People expect to interact with businesses when and how they like, such as browsing a brand’s website to research a product and then purchasing it later using the brand’s app. Getting insight into these cross-platform journeys is critical for businesses to predict customer needs and provide great experiences—but it can be very challenging.
Currently, many businesses measure app engagement with Google Analytics for Firebase and website engagement with Google Analytics. While each of these products separately offer powerful insights, getting a more unified picture of engagement across your app and website can be a manual and painstaking process.
To make this simpler, we’re announcing a new way to measure apps and websites together for the first time in Google Analytics.
Unified app and web analytics
First, we’re introducing a new property type, App + Web, that allows you to combine app and web data for unified reporting and analysis.
Reports for this new property use a single set of consistent metrics and dimensions, making it possible to see integrated reporting across app and web like never before. Now you can answer questions like: Which marketing channel is responsible for acquiring the most new users across your different platforms? How many total unique users do you have, regardless of which platform they use? How many conversions have occurred on your app and website in the last week—and which platform is driving most of these conversions?
You can also go deeper to understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns across platforms. For example, you can see how many users started on your app then visited your website to make a purchase.
Flexible event measurement
Understanding how people engage with your app and website means that you need to measure a diverse range of user interactions like clicks, page views, app opens, and more. We’re making it easier to measure those actions on all of your platforms in a consistent way. The new property type utilizes a more flexible event-based model for collecting the unique interactions that users have with your content, allowing you to measure any custom event that you set up.
This event-based model also allows you to automate the manual work of tagging some of the events on your site with no additional coding required. In addition to page views, enhanced measurement allows you to measure many common web events like scrolls, downloads, video views and more with the flip of a toggle in the admin settings for your property.
Given the many different ways people interact with your brand between app and web, you need flexible tools to make sense of your data and discover insights unique to your business. The new Analysis module enables you to examine your data in ways that are not limited by pre-defined reports.
There are a number of techniques you can use including:
Exploration: Conduct ad-hoc analysis by dragging and dropping multiple variables—the different segments, dimensions, and metrics you use to measure your business—onto a canvas to see instant visualizations of yourdata.
Funnels: Identify important steps to conversion and understand how users navigate among them—where they enter the funnel, as well as where they drop off—with both open and closed funnel options.
Path analysis: Understand the actions users take between the steps within a funnel to help explain why users did or did not convert.
Once you’ve surfaced insights from your analysis, you can use the results to create audiences and use those audiences to deliver more relevant marketing experiences to your customers.
Start measuring across platforms
The first version of this new app and web experience—including the new event model and new analysis capabilities—will be available to all Analytics and Analytics 360 accounts in beta in the coming weeks. If you use Google Tag Manager or the global site tag for Google Analytics today, there’s no re-tagging required for your website. To include your app data, you’ll need the Firebase SDK implemented in your app. See how to get started in Google Analytics, or if you’re an existing Firebase customer, here’s how to upgrade.
If your business has both an app and website, and is looking for a more complete view of how your customers engage across both, we encourage you to participate in this beta and share your feedback. We are working to make Google Analytics the best possible solution for helping you understand the customer journey and create great customer experiences across platforms. Your partnership is essential to help us get there.
Artificial intelligence can now predict one of the leading causes of avoidable patient harm up to two days before it happens, as demonstrated byour latest research published in Nature.Read More…
They keep our laptops humming and our work flowing, and they’re often the first people we contact when there’s a problem: I’m talking about tech support. At Google, these folks offer a range of services to help us handle damage control for issues—troubleshooting the simplest to the most complex of problems every day—just like at your jobs. When we need help, we turn to our tech support service called Techstop.
To commemorate SysAdmin Appreciation Day (That’s today, by the way.), we stopped by our San Francisco Techstop office to say thank you to our own tech support folks, and to ask them a few questions. Much to their surprise, they didn’t have to fix an issue for us.
What’s one thing you wish people would do before they came to IT?
Emma: Basic troubleshooting, like restarting a machine. You’d be surprised how many problems are resolved with a simple reboot.
Charles: Another tip would be to clear your cache and cookies before stopping by. This can help if you force a shutdown while a program is trying to update. If the program closes before it saves whatever it was doing, it can cause issues—clearing cache can help sometimes.
If you could wave a wand and eliminate a recurring problem that you deal with, what would it be?
Emma: The blue screen of death when machines don’t run on a modern OS. It causes disruption and takes entirely too long to remediate. I wish it would just go away.
Charles: Resetting passwords or sign-in credentials, in general. I’d love it if we didn’t have to do this, but I understand that people forget.
What’s your favorite Google product hack or tip?
Emma: If you type “chrome://restart” into your Chrome browser, it’ll restart your browser and re-open tabs. I use this if my connection is slow or if my browser doesn’t load properly.
Charles: I like to save time with Gmail shortcuts. If you want to learn what shortcuts are available, click Shift + ? and you’ll see a list of shortcuts appear on your screen. Just make sure to enable keyboard shortcuts in your Gmail settings first! If you’re working on a Chromebook with Chrome OS, you can click CTRL + ALT + ? and they’ll appear.
What’s the weirdest or funniest laptop mishap you’ve encountered at Google?
Emma: I once had someone come in with a clicking noise on their laptop. I opened the bottom case of their computer and found a piece of a plastic arm from a toy stuck within the base. The person laughed and said, “oh kids…”
Charles: Do you know those little silicon packets that come in packaging or new clothing items? We’ve had dozens of people come into Techstop because their headphone ports stop working. Apparently, these packets get left within backpacks, the beads burst and they jam headphone jacks. Look out for those pesky things.
If you could describe working in IT in just 3 words, what would they be? (Feel free to make them fun!)
Emma: Unpredictable. Exciting. Gratifying.
Charles: Fluid. Inquisical. Magical.
What do you think your job will look like in 5 years?
Emma: In five years, almost all of our IT systems will be cloud-based. Since troubleshooting systems will be a thing of the past, I think we’ll work tighter with product and data analytics teams to suggest and test new systems and environments.
Charles: We help thousands of employees fix IT issues, and we’re able to do this efficiently by focusing on how to address problems that happen over and over again. We call this “root reduction.” Root reduction helps us scale our IT services, and it also frees up our schedules so that we can focus on more strategic work. In five years, I think we’ll use the time we save through root reduction to become internal IT consultants for teams. We’ll embed with individual departments to help them solve trickier problems or workflows specific to their needs.
From resetting our passwords to debugging and fixing a system crash, we salute you “IT guy” (or gal!). Thanks for keeping us online, even when we drown our computers in coffee.
With infant mortality rates on the rise in Nigeria, mostly due to a lack of doctors in rural areas, entrepreneur Adeloye Olanrewaju wanted to see if he could use tech to figure out a solution. This led him to start Babymigo, an online community that connects expecting and new mothers to resources, doctors, experts and other services
Babymigo was recently part of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator in Nigeria, a three-month program that provides mentorship and support to early-stage startups. With seven acceleration programs and 338 startup alumni, we at Launchpad have seen firsthand how global entrepreneurs are using technology and startup innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems.
In a new spotlight series called “Ideas to Reality,” we aim to share the stories of these founders and their startups through videos and written case studies. In our first installment, we talk to Adeloye about why he started Babymigo, and where he hopes it will be in the next few years.
When did you first come up with the idea for Babymigo?
My aunt lost her baby due to complications arising from childbirth. Those complications could have been avoided if she had access to the right healthcare information. Unfortunately, her story is not a unique one.
Today in Nigeria, more than 7 million babies are born every year, but the country still has the third highest infant mortality rate in the world. To make matters worse, nearly 60,000 mothers lose their lives each year due to complications arising from childbirth.
When I started my career working at a maternity clinic, I saw that the biggest problem mothers faced was poor access to verified health care professionals and healthcare information. I wanted to help and felt tech was my way to do it. So I quit my job and started Babymigo, to use technology to solve these challenges.
How does Babymigo use tech to combat infant mortality?
We are the first and only platform that increases access to informed health decisions via SMS, an app and a web portal. Our goal is to help expecting mothers get their questions answered by hyperlocal medical and child care experts. Today, our services have reached more than 100,000 users. We are looking to reach 1 million mothers by the end of 2020.
What steps did you take to make bring your idea to life?
I first found as many users as I could, and then conducted extensive research to better understand the problems they faced and what solutions they really needed. This saved us valuable time, allowing us to focus on the most important features our users wanted.
The Google Launchpad Accelerator was a big opportunity to diagnose our company. With the help of experts and experienced mentors, we were able to increase user growth and retention by about 20%. Being a part of Launchpad also brought us media exposure and significant investor interest. With Google supporting us, we saw a dramatic rise in the confidence of our investors and clients.
Google products are at the center of building our platform. Through Firebase Cloud Messaging, we send notification messages to drive user retention. We also use Google Analytics to better understand our customers, using its insights to take action, such as improving our website.
Any advice for future entrepreneurs?
Building a tech startup is a rollercoaster, so developing a strong mental resilience is key. Nothing can replace persistence. Surround yourself with thinkers who push you. At Launchpad I had the chance to be challenged by my peers at every turn. Find a network that will guide you in the same way.
Like any 6-year-old, Chromecast may look small, but it packs a punch. In the last six years, it’s brought TV shows, movies, and more to millions of homes. And this thumb-drive-sized device has come a long way: there’s Chromecast Ultra, which lets you stream up to 4K, and you can talk to your Google Assistant and Google Nest speakers to put something on the screen. Read on for ten of our favorite tips and tricks for using Chromecast.
- You can now watch Amazon Prime Video.Amazon Prime Video is now a streaming partner so if you have Chromecast and Prime, you can access the Amazon Originals you know and love, like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Boys.”
- Make it personal. Change your Chromecast’s name using the Google Home app. Here’s one idea: “Hey Google, turn on binge box.” And if you have a preferred TV in your home, you can set it as your default in the Google Home app.
- Plan as a group.Browsing restaurant menus or flight prices (or anything really) on your phone and want to let the whole room chime in? Mirror your Android phone or tablet’s screen.
- Binge watch without lifting a finger. With a voice-activated device such as Google Home Mini connected to Chromecast, you can ask the Google Assistant to cast your favorite shows and movies from apps you love, like Netflix, HBO NOW, YouTube TV and thousands more compatible apps to your TV (a subscription may be required).
- Conquer your stagefright. Practice your presentation skills at home by casting through Google Slides. Just click the “Present” option in the top-right corner of your presentation, select “Present on another screen,” and pick your Chromecast.
- View your home movies easily.Watch videos and slideshows you’ve made in Google Photos. Either cast directly from the Google Photos app, or using a Google Nest speaker you can ask Google for specific content. For example, say “Hey Google, show my 2018 summer vacation video on my TV.”
- Try Ambient Mode. When you’re not using your Chromecast, it can still keep you entertained. Your TV can display content from your favorite albums in Google Photos, social networks, and other services and apps, or enjoy the art gallery while your device is idle.
- Start a dance party. Group together Google Nest and Chromecast devices and speakers to listen to music throughout your home. Your favorite music from Chromecast-enabled apps like Google Play Music, Spotify, and Tidal are instantly available to stream. (Subscriptions may be required.)
- Supercharge your connection. If your Wi-Fi signal isn’t strong near your TV, use a Chromecast ethernet adapter to connect your Chromecast directly to your router, creating a fast and reliable connection.
- Set up a custom routine for your next premiere party. In the Google Home app you can create a custom routine incorporating a movie or TV show and compatible smart home products, like lights. Just last weekend I said, “Hey Google, let’s go to Monterey” to dim the lights and put on the season finale of “Big Little Lies.”
Just in time to catch a midweek movie, go forth and stream on.
Today, at our third annual Google for Nigeria event, we announced new products and features to make Google more helpful to more people in Nigeria and across Africa.
Building maps that work better for Nigerians
Google Maps helps you navigate, explore and get things done. Nigeria has over 10 million motorcycles and we all know that they move differently from cars. We’re introducing a dedicated travel mode to provide directions and navigation for motorcycles in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ghana, Rwanda, Togo and Uganda. We’re also launching navigation instructions in a Nigerian voice for both motorcycle and car driving modes, so that local names and places get pronounced as they should be.
Traveling through Lagos, one of Africa’s busiest cities, is often a challenge with unpredictable factors that affect journey times. In the next few months, we’ll introduce a new directions experience for Lagos optimized for informal transit, bringing Danfo routes into Google Maps.
To help make it easier to explore places in Nigeria, we’re publishing more panoramic imagery on Street View. We started with imagery of Lagos two years ago, and now there’s imagery of Abuja, Benin City, Enugu and Ibadan with almost 12 thousand kilometers of roads added.
Gallery Go: a photo gallery that works offline
With the growth of Android, more Nigerians have phones that take pictures. But not everyone has access to reliable, high-speed internet or cloud backup to quickly find a photo.
Gallery Go is designed for people who don’t have a reliable internet connection. It brings many of the best features of Google Photos on device, to help you find, edit and manage your photos even when you’re offline.
The app keeps your photos automatically organized and make your snaps look their best with easy editing tools such as one-tap auto-enhance. The app is only 10MB to keep your phone light and fast, so that you can spend more time capturing memories.
Gallery Go is available today on Google Play for devices running Android 8.1 (Oreo) or higher and will come pre-installed as the gallery app on the Itel S15 and select A55 devices, which will be available in Nigeria soon.
Google Go: Helping you enjoy the best of the web
Google Go makes it easier to discover the best of the internet even on low-RAM smartphones or unstable network connections. Today, we’re announcing some updates to make Google Go even more useful. The Discover feed is now integrated within Google Go to help you stay in the know with your interests, like the latest content on your football team, people of interest, music and news stories.
Starting next week, it’ll be even easier to access the Assistant directly from Google Go. Using only your voice, you’ll be able to ask Google to call your mum, play the latest Burna Boy video, or find you the best jollof in town. And there’s a new Nigerian voice for the Assistant, too.
Google Lens and Bolo: understanding and learning made easy
Google Lens has been helping people to find out more about the world around them through their camera and photos. Now we’re launching Lens inside Google Go to help people read, translate and search the words they see simply by using their camera. You can open Lens, point it at a sign, and listen to the words read out loud. If you don’t speak the language, you can translate it into your own. Today, we’re also launching support for Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.
Bolo is a speech-based reading app that helps kids learn how to read in English. It encourages them to read out loud and then provides individual, customized feedback to help improve their reading capabilities. It’s already available in India, and today we’re bringing it to Nigeria and Ghana.
A taste of Nigeria with Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture cooked up a project, “Come Chop Bellefull: A Taste of Nigeria,” that pays tribute to Nigeria’s vibrant and diverse food culture that spans generations and geography. You can explore Nigerian regional cooking and culture through 2,000 high resolution images and 30 stories created in collaboration with The Centenary Project at the Pan-Atlantic University.
Step insideMama Ashake’s Kitchen, join the celebration ofthe New Yam Festival with Nike Davies-Okundaye and discover the secret recipe of Jazzhole ownerTundun Tejuoso’s favourite drinks. Learn more about delicacies from Ofe Owerri toAkara, and Tuwo Masara toEdikaikong.
Supporting Nigerian musicians on YouTube
Today YouTube announced a commitment to support emerging talent in Nigeria. In the initial phase, YouTube is teaming up with Nigerian music star, Mr. Eazi and the emPawa initiative to support 10 emerging Nigerian music artists to build their craft, increase their fanbase and connect with the world through YouTube.
Launched by Mr. Eazi, emPawa Africa empowers the next generation of African artists, equipping them with the tools, knowledge, network and investment they need to become independent music entrepreneurs. So far, emPawa has supported 22 Nigerian artists to provide training to build their skills through digital platforms such as YouTube.
Every day, people in Nigeria, Africa and around the world turn to Google for help. We hope that the products and updates we’re announcing today will make Google even more helpful for finding things out and getting things done. We remain committed to bringing the transformational power of technology to people everywhere.
Today, at Google for Nigeria we introduced Gallery Go: a photo gallery, designed to work offline, that uses machine learning to automatically organize and make your photos look their best. Gallery Go helps first time smartphone owners easily find, edit, and manage photos, without the need for access to high-speed internet or cloud backup.
Your memories, automatically organized
Gallery Go automatically organizes your photos by the people and things you take photos of, so you can easily find your favorite selfie, remember where you had the best puff puff, and keep track of important documents. You don’t have to manually label your photos and all these features run on your phone, without using your data. You can create folders to organize your photos, and Gallery Go works with SD cards, so you can easily copy them from your phone.
Simple-to-use editing tools
With Gallery Go it’s easy to get great looking photos in just a few taps. Use auto enhance—one of my favorite editing tools in Google Photos—for instant fixes. You can also choose from a variety of filters to get a new look, and easily rotate and crop, so your photo looks just right.
Light and offline by design
Gallery Go was designed to work offline, to help you manage your photos using less data. And at just 10 MB, the app won’t slow down your phone and leaves space to store more memories.
Gallery Go is available in the Play Store for devices running Android 8.1 (Oreo) or higher. While the app is available worldwide, some features such as organizing photos by people aren’t available in all countries. For those of you who joined us at Google for Nigeria, Gallery Go will come pre-installed as the gallery app on the Itel S15 and select A55 devices beginning next month.
UPDATE (1/7/2020): With the Chrome 80 release scheduled for early February 2020, Chrome plans to address two additional loopholes which could be used to detect Incognito Mode sessions. With the first fix (Chromium issue #990592), Chrome will handle permanent file system requests similarly to temporary requests. With the second fix (Chromium issue #1017120), Chrome will no longer provide a fixed data storage limit in Incognito Mode and will instead dynamically allocate the quota based on available memory.
Chrome’s Incognito Mode is based on the principle that you should have the choice to browse the web privately. At the end of July, Chrome will remedy a loophole that has allowed sites to detect people who are browsing in Incognito Mode. This will affect some publishers who have used the loophole to deter metered paywall circumvention, so we’d like to explain the background and context of the change.
Private browsing principles
People choose to browse the web privately for many reasons. Some wish to protect their privacy on shared or borrowed devices, or to exclude certain activities from their browsing histories. In situations such as political oppression or domestic abuse, people may have important safety reasons for concealing their web activity and their use of private browsing features.
We want you to be able to access the web privately, with the assurance that your choice to do so is private as well. These principles are consistent with emerging web standards for private browsing modes.
Closing the FileSystem API loophole
Today, some sites use an unintended loophole to detect when people are browsing in Incognito Mode. Chrome’s FileSystem API is disabled in Incognito Mode to avoid leaving traces of activity on someone’s device. Sites can check for the availability of the FileSystem API and, if they receive an error message, determine that a private session is occurring and give the user a different experience.
With the release of Chrome 76 scheduled for July 30, the behavior of the FileSystem API will be modified to remedy this method of Incognito Mode detection. Chrome will likewise work to remedy any other current or future means of Incognito Mode detection.
Publisher impact and strategies
The change will affect sites that use the FileSystem API to intercept Incognito Mode sessions and require people to log in or switch to normal browsing mode, on the assumption that these individuals are attempting to circumvent metered paywalls.
Unlike hard paywalls or registration walls, which require people to log in to view any content, meters offer a number of free articles before you must log in. This model is inherently porous, as it relies on a site’s ability to track the number of free articles someone has viewed, typically using cookies. Private browsing modes are one of several tactics people use to manage their cookies and thereby “reset” the meter count.
Sites that wish to deter meter circumvention have options such as reducing the number of free articles someone can view before logging in, requiring free registration to view any content, or hardening their paywalls. Other sites offer more generous meters as a way to develop affinity among potential subscribers, recognizing some people will always look for workarounds. We suggest publishers monitor the effect of the FileSystem API change before taking reactive measures since any impact on user behavior may be different than expected and any change in meter strategy will impact all users, not just those using Incognito Mode.
Our News teams support sites with meter strategies and recognize the goal of reducing meter circumvention, however any approach based on private browsing detection undermines the principles of Incognito Mode. We remain open to exploring solutions that are consistent with user trust and private browsing principles.
I’ve worked as a software engineer on Google products like Photos and Maps for four years. But if you asked me to interview for a new role today, I doubt most technical interviews would accurately measure my skills. I would need to find time to comb through my college computer science books, practice coding theory problems like implementing linked lists or traversing a graph, and be prepared to showcase this knowledge on a whiteboard.
According to a survey we conducted of over 2,500 working software engineers, nearly half of the respondents spent more than 15 hours studying for their technical interviews. Unfortunately, many companies still interview engineers in a way that’s entirely disjointed from day-to-day engineering work—valuing access to the time and resources required to prepare over actual job-related knowledge and skills.
As a result, the tech interview process is often inefficient for companies, which sink considerable engineering resources into a process that yields very little insight, and frustrating for candidates, who aren’t able to express their full skill-set.
At Byteboard, a project built inside of Area 120 (Google’s workshop for experimental projects), we’ve redesigned the technical interview experience to be more effective, efficient and equitable for all. Our project-based interview assesses for engineering skills that are actually used on the job. The structured, identity-blind evaluation process enables hiring managers to reliably trust our recommendations, so they have to conduct fewer interviews before reaching a confident hiring decision. For candidates, this means they get to work through the design and implementation of a real-world problem in a real-world coding environment on their own time, without the stress of going through high-pressured theoretical tests.
An effective interview to assess for on-the-job skills
We built the Byteboard interview by pairing our software engineering skills analysis with extensive academic research on assessment theory and inclusion best practices. Our interview assesses for skills like problem solving, role-related computer science knowledge, code fluency, growth mindset and interpersonal interaction. Byteboard evaluators—software engineers with up to 15+ years of experience—are trained to objectively review each anonymized interview for the presence of 20+ essential software engineering skills, which are converted into a skills profile for each candidate using clear and well-defined rubrics.
By providing a more complete understanding of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses across a range of skills, Byteboard enables hiring managers and recruiters to make data-backed hiring decisions. Early tester Betterment saw their onsite-to-offer rates significantly increase by using Byteboard, indicating its effectiveness at identifying strong candidates for the job.
A more efficient interview to save engineers time
Byteboard offers an end-to-end service that includes developing, administering and evaluating the interviews, letting companies focus on meeting more potential candidates face-to-face and increasing the number of candidates they can interview. Our clients have replaced up to 100 percent of their pre-onsite interviews with the Byteboard interview, allowing them to redirect time toward recruiting candidates directly at places like conferences and college campuses.
An equitable interview format to reduce bias
The Byteboard interview is designed to grant everyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, name, background or education, the same opportunity to demonstrate their skills. Traditional technical interviews tend to test for understanding of theoretical concepts, which often require a big investment of time or resources to study up on. This can create anxiety for candidates who may not have either of those to spare as they are looking for a new job. By focusing on engineering skills that are actually used on the job, Byteboard allows candidates to confidently show off their role-related skills in an environment that is less performative and more similar to how they typically work as engineers.
I felt less anxious while doing the interview and it gave me the most complete view of my strengths and weaknesses than any other interview I’ve done.a recent candidate from Howard University
The Byteboard Assessment Development team of educators and software engineers develop challenging questions that are tested and calibrated among engineers across a wide range of demographics. Through Byteboard’s anonymization and structured evaluation of the interviews, hiring managers can make decisions with confidence without relying on unconscious biases.
With Byteboard, our ultimate goal is to make interviewing better for companies and candidates alike. Companies looking to improve their hiring process can get in touch at byteboard.dev.