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Moving to Google Sign-In for a better user experience and higher conversion rates

Google Code Blog - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 22:33
Posted by Steven Soneff, Product Manager

We're always working to make Google Sign-In a better experience for developers and end users. Over the last year, we've simplified the user experience by reducing the default amount of information requested from the user and updated the branding. Major apps like The Guardian have taken advantage of these updates and we now see over twice as many people use Google Sign-In with their app.

The more streamlined experience begins with updated sign-in buttons that show the standard Google logo. We've updated the sign in button to reflect our new Google logo design. Furthermore, Google Sign-in now works for all users, not just those with a G+ profile. The consent screen has been redesigned so that the user sees inline the information that will be provided to the app (name, email, and profile photo) on Android and the web and iOS soon, too.

With these improvements in place, we are now announcing the migration from our Google+ Sign-In product to the new model. Making this change for your app is simple: just use the latest libraries with default sign-in configuration, or replace the "" scope with "profile" and update branding of the Google Sign-in button (your existing users will not be asked to sign-in again).

For developers who continue to use Google+ Sign-In scopes, expect some changes in behavior. New users going through the older sign-in flow will no longer be asked to share social graph data with your app. In the upcoming versions of SDKs on all platforms, we'll replace the Google+ branded assets with the new Google branding. So, if your app uses the default button, expect a new look and improved user experience with Google Sign-In. And after January 2017, calling our Plus People or Games Players APIs for users who had previously granted you access may begin returning empty results.

With these changes, we are deprecating the Plus People API. You can read the deprecation notes here: Android, Web. If your app needs social information and more extensive profile data, we have better alternatives for you. The new contacts-based People API provides a rich set of users' connections. To enhance the distribution of your app through the social graphs of your app's userbase, use the recently launched Firebase Invites, a cross-platform solution for sending personalized email and SMS invitations. On Android, you may also get rich cloud and device-based Contacts data from the Contacts Provider.

In addition to these user facing changes, we've also overhauled our Identity/authentication APIs to simplify implementation on both the client and server. Please check out our previous blog posts if you missed them:

Categories: Programming

Better guesswork for Product Owners

Xebia Blog - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 09:22
Estimation, if there is one concept hard to grasp in product development it will be when things are done. With done I don’t mean the releasable increment from the iteration, but rather what will be in it? or in Product Management speak: “what problem does it solve for our customer?”. I increasingly am practicing randori

Understanding APK packaging in Android Studio 2.2

Android Developers Blog - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 07:27
Posted by Wojtek Kaliciński, Android Developer Advocate

Android Studio 2.2 launched recently with many new and improved features. Some of the changes are easy to miss because they happened under the hood in the Android Gradle plugin, such as the newly rewritten integrated APK packaging and signing step.

APK Signature Scheme v2

With the introduction of the new APK Signature Scheme v2 in Android 7.0 Nougat, we decided to rewrite how assembling APKs works in the Android Gradle plugin. You can read all about the low-level technical details of v2 signatures in the documentation, but here's a quick tl;dr summary of the info you need as an Android app developer:

  • The cryptographic signature of the APK that is used to verify its integrity is now located immediately before the ZIP Central Directory.
  • The signature is computed and verified over the binary contents of the whole APK file, as opposed to decompressed file contents of each file in the archive in v1.
  • An APK can be signed by both v1 and v2 signatures at the same time, so it remains backwards compatible with previous Android releases.

Why introduce this change to how Android verifies APKs? Firstly, for enhanced security and extensibility of this new signing format, and secondly for performance - the new signatures take significantly less time to verify on the device (no need for costly decompression), resulting in faster app installation times.

The consequence of this new signing scheme, however, is that there are new constraints on the APK creation process. Since only uncompressed file contents were verified in v1, that allowed for quite a lot of modifications to be made after APK signing - files could be moved around or even recompressed. In fact, the zipalign tool which was part of the build process did exactly that - it was used to align ZIP entries on correct byte boundaries for improved runtime performance.

Because v2 signatures verify all bytes in the archive and not individual ZIP entries, running zipalign is no longer possible after signing. That's why compression, aligning and signing now happens in a single, integrated step of the build process.

If you have any custom tasks in your build process that involve tampering with or post-processing the APK file in any way, please make sure you disable them or you risk invalidating the v2 signature and thus making your APKs incompatible with Android 7.0 and above.

Should you choose to do signing and aligning manually (such as from the command line), we offer a new tool in the Android SDK, called apksigner, that provides both v1 and v2 APK signing and verification. Note that you need to run zipalign before running apksigner if you are using v2 signatures. Also remember the jarsigner tool from the JDK is not compatible with Android v2 signatures, so you can't use it to re-sign your APKs if you want to retain the v2 signature.

In case you want to disable adding v1 or v2 signatures when building with the Android Gradle plugin, you can add these lines to your signingConfig section in build.gradle:

v1SigningEnabled false
v2SigningEnabled false

Note: both signing schemes are enabled by default in Android Gradle plugin 2.2.

Release builds for smaller APKs

We took this opportunity when rewriting the packager to make some optimizations to the size of release APKs, resulting in faster downloads, smaller delta updates on the Play Store, and less wasted space on the device. Here are some of the changes we made:

  • Files in the archive are now sorted to minimize differences between APK builds.
  • All file timestamps and metadata are zeroed out.
  • Level 6 and level 9 compression is checked for all files in parallel and the optimal one is used, i.e. if L9 provides little benefit in terms of size, then L6 may be chosen for better performance
  • Native libraries are stored uncompressed and page aligned in the APK. This brings support for the android:extractNativeLibs="false" option from Android 6.0 Marshmallow and lets applications use less space on the device as well as generate smaller updates on the Play Store
  • Zopfli compression is not used to better support Play Store update algorithms. It is not recommended to recompress your APKs with Zopfli. Pre-optimizing individual resources such as PNG files in your projects is still fine and recommended.

These changes help make your releases as small as possible so that users can download and update your app even on a slower connection or on less capable devices. But what about debug builds?

Debug builds for installation speed

When developing apps you want to keep the iteration cycle fast - change code, build, and deploy on a connected device or emulator. Since Android Studio 2.0 we've been working to make all the steps as fast as possible. With Instant Run we're now able to update only the changed code and resources during runtime, while the new Emulator brings multi-processor support and faster ADB speeds for quicker APK transfer and installation. Build improvements can cut that time even further and in Android Studio 2.2 we're introducing incremental packaging and parallel compression for debug builds. Together with other features like selectively packaging resources for the target device density and ABI this will make your development even faster.

A word of caution: the APK files created for Instant Run or by invoking a debug build are not meant for distribution on the Play Store! They contain additional instrumentation code for Instant Run and are missing resources for device configurations other than the one that was connected when you started the build. Make sure you only distribute release versions of the APK which you can create using the Android Studio Generate Signed APK command or the assembleRelease Gradle task.

Categories: Programming

Formatting cells with the Google Sheets API

Google Code Blog - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 21:51
Originally posted on G Suite Developers Blog
Posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite
At Google I/O earlier this year, we launched a new Google Sheets API (click here to watch the entire announcement). The updated API includes many new features that weren't available in previous versions, including access to more functionality found in the Sheets desktop and mobile user interfaces. Formatting cells in Sheets is one example of something that wasn't possible with previous versions of the API and is the subject of today's DevByte video. In our previous Sheets API video, we demonstrated how to get data into and out of a Google Sheet programmatically, walking through a simple script that reads rows out of a relational database and transferring the data to a new Google Sheet. The Sheet created using the code from that video is where we pick up today.

Formatting spreadsheets is accomplished by creating a set of request commands in the form of JSON payloads, and sending them to the API. Here is a sample JavaScript Object made up of an array of requests (only one this time) to bold the first row of the default Sheet automatically created for you (whose ID is 0):

{"requests": [
{"repeatCell": {
"range": {
"sheetId": 0,
"startRowIndex": 0,
"endRowIndex": 1
"cell": {
"userEnteredFormat": {
"textFormat": {
"bold": true
"fields": "userEnteredFormat.textFormat.bold"
With at least one request, say in a variable named requests and the ID of the sheet as SHEET_ID, you send them to the API via an HTTP POST to{SHEET_ID}:batchUpdate, which in Python, would be a single call that looks like this:

For more details on the code in the video, check out the deepdive blog post. As you can probably guess, the key challenge is in constructing the JSON payload to send to API calls—the common operations samples can really help you with this. You can also check out our JavaScript codelab where we guide you through writing a Node.js app that manages customer orders for a toy company, featuring the toy orders data we looked at today but in a relational database. While the resulting equivalent Sheet is featured prominently in today's video, we will revisit it again in an upcoming episode showing you how to generate slides with spreadsheet data using the new Google Slides API, so stay tuned for that!

We hope all these resources help developers enhance their next app using G Suite APIs! Please subscribe to our channel and tell us what topics you would like to see in other episodes of the G Suite Dev Show!

Categories: Programming

Chrome Dev Summit 2016: The Mobile Web Moves Forward

Google Code Blog - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 20:04
Originally posted on Chromium Blog
Posted by Darin Fisher, VP Engineering, Chrome
Last week at the 4th annual Chrome Dev Summit, we were excited to share a glimpse of what’s possible with over 1,000 developers in person, and thousands more on the livestream. Each year this is a time to hear what developers have been building, share our vision for the future of the web platform, and celebrate what we love about the web...

Reach of the webAs we've talked about before, one of the superpowers of the web is its incredible reach. There are now more than two billion active Chrome browsers worldwide, with many more web users across other browsers. The majority of these users are now on mobile devices, bringing new opportunities for us to explore as an industry.
Mobile browsers also lead the way for the internet’s newest users. Exclusively accessing the internet from mobile devices, users in emerging markets struggle with limited computing power, unreliable networks, and expensive data. For these users, native apps can be a poor match due to their large data and storage requirements. And, it’s these constraints that have resulted in the developing markets leading the charge when it comes to innovating on the web.
Progressive Instead, the web can fill these needs for all users through an experience we've been calling Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). These web apps provide the performance users have come to expect from their device, while also offering critical capabilities such as offlining, add-to-homescreen, and push notifications. We've been encouraged by the strong adoption of these capabilities, with push notifications recently exceeding 18 billion notifications per day across 50,000 domains.
Last year when we spoke about PWAs, things were just getting started. Now we're seeing the movement in full swing, with many large sites across the globe launching great new apps and feeling the success that PWAs can bring.DAY 1 - THAO LOGOS.png, built a PWA and saw a 76% increase in conversion rates across browsers. The investment in the mobile web increased monthly active user rates on iOS by 14 percent. On Android devices where re-engagement capabilities like push notifications and Add to Homescreen were enabled, active user rates increased by 30 percent.

Another great example is The Weather Channel. Since launching a PWA they achieved an 80% reduction in load time and within three months, saw almost 1 million users opt in to receive web push notifications.

During the Summit, we also heard from Lyft, who shared their experience of building a PWA in less than a month, and using less than a quarter of the engineering support needed to build their native app. Learn more about our how partners are using PWA technologies to enhance their mobile web experience.

What can you do?We also have a variety of tools, libraries, and APIs available to help you bring the benefits of PWAs to your site. For example, Chrome's DevTools provides assistance along every step of the development flow. DevTools has a ton of new features to help you build great mobile apps, such as network simulation, CPU throttling, and a PWA audit tool powered by Lighthouse.

For developers just beginning their web app or looking to rework an existing one, the Polymer App Toolbox provides a set of components and tools for easily building a Progressive Web App using web components. And Polymer 2.0 is right around the corner, making it easy to take advantage of the new Web Components v1 APIs shipping cross-browser and build mobile web apps with minimal overhead.

Finally, checkout can be a complicated process to complete and in the retail sector alone there are 66% fewer conversions on mobile than on desktop. With PaymentRequest, you can now bring a seamless checkout experience to your website with support for both credit cards and Android Pay, increasing odds for conversion.

Catch upFinally, if you didn’t catch our live stream in real time, you can always check back on our YouTube channel for all the recordings or see the highlights from the event in 57 seconds.

Thanks for coming, thanks for watching, and most of all, thank you for developing for the web!
Categories: Programming

Making it easier for anyone to start exploring A.I.

Google Code Blog - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 21:04
Alexander Chen, Creative Lab

With all the exciting A.I. stuff happening, there are lots of people eager to start tinkering with machine learningtechnology. We want to help make it easier for anyone to do that – whether you're an engineer, hobbyist, student, or someone who's just curious. But sometimes, it can feel pretty intimidating when you're just getting started.

That's why we've created a site called A.I. Experiments. The site showcases simple experiments that let anyone play with this technology hands-on, and resources for creating your own experiments.

The experiments show how machine learning can make sense of all kinds of things – images, drawings, language, sound, and more. They were made by people with all different interests – web developers, musicians, game designers, bird sound enthusiasts, data visualizers – with everyone bringing their own ideas for how to use machine learning.

We also want to make it easier for coders to make their own experiments. Many of the projects we're featuring are built with tools anyone can use, like Cloud Vision API, Tensorflow, and other libraries from the machine learning community. The site has videos by the creators explaining how they work, and links to open-source code to help you get started. To submit something you've made, or just play with things other people are making, visit A.I. Experiments.

And if you're looking for even more inspiration for what's possible using machine learning, check out these new experiments from our friends in Google Arts & Culture.

Categories: Programming

Neo4j 3.1 beta3 + docker: Creating a Causal Cluster

Mark Needham - Sun, 11/13/2016 - 13:30

Over the weekend I’ve been playing around with docker and learning how to spin up a Neo4j Causal Cluster.

Causal Clustering is Neo4j’s new clustering architecture which makes use of Diego Ongaro’s Raft consensus algorithm to ensure writes are committed on a majority of servers. It’ll be available in the 3.1 series of Neo4j which is currently in beta. I’ll be using BETA3 in this post.

2016 11 13 09 14 41

I don’t know much about docker but luckily my colleague Kevin Van Gundy wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago explaining how to spin up Neo4j inside a docker container which was very helpful for getting me started.

Kevin spins up a single Neo4j server using the latest released version, which at the time of writing is 3.0.7. Since we want to use a beta version we’ll need to use a docker image from the neo4j-experimental repository.

We’re going to create 3 docker instances, each running Neo4j, and have them form a cluster. We’ll name them instance0, instance1, and instance2. We’ll create config files for each instance on the host machine and refer to those from our docker instance. This is the config file for instance0:






The only config that changes between instances is dbms.connectors.default_advertised_address which would have a value of instance1 or instance2 for the other members of our cluster.

We can create a docker instance using this config:

docker run --name=instance0 --detach \
           --publish=7474:7474 \
           --publish=7687:7687 \
           --net=cluster \
           --hostname=instance0 \
           --volume /tmp/ce/instance0/conf:/conf \
           --volume /tmp/ce/instance0/data:/data \

We create the network ‘cluster’ referenced on the 4th line like this:

docker network create --driver=bridge cluster

It’s a bit of a pain having to create these config files and calls to docker by hand but luckily Michael has scripted the whole thing for us.

function config {
mkdir -p /tmp/ce/$1/conf
cat > /tmp/ce/$1/conf/neo4j.conf << EOF




function run {
config $INSTANCE
docker run --name=$INSTANCE --detach \
           --publish=$[7474+$HOST]:7474 \
           --publish=$[7687+$HOST]:7687 \
           --net=cluster \
           --hostname=$INSTANCE \
           --volume /tmp/ce/$INSTANCE/conf:/conf \
           --volume /tmp/ce/$INSTANCE/data:/data \

docker network create --driver=bridge cluster

run 0
run 1
run 2

Once we run the script we can run the following command to check that the cluster has come up:

$ docker logs instance0
Starting Neo4j.
2016-11-13 11:46:55.863+0000 INFO  Starting...
2016-11-13 11:46:57.241+0000 INFO  Bolt enabled on
2016-11-13 11:46:57.255+0000 INFO  Initiating metrics...
2016-11-13 11:46:57.439+0000 INFO  Waiting for other members to join cluster before continuing...
2016-11-13 11:47:17.816+0000 INFO  Started.
2016-11-13 11:47:18.054+0000 INFO  Mounted REST API at: /db/manage
2016-11-13 11:47:19.068+0000 INFO  Remote interface available at http://instance0:7474/

Each instance is available at port 7474 but we've mapped these to different ports on the host OS by using this line in the parameters we passed to docker run:


We can therefore access each of these Neo4j instances from the host OS at the following ports:

instance0 -> http://localhost:7474
instance1 -> http://localhost:7475
instance2 -> http://localhost:7476

If we open one of those we'll be confronted with the following dialog:

2016 11 13 12 10 06

This is a bit strange as we explicitly disabled security in our config.

The actual problem is that the Neo4j browser is unable to communicate with the underlying database. There are two ways to work around this:

Connect using HTTP instead of BOLT

We can tell the browser to connect to the database using the HTTP protocol rather than BOLT by unticking the checkbox:

2016 11 13 12 12 24 Update the BOLT host

Or we can update the Bolt host value to refer to a host:port value that's accessible from the host OS. Each server is accessible from port 7687 but we mapped those ports to different ports on the host OS with this flag that we passed to docker run:

--publish=$[7687+$HOST]:7687 \

We can access BOLT from the following ports:

instance0 -> localhost:7687
instance1 -> localhost:7688
instance2 -> localhost:7689

Let's try changing it for instance2:

2016 11 13 12 20 29

You might have to refresh your web browser after you change value but it usually updates automatically. We can run the :sysinfo command in the browser to see the state of our cluster:

2016 11 13 12 22 55

And we're good to go. The full script is available as a gist if you want to give it a try.

Let me know how you get on!

Categories: Programming

Android Studio 2.2

Android Developers Blog - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 22:49

By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

Android Studio 2.2 is available to download today. Previewed at Google I/O 2016, Android Studio 2.2 is the latest release of our IDE used by millions of Android developers around the world.

Packed with enhancements, this release has three major themes: speed, smarts, and Android platform support. Develop faster with features such as the new Layout Editor, which makes creating an app user interface quick and intuitive. Develop smarter with our new APK analyzer, enhanced Layout Inspector, expanded code analysis, IntelliJ’s 2016.1.3 features and much more. Lastly, as the official IDE for Android app development, Android Studio 2.2 includes support for all the latest developer features in Android 7.0 Nougat, like code completion to help you add Android platform features like Multi-Window support, Quick Settings API, or the redesigned Notifications, and of course, the built-in Android Emulator to test them all out.

In this release, we evolved the Android Frameworks and the IDE together to create the Constraint Layout. This powerful new layout manager helps you design large and complex layouts in a flat and streamlined hierarchy. The ConstraintLayout integrates into your app like a standard Android support library, and was built in parallel with the new Layout Editor.

Android Studio 2.2 includes 20+ new features across every major phase of the development process: design, develop, build, & test. From designing UIs with the new ConstraintLayout, to developing C++ code with the Android NDK, to building with the latest Jack compliers, to creating Espresso test cases for your app, Android Studio 2.2 is the update you do not want to miss. Here’s more detail on some of the top highlights:


  • Layout Editor: Creating Android app user interfaces is now easier with the new user interface designer. Quickly construct the structure of your app UI with the new blueprint mode and adjust the visual attributes of each widget with new properties panel. Learn more.

Layout Editor

  • Constraint Layout: This new layout is a flexible layout manager for your app that allows you to create dynamic user interfaces without nesting multiple layouts. It is backwards compatible all the way back to Android API level 9 (Gingerbread). ConstraintLayout works best with the new Layout Editor in Android Studio 2.2. Learn more.



  • Improved C++ Support: You can now use CMake or ndk-build to compile your C++ projects from Gradle. Migrating projects from CMake build systems to Android Studio is now seamless. You will also find C++ support in the new project wizard in Android Studio, plus a number of bug fixes to the C++ edit and debug experience. Learn more.

C++ Code Editing & CMake Support

  • Samples Browser: Referencing Android sample code is now even easier with Android Studio 2.2. Within the code editor window, find occurrences of your app code in Google Android sample code to help jump start your app development. Learn more.

Sample Code Menu


  • Instant Run Improvements: Introduced in Android Studio 2.0, Instant Run is our major, long-term investment to make Android development as fast and lightweight. Since launch, it has significantly improved the edit, build, run iteration cycles for many developers. In this release, we have made many stability and reliability improvements to Instant Run. If you have previously disabled Instant Run, we encourage you to re-enable it and let us know if you come across further issues. (Settings → Build, Execution, Deployment → Instant Run [Windows/Linux] , Preferences → Build, Execution, Deployment → Instant Run [OS X]). For details on the fixes that we have made, see the Android Studio 2.2 release notes.

Enable Instant Run

  • APK Analyzer: Easily inspect the contents of your APKs to understand the size contribution of each component. This feature can be helpful when debugging multi-dex issues. Plus, with the APK Analyzer you can compare two versions of an APK. Learn more.

APK Analyzer

  • Build cache (Experimental): We are continuing our investments to improve build speeds with the introduction of a new experimental build cache that will help reduce both full and incremental build times. Just add android.enableBuildCache=true to your file. Learn more.

Build Cache Setting


  • Virtual Sensors in the Android Emulator: The Android Emulator now includes a new set of virtual sensors controls. With the new UI controls, you can now test Android Sensors such as Accelerometer, Ambient Temperature, Magnetometer and more. Learn more.

Android Emulator Virtual Sensors

  • Espresso Test Recorder (Beta): The Espresso Test Recorder lets you easily create UI tests by recording interactions with your app; it then outputs the UI test code for you. You record your interactions with a device and add assertions to verify UI elements in particular snapshots of your app. Espresso Test Recorder then takes the saved recording and automatically generates a corresponding UI test. You can run the test locally, on your continuous integration server, or using Firebase Test Lab for Android. Learn more.
Espresso Test Recorder
  • GPU Debugger (Beta): The GPU Debugger is now in Beta. You can now capture a stream of OpenGL ES commands on your Android device and then replay it from inside Android Studio for analysis. You can also fully inspect the GPU state of any given OpenGL ES command to better understand and debug your graphical output. Lean more.
GPU Debugger

To recap, Android Studio 2.2 includes these major features and more:





Learn more about Android Studio 2.2 by reviewing the release notes and the preview blog post.

Getting Started


If you are using a previous version of Android Studio, you can check for updates on the Stable channel from the navigation menu (Help → Check for Update [Windows/Linux] , Android Studio → Check for Updates [OS X]). You can also download Android Studio 2.2 from the official download page. To take advantage of all the new features and improvements in Android Studio, you should also update to the Android Gradle plugin version to 2.2.0 in your current app project.

Next Release

We would like to thank all of you in the Android Developer community for your work on this release. We are grateful for your contributions, your ongoing feedback which inspired the new features in this release, and your highly active use on canary and beta builds filing bugs. We all wanted to make Android Studio 2.2 our best release yet, with many stability and performance fixes in addition to the many new features. For our next release, look for even more; we want to work hard to address feedback and keep driving up quality and stability on existing features to make you productive.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like to see. Connect with us -- the Android Studio development team -- on our Google+ page or on Twitter.

What's New in Android Studio 2.2
Categories: Programming

Chrome Dev Summit. Now Live Streaming

Google Code Blog - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 18:59
Posted by Paul Kinlan, Chrome Developer Relations

Good morning! Only one minute to go until Darin Fisher, VP of Chrome kick's off this year's keynote at Chrome Dev Summit 2016. Join us as we take a look at the latest web advancements with over 20 sessions presented by Chrome engineers. We're live streaming all sessions and posting videos throughout the next two days.

Categories: Programming

Look out for our bi-annual Google Play Developer Sentiment Survey, coming soon

Android Developers Blog - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 18:54

Posted by Dorothy Kelly, Head of Developer Insights, Google Play Developer Marketing

Core to our mission, we're always focused on the user and delivering the best experience possible. This same principle underlies how Google Play works with developers, as we aim to provide you with best experience working with us and our products. We can only do this through understanding what you need and how we can improve. We ran our first Developer Sentiment Survey in July this year, and heard feedback from over 4,000 developers across 15 countries. This bi-annual survey gathers feedback at scale from the thousands of developers around the world who publish their apps and games on Google Play. While it was great to hear how Google Play is working for you, we also learned how we should improve to enable you to build even more successful businesses.

This month, you may receive an email from Google Play inviting you to participate in the next Google Play Developer Sentiment Survey. This invitation is sent to a selection developers who have opted in to receive Research contacts in the Developer Console, or to those who are directly managed by Google. You can review and update your preferences in the Developer Console to ensure you get the opportunity to be invited to participate in future surveys.

In this survey we ask you to give us feedback across a number of areas:

  • Develop: Testing, publishing and launching your app or game.
  • Grow: Discovery and marketing of your app or game.
  • Engage: Distributing to and engaging with your target market.
  • Earn: Pricing and Payment methods.
  • Getting Support: Accessing the information and support you need when you have a question.

We use your feedback to decide what we need to focus on next to help you grow your app or game business. Initiatives announced at I/O 2016, such as improved betas, prelaunch reporting, the Developer Console app, and pricing templates, were all developed in response to feedback from developers like you.

If you do receive an invitation to participate in this survey, we really appreciate you taking the time to complete it. We value your feedback and want to act on it to help you create apps and games that delight your users, and help you build a successful business anywhere in the world.

Categories: Programming

Introducing the Google Slides API

Google Code Blog - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 19:41
Originally posted on G Suite Developers Blog

Posted by Wesley Chun, Developer Advocate, G Suite

At Google I/O 2016, we gave developers a preview of the Google Slides API. Since then, the gears have been cranking at full speed, and we've been working with various early-access partners and developers to showcase what you can do with it. Today, we're happy to announce that the Slides API v1 is now generally available and represents the first time that developers have ever been able to programmatically access Slides!

The Slides API breaks new ground, changing the way that presentations are created. No longer do they require manual creation by users on their desktops or mobile devices. Business data on inventory items like retail merchandise, homes/property, hotels/lodging, restaurants/menus, venues/events, and other "cataloged" assets can be instantly turned into presentations based on pre-existing slide templates. Traditionally, the sheer amount of data (and of course time[!]) that went into creating these slide decks made it unwieldy if done by hand. Applications leveraging the API can easily generate presentations like these, customized as desired, and in short order.

Developers use the API by crafting a JSON payload for each request. (We recommend you batch multiple commands together to send to the API.) You can think of these as actions one can perform from the Slides user interface but available programmatically. To give you an idea of how the new API works, here are what some requests look like for several common operations:

// create new slide (title & body layout)
"createSlide": {
"slideLayoutReference": {
"predefinedLayout": "TITLE_AND_BODY"
// insert text into textbox
"insertText": {
"objectId": titleID,
"text": "Hello World!"
// add bullets to text paragraphs
"createParagraphBullets": {
"objectId": shapeID,
"textRange": {
"type": "ALL"
// replace text "variables" with image
"replaceAllShapesWithImage": {
"imageUrl": imageURL,
"replaceMethod": "CENTER_INSIDE",
"containsText": {
"text": "{{COMPANY_LOGO}}"

If you're interested in seeing what developers have already built using the API, take a look at our initial set of partner integrations by Conga, Trello, Lucidchart, Zapier and more, as described in detail in our G Suite blog post.

To help you get started, check out the DevByte above from our new series dedicated to G Suite developers. In the video, we demonstrate how to take "variables" or placeholders in a template deck and use the API to generate new decks replacing those proxies with the desired text or image. Want to dive deeper into its code sample? Check out this blogpost. If you're not a Python developer, it'll be your pseudocode as you can use any language supported by the Google APIs Client Libraries. Regardless of your development environment, you can use similar "scaffolding" to generate many presentations with varying content for your users. Stay tuned for more videos that highlight other Slides API features.

The Slides API is available to projects in your Google Developers console today. Developers can find out more in the official documentation which features an API overview plus Quickstarts, sample code in multiple languages and environments, to bootstrap your next project. We look forward to seeing all the amazing slide deck generating applications you build with our first ever API!

Categories: Programming

Celebrating TensorFlow’s First Year

Google Code Blog - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 18:18
Originally posted on Google Research Blog
Posted by Zak Stone, Product Manager for TensorFlow, on behalf of the TensorFlow team
It has been an eventful year since the Google Brain Team open-sourced TensorFlow to accelerate machine learning research and make technology work better for everyone. There has been an amazing amount of activity around the project: more than 480 people have contributed directly to TensorFlow, including Googlers, external researchers, independent programmers, students, and senior developers at other large companies. TensorFlow is now the most popular machine learning project on GitHub. With more than 10,000 commits in just twelve months, we’ve made numerous performance improvements, added support for distributed training, brought TensorFlow to iOS and Raspberry Pi, and integrated TensorFlow with widely-used big data infrastructure. We’ve also made TensorFlow accessible from Go, Rust and Haskell, released state-of-the-art image classification models, and answered thousands of questions on GitHub, StackOverflow and the TensorFlow mailing list along the way.

At Google, TensorFlow supports everything from large-scale product features to exploratory research. We recently launched major improvements to Google Translate using TensorFlow (and Tensor Processing Units, which are special hardware accelerators for TensorFlow). Project Magenta is working on new reinforcement learning-based models that can produce melodies, and a visiting PhD student recently worked with the Google Brain team to build a TensorFlow model that can automatically interpolate between artistic styles. DeepMind has also decided to use TensorFlow to power all of their research – for example, they recently produced fascinating generative models of speech and music based on raw audio.

We’re especially excited to see how people all over the world are using TensorFlow. For example:
  • Australian marine biologists are using TensorFlow to find sea cows in tens of thousands of hi-res photos to better understand their populations, which are under threat of extinction.
  • An enterprising Japanese cucumber farmer trained a model with TensorFlow to sort cucumbers by size, shape, and other characteristics.
  • Radiologists have adapted TensorFlow to identify signs of Parkinson’s disease in medical scans.
  • Data scientists in the Bay Area have rigged up TensorFlow and the Raspberry Pi to keep track of the Caltrain.

We’re committed to making sure TensorFlow scales all the way from research to production and from the tiniest Raspberry Pi all the way up to server farms filled with GPUs or TPUs. But TensorFlow is more than a single open-source project – we’re doing our best to foster an open-source ecosystem of related software and machine learning models around it:
  • The TensorFlow Serving project simplifies the process of serving TensorFlow models in production.
  • TensorFlow “Wide and Deep” models combine the strengths of traditional linear models and modern deep neural networks.
  • For those who are interested in working with TensorFlow in the cloud, Google Cloud Platform recently launched Cloud Machine Learning, which offers TensorFlow as a managed service.

Furthermore, TensorFlow’s repository of models continues to grow with contributions from the community, with more than 3000 TensorFlow-related repositories listed on GitHub alone! To participate in the TensorFlow community, you can follow our new Twitter account (@tensorflow), find us on GitHub, ask and answer questions on StackOverflow, and join the community discussion list.

Thanks very much to all of you who have already adopted TensorFlow in your cutting-edge products, your ambitious research, your fast-growing startups, and your school projects; special thanks to everyone who has contributed directly to the codebase. In collaboration with the global machine learning community, we look forward to making TensorFlow even better in the years to come!
Categories: Programming

Adding TV Channels to Your App with the TIF Companion Library

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 17:45

Posted by Nick Felker and Sachit Mishra, Developer Programs Engineers

The TV Input Framework (TIF) on Android TV makes it easy for third-party app developers to create their own TV channels with any type of linear media. It introduces a new way for apps to engage with users with a high-quality channel surfing experience, and it gives users a single interface to browse and watch all of their channels.

To help developers get started with building TV channels, we have created the TV Input Framework Companion Library, which includes a number of helper methods and classes to make the development process as easy as possible.

This library provides standard classes to set up a background task that updates the program guide and an interface that helps integrate your media player with the playback controller, as well as supports the new TV Recording APIs that are available in Android Nougat. It includes everything you need to start showing your content on your Android TV's live TV app.

(Note: source from android-tv-sample-inputs sample)

To get started, take a look at the sample app and documentation. The sample demonstrates how to extend this library to create custom channels and manage video playback. Developers can immediately get started with the sample app by updating the XMLTV file with their own content or dynamically creating channels in the SampleJobService.

You can include this library in your app by copying the library directory from the sample into your project root directory. Then, add the following to your project's settings.gradle file:

include ':library'

In your app's build.gradle file, add the following to your dependencies:

compile project(':library')

Android TV continues to grow, and whether your app has on-demand or live media, TIF is a great way to keep users engaged with your content. One partner for example, Haystack TV, recently integrated TIF into their app and it now accounts for 16% of watch time for new users on Android TV.

Check out our TV developer site to learn more about Android TV, and join our developer community on Google+ at to discuss this library and other topics with TV developers.

Categories: Programming

SE-Radio Episode 274: Sam Aaron on Sonic Pi

Felienne talks with Sam Aaron on Sonic Pi. Topics include how to design a programming language with a broad audience, what features enable a language to be powerful and fun for children to play with, what the role of programming and programming education is in the world in general and the world of music in […]
Categories: Programming

SE-Radio Episode 274: Sam Aaron on Sonic Pi

Felienne talks with Sam Aaron on Sonic Pi. Topics include how to design a programming language with a broad audience, what features enable a language to be powerful and fun for children to play with, what the role of programming and programming education is in the world in general and the world of music in […]
Categories: Programming

CMake and ndk-build support in Android Studio 2.2

Android Developers Blog - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 22:37
Posted by Kathryn Shih, Android Product Manager

In addition to supporting the experimental Gradle plugin, Android Studio 2.2 enables you to build C/C++ components of Android projects using CMake and ndk-build.

The Android Studio team plans to continue to support the experimental Gradle plugin. This will eventually replace the current Gradle plugin, providing additional tightly-integrated benefits to C/C++ developers such as smarter dependency management. So if you're interested in someday having the smartest possible interface between your IDE and your build system, you shouldn't ignore the experimental plugin.

CMake and ndk-build are useful alternatives to Gradle in several cases:

  • Projects that are already using CMake or ndk-build, such as legacy Eclipse ndk projects
  • Projects that are unable to assume the risk of using an experimental plugin for their C/C++ builds
  • Projects that will share a C/C++ build system across multiple platforms
  • C/C++ projects that need to use advanced features currently unavailable in experimental Gradle such as NEON support

For new projects, we recommend using CMake or experimental Gradle. For new Android projects with limited C++, we recommend trying the experimental Gradle plugin. For projects with substantial amounts of C++, or where you want the maximally stable build configuration, we recommend using a CMake build. Android Studio intends CMake to be a permanently supported solution.

While we think that there are substantial advantages to having a single build system able to handle all parts of an Android application, stabilizing the experimental plugin is not an option for us because it relies on Gradle APIs that are still a work in progress. Until the Gradle APIs are stabilized, the experimental plugin will keep changing, particularly in its Domain Specific Language, and will be strictly tied to a very specific version of Gradle itself.

Note that the the old, undocumented ndkCompile integration is deprecated. If you are using it, you need to move away from it as we'll remove it completely in the near future. We recommend migrating to gradle+cmake via our migration guide.

Migrating from Eclipse to Android Studio

We no longer support the Eclipse ADT. To get started migrating, download and install Android Studio. For most projects, migration is as simple as importing your existing Eclipse ADT projects in Android Studio with the File → New→ Import Project menu option. For more details on the migration process, check out the migration guide.

Feedback and Open Source Contributions

We're dedicated to making Android Studio the best possible integrated development environment for building Android apps, so if there are missing features or other challenges preventing you from using Android Studio, we want to hear about it [please take our survey]. You can also file bugs or feature requests directly with the team, and let us know via our Twitter or Google+ accounts.

Android Studio is an open source project, available to all at no cost. Check out our Open Source project page if you're interested in contributing or learning more.

Categories: Programming

Support Ended for Eclipse Android Developer Tools

Android Developers Blog - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 20:14

By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

With the release of Android Studio 2.2, the time has now come to say goodbye to the Eclipse Android Developer Tools. We have formally ended their support and development. There's never been a better time to switch to Android Studio and experience the improvements we've made to the Android development workflow.

Android Studio

Android Studio, the official IDE for Android, features powerful code editing with advanced code-completion and refactoring. It includes robust static analysis, bringing the intelligence of the Android engineering team to you to help you easily apply Android coding best practices, and includes simultaneous debugging in both Java and C++ to help fix any bugs that slip through. When you combine this with performance tooling, a fast, flexible build system, code templates, GitHub integration, and its high-performance, feature-rich emulator, you get a deeply Android-tailored development environment for the many form factors of the OS. It's the development environment used by 92% of the top 125 Google Play apps and games, and we're constantly innovating it to handle every Android development need.

What's New in Android Studio 2.2

Android Studio 2.2 builds on the great features from Android Studio 2.0. There are over twenty new features that improve development whether you are designing, iterating, or testing. Notable changes include:

  • Instant Run - The super-fast iteration engine now is both more reliable and available for more types of changes
  • Layout Editor - The new user interface designer that makes it easier than ever to create beautiful app experiences
  • Constraint Layout - A new flexible layout engine for building dynamic user interfaces - designed to work with the new layout editor
  • C++ Support - CMake and ndk-build are now supported alongside improved editing and debug experiences
  • APK Analyzer - Inspects APKs to help you streamline your APK and debug multi-dex issues
  • GPU Debugger (beta) - Captures a stream of OpenGL ES commands and replays them with GPU state inspection
  • Espresso Test Recorder (beta) - Records interactions with your app and outputs UI test code
Top Developers Love Android Studio

For our ADT Fans

All of your favorite ADT tools are now part of Android Studio, including DDMS, Trace Viewer, Network Monitor, and CPU Monitor. We've also improved Android Studio's accessibility, including keyboard navigation enhancements and screen reader support.

We announced that we were ending development and official support for the Android Developer Tools (ADT) in Eclipse at the end of 2015, including the Eclipse ADT plugin and Android Ant build system. With the latest updates to Studio, we've completed the transition.

Migrating to Android Studio

To get started, download and install Android Studio. For most developers, including those with C/C++ projects, migration is as simple as importing your existing Eclipse ADT projects in Android Studio with the File > New > Import Project menu option. For more details on the migration process, check out the migration guide.

Feedback and Open Source Contributions

We're dedicated to making Android Studio the best possible integrated development environment for building Android apps, so if there are missing features or other challenges preventing you from switching to Android Studio, we want to hear about it [survey] ! You can also file bugs or feature requests directly with the team, and let us know via our Twitter or Google+ accounts.

Android Studio is an open source project, available to all at no cost. Check out our Open Source project page if you're interested in contributing or learning more.

Categories: Programming

Get Ready for the Chrome Dev Summit 2016

Google Code Blog - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 19:04

Posted by Paul Kinlan, Chrome Developer Relations

Chrome Dev Summit is almost here! We'll kick off live from San Francisco at the SFJAZZ Center, at 10:00 AM PT this coming Thursday, Nov 10th. This year's summit will focus on key themes that matter to you: Progressive, to build high quality web apps; Performance, to increase user engagement; and What's Next, a look at how the Chrome team is thinking about the future of the web.

While we're putting the finishing touches on the keynote, sessions, and code labs, we wanted to provide you with some tips to get ready to experience Chrome Dev Summit, either in-person or via the livestream.

Navigate the summit with notifications

To get the most out of Chrome Dev Summit, make sure to check out the schedule and set up notificationsfor the sessions you don't want to miss. These will help you plan your schedule whether you're in person or tuning in via the livestream.

Can't join us in person?

Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here are some ways you can connect with Chrome Dev Summit in real-time:

  • Tune in to the livestream at any time throughout the 2 day summit on We will stream the keynote and all sessions over the course of the event. If you want us to send you a reminder to tune into the livestream, sign up here.
  • Subscribeto the Chrome Developers YouTube Channel to stay up to date as we'll be publishing all of the talks from the event.
  • Join the conversation and send us your web questions on Twitter that include the #ChromeDevSummit hashtag or join our Slack by signing up here and a team of onsite Googlers will do their best to track down an answer in real time for you.

We're looking forward to having you with us you for 2 days of web fun, soon!

Don't forget to join the social conversation at #ChromeDevSummit.

Categories: Programming

Live from the Firebase Dev Summit in Berlin: Firebase, six months after I/O

Google Code Blog - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 12:53

Posted by Francis Ma, Firebase Product Manager

Originally posted to the Firebase blog

Our goal with Firebase is to help developers build better apps and grow them into successful businesses. Six months ago at Google I/O, we took our well-loved backend-as-a-service (BaaS) and expanded it to 15 features to make it Google’s unified app development platform, available across iOS, Android, and the web.

We launched many new features at Google I/O, but our work didn’t stop there. Since then, we’ve learned a lot from you (750,000+ projects created on Firebase to date!) about how you’re using our platform and how we can improve it. Thanks to your feedback, today we’re launching a number of enhancements to Crash Reporting, Analytics, support for game developers and more. For more information on our announcements, tune in to the livestream video from Firebase Dev Summit in Berlin. They’re also listed here:

Improve App Quality to Deliver Better User Experiences Firebase Crash Reporting comes out of Beta and adds a new feature that helps you diagnose and reproduce app crashes.

Often the hardest part about fixing an issue is reproducing it, so we’ve added rich context to each crash to make the process simple. Firebase Crash Reporting now shows Firebase Analytics event data in the logs for each crash. This gives you clarity into the state of your app leading up to an error. Things like which screens of your app were visited are automatically logged with no instrumentation code required. Crash logs will also display any custom events and parameters you explicitly log using Firebase Analytics. Firebase Crash Reporting works for both iOS and Android apps.

Glide, a popular live video messaging app, relies on Firebase Crash Reporting to ensure user quality and release agility. “No matter how much effort you put into testing, it will never be as thorough as millions of active users in different locations, experiencing a variety of network conditions and real life situations. Firebase allows us to rapidly gain trust in our new version during phased release, as well as accelerate the process of identifying core issues and providing quick solutions.” - Roi Ginat, Founder, Glide.

Firebase Test Lab for Android supports more devices and introduces a free tier.

We want to help you deliver high-quality experiences, so testing your app before it goes into the wild is incredibly important. Firebase Test Lab allows you to easily test your app on many physical and virtual devices in the cloud, without writing a single line of test code. Beginning today, developers on the Spark service tier (which is free!) can run five tests per day on physical devices and ten tests per day on virtual devices—with no credit card setup required. We’ve also heard that you want more device options, so we’ve added 11 new popular Android device models to Test Lab, available today.

Illustration of Firebase Crash Reporting

Make Faster Data Driven Decisions with Firebase Analytics Firebase Analytics now offers live conversion collection, a new integration with Google “Data Studio”, and real-time exporting to BigQuery.

We know that your data is most actionable when you can see and process it as quickly as possible. Therefore, we’re announcing a number of features to help you maximize the potential of your analytics events:

  1. Real-time uploading of conversion events
  2. Real-time exporting to BigQuery
  3. DebugView for validation of your analytics instrumentation is currently offered in limited availability and will be made more broadly available later this year

We were happy to give you a sneak preview at the Firebase Dev Summit of a new feature we are now building, StreamView, which will offer a live, dynamic view of your analytics data as it streams in.

To further enhance your targeting options, we’ve improved the connection between Firebase Analytics and other Firebase features, such as Dynamic Links and Remote Config. For example, you can now use Dynamic Links on your Facebook business page, and we can identify Facebook as a source in Firebase Analytics reporting. Also, you can now target Remote Config changes by User Properties, in addition to Audiences.

Build Better Games using Firebase Firebase now has a Unity plugin!

Game developers are building great apps, and we want Firebase to work for you, too. We’ve built an entirely new plugin for Unity that supports Analytics, the Realtime Database, Authentication, Dynamic Links, Remote Config, Notifications and more. We've also expanded our C++ SDK with Realtime Database support.

Integrate Firebase Even Easier with Open-Sourced UI Library FirebaseUI is updated to v1.0.

FirebaseUI is a library that provides common UI elements when building apps, and it’s a quick way to integrate with Firebase. FirebaseUI 1.0 includes a drop-in UI flow for Firebase Authentication, with common identity providers such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. FirebaseUI 1.0 also added features such as client-side joins and intersections for the Realtime Database, plus integrations with Glide and SDWebImage that make downloading and displaying images from Firebase Storage a cinch. Follow our progress or contribute to our Android, iOS, and Web components on Github.

Learn More via Udacity and Join the Firebase Community

We want to provide the best tool for developers, but it’s also important that we give resources and training to help you get more out of the platform. As such, we’ve created a new Udacity course: Firebase in a Weekend! It’s an instructor-led video course to help all developers get up and running with Firebase on iOS and Android, in two days.

Finally, to help wrap your head around all our announcements, we’ve created a new demo app. This is an easy way to see how Analytics, Crash Reporting, Test Lab, Notifications, and Remote Config work in a live environment, without having to write a line of code.

Helping developers build better apps and successful businesses is at the core of Firebase. We work hard on it every day. We love hearing your feedback and ideas for new features and improvements—and we hope you can see from the length of this post that we take them to heart! Follow us on Twitter, join our Slack channel, participate in our Google Group, and let us know what you think. We’re excited to see what you’ll build next!

Categories: Programming

Building on the shoulders of giants: microservices as a redesign strategy

Xebia Blog - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 20:10
With the rise of new-IT backed companies in almost every segment; from retail to financial institutions, more traditional companies are often forced in change or perish strategies. Where the business strengths of newer competitors are often enforced by strong, serial startup developers, able to integrate the experience of previous failures into completely new stacks. Older companies’