Google Developers Blog

 

16th May 2019 |

Increasing Diversity: Cloud Study Jam for Women Techmakers in Europe

Posted by Franziska Hauck, DevRel Ecosystem Regional Lead DACH

When we look at the community landscape in programming in 2019, we find people of all backgrounds and with expertise as varied as the people themselves. There are developer groups for every imaginable interest out there. What becomes apparent, though, is that the allocation is not as equally balanced as it might be. In Europe, we observe that more programming women are in front-end development and active in the associated groups.

But what about in cloud? Recently, Global Knowledge published a ranking that showed that Google Cloud Certification is the most coveted achievement in the labor market. We knew that the interest was there. How could we capture it and get more women and diverse poeple involved? [Indeed, we had seen women succeed and in this chosen field at that. It was time to contribute to seeing more success stories coming our way.]

Immediately the Cloud Study Jam came to mind. This campaign is a self-study, highly individualized study jam for Google Developer Groups (GDGs) and other tech meetups. Organizers get access to study materials to help them prepare for their event, register it on the global map and conduct the activity with their attendees in any location they choose. Attendees receive free Qwiklabs credits to complete a number of courses of their choice. The platform even offers a complete Google Cloud environment - the best training ground for aspiring and advanced programmers!

GDGs form one pillar of our community programs. One of the other cornerstones is the Women Techmakers program with which we engage and involve organizers interested in increasing diversity worldwide. Cloud Study Jams in the local groups, with dedicated Women Techmakers, seemed like the most natural fit for us. And, as we soon realized, so thought the organizers.

For us - Almo, Abdallah and Franziska - that was the start of a great initiative and an even bigger road trip. Together with local volunteers from Google and the groups, we held 11 Cloud Study Jams all over Europe in March and April.

Over 450 attendees, 80 % of them women, learned about Cloud technologies.

This was some of their feedback:

“This made me aim for the Cloud Certificate exam as my next goal in my career!”

“I found useful everything! The labs are interesting... and I would like to have more meetups like this.”

“The labs are interesting, at least both that we did. I would like to have more meetups like this!”

As surmised, many attendees were indeed front-end developers. It was amazing to see that, with the courses, they “converted” to Cloud and are now going forward as ambassadors. We also saw quite a big number of data scientists and back-end developers. All in all, it was a great mix of enthusiastic participants.

Cloud Study Jams are a great way to engage group members by guided materials. The way they are designed makes it easy for the organizers to focus on the participants. Since attendees follow their chosen courses on their own organizers act as facilitators. They need only jump in when organizational questions arise.

If you would like to hold a Cloud Study Jam with your group or organization you will find more information here. Register your event via the link to get access to the free Qwiklabs credits for your attendees.

We are very much looking forward to supporting you!

Almo, Abdallah, Franziska & the European DevRel Ecosystem

 

15th May 2019 |

.App: bringing more people online securely

Posted by Ben Fried, VP, CIO, & Chief Domains Enthusiast

Celebrating 100 of our favorite .app websites. See the list here.

A year ago, we launched .app, the first open top-level domain (TLD) with built-in security through HSTS preloading. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have registered .app domains, and we want to take a moment to celebrate them.

People are making more websites and apps than ever before. A recent survey we conducted with The Harris Poll found that nearly half (48%) of U.S. respondents plan to create a website in the near future. And a lot of people, especially students, are already building on the web. Over a third (34%) of 16-24 year olds who’ve already created a website did so for a class project.

Having a meaningful domain name helps students turn their projects into reality. Take Ludwik Trammer, creator of shrew.app, who said: “The site started as a project for my graduate Educational Technology class at Georgia Tech. Getting the perfect domain gave me the initial push to turn it into the real deal (instead of making a prototype, publishing a scientific paper on it, and forgetting it).”

Helping creators launch their sites securely

With so many new creators, it’s essential that everyone does their part to make the internet safer. That’s why Google Registry designed .app to be secure by default, meaning every website on .app requires a HTTPS connection to ensure a secure connection to the internet.

HTTPS helps keep you and your website visitors safe from bad actors, who may exploit connections that aren’t secure by:

  • intercepting or altering the site’s content
  • misdirecting traffic
  • spying on open Wi-Fi networks
  • injecting ad malware or tracking


“As a social application, data protection is paramount. As cyber attacks increase, the security benefits a .app domain brings was a key factor for us. We also believe that a .app domain is significantly more descriptive than a .com domain, meaning users can find us more easily! All in all it was a no brainer for us switching to .app.”

-Daneh Westropp, Founder, pickle.app


There's still work to be done. One out of two people don’t know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Many major browsers (like Chrome) warn users in the URL bar when content is "not secure," but there’s every website creator still has a shared responsibility to keep their users safe.

.App is year in, and we’re happy to see so many people using it to build secure websites and connect with the world. You can read more stories from .app owners here and get your own .app name at get.app. If you’re one of the millions of people planning to build a website, we hope you’ll join us in making the internet safer and take the steps to securely launch your website.

 

14th May 2019 |

New ML Kit features easily bring Machine Learning to your apps

Posted by Brahim Elbouchikhi, Director of Product Management and Matej Pfajfar, Engineering Director

We launched ML Kit at I/O last year with the mission to simplify Machine Learning for everyone. We couldn’t be happier about the experiences that ML Kit has enabled thousands of developers to create. And more importantly, user engagement with features powered by ML Kit is growing more than 60% per month. Below is a small sample of apps we have been working with.

But there is a lot more. At I/O this year, we are excited to introduce four new features.

The Object Detection and Tracking API lets you identify the prominent object in an image and then track it in real-time. You can pair this API with a cloud solution (e.g. Google Cloud’s Product Search API) to create a real-time visual search experience.

When you pass an image or video stream to the API, it will return the coordinates of the primary object as well as a coarse classification. The API then provides a handle for tracking this object's coordinates over time.

A number of partners have built experiences that are powered by this API already. For example, Adidas built a visual search experience right into their app.

The On-device Translation API allows you to use the same offline models that support Google Translate to provide fast, dynamic translation of text in your app into 58 languages. This API operates entirely on-device so the context of the translated text never leaves the device.

You can use this API to enable users to communicate with others who don't understand their language or translate user-generated content.

To the right, we demonstrate the use of ML Kit’s text recognition, language detection, and translation APIs in one experience.

We also collaborated with the Material Design team to produce a set of design patterns for integrating ML into your apps. We are open sourcing implementations of these patterns and hope that they will further accelerate your adoption of ML Kit and AI more broadly.

Our design patterns for machine learning powered features will be available on the Material.io site.

With AutoML Vision Edge, you can easily create custom image classification models tailored to your needs. For example, you may want your app to be able to identify different types of food, or distinguish between species of animals. Whatever your need, just upload your training data to the Firebase console and you can use Google’s AutoML technology to build a custom TensorFlow Lite model for you to run locally on your user's device. And if you find that collecting training datasets is hard, you can use our open source app which makes the process simpler and more collaborative.

Wrapping up

We are excited by this first year and really hope that our progress will inspire you to get started with Machine Learning. Please head over to g.co/mlkit to learn more or visit Firebase to get started right away.

 

10th May 2019 |

Flutter and Chrome OS: Better Together

Posted by the Flutter and Chrome OS teams

Chrome OS is the fast, simple, and secure operating system that powers Chromebooks, including the Google Pixelbook and millions of devices used by consumers and students every day. The latest Flutter release adds support for building beautiful, tailored Chrome OS applications, including rich support for keyboard and mouse, and tooling to ensure that your app runs well on a Chromebook. Furthermore, Chrome OS is a great developer workstation for building general-purpose Flutter apps, thanks to its support for developing and running Flutter apps locally on the same device.

Flutter is a great way to build Chrome OS apps

Since its inception, Flutter has shared many of the same principles as Chrome OS: productive, fast, and beautiful experiences. Flutter allows developers to build beautiful, fast UIs, while also providing a high degree of developer productivity, and a completely open-source engine, framework and tools. In short, it’s the ideal modern toolkit for building multi-platform apps, including apps for Chrome OS.

Flutter initially focused on providing a UI toolkit for building apps for mobile devices, which typically feature touch input and small screens. However, we’ve been building keyboard and mouse support into Flutter since before our 1.0 release last December. And today, we’re pleased to announce that Flutter for Chrome OS is now stronger with scroll wheel support, hover management, and better keyboard event support. In addition, Flutter has always been great at allowing you to build apps that run at any size (large screen or small), with seamless resizing, as shown here in the Chrome OS Best Practices Sample:

The Chrome OS best practices sample in action

The Chrome OS best practices sample in action

The Chrome OS Hello World sample is an app built with Flutter that is optimized for Chrome OS. This includes a responsive UI to showcase how to reposition items and have layouts that respond well to changes in size from mobile to desktop.

Because Chrome OS runs Android apps, targeting Android is the way to build Chrome OS apps. However, while building Chrome OS apps on Android has always been possible, as described in these guidelines, it’s often difficult to know whether your Android app is going to run well on Chrome OS. To help with that problem, today we are adding a new set of lint rules to the Flutter tooling to catch violations of the most important of the Chrome OS best practice guidelines:

The Flutter Chrome OS lint rules in action

The Flutter Chrome OS lint rules in action

When you’re able to put these Chrome OS lint rules in place, you’ll quickly be able to see any problems in your Android app that would hamper it when running on Chrome OS. To learn how to take advantage of these rules, see the linting docs for Flutter Chrome OS.

But all of that is just the beginning -- the Flutter tools allow you to develop and test your apps directly on Chrome OS as well.

Chrome OS is a great developer platform to build Flutter apps

No matter what platform you're targeting, Flutter has support for rich IDEs and programming tools like Android Studio and Visual Studio Code. Over the last year, Chrome OS has been building support for running the Linux version of these tools with the beta of Linux on Chrome OS (aka Crostini). And, because Chrome OS also supports Android natively, you can configure the Flutter tooling to run your Android apps directly without an emulator involved.

The Flutter development tools running on Chrome OS

The Flutter development tools running on Chrome OS

All of the great productivity of Flutter is available, including Stateful Hot Reload, seamless resizing, keyboard and mouse support, and so on. Recent improvements in Crostini, such as high DPI support, Crostini file system integration, easier adb, and so on, have made this experience even better! Of course, you don’t have to test against the Android container running on Chrome OS; you can also test against Android devices attached to your Chrome OS box. In short, Chrome OS is the ideal environment in which to develop and test your Flutter apps, especially when you’re targeting Chrome OS itself.

Customers love Flutter on Chrome OS

With its unique combination of simplicity, security, and capability, Chrome OS is an increasingly popular platform for enterprise applications. These apps often work with large quantities of data, whether it’s a chart, or a graph for visualization, or lists and forms for data entry. The support in Flutter for high quality graphics, large screen layout, and input features (like text selection, tab order and mousewheel), make it an ideal way to port mobile applications for the enterprise. One purveyor of such apps is AppTree, who use Flutter and Chrome OS to solve problems for their enterprise customers.

“Creating a Chrome OS version of our app took very little effort. In 10 minutes we tweaked a few values and now our users have access to our app on a whole new class of devices. This is a huge deal for our enterprise customers who have been wanting access to our app on Desktop devices.”
--Matthew Smith, CTO, AppTree Software

By using Flutter to target Chrome OS, AppTree was able to start with their existing Flutter mobile app and easily adapt it to take advantage of the capabilities of Chrome OS.

Try Flutter on Chrome OS today!

If you’d like to target Chrome OS with Flutter, you can do so today simply by installing the latest version of Flutter. If you’d like to run the Flutter development tools on Chrome OS, you can follow these instructions to get started fast. To see a real-world app built with Flutter that has been optimized for Chrome OS, check out the the Developer Quest sample that the Flutter DevRel team launched at the 2019 Google I/O conference. And finally, don’t forget to try out the Flutter Chrome OS linting rules to make sure that your Chrome OS apps are following the most important practices.

Flutter and Chrome OS go great together. What are you going to build?

 

9th May 2019 |

Adding the Assistant to Bluetooth devices gets easier for device makers

Posted by Tomer Amarilio, Product Manager, Google Assistant

Building Google Assistant Bluetooth devices gets easier for device makers

Headphones were one of the first devices optimized for the Google Assistant. With just your voice, you can ask the Assistant to make calls to friends or skip to the next song when you’re commuting on the subway to work or biking around on the weekend without having to always glance at your phone.

But as wireless Bluetooth devices like headphones and earbuds become more popular, we need to make it easier to have the same great Assistant experience across many headsets. We collaborated with Qualcomm to design a comprehensive, customizable development kit to provide all device makers with the building blocks needed to create a smart headset with the Google Assistant. The new Qualcomm Smart Headset Development Kit for the Google Assistant is powered by Qualcomm’s QCC5100-series Bluetooth audio chip and supports Google Fast Pair to make pairing Bluetooth accessories a hassle-free process.

To inspire device makers, we also built a Qualcomm Smart Headset Reference Design which delivers high quality audio, noise cancellation capabilities, and supports extended battery life and playback time. The reference design includes a push button to activate the Assistant and is just an example of what manufacturers can engineer.

Qualcomm Smart Headset

 

7th May 2019 |

What’s new in Chrome OS? A faster, simpler, and more secure environment for Web and Android developers

Posted by Allan Livingston, Product Management Director, Chrome OS App Ecosystem

When Google launched Chrome OS nine years ago, we designed every aspect around three core principles: speed, simplicity, and security. Last year at I/O, Google put those principles at developers’ fingertips by implementing Linux support on Chrome OS. This gave developers the increased flexibility of building and running Linux apps combined with the speed and security of working within Chrome OS.

In just the last year, the Chrome OS ecosystem has grown at an incredible rate. Linux support has been rolled out to over half of all Chromebooks. Plus, all devices launched this year will be Linux-ready right out of the box. The combination of Linux and Chrome OS makes for a great web development environment — and we’re making the process even easier for Android development.

At I/O this year, we showed web and Android developers a few of the most exciting improvements that have made Chrome OS an even faster, simpler, and more secure environment than ever. Let’s get into a few of the highlights:

File sharing
Today we announced that it’s much easier to share files between Linux, Android, and Chrome OS. Now you can use the file manager to move your files safely across Chrome OS, Google Drive, Android, and Linux.

Laptop displaying file sharing drag and drop

Port forwarding
We’ve also made improvements to port forwarding on Chrome OS, making it easier to connect networking services between Linux and Chrome OS. That way, you can run a web server within the Linux container while debugging on the same machine.

Android Studio one-click installation and integrated debugging
Installing Android Studio on Chrome OS used to be a fairly lengthy process. Now, it takes a simple double-click. There’s no need to use a terminal to download, move, and unzip the file — just download it, click, and install.

Android Studio one-click installation screen on laptop

Now in beta channel with Chrome OS 75, we also enabled secure USB support for Android phones. You can develop, debug, and push your APK to Android phones on any of the Android developer-recommended Chromebooks.

Chrome OS also automatically handles common installation pain-points, like hardware compatibility and power management set-up.

A growing opportunity for Android developers

App developers have to consider a huge range of factors to deliver amazing experiences on every screen size and form factor. In just the last few years, the app experience has evolved far beyond mobile screens. People are using apps across different devices that blur the lines between mobile and desktop — from attaching keyboards to their tablets to using their smartphones to project onto a desktop screen. And no matter what device they’re using, they expect apps to deliver a seamless experience every time.

When you’re building on and for Chrome OS, you’re on a streamlined path to reaching a massive and fast-growing audience of engaged users. In just the last year, the number of monthly active users who enabled Android apps on Chrome OS has grown by 250%.1 And in Q4 2018, 21% of notebooks sold in the U.S. were Chromebooks — a 23% YoY unit sales growth.2

Quote that reads: In Q4 2018, 21% of notebooks sold in the U.S. were Chromebooks — a 23% YoY unit sales growth

Because millions of Android apps already run on Chrome OS, you can take the same APK and extend your app’s reach to even more consumers with just a few tweaks. Whether they’re building apps with larger screens in mind from the start or optimizing old apps to reach new users, developers behind some of the most popular mobile apps and games have already seen incredible results from Chromebook users.

Developer spotlight: Concepts & BandLab

As people use apps in more unpredictable and inspiring ways, devs are seeing even higher engagement after optimizing for larger screens. Watch the video below to see how Concepts created a larger, more responsive canvas for aspiring digital designers and how BandLab gave musicians a more immersive platform for exploring and composing new music.

Chrome OS: A fast and secure development environment

It’s never been easier or more secure to develop for the Web and Android on Chrome OS. Between a fast-growing user base, Progressive Web Apps, millions of Android apps, and now, Linux, the potential for developing on and for Chrome OS is only going to keep growing.

Chrome OS delivers the speed and performance app users expect, and it’s now even faster, simpler, and more secure than ever for all developers.

We can’t wait to see the amazing stuff you create with your Chromebooks!

Sources
1. Google Internal Data, March 2018 to March 2019.
2. The NPD Group, Inc., Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Notebook Computers, Chrome OS, based on units, Oct. 8, 2017–Jan. 6, 2018 vs. Oct. 7, 2018–Jan. 5, 2019.

 

7th May 2019 |

Flutter: a Portable UI Framework for Mobile, Web, Embedded, and Desktop

Posted by the Flutter Team

Today marks an important milestone for the Flutter framework, as we expand our focus from mobile to incorporate a broader set of devices and form factors. At I/O, we’re releasing our first technical preview of Flutter for web, announcing that Flutter is powering Google’s smart display platform including the Google Home Hub, and delivering our first steps towards supporting desktop-class apps with Chrome OS.

From Mobile to Multi-Platform

For a long time, the Flutter team mission has been to build the best framework for developing mobile apps for iOS and Android. We believe that mobile development is ripe for improvement, with developers today forced to choose between building the same app twice for two platforms, or making compromises to use cross-platform frameworks. Flutter hits the sweet spot of enabling a single codebase to deliver beautiful, fast, tailored experiences with high developer productivity for both platforms, and we’ve been excited to see how our early efforts have flourished into one of the most popular open source projects.

As we started to home in on our 1.0 release last year, we began experimenting with broadening the scope of Flutter to other platforms. This was triggered both by internal teams within Google who are increasingly relying on Flutter, as well as the latent potential of the Dart platform for delivering portable experiences. In particular, a small team who were already building a web framework for Dart for internal usage started an exploratory project (codename “Hummingbird”) to evaluate the technical merits of porting the Flutter engine to support the standards-based web.

The results of this project were startling, thanks in large part to the rapid progress in web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, which have pervasively delivered hardware-accelerated graphics, animation, and text as well as fast JavaScript execution. Within a few months of beginning the project, we had the core Flutter framework primitives working, and soon after we had demos running on mobile and desktop browsers. Along with Dart’s long pedigree of compiling for the web, this proved that we could also bring the Flutter framework and apps to run on the web.

In parallel, the core Flutter project has been making progress to enable desktop-class apps, with input paradigms such as keyboard and mouse, window resizing, and tooling for Chrome OS app development. The exploratory work that we did for embedding Flutter into desktop-class apps running on Windows, Mac and Linux has also graduated into the core Flutter engine.

A Portable UI Framework for All Screens

Flutter Mobile, Web, Desktop, and Embedded

It’s worth pausing for a moment to acknowledge the business potential of a high-performance, portable UI framework that can deliver beautiful, tailored experiences to such a broad variety of form factors from a single codebase.

For startups, the ability to reach users on mobile, web, or desktop through the same app lets them reach their full audience from day one, rather than having limits due to technical considerations. Especially for larger organizations, the ability to deliver the same experience to all users with one codebase reduces complexity and development cost, and lets them focus on improving the quality of that experience.

With support for mobile, desktop, and web apps, our mission expands: we want to build the best framework for developing beautiful experiences for any screen.

Flutter for Web

This week, we are releasing the first technical preview of Flutter for the web. While this technology is still in development, we are ready for early adopters to try it out and give us feedback. Our initial vision for Flutter on the web is not as a general purpose replacement for the document experiences that HTML is optimized for; instead we intend it as a great way to build highly interactive, graphically rich content, where the benefits of a sophisticated UI framework are keenly felt.

To showcase Flutter for the web, we worked with the New York Times to build a demo. In addition to world-class news coverage, the New York Times is famous for its crossword and other puzzle games. Since avid puzzlers want to play on whatever device they’re using at the time, their development team was attracted to Flutter as a potential solution for their needs. Discovering that they could reach the web with the same code was a huge boon. At Google I/O this week, you can get a sneak peek of their newly refreshed KENKEN puzzle game, which runs with the same code on Android, iOS, web, Mac, and Chrome OS.

ken-gratulations puzzle

Here’s what Eric von Coelln, Executive Director of Puzzles at the New York Times has to say about their experiences with Flutter:

"The New York Times Crossword has more than 400,000 stand-alone subscriptions and is a daily ritual for puzzle solvers. Along with the Crossword, we’ve grown our portfolio of digital puzzles that reaches more than two million solvers each month.

We were already beginning to explore Flutter as a potential solution to the challenge of quickly developing engaging, high-quality mobile experiences. Now the addition of being able to publish to web makes Flutter an even more appealing option to quickly deploy across all of our user platforms. This update of our old Flash-based KenKen game into a multi-platform playable experience is something we’re excited to bring to our solvers this year.”

There’s lots more to say about Flutter for web than we have space for here, so check out the dedicated article about Flutter for web on the Flutter blog.

At this early stage, we’re eager to get your feedback on how you’d like to use Flutter for web. We expect to rapidly evolve the code, with a particular focus on performance, and harmonizing the codebase with the rest of the Flutter project.

Flutter for Mobile Devices

The core Flutter framework also receives an upgrade this week, with the immediate availability of Flutter 1.5 in our stable channel. Flutter 1.5 includes hundreds of changes in response to developer feedback, including updates for new App Store iOS SDK requirements, updates to the iOS and Material widgets, engine support for new device types, and Dart 2.3 featuring new UI-as-code language features.

As the framework itself matures, we’re investing in building out the supporting ecosystem. The architectural model of Flutter has always prioritized a small core framework, supplemented by a rich package community. In the last few months, Google has contributed production-quality packages for web views, Google Maps, and Firebase ML Vision, and this week, we’re adding initial support for in-app payments. And with over 2,000 open source packages available for Flutter, there are options available for most scenarios.

One particularly exciting project that we’re announcing this week at I/O is the ML Kit Custom Image Classifier. Built using Flutter and Firebase, it offers an easy-to-use app-based workflow for creating custom image classification models. You can collect training data using the phone's camera, invite others to contribute to your datasets, trigger model training, and use trained models, all from the same app.

Flutter ML Kit: create datasets, collaborate to collect data, train model, run inference

Flutter continues to grow in popularity and adoption. A growing roster of demanding customers including eBay, Sonos, Square, Capital One, Alibaba and Tencent are developing apps with Flutter. And they’re having fun! Here’s what Larry McKenzie, a senior developer at eBay had to say about Flutter:

“Flutter is fast! Features that once took us multiple days to implement can be finished in a single day. Many problems we used to spend a lot of time on, simply no longer occur. Our team can now focus on creating more polished user experiences and delivering functionality. Flutter is enabling us to exceed expectations!”

More broadly, LinkedIn recently conducted a study that showed Flutter is the single fastest-growing skill among software engineers, based on site members claiming it on their profile over the last 12 months. And in the recent 2019 StackOverflow developer survey, Flutter was listed as one of the most-loved developer frameworks.

Flutter for Desktop

Flutter is also being used on the desktop. For some months, we’ve been working on the desktop as an experimental project. But now we’re graduating this into Flutter engine, integrating this work directly into the mainline repo. While these targets are not production-ready yet, we have published early instructions for developing Flutter apps to run on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Another quickly growing Flutter platform is Chrome OS, with millions of Chromebooks being sold every year, particularly in education. Chrome OS is a perfect environment for Flutter, both for running Flutter apps, and as a developer platform, since it supports execution of both Android and Linux apps. With Chrome OS, you can use Visual Studio Code or Android Studio to develop a Flutter app that you can test and run locally on the same device without an emulator. You can also publish Flutter apps for Chrome OS to the Play Store, where millions of others can benefit from your creation.

Flutter for Embedded Devices

As the final example of Flutter’s portability, we offer Flutter embedded on other devices. We recently published samples that demonstrate Flutter running directly on smaller-scale devices like Raspberry Pi, and we offer an embedding API for Flutter that allows it to be used in scenarios including home, automotive and beyond.

Perhaps one of the most pervasive embedded platforms where Flutter is already running is on the smart display operating system that powers the likes of Google Home Hub.

Within Google, some Google-built features for the Smart Display platform are powered by Flutter today. And the Assistant team is excited to continue to expand the portfolio of features built with Flutter for the Smart Display in the coming months; the goal this year is to use Flutter to drive the overall system UI.

Other Resources

We often get asked by developers how they can get started with Flutter. We are pleased today to announce a comprehensive new training course for Flutter, built by The App Brewery, authors of the highest-rated iOS training course on Udemy. Their new course has over thirty hours of content for Flutter, including videos, demos and labs, and with Google’s sponsorship, they are announcing today a time-limited discount of this course from the retail price of $199 to just $10.

Many developers are creating inspiring apps with Flutter. In the run-up to Google I/O, we ran a contest called Flutter Create to encourage developers to see what they could build with Flutter in 5KB or less of Dart code. We had over 750 unique entries from around the world, with some amazing examples that pushed what we imagine would be possible in such a small size.

Today, we’re announcing the winners, which can be found on flutter.dev/create. Congratulations to the overall winner, Zebiao Hu, who wins a fully-loaded iMac Pro worth over $10,000!

Flutter is no longer a mobile framework, but a multi-platform framework that can help you reach your users wherever they are. We can’t wait to see what you’ll build with Flutter on the web, desktop, mobile, and beyond!

 

7th May 2019 |

Actions on Google at I/O 2019: New tools for web, mobile, and smart home developers

Posted by Chris Turkstra, Director, Actions on Google

People are using the Assistant every day to get things done more easily, creating lots of opportunities for developers on this quickly growing platform. And we’ve heard from many of you that want easier ways to connect your content across the Assistant.

At I/O, we’re announcing new solutions for Actions on Google that were built specifically with you in mind. Whether you build for web, mobile, or smart home, these new tools will help make your content and services available to people who want to use their voice to get things done.

Enhance your presence in Search and the Assistant

Help people with their “how to” questions

Every day, people turn to the internet to ask “how to” questions, like how to tie a tie, how to fix a faucet, or how to install a dog door. At I/O, we’re introducing support for How-to markup that lets you power richer and more helpful results in Search and the Assistant.

Adding How-to markup to your pages will enable the page to appear as a rich result on mobile Search and on Google Assistant Smart Displays. This is an incredibly lightweight way for web developers and creators to connect with millions of people, giving them helpful step-by-step instructions with video, images and text. You can start seeing How-to markup results on Search today, and your content will become available on the Smart Displays in the coming months.

Here’s an example where DIY Network added markup to their existing content on the web to provide a more helpful, interactive result on both Google Search and the Assistant:

Mobile Search screenshot showing how to install a dog door How-to Markup of how to install a dog door

For content creators that don’t maintain a website, we created a How-to Video Template where video creators can upload a simple spreadsheet with titles, text and timestamps for their YouTube video, and we’ll handle the rest. This is a simple way to transform your existing how-to videos into interactive, step-by-step tutorials across Google Assistant Smart Displays and Android phones.

Check out how REI is getting extra mileage out of their YouTube video:

Laptop to Home Hub displaying How To Template for the REI compass

How-to Video Templates are in developer preview so you can start building today, and your content will become available on Android phones and Smart Displays in the coming months.

Easier engagement with your apps

Help people quickly get things done with App Actions

If you’re an app developer, people are turning to your apps every day to get things done. And we see people turn to the Assistant every day for a natural way to ask for help via voice. This offers an opportunity to use intents to create voice-based entry points from the Assistant to the right spot in your app.

Last year, we previewed App Actions, a simple mechanism for Android developers that uses intents from the Assistant to deep link to exactly the right spot in your app. At I/O, we are announcing the release of built-in intents for four new App Action categories: Health & Fitness, Finance and Banking, Ridesharing, and Food Ordering. Using these intents, you can integrate with the Assistant in no time.

If I wanted to track my run with Nike Run Club, I could just say “Hey Google, start my run in Nike Run Club” and the app will automatically start tracking my run. Or, let’s say I just finished dinner with my friend Chad and we're splitting the check. I can say "Hey Google, send $15 to Chad on PayPal" and the Assistant takes me right into Paypal, I log in, and all of my information is filled in – all I need to do is hit send.

Google Pixel showing App Actions Nike Run Club

Each of these integrations were completed in less than a day with the addition of an Actions.xml file that handles the mapping of intents between your app and the Actions platform. You can start building with these new intents today and deploy to Assistant users on Android in the coming months. This is a huge opportunity to offer your fans an effortless way to engage more frequently with your apps.

Build for devices in the home

Take advantage of Smart Displays’ interactive screens

Last year, we saw the introduction of the Smart Display as a new device category. The interactive visual surface opens up many new possibilities for developers.

Today, we’re introducing a developer preview of Interactive Canvas which lets you create full-screen experiences that combine the power of voice, visuals and touch. Canvas works across Smart Displays and Android phones, and it uses open web technologies you’re likely already familiar with, like HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Here’s an example of what you can build when you can leverage the full screen of a Smart Display:

Full screen of a Smart Display

Interactive Canvas is available for building games starting today, and we’ll be adding more categories soon. Visit the Actions Console to be one of the first to try it out.

Enable smart home devices to communicate locally

There are now more than 30,000 connected devices that work with the Assistant across 3,500 brands, and today, we’re excited to announce a new suite of local technologies that are specifically designed to create an even better smart home.

Introducing a preview of the Local Home SDK which enables you to run your smart home code locally on Google Home Speakers and Nest Displays and use its radios to communicate locally with your smart devices. This reduces cloud hops and brings a new level of speed and reliability to the smart home. We’ve been working with some amazing partners including Philips, Wemo, TP-Link, and LIFX on testing this SDK and we’re excited to open it up for all developers next month.

Flowchart of Local Home SDK

Make setup more seamless

And, through the Local Home SDK, we’re improving the device setup experience by providing users with a seamless setup experience, something we launched in partnership with GE smart lights this past October. So far, people have loved the ability to set up their lights in less than a minute in the Google Home app. We’re now scaling this to more partners, so go here if you’re interested.

Make your devices smart with Assistant Connect

Also, at CES earlier this year we previewed Google Assistant Connect which leverages the Local Home SDK. Assistant Connect enables smart home and appliance developers to easily add Assistant functionality into their devices at low cost. It does this by offloading a lot of work onto the Assistant to complete Actions, display content and respond to commands. We've been hard at work developing the platform along with the first products built on it by Anker, Leviton and Tile. We can't wait to show you more about Assistant Connect later this year.

New device types and traits

For those of you creating Actions for the smart home, we’re also releasing 16 new device types and three new device traits including LockUnlock, ArmDisarm, and Timer. Head over to our developer documentation for the full list of 38 device types and 18 device traits, and check out our sample project on GitHub to start building.

Get started with our new tools for all types of developers

Whether you’re looking to extend the reach of your content, drive more usage in your apps, or build custom Assistant-powered experiences, you now have more tools to do so.

If you want to learn more about how you can start building with these tools, check out our website to get started and our schedule so you can tune in to all of our developer talks that we’ll be hosting throughout the week.

We can’t wait to build together with you!

 

7th May 2019 |

Updates to ARCore Help You Build More Interactive & Realistic AR Experiences

Posted by Anuj Gosalia

A little over a year ago, we introduced ARCore: a platform for building augmented reality (AR) experiences. Developers have been using it to create thousands of ARCore apps that help people with everything from fixing their dishwashers, to shopping for sunglasses, to mapping the night sky. Since last I/O, we've quadrupled the number of ARCore enabled devices to an estimated 400 million.

Today, at I/O we introduced updates to Augmented Images and Light Estimation - features that let you build more interactive, and realistic experiences. And to make it easier for people to experience AR, we introduced Scene Viewer, a new tool which lets users view 3D objects in AR right from your website.

Augmented Images

To make experiences appear realistic, we need to account for the fact that things in the real world don’t always stay still. That’s why we’re updating Augmented Images — our API that lets people point their camera at 2D images, like posters or packaging, to bring them to life. The updates enable you to track moving images and multiple images simultaneously. This unlocks the ability to create dynamic and interactive experiences like animated playing cards where multiple images move at the same time.

Letter cards overlaid with an example of how Augmented Images API can be used with moving targets

An example of how the Augmented Images API can be used with moving targets by JD.com

Light Estimation

Last year, we introduced the concept of light estimation, which provides a single ambient light intensity to extend real world lighting into a digital scene. In order to provide even more realistic lighting, we’ve added a new mode, Environmental HDR, to our Light Estimation API.

two mannequins with varying light

Before and after Environmental HDR is applied to the digital mannequin on the left, featuring 3D printed designs from Julia Koerner

Environmental HDR uses machine learning with a single camera frame to understand high dynamic range illumination in 360°. It takes in available light data, and extends the light into a scene with accurate shadows, highlights, reflections and more. When Environmental HDR is activated, digital objects are lit just like physical objects, so the two blend seamlessly, even when light sources are moving.

two mannequins with light diffusing from left to right

Digital mannequin on left and physical mannequin on right

Environmental HDR provides developers with three APIs to replicate real world lighting:

  • Main Directional Light: helps with placing shadows in the right direction
  • Ambient Spherical Harmonics: helps model ambient illumination from all directions
  • HDR Cubemap: provides specular highlights and reflections
Rockets showing lighting changes: Main directional light plus ambient spherical harmonics plus HTF cubemap equals environmental HDR

Scene Viewer

We want to make it easier for people to jump into AR, so today we’re introducing Scene Viewer, so that AR experience can be launched right from your website without having to download a separate app.

To make your assets accessible via Scene Viewer, first add a glTF 3D asset to your website with the <model-viewer> web component, and then add the “ar” attribute to the <model-viewer> markup. Later this year, experiences in Scene Viewer will begin to surface in your Search results.

<script type="module" src="https://unpkg.com/@google/model-viewer/dist/model-viewer.js"></script>
<script nomodule src="https://unpkg.com/@google/model-viewer/dist/model-viewer-legacy.js"></script>

<model-viewer ar src="examples/assets/YOURMODEL.gltf"
auto-rotate camera-controls alt="TEXT ABOUT YOUR MODEL" background-color="#455A64"></model-viewer>
Mobile example of NASA.gov Curiosity Rover in use

NASA.gov enables users to view the Curiosity Rover in their space

These are a few ways that improving real world understanding in ARCore can make AR experiences more interactive, realistic, and easier to access. Look for these features to roll out over the next two releases. To learn more and get started, check out the ARCore developer website.

 

7th May 2019 |

All you need to know about Google Pay if you’re a developer
Posted by Jose Ugia, Developer Programs Engineer

Google Pay is designed to make transactions simple from contactless payments to online purchases and even peer-to-peer payments. It also allows users to store tickets and passes, manage loyalty cards and keep track of transactions. With Google Pay, users can pay with all credit and debit cards saved to their Google Account, making hundreds of millions of cards enabled for faster checkout in your apps or websites. This includes payments for goods and services on e-commerce merchants, online marketplaces and Android apps.

When you integrate the Google Pay API into your app or site, your customers can then transact using any of those cards in as few as two clicks.

Ways to pay with Google Pay

When users use their NFC-enabled mobile device or smart watch to pay in places such as supermarkets, restaurants or shops, the card selected is emulated from the device using a secure number that changes on every transaction. Only the bank or card issuer can decrypt this number to process the transaction. The process of securing your card details is called tokenization. Only cards from supported banks can be tokenized, and this is a necessary step to pay contactless using Google Pay.

Users can pay in-stores using NFC-enabled devices with forms of payment that support tokenization.

In contrast, when users pay in your app or on your site through Google Pay, they can select any card saved to their Google Account, including tokenized cards. This enables users to pay on any device in your sites and apps globally.

Users paying online can use any card saved under their Google account(s).

All forms of payments are stored in the user's Google account and protected by multiple layers of security. This includes payment methods that users have already saved to pay for services like YouTube, Google Play or to speed up checkout forms using Chrome Autofill.

Why add Google Pay to your app or site?

You can integrate Google Pay's online APIs to increase conversions by providing a more convenient, more secure and faster way to pay to your users. Some of the benefits include:

  • Simplify the checkout experience so users don’t have to remember their payment details, making the checkout process faster and reducing the percentage of abandonments.
  • Increase security by encrypting users’ choice of payment before it is sent back to your app. You can also use it to charge orders directly from your servers or payment processor.
  • Enable payments on multiple surfaces to provide more flexibility to your users. This also allows you to easily enable payments on other Google surfaces like the Google Assistant.
  • Increase conversions for new users by reducing friction for those who do not have an account on your app or site. The APIs support returning information like billing and shipping addresses in addition to forms of payment if needed to process an order.

Integrating Google Pay

Adding Google Pay to your site or application is just a few lines of code away. There are tutorials on how to integrate Google Pay in your website or Android app and step-by-step guided codelabs for Web and Android. Here is a more visual tutorial:

To get started, use this integration checklist (Android | Web) to make sure you have everything you need to complete the integration. When you’re ready to go live with your integration, request production access and follow the final steps to deploy your app (Android | Web) in a production environment.

Google Pay and the Payment Request API

The Payment Request API is a Web Payments W3C standard that provides a native browser experience for collecting payment information from the user. You can accept Google Pay via PaymentRequest directly, however this may not be available across browsers.

To enable Google Pay for your users across all major browsers with a single implementation, we recommend using the Google Pay JavaScript library as described above. This enables a native Payment Request experience on Chrome, while giving you the flexibility of supporting Google users on other browsers.

The payments sheet is presented natively when triggered from a browser with support for Payment Handler API (on the right), while it falls back to showing a pop-up on browsers that don’t.

As users’ needs evolve, we continue to add features and forms of payment to the Google Pay API –like the recent addition of PayPal– so you can get access to these new payment methods in your app or site without any additional development work.

Tune in to Google Pay at Google I/O 2019

Don’t miss Google Pay sessions at Google I/O this year to learn about the latest features we are bringing to Google Pay. Bookmark our sessions and check back for livestream details–we look forward to seeing you this week.

 

26th April 2019 |

The official Google I/O 2019 app is live
Posted by the Google I/O Team

We’re looking forward to seeing you at I/O! To help you prepare, we’re letting you know that the official Google I/O app is live on Android! iOS will arrive later this week.

Schedule on Android (left) and home page on iOS (right)

Browse conference content

With this year’s app you can browse through the incredible content we have planned for I/O’19. Customize your schedule by favoriting sessions, which will be synced between all of your devices and the I/O website so you can check it anywhere, anytime. Attendees are also able to reserve spots in sessions, office hours, app reviews, and game reviews directly in the app.

New this year: Add individual events to your personal calendar to receive notifications before events are about to begin! Also new: Search through content by sessions, topics, and speakers.

Make I/O your home

Shoreline Amphitheatre will be your home May 7-9. Use the app to keep track of key moments with the agenda and find your way through I/O with the conference map.

New this year: Use the home page to view key conference moments, upcoming events, and receive important announcements. Also new: Explore I/O is a new feature that uses your camera to help you see where to go in augmented reality. To discover events, food, bathrooms, and more around you, scan the I/O maps at Shoreline.

Ask questions now to get them answered at I/O - Q&A Closes April 25th, 11:59PM PST

This year, we’ve created Q&A forms to collect your pre-I/O questions to help direct session content at I/O. Simply sign in to the I/O website or app, click on any session, then click the ‘Q&A’ link and use the ‘+’ icon to submit your questions. Visit Q&A Help to learn more.

Get the #io19 app here!

For 2019, we've partnered with Aira to help I/O attendees who are blind or low vision navigate the event. Aira provides free assistance to I/O attendees from trained professional agents. Download the Aira app on Android or iOS to get assistance while onsite.

We look forward to seeing you very soon!

 

24th April 2019 |

👋 Hello, World! 👋 | A New Home For Developers On Instagram

Posted by Justin Juul, Social Media Manager

It’s all happening!

We’re excited to announce the official launch of @googledevs, a new hub for developer culture where we’ll shine a spotlight on communities around the world and make new friends at events like Google I/O, The Android Dev Summit, Flutter Live, and more.

Follow us now to stay in tune with developers, designers, thought leaders, and other amazing people like yourself.

And don’t forget to say hi if you see us out in the wild. You might just wind up on our Instagram story.

Follow us here → www.instagram.com/googledevs

See you soon!

 

17th April 2019 |

Indie Games Accelerator - Applications open for class of 2019

Posted by Anuj Gulati, Developer Marketing Manager and Sami Kizilbash, Developer Relations Program Manager

Last year we announced the Indie Games Accelerator, a special edition of Launchpad Accelerator, to help top indie game developers from emerging markets achieve their full potential on Google Play. Our team of program mentors had an amazing time coaching some of the best gaming talent from India, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia. We’re very encouraged by the positive feedback we received for the program and are excited to bring it back in 2019.

Applications for the class of 2019 are now open, and we’re happy to announce that we are expanding the program to developers from select countries* in Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Successful participants will be invited to attend two gaming bootcamps, all-expenses-paid at the Google Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, where they will receive personalized mentorship from Google teams and industry experts. Additional benefits include Google hardware, invites to exclusive Google and industry events and more.

Find out more about the program and apply to be a part of it.

* The competition is open to developers from the following countries: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

How useful did you find this blog post?

 

13th May 2019 |

Check out the Google Assistant talks at I/O 2019

Posted by Mary Chen, Strategy Lead, Actions on Google

This year at Google I/O, the Actions on Google team is sharing new ways developers of all types can use the Assistant to help users get things done. Whether you’re making Android apps, websites, web content, Actions, or IoT devices, you’ll see how the Assistant can help you engage with users in natural and conversational ways.

Tune in to our announcements during the developer keynote, and then dive deeper with our technical talks. We listed the talks out below by area of interest. Make sure to bookmark them and reserve your seat if you’re attending live, or check back for livestream details if you’re joining us online.


For anyone new to building for the Google Assistant


For Android app developers


For webmasters, web developers, and content creators


For smart home developers


For developers building custom Actions


For insight and beyond


In addition to these sessions, stay tuned for interactive demos and codelabs that you can try at I/O and at home. Follow @ActionsOnGoogle for updates and highlights before, during, and after the festivities.

See you soon!

 

15th April 2019 |

Advance your career with the Google Africa Certifications Scholarships

Posted by William Florance, Global Head, Developer Training Programs

Building upon our pledge to provide mobile developer training to 100,000 Africans to develop world class apps, today we are pleased to announce the next round of Google Africa Certification Scholarships aimed at helping developers become certified on Google’s Android, Web, and Cloud technologies.

This year, we are offering 30,000 additional scholarship opportunities and 1,000 grants for the Google Associate Android Developer, Mobile Web Specialist, and Associate Cloud Engineer certifications. The scholarship program will be delivered by our partners, Pluralsight and Andela, through an intensive learning curriculum designed to prepare motivated learners for entry-level and intermediate roles as software developers. Interested students in Africa can learn more about the Google Africa Certifications Scholarships and apply here

According to World Bank, Africa is on track to have the largest working-age population (1.1 billion) by 2034. Today’s announcement marks a transition from inspiring new developers to preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow. Google’s developer certifications are performance-based. They are developed around a job-task analysis which test learners for skills that employers expect developers to have.

As announced during Sundar Pichai - Google CEO’s visit to Nigeria in 2017, our continued initiatives focused on digital skills training, education and economic opportunity, and support for African developers and startups, demonstrate our commitment to help advance a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. By providing support for training and certifications we will help bridge the unemployment gap on the continent through increasing the number of employable software developers.

Although Google’s developer certifications are relatively new, we have already seen evidence that becoming certified can make a meaningful difference to developers and employers. Adaobi Frank - a graduate of the Associate Android Developer certification - got a better job that paid ten times more than her previous salary after completing her certification. Her interview was expedited as her employer was convinced that she was great for the role after she mentioned that she was certified. Now, she's got a job that helps provide for her family - see her video here. Through our efforts this year, we want to help many more developers like Ada and support the growth of startups and technology companies throughout Africa.

Follow this link to learn more about the scholarships and apply.

 

11th April 2019 |

Updates from Coral: A new compiler and much more

Posted by Vikram Tank (Product Manager), Coral Team

Coral has been public for about a month now, and we’ve heard some great feedback about our products. As we evolve the Coral platform, we’re making our products easier to use and exposing more powerful tools for building devices with on-device AI.

Today, we're updating the Edge TPU model compiler to remove the restrictions around specific architectures, allowing you to submit any model architecture that you want. This greatly increases the variety of models that you can run on the Coral platform. Just be sure to review the TensorFlow ops supported on Edge TPU and model design requirements to take full advantage of the Edge TPU at runtime.

We're also releasing a new version of Mendel OS (3.0 Chef) for the Dev Board with a new board management tool called Mendel Development Tool (MDT).

To help with the developer workflow, our new C++ API works with the TensorFlow Lite C++ API so you can execute inferences on an Edge TPU. In addition, both the Python and C++ APIs now allow you to run multiple models in parallel, using multiple Edge TPU devices.

In addition to these updates, we’re adding new capabilities to Coral with the release of the Environmental Sensor Board. It’s an accessory board for the Coral Dev Platform (and Raspberry Pi) that brings sensor input to your models. It has integrated light, temperature, humidity, and barometric sensors, and the ability to add more sensors via it's four Grove connectors. The secure element on-board also allows for easy communication with the Google Cloud IOT Core.

The team has also been working with partners to help them evaluate whether Coral is the right fit for their products. We’re excited that Oivi has chosen us to be the base platform of their new handheld AI-camera. This product will help prevent blindness among diabetes patients by providing early, automated detection of diabetic retinopathy. Anders Eikenes, CEO of Oivi, says “Oivi is dedicated towards providing patient-centric eye care for everyone - including emerging markets. We were honoured to be selected by Google to participate in their Coral alpha program, and are looking forward to our continued cooperation. The Coral platform gives us the ability to run our screening ML models inside a handheld device; greatly expanding the access and ease of diabetic retinopathy screening.”

Finally, we’re expanding our distributor network to make it easier to get Coral boards into your hands around the world. This month, Seeed and NXP will begin to sell Coral products, in addition to Mouser.

We're excited to keep evolving the Coral platform, please keep sending us feedback at coral-support@google.com.

You can see the full release notes on Coral site.

 

18th April 2019 |

Empowering Women Techmakers Around the World Through Localization

Posted by Marisa Pareti, on behalf of Women Techmakers

Women Techmakers creates visibility, community and resources for women in technology by hosting events, offering free training and piloting new initiatives with different groups and partners around the world. Earlier this year, we launched Women Techmakers in 60 Seconds, a YouTube series where we explain advanced technical topics in one minute or less.

Today, we’re excited to announce our partnership with our Google Developer Studio Localization team to expand the accessibility and reach of our content. Together, our teams will work to create a diverse user experience by reducing language and cultural barriers. Localization goes beyond translation. While references in the US might not be popular concepts in other countries, our passionate partners ensure they sound natural to people around the world.

We’re proud to produce a series that reaches, inspires, and educates the Google Developer Community all over the world. Every other Wednesday, we’ll publish a new episode discussing topics like APIs, Virtual Machines, and more. In the comments below the video, we’ll include additional resources for you to explore if you want a deeper dive into the video’s theme. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved with Women Techmakers, check out our website and sign up to become a member.

 

20th March 2019 |

Update on the Google Groups Settings API

Posted by Zerzar Bukhari, Product Manager, G Suite

In February 2019, we announced upcoming changes to the Google Groups Settings API. Based on your feedback, we're making improvements to the Groups API to make it easier for you to assess the impact and take action. For the full list of changes, see this help center article.

When will API changes take effect?

The new features will be available starting March 25, 2019. It may take up to 72 hours for the features to rollout to everyone

What's changing?

  • Property 'membersCanPostAsTheGroup' will not be merged into 'whoCanModerateContent'
  • Property 'messageModerationLevel' will continue to support MODERATE_NEW_MEMBERS (it will not be deprecated)
  • New property 'customRoleUsedInMergedSetting'
    • This will indicate if a group uses custom roles in one of the merged settings. If a group uses a custom role, review the permissions in the Groups interface. The Groups API doesn't support custom roles and may report incorrect values for permissions.
  • New properties representing all to-be-merged settings, as well as the new settings, will be added
  • New property 'whoCanDiscoverGroup' to indicate the upcoming behavior for 'showInGroupDirectory'

For complete detail on Groups Settings API behavior changes, please reference this table.

 

17th March 2019 |

This is the Future of Finance

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Head of Launchpad

Launchpad's mission is to accelerate innovation and to help startups build world-class technologies by leveraging the best of Google - its people, network, research, and technology.

In September 2018, the Launchpad team welcomed ten of the world's leading FinTech startups to join their accelerator program, helping them fast-track their application of advanced technology. Today, March 15th, we will see this cohort graduate from the program at the Launchpad team's inaugural event - The Future of Finance - a global discussion on the impact of applied ML/AI on the finance industry. These startups are ensuring that everyone has relevant insights at their fingertips and that all people, no matter where they are, have access to equitable money, banking, loans, and marketplaces.

Tune into the event from wherever you are via the livestream link

The Graduating Class of Launchpad FinTech Accelerator San Francisco'19

  • Alchemy (USA), bridging blockchain and the real world
  • Axinan (Singapore), providing smart insurance for the digital economy
  • Aye Finance (India), transforming financing in India
  • Celo (USA), increasing financial inclusion through a mobile-first cryptocurrency
  • Frontier Car Group (Germany), investing in the transformation of used-car marketplaces
  • GO-JEK (Indonesia), improving the welfare and livelihoods of informal sectors
  • GuiaBolso (Brazil), improving the financial lives of Brazilians
  • JUMO (South Africa), creating a transparent, fair money marketplace for mobile users to access loans
  • m.Paani (India), (em)powering local retailers and the next billion users in India
  • Starling Bank (UK), improving financial health with a 100% mobile-only bank

Since joining the accelerator, these startups have made great strides and are going from strength to strength. Some recent announcements from this cohort include:

  • JUMO continue to make huge steps forward including more first time banking customers as a result of improvements in predictive capabilities.
  • The team at Aye Finance have just closed $30m in Series D equity round.
  • Starling Bank has provided 150 new jobs in Southampton and have received a £100m grant from a fund aimed at increasing competition and innovation in the British banking sector, and also a £75m fundraise.
  • GuiaBolso ran a campaign to pay the bills of some its users (the beginning of the year in Brazil is a time of high expenses and debts) and is having a significant impact on credit with 80% of cases seeing interest rates on loans being cheaper than traditional banks.

We look forward to following the success of all our participating founders as they continue to make a significant impact on the global economy.

Want to know more about the Launchpad Accelerator? Visit our site, stay updated on developments and future opportunities by subscribing to the Google Developers newsletter and visit The Launchpad Blog.

 

11th March 2019 |

Launchpad Accelerator announces startup selections in Africa, Brazil, and India

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Founder of Launchpad Accelerator

For the past six years, Launchpad has connected startups from around the world with the best of Google - its people, network, methodologies, and technologies. We have worked with market leaders in over 40 countries across 6 regional programs (San Francisco, Brazil, Africa, Israel, India, and Tokyo). Launchpad also includes a new program in Mexico announced earlier this year, along with our Indie Games Accelerator and Google.org AI for Social Good Accelerator programs.

We are pleased to announce that the next cohort of startups has been selected for our upcoming programs in Africa, Brazil, and India. We reviewed over 1,000 applications for these programs, and were thoroughly impressed with the quality of startups that indicated their interest. The startups chosen represent those using technology to create a positive impact on key industries in their region and we look forward to supporting them and connecting them with startup ecosystems around the world.

In Africa, we have selected 12 startups from 6 African countries for our 3rd class in this region:

  • 54Gene (Nigeria) - Improving drug discovery by researching the genetically diverse African population
  • Data Integrated Limited (Kenya) - Automating and digitizing SME payments, connecting the street to high finance.
  • Instadiet.me (Egypt) - Connecting patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight online.
  • Kwara (Kenya) - Providing a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem.
  • OkHi (Kenya) - A physical addressing platform for emerging markets - on a mission to enable the billions without a physical address to "be included."
  • PAPS (Senegal) - Logistics startup focused on last mile delivery and domestic market, with strong client care orientation, allowing live tracking, intelligent adresses system and automatic dispatch.
  • ScholarX (Nigeria) - Connecting high potential students with funding opportunities to help them access an education
  • Swipe2pay (Uganda) - A web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for SMEs by making it easy for them to accept mobile as a mode of payment.
  • Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya) - Turning a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors, and clinical information to come up with a diagnostic report.
  • Voyc.ai (South Africa) - A CX Research Platform that helps companies understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, profiles, and customer journey maps.
  • WellaHealth (Nigeria) - A pharmacy marketplace for affordable, high-quality disease care driven by artificial intelligence starting with malaria.
  • Zelda Learning (South Africa) - Providing free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and linking them to funding and study opportunities.

In India, for our 2nd class, we are focused on seed to growth-stage startups that operate across a number of sectors using ML and AI to solve for India-specific problems:

  • Opentalk Pte Ltd - an app that connects people around the world to become better speakers and make new friends.
  • THB - Helping healthcare providers drive full potential value from their clinical data
  • Perceptiviti Data Solutions - An AI platform for Insurance claim Ffagging, payment integrity, fraud, and abuse management
  • DheeYantra - Cognitive conversational AI for Indian vernacular languages
  • Kaleidofin - Customized financial solutions that combine multiple financial products such as savings, credit, and insurance in intuitive ways to help customers achieve their financial goals.
  • FinancePeer - A P2P lending company that connects lenders with borrowers online.
  • SmartCoin - A go-to app for providing credit access to the vastly underserved lower- and middle-income segments through advanced AI/ML models.
  • HRBOT - Using AI and Video Analytics to find employable candidates in tier 2 & 3 cities remotely.
  • Savera.ai - Remotely mapping roofs to reflect the attractiveness of a solar power plant for your roof, followed by chatbot based support to help you learn about solar (savings, RoI, reviews etc.) and connections to local service providers.
  • Adiuvo Diagnostics - Rapid wound infection assessment and management device.

In Brazil, we have chosen startups that are applying ML in interesting ways and are solving for local challenges.

  • Accountfy - SaaS platform focused on FP&A tools. Users upload trial balances and financial statements are easily built through accounting figures. harts, alerts, reports and budgets can be created too.
  • Agilize - An online accounting firm that provides annual savings of $1,500, predictability, and transparency to small-sized business through a friendly platform and massive automation.
  • Blu365 - An innovative, data-driven, customer-centric debt negotiation platform that has been transforming positively the relationship between companies and customers .
  • Estante Mágica - Estante Mágica is a free platform that, in partnership with schools, turn students into real authors, making children protagonists of their own stories.
  • Gesto - GESTO is a health tech consulting firm that uses data science to intelligently manage health insurance.
  • Rebel -A data, tech, and analytics-driven platform whose mission is to lead the transformation of the financial services market in Brazil by empowering consumers.
  • SmarttBot - Empowering individuals with the best automated investment tools in order to give them edge against bigger investors and financial institutions and improve their chances of making money.
  • Social Miner - A technology able to predict if an e-commerce visitor will buy or not and create experiences based on the consumer journey phases.

Applications are still open for Launchpad Accelerator Mexico - if you are a LATAM-based startup using technology to solve big challenges for that region, please apply to the program here.

As with all of our previous regional classes, these startups will benefit from customized programs, access to partners and mentors on the ground, and Google's support and dedication to their success.


Stay updated on developments and future opportunities by subscribing to the Google Developers newsletter, as well as The Launchpad Blog.