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Effective phone number verification

Posted by Steven Soneff, Identity Product Manager

To build apps that make use of phone numbers, it's often crucial to verify that the user owns a number. Doing this can be tricky from a UX perspective, not least in understanding phone number formats in different locales, but also in providing a verification mechanism that isn't cumbersome or using intrusive device permissions, such as the ability to read all of a user's SMS.

There are many libraries for efficient pre-built phone authentication, such as Firebase Phone Auth, but if you are an advanced developer and need to build this functionality yourself, Google Play Services has two new APIs that help you obtain a user's phone number and verify it via SMS without device permissions: the Phone Selector and SMS Retriever. Apps like Flipkart have seen a 12% increase of success rates in phone number sign-up flows using these methods.

The steps for using these with your server can be seen here:

In this post we'll show the code that you need to provide a phone number selector to your users, and then use this with the SMS retriever API to request a verification code from your server that the Android device will automatically receive and parse with no input from the user.

Note: Before you begin you'll need to build and test this is a device with a phone number that can receive SMS and runs Google Play services 10.2.x and higher.

Using the Phone Selector to get the number

The first step is to have the user initiate SMS verification from within your app. Your app might prompt the user to enter a phone number, and you can use the Phone Selector to make this easier, using code like this:

// Construct a request for phone numbers and show the picker
private void requestHint() {
    HintRequest hintRequest = new HintRequest.Builder()
           .setPhoneNumberIdentifierSupported(true)
           .build();

    PendingIntent intent = Auth.CredentialsApi.getHintPickerIntent(
            apiClient, hintRequest);
    startIntentSenderForResult(intent.getIntentSender(),
            RESOLVE_HINT, null, 0, 0, 0);
}

The HintRequest builder tells Play Services that a phone number identifier is needed. This is then used to create and start an intent, which will show a Play Service dialog to the user allowing them to select their phone number to share with the app. This API does not require any permissions, and displays the number(s) available on the phone or Google Account for the user to select.

When the user selects a phone number it will be returned to the application in onActivityResult in E164 format on devices running the latest version of Play Services. Note that in some cases, depending on your phone, you may not get a phone number, so be sure to check if the credential is non-null. If you don't have a number, you'll need to provide a way for your user to type it in manually.

// Obtain the phone number from the result
@Override
public void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
  super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data);
  if (requestCode == RESOLVE_HINT) {
      if (resultCode == RESULT_OK) {
          Credential credential = data.getParcelableExtra(Credential.EXTRA_KEY);
          // credential.getId(); <-- E.164 format phone number on 10.2.+ devices
      }
  }
}

At this point you'll have a phone number string for your user. While this is useful, you'll likely want to verify that the user owns this particular number, for example to allow them to send or retrieve message with other users or identifying themselves with this number.

Using the SMS Verification API to verify the number

A simple way to verify phone number ownership is by sending an SMS to the number, containing a one time verification code, and having them enter that into your app. The SMS Verification API gives you the ability for the app to listen for an incoming SMS from which it can parse the code automatically.

To get started, your app will SmsRetrieverClient with code like this:

SmsRetrieverClient client = SmsRetriever.getClient(this /* context */);

Task<Void> task = client.startSmsRetriever();

task.addOnSuccessListener(new OnSuccessListener<Void>() {
  @Override
  public void onSuccess(Void aVoid) {
    // successfully started an SMS Retriever for one SMS message
  }
});

task.addOnFailureListener(new OnFailureListener() {
  @Override
  public void onFailure(@NonNull Exception e) {
  });
);

It's pretty simple -- you get an SMS Retriever client and then start a task for it. The task has an on Success listener as well as an on Failure one to override. After starting the SMS Retriever, you'd send the user's phone number to your server and start it's workflow for generating the message and sending it to that number.

The message needs to be constructed in a specific way. The message must fit in an SMS message, so it can't be longer than 140 bytes. It needs to start with a specific prefix: '<#>' or two consecutive zero-width space characters (U+200B). See the documentation for your more information. It must end with an 11-character hash that identifies your app, described below.

Example:

<#> Use 123456 as your verification code in Example App!

FA+9qCX9VSu

The one-time verification code can be any string: you can simply generate a random number. The message needs to end with a hash that is determined according to the procedures here. Google Play services will use this hash to determine which app the verification message is for. You only need to generate this hash once for your app package and signing certificate: it won't change and shouldn't be supplied by the client app.

Your server can then send the message to the phone using your existing SMS infrastructure or service. When this message is received, Google Play services broadcasts an intent which contains the text of the message. Here's the code:

public class MySMSBroadcastReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {

  @Override
  public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {
    if (SmsRetriever.SMS_RETRIEVED_ACTION.equals(intent.getAction())) {
      Bundle extras = intent.getExtras();
      Status status = (Status) extras.get(SmsRetriever.EXTRA_STATUS);

      switch(status.getStatusCode()) {
        case CommonStatusCodes.SUCCESS:
          String message = (String) extras.get(SmsRetriever.EXTRA_SMS_MESSAGE);
          break;
        case CommonStatusCodes.TIMEOUT:
          break;
      }
    }
  }
}

In the onReceive of the broadcast receiver you get the extras, and pull the status from there. If the status indicates that the message was successfully received, you can pull the message from the extras. From here you can parse out the verification code and send it back to your server to confirm phone number ownership.

For more information, check out the full documentation and this year's Google I/O talk.

Testimonies of Early Adopters

Our early partners who use this API love it. Here are some testimonials from them:

Twilio observed and blogged that Android SMS Verification has never been easier.

"If you're a developer building mobile apps on Android that use phone numbers to register and identify user accounts, you should be using Twilio Verification SDK for Android for the quickest way to solve the problem of providing a smooth, secure and easy sign-up flow." - Simon Thorpe, Product Owner at Twilio

Authy loved the fact that these APIs work with their existing SMS infrastructure without requiring many changes.

"Adding Phone Selector + SMS Retriever into Authy 2FA app delivers magical UX for users while retaining the high security our application requires." -- Serge Kruppa, Head of Authy Engineering

Telesign observed better UX, increased security and higher conversion rates with the same backend framework.

"One significant advantage of this verification mode with lower friction is that customers might be able to see increased conversion rates for user sign-up and registration scenarios.

Enhanced security is also a benefit as Google Play Services only provides access to the SMS message to the targeted application based on the application hash inside the message." -- Priyesh Jain (Post author)

#teampixel heads to the Big Easy with Pixel 2

With Google Pixel 2 hitting the streets soon, we’re excited to see what new photography fills the #teampixel feeds in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we visited New Orleans, LA, with Timothy McGurr who captured some of the city’s unique quirks and characters for a recent shoot, Pixel 2 in tow.


Check out his lovely photos—all of which are in their natural state with absolutely no retouching, no attachments and no other equipment. Because let’s face it...New Orleans is best experienced unfiltered.   

Threat Round Up for Oct 6 – Oct 13

Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we’ve observed between October 6 and October 13. As with previous round-ups, this post isn’t meant to be an in-depth analysis. Instead, this post will summarize the threats we’ve observed by highlighting key behavior characteristics, indicators of compromise, and how our customers are automatically […]

Creating a Digital Animation Identity on Chelsea

Katherine Isabelle Weber, a graphics producer on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, didn’t actually study animation or design in college. She wanted to be a writer or film editor, and after graduation landed a job as an editor’s assistant at Daily Planet Productions in Chicago.

“They hired me as an editor’s assistant, but asked if I knew how to animate because they needed someone to do titles,” says Katherine. “At the time I didn’t know Adobe Photoshop or After Effects. I spent the summer doing online tutorials and digging into After Effects and fell in love with it. I realized that I actually liked that aspect of post-production better than editing.”

Katherine became a motion designer at Daily Planet where she worked for four years before starting to freelance. Eventually, she made the move to Los Angeles, where she continued freelancing for companies including Disney and Beachbody, while evolving her skills to include character animation.

“I got to the point where I wanted to do more design,” she says. “I heard about the job at Chelsea through a friend and it seemed like a great fit. As a freelancer, you plateau at a certain level. I wanted to keep growing, so it was just the right time for me to take on something with a bit more responsibility.”

Working at Chelsea, Katherine is doing a lot more design work. She’s also the only animator on staff, so is responsible for all of the animation and visual effects work. “Believe it or not, there’s a lot of tracking and VFX work at Chelsea,” she says. “We do a lot of screen replacements and rotoscoping, and I also do motion tracking in After Effects with Mocha, which works really well.”

The team consists of two full-time graphics producers, a full-time assistant graphics producer, and a part-time assistant. In addition to producing the graphics Chelsea Handler uses during her monologue, they work on a lot of field pieces, which are primarily parodies and fake commercials. For example, they worked on a fake pharmaceutical commercial that involved a 3D animation of a pill traveling through someone’s body. They also create a lot of lower thirds and titles for various segments.

“It’s cool because we get to mimic a lot of different styles,” says Katherine. “I like trying to figure out how to replicate a look that has appeared somewhere else. We did a green screen project that involved tracking and mapping a video onto a green screen that ultimately gets cut in half when someone comes crashing through it. It’s always a different kind of challenge.”

In addition to regularly using Photoshop and After Effects, Katherine also uses Adobe Illustrator to create graphics and Adobe Premiere Pro when she has a longer editing project or when she needs to incorporate audio. But her primary application is After Effects, and she started using the Adobe Character Animator beta as soon as it was available. After following its progress, she was excited to see the animations done on The Simpsons and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“I saw The Simpsons animation and I was floored because it was just so smooth,” says Katherine. “I thought because it was live maybe the voice and movements wouldn’t match up, but with Adobe Character Animator it was flawless. It looked like it was animated in advance.”

Katherine is particularly excited about the possibilities Adobe Character Animator opens up with social media. The team is discussing incorporating it into a Facebook Live chat and other social activities.

“Social media is a big part of growing our show,” says Katherine. “We make a lot of digital content that never even goes on the show. To have a tool like adobe Character Animator that lets us talk to the public directly using fun characters is really impressive. It also helps us incorporate more animation in the show and gives it a digital animated identity separate from the live action content.”

For a recent “Build-A-Wall Workshop” commercial developed for Chelsea, Katherine animated the character by hand and also used Character Animator for the facial movement. “Adobe Character Animator really sped up my workflow, and it wasn’t that big of a learning curve,” she says. “It wasn’t that different than the animation I was already doing, it was just a lot faster and more responsive.”

The show’s producers have seen the growth of the graphics department, and are always suggesting new ideas for graphics that they want to see added. “We’re always trying to get more and better graphics into the show, so I’m just really excited about the opportunities that Adobe Character Animator presents to us,” says Katherine. “I’m looking forward to pushing our work forward and expanding the possibilities of what we can create.”

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud pro video tools

Learn more about Adobe Character Animator

A New Solution for High End Workstations – Presented by 2017 MAX Sponsor, AMD

The Radeon™ Pro WX 9100 card is AMD’s flagship workstation graphics solution based on the revolutionary “Vega” GPU architecture.  Begin accelerating your workflows using technologies like the High Bandwidth Cache Controller (HBCC), a radically new GPU memory hierarchy that pushes new frontiers in real-time visualization with hyper-realistic rendering techniques.  Radeon Pro WX 9100 card, enable you to tackle larger and more complex models through the entire design visualization pipeline.

In addition to cutting-edge hardware, when you purchase a Radeon Pro WX 9100 you’ll have access to our amazing Radeon™ Pro software ecosystem. These tools are there to help improve your workflow experience; for example, you can take your designs and models and move them into VR. With the massive parallel processing capabilities of the graphics processor, you can render a model or scene, and using our Radeon™ ProRender Game Engine Importer tool (Beta), import it into the Unreal Engine to preview and interact with your model in a virtual reality environment.  Watch the video below to see this being demonstrated.

One card not powerful enough? Add additional Radeon Pro WX 9100 cards into your system for even more performance.  With a multi-GPU setup of up to four Radeon Pro WX 9100 cards, you get greater performance to do demanding tasks like real-time interactive editing of a scene in applications such as the latest version of MAXON’s Cinema 4D (R19) that has support for multi-GPUs and native integration of Radeon ProRender.

 

As with every Radeon Pro WX card, you get certified applications with many of today’s top applications across design and manufacturing as well as media and entertainment spaces, regular enterprise driver updates and 24/7 support1 that you’d expect from professional grade graphics.  Built to tackle the most demanding workloads in media and entertainment as well as design and manufacturing, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 card is available today for purchase.

One More Thing!

At AMD, we continually strive to come out with products that shake up the industry. One of these revolutionary products is the new Radeon™ Pro SSG professional graphics card, available now for purchase.  The Radeon Pro SSG card is the very first graphics card to have 2TB of memory on board.  With access to such vast amounts of memory, users can create high-fidelity real-time VFX pre-visualizations to help inform and make decisions on-the-fly, or work on 8K, VR, 360 video stitching and other highly demanding graphics workloads effortlessly.

If you’re attending the Adobe Max 2017 Creativity Conference (https://max.adobe.com/) in Las Vegas the week of October 16th, come see us at the Community Pavilion, Booth #682 where you can check out some amazing demos and workflows powered by the Radeon Pro WX 9100 and Radeon Pro SSG cards.

Learn more about the Radeon Pro WX 9100 – https://pro.radeon.com/en/product/wx-series/radeon-pro-wx-9100/

Learn more about the Radeon Pro SSG – https://pro.radeon.com/en/product/pro-series/radeon-pro-ssg/

Learn more about Radeon ProRender technology – https://pro.radeon.com/en/software/prorender/

Learn more about the Radeon ProRender Game Engine Importer (beta) – https://pro.radeon.com/en/radeon-prorender-for-blender-and-solidworks-now-available/

Learn how VR is changing the way professionals create – https://pro.radeon.com/en/pro-vr/

See what Radeon Pro is up to in the professional graphics world – https://pro.radeon.com/en/category/solutions/

Footnotes:

  1. 24/7 Support is only guaranteed in English.

Filmmaking Team Delivers Panoramic, 6K Experience in 6 Below

Filmmaking Team Delivers Panoramic, 6K Experience in 6 Below

On a frigid winter day in 2004, Eric LeMarque’s snowboarding adventure turned into a nightmare when he became lost in a remote region of the Sierra Nevada. Thus began a harrowing week-long journey in which the former Olympic ice hockey player would come to terms with personal demons and his own mortality in a fight for survival. 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain, edited in 6K native using Adobe Premiere Pro, brings LeMarque’s true story to the big screen in vivid detail. Following its Exclusive Cinema Premiere in theaters across America on Thursday, October 12, 2017, the film will be available on demand and digital HD on Friday, October 13, 2017.

Josh Hartnett as Eric LeMarque in the action/inspirational film 6 Below a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum Pictures.

Some directors might be hesitant about taking on a story that dramatizes an internal struggle against the harsh elements. But director Scott Waugh is always up for a challenge. He began his movie career as a stunt actor at the age of 12. After decades in the business, he transitioned to a position behind the camera as a director and producer on movies such as Act of Valor, which features realistic depictions of Navy SEAL operations starting real-life Navy SEALs.

“My background is in action film, but I’ve always been drawn to filmmakers who combine really great action with emotional stories,” says Waugh. The attraction to LeMarque’s story went deeper than the desire to tell a story of intense survival, Waugh played hockey with LeMarque for several years in his youth. “I felt like the story was destined for me,” he says. “I wanted full creative control, so we went the independent route to make the movie that we wanted to make.”

Josh Hartnett as Eric LeMarque in the action/inspirational film 6 Below a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum Pictures.

To truly capture the scale of LeMarque’s fight against nature, Waugh needed an equally epic screen to capture it. That’s why Waugh became the first director to shoot a feature film entirely for the BARCO Escape format. BARCO Escape uses three movie screens side-by-side to provide a 270-degree panoramic experience that takes audiences deep into the story, creating a greater sense of LeMarque’s lone struggle against vast expanses of snow.

Shooting a film for new technology is no easy task. Waugh filmed the entire movie on RED Dragon cameras in 6K to accommodate the unique BARCO Escape requirements. He also brought on accomplished editor Vashi Nedomansky to help mold the footage together. Unbeknownst to Waugh, Nedomansky also had a connection to the material: he played professional hockey with LeMarque for nearly a decade.

(L-R) Josh Hartnett as Eric LeMarque and Marty McSorely as Boston Bruins Coach in the action/inspirational film 6 Below a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum Pictures.

“Scott didn’t even realize that I knew Eric,” says Nedomansky. “It added another layer to the challenge for all of us, because of our personal connections it was critical that we tell the best story possible.”

Waugh and Nedomansky knew that they wanted a flexible, platform that would enable them to edit the 6K footage natively. “We’re a small, independent production, so when you think about the time and cost involved with transcoding footage, it didn’t make sense,” says Nedomansky. “It’s almost lunacy to attempt a 6K native workflow untested, but we knew we had to try it. Adobe Premiere Pro CC was the obvious software choice because it’s the only software proven to work at high native resolutions.”

Waugh created several editing workstations with Premiere Pro running on Dell Precision 7910 towers with NVIDIA GPUs. This workflow allows editors to pull 6K footage into the Premiere Pro timeline and start editing right away—no transcoding needed.

Mira Sorvino as Susan Lemarqe in the action/inspirational film 6 Below a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum Pictures.

“The best thing about editing native is that you get what you see,” says Waugh. “It gives you the freedom to really play with the edit and catch those in-frame details that will support the story in your mind.”

Eliminating the need to transcode also sped up production by allowing Nedomansky and assistant editor Jon Carr to start editing the film from day one of the six-week shoot.

“I prefer working with everything on one timeline as it helps me see how everything fits together,” says Nedomansky. “Before we left Salt Lake City, I’d cut about 62 minutes of the film and had it all on one Premiere Pro timeline. We pushed and it didn’t break, which was really impressive.”

Josh Hartnett as Eric LeMarque in the action/inspirational film 6 Below a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum Pictures.

In addition to his assistant editor duties, Carr doubled as the visual effects artist. By taking advantage of Dynamic Link between Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects CC, Carr could take a scene from the Premiere Pro timeline, remove reflections or comp in night skies using After Effects, and then seamlessly return the shot to the timeline—all without rendering or transcoding.

“If we had a greenscreen shot, I could have it dropped into the edit within half an hour,” says Carr. “We did 99% of the visual effects in house—about 300 shots—and we couldn’t have done it so quickly and easily without Adobe Creative Cloud.”

Between the BARCO Escape release, traditional theatrical release, and eventual Blu-ray release, Waugh needed to accommodate many different frame sizes for a single movie. Premiere Pro is flexible enough to handle all resolution, output, and title options from a single app. Because they were editing in real time, they could also continue to make changes right up to the last second, allowing them to give the story polish without any wasted post-production time. Rounding out the post-production pipeline were Audition, which the team used for first pass audio mixing and Media Encoder, which was used for the DCP outputs.

Josh Hartnett as Eric LeMarque in the action/inspirational film 6 Below a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum Pictures.

“I can honestly say that the combination of Adobe, Dell, and NVIDIA on this project created the most powerful and most fun system I’ve ever used,” says Nedomansky.

“The power of Premiere Pro is truly mind-blowing. It’s a fantastic example of how technology can support creativity,” says Waugh. “Combined with the super-systems from Dell and NVIDIA, I think we were able to accomplish the impossible. There’s truly not another system that could have handled this production.”

Join Adobe for the 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain live filmmaker Q&A on October 13, 2017 from 8:30 PM to 8:30 PM on the Adobe Premiere Pro Facebook page.

Official Website: www.6BelowTheMovie.com

Official Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/6BelowFilm

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud pro video tools

Unlocking the Power of Creative Energy With Dropbox

Productivity is good—but it’s not why we work. It’s not what gets us out of bed in the morning. It’s not what drives us to try something exciting, to make something new, something we love, something that lasts.

Creative energy is the spark that keeps us going long after office hours are over. The more energy you have for the work you love, the more energy you have to share with your team, and the more energy you ultimately get back in return. It’s not just powerful, it’s renewable. And it’s inside every member of your team.

At Dropbox, we want to help creative problem solvers tap into their team’s energy and keep it flowing. Instead of talking about “productivity” and “doing more”, we want to create open, collaborative environments that embrace transparency and help teams find a new — and better — way forward. Not only are we committed to creating a culture of transparency at Dropbox, but we see evidence of it’s value in the work of our customers, who serve as inspiration to us everyday.

Empowering energy at World Bicycle Relief

One such example is that of World Bicycle Relief. When F.K. Day and Leah Missbach Day saw the devastating impact of the Indian Ocean tsunami, they felt called to help. But they wanted to do more than just send money. After learning that bicycles were one of the best tools for helping survivors mobilize, F.K. decided to leverage his expertise as a co-founder of the SRAM corporation to make a bigger impact. So he and Leah founded World Bicycle Relief to help the people who had been relocated from their homes, schools, and places of work to get moving again.

After distributing over 20,000 bikes to the people of Sri Lanka, WBR learned that the same number of people who died in the tsunami die every two weeks in Africa from hunger and preventable disease. ”You can’t walk away from a statement like that,” said F.K. “So we decided to scale up in Africa.” Using Dropbox to keep their supply chain moving, WBR has now distributed over 350,000 bicycles to the field. By providing access to critical resources, they continue their mission to mobilize the developing world one bicycle at a time.

“I look at the creative energy of good, passionate people working together in harmony,” observes F.K. “It’s an unstoppable force.”

Tapping into otherworldly energy with Future Wife

Collaboration is also core to the work of artist Beau Burrows, co-founder of design collective Future Wife, who wants to teleport people to other worlds. Using Dropbox to collaborate and run the engineering of his installations, he invents interactive experiential installations that are tactile, escapist, and completely immersive. He’s worked with other tech-driven artists like Dave and Gabe, and created installations for everyone from Skrillex to Absolut.

Beau says he uses nature to influence his work, both directly and subconsciously. “In the same way that life has evolved in interactive processes of organisms, I think that it’s important for my work to overlap and never be finished so that a past iteration of a certain piece might turn into a new piece. That parallels evolution, but it also just feels like a more natural way to work.”

Powering creative energy through transparency 

On Wednesday at 3:30 pm, we’ll be hosting a session, ‘Transparent Teams: Driving Alignment Through an Open Creative Process,’ to explore how open collaboration powers creative energy. During the session, we’ll draw from our own experience creating a culture of transparency at Dropbox as well as share insights gathered from our customer community. Register today to join us for what will be a lively — and transparent — discussion.

Design Your Own Adventure with Airstream

In 1931, Airstream began with Wally Byam’s dream: to design a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere. Wally’s focus on sleek and highly efficient design is a value we have maintained through the decades. The Airstream Globetrotter is our latest iteration of commitment to Wally’s vision. This trailer is a celebration of European design. With its soft curves and symmetry, the Globetrotter offers a clean, uncluttered look that celebrates simplicity and order. It’s our most design-forward Airstream that feels as comfortable as it is cosmopolitan.

Part of our mission has always been, “To open a whole world of new experiences…a new dimension in enjoyment where travel, adventure, and good fellowship are your constant companions.” To us, innovation is just as important as maintaining the classic Airstream look and feel. As we launch our latest designs and continue looking forward to offer people a world of new experiences, we’re challenging and inviting the world’s top designers to share their favorite creations with us in the form of an exterior trailer wrap.

What would it look like to have your designs featured on the exterior of one of our iconic travel trailers? It’s time to find out.

Visit www.AirstreamDesignContest.com to download your Airstream Travel Trailer template and find a full set of instructions. Use this template to throw your personal touch on one of our travel trailers. Think big, bold, over the top… or calm, cool, and understated – we want you to express your own signature style.

Once you have created your very own travel trailer wrap, upload your designs onto Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag: #AirstreamDesignContest. The winner will be chosen by a team of Airstream and Adobe executives and announced on November 15, 2017. Qualifying entries will be judged on skill, originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit.

For the winner of this contest, the entire contiguous United States will be your playground as you will receive a 1 month road trip as a part of Airstream’s Endless Caravan – in a travel trailer featuring your designs!

Samsung Removes Restrictions with Improved Smartphone Accessibility

The white cane is an important aid for many blind and visually impaired people around the world to help them go about their daily lives. In addition, the tool shows others that impaired vision isn’t something that should hold people back. White Cane Safety Day on 15th October celebrates the achievements of the blind and people with low vision and recognizes the freedom they can have in life with the necessary adjustments.

 

To mark the day, Samsung is reflecting on the tools it has developed in collaboration with people with reduced vision capabilities to improve the usability of its products. Small changes mean that more people can enjoy Samsung’s flagship products without missing out on functionality.

 

 

 

The New Black

Some of the most recent developments can be seen in Samsung’s smartphones. Samsung’s High Contrast theme, which can be downloaded from the Samsung Themes Store, was designed to help users with reduced vision capabilities read text more clearly. The company recently launched the second version of the High Contrast theme, called Sky Black, which has been well received by users.

 

Samsung’s latest High Contrast theme, Sky Black.

 

High Contrast themes are predominantly black to help readability without overwhelming users with bright light. Users with reduced vision capabilities tend to hold their device close to their eyes. A white background would be too bright for them to read. The use of a dark palette helps with overall usability.

 

High Contrast functionality from Sky Black is applied to the entire range of the phone’s main screens such as the home screen, menu and functionality. The design of Sky Black has become so popular that all user types are downloading it for their smartphones – even those without restricted vision.

 

Sky Black follows the success of the first High Contrast theme called Sunset Black. The original theme of this type was launched earlier this year alongside the Galaxy S8 and has been downloaded a million times. It prompted Samsung to listen to the feedback of its users with reduced vision capabilities and refine this accessibility feature even more.

 

The original High Contrast theme, Sunset Black.

 

 

Clearer Browsing

Surfing the web is an activity that all smartphone users frequently do. It made sense then, for Samsung to introduce High Contrast to its Samsung Internet app. It serves an important need because previously, when users deployed the Invert Color option to make the text more readable, the images would become distorted. High Contrast mode on the Samsung Internet app makes everything easier to view – both text and images. This new functionality is receiving positive responses from users participating in the ongoing beta phase. The official launch of High Contrast mode will be within the coming weeks.

 

High Contrast mode (right) in the Samsung Internet app allows users to flip the contrast of the text in the original  internet web pages (left), without distorting the images.

 

Our smartphones are now such an integral part of everyday life. It’s vital that everyone can interact with them easily and without restriction. Samsung is breaking down the barriers and enabling the best experience for everyone.

Ok Google, let’s get spooky

It’s Friday the 13th and just a couple weeks ‘til Halloween. Whether you’d prefer to hand out candy, dress like a pirate or scare yourself silly, your Google Assistant can help you get in the spooky spirit:

halloween

🤖 "Ok Google, what should I be for Halloween?"

🎃 “Ok Google, get directions to the nearest pumpkin patch”

👹 "Ok Google, how do I get rid of monsters?"

🍬 “Ok Google, add Halloween candy to my shopping list”

🙀 “Ok Google, scare me” 

👻 ”Ok Google, let's get spooky” (this one sets the Halloween vibe, with spooky music and flickering smart lights)

May all your Halloween dreams—or nightmares—come true. Happy (almost) Halloween!

How an X program manager writes her own history and preserves her Ecuadorian legacy

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re celebrating the fascinating stories and important contributions of our Hispanic Googlers—their histories, their families, and what keeps them busy inside and outside of work. Today we hear from Gladys Karina Jimenez Opper, an audacious moonshot catalyst and collector of world experiences, whose curiosity rivals Nancy Drew’s.  

gladys edit

What is the 10-second explanation of your job?

I am a Program Manager at X—I plan and execute internal projects that support the launch of moonshot technologies that we hope will one day make the world a radically better place.

What does Hispanic culture and heritage mean to you?

No matter your ethnicity, country of origin, or language, we all have a cultural heritage—a history written by those who came before us and a standing legacy for those yet to come. Culture represents our innate desire for community; a social framework that connects us to people with whom we share something in common. Heritage is generation-upon-generation of cultural experiences passed on by our parents, forefathers, and their ancestors before them, and traditions are the way we pass that heritage down. Sometimes preserved in song or in dance, food or artifacts, our cultural heritage and traditions keep our past, present and future connected at all times.

What is your favorite cultural tradition?

Dinner is always better when we eat together! Family dinners are a tradition in my household. Growing up, my great-aunt Emilia (“Mami Mila”) would cook the most heavenly dishes and no one was allowed to start dinner until everyone was present at the table. You usually don’t think of food when you think of mindfulness, but a shared meal is an extraordinary way to cultivate connection, allowing us to be present for ourselves and hold space for each other.

When did you (or generations before you) immigrate to the U.S.?

I was born in Ecuador. My parents were born in Ecuador. My grandparents were born in Ecuador. And that history goes back as far as we’ve been able to trace. When I was three years old my parents decided to move to the United States in pursuit of our American dream—it was surely the most difficult decision they ever had to make.

Tell us a bit about how you got to where you are today, and who helped you get there.

Knowing where I come from is a key part of knowing who I am and what I stand for. It helps me stay rooted and centered no matter the circumstance.


As a kid, many people disparaged my dreams of attending college. They would tell me,“Those things don’t happen to people like us,” but my parents encouraged me to persevere, work hard and retain hope. I was valedictorian of my high school class and attended Stanford University, where I graduated with both undergraduate and graduate degrees.


A couple of years later, I decided to pursue my dream of working at Google. My parents and husband continuously reminded me of the power and strength of conviction. Even the most audacious dreams can come true if you believe in yourself and work relentlessly toward your goal. That’s true at X too. What some deem impossible, we see as an opportunity to create impact. Not a bad fit for me at all.


What has been an important moment for you at X?

Important moments arise in everyday interactions; I am continuously humbled by the brilliance, kindness and generosity that surrounds me. And that’s more meaningful than one specific moment. “Meraki” is a Greek word for “doing something with soul, creativity, or love,” and that describes my colleagues, partners and friends at X. Every day is an opportunity to present a different perspective for our projects and products, to exemplify leadership, camaraderie and compassion.

How Android helped Dalmia Bharat go digital and grow their business

Editor's note: Today’s post comes from Sunil Tewari, Head of Technology and Business Services for Dalmia Bharat Group, one of India’s largest cement manufacturers. Read how Dalmia Bharat Group uses Android to increase sales, optimize cement delivery, and better connect their workforce.

Dalmia Cement is a leader in the Indian cement industry, producing over 9 million tons of cement for its customers every year. Founded as a division of the Dalmia Bharat Group in 1939, we’ve consistently innovated our manufacturing and production processes, pioneering specialty cements used for oil wells, railway sleepers, and air strips.

We’re quick to embrace solutions that make our business more efficient and responsive for our customers. So when it came to mobility, we turned to another powerhouse of innovation—Android. Our analog record-keeping system wasn’t keeping up with our needs: our customers are spread far and wide across India, so many of our employees spend their work hours largely on the road, making sales calls and deliveries. We have between 15,000 and 18,000 trucks delivering cement to cities and remote areas, and 600 sales representatives visiting customers every day.

In a business that relies on strong personal relationships between sales reps and customers, keeping track of contacts, purchases and deliveries with so many employees while on the go is difficult. Sales reps need to be able to get information quickly while they’re at a customer site or in the office. Managers need to make sure drivers are taking the quickest delivery route to where the customers are. And we need to track successful deliveries so we know when to bill the client.

Dalmia Android team

To make all of this a smoother process, we built three Android apps so that sales reps, dealers, and truck drivers could have the information they need most at their fingertips. Our SM@RT-D app gives our sales force the ability to place and track orders. Our SUVIDHA app is used by customers to place orders without needing to contact the sales team, and DriverSathi tracks deliveries and makes billing more efficient.

Android’s secure and flexible platform was the right choice for our company’s apps. We were able to build and deliver apps to our team in six weeks, which are used by more than 4,000 employees and customers.

We are using the Enterprise Mobility Management capabilities in G Suite to manage the devices we provide for our sales force. Employees can also bring their own devices to access resources like Gmail and our company’s apps—we use Android’s device policy controller to manage the work profile, keeping company data secure on these devices. Dealers use their own Android devices to access our apps and place orders.

Since our sales reps began using our SM@RT-D app, sales have increased, with 60 percent of all orders now placed digitally. Our sales team uses the app to get quick access to product information from a customer site, while managers use it to check when the rep last visited that customer and to see what other stops the rep has that day.

Going mobile with Android has been a key piece of our growth, as we’ve become one of the fastest-growing cement brands in India. Sunil Tewari
Dalmia Bharat Group

We have more than 8,000 active users of our SUVIDHA app, which allows our customers to place orders anytime. Prior to this, they had to call into our sales team. We now see more than 1,000 orders placed each day with the app, which accounts for 35 percent of total sales.

With our third app, DriverSathi, we can track cement deliveries. Drivers get electronic proof of delivery, so we know exactly when each delivery was made, leading to on-time payment for our delivery drivers. Orders are filled 10 percent faster now because the process isn’t paper-based. Customers and dealers know when they will be receiving orders so they can manage their own sales pipelines.

This app also streamlines billing. Previously, invoices were often delayed by up to a month and a half because everything was done via hard copy, and it sometimes took weeks for drivers to hand in the paper invoices. Now the invoicing process starts as soon as the delivery is made because the app verifies exactly when delivery is completed, triggering the payment process.

Building custom apps on Android helped improve every part of our business, starting with the sales process, going all the way through delivery and invoicing. Going mobile with Android has been a key piece of our growth, as we’ve become one of the fastest-growing cement brands in India. Our Android applications enabled us to provide service to more customers in a quicker fashion because our employees have information they need when they need it most—on the road. And by giving the most efficient routing information, workers spend less time driving and more time talking with customers. With Android, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Putting the “Why” in Remote PHY

Data demands are on the rise and Service Providers are looking for functional, cost-effective options. Enter Remote PHY to the scene. Learn more about why a rural operator chose Remote PHY.

Designing for A Billion Users: Zixuan Zhao on Baidu’s UX Innovations for The Chinese Market

Baidu may not be a household name outside of China, but it is the world’s second-largest search engine and a global goliath when it comes to internet (and AI) innovation. With a potential market of over a billion users, Baidu prioritizes UX design at a scale unheard of in most other companies. A major part of that UX strategy is Zixuan Zhao, a senior UX designer at Baidu, responsible for an app that regularly tops 400 million users.

At Adobe MAX, Zixuan will share some of the UX challenges and some of his company’s innovations during his talk Baidu Design: UX Innovations for A Billion Users. Ahead of that, we asked him to tell us more about designing for the Chinese market.

Your handle UX for an app with a staggering 400 million users. What’s your guiding principle?

Making a complex world simpler is my design philosophy. Humanistic, emotional, data-driven, and service system design are important factors for me in creating intuitive, elegant, and engaging user experiences.

What are the unique UX challenges of designing for the Chinese market?

China has the largest number of internet users in the world. Social stratification and user diversity are the root UX challenges of designing for the Chinese market. At Baidu, inclusive design, personalization, and care for the disadvantaged are our approaches to meet these challenges.

For example, we not only design user experience-based rich snippets that answer searchers’ questions as quickly as possible for queries, but we’ve also created 106 custom-designed rich snippets to provide effective and efficient service such as traveling, restaurants, entertainment, public welfare, and more. We’ve created consistent user experiences among complex demands.

Baidu is known for its UX innovations. What ways have you found to improve user experience?

Basically, there are two types of UX innovation at Baidu.

First, we design for service experiences in order to explore opportunities for improvement and innovation within service systems.

Second, we create compelling disruptive UX innovations driven by cutting-edge technologies in the age of AI. For instance, Duer, a conversational interface, enables us to shift the focus from serving individuals to families.

What about collaboration at Baidu? With such a big organization, how do UX designers collaborate quickly to create successful user experiences?

Designers share the same goal and the same mindsets at Baidu, which lays a solid foundation for effective collaboration. Specifically, we are focused on the same design goal, and that is to balance the desirability, feasibility, and viability, while we follow the same mindsets such as service design and humanistic design.

Within this context, we combine the mindsets of agile and design thinking to define problems and find solutions.

What should UX designers know about UX in China, before they starting doing work in the Chinese market?

There are two main points.

Primarily, UX designers need to constantly update their understanding of Chinese users with the intention of responding to rapid changes.

Most importantly, app promotion, marketing, and operation design are the driving forces behind product success in China. We are enthusiastic to build connections with users through the emotional designs of splash screens, on-boarding pages, activities, app’s pages, promotions in social networks, and websites for every festival, event, and update.

Why are you passionate about UX design?

I believe it is the diversity of user requirements, and that gives me more opportunities to fulfill my potential in different design areas such as the mobile app, conversational interface, and artificial intelligence.

To learn more about Zixuan Zhou’s work and Baidu’s UX innovations for the Chinese market, check out his talk at Adobe MAX.

[Interview] An Inside Look at the Planning of the Galaxy Note8

With the Galaxy Note8, users get a bigger Infinity Display, the S Pen to communicate in more personal ways, and Samsung’s best-ever smartphone camera to capture stunning photos. It’s a device that’s truly designed for the way consumers lead their lives and lean on technology today.

 

But what exactly does it take to plan a product like Samsung’s latest smartphone? BJ Kang and Cue Kim, of Samsung Electronics’ Global Product Planning Group, Mobile Communications Business, sat down with Samsung Newsroom to explain.

 

Cue Kim (left) and BJ Kang, of the Galaxy Note8’s planning team.

 

 

Q. Was the planning process for the Galaxy Note8 different from those of previous products?

 

Kang: Following the Galaxy Note7 incident, Samsung Mobile Communications Business, which had been moving forward so quickly, had the chance to reflect on the core benefits that Note users require of their device. When the time came to design the next model, we made it our priority to reward our loyal users with our most innovative Note yet.

 

Therefore, the product planning process for the Galaxy Note8 was far more intense than ever before. We also extended the assessment period to ensure maximum safety, and our designated task force carefully evaluated the product by means of the 8-Point Battery Safety Check.

 

 

Q. Did you also prioritize that approach – contemplating core benefits – when determining the Galaxy Note8’s new features?

 

Kim: Absolutely. Whereas before, we took a more ‘big picture’ approach when considering which features to add or innovations to apply, with the Galaxy Note8, we really wanted to hone in on the needs of our users.

 

To help ensure that consumers are getting what they want from their smartphone, Samsung utilizes qualitative and quantitative research methods such as surveys and interviews to better understand how Note users use their device and what they want from it. For the Galaxy Note8, we decided to focus on enhancing the camera, the S Pen and the large display because our research, going back to the release of the first Note, in 2011, has consistently indicated that these are the features that users love the most.

 

 

Q. What is the most important thing to consider when choosing new features to add to a Note device?

 

Kang: Our top priority is the needs of the consumer. We generally develop and refine a new technology over the course of a few years before implementing it into a product. During that time, we closely observe consumer needs and consider whether or not the new technology is capable of meeting them. When the timing is right, we apply the technology.

 

Take the Note8’s dual camera as an example. We’ve been developing this technology for quite some time, refining features like Live focus, which lets you snap beautiful bokeh shots that make your subject stand out, and Dual Capture, which simultaneously captures your subject and its surroundings in a separate image. Of course, fundamentally, a dual camera should not only offer crisp close-up images but steady ones as well, which is why we placed particular emphasis on incorporating seamless optical image stabilization (OIS) technology into both cameras.

 

 

By the time we’d advanced this technology to a point where it met our stringent standards, the timing was perfect to add it to the Galaxy Note8.

 

 

Q. Who are your target consumers?

 

Kim: When we originally launched the Galaxy Note series, we had a feeling that business professionals would love it. More recently, the devices’ primary user group has expanded to include just about anyone who values productivity, entertainment and creativity. Millennials in particular are drawn to the Note, as they enjoy its communication customization tools and high-performance camera.

 

 

Q. In your opinion, which features make the Note popular with business professionals?

 

Kang: Many of the features of the Galaxy Note8 are useful for business professionals! For instance, the Note’s large display enhances productivity and multitasking, while the new App Pair feature lets users launch two designated apps at once from a single icon. We’ve noticed that these users tend to love the Screen off memo feature the most. This allows them to scribble down up to 100 editable pages of meeting minutes or lecture notes right onto the screen, even when it’s off.

 

 

 

Q. Samsung Note users are known to be particularly loyal to the brand. How have they responded to the Galaxy Note8?

 

Kim: We already knew that the Note series had a loyal fan base, but the initial reactions to the Galaxy Note8, which were even stronger than those of the Galaxy Note7, made that fact even clearer.

 

Samsung actually invited a number of Note users to the Galaxy Note8 launch event in New York in August, which was essentially dedicated to the loyal fanbase. For me personally, it was extremely touching and motivating to see how passionate Note users are about the product. I was so happy to see that all of the hard work we had put into planning a product that Note users would love had paid off.

 

 

Q. What’s next for the Note series’ planning team?

 

Kang: Usually, when one project comes to an end, we have a small break before moving on to the next. But this time, we’re not taking any breaks, even though the Galaxy Note8 product planning process was so challenging.

 

We are already considering how to approach the development of the next Note by evaluating the latest model and looking for ways to improve upon signature features like the S Pen. We will continue to keep users’ needs as our number one priority, and will innovate accordingly.

Design Entrepreneurship

As design breaks out of its role as an aesthetic amenity, so too will the role of designers in business evolve and change, especially given the strategic and competitive advantage that design-led thinking provides. Half a decade into the first wave of high-profile design entrepreneurs such as Airbnb, Kickstarter and Pinterest, this panel brings together trailblazers in the design world responsible for inspiring, establishing, and leading today’s most exciting designer-led businesses. With an emphasis on smaller and early stage businesses, as well as the importance of diversity within the design discipline, this dynamic group will tackle the question of if it’s a better or worse climate for designers to be entrepreneurs today compared to 5 years ago and share their insights on what it takes to be successful in this space.

Tune into the live stream from MAX at http://be.net/live on Wednesday, 10/18 @5pm PDT to learn from and be inspired by these thought leaders.

Moderated by Adobe Principal Designer Khoi Vinh (@khoi), this panel of industry leaders will feature:
• Joey Cofone, (@joeycofone ‏)Designer, CEO and co-founder Baron Fig
• Tiffany Chu, (@tchu88) Designer and Co-founder of Remix
• Tricia Choi, Designer (@choijoy) and Co-founder of Movewith
• Enrique Allen, (@EnriqueAllen ‏)Co-Founder of DesignerFund

The Advantage of Remote PHY

Introduction of Cisco's whitepaper analyzing the total cost of ownership advantages of Remote PHY compared to analog Fiber Deep architectures.

Spotlight on Local News: 9 Days of Hurricane Irma Facebook Coverage for FOX 13 Tampa Bay

By Josh Mabry, Local News Partnerships

As Hurricane Irma hit Florida, local newsrooms across the state used Facebook to engage with audiences around the clock, especially as homes lost power and needed vital information on the storm’s movement. As the chief meteorologist for FOX 13 in Tampa Bay, Paul Dellegatto has seen several of the state’s worst hurricanes narrowly miss his city over the last decade. This time however, Hurricane Irma’s path went through the city, making it the biggest storm to hit Tampa in years.

Between September 7 and 15, Dellegatto relied on Facebook to keep his audience informed before, during and after the storm. Like so many meteorologists in Florida, his feed became an indispensable source of information. His follower count and engagement levels grew more than ever before as the city’s population turned to his live videos and posts to get the latest updates.

We’ll take you through how this local journalist used Facebook posts, Messenger, video and Live to prepare the audience informed and prepare them for Hurricane Irma.

 

Before the Storm

September 7
As the forecast changed many times leading up to Sunday’s storm, Dellegatto posted whatever new information he had to his Page. The storm models shifted on Thursday, September 7, three days before the storm, showing the probably of a direct hit. This information was shared over 25k times.

With that major shift, Dellegatto went Live that night to warn people of the coming storm. He went into detail ahead of the weekend about how people should be preparing and what they should realistically expect. This live was viewed more than 330k times.

September 8
After his posts on Thursday, he received over 1,500 messages in his Page’s inbox — answering as many as he could. People from around the the world who had family and friends in Florida were contacting him, wanting to know how the weather might effect loved ones.

September 9
Starting early Saturday morning, FOX 13 went into continuing coverage mode. When not on air for FOX 13, Dellegatto went Live to keep his audience not watching television up-to-date on Irma’s progress.

Hurricane Irma Hits Tampa Bay

September 10
The morning before the storm, the waterways of Tampa had been sucked dry by the hurricane. It was an odd site that the meteorologist shared to his page. Later that night, the water would come back with a vengeance, but a video of this occurance before the storm received 1.5 million views, 32k shares, and 4.5k comments.

The video was also featured prominently in an Instant Article published by FOX 13 that went viral for the station.

During the storm, many in the Tampa Bay area lost power and could no longer watch TV. FOX 13 went live on its own Page as well as Dellegatto’s, knowing it was one of the only ways for residents to get information. The storm’s predicted path was off as it took a northern turn. The Live from Dellegatto’s Page was viewed over 300k times as he reported on the storm’s change of direction.

The Aftermath

September 10
Towards the end of the storm, the big topic was how widespread the power outages were. Dellegatto put out a roll call to see the extent of outages and how long the outages lasted. The post received over 25k comments.

September 11
The day after, he encouraged readers to share photos of the damage caused by Irma in the comments of his post. Over a thousand photos and videos came through giving his audience views into how the storm personally affected people around the metropolitan area.

September 14
After collecting reader photos, he began sharing some of his favorites. This one came from the east coast of the state.

September 15
After spending 9 days around the clock with Dellegatto, following Irma’s movements, engaging with him in messages, going live, and sharing photos, people across the city were thankful — but also needed their space once again. The FOX 13 meteorologist couldn’t help but agree.

“Facebook allowed me to connect with my viewers and followers literally 24 hours a day as Irma was approaching Florida. Important changes in hurricane tracking and intensity often happen at odd times of day. Facebook provided a great opportunity to pass that critical information immediately to our viewers. I was able to go into much more depth on Facebook than I was on TV, many times getting down to the nitty gritty of the forecast and speaking directly to those affected.

Generally speaking, I use Facebook to directly connect with viewers because it is fast, it is real, and because it is a two-way street. It helps me understand their needs and concerns.” — WTVT Chief Meteorologist Paul Dellegatto


Now You Can Order Food with Facebook

By Alex Himel, VP of Local

Ordering food for takeout or delivery is supposed to be simple. That’s the point. But somehow it’s gotten complicated. First you need to decide what to eat, then you have to sift through a bunch of options and services.

Today, we’re taking the time out of finding what you want to eat by officially launching the ability to order food for pick-up or delivery, directly on Facebook. People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we’re making it even easier.

Facebook combines options from a number of food ordering services like EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo, as well as restaurants like Jack in the Box, Five Guys, Papa John’s, and Panera, so you don’t have to search through multiple places to find what you’re looking for. From local spots to national chains, Facebook connects you with old favorites and new discoveries in just a few taps. You can even check out what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you order your food.

You can browse restaurants nearby by visiting the Order Food section in the Explore menu. On this page, you can browse food options and select Start Order when you’ve found what you’re looking for. If the restaurant you want to order from offers takeout or delivery with multiple services, you can select which service you’d like to use. For example, if you have an account with Delivery.com, you can easily order with your existing login. If you don’t have an account with that service, you can quickly and easily sign up, without leaving the Facebook app.

We’ve been testing this since last year, and after responding to feedback and adding more partners, we’re rolling out everywhere in the US on iOS, Android and desktop.

People will be able to browse restaurants near them that take orders via Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow, Zuppler, EatStreet, Slice, and Olo, as well as directly from restaurants including Papa John’s, Wingstop, Panera, Jack in the BoxTGI Friday’s, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Five Guys and Jimmy John’s.

The Cisco Customer Care Power Chord

We’ve been building our own power chord for customer care products -- include the right solutions, the right partners, and the right story. Our story is how the Connected Digital Experience benefits the digital journeys of customers worldwide.

Vice Chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon to Resign as CEO of Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics announced today Vice Chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon plans to resign as the company’s head of the Device Solutions Business and will not seek re-election as a member of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Board when his term ends in March, 2018. Vice Chairman Kwon will also resign as the Chief Executive Officer of Samsung Display.

 

In an emotional letter sent to all employees, Vice Chairman Kwon said that announcing his retirement was the most difficult thing for him to do, but now was the right time and that he believes his decision is in the best interest of the company.

 

“It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off,” Vice Chairman Kwon said “As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry.”

 

Vice Chairman Kwon stated that during the past 32 years when he served as both a researcher and CEO, he has witnessed the company emerge as a global leader in the semiconductor business and that he harbors a “deep sense of pride and honor to have taken part in the company’s incredible journey to success.”

 

“There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world. We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other.”

 

“But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life.” He ended his remarks to employees by saying, “I would like to share my sense of pride and honor with you, and thank each one of you for your dedication and commitment to the company.”

 

Vice Chairman Kwon joined the company in 1985 as a researcher of the company’s Semiconductor Research Institute in the United States. He also served as president and head of the System LSI Division and as president and head of the Semiconductor Business before becoming CEO of the company in 2012. He also has served as the CEO of Samsung Display since 2016.

The High Five: top search trends this week

Here are a few of the week’s most searched trends, with data from the Google News Lab.  


California wildfires

On Sunday night, devastating wildfires began in Sonoma and other parts of California, causing tens of thousands of people to evacuate and killing at least 30. While emergency responders are still working to contain the fires, people searched for more information: “Where are the California wildfires?” “When did the California wildfires start?” and “What areas of California are affected by the wildfires?” Top searches related specifically to wildfire were “How to stop wildfires, “How to help California wildfire victims,” and “How to deal with wildfire smoke.” Searches in California for “air quality” increased 2,200 percent this week.


Harvey Weinstein

“Who is Harvey Weinstein?” was a top searched question this week, after an overwhelming number of women in Hollywood spoke out against the Hollywood producer, sharing their stories of assault and harassment. Of the women who went public, Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Ashley Judd and Ambra Battilana Gutierrez were the most searched.


Now free to roam the islands

Southwest Airlines announced this week that it’s expanding its service to Hawaii starting in 2018. Those who “Wanna Get Away” are searching, “When does the Southwest sale end?” “How often does Southwest have sales?” and “When does Southwest start flying to Hawaii?” Planning their next vacation, the states searching the most for Southwest Airlines this week were Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.


Kicked out

On Tuesday the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team lost to Trinidad and Tobago and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup tournament. Search interest in U.S. Men’s Soccer spiked by 480 percent on the day of the defeat, and the most searched teams this week were from Argentina, the U.S. and Ecuador. Soccer fans searched to find out how and where to watch the U.S. vs Trinidad and Tobago game, as well as “What happened to the US men’s soccer team?”

 

Bundle up

Pizza Hut is adding a topper to your winter outfit with its new Pizza Parka, a real jacket made of the same materials as their new pizza pie delivery pouch. Pizza lovers must know “How to win a Pizza Hut parka,” “How to purchase a Pizza Hut parka” and “How much is Pizza Hut’s parka?” If this put you in the mood for pizza, we can deliver—the most-searched pizza toppings this week were chicken, pepperoni, tomato, sausage and garlic.

Samsung Electronics Announces Earnings Guidance for 3Q 2017

Samsung Electronics today announced its earnings guidance for the third quarter of 2017.

 

  • Consolidated Sales: Approximately 62 trillion Korean won
  • Consolidated Operating Profit: Approximately 14.5 trillion Korean won

 

The above figures are estimates of consolidated earnings based on K-IFRS. Please note that Korean disclosure regulations do not allow earnings estimates to be provided as a range. Therefore, in compliance with such disclosure regulations, the above figures represent the median of the earnings estimate range, provided below.

 

  • Sales: 61 ~ 63 trillion Korean won
  • Operating Profit: 14.4 ~ 14.6 trillion Korean won

 

2017 2Q, 2016 3Q consolidated figures based on K-IFRS are as follows

(in trillion won)

2017. 2Q

2016. 3Q

Sales

61.00

47.82

Operating Profit

14.07

5.20

Introducing Android Instant Apps SDK 1.1

Jichao Li, Software Engineer; Shobana Ravi, Software Engineer

Since our public launch at Google I/O, we've been working hard to improve the developer experience of building instant apps. Today, we're excited to announce availability of the Android Instant Apps SDK 1.1 with some highly-requested features such as improved NDK support, configuration APKs for binary size reduction, and a new API to maintain user's context when they transition from an instant app to the installed app.

Introducing configuration APKs

For a great instant app experience, app binaries need to be lean and well structured. That's why we're introducing configuration APKs.

Configuration APKs allow developers to isolate device-specific resources and native libraries into independent APKs. For an application that uses configuration APKs, the Android Instant Apps framework will only load the resources and native libraries relevant to the user's device, thereby reducing the total size of the instant app on the device.

We currently support configuration APKs for display density, CPU architecture (ABI), and language. With these, we have seen an average reduction of 10% in the size of the binaries loaded. Actual savings for a given app depend on the number of resource files and native libraries that can be configured.

As an example, a user on an ARM device with LDPI screen density and language set to Chinese would then receive device-agnostic code and resources, and then only get the configuration APKs that have ARM native libraries, the Chinese language, and LDPI resources. They would not receive any of the other configuration APKs such as the x86 libraries, Spanish language strings, or HDPI resources.

Setting up configuration APKs for your app is a simple change to your gradle setup. Just follow the steps in our public documentation.

Persistent user context after installation

On Android Oreo, the internal storage of the instant version of the app is directly available to the installed version of the app. With this release of the SDK, we are enabling this functionality on older versions of the Android Framework, including Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat devices.

To extract the internal storage of the instant app, installed apps can now call InstantAppsClient.getInstantAppData() using the Instant Apps Google Play Services API and get a ZIP file of the instant app's internal storage.

Check out our code sample and documentation for more details on how to use this API.

Start building your Android Instant App

It's simple to start building your instant app on the latest SDK. Just open the SDK Manager in Android Studio and update your Instant Apps Development SDK to 1.1.0. We can't wait to see what instant app experiences you build with these new features.

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