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Cloud Covered: What was new in May on Google Cloud

May flowered with new products, technologies and learning resources from Google Cloud. Here’s a recap of May’s most popular posts on the Google Cloud blog. A new platform makes machine learning easierAt Google I/O, our annual conference for developers, we announced the general availability of Vertex AI, Google’s unified machine learning platform that allows companies to…

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May flowered with new products, technologies and learning resources from Google Cloud. Here’s a recap of May’s most popular posts on the Google Cloud blog. 

A new platform makes machine learning easier

At Google I/O, our annual conference for developers, we announced the general availability of Vertex AI, Google’s unified machine learning platform that allows companies to speed up the building, deployment and management of their artificial intelligence (AI) models. Because it requires far less coding to build custom models, Vertex AI can be used by data analysts and data scientists with varying levels of expertise. For example, a division of L’Oreal uses Vertex AI to create tools that let people “try on” beauty products online.

New data products come in threes

At our Data Cloud Summit, we introduced a number of new solutions to help organizations gain value from their data in support of their data cloud strategies. These include Dataplex, which allows organizations to centrally manage,  monitor and govern data across a variety of systems; Datastream, which allows companies to replicate data in real-time across heterogeneous databases, storage systems and applications reliably and with minimal latency; and Analytics Hub, which provides a way to access and share data and analytics models across organizational boundaries. 

A first-of-its-kind technology powers carbon-free energy

We announced a new technology that will help us reach our goal of operating on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. Fervo is a next-generation geothermal project that will soon add carbon-free energy to the electric grid that powers our data centers and infrastructure throughout Nevada. Using fiber-optic cables inside wells, Fervo will gather information on flow, temperature and performance of the geothermal resource. Fervo will bring our data centers in Nevada closer to round-the-clock clean energy, and demonstrate how clean energy sources such as next-generation geothermal could eventually help replace carbon-emitting power sources around the world.

A video series teaches Anthos basics

Anthos is a managed application platform that extends Google Cloud services and engineering practices to development environments so you can modernize apps faster and establish operational consistency across them. To help you get started, we introduced the Anthos 101 video learning series, a great starting point for understanding the basics of Anthos and how to use it. Even better, you can watch the whole series of 11 episodes in less than an hour.

FAQs that clear up the clouds

Speaking of 101s, we also created a popular one with frequently asked questions about cloud computing. Do you want to learn the basics of containers, virtual machines, Kubernetes, data warehouses and more? The blog gives a quick rundown of common cloud computing terms and products. It’s just one guide available in our learning resources to help you understand cloud computing and start working with cloud-based tools and products. 

That’s a wrap for May. Stay tuned to the Google Cloud blog for all things cloud.

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Meet the entrepreneur connecting Kenyans to healthy food

When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.Worried that…

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When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.

Worried that her gender would affect Hasanat Ventures’ reputation, Binti considered hiring a man as the face of the business. But she eventually decided against it, standing firm in her pride as a solo founder and committed to tearing down the perception that women-run businesses in Africa aren’t as successful as those run by men.

“I think we should be challenging the outdated narrative that businesses run by men are guaranteed to be more successful,” Binti says. “Based on research, we’ve seen that businesses run by women actually perform better. We should use this as an opportunity to prove that as a woman, you do stand a chance to succeed in everything that you do.”

Just as important to Binti as breaking this bias was giving Kenyans more access to affordable nutrition. “I realized that many people couldn’t afford premium yogurt. So we entered the market with a high-quality product that’s affordable for lower and middle-income earners who have become more health-conscious,” she says.

Binti knew she had to drive awareness for her brand, particularly to reach Kenyans who needed convincing about yogurt’s health benefits. So she turned to Google Digital Skills for Africa, which offers virtual classes to help entrepreneurs grow their skills and businesses, and completed a digital marketing course to help her get Hasanat Ventures online.

“After participating in the course, we knew our online presence had to be bigger than just social media,” Binti says. “Now that we have a fully functional website, we are actually getting leads from outside Kenya.”

As part of the course, Binti learned how to use Google Analytics to measure her website’s performance. She could now monitor traffic insights, analyze pageviews and better understand who was visiting her site.

Binti’s determination and passion for her business are showing up in the results. In its first year, Hasanat Ventures supplied over 300 retailers with affordable dairy products. Three years later, it’s grown to support more than 50 farmers and even built its own production facility to keep up with demand.

“I really want to make sure that I am visible and speaking up in spaces women don’t usually have access to,” Binti says. “As Hasanat Ventures continues to grow, I am confident I can help change the perception of African women in business.”

58% of Africa’s entrepreneurs are women. That’s why we’re empowering them with the platform and tools to grow their businesses. Learn more about our #LookMeUp campaign, highlighting Africa’s women entrepreneurs like Binti who are working to break the bias.

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100 things we announced at I/O

35. The Google Home and Google Home Mobile software developer kit (SDK) for Matter will be launching in June as developer previews.36. The Google Home SDK introduces Intelligence Clusters, which make intelligence features like Home and Away, available to developers.37. Developers can even create QR codes for Google Wallet to create their own passes for…

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35. The Google Home and Google Home Mobile software developer kit (SDK) for Matter will be launching in June as developer previews.

36. The Google Home SDK introduces Intelligence Clusters, which make intelligence features like Home and Away, available to developers.

37. Developers can even create QR codes for Google Wallet to create their own passes for any use case they’d like.

38. Matter support is coming to the Nest Thermostat.

39. The Google Home Developer Center has lots of updates to check out.

40. There’s now built-in support for Matter on Android, so you can use Fast Pair to quickly connect Matter-enabled smart home devices to your network, Google Home and other accompanying apps in just a few taps.

41. The ARCore Geospatial API makes Google Maps’ Live View technology available to developers for free. Companies like Lime are using it to help people find parking spots for their scooters and save time.

42. DOCOMO and Curiosity are using the ARCore Geospatial API to build a new game that lets you fend off virtual dragons with robot companions in front of iconic Tokyo landmarks, like the Tokyo Tower.

43. AlloyDB is a new, fully-managed PostgreSQL-compatible database service designed to help developers manage enterprise database workloads — in our performance tests, it’s more than four times faster for transactional workloads and up to 100 times faster for analytical queries than standard PostgreSQL.

44. AlloyDB uses the same infrastructure building blocks that power large-scale products like YouTube, Search, Maps and Gmail.

45. Google Cloud’s machine learning cluster powered by Cloud TPU v4 Pods is super powerful — in fact, we believe it’s the world’s largest publicly available machine learning hub in terms of compute power…

46. …and it operates at 90% carbon-free energy.

47. We also announced a preview of Cloud Run jobs, which reduces the time developers spend running administrative tasks like database migration or batch data transformation.

48. We announced Flutter 3.0, which will enable developers to publish production-ready apps to six platforms at once, from one code base (Android, iOS, Desktop Web, Linux, Desktop Windows and MacOS).

49. To help developers build beautiful Wear apps, we announced the beta of Jetpack Compose for Wear OS.

50. We’re making it faster and easier for developers to build modern, high-quality apps with new Live edit features in Android Studio.

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New ways to stay connected and entertained in your car

With split screen mode, now standard across all screen types and sizes, you’ll have access to your most-used features all in one place — no need to return to your home screen or scroll through a list of apps. With your navigation and media always on, you won’t have to worry about missing your next…

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With split screen mode, now standard across all screen types and sizes, you’ll have access to your most-used features all in one place — no need to return to your home screen or scroll through a list of apps. With your navigation and media always on, you won’t have to worry about missing your next turn while changing your favorite commute podcast. And with the new design able to adapt to different screen sizes, it looks great across widescreen, portrait and more.

New features for Android Auto

Google Assistant is bringing contextual suggestions to help you be more productive in the car. From suggested replies, to messages, to sharing arrival times with a friend, or even playing recommended music, Google Assistant is helping you do more in the car efficiently.

In addition to using your voice, you can now quickly message and call favorite contacts with just one tap, and reply to messages by simply selecting a suggested response on the screen – helping you communicate effectively, while allowing you to keep your eyes on the road. Keep an eye out for these updates to Android Auto in the coming months

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