Meet the finalists of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe

Posted by Adriana Puchianu, Developer Marketing Google Play

Back in October we launched the 2nd edition of the Google Play Indie
Games Contest in Europe
, with the aim to identify, showcase and reward indie
gaming talent from more than 30 countries. We were amazed by the innovation and
creativity that indie developers from the region have to offer.

Selecting just 20 finalists has once again been a huge challenge. We had a lot
of fun playing the games that will go on to showcase at the Saatchi
Gallery
on February 13th in London. Without further ado, we are happy
to announce the Top 20 finalists of this year’s edition. Congratulations to the
finalists and thanks to everyone else who has entered the contest.

A
Planet of Mine


Tuesday Quest

France

Bridge
Constructor Portal


ClockStone Softwareentwicklung GmbH

Austria

Bury
me, my Love


Playdius

France

Captain
Tom Galactic Traveler


Picodongames

France

Core

FURYJAM

Russia

Flat
Pack


Nitrome

United Kingdom

Fern
Flower


Macaque

Poland

I
Love Hue


Zut!

United Kingdom

Jodeo

Gamebra.in

Turkey

Kami
2

State of Play

United Kingdom

Kenshō

FIFTYTWO

Russia

No
More Buttons


Tommy Søreide Kjær

Norway

Old
Man’s Journey


Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH

Austria

Radium 2 | Ra²

Developster

Germany

The
Big Journey


Catfishbox

Ukraine

The
House of Da Vinci


Blue Brain Games, s.r.o.

Slovakia

The
Office Quest


11Sheep

Israel

Unbalance

TVEE

Turkey

Undervault

Andriy Bychkovskyi

Ukraine

yellow

Bart Bonte

Belgium

Check out the prizes

All the 20 finalists are getting:

  • A paid trip to London to showcase their game at the Final held at Saatchi
    Gallery
  • Inclusion of their game on a promotional billboard in London for 1 month
  • Inclusion of their game in a dedicated Indie Games Contest collection on the
    Indie Corner for one month in more than 40 countries across EMEA
  • Two (2) tickets to attend a 2018 Playtime event, an invitation-only event
    for top apps and games developers on Google Play
  • One (1) Pixel 2 device

They will also have the chance to win more
prizes
at the final event.

Join the Google Play team and the finalists at the final event:

Anyone can now register
to attend the final
showcase event
for free at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 13
February 2018
. Come and play some great games and have fun with indie
developers, industry experts, and the Google Play team.


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Faster Renewals for Test Subscriptions

Testing your in-app subscriptions is a critical step in ensuring you’re offering
your customers a high quality service.

In order to make testing easier and faster, starting on February
20th
, we are introducing shorter renewal intervals for test purchases
made with license-test accounts. Currently, subscriptions by license-test
accounts renew daily. The new changes will allow you to test an entire
subscription cycle, including 6 renewals, in under an hour. We will also be
shortening the testing time intervals of features such as grace period and
account hold.

Please be aware that these changes are coming so you can update your testing
flows accordingly prior to the change. Also note that existing test
subscriptions still active on February 20, 2018 will automatically be canceled
at that time.

Renewal times

Renewal times will vary based on the subscription period:

Subscription period Test subscription period
1 week 5 minutes
1 month 5 minutes
3 month 10 minutes
6 month 15 minutes
1 year 30 minutes

Time intervals of the following features will also be shortened for test
subscriptions:

Feature Test period
Free trial 3 minutes
Introductory price period Same as test subscription period
Grace period (both 3 and 7 day) 5 minutes
Account hold 10 minutes

Note: These times are approximate; you may see some small
variations in the precise time of an event. To compensate for variation, call
the Google
Play Developer API
to view current status after every subscription
expiration date.

Renewal limit

Due to the increase in renewal frequency, the number of renewals is limited to 6
regular renewals (not including intro price/free trial). After 6 renewals, the
subscription will be automatically canceled.

Examples

Here are several examples of how the new renewal times are applied.

Free trial

Grace period

Account hold

Don’t forget to check the Testing
In-app Billing
page for more details on testing your subscriptions. If you
still have questions, reach out through the comments or post your question on Stackoverflow using the tag google-play.

CategoriesUncategorized

Android Excellence: Congratulations to the newly added apps and games

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Kicking off the new year, we’re excited to welcome our latest group of Android Excellence apps and games. These awardees represent some of the best experiences and top performing apps and games on the Play Store and can be found with other great selections on the Editors’ Choice page.

If you’re looking for some new apps, below are a few highlights.

  • EyeEm: A great photo editor app with a full suite of filters and tools to make your pictures shine. Learn style tips from their community and even sell your images through the EyeEm marketplace.
  • Musixmatch: Check out Musixmatch’s updated app while learning the lyrics to all your favorite songs. The app is compatible with many of the top music streaming services and you can even follow along with your Android Wear device or on the big screen with Chromecast support.
  • ViewRanger: Plan your next hiking adventure by discovering new routes and trail guides with ViewRanger. Check out the Skyline feature using your phone’s camera to identify over 9 million sites across the world through augmented reality.

Here are a few of our favorite new games joining the collection.

  • Fire Emblem Heroes: Nintendo’s popular strategy-RPG franchise is now reimagined for mobile. Fight battles, develop your heroes’ skills, and try various gameplay modes for hours of exciting gameplay.
  • Lumino City: Explore the charming papercraft style world in this award-winning puzzle adventure game. The beautiful scenery is all handcrafted.
  • Old Man’s Journey: Gorgeous scenery, an immersive soundtrack, and deep emotion help you uncover the old man’s life stories while you solve puzzles and shape the landscape to determine his future.

Congratulations to the newly added Android Excellence apps and games.

New Android Excellence apps New Android Excellence games
1tap

Acorns

Airbnb

Blink Health

Blinkist

Clue

Ditty

EyeEm

Fabulous

IFTTT

iReader

Journey

KKBOX

LinkedIn

Mobills: Budget Planner

Musixmatch

Shpock

Stocard

Video Editor

ViewRanger

YAZIO

YOP

Agent A

Bit Heroes

Bloons Supermonkey 2

Dancing Line

DEAD WARFARE: Zombie

Dragon Project

Fire Emblem Heroes

Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow

Idle Heroes

Last Day on Earth: Survival

Lords Mobile

Lumino City

Modern Combat Versus

Old Man’s Journey

The Walking Dead No Man’s Land

War Wings

Explore other great apps and games in the Editors’ Choice section on Google Play and discover best practices to help you build quality apps and games for people to love.

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New Products At CES powered by Android Things

By Venkat Rapaka, Director of Product Management, Google

The Android Things team has been working closely with our partners to create
compelling, secure and thoughtful IoT products. During the Consumer Electronics
Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a number of…

CategoriesUncategorized

Bringing Programmability and NetDevOps to Barcelona for #CLEUR

It’s right around the corner… Cisco Live Europe 2018 in Barcelona, and I absolutely can’t wait!  Every Cisco Live I’ve ever been to, or presented at, has been an amazing experience, but Barcelona is going to be in a league of its own.  From the moment I arrive in Spain on Friday morning the entire […]

Five Things You Can Do to Manage Your Privacy Now

The Internet of Things – the increasingly connected world in which we live – is rapidly expanding. We love our convenient and fun ​devices – ​like​ ​personal assistants, wearables, speakers, cameras, TVs, cars, home alarm systems, toys and appliances. But it’s important to understand that connected devices rely on information about us – such as […]

Answering your questions about “Meltdown” and “Spectre”

This week, security vulnerabilities dubbed “Spectre” and “Meltdown” made news headlines. On Wednesday, we explained what these vulnerabilities are and how we’re protecting you against them.

Since then, there’s been considerable discussion about what this means for Google Cloud and the industry at large. Today, we’d like to clear up some confusion and highlight several key considerations for our customers.

What are “Spectre” and “Meltdown”?

Last year, Google’s Project Zero team discovered serious security flaws caused by “speculative execution,” a technique used by most modern processors (CPUs) to optimize performance.

Independent researchers separately discovered and named these vulnerabilities “Spectre” and “Meltdown.” 

Project Zero described three variants of this new class of speculative execution attack. Variant 1 and Variant 2 have been referred to as “Spectre.” Variant 3 has been referred to as “Meltdown.” Most vendors are referring to them by Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures aka “CVE” labels, which are an industry standard way of identifying vulnerabilities.

security-1

There’s no single fix for all three attack variants; each requires protection individually.

Here’s an overview of each variant:

  • Variant 1 (CVE-2017-5753), “bounds check bypass.” This vulnerability affects specific sequences within compiled applications, which must be addressed on a per-binary basis. This variant is currently the basis for concern around browser attacks, Javascript exploitation and vulnerabilities within individual binaries.

  • Variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715), “branch target injection.” This variant may either be fixed by a CPU microcode update from the CPU vendor, or by applying a software protection called “Retpoline” to binaries where concern about information leakage is present. This variant is currently the basis for concern around Cloud Virtualization and “Hypervisor Bypass” concerns that affect entire systems.

  • Variant 3 (CVE-2017-5754), “rogue data cache load.”  This variant is the basis behind the discussion around “KPTI,” or “Kernel Page Table Isolation.” When an attacker already has the ability to run code on a system, they can access memory which they do not have permission to access.

For more information on these variants, please read this week’s Google Security post.

Am I protected from Spectre and Meltdown?  

Google’s engineering teams began working to protect our customers from these vulnerabilities upon our learning of them in June 2017. We applied solutions across the entire suite of Google products, and we collaborated with the industry at large to help protect users across the web.

G Suite and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are updated to protect against all known attack vectors. Some customers may worry that they have not been protected since they were not asked to reboot their instance. Google Cloud is architected in a manner that enables us to update the environment while providing operational continuity for our customers. Via live migration we can patch our infrastructure without requiring customers to reboot their instances.

Customers who use their own operating systems with Google Cloud services should continue to follow security best practices and apply security updates to their images just as they would for any other operating system vulnerability. We’re providing an up-to-date reference on the availability of vendor patches for common operating systems on our GCE Security Bulletin page.

I’ve heard that Spectre is nearly impossible to protect against. Is this true?

There has been significant concern in particular about “Spectre.” The use of the name “Spectre” to refer to both Variants 1 and 2 has caused some confusion over whether it’s “fixed” or not.

Google Cloud instances are protected against all known inter-VM attacks, regardless of the patch status of the guest environments, and attackers do not have access to any customers’ data as a result of these vulnerabilities. Google Cloud and other public clouds use virtualization technology to isolate neighboring customer workloads. A virtualization component known as a hypervisor connects the physical machine to virtual machines. This hypervisor can be updated to address Variant 2 threats. Google Cloud has updated its hypervisor using “Retpoline,” which addresses all currently known Variant 2 attack methods.

Variant 1 is the basis behind claims that Spectre is nearly impossible to protect against. The difficulty is that Variant 1 affects individual software binaries, so it must be handled by discovering and addressing exploits within each binary.

Risks that Variant 1 would pose to the infrastructure underpinning Google Cloud are addressed by the multiple security controls that make up our layered “defense in depth” security posture. Because Google is in full control of our infrastructure from the hardware up to our secure software development practices, our infrastructure is protected against Variant 1. You can read more about the security foundations of our infrastructure in our whitepaper.

We work continuously to stay ahead of the constantly-evolving threat landscape and will continue to roll out additional protections to address potential risks.

As a user of the public cloud, am I more vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown than others?

In many respects, public cloud users are better-protected from security vulnerabilities than are users of traditional datacenter-hosted applications. Security best practices rely on discovering vulnerabilities early, and patching them promptly and completely. Each of these activities is aided by the scale and automation that top public cloud providers can offer — for example, few companies maintain a several-hundred-person security research team to find vulnerabilities and patch them before they’re discovered by others or disclosed. Having the ability to update millions of servers in days, without causing user disruption or requiring maintenance windows, is difficult technology to develop but it allows patches and updates to be deployed quickly after they become available, and without user disruption that can damage productivity.

Spectre and Meltdown are new and troubling vulnerabilities, but it’s important to remember that there are many different types of threats that Google (and other cloud providers) protect against every single day. Google’s cloud infrastructure doesn’t rely on any single technology to make it secure. Our stack builds security through progressive layers that deliver defense in depth. From the physical premises to the purpose-built servers, networking equipment, and custom security chips to the low-level software stack running on every machine, our entire hardware infrastructure is Google-controlled, -secured, -built and -hardened.

Is performance impacted?

On most of Google’s workloads, including our cloud infrastructure, we’ve seen negligible impact on performance after applying remediations. This was explained further in our follow-up Security blog post on January 4.

There are many conflicting reports about patch impacts being publicly discussed. In some cases, people have published results of tests that focus solely on making API calls to the operating system, which does not represent the real-world scenario that customer software will encounter. There’s no substitute for testing to determine for yourself what performance you can expect in your actual situation. We believe solutions exist that introduce minimal performance impact, and expect such techniques will be adopted by software vendors over time. We designed and tested our mitigations for this issue to have minimal performance impact, and the rollout has been uneventful.

Where can I get additional information?

  • Our Support page offers a list of affected Google products and will be updated with their current status of mitigation against these risks

  • Our GCP Security Bulletins page will provide notifications as other operating system maintainers publish patches for this vulnerability and as Compute Engine releases updated OS images

Threat Round Up for December 29 – January 5

Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we’ve observed between December 29 and January 05. 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 […]

New year, new searches: resolutions, “bomb cyclone” and Coachella

It’s a new year, and some of this week’s trends (with data from Google News Lab) are about adjusting: to a new gym routine, unexpected weather, and a new law in California.

Treadmill time

New Year’s resolutions = more searches for “gyms near me.” In fact, search interest in the phrase hit an all-time high this month. Despite a heightened desire to hit the gym, interest in “new year diet” was 200 percent higher than “new year exercise” this week. Looking ahead to the new year, people are wondering: “What is a New Year’s resolution for kids?” “What is the history behind New Year’s resolutions?” and “Who made the first New Year’s resolution?”

Do you wanna build a snowman?

“What is a bomb cyclone?” was a top-searched question this week as a massive winter storm hits the east coast of the U.S. Snow is showing up in unexpected places around the country as well. When people search for “Snow in…” the post popular locations are Florida, Tallahassee and Orlando. And with cold weather taking over, search interest in “frozen pipes” has reached its highest point this week since 2004. Top “how to” searches include “how to thaw frozen pipes,” “how to keep pipes from freezing,” and “how to fix frozen pipes.”

Desert calling

Despite the cold weather, people have something warm to look forward to: The lineup for Coachella 2018 was announced this week, and search interest in “Coachella tickets” went up nearly 6,500 percent. Coachella-goers are already looking into lodging, with “Coachella airbnb” searched 100 percent more than “Coachella hotel.” The top-searched Coachella performers were Cardi B, Eminem, Beyoncé, Post Malone and Migos.

bey

Coachella isn’t even the biggest news in California …

Recreational marijuana was people’s minds (and on sale for the first time in California) this week. In California, top questions included “where to buy legal weed in Los Angeles,” “What is the tax on weed in California,” and “Where can I buy marijuana?” Meanwhile, following the announcement that the Justice Department is rescinding a policy that enabled legalized marijuana to flourish in many states, the top trending question nationwide was “Why are marijuana stocks down?”

Ready for the coin toss in the South

For the first time, two SEC teams—University of Alabama and University of Georgia—will face off in the College Football National Championship on Monday. Though the game’s outcome is yet to be decided, search interest in “Alabama Crimson Tide football” is beating “Georgia Bulldogs football” by 190 percent. After Georgia’s overtime win in the semi-final, the top trending college football questions this week were about overtime: “How does overtime work in college football?” “How many overtimes are in college football?” and “How long is overtime in college football?”

How Google Home and the Google Assistant helped you get more done in 2017

Both the Google Assistant and Google Home had a very big year in 2017, with new devices, new languages and new features. The Assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices, including speakers like Google Home, Android phones and tablets, iPhones, headphones, TVs, watches and more. We brought the Google Assistant to a dozen countries, from France to Japan, offering help in 8 languages around the globe.

With Google Home Mini and Google Home Max in addition to our original Google Home, we brought you even more ways to use the Assistant in your home. So it’s no wonder we’ve sold tens of millions of all our Google devices for the home over this last year. And in fact, we sold more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October.

As we’ve added more features—like Voice Match,  Broadcast and Hands-Free Calling—the Google Assistant has become even more helpful. Your Assistant now gives you the power to voice control more than 1,500 compatible smart home devices from over 225 brands. With all these choices, you’ve connected millions of new smart home devices to Google Home every month. All told, Google Home usage increased 9X this holiday season over last year’s, as you controlled more smart devices, asked more questions, listened to more music, and tried out all the new things you can do with your Assistant on Google Home.

No matter where you are, the Google Assistant is here to help you make the most of 2018. And next week, we have even more things in store for the Assistant at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. If you’re at CES, stop by the Google Assistant Playground (Central Plaza-21) to check out some of our new integrations, devices, and the newest ways you can use your Assistant.

ces

NEW DevNet Sandbox! Play live with Istio on Kubernetes to manage your microservice mesh

Most of the development world is aware of the microservices and containerisation movement, given we’re now in 2018! When folks start working with microservices, they quickly realise that they proliferate fast. One application can contain a large number of microservices that all need to interact and talk to each other for lots of different reasons […]

Top 10 Smart City Trends for 2018

Did you know that Smart Cities are poised to drive significant change in how we work, play and learn in 2018? Thanks to the explosion in big data analytics capabilities and mobile, real-time video/information sharing, historians may someday look back on this year as the fulcrum upon which technology and government fully meshed to turn […]

Google for Nonprofits: 2017 in review

Every year nonprofits worldwide work tirelessly to make a positive impact in their communities, and in a year where many people were looking to help, 2017 was no exception. We’re looking back to celebrate the nonprofits around the globe using Google tools to help in their philanthropic efforts. Here are some successes from last year—we hope they give you some ideas for how you can improve your nonprofit’s productivity and have even more impact in 2018.

Unlocking G Suite for Nonprofits

G Suite allows teams to access data anywhere, update files in real time, and collaborate efficiently. Mercy Beyond Borders, a U.S.-based nonprofit with employees deployed in various countries, uses these tools to stay in sync with each other no matter where they are—from tracking finances on Google Sheets to sharing information with board members through Google Sites. And nonprofit MyFace takes advantage of Google’s security and privacy settings to store personal medical data for their patients. Read more about how these nonprofits used G Suite, and find out how to get started with G Suite, in this post.


Learn from “G4NP in Three,” a new YouTube Series

This year we launched our first-ever G4NP YouTube series, “G4NP in Three,” aiming to help nonprofits learn the basics about the Google for Nonprofits program and the process to get enrolled for each product. The videos also cover tips and tricks on how to make the most of the tools available, all in three minutes! Check out the videos and subscribe to stay updated on our latest content.


5 new ways to connect with your customers on Google

Last year, we introduced five new ways to build an eye-catching online presence that shows customers what your business is all about. And the best part? They’re all free.

1. Create a free website in minutes

According to internal Google research, business listings with a website get 25-35% more clicks. And building your site doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. You can create a simple mobile-ready site for your business in less than 10 minutes with our automated website builder. Check out how Vince from Village Tailor in New York used his new website to bring in more customers.

2. Post about events, promotions, and more right on Google

It’s now easy to share Posts that show up when people find your business on Search and Maps. According to Ipsos research, 50 percent people look for promotions or discounts online, so it’s important to share offers, upcoming events, your latest news and more with potential customers right when they find your business.

3. Connect with your customers by answering their questions directly

As a business owner, you have the most reliable answers to your customers’ questions. With Questions and Answers, it’s easy to add frequently asked questions to your listing, answer questions from potential customers, and highlight top responses, so that people can get the most important info about your business right away.

4. Update your business listing without leaving Search

People trust businesses with current and relevant info online, and according to internal Google research, complete Google listings get seven times more clicks. Keep your listing updated with our easy-to-access business dashboard. Simply type your business name on Google Search, and you can complete your listing, share photos and posts related to your business, respond to reviews, and see how many views you’re getting.

5. Start messaging with your customers from Google

Customers don’t always have time to call when they want to reach out to your business. With messaging, people can text your business directly through your listing on Search. Your phone number remains private, so you and your customers can communicate safely, quickly, and easily. (Available in the US, Brazil, Canada and India).

You can use these simple features with your Google listing to stand out and attract new customers online. Get started today.

Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies announce partnership using AI to decode immune system; diagnose, treat disease

The human immune system is an astonishing diagnostic system, continuously adapting itself to detect any signal of disease in the body. Essentially, the state of the immune system tells a story about virtually everything affecting a person’s health. It may sound like science fiction, but what if we could “read” this story? Our scientific understanding…

The post Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies announce partnership using AI to decode immune system; diagnose, treat disease appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.