Time is important. As a nonprofit, every minute that your staff spends searching for emails or coordinating meetings is time away from making a difference for the communities or causes they serve. G Suite for Nonprofits is designed to help nonprofits work faster, smarter, and more collaboratively across different locations, at no charge. Here are a few ways G Suite for Nonprofits can help your team be more productive.
Present your nonprofit professionally
With Gmail, you can create an unlimited number of personalized email addresses for your team (like firstname.lastname@example.org). Your staff will be able to communicate with volunteers, supporters and the community with professional emails coming from your nonprofit’s custom domain, resulting in brand awareness and increased trust in your communications.
Make your next grant proposal pop
A successful grant proposal needs inspiring, structured, and concise content to stand out when competing against hundreds. Often you don’t have much time, you’re on a shoestring budget, and your co-workers are in different time zones. G Suite provides templates and suggested layouts to give your documents and slides a professional look, so that you can focus on content rather than design. Grammar suggestions in Docs make you a more confident writer, especially handy if you are working against a tight deadline. Real-time collaboration lets each member of your team contribute to the same file from anywhere. And with all of these tools, your team will become even more productive and collaborative.
Manage your volunteers
There are lots of ways G Suite can help you engage with your volunteers more efficiently. When you create a Site, you can include a page to provide some background on your nonprofit and share volunteers success stories, add sections for onboarding and training materials, and post upcoming volunteer opportunities with an embedded Calendar. You can also embed a Form for volunteers to sign-up. The information they submit is automatically and safely stored in Sheets so you won’t misplace paper sign-up forms anymore. For reliable communications and updates, create a Group with all your volunteer emails. You can send an email to everyone in the group with one address, invite the group to an event, or share documents.
Coordinate your nonprofit board
Nonprofit boards are at the core of your strategy and coordinating them can be tricky, especially when members are spread across in many locations. With G Suite, you have the tools you need to coordinate with your board effectively. You can schedule board meetings on Calendar, and directly add members to the event. With Hangouts Meet, those who can’t participate in person will be able to join in a video call or dial in from their phone.
Control your data securely
Privacy and security are critical to nonprofits, especially when managing personal information that may be sensitive. G Suite is built on stringent privacy and security standards and allows you to add users easily, manage devices, and configure security and settings so that your data stays safe. This is essential, especially if your nonprofit has high turnover of staff or volunteers.
G Suite for Nonprofits has helped many nonprofits to become more efficient and spend more time serving the community. Find out more about how G Suite for Nonprofits can help you.
In October of last year, we announced Project Strobe—a Google-wide effort to review third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data. As a result, we rolled out an updated user data policy further restricting access to Gmail data. Today we’re announcing plans to extend the same policy to Google Drive as part of Project Strobe.
With this updated policy, we’ll limit the types of apps that have broad access to content or data via Drive APIs. Apps should move to a per-file user consent model, allowing users to more precisely determine what files an app is allowed to access. This means that only certain types of apps can request restricted scopes from consumer Google accounts. As always, G Suite administrators are in control of their users’ apps.
How to prepare
If you’re not a developer, you don’t need to do anything to prepare for these changes. While changes will not go into effect until early next year, we recommend developers begin preparations ahead of time by taking the following steps to ensure their apps using Drive APIs stay compliant and keep working for users. You will not need to go through the verification process if your app is created and used by only your organization (and is marked as internal).
- Before getting started, review the Drive updates to the user data policy and FAQ.
- Ensure project owner and editor email addresses are up to date.
- If you’ve developed a Drive app that uses any of the restricted scopes, we recommend migrating your app to use the drive.file scope in combination with the Google Picker. This combination will enable users to select the specific files from their Google Drive that they want to allow your app to access. Apps that use the drive.file scope will not be required to go through the restricted scope verification and third-party security assessment outlined in the policy.
- If drive.file is not a possible option (e.g. for backup clients), you should begin preparing your app for the restricted scope verification, a process that, among other steps, ensures your use of data is compliant with the Limited Use Requirements and includes a security assessment if your app stores or transmits through servers. Restricted scope verification for the Drive API will begin early next year. Refer to the FAQ for more info.
In the next few months, we will start to notify impacted developers of the policy changes and will provide additional guidance on how to meet the updated policy requirements.
Mastering the strategy, tactical understanding, and team play involved in multiplayer video games represents a critical challenge for AI research. Now, through new developments in reinforcement learning, our agents have achieved human-level performance in Quake III Arena Capture the Flag, a complex multi-agent environment and one of the canonical 3D first-person multiplayer games. These agents demonstrate the ability to team up with both artificial agents and human players.Read More…
The great thing about building applications on G Suite is that you have flexible options. That said, we often get questions from developers about which tools they should use, specifically “should I build my application using Apps Script or App Maker?”
Apps Script and App Maker share a common deployment platform, and are perhaps more similar than they are different. Both let you build custom business applications quickly. Both leverage the same infrastructure. Both let you apply your skills in G Suite.
But they are uniquely different, too. Apps Script’s strength lies in the fact that it helps you integrate your app with G Suite apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Docs or Sheets. As a relative newcomer, App Maker builds off of Apps Script’s strengths, but also lets you build beyond the bounds of G Suite. It allows you to design your own user interface independent of G Suite apps, as well as declaratively design your own data model.
The good news is that you have a choice. Here are important factors to consider when choosing Apps Script or App Maker for your next application.
Consideration #1: Does your app need to run outside of your organization?
Choices made for you are often the easiest. In choosing Apps Script or App Maker, sometimes your app requirements will determine which technology you can use.
For example, App Maker requires that all your users have access to the product and they are all on the same domain. If your application needs to run cross-domain or will have external users outside your organization, then App Maker will not work. Another consideration is most apps built in App Maker rely on Cloud SQL for data storage, so if you don’t have access to Google Cloud SQL or would prefer not implementing it, then Apps Script is your choice by default.
Key takeaway: For external or cross-domain users, choose Apps Script.
Consideration #2: What do you feel most comfortable building in? And what coding language do you prefer?
Another important factor is a matter of comfort and personal preference. If you think you are more productive building an application within a spreadsheet, especially if one already exists, then start by building on Google Sheets with Apps Script. As a developer, there is slightly more of a learning curve with App Maker and a little more work to do at first to get your app up and running, like working with relational data models or laying out your user interface from scratch. Apps Script relies on the host applications for much of its functionality, and is, for the most part, faster and more flexible to produce a prototype in.
As mentioned, Apps Script and App Maker share many similarities including the same underlying programming language and runtime, which happens to be Google Apps Script. This is great because your skills (and even some code) is transferable, making choosing either option based on programming skill or language essentially a moot point. There are other differences to consider that go beyond the scope of this post, though, like distribution, versioning and the developer experience. But nothing that is dramatic or widens the gap between choosing one over the other.
Key takeaway: Choose based on your comfort level. With Apps Script you can take advantage of the G Suite applications for much of the heavy lifting, while App Maker puts you in complete control of how you build out your entire application. And when it comes to code, it’s a toss up because both use Apps Script.
Consideration #3: What experience do you want for your users?
Obviously you want your application to be easy to use—it encourages adoption. For this reason, picking a tool that provides the best user experience is important. But beyond making your app easy-to-use, it’s also important to consider how your users will use your app when you design it.
For example, if your app is helping with the sales cycle and all sales communication happens over email, then you really want your application to live within Gmail as a companion app. However, if your application is geared at managing a procurement process, and there is no single or canonical G Suite app that your users use for this task, then it’s best to create a standalone experience.
The simple rule of thumb is that Apps Script was designed to build companion apps that integrate tightly with the host applications, such as Gmail, Sheets, Docs or Slides. These companion apps can be deployed as a document-bound app or as a G Suite add-on, so that users can use the best of what host applications have to offer while also staying in context of how they are working (i.e. avoid switching tabs).
App Maker naturally allows you to design your own user experience from scratch, creating a controlled environment that ensures the user focuses on what you’ve specifically designed in the UI (plus, letting you to tap into G Suite APIs still, like for Gmail, Calendar, Drive, etc.).
Key takeaway: Choose Apps Script to create companion apps that work in context with G Suite. Choose App Maker to create standalone solution apps.
Consideration #4: What data requirements do you need for you app?
App Maker offers advanced data modeling functionality by way of its integration with Cloud SQL. This helps you build relational data models, create data views, run data-driven events, implement data level security permissions and more. Another obvious benefit of its Cloud SQL backend is that App Maker can scale to large, complex data models, without requiring much effort by you.
Contrast this with Apps Script, where you either need to create your own data management functionality or rely on storing data with Sheets. The latter is fine for applications that have more simplistic data requirements, but even for most simple CRUD-type applications, App Maker is likely a better choice.
Key takeaway: For advanced data needs, choose App Maker.
Consideration #5: What kind of user interface do you want to implement?
Another key difference is the User Interface (UI). App Maker gives you a blank canvas for you to design your own UI (for mobile or desktop) from scratch. The UI builder in App Maker offers two-way data binding which eliminates the need to write plumbing code to connect your UI to data. You can refine your UI using material design themes, CSS and with customizing widget properties, which lets your app have its own unique look. You can further extend the UI with client-side scripts and HTML areas allowing you to add completely custom functionality, but with some “assembly required.”
The UI ‘canvas’ in Apps Script on the other hand, is simply the G Suite application you are working with as the backdrop. This can be optimal because users will easily recognize the environment which makes it more intuitive. It also requires less effort on your part to get started. Much of the customization around your app’s look and feel can be done sans code; for example, with Google Sheets, cells can be used for gathering user inputs and stylized with conditional formatting and data validation (without writing a line of Apps Script). If you need greater custom interaction between users and your app, you can leverage Apps Script to extend the UI with custom dialogs, menus and sidebars right with the confines of the G Suite host app.
Key takeaway: For a more custom, do-it-yourself UI, choose App Maker. For G Suite as a backdrop, go Apps Script.
Tying it all together
If you’re in the process of choosing which tool to use to build your application, let us leave you with some final advice.
- Apps Script and App Maker are built on the same underlying technology base, so skills and code are transferable.
- Sheets can be used to present and store data with Apps Script handling the logic for simple application scenarios. App Maker coupled with Cloud SQL can tackle more complex data requirements with custom UI needs.
- Apps Script is better geared for building companion apps inside of G Suite, while standalone apps starting from scratch favor App Maker.
- Bottom line: think about the user experience first, then pick the technology that allows you to build that.
Over the past three years, teams at Google have been applying AI to problems in healthcare—from diagnosing eye disease to predicting patient outcomes in medical records. Today we’re sharing new research showing how AI can predict lung cancer in ways that could boost the chances of survival for many people at risk around the world.
Lung cancer results in over 1.7 million deaths per year, making it the deadliest of all cancers worldwide—more than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined—and it’s the sixth most common cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization. While lung cancer has one of the worst survival rates among all cancers, interventions are much more successful when the cancer is caught early. Unfortunately, the statistics are sobering because the overwhelming majority of cancers are not caught until later stages.
Over the last three decades, doctors have explored ways to screen people at high-risk for lung cancer. Though lower dose CT screening has been proven to reduce mortality, there are still challenges that lead to unclear diagnosis, subsequent unnecessary procedures, financial costs, and more.
Our latest research
In late 2017, we began exploring how we could address some of these challenges using AI. Using advances in 3D volumetric modeling alongside datasets from our partners (including Northwestern University), we’ve made progress in modeling lung cancer prediction as well as laying the groundwork for future clinical testing. Today we’re publishing our promising findings in “Nature Medicine.”
Radiologists typically look through hundreds of 2D images within a single CT scan and cancer can be miniscule and hard to spot. We created a model that can not only generate the overall lung cancer malignancy prediction (viewed in 3D volume) but also identify subtle malignant tissue in the lungs (lung nodules). The model can also factor in information from previous scans, useful in predicting lung cancer risk because the growth rate of suspicious lung nodules can be indicative of malignancy.
In our research, we leveraged 45,856 de-identified chest CT screening cases (some in which cancer was found) from NIH’s research dataset from the National Lung Screening Trial study and Northwestern University. We validated the results with a second dataset and also compared our results against 6 U.S. board-certified radiologists.
When using a single CT scan for diagnosis, our model performed on par or better than the six radiologists. We detected five percent more cancer cases while reducing false-positive exams by more than 11 percent compared to unassisted radiologists in our study. Our approach achieved an AUC of 94.4 percent (AUC is a common common metric used in machine learning and provides an aggregate measure for classification performance).
Despite the value of lung cancer screenings, only 2-4 percent of eligible patients in the U.S. are screened today. This work demonstrates the potential for AI to increase both accuracy and consistency, which could help accelerate adoption of lung cancer screening worldwide.
These initial results are encouraging, but further studies will assess the impact and utility in clinical practice. We’re collaborating with Google Cloud Healthcare and Life Sciences team to serve this model through the Cloud Healthcare API and are in early conversations with partners around the world to continue additional clinical validation research and deployment. If you’re a research institution or hospital system that is interested in collaborating in future research, please fill out this form.
When you have a lot of people working in a Google Doc it can look like a zoo, with anonymous animals popping into your document to write (or howl, bark or moo) their feedback. Today, 13 new animals—like the african wild dog, grey reef shark and cheetah—are joining the pack. Though they may be excellent collaborators, they also need our help.
It’s Endangered Species Day, and we’re teaming up with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Netflix’s “Our Planet” to raise awareness around animals that are at risk.
According to WWF, wildlife populations have dwindled by 60 percent in less than five decades. And with nearly 50 species threatened with extinction today, technology has a role to play in preventing endangerment.
With artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and apps that speed up collaboration, Google is helping companies like WWF in their work to save our precious planets’ species. Here are some of the ways.
- Curating wildlife data quickly. A big part of increasing conservation efforts is having access to reliable data about the animals that are threatened. To help, WWF and Google have joined a number of other partners to create the Wildlife Insights platform, a way for people to share wildlife camera trap images. Using AI, the species are automatically identified, so that conservationists can act quicker to help recover global wildlife populations.
- Predicting wildlife trade trends. Using Google search queries and known web page content, Google can help organizations like WWF predict wildlife trade trends similar to how we can help see flu outbreaks coming. This way, we can help prevent a wildlife trafficking crisis quicker.
- Collaborating globally with people who can help. Using G Suite, which includes productivity and collaboration apps like Docs and Slides, Google Cloud, WWF and Netflix partnered together to draft materials and share information quickly to help raise awareness for Endangered Species Day (not to mention, cut back on paper).
What you can do to help
Conservation can seem like a big, hairy problem that’s best left to the experts to solve. But there are small changes we can make right now in our everyday lives. When we all collaborate together to make these changes, they can make a big difference.
Human behavior has always intrigued me—that’s the reason I studied psychology as an undergraduate. At the time, I wondered how those learnings could one day apply to life in the “real world.” As it turns out, an understanding of people and human behavior is an invaluable asset when it comes to cultivating influence—especially when it comes to design.
In my role as VP of User Experience (UX) Design at Google, I’m constantly tasked with influencing others. I lead a team of designers, researchers, writers and engineers who are behind products like Google’s Shopping, Trips, Payments and Ads. To create great experiences, we must first convince the people building these products that design is elemental to delivering not just user value, but also business value. Over the years I’ve seen how the ability to build influence is essential to designing the best experiences.
User empathy is a fast track to influence
As UX professionals (designers, writers, researchers and front-end engineers), it’s our job to fully grasp the needs of people using our products and be the spokesperson for them. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we understand our users without witnessing them actually using our products, or to believe that our personal experiences reflect those of people everywhere. Yet every time I go out into the real world and spend time with people actually using our products, I come back with an unexpected insight that changes how I initially thought about a problem.
In 2017, I took a trip to Jakarta to research the challenges of using smartphones in a region where service is relatively expensive and bandwidth is not readily available. It wasn’t until I was on the ground that I realized how degraded the experience was from what I’d pictured. Similarly, during a recent trip to Tel Aviv, I learned how difficult it is to get funding and grow a business. Developing this kind of understanding, which can only come from experience, helps motivate you to fix a problem from a different angle.
Ideally, we’d bring all of our team members into the field to have these first-hand experiences, but that approach doesn’t scale. What does scale is empathy. We can share our personal experiences, research and user stories to build greater understanding. Once we’ve built a foundation of shared understanding, we can have better influence over decisions that affect users.
Inspire action with compelling stories
Research can provide the data and anecdotes that help others understand why your design meets a specific need, but how you present that data is equally important.
Creating rich stories full of photos and video clips helps expose others to how people use products and the challenges they encounter. On multiple occasions, I’ve been in a room where research clips of people interacting with a product or prototype are shared with executives and partners. Without fail, observing real people use products gets everyone animated and excited. Watching someone fumble through a task creates a sense of urgency to solve a problem that can’t be generated through data.
One way to do this is with prototyping software or animated slides that show a product flow or tell a narrative that helps people understand the pain points of a product or the ease of its well-designed experience. An interactive prototype lets people experience the full possibilities. If you’re lucky enough to work with a UX engineer, prototypes are probably already a part of your influence repertoire. There’s nothing better than prototyping and sharing a bold idea and hearing: “We need that! Let’s make it happen!”
User experience is highly focused on empathy for users, yet we’re often so focused on people using our products that we don’t take the time to develop empathy for our colleagues. Making sure others feel seen, heard, and understood is a significant step toward influence. Similar to how we can mistakenly make assumptions about our users, we can fall into the same trap with our peers.
Too often people equate influence with asserting their perspective. Instead, influence starts with understanding the goals, motivations and frustrations of others.
It’s easy to make incorrect conclusions, so instead of rushing to make a point, start out by listening to your colleagues. Showing the courtesy of listening often begets reciprocity, and makes others more receptive to your perspective.
Our discipline is founded on exploring human connections and motivations through empathy and listening. Now you can use those tools to build influence, whether or not you work in UX.
This March, we put out the call for super sleuths to help us track down Carmen Sandiego in Google Earth. And we were blown away by the enthusiasm and speed with which people found the reformed VILE operative—who is now an ACME agent—by traveling from city to city around the globe.
You not only solved the caper, but also shared stories and memories of playing the original games, watching the shows (both old and new), reading the books, and sharing the experience with friends, family and kids.
Today, we’ve teamed up with Carmen Sandiego and learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt once again—this time to help her recover Tutankhamun’s Mask. Le Chevre, a master climber and classmate of Carmen Sandiego at VILE Academy, has stolen the priceless artifact. We’re counting on gumshoes everywhere to help Carmen find him and recover the loot.
Google I/O is always exciting for me. It’s a great moment when we get to tell the world about a wide range of new products and features that can help everyone do more with technology. Because of how intertwined tech is with every aspect of our lives, how we balance its use with our wellbeing has to be front and center. So, as we did last year, we made time to discuss how our users can find a balance by using technology more intentionally (and that might mean using it less).
Last year, we announced our commitment to digital wellbeing, a company-wide effort to help our users balance their technology use in a way that feels right for them. The idea has taken hold. A recent survey we commissioned found that 1 in 3 Americans have taken steps to improve their digital wellbeing in the last year, and more than 80 percent of them said this had a positive impact on their overall sense of wellbeing.
It’s still early, but we’re already seeing that some of our initial Digital Wellbeing features have helped people take control of their tech use. For instance, app timers have helped people stick to their goals over 90 percent of the time, according to our internal data from March of this year, and people who use Wind Down had a 27 percent drop in nightly usage on average.
Coming to Android Q
We know there’s much more we can be doing, which is why we were excited to announce a number of new tools and features at I/O last week. We’re making several improvements to existing features, such as giving you more visibility into the status of your app timers, and allowing Wind Down to be scheduled by day of the week. And, building on the success of app timers, we’re extending its functionality to Chrome on Android, which will let you to set time limits on specific websites.
Our devices should help support our intentions throughout the day. Whether it’s work, school or family and friends that we want to focus on, our devices shouldn’t get in the way. Notifications are an important part of keeping you informed, but not all of them are urgent enough to divert your attention. Now you can choose to make some notifications ‘Gentle’. Gentle notifications won’t make noise, vibrate or appear on the lock screen but are always available if you want to browse.
And we created Focus mode, which allows you to temporarily pause distracting apps with a single tap from Quick Settings. Finally, because many people want more positive encouragement, we’re adding the ability to set a screen time goal with helpful nudges to stay on track.
New features for families
For parents, screen time is often a unique challenge; in fact, according to a recent study commissioned by Google, 67 percent of parents are concerned about the amount of time their kids spend on devices. People with kids tell us they love that Family Link lets them set daily screen time limits, but we know that nothing about parenting is black and white. We announced last week that Family Link will roll out new features that enable parents to fine-tune these boundaries by setting app-specific time limits and awarding bonus screen time directly from their own device. (We hope this will also help provide a little balance to family dynamics.)
But tools and features are just part of the solution; for families in particular, communication is key. So on wellbeing.google, we now offer tips and advice from experts, including a conversation guide to help parents talk to their kids about technology use.
We believe technology should improve life, not distract from it, so we’ve made a company-wide commitment to prioritize our users’ satisfaction over the amount of time they spend with our products, and our teams are designing with digital wellbeing as a core principle. We’re focused on improving lives—today and in the future—and digital wellbeing is one of the most important ways we’re working to make that happen.
Reading is one of the most important skills students will learn in their lives. After the third grade, students who have mastered reading use it to learn just about everything else. Struggling readers, on the other hand, are unlikely to catch up and four times less likely to graduate from high school. Unfortunately, 64 percent of fourth grade students in the United States perform below the proficient level in reading.
Rivet is a new reading app from Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects, that addresses the most common barriers to effective reading practice through a free, easy-to-use reading experience optimized for kids. Evidence shows that one of the major differences between poor and strong readers is the amount of time spent reading, so we’re introducing Rivet to make high-quality reading practice available to all.
Improving access to books
With a rapidly growing digital library of over 2,000 free books, Rivet makes it easy to find interesting reading material at the right level. There are engaging books covering a wide array of topics, from planets in outer space to Harriet Tubman. Every book in our library is carefully reviewed and leveled by content quality experts to ensure young readers are shown appropriate content at the right level of difficulty.
A knowledgeable reading buddy
Rivet uses advanced speech technology to provide support on every word and give kids feedback on their reading, so they can practice independently without getting stuck. Here are a few Rivet features you can try out during reading practice:
- Tap for Help: Stuck on a word? Just tap to hear it pronounced.
- Say the Word: Kids can practice reading a word and the app will show them exactly which parts of the word were said correctly and which parts they need to work on.
- Definitions and Translations: Definitions are available for every word, along with translations into more than 25 languages for non-native speakers.
- Follow Along: Rivet can read full-pages aloud on a selection of books, highlighting each word as it’s read so kids can follow along. (Parents have the option to disable this feature.)
- Real-time Feedback: On Android (and coming soon to iOS), Rivet can provide even more real-time help. Just tap the microphone icon and read the page aloud—the app will follow along and proactively offer support if it detects a reader struggling. At the end of the page, readers can see which words were read correctly, and try again on the words they missed. All speech processing is performed on-device to respect your child’s privacy.
Motivation and encouragement
It takes hard work and plenty of patience to master reading. Rivet rewards dedication with points and badges, and personalizes the experience with avatars, themes and recommended books based on each reader’s level and interests. Surprises designed to encourage more practice, energizing games and a playful interface keep kids engaged in the reading experience.
Our goal is to deliver high-quality reading practice to children everywhere, along with peace of mind for the busy parents accompanying them on their reading journey. In the upcoming months, we’ll introduce features to support reading practice in classrooms, add new content for a wider range of reading levels and expand to more countries around the world.
Rivet is now available on Android smartphones, tablets, iPads, iPhones and Chromebooks in eleven countries worldwide. If you know a little reader who could benefit from better reading practice, check us out in the Play Store or App Store today.