Monthly:November 2018

A new look for Google Translate on the web

It’s been twelve years since the launch of Google Translate, and since then Translate has evolved to keep up with the ways people use it. Initially translating between English and Arabic only, we now translate 30 trillion sentences per year across 103 languages.

Google Translate has become an essential tool for communicating across languages, and we recently redesigned the Translate website to make it easier to use. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The site’s new look is now consistent with other Google products, and updated labeling and typography make it easier to navigate. For instance, you’ve always been able to upload documents for translation, but now that feature is easier to find. 
  • Now it’s even more convenient to save and organize important translations you regularly utilize or search for. We’ve added labels to each saved translation, so if you speak multiple languages, you can sort and group your translations with a single click.
  • We’ve made the website responsive so it can adjust dynamically for your screen size. So when we launch new features, you get a great web experience across all your devices: mobile, tablet, or desktop. 
translate web redesign gif

The new responsive website adjusts dynamically to your screen size.

To check out the new site, visit

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Breaking ground for Google’s first data center in Denmark

Whenever Google looks for a new place to build a data center, it’s important that the location has high-quality digital infrastructure and supports renewable energy production. Denmark has both of these things and much more—which is why we’re investing 600 million euro to build a new data center just outside Fredericia, in western Denmark.

You might be wondering: What exactly is a data center? Data centers are the heart of Google—they’re the home for a large group of servers that power our products like Search, Gmail and YouTube. When you use search or watch videos, servers in data centers around the world are working in the background, doing the heavy lifting. They keep data and information like your emails and photos safe; when you hear about “the cloud,” the data stored in the cloud is actually stored inside a data center.

To make sure that we’re continuing to make space for the infrastructure that powers our products, new data centers like the one in Fredericia are crucial. In Fredericia, we’ve found a great business community and a location with existing infrastructure that fits what we’re looking for when we set out to build an efficient, modern data center.

In Fredericia, Google is committed to matching its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy. This commitment includes the electricity use of our data centers, too. We’re pursuing new investment opportunities (called Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs) in Danish renewable energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy. In Europe, Google data centers typically use one third less energy than a typical data center, yet we’re still striving to use even less. The Fredericia data center will be among the most energy efficient data centers in Denmark to date, taking advantage of advanced machine learning to make sure every watt of electricity counts.

A new data center also leads to new job creation. Consultancy firm Copenhagen Economics (CE) has forecasted the impact the Fredericia data center will have on the local economy: according to CE, the construction will support 1,450 jobs per year in 2018-2021. Once operational, around 150-250 people are expected to be employed at the site in a range of roles—including computer technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, catering and security staff. And, given increased economic activity expected in the area, there’s also an effect on job sectors like retail trade, hotels and transportation.

At Google, we aim to support the communities that surround our facilities, and in the last few years we’ve invested almost 3.4 million euro in grants to initiatives that build the local skills base—like curriculum and coding programs, as well as educational support through teaching collaborations at area colleges. We’ll also introduce initiatives like these in Fredericia.

With construction work expected to run through 2021, Fredericia will be Google’s fifth data center in Europe, joining our other sites in Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium. We’ll look to continue investing in Europe, leading the way with green projects and building ties with the local community.

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Scaling Streams with Google

Were excited to announce that the team behind Streams our mobile app that supports doctors and nurses to deliver faster, better care to patientswill be joining Google.Its been a phenomenal journey to see Streams go from initial idea to live deployment, and to hear how its helped change the lives of patients and the nurses and doctors who treat them. The arrival of world-leading health expert Dr. David Feinberg at Google will accelerate these efforts, helping to make a difference to the lives of millions of patients around the world.This is a major milestone for DeepMind! One of the reasons for joining forces with Google in 2014 was the opportunity to use Googles scale and experience in building billion-user products to bring our breakthroughs more rapidly to the wider world. Its been amazing to put this into practice in data centre efficiency, Android battery life, text-to-speech applications, and now the work of our Streams team.Over the past three years weve built a team of experts in what it takes to deploy clinical tools in practice – engineers, clinicians, translational researchers and more.Read More

The quest for friction-free products: World Usability Day

World Usability Day is a one-day, global celebration that brings together design professionals, developers and product creators to humanize products and advocate for making them easier to use. This year, Google is celebrating with an extra emphasis on Digital Wellbeing.

Teams across Google have been working to make products more respectful of people’s time and attention. We are learning how to help people have better relationships with the technology in their lives, and now we’re sharing that information with you.

Developers from Jordan discussing their app design

Developers from Jordan discuss app design. 

For World Usability Day, 40 Google designers and local experts will speak at select DevFest events in nearly 20 countries throughout the month of November, sharing knowledge about Digital Wellbeing, design sprints, visual design, interaction design, front-end development, user research and more. We hope to help designers, engineers and technology professionals create beautiful, simple and delightful user experiences that put people first.

Let us know how you’re celebrating World Usability Day by tweeting at @GoogleDesign with #GWUD2018.

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Creating asynchronous bot requests in Hangouts Chat

Hangouts Chat bots can do many things, including providing alerts or notifications—messages that are not dependent on users initiating the conversation. In our previous DevByte, we explained the Hangouts Chat bot framework, as well as how to build a bot that responds synchronously to a user message. Today, we walk you through how to build a bot that uses asynchronous requests to notify a user.

An asynchronous request is where a bot acts based on information from another application. This enables an internal service to message you when your long-running job completes, or when a server has just gone down. 

In this video, we demonstrate how alerts and notifications are “out-of-band” messages, which means they can come in at any time (and not only as a response to a user message). The Hangouts Chat bot framework provides two ways to send asynchronous messages to a room or as a direct message (DM): the HTTP-based REST API and “incoming webhooks.”

Asynchronous messages in Hangouts Chat (The G Suite Dev Show)

1. Using the HTTP-based REST API to deliver asynchronous messages

First, you’ll need a bot. Then, to enable that bot to send asynchronous messages, you’ll need to use the REST API. First, you have to create a Google service account, which essentially creates a special sort of account that allows the bot to perform special actions, like initiating messages.

Now that you’re set up, putting the pieces together is pretty easy. Here’s a brief example using Python that uses the API to asynchronously send a message to a space. To start, you setup the service account with your credentials. Then, initialize the bot, provide a space and message, and send it off.

2. Using webhooks to create quick entry points for asynchronous messages

If you have an existing application, such as a monitoring service or your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, that you want to enable to send alerts or notifications as Chat messages, you can also use incoming webhooks. This approach allows you to send messages into any space without configuring a full bot. Webhooks also allow you to integrate your custom workflows, so that your team, for example, can receive a message when a new customer is added to the CRM.

Incoming webhooks are simply endpoints that you send an HTTP POST request to, you can send messages to the space using whatever method you like.. To show you how, here are two examples.

First, a Python snippet that uses an incoming webhook to communicate into a space asynchronously. You’ll notice the message creation is simple, and all you need is the URL of that webhook to POST a request to.

To get started with asynchronous messages, take a look at the Hangouts Chat developer documentation, especially the specific pages linked to above. Or read more in this post. Happy botting!

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Predicting eye disease with Moorfields Eye Hospital

In August, we announced the first stage of our joint research partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital, which showed how AI could match world-leading doctors at recommending the correct course of treatment for over 50 eye diseases, and also explain how it arrives at its recommendations.Now were excited to start working on the next research challenge whether we can help clinicians predict eye diseases before symptoms set in.There are two types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the most common blinding eye diseases, with 170 million sufferers worldwide. The dry form is relatively common among those over 65, and often only causes mild sight loss. However, about 15% of patients with dry AMD go on to develop the more serious form of the disease wet AMD which can cause permanent, blinding sight loss.Currently, ophthalmologists diagnose wet AMD by analysing highly detailed 3D scans of the back of the eye, called OCT scans.Read More

Kick off developer projects with improved G Suite Developer Hub

Since we first enabled scripting in Google Sheets in 2010, developers have been writing scripts and building app integrations to make work easier. From Apps Scripts projects, to integrating with our APIs, to building custom apps for your enterprise using App Maker, there’s no shortage of things you can do with the G Suite developer platform. With that in mind, we want to make it even easier for you to create, track and manage your developer projects. Starting today, the Apps Script dashboard will offer exciting new functionality under the new name the G Suite Developer Hub.

A single place to keep track of all the things

Whether you’re looking to create a new automation script, view shared projects or check on service statuses, the G Suite Developer Hub provides a single view of your projects. We first previewed the Hub at Google Cloud Next ‘18. Here’s what you can look forward to.

  • Get started quickly. The G Suite Developer Hub makes it a breeze for you to get started with your projects. If you’re looking to create add-ons for Docs, Sheets, Gmail, or even a Hangouts Chat bot via, you are just one click away from spinning up a pre-populated Apps Script project. The hub also makes it easy to build App Maker apps, offering easy access to a variety of templates that help jumpstart your development process.

  • View and manage triggers. One of the most popular ways that developers use Apps Script is to run automations based on specific triggers. Until now, you had to go into each script/project to create, view or manage the trigger conditions. The new hub changes that, making it easy to see triggers at a glance, create and modify them as you deem fit.

  • View and manage App Maker apps. App Maker is now fully supported in the G Suite Developer Hub project lists and project details page. 

  • See executions in real-time. You asked, we added it—the G Suite Developer Hub now lets you conveniently view script executions as they happen in real-time. No need to refresh your browser.


With the introduction of the G Suite Developer Hub, we are continuing our investment in enhancing the G Suite developer experience and hope that you are excited to try it out—simply navigate to and fire away.

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Marketing in the age of assistance

Reading time: 3 minutes

More than ever, people are speaking to devices as part of their daily routine.

In the same way that smartphones revolutionized the way we shop online, the impact of voice assistants is now starting to show through integration with phones, cars, TVs and homes.

We use the Google Assistant to put together shopping lists, manage our finances, and control our homes. But recent research has shown that we don’t just use voice to multitask – we use it to make purchases.

These insights show the massive impact that voice-activated speakers like Google Home are having on the average consumer.

They drive action

62% of people say they’re likely to make a purchase through their speaker in the next month, and 44% make weekly purchases. People are growing more comfortable using voice to shop online, and retail websites need to take notice. Speaking of growing more comfortable…

They’re part of the family

Almost 70% of voice searches are made through natural language, not the keywords we use in web searches. And 41% of people say it feels like talking to a family member or friend, using words like “please” and “sorry” as part of the conversation.

They’re part of the daily routine

72% of people say their speakers are used as part of their daily routine. From checking commute times in the morning to setting shopping reminders in the evening, smart speakers are now “part of the furniture” in an increasing number of homes.

They’re brand-friendly

More than half of the people we surveyed said they want to receive info about sales, deals, and promotions from brands through their speaker. This opens up a huge opportunity for companies to project a literal ‘brand voice’, strengthening their emotional bonds with consumers.

It’s not just special offers either – people want to hear from brands about a wide range of information.
As voice search grows in popularity, it’s up to agencies to stay up-to-date with the tech, and find creative and practical ways to integrate it into their clients’ campaigns. The best way to do this is to get familiar with Actions on Google Assistant.

The Google Assistant is the voice that answers when you ask Google Home for the weather forecast, or the app on your phone for the fastest route to coffee. Actions are the programming signals within the Google Assistant that process these requests. These Actions can be built for free by anyone, simply and effectively.

So if you have a restaurant client, you could build an Action to check the daily specials or order food for takeout. Or if you have a client in retail, you could build an Action for instant checkouts or personalized recommendations.

Google Assistant is available across over 500 million devices, and growing. It’s a major part of the future of online shopping and advertising. Before talking to your clients about its capabilities, check out this video playlist for everything you’ll need to build your first Action.

You can also find out more about how voice assistance affects consumer behavior with this handy video:

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