With all of this week’s developer news, it’s easy to forget that Monday was April Fools’ day. As usual, Googlers channeled their playful spirits into creative new “features” for many of our products. Did you spot them all? Wikipedia has a recap list, featuring Google Trends’ “Cold Searches” (discover new unique things that nobody else is into!) and Google Analytics’ export support for even more external media options.
After we stopped fooling around, space.com got serious and shared this animated sequence of what astronomers have observed happening to a massive gas giant planet somewhere around 20 times the size of Jupiter: a supermassive black hole 300,000 times the size of our sun has been ripping the planet apart! (We’re all relieved to know it’s 47 million light years away from our much-beloved Earth.)
If perchance you take advantage of the weekend to catch up on your sleep, take special note of your dreams. Scientists in Japan have been carefully studying brain scans and reached a 60% success rate in identifying what images dreamers are “seeing”. Maybe soon we can finally answer one lingering question: Do Android developers dream of electric sheep?
Starting today, Google Compute Engine is available to all customers who sign up for our Gold Support package. We’re also happy to announce a 4% reduction on all Compute Engine pricing.
In the nine months since announcing Compute Engine, customers have been using Google’s Infrastructure as a Service product and giving us valuable feedback. Sebastian Stadil of Scalr wrote, in a recent review:
“Google Compute Engine is not just fast. It’s Google fast. In fact, it’s a class of fast that enables new service architectures entirely.”
We’re happy to hear that, because one of our main goals in building Compute Engine is to enable a new generation of applications with direct access to the capabilities of Google’s vast computing infrastructure.
Based on user feedback, we’ve added a number of major features including:
While we've been hard at work developing new features, we've also had the opportunity to play. Check out the amazing World Wide Maze Chrome Experiment, developed by the Chrome team in Japan. This game converts any web site of your choice into an interactive, three dimensional maze, navigated remotely via your smartphone. Compute Engine virtual machines run Node.js to manage the game state and synchronization with the mobile device, while Google App Engine hosts the game’s web UI. This application provides an excellent example of the new kinds of rich, high performance back end services enabled by Google Cloud Platform.
With today’s announcement, we look forward to welcoming many new customers, and bringing exciting new applications to Google Cloud Platform!
WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium's rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then.
However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.
This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem.
In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we’ll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files—comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs.
Throughout this transition, we’ll collaborate closely with other browser vendors to move the web forward and preserve the compatibility that made it a successful ecosystem. In that spirit, we’ve set strong guidelines for new features that emphasize standards, interoperability, conformance testing and transparency.
To learn more about Blink visit our project page.
Have you ever wanted to integrate SMS or voice communications into your app? We’ve been working with our friends over at Twilio to make it easier to do so. Today we’re announcing native Python and Java libraries for working with Twilio APIs onto Google Cloud Platform.
Lots of apps on App Engine have already been built with phone functionality. Check out the sample code for a group messaging app and the sample code for an app that dispatches voicemails and SMS messages to PagerDuty. Learn how to send business cards via sms through this step by step guide.
You can start building voice and SMS features into your App Engine apps today. Together with Twilio, we’ll help you get started with 2,000 free text message or voice minutes.
Ready to get started?
Here’s a quick peek at how easy it can be to send a text message from App Engine using Python. After installing the Twilio library, it just takes a few lines of code to send an SMS.
from twilio import twiml
from twilio.rest import TwilioRestClient
# replace with your credentials from: https://www.twilio.com/user/account
account_sid = "ACxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
auth_token = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
client = TwilioRestClient(account_sid, auth_token)
# replace "to" and "from_" with real numbers
rv = client.sms.messages.create(to="+14155551212",
app = webapp2.WSGIApplication([('/send_sms', SendSMS)],