info box. Whether you’re mapping out the best surf spots down under or campgrounds in California, you can add all your favorite areas with more details across even more layers.
Deciding what to wear is a really personal thing—it’s one of the ways you show people what you’re about. Wearable technology is no different, so Android Wear offers a wide selection of apps and watches to suit your taste. It’s about expressing who you are, however you want, right on your wrist.
Today there’s even more ways to show your style with Android Wear, including dozens of new watch faces (powered by an official Watch Face API), a full collection of devices on Google Play, and lots of other improvements based on your feedback. So try ‘em on for size, and let us know what you think.
Watch faces for whatever you’re into Starting today you can download watch faces from Google Play, just like you do with apps. We’ve got dozens of examples to get you started—from the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. And because the new Watch Face API is available to all developers, you can expect even more choices in the weeks and months ahead.
We’ve also updated the Android Wear app on your phone to make browsing, downloading, and switching watch faces really easy. So pick the one you like the best, or pick a new one every day.
(Both updates are rolling out over the next week, so don’t worry if you don’t see them yet.)
Examples of Android Wear watch faces
A family of watches to choose from In only a few short months, the Android Wear collection has grown to include six unique watches—the ASUS ZenWatch, the LG G Watch, the LG G Watch R, the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Some are circular, others are square. Some are traditional, others are sporty. And that’s exactly the point. With different shapes and styles, it’s really easy to make your watch your own.
So by all means: wear what you want.
Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear
A lot has changed for marketers over the years. But one thing remains constant: the need to connect with and move an audience in the moments that matter. Brand marketers are beginning to truly embrace programmatic buying to do just that. The challenge is, many marketers don’t know where to start in order to successfully embrace programmatic for their brand campaigns. To help address this challenge, we’re pleased to share our five-step guide: "Programmatic: A Brand Marketer’s Guide," to provide context and ideas for how marketers and their agencies can successfully embrace programmatic buying. It covers the essentials that brand marketers need to know in order to:
Organize audience insights
Design compelling creative
Execute with integrated technology
Reach audiences across screens
Measure the impact
Our guide includes seven case studies with brands including Nike, KLM, Talk Talk, Kia, GOL, Burberry, and Kellogg so that brand marketers new to programmatic can learn from their peers. We hope this guide can help you realize the ultimate promise of advertising in the digital age: to effectively run highly relevant, creative, and measurable campaigns, at scale. To make the most of programmatic buying, we invite you to explore the five steps to programmatic success. You can stay on top of new updates by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on our Google+ page.
Welcome to the Inside AdWords livestream! Today, Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management for AdWords, explores our most innovative products of 2014, shares customer stories and best practices, and wraps up the year with an announcement you won’t want to miss. Tune in right here on the Inside AdWords blog at 12:30pm PT / 3:30pm ET to catch the livestream.
To make it easier to find and manage your apps, we’ve introduced a new Apps icon in the Admin console. The Apps icon is the one place to manage Google Apps, Additional Google services, and Google Marketplace apps. To check it out, simply login to admin.google.com, and click on the Apps icon: Clicking on the Apps icon above takes you to the screen below: Release track: Rapid release and Scheduled release For more information: Help Center Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted
Today, we are excited to announce a new local library and new grouping functionality in Google Web Designer, which make it easier to add, edit, manage and group creative assets. We’ve also spruced up many of the components in the gallery, which build on the updates we launched in August, to help designers and developers make interactive and engaging HTML5 ad units for cross-screen campaigns.
Manage your assets with ease:
Add, edit, and manage your assets in one place in the newlocal library: Add assets from the stage or within the library workflow, drag and drop from your desktop, or use the new import dialogue under File. Then, customize your folders and organize your assets to your liking.
Group elements together: Once you group elements together, they are stored in your local library. You can drag and drop groups onto the stage and edit them all at once.
Create more engaging, interactive ads:
Build ads that expand in all directions: The “view mode” will allow you to see the expanded state as an overlay, and move it to the desired expanded position. Learn more.
YouTube autoplay feature: You can now use the YouTube component to build a masthead that automatically plays the embedded video.
Other enhancements to the components galleryallow you to:
Add “navigation” (the dots or thumbnails at the bottom of a gallery that show that multiple images exist.)
Auto-scale images: stretch, resize or crop images to fit within the gallery
Snap to ‘n’ frames: advance by a specified number of frames in the swipeable or carousel gallery (i.e. 3 images show on the first page of gallery, swiping moves to the next 3). Learn more.
SVG (scalable vector graphics) support: Google Web Designer now supports uploads of SVGs and provides a set of basic features, including 2D editing, cut, copy & paste, and selection tool support.
Share your awesome Google Web Designer ad units with us! Submit them to the Rich Media Gallery and we’ll promote them to the ~35,000 people who view the site each month. If you don't yet have Google Web Designer, you can download it for free here.
Posted by Tony Mowatt and Sean Kranzberg, Product Manager and Engineering Lead for Google Web Designer P.S. It may take a couple hours for the updates to show up in your version of the product.
Jason Byrne, and business partner Robert Diem, are passionate about making a difference in education. They came together during their time as professors in Japan to found Eltsoft LLC, a company that builds mobile language learning apps for iOS and Android. Together, they started creating a series of fun tools that allow users to study whenever they want, wherever they are.
Their most popular app is English Grammar, which has been downloaded by more than a million people looking to sharpen their English-language skills in nearly 120 countries.
All of the company’s apps are available for free or as paid versions. To increase revenue, they chose AdMob to earn money from the free versions of their apps with advertising. “AdMob monetization is central to our success because it delivers high-quality, appropriate ads to our audience in their native languages, wherever they live,” says Jason.
The Google Analytics data within AdMob helped them understand more about their users. "Our app, English Grammar, has users from all around the world, so we turned to data from Google Analytics and AdMob to understand which languages we should consider for localization. For example, we knew we had to prioritize German and French, but we discovered other languages that we didn't expect, such as Russian and Japanese."
A data-driven approach to marketing
Eltsoft uses data to focus their marketing campaigns and assess where to use their resources most effectively. “Google Analytics keeps making campaign analysis simpler and clearer,” Jason says. “Data from various sources - Google Analytics and Google Play, for instance - are now all in one place. That helps me understand what’s happening with our ad campaigns.”
While data analysis helped Eltsoft validate some of their hypotheses, it also uncovered opportunities according to Jason: “The greatest takeaway for me is that the results are never really what I expect. I am often surprised. Analytics has given us great insights into who our users are, and has provided a very important lesson in the value of surveying our user base. Our simple assumptions are often inaccurate.”
Replicating successful strategies
Eltsoft has developed a way to calculate the value of users by using a combination of AdMob metrics (like ad request values) and Analytics metrics (like user counts and sessions per user). Having Google Analytics in AdMob has unlocked such analysis because the data is available in the same interface.
As a result, Eltsoft can now understand what works best for their users. “For example, we’ve made changes to our apps, and Analytics has really helped us to track the effectiveness of those changes. I would say six months ago, that our success was a mystery. The data said we were doing well, but the whys were not clear. Therefore, we couldn’t replicate or push forward. But today, we understand what’s happening and can project our future success. We have not only the data, but can control certain variables allowing us to understand that data.”
“Google Analytics data is literally a goldmine,” says Jason.
If you want to learn more about how Eltsoft is using Google Analytics and AdMob, download the full case study.
2014 was chock full of YouTube moments that vaulted into pop culture. We got pranked by a spider dog in Poland, learned what it’s like to walk the street for 10 hours as a woman in NYC, and watched total strangers share a first kiss. We laughed, we cried, and yes, we sang along to “Let It Go” roughly a bajillion times.
In celebration of the people, memes and moments that made up an epic year, more than 100 YouTube creators gathered together for our annual Rewind video: a giant, global mashup looking back at the best of 2014 on YouTube. With creators from Japan, Germany, Israel, Mexico, France and beyond, it’s the biggest and most international Rewind video yet.
And here are the top trending videos for 2014, based on views, shares, comments, likes and more. This year, the list represents the amazing variety of creativity brought to YouTube each day, which can include social commentaries, pranks, advertisements, and thrilling moments from traditional media and big names on YouTube. Collectively these 10 videos have hundreds of millions of views from creators, with more than 21 million cumulative subscribers.
When it comes to music, it was a year of powerful female artists, as you can see from our list of top music videos: Women artists took eight of the top 10 spots (Shakira took two!). 2014's top 10 music videos were collectively played billions of times from channels with 55+ million subscribers.
Check out our YouTube Rewind channel for more top videos of the year from around the world, and our YouTube Brand channel to see a mashup of the top branded videos of the year and a list of the top ads on YouTube for the year. You can also visit google.com/2014 next week for Google's annual look at the people, places and events that captured the world's attention.
A constraint for some Android apps is the total number of methods that the underlying compiled .dex file can support. It’s limited by 16 bits, or 65,536 values.
When you include third-party libraries in your application, you will have all of their methods in your .dex file. Larger APIs, such as those included in Google Play services, will then begin eating into the limit very quickly.
You can learn more about this, and ways that you can work around it with the Android Studio 1.0 build system here.
Additionally, with Google Play services version 6.5 or later, it is possible for you to include Google Play services in your application using a number of smaller client libraries, so that only Google Play services APIs you use will get compiled into your .dex file, and therefore their methods won't count towards your method limit.
Prior to version 6.5, you would typically have a line like this in your build.gradle file:
Starting with version 6.5, of Google Play services, you’ll be able to pick from a number of individual APIs, and you can see which ones have their own include files in the documentation. For example, if all you want to use is Maps, you would instead have:
Note: At the time of writing, the correct version to use is 6.5.87. As this is a very granular number, it will get updated quite quickly, so be sure the check the latest version when you are coding. Often people will use a ‘+’ to denote versions, such as 6.5.+ to use the latest 6.5 build. However, it’s typically discouraged to use a ‘+’ as it can lead to inconsistencies.
Also, there are some changes to the names of the libraries that will impact you if you build applications for Android Wear. Previously you may have used play-services-wearable to include the entire Google Play services library for your wearable, and if you want to continue doing so, you should now use play-services-all-wear instead. You can continue to use play-services-wearable which will instead give you just the Wearable Data Layer API (see here). Should you do this, and you want to continue working with other Google Play services features, such as the Location APIs on your wearable, you would need to add play-services-location.
Over the last 10 years, businesses, scientists and hobbyists from all over the world have been using Google Earth Pro for everything from planning hikes to placing solar panels on rooftops. Google Earth Pro has all the easy-to-use features and detailed imagery of Google Earth, along with advanced tools that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world.
Starting today, even more people will be able to access Google Earth Pro: we’re making it available for free. To see what Earth Pro can do for you—or to just have fun flying around the world—grab a free key and download Earth Pro today. If you’re an existing user, your key will continue to work with no changes required.
Plan in 3D using Google Earth Pro
Whether you’re planning a new office building or a trip to the mountains, check out Google Earth Pro and see how easy it is to visualize your world.
Posted by Stafford Marquardt, Product Manager, Google Earth Pro
Since 2010, our Security Reward Programs have been a cornerstone of our relationship with the security research community. These programs have been successful because of two core beliefs:
Security researchers should be rewarded for helping us protect Google’s users.
Researchers help us understand how to make Google safer by discovering, disclosing, and helping fix vulnerabilities at a scale that’s difficult to replicate by any other means.
We’re grateful for the terrific work these researchers do to help keep users safe. And so, we wanted to take a look back at 2014 to celebrate their contributions to Google, and in turn, our contributions back to them.
Looking back on 2014
Our Security Reward Programs continue to grow at a rapid clip. We’ve now paid more than $4,000,000 in rewards to security researchers since 2010 across all of our reward programs, and we’re looking forward to more great years to come.
Our largest single reward was $150,000. The researcher then joined us for an internship.
We rewarded more than 200 different researchers.
We rewarded more than 500 bugs. For Chrome, more than half of all rewarded reports for 2014 were in developer and beta versions. We were able to squash bugs before they could reach our main user population.
The top three contributors to the VRP program in 2014 during a recent visit to Google Zurich: Adrian (Romania), Tomasz (Poland / UK), Nikolai (Ukraine)
What’s new for 2015
We are announcing two additions to our programs today.
First, researchers’ efforts through these programs, combined with our own internal security work, make it increasingly difficult to find bugs. Of course, that’s good news, but it can also be discouraging when researchers invest their time and struggle to find issues. With this in mind, today we’re rolling out a new, experimental program: Vulnerability Research Grants. These are up-front awards that we will provide to researchers before they ever submit a bug.
Here’s how the program works:
We’ll publish different types of vulnerabilities, products and services for which we want to support research beyond our normal vulnerability rewards.
We’ll award grants immediately before research begins, with no strings attached. Researchers then pursue the research they applied for, as usual.
There will be various tiers of grants, with a maximum of $3,133.70 USD.
On top of the grant, researchers are still eligible for regular rewards for the bugs they discover.
To learn more about the current grants, and review your eligibility, have a look at our rules page.
Back in November 2014, we announced that older spreadsheets (those created prior to Dec 2013, including any subsequent copies) would start being gradually migrated to the new version of Google Sheets for Google Apps domains on the Rapid release track, …
Today’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) wrap up comes from François Beaune at appleseed HQ, a team of rendering engineers and visual effects professionals creating free and open software for producing impressive computer graphics and animation.
appleseed is a modern rendering engine designed to produce photorealistic images, animations and visual effects. Our first stable release (coming later this year) will provide individuals and small studios with an efficient, reliable suite of tools built on modern foundations and featuring industry-standard open source technologies such as OpenEXR or Open Shading Language.
We participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) for the first time in 2014. Two students worked with us to implement important new features.
Project 1: Curve Rendering
Our first student, Srinath Ravichandran, added support for curve primitives to appleseed which can be used to efficiently render hair and fur. Since scenes with hair or fur often contain millions of curves, memory footprint and rendering performance were the two major challenges with this project. Curve rendering is a vast topic, so Srinath decided to focus on the storage and intersection aspects. We thought this would be the ideal starting point for a project that could extend well beyond the summer.
Our project proposal suggested an efficient algorithm for direct, tessellation-free intersection of Bézier curves that we thought was promising. After studying the research paper on which it was based, Srinath implemented and integrated it into appleseed’s rendering pipeline. Working closely with his mentor, he made steady progress throughout the summer and merged his code into the main repository on a regular basis.
Project 2: New Material Editor
appleseed comes with a graphical tool, appleseed.studio, which allows users to inspect and tweak scenes during interactive rendering. appleseed.studio is a cross-platform application written in C++ using the Qt toolkit.
Our second student, Marius Avram, chose to develop a new material editor for appleseed.studio that would let artists create realistic materials quickly and adjust them through intuitive parameters and instant visual feedback.
Beneath the surface, the new material editor would create materials based on a new surface reflection model developed by Disney Animation Studios and recently implemented into appleseed.
This project presented two main challenges. First, the new material model, based on individual layers, required development of an elaborate user interface. Second, the material editor had to be hooked into appleseed.studio’s entity editor to benefit from existing functionalities such as live editing during rendering.
Marius also completed his project successfully. We again made sure to merge his code often to give him and other members of the community a sense of achievement and progress.
We consider our participation in GSoC 2014 a success. It required significant efforts from both students and mentors, but the end result was two major new features and great progress towards the first stable release of appleseed.
Rather than merging the code into the main repository at the end of the summer, doing it regularly proved a significant morale boost to the students. It also exposed problems early and allowed us to gather feedback and ideas from contributors that weren’t involved with GSoC.
We are now looking forward to next summer. We have many interesting project ideas for students interested in computer graphics or high performance software!
by François “Franz” Beaune, appleseed founder and organization administrator
One piece of feedback our sales and support teams have heard over the years is that users want to know about urgent issues impacting DoubleClick products as soon as possible.
Accordingly, we are launching the Ads Status Dashboard, a new publicly-accessible tool that allows you to learn about major outages or functionality concerns across DoubleClick products, including DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Studio, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, DoubleClick Planning, and DDM Reporting. When a major issue impacting large numbers of users is identified, we will post an outage notice in the appropriate row on the Dashboard, then provide updates to the outage notice at a regular interval until the issue is resolved.
We’re hoping this will allow all of our users to get access to crucial information quickly and without friction — anyone who may be impacted can access the dashboard to check on the status of our products.
We’re looking to add additional products and features to the Dashboard in the coming months, so bookmark it, share it, and return to it often. We hope it saves you time!
We all do it – set lofty resolutions that never make it past January. That’s because meaningful resolutions can take time to embrace and implement. Many marketers have told us that in 2015, programmatic buying will be at the heart of their strategy. In fact, the majority of marketers are managing at least 20% of their ad spend programmatically, and almost two-thirds plan to spend twice that amount over the next 12 months. (Source)
To help make the transition easier and more actionable, we connected with Bob Arnold, a digital marketer who has worked at Procter and Gamble, Kellogg, and is now Google’s North American Digital Media and Strategy lead. Bob shared with us three resolutions for marketers as they implement programmatic in 2015.