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July 7th, 2014 | Published in Google Student Blog
July 7th, 2014 | Published in Gmail (Google Mail)
July 7th, 2014 | Published in Google Enterprise
|Justine Bienkowski, IT Team Lead, Buzzfeed|
July 7th, 2014 | Published in Google Maps
July 7th, 2014 | Published in Google Blog
July 3rd, 2014 | Published in Google Blog
July 2nd, 2014 | Published in Google Android
Google Play services 5.0 is now rolled out to devices worldwide, and it includes a number of features you can use to improve your apps. This release introduces Android wearable services APIs, Dynamic Security Provider and App Indexing, whilst also including updates to the Google Play game services, Cast, Drive, Wallet, Analytics, and Mobile Ads.
Google Play services 5.0 introduces a set of APIs that make it easier to communicate with your apps running on Android wearables. The APIs provide an automatically synchronized, persistent data store and a low-latency messaging interface that let you sync data, exchange control messages, and transfer assets.
Provides an API that apps can use to easily install a dynamic security provider. The dynamic security provider includes a replacement for the platform's secure networking APIs, which can be updated frequently for rapid delivery of security patches. The current version includes fixes for recent issues identified in OpenSSL.
Quests are a new set of APIs to run time-based goals for players, and reward them without needing to update the game. To do this, you can send game activity data to the Quests service whenever a player successfully wins a level, kills an alien, or saves a rare black sheep, for example. This tells Quests what’s going on in the game, and you can use that game activity to create new Quests. By running Quests on a regular basis, you can create an unlimited number of new player experiences to drive re-engagement and retention.
Saved games lets you store a player's game progress to the cloud for use across many screen, using a new saved game snapshot API. Along with game progress, you can store a cover image, description and time-played. Players never play level 1 again when they have their progress stored with Google, and they can see where they left off when you attach a cover image and description. Adding cover images and descriptions provides additional context on the player’s progress and helps drive re-engagement through the Play Games app.
The App Indexing API provides a way for you to notify Google about deep links in your native mobile applications and drive additional user engagement. Integrating with the App Indexing API allows the Google Search app to serve up your app’s history to users as instant Search suggestions, providing fast and easy access to inner pages in your app. The deep links reported using the App Indexing API are also used by Google to index your app’s content and surface them as deep links to Google search result.
The Google Cast SDK now includes media tracks that introduce closed caption support for Chromecast.
The Google Drive API adds the ability to sort query results, create folders offline, and select any mime type in the file picker by default.
Wallet objects from Google take physical objects (like loyalty cards, offers) from your wallet and store them in the cloud. In this release, Wallet adds "Save to Wallet" button support for offers. When a user clicks "Save to Wallet" the offer gets saved and shows up in the user's Google Wallet app. Geo-fenced in-store notifications prompt the user to show and scan digital cards at point-of-sale, driving higher redemption. This also frees the user from having to carry around offers and loyalty cards.
Users can also now use their Google Wallet Balance to pay for Instant Buy transactions by providing split tender support. With split tender, if your Wallet Balance is not sufficient, the payment is split between your Wallet Balance and a credit/debit card in your Google Wallet.
Enhanced Ecommerce provides visibility into the full customer journey, adding the ability to measure product impressions, product clicks, viewing product details, adding a product to a shopping cart, initiating the checkout process, internal promotions, transactions, and refunds. Together they help users gain deeper insights into the performance of their business, including how far users progress through the shopping funnel and where they are abandoning in the purchase process. Enhanced Ecommerce also allows users to analyze the effectiveness of their marketing and merchandising efforts, including the impact of internal promotions, coupons, and affiliate marketing programs.
Google Mobile Ads are a great way to monetise your apps and you now have access to better in-app purchase ads. We've now added a default implementation for consumable purchases using the Google Play In-app Billing service.
And that’s another release of Google Play services. The updated Google Play services SDK is now available through the Android SDK manager. For details on the APIs, please see New Features in Google Play services 5.0.
July 1st, 2014 | Published in Google Apps
July 1st, 2014 | Published in Google Apps
July 1st, 2014 | Published in Google DoubleClick
July 1st, 2014 | Published in Google Analytics
|Illustration of a new Google Analytics report with data from multiple sources|
July 1st, 2014 | Published in Google Enterprise
Posted by Clarence Yung, Designer
The holiday season is a busy time and your email is no different, with photos from friends and family, gift purchases and travel plans completely taking over. You find yourself with less time for email but lots more of it, and this is exactly where Highlights in Inbox can help. Highlights work together with Bundles to show you key information and actions at a glance — saving you time, and keeping you (mostly) sane this time of year . For example:
Highlights surface quick actions like “Track package” and “RSVP” before you even open a message. This way you can actually do stuff, and not just view stuff with Inbox.
Thanks to Google Now, Highlights also include useful info from the web — like real-time flight status and package deliveries — even if it’s not in the original email.
And if you’re using the new Google Calendar app, your holiday travel will be highlighted by Inbox, as well as get added to your calendar automatically.
We hope Highlights help you stay on top of your email during the holidays and beyond. If you’re a developer interested in Highlights, learn how to create emails with structured data on the Developer Blog. If you aren’t using Inbox by Gmail yet, look for an invite from a friend or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an invitation as soon as more become available.
Chromecast is adding seven more great apps to your casting queue. Get bigger laughs with The Daily Show on Comedy Central, learn with Elmo on Sesame Street Go, or cast Nickelodeon and let Spongebob keep your family entertained. And, no matter how far you travel this winter, stay connected with TuneIn for international radio stations and millions of podcasts. With EPIX, YuppTV and ENCORE Play also casting, you have a full lineup of shows, sports, games and movies to last throughout the holiday season.
Posted by Faisal Feroz, Partner Engineering Manager, Elmo’s best friend
The curriculum is built and maintained by Google engineers, with the intention of giving these students a head start in computer science concepts before heading off to college. With their new knowledge and skills, students are more confident, prepared for their first year of college, and inclined to graduate with a computer science degree. Randy (17), a past participant from Cambridge said; “Career-wise [CSSI] was incredibly helpful. Even though it’s not technically an internship, it really helps set me up for future opportunities. I’ve met a lot of really cool people here that I was able to connect with. I learned a lot, and because of this program I want to continue pursuing CS in college. It has impacted me a lot.“
After completing CSSI, many of our participants have expressed an increase in readiness and confidence; Monica (17), a student from our Cambridge class said “I did not have much CS experience except one CS class from high school. Now I feel prepared for my CS classes in college. I feel like I can do projects on my own, which is huge. The program very much strengthened my technical skill set.”
If you’re interested in learning more about CSSI, please visit google.com/students/cssi for more details and stay tuned for more information about the program in January 2015. In the meantime, please fill out this interest form if you’d like to be notified when our application opens.
Cross-posted from the Google for Education blog
Posted by My-Linh Le, University Programs Team
On December 10, 2014 at 12:30pm PT / 3:30pm ET, AdWords product managers and I will be hosting a half-hour livestream to look back at this year’s new features, offer best practices, and share customer success stories.
Join us to:
We hope you’ll join us December 10th, here on the Inside AdWords blog as we click through AdWords in 2014.
Posted by Jerry Dischler, Vice President, Product Management, AdWords
By Jamil Moledina, Games Strategic Partnerships Lead, Google Play
In the coming months, we’ll be seeing more media players, like the recently released Nexus Player, and TVs from partners with Android TV built-in hit the market. While there’s plenty of information available about the technical aspects of adapting your app or game to Android TV, it’s also useful to consider design changes to optimize for the living room. That way you can provide lasting engagement for existing fans as well as new players discovering your game in this new setting. Here are three things one developer did, and how you can do them too.
Infinite Dreams is an indie studio out of Poland, co-founded by hardcore game fans Tomasz Kostrzewski and Marek Wyszyński. With Sky Force 2014 TV, they brought their hit arcade style game to Android TV in a particularly clever way. The mobile-based version of Sky Force 2014 reimaged the 2004 classic by introducing stunning 3D visuals, and a free-to-download business model using in-app purchasing and competitive tournaments to increase engagement. In bringing Sky Force 2014 to TV, they found ways to factor in the play style, play sessions, and real-world social context of the living room, while paying homage to the title’s classic arcade heritage. As Wyszyński puts it, “We decided not to take any shortcuts, we wanted to make the game feel like it was designed to be played on TV.”
For starters, Sky Force 2014 is played vertically on a smartphone or tablet, also known as portrait mode. In the game, you’re piloting a powerful fighter plane flying up the screen over a scrolling landscape, targeting waves of steampunk enemies coming down at you. You can see far enough up the screen, enabling you to plan your attacks and dodge enemies in advance.
When bringing the game to TV, the quickest approach would have been to preserve that vertical orientation of the gameplay, by pillarboxing the field of play.
With Sky Force 2014, Infinite Dreams considered their options, and decided to scale the gameplay horizontally, in landscape mode, and recompose the view and combat elements. You’re still aiming up the screen, but the world below and the enemies coming at you are filling out a much wider field of view. They also completely reworked the UI to be comfortably operated with a gamepad or simple remote. From Wyszyński’s point of view, “We really didn’t want to just add support for remote and gamepad on top of what we had because we felt it would not work very well.” This approach gives the play experience a much more immersive field of view, putting you right there in the middle of the action. More information on designing for landscape orientation can be found here.
Like all mobile game developers building for the TV, Infinite Dreams had to figure out how to adapt touch input onto a controller. Sky Force 2014 TV accepts both remote control and gamepad controller input. Both are well-tuned, and fighter handling is natural and responsive, but Infinite Dreams didn’t stop there. They took the opportunity to add cooperative multiplayer functionality to take advantage of the wider field of view from a TV. In this way, they not only scaled the visuals of the game to the living room, but also factored in that it’s a living room where people play together. Given the extended lateral patterns of advancing enemies, multiplayer strategies emerge, like “divide and conquer,” or “I got your back” for players of different skill levels. More information about adding controller support to your Android game can be found here, handling controller actions here, and mapping each player’s paired controllers here.
Infinite Dreams is also experimenting with monetization and extending play session length. The TV version replaces several $1.99 in-app purchases and timers with a try-before-you-buy model which charges $4.99 after playing the first 2 levels for free. We’ve seen this single purchase model prove successful with other arcade action games like Mediocre’s Smash Hit for smartphones and tablets, in which the purchase unlocks checkpoint saves. We’re also seeing strong arcade action games like Vector Unit’s Beach Buggy Racing and Ubisoft’s Hungry Shark Evolution retain their existing in-app purchase models for Android TV. More information on setting up your games for these varied business models can be found here. We’ll be tracking and sharing these variations in business models on Android TV, including variations in premium, as the Android TV platform grows.
Reflecting on the work involved in making these changes, Wyszyński says, “From a technical point of view the process was not really so difficult – it took us about a month of work to incorporate all of the features and we are very happy with the results.” Take a moment to check out Sky Force 2014 TV on a Nexus Player and the other games in the Android TV collection on Google Play, most of which made no design changes and still play well on a TV. Consider your own starting point, take a look at the Android TV section on our developer blog, and build the version of your game that would be most satisfying to players on the couch.
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