20 Jan 2017

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Slack introduces Threaded messaging in latest update

If you use Slack for your workplace and you are involved in lots of conversations across various, then the latest update to the messaging and productivity app should benefit you. They are introducing Threads, a new way of having specific conversations within a channel where you can go more in-depth about a specific topic or […]

20 Jan 2017 11:00am GMT

Samsung files patent for a new Flip Cover with E-ink screen

Samsung is already working on a foldable display and foldable phone. We can expect the smartphone to be unveiled some time in the 3rd quarter. It may even get new rivals in this new category of "foldables". This time, the South Korean tech giant is said to be considering e-ink displays for the phone. No, […]

20 Jan 2017 5:00am GMT

LG files patent for a foldable hybrid phone-tablet

We know foldable phones will be coming someday. That someday could mean this year for some OEMs like Samsung has been rumored to be working on a foldable display. Actually, the South Korean tech giant is already set to launch foldable smartphones in the 3rd quarter. Recently, a patent for a 'fold-out' smartphone design was […]

20 Jan 2017 4:20am GMT

Samsung Galaxy S8 name now trademarked, leaked glass covers betray tiny bezels

We don't know if you've had enough of Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks already, but from all the information out there, it looks like any one of those could be the right one. Another leak, this time of the glass display covers purportedly for Samsung's next flagship may give us an idea as to what the […]

20 Jan 2017 3:40am GMT

Xperia Z3+ series gets Android Nougat rollout as well

Just a day after Sony announced that they were rolling out the Android Nougat update to their Xperia Z5 family, those who were suffering from envy because their Z3 Plus devices weren't included can now breathe a sigh of relief. They are now also seeding the latest major update from Google to the Xperia Z3+ […]

20 Jan 2017 3:00am GMT

Android Nougat OS update ready for the unlocked Moto Z, Moto Z Play

Since the new year started, we noticed that many OEMs began releasing their Nougat updates for some devices. For Motorola, it has released the chunky update for the Moto X Play last week. Before 2016 ended, the Moto G4 and G4 Plus received the same update. We have a feeling that after this round, more Moto […]

20 Jan 2017 2:20am GMT

Samsung to livestream Galaxy Note 7 investigation results this weekend

Samsung is ready to announce the results of the official investigations on the Galaxy Note 7. We've been saying the battery was the likely cause as the most obvious reason but we want know what happened exactly. The Note 7 fiasco isn't over yet. We're hoping it will as soon as the South Korean tech giant […]

20 Jan 2017 1:40am GMT

Cortana will now be available on your Android lock screen

Microsoft's Cortana - the digital assistant which is gunning for universality by being available on Windows 10, Android and iOS - has a new trick up its sleeve. A new update to the Android app is now making it easier for you to access Cortana by placing the app right on your lock screen. Cortana […]

20 Jan 2017 1:00am GMT

LG Music Flow system to be updated with Google Home, multi-room support

In case you've forgotten, LG joined the music streaming bandwagon by launching the LG Music Flow system way back in 2015. Users are allowed to cast music through Google Cast. The music flow system has been around for less than a couple of years now so it needs some update. One major request of consumers […]

20 Jan 2017 12:20am GMT

19 Jan 2017

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Google Home gets integrated with VIZIO SmartCast devices

Google Home is coming to more VIZIO products. The latter has recently shared the good news that its SmartCast lineup is being integrated with Google Home. This is somewhat expected since other OEMs have begun to work with Google and supports its many smart services. VIZIO is a popular name in the smart home game. […]

19 Jan 2017 11:40pm GMT

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 to be updated to Nougat soon

So NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Tablet K1 owners are wondering - maybe hoping against hope - if NVIDIA will get around to bringing an Android Nougat update to their venerable SHIELD devices. And it looks like Android 7.0 is coming to the SHIELD Tablet K1, according to some official forum sources. The only thing […]

19 Jan 2017 11:00pm GMT

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Moto X Pure Edition will get Android 7.0 Nougat by June

Although the device appears to have been forgotten, Lenovo still plans on sending Android 7.0 Nougat to the Moto X Pure Edition from 2015. When will the software update be released? We reached out to Lenovo for an answer, and the company responded. Here's what a Moto spokesperson told Talk Android: "Timeline [for Android 7.0 Nougat […]


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19 Jan 2017 10:59pm GMT

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FRE cases make Pixel, Pixel XL waterproof

While Google's Pixel and Pixel XL have been receiving pretty good reviews (despite it's hefty price), one of the things that it doesn't have is a great IP certification. It is not waterproof, unlike most of the newer high-end smartphones available in the market. But there is a solution to that without you having to […]

19 Jan 2017 10:00pm GMT

feedAndroid Developers Blog

App Security Improvements: Looking back at 2016

Posted by Rahul Mishra, Android Security Program Manager
In April 2016, the Android Security team described how the Google Play App Security Improvement (ASI) program has helped developers fix security issues in 100,000 applications. Since then, we have detected and notified developers of 11 new security issues and provided developers with resources and guidance to update their apps. Because of this, over 90,000 developers have updated over 275,000 apps!
ASI now notifies developers of 26 potential security issues. To make this process more transparent, we introduced a new page where developers can find information about all these security issues in one place. This page includes links to help center articles containing instructions and additional support contacts. Developers can use this page as a resource to learn about new issues and keep track of all past issues.

Make sure to check out our new Security for Android Developers page, which highlights the latest security posts, security best practices documents and security checklist. These resources are all aimed at improving your understanding of general security concepts and giving you examples that can help you address app-specific issues.

How you can help:
For feedback or questions, please reach out to us through the Google PlayDeveloper Help Center.
To report potential security issues in apps, email us at security+asi@android.com.

19 Jan 2017 10:00pm GMT

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YouTube makes sharing videos easier for Canadians in latest update

Did you know that Canadians are apparently one of the top sharers in the world? Well, at least when it comes to videos on their mobile devices. Apparently, they share videos 15% more than the rest of the world. Google and its video sharing platform YouTube has decided to make life easier for Canadians who […]

19 Jan 2017 9:00pm GMT

AT&T shuts down its 2G network to make way for faster speeds

If you've still been living in the dark ages aka the 2G network of AT&T, then you've probably noticed that since the start of 2017, nothing has been happening to your mobile life. That's because your carrier has effectively shut down the 2G wireless networks starting January 1, 2017 to give way to faster data […]

19 Jan 2017 8:00pm GMT

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‘Fire Emblem Heroes’ coming to Google Play on February 2nd

Nintendo has announced a new Fire Emblem game set to come to mobile devices later this year, marking the second big franchise that they've brought to the mobile space after Super Mario Run. The new game, called Fire Emblem Heroes, will launch on February 2nd on the Play Store. It will play pretty similarly to a […]


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19 Jan 2017 8:00pm GMT

[TA Deals] This lifetime subscription to EasilyDo is just $19! (90% off)

Can't get through day-today activities without spending way too much time? We know what you need. There's a service called EasilyDo that puts everything of yours into a single spot for simple management. Its app houses emails, logins, contacts, schedules, and more in one place. EasilyDo, which is featured on Talk Android Deals right now, […]


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19 Jan 2017 7:00pm GMT

Nokia’s P1 set for announcement at MWC next month

Nokia never really recovered from siding with Windows Phone over Android a few years ago, and they've only recently switched operating systems to try and come back into the mainstream market. Well, sort of; what's actually happening is that HMD Global is partnering with Nokia to use Nokia's brand name on some Android smartphones. […]


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19 Jan 2017 7:00pm GMT

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Pick your price to learn JavaScript, Python, Ruby and more

Want to upgrade your technical skillset? The Pay What You Want: Learn to Code 2017 Bundle will turn even complete coding rookies into professional web designers, app developers, or programmers, and it's available now to Android Community readers. This bundle offers lifetime access to as many as ten all-level courses that can teach anyone how […]

19 Jan 2017 7:00pm GMT

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ZTE agrees to pre-install APUS Booster+ on new smartphones

ZTE may not be a brand name you hear referred to often amongst U.S. consumers, but they definitely found their spot in the U.S. market by target low- and mid-tier buyers and becoming a big supplier for pre-paid cellular service providers. These moves have ZTE positioned as the fourth largest smartphone supplier in the U.S. […]


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19 Jan 2017 6:18pm GMT

‘Super Mario Run’ finally comes to Android in March

Super Mario Run has been out on iOS for some time now with an Android launch date still up in the air. But now, Nintendo took to Twitter to shed some light as to when Android users will actually get to play Super Mario Run. Even without availability on Android, Super Mario Run has been […]


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19 Jan 2017 6:00pm GMT

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Sony to announce new phone at MWC, specs sighted on AnTuTu

As with the more popular brands in the mobile industry, Sony is set to reveal a new smartphone at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain next month. We're expecting more leaks, rumors, and speculations will be revealed in the coming weeks so brace yourselves for what we will be sharing with you. Sony […]

19 Jan 2017 6:00pm GMT

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AT&T boosts LTE capacity by 400% in Washington D.C. ahead of Inauguration Day

In case you've forgotten, tomorrow (Jan 20th), is the day that the 45th President of the United States is sworn into office, with the President-elect, Donald Trump, becoming the President for the next 4 years at least. Because so many people are expected to visit Washington D.C. on the big day to witness the occasion, it's expected […]


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19 Jan 2017 5:30pm GMT

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Android Developer Story: Wallapop improves user conversions with store listing experiments on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Developer Marketing, Google Play
Wallapop is a mobile app developer based in Barcelona, Spain. The app provides a platform to users for selling and buying things to others nearby in a virtual flea market by using geolocalization. Wallapop now has over 70% of their user base on Android.

Watch Agus Gomez, Co-Founder & CEO, and Marta Gui, Growth Hacking Manager, explain how using store listing experiments has increased their conversion rate by 17%, and has allowed them to optimize organic installs.


Learn more about store listing experiments. Get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date with more features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.


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19 Jan 2017 4:42pm GMT

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Vine makes a slight comeback with the new Vine Camera app

Sad to see Vine and all of those wonderful few second clips go? Well, as we earlier reported, Twitter seems to be having second thoughts on nixing the service entirely, so they've launched something similar - Vine Camera, a way to still capture those 6-second clips and share them with the world. Unfortunately, former Vine […]


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19 Jan 2017 3:00pm GMT

Possible screen protectors for Samsung Galaxy S8 leaked in new image

Samsung's Galaxy S8 is easily one of the most anticipated smartphones for 2017 and the rumors and leaks keep flooding in. The latest comes courtesy of the Twitter user @dfordesign and shows what could very well be tempered glass screen protectors for the Galaxy S8, giving us our best glimpse yet of the possible design. […]


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19 Jan 2017 2:48pm GMT

Nokia 6 sells out in one minute during its first flash sale

After varied success with Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, Nokia is hoping to start 2017 strong with a new line of Android smartphones including the upcoming Nokia 6. During an initial flash sale on the Chinese e-commerce site JD.com, the Nokia 6 was completely sold out roughly one minute after orders opened. Could this indicate a […]


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19 Jan 2017 2:11pm GMT

Google Home support comes to VIZIO SmartCast devices

VIZIO announced in a press release that compatibility with Google Home is coming to many of its SmartCast devices. These devices range from all sorts of technology - sound bars, wireless speakers, TVs and other products. And now, these products will be able to work with Google's voice-activated speaker. As per the norm, you'll be […]


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19 Jan 2017 2:00pm GMT

Samsung reveals which phones and tablets will be updated to Nougat in the first half of 2017

Unless you own a Pixel or one of the last Nexus devices, a question that runs through your head when Google announces a new version of Android is if your device will receive a firmware update, never mind when. Owners of selected Samsung smartphones and tablets can breathe a small sigh of relief thanks to the […]


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19 Jan 2017 12:45pm GMT

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Tips from developers Peak and Soundcloud on how to grow your startup on Google Play


Posted by Francesca Di Felice, Developer Marketing at Google Play

At Playtime 2016, Google Play's series of developer events, we met with top app and game developers from around the world to share learnings on how to build successful businesses on Google Play. Several startups, including game developer Peaklabs and audio platform SoundCloud, presented on stage their own best practices for growth, which you might find helpful.

Testing for growth, by Peak

Hear from Kevin Shanahan, Product Manager from Peak, a brain training app, on how to grow sustainably.



  • Test lots of ideas: You can't be sure of what will work and what won't, so you need to test lots of ideas. Peak ran four different tests to try to increase conversions to Pro (their subscriber offering):
  1. Made the ability to replay games a Pro feature
  2. Reduced price of Pro by 25% in top 2 markets
  3. Bundled add-on modules from partners into Pro
  4. Showed a preview of Pro-only content
One of these tests resulted in a 50% increase in conversions.

  • Get the basics right: Start with a great product and have a data-informed culture. Don't only test app features, experimenting your store listing using store listing experiments is also important.
  • Build a robust A/B testing process: Having a well-defined A/B testing process and a system for tracking your experiments is key to testing quickly and effectively.

Improving user retention, by SoundCloud

Andy Carvell, former Product Manager at SoundCloud, an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload, record, promote, and share their originally-created sounds, explains how they focus on retention to improve growth.


  • Design your retention strategy: Apps with poor retention grow slowly. To increase your retention you should:
    • Convert new users to repeat visitors by providing a strong onboarding experience for new users and taking a high-touch approach during the first days and weeks.
    • Increase visit frequency within this group by providing frequent, timely, and relevant messaging about content or activity on the platform.
    • Target returning users who were not seen over the last period, who are 'at risk of churn' users, by giving them reasons to come back for another session before losing them.
    • Re-activate lapsed (long-term churned) users with campaigns to remind them about your app and offer an incentive to return.
  • Build 'growth machines': Create repeatable processes that testing has proven to positively impact retention, retaining users, and preventing churn.
  • Use activity notifications in a personalised and effective way: At SoundCloud there are plenty of things that happen when users are not in the app that might be relevant to them, for example new content releases or social interactions. They tested 5 new notification types, always keeping a control group to better keep track of the impact, and managed to increase retention in a 5%. Watch the video above for more of Andy's tips on making better use of notifications.

Other speakers, such as Silicon Valley VC Greylock, have also shared their tips for startup growth. Watch more sessions from this year's Playtime events to learn best practices from other apps and game partners, and the Google Play team. Get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up to date with news and tips to help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

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19 Jan 2017 9:01am GMT

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LG’s next flagship, the G6, will be announced on February 26 at MWC 2017

Now we know exactly when the LG G6 will announced. Tonight, LG sent out invites to a presentation at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. The presentation is scheduled for February 26 at 6:00AM ET. Read more: A wish list from LG leads to G6 speculation The LG G6 will have a battery free from overheating It'll […]


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19 Jan 2017 1:19am GMT

18 Jan 2017

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Your unlocked Moto Z, Moto Z Play will get Android 7.0 Nougat over the next two months

The wait for unlocked devices from the Moto Z family to get Android 7.0 Nougat is almost over, but it won't be happening in January. Lenovo is telling owners of the unlocked Moto Z and Moto Z Play when to expect the software update but not when it'll actually be released. It's a glimpse of […]


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18 Jan 2017 9:47pm GMT

Android 7.0 Nougat (OxygenOS 4.0.2) is rolling out to the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus has begun the incremental rollout of OxygenOS 4.0.2 to the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. This upgrade brings the long-awaited Android 7.0 Nougat to both handsets. This isn't the first time OnePlus has tried to rollout Android 7.0 Nougat for the two handsets. They tried in early December, but due to being unstable on […]


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18 Jan 2017 8:00pm GMT

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Southeast Asian indie game developers find success on Google Play

Posted by Vineet Tanwar, Business Development Manager, Google Play

Indie game developers bring high quality, artistic, and innovative content to Google Play and raise the bar for all developers in the process. In fact, they also make up a large portion of our 'Editor's Choice' recommended titles.
Southeast Asia, in particular, has a vibrant indie game developer ecosystem, and we've been working closely with them to provide tools that help them build successful businesses on Google Play. Today, we're sharing stories from three Indie developers based in Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia, who joined us at our 'Indie Game Developers Day' workshops in May 2016 and all of whom have experienced significant growth since.

Inzen studios from Singapore learned how to use store listing experiments and has improved the conversion rate of their newly launched game Dark Dot by 25%. Indonesia based studio, Niji Games, creator of Cute Munchies, implemented 'Saved Games' and 'Events and Quests' from Google Play games services to significantly improve user retention, and also earned an 'Editor's Choice' badge in the process. Ho Chi Minh City based developer, VGames, optimized monetization and introduced new paid products for their game Gungun online, and grew revenue by over 100%.


Indie game developers who are interested in meeting members of Google Play and who would like to work closer with us are invited to join our next round of SEA workshops in March 2017. To apply for these events, just fill in this form and we will reach out to you.


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18 Jan 2017 5:37pm GMT

17 Jan 2017

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Silence speaks louder than words when finding malware

Posted by Megan Ruthven, Software Engineer

In Android Security, we're constantly working to better understand how to make Android devices operate more smoothly and securely. One security solution included on all devices with Google Play is Verify apps. Verify apps checks if there are Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs) on your device. If a PHA is found, Verify apps warns the user and enables them to uninstall the app.

But, sometimes devices stop checking up with Verify apps. This may happen for a non-security related reason, like buying a new phone, or, it could mean something more concerning is going on. When a device stops checking up with Verify apps, it is considered Dead or Insecure (DOI). An app with a high enough percentage of DOI devices downloading it, is considered a DOI app. We use the DOI metric, along with the other security systems to help determine if an app is a PHA to protect Android users. Additionally, when we discover vulnerabilities, we patch Android devices with our security update system.

This blog post explores the Android Security team's research to identify the security-related reasons that devices stop working and prevent it from happening in the future.
Flagging DOI Apps

To understand this problem more deeply, the Android Security team correlates app install attempts and DOI devices to find apps that harm the device in order to protect our users.
With these factors in mind, we then focus on 'retention'. A device is considered retained if it continues to perform periodic Verify apps security check ups after an app download. If it doesn't, it's considered potentially dead or insecure (DOI). An app's retention rate is the percentage of all retained devices that downloaded the app in one day. Because retention is a strong indicator of device health, we work to maximize the ecosystem's retention rate.

Therefore, we use an app DOI scorer, which assumes that all apps should have a similar device retention rate. If an app's retention rate is a couple of standard deviations lower than average, the DOI scorer flags it. A common way to calculate the number of standard deviations from the average is called a Z-score. The equation for the Z-score is below.

  • N = Number of devices that downloaded the app.
  • x = Number of retained devices that downloaded the app.
  • p = Probability of a device downloading any app will be retained.

In this context, we call the Z-score of an app's retention rate a DOI score. The DOI score indicates an app has a statistically significant lower retention rate if the Z-score is much less than -3.7. This means that if the null hypothesis is true, there is much less than a 0.01% chance the magnitude of the Z-score being as high. In this case, the null hypothesis means the app accidentally correlated with lower retention rate independent of what the app does.
This allows for percolation of extreme apps (with low retention rate and high number of downloads) to the top of the DOI list. From there, we combine the DOI score with other information to determine whether to classify the app as a PHA. We then use Verify apps to remove existing installs of the app and prevent future installs of the app.

Difference between a regular and DOI app download on the same device.


Results in the wild
Among others, the DOI score flagged many apps in three well known malware families- Hummingbad, Ghost Push, and Gooligan. Although they behave differently, the DOI scorer flagged over 25,000 apps in these three families of malware because they can degrade the Android experience to such an extent that a non-negligible amount of users factory reset or abandon their devices. This approach provides us with another perspective to discover PHAs and block them before they gain popularity. Without the DOI scorer, many of these apps would have escaped the extra scrutiny of a manual review.
The DOI scorer and all of Android's anti-malware work is one of multiple layers protecting users and developers on Android. For an overview of Android's security and transparency efforts, check out our page.


17 Jan 2017 9:59pm GMT

16 Jan 2017

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Meet the 20 finalists of the Google Play Indie Games Contest

Posted by Matteo Vallone, Google Play Games Business Development

Back in November, we launched the Google Play Indie Games Contest for developers from 15 European countries, to celebrate the passion and innovation of the indie community in the region. The contest will reward the winners with exposure to industry experts and players worldwide, as well as other prizes that will showcase their art and help them grow their business on Android and Google Play.

Thank you to the nearly 1000 of you who submitted high quality games in all types of genres! Your creativity, enthusiasm and dedication have once again impressed us and inspired us. We had a very fun time testing and judging the games based on fun, innovation, design excellence and technical and production quality, and it was challenging to select only 20 finalists:

Meet the 20 finalists
(In alphabetical order)

Blind Drive
(coming soon)

Lo-Fi People
Israel
Causality
(coming soon)

Loju
United Kingdom

Crap! I'm Broke: Out of Pocket
Arcane Circus Netherlands

Egz

Lonely Woof
France

Ellipsis

Salmi GmbH Germany


Gladiabots


GFX47
France

Happy Hop: Kawaii Jump

Platonic Games
Spain

Hidden Folks (coming soon)

Adriaan de Jongh Netherlands
Lichtspeer
(coming soon)

Lichthund
Poland
Lost in Harmony
Digixart

Entertainment France


Mr Future Ninja (coming soon)

Huijaus Studios
Finland
Paper Wings


Fil Games
Turkey
PinOut


Mediocre
Sweden

Power Hover


Oddrok
Finland

Reigns

Nerial
United Kingdom

Rusty Lake: Roots

Rusty Lake Netherlands

Samorost 3

Amanita Design Czech Republic

The Battle of Polytopia
Midjiwan AB Sweden


twofold inc.

Grapefrukt games Sweden

Unworded (coming soon)

Bento Studio France


Check out the prizes

All the 20 finalists are getting:
  • The opportunity to exhibit and showcase their game at the final event held at the Saatchi Gallery in London, on 16th February 2017.
  • Promotion of their game on a London billboard for one month.
  • Two tickets to attend a 2017 Playtime event. This is an invitation-only event for top apps and games developers on Google Play.
  • One Pixel XL smartphone.
At the event at Saatchi, the finalists will also have a chance to make it to the next rounds and win additional prizes, including:
  • YouTube influencer campaigns worth up to 100,000 EUR.
  • Premium placements on Google Play.
  • Tickets to Google I/O 2017 and other top industry events.
  • Promotions on our channels.
  • Special prizes for the best Unity game.
  • And more!

Come support them at the final event

At the final event attendees will have a say on which 10 of these finalists will get to pitch their games to the jury, who will decide on the final contest winners who will receive the top prizes.

Register now to join us in London, meet the developers, check out their great games, vote for your favourites, and have fun with various industry experts and indie developers.



A big thank you again to everyone who entered and congratulations to the finalists. We look forward to seeing you at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 16th February.

16 Jan 2017 9:57am GMT

12 Jan 2017

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Manage paid orders and payments settings from the Google Play Developer Console

Posted by Suzanne van Tienen, Product Manager, Google Play

Today we are simplifying and improving the merchant experience for developers who have paid apps, in-app purchases, or subscriptions based on the feedback we've heard from the community.

First, we're moving order management from the Google Payments Center to the Google Play Developer Console and adding some improved features. Second, payments settings will now be accessible from the Developer Console in addition to continuing to be available on payments.google.com. The new features come with appropriate access control settings so you can be sure users only have access to the tools they need.



The new order management tab in the Google Play Developer Console

You can perform the same tasks in the Developer Console which you previously would have performed in the Google Payments Center. We've also made some improvements:
  • Bulk refunds: You can now select multiple orders for simultaneous refund, instead of issuing them individually.
  • Subscription cancellations: You can now refund and revoke subscriptions directly from the order management tab (without going to a separate UI).
  • Permissions: We've added a new user access permission to the Developer Console called "Manage orders". This permission will allow a user to find orders, issue refunds, and cancel subscriptions. Other features will be read-only for these users and financial reports will be hidden (only users with "View financial reports" can see financial data). Payments settings are restricted to the account owner when accessed from Developer Console.

Order management migration to the Developer Console

Order management is now available in the Developer Console. Starting January 23, order management will cease being available in Payments Center. User permissions are not automatically carried over from the Payments Center so, as the account owner, you will need to add all users who need access to refunds and any other order management features to your Developer Console account with the new 'Manage orders' permission by January 22 for them to have continued access.
Here's how you can add new users to your Developer Console account:
  1. Log on to Google Payments Center and review all existing users.
  2. Sign in to your Developer Console and add one or both of the following permissions for all users that need access to Order Management in the Developer Console.
    1. View financial reports: Gives the right to access and view financial reports.
    2. Manage orders: Gives the right to view and refund orders but not to view aggregate financial statistics or download sales & payout reports.
  3. Let your users know about the new location for order management.

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12 Jan 2017 5:49pm GMT

21 Dec 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Introducing the ExifInterface Support Library

Posted by Ian Lake, Developer Advocate

With the release of the 25.1.0 Support Library, there's a new entry in the family: the ExifInterface Support Library. With significant improvements introduced in Android 7.1 to the framework's ExifInterface, it only made sense to make those available to all API 9+ devices via the Support Library's ExifInterface.

The basics are still the same: the ability to read and write Exif tags embedded within image files: now with 140 different attributes (almost 100 of them new to Android 7.1/this Support Library!) including information about the camera itself, the camera settings, orientation, and GPS coordinates.

Camera Apps: Writing Exif Attributes

For Camera apps, the writing is probably the most important - writing attributes is still limited to JPEG image files. Now, normally you wouldn't need to use this during the actual camera capturing itself - you'd instead be calling the Camera2 API CaptureRequest.Builder.set() with JPEG_ORIENTATION, JPEG_GPS_LOCATION or the equivalents in the Camera1 Camera.Parameters. However, using ExifInterface allows you to make changes to the file after the fact (say, removing the location information on the user's request).

Reading Exif Attributes

For the rest of us though, reading those attributes is going to be our bread-and-butter; this is where we see the biggest improvements.

Firstly, you can read Exif data from JPEG and raw images (specifically, DNG, CR2, NEF, NRW, ARW, RW2, ORF, PEF, SRW and RAF files). Under the hood, this was a major restructuring, removing all native dependencies and building an extensive test suite to ensure that everything actually works.

For apps that receive images from other apps with a content:// URI (such as those sent by apps that target API 24 or higher), ExifInterface now works directly off of an InputStream; this allows you to easily extract Exif information directly out of content:// URIs you receive without having to create a temporary file.

Uri uri; // the URI you've received from the other app
InputStream in;
try {
  in = getContentResolver().openInputStream(uri);
  ExifInterface exifInterface = new ExifInterface(in);
  // Now you can extract any Exif tag you want
  // Assuming the image is a JPEG or supported raw format
} catch (IOException e) {
  // Handle any errors
} finally {
  if (in != null) {
    try {
      in.close();
    } catch (IOException ignored) {}
  }
}

Note: ExifInterface will not work with remote InputStreams, such as those returned from a HttpURLConnection. It is strongly recommended to only use them with content:// or file:// URIs.

For most attributes, you'd simply use the getAttributeInt(), getAttributeDouble(), or getAttribute() (for Strings) methods as appropriate.

One of the most important attributes when it comes to displaying images is the image orientation, stored in the aptly-named TAG_ORIENTATION, which returns one of the ORIENTATION_ constants. To convert this to a rotation angle, you can post-process the value.

int rotation = 0;
int orientation = exifInterface.getAttributeInt(
    ExifInterface.TAG_ORIENTATION,
    ExifInterface.ORIENTATION_NORMAL);
switch (orientation) {
  case ExifInterface.ORIENTATION_ROTATE_90:
    rotation = 90;
    break;
  case ExifInterface.ORIENTATION_ROTATE_180:
    rotation = 180;
    break;
  case ExifInterface.ORIENTATION_ROTATE_270:
    rotation = 270;
    break;
}

There are some helper methods to extract values from specific Exif tags. For location data, the getLatLong() method gives you the latitude and longitude as floats and getAltitude() will give you the altitude in meters. Some images also embed a small thumbnail. You can check for its existence with hasThumbnail() and then extract the byte[] representation of the thumbnail with getThumbnail() - perfect to pass to BitmapFactory.decodeByteArray().

Working with Exif: Everything is optional

One thing that is important to understand with Exif data is that there are no required tags: each and every tag is optional - some services even specifically strip Exif data. Therefore throughout your code, you should always handle cases where there is no Exif data, either due to no data for a specific attribute or an image format that doesn't support Exif data at all (say, the ubiquitous PNGs or WebP images).

Add the ExifInterface Support Library to your project with the following dependency:

compile "com.android.support:exifinterface:25.1.0"

But when an Exif attribute is exactly what you need to prevent a mis-rotated image in your app, the ExifInterface Support Library is just what you need to #BuildBetterApps

21 Dec 2016 10:30pm GMT

20 Dec 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Get the guide to finding success in new markets on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Developer Marketing at Google Play


With just a few clicks, you can publish an app to Google Play and access a global audience of more than 1 billion 30 days active users. Finding success in global markets means considering how each market differs, planning for high quality localization, and tailoring your activity to the local audience. The new Going Global Playbook provides best practices and tips, with advice from developers who've successfully gone global.

This guide includes advice to help you plan your approach to going global, prepare your app for new markets, take your app to market, and also include data and insights for key countries and other useful resources.

This ebook joins others that we've recently published including The Building for Billions Playbook and The News Publisher Playbook. All of our ebooks are promoted in the Playbook for Developers app, which is where you can stay up to date with all the news and best practices you need to find success on Google Play.

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20 Dec 2016 10:14pm GMT

Start building Actions on Google

Posted by Jason Douglas, PM Director for Actions on Google

The Google Assistant brings together all of the technology and smarts we've been building for years, from the Knowledge Graph to Natural Language Processing. To be a truly successful Assistant, it should be able to connect users across the apps and services in their lives. This makes enabling an ecosystem where developers can bring diverse and unique services to users through the Google Assistant really important.

In October, we previewed Actions on Google, the developer platform for the Google Assistant. Actions on Google further enhances the Assistant user experience by enabling you to bring your services to the Assistant. Starting today, you can build Conversation Actions for Google Home and request to become an early access partner for upcoming platform features.

Conversation Actions for Google Home

Conversation Actions let you engage your users to deliver information, services, and assistance. And the best part? It really is a conversation -- users won't need to enable a skill or install an app, they can just ask to talk to your action. For now, we've provided two developer samples of what's possible, just say "Ok Google, talk to Number Genie " or try "Ok Google, talk to Eliza' for the classic 1960s AI exercise.

You can get started today by visiting the Actions on Google website for developers. To help create a smooth, straightforward development experience, we worked with a number of development partners, including conversational interaction development tools API.AI and Gupshup, analytics tools DashBot and VoiceLabs and consulting companies such as Assist, Notify.IO, Witlingo and Spoken Layer. We also created a collection of samples and voice user interface (VUI) resources or you can check out the integrations from our early access partners as they roll out over the coming weeks.

Introduction to Conversation Actions by Wayne Piekarski

Coming soon: Actions for Pixel and Allo + Support for Purchases and Bookings

Today is just the start, and we're excited to see what you build for the Google Assistant. We'll continue to add more platform capabilities over time, including the ability to make your integrations available across the various Assistant surfaces like Pixel phones and Google Allo. We'll also enable support for purchases and bookings as well as deeper Assistant integrations across verticals. Developers who are interested in creating actions using these upcoming features should register for our early access partner program and help shape the future of the platform.

Build, explore and let us know what you think about Actions on Google! And to say in the loop, be sure to sign up for our newsletter, join our Google+ community, and use the "actions-on-google" tag on StackOverflow.

20 Dec 2016 5:17pm GMT

19 Dec 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Best practices to improve app engagement

Posted by Niko Schröer, Business Development, Google Play

Driving installs is important to growing a user base, but it's not much use if your app sits on users' devices and is rarely opened. In a competitive app landscape, it's increasingly important to engage and retain users over the long term to build a successful business. Users who are using your app more will have a higher lifetime value and be more likely to share your app. Watch my Playtime session below to hear about the tools and features other developers are using to increase app engagement. You can also read the summary of my main tips below.


1. Build a high quality app to engage Android users
Building a high quality app is the foundation of a great user experience on Android. The better your app's user experience is, the more engaged your users will be. Optimizing for material design, for example, can significantly improve user engagement as well as building for Android Wear, Auto or TV where it makes sense based on your value proposition.

To achieve high quality, we recommend you to check out the latest Android features, tips, and best practices in our Playbook for Developers.

The developer of the golf app, Hole19, tailored their app's user experience thoughtfully for Android Wear and, as a result, saw a 40% increase in user engagement compared to non-Wear users. Watch a video about Hole19's success.

2. Make your users feel at home
Personalising your app experience to make users feel at home is a good way to start a long lasting relationship. Onboarding new users is a crucial step in this process. Onboarding should be fast and seamless and ask for minimal user input - after all users want to start using your app as quickly as possible. Furthermore, the onboarding should be a core part of the overall product experience. Use images and wording that's true to your brand and only ask for user input when it's actually needed, to reduce friction and avoid losing users.

Freeletics, a fitness app, created an engaging user onboarding flow in which they tailored imagery and text to male and female users respectively. They also moved the registration process to a later stage in the funnel to reduce friction. The improved onboarding flow increased user activity by 58% within the first 7 days. They also implemented Google Smart Lock to seamlessly sign-in returning users.

3. Optimize feature releases as a way to increase user engagement
Introducing new features is essential to staying ahead of competition and relevant to your users to ensure they keep coming back to your app. To make new feature launches successful drivers for user engagement, follow these simple steps:
  • Define a clear objective for each release to measure your impact, e.g. increase number of users who edit a photo by at least 10%.
  • Use beta testing to gather user feedback and iterate a feature before it's rolled out to all of your users.
  • Enable the pre-launch report in the Play developer console to spot potential flaws and ensure technical stability in your alpha and beta apps.
  • Guide users to each new feature as if it is a light onboarding experience. Visually highlight what's new and provide a short explanation why users should care.
  • Measure performance with analytics to see if the new feature drives engagement (that you've defined as your objective).
4. Use notifications wisely
Push notifications are a popular engagement tool and rightfully so. However, there is a fine line between driving engagement and annoying users (who might then uninstall your app). Follow these guidelines to ensure your notifications are on the right side of the line:
  • Be relevant and only send messages that matter to the user in context. Be creative and true to your brand, speak your users language and use an authentic tone.
  • Make notifications actionable for your users and don't forget to deep link to content where applicable to save your users time.
  • Remember that not all your users are equal so personalize your message to different user cohorts with Firebase Notifications.
  • Consider timeliness of your messages to get users the right notification at the right time and with the right frequency. For example, it might be better to send a notification about something interesting to read at a time when the user normally gets out their phone - like during their commute - instead of the middle of the day, when they might be busy and dismiss a new notification.
  • Finally, give users control over what notifications they receive so that they can opt-in and opt-out of the notifications they like and don't like respectively. If users get annoyed about certain types of notifications and don't have a way to disable them, they might uninstall your app.
The Norwegian news app Aftenposten implemented a new onboarding flow that clarified which notifications were available, allowing readers to manage their preferences. This reduced uninstalls by 9.2.% over 60 days and led to a 28% decrease in the number of users muting notifications completely. Read more about Aftenposten's success.

5. Reward your most engaged users
Last but not least, you should find ways to reward your most loyal users to retain them over time and to make it desirable to less engaged users to engage more. These rewards can come in many shapes and forms. Start by keeping it simple and make sure the reward adds real value to the user and fits in your app's ecosystem. You can do this by:
  • Giving sneak peeks of new features by inviting them to a beta group.
  • Decorating user accounts with badges based on their behaviour.
  • Offer app exclusive discounts or promo codes that can only be redeemed in your app.
Generally, the more you can personalize the reward the better it will work.

Find success with ongoing experimentation
A great Android app gives developers a unique opportunity to create a lasting relationship with users and build a sustainable business with happy customers. Therefore optimising apps to engage and retain your users by following these 5 tips should be front and centre of your development goals and company strategy. Find more tips and best practices by watching the sessions at this year's Playtime events.
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19 Dec 2016 9:57pm GMT

16 Dec 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Games authentication adopting Google Sign-In API

Posted by Clayton Wilkinson, Developer Platform Engineer

Some changes are coming to Play Game Services in early 2017:

Changes to Google API Client building

In November, we announced an update to Google Sign-In API. Play Game Services is being updated to use Google Sign-In API for authentication. The advantages are:

This change unifies the Google Sign-in and the Games API Sign-in, so there are updates to how to build the Google API Client:

// Defaults to Games Lite scope, no server component
  GoogleSignInOptions gso = new
     GoogleSignInOptions.Builder(GoogleSignInOptions.DEFAULT_GAMES_SIGN_IN).build();

// OR for apps with a server component
   GoogleSignInOptions gso = new
     GoogleSignInOptions.Builder(GoogleSignInOptions.DEFAULT_GAMES_SIGN_IN)
         .requestServerAuthCode(SERVER_CLIENT_ID)
         .build();

// OR for developers who need real user Identity
  GoogleSignInOptions gso = new
     GoogleSignInOptions.Builder(GoogleSignInOptions.DEFAULT_GAMES_SIGN_IN)
         .requestEmail()
         .build();

// Build the api client.
     mApiClient = new GoogleApiClient.Builder(this)
                .addApi(Games.API)
                .addApi(Auth.GOOGLE_SIGN_IN_API, gso)
                .addConnectionCallbacks(this)
                .build();
    }

 @Override
    public void onConnected(Bundle connectionHint) {
        if (mApiClient.hasConnectedApi(Games.API)) {
            Auth.GoogleSignInApi.silentSignIn(mApiClient).setResultCallback(
                   new ResultCallback() {
                       @Override
                       public void onResult(GoogleSignInResult googleSignInResult) {
                           // In this case, we are sure the result is a success.
                           GoogleSignInAccount acct = 
                              googleSignInResult.getGoogleSignInAccount());
 
                          // For Games with a server, send the auth code to your server.
                          String serverAuthCode = signInAccount.getServerAuthCode();
 
                         // Use the API client as normal.
                        Player player = Games.API.getCurrentPlayer(mApiClient);
                       }
                   }
            );
        } else {
            onSignedOut();
        }
    }

Account creation within iOS is no longer supported

Google+ is no longer integrated

List of APIs that are deprecated by removing Google+ integration (and their C++ equivalents):

  1. Games.Players.getPlayerSearchIntent()
  2. Games.Players.loadConnectedPlayers()
  3. Games.Players.loadInvitablePlayers()
  4. The value LeaderboardVariant.COLLECTION_SOCIAL
  5. Invitations.loadInvitations()
  6. RealtimeMultiplayer.getSelectOpponentsIntent()
  7. TurnBasedMultiplayer.getSelectOpponentsIntent()
  8. All methods in the Requests package.

We realize this is a large change, but moving forward Play Game Services are much better aligned with the rest of the Mobile platform from Google and will lead to better developer experience for Android game developers.

16 Dec 2016 9:45pm GMT

Four tips for startup success from a Silicon Valley VC

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Marketing Programs Manager, Google Play

Working at Google Play, we're on the front line watching developers build, polish, and launch their dreams for millions of users to experience. While it's exciting to be a part of so much creativity, we're often asked how small startups can stand out in such a competitive field. We recently had Josh Elman & Sarah Tavel of Greylock Partners speak at our events, sharing their experiences working in Product Marketing and Engineering at major tech companies including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Below are four tips to hit the ground running and create a business built for success.

Set goals, both large and small


Every startup has an ultimate goal, but don't forget to create micro-goals. Breaking your larger goal down into smaller milestones creates checkpoints to review progress and ensure momentum is heading in the right direction. This also allows for flexibility if teams need to course correct along the way, not to mention micro-accomplishments to celebrate!

Create stickiness


The first level in Sarah's Hierarchy of Engagement is to identify the core action for users to perform in your app. Once you have engagement with this core action, level 2 is driving retention, getting users to come back and perform the core action more and more. The ultimate goal is to hook users with your app creating accruing benefits, whereby deeper and more frequent engagement creates habits and product dependencies.




"As companies move up the hierarchy, their products become better, harder to leave, and ultimately create virtuous loops that make the product self-perpetuating," - Sarah Tavel, Partner at Greylock

Example: For those looking to improve on organizational skills, Evernote can be a lifesaver. The more lists users create, the more they rely on the product. Evernote becomes such an ingrained habit that it naturally transcends between personal and professional worlds.


Drive virality


When launching a new app, look for ways to achieve virality. Find hooks to make users fall in love with your app and strive to make it part of their regular habits. But watch out, not all types of virality are treated equally.

"Whenever you're thinking about engineering virality, you need to be sure that you're reaching the right people, getting them interested for reasons that align with the intrinsic value of your product, and leading them to the right actions," - Josh Elman, Partner at Greylock Example: Whether you're lucky enough to convert happy users into product evangelists or catch fire through social media, outbreak virality has driven tremendous success for apps like Pokémon GO and Prisma.

Measure cohorts


While monitoring traditional mobile metrics such as installs and DAUs provide a high level overview of app performance, cohort analysis is key to understanding user behavior and optimizing for growth. When rolling out changes in your app, make sure to track cohorts for an extended duration. Initial results may tell one story at D7, but hold tight, as things could turn a corner by D15 or even later. Give users time to adapt and get comfortable with the changes before making any final product decisions.

Read more tips on how to find success for your app or game start up in the Playbook for Developers app.

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16 Dec 2016 8:04pm GMT

15 Dec 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Get a glimpse of Wear 2.0’s upcoming standalone apps

Kacey Fahey, Marketing Programs Manager, Google Play

The upcoming Android Wear 2.0 experience will introduce standalone apps, expanding your potential reach to both Android and iOS audiences with Wear devices. Users will be able to search, install, and use apps without ever leaving their device. See how other developers are enhancing their user experience with standalone apps for messaging, travel & local, and health & fitness.
Glide

Having a watch app further simplifies video messaging with Glide. Using the Wear Complications API, Glide is now able to live broadcast directly from the watch face. By tapping contact shortcuts from the watch face, you can now launch directly into a conversation. This experience brings speed and intimacy to the world of messaging, making wrist-based communication more accessible and effortless.

Foursquare

Travelers around the world use Foursquare's Android Wear app to discover hidden gems and be in the know about the best places to eat, drink and explore. With their upcoming 2.0 app, the team has a clean new canvas for rich notifications giving users an immersive experience with Foursquare content.

"The standalone nature of the Android Wear 2.0 app will offer a big boost in search performance and app responsiveness so you spend less time staring at the screen and more time exploring the world around you," said Kyle Fowler, Software Engineer at Foursquare.

Lifesum

Lifesum helps users make better food choices, improve their exercise, and reach health goals. The upcoming 2.0 experience complements the existing Lifesum mobile app and as a standalone app, it will allow users to more easily track water and meals throughout the day.
"It's all about increasing access and being there for the user in a quick and simple way. We believe a simplified way of tracking meals and water will make it easier for our users on their journey of becoming healthier and happier," said Joakim Hammer, Android Developer at Lifesum

Check out g.co/wearpreview for the latest builds and documentation about the recently released Android Wear Developer Preview 4.
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15 Dec 2016 9:31pm GMT

Tips to be better found and discovered on Google Play

Posted by Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play

We're constantly working on ways to make Google Play a great place for users to discover apps and games they'll love. We know this is crucial to most developers ongoing success. There are steps you can take to ensure your app is primed for success - that's why we're sharing a reminder of some of our top tips for getting your app discovered on Google Play.

Build for quality

First, build for quality. Android users expect high-quality apps. App quality directly influences the long-term success of your app - in terms of installs, user rating and reviews, engagement, and user retention. These are some of the factors that go into our search and discovery systems that help discern what apps to recommend and surface across our Google Play experiences. When building your app, check against the quality criteria, and use what you need from the material design guidelines to make sure you are delivering a highly usable experience. Also, be sure to test your app for functional quality. Opt-in to the pre-launch report for your alpha and beta apps in the Google Play Developer Console and you'll receive a report for each APK showing how it performs on real devices. This will help you identify crashes and other issues before you release your app.


Example: Designing for high usability through Google Material Design.

Request only the permissions you need

Second, be considerate on which permission settings to enable for your app. We see that there are some apps that ask for very sensitive permissions, even when the app doesn't use them. (For example, a camera app asking for read and write permissions to call logs.) Excessive app permissions may dissuade users from installing your app. In fact, one study, in which users were shown two unbranded apps with similar ratings that had the same functionality but different sets of permission requests, showed that users were, on average, 3 times more likely to install the app with fewer permissions requests. And a similar study showed that users are 1.7 times more likely, on average, to select the application with fewer permission requests. The rule of thumb is to enable permissions that are only essential to your app. Read the best practices for app permissions.


Chart: Distribution of permission groups use across Arcade Games category.
If you're building an arcade game, you many only need a very few permission settings, if any.

Listen and respond to your users

Lastly, be attentive to user feedback. It's ultimately the users who drive our search and discovery systems. When you hear user feedback about bugs or other issues, we recommend engaging with the feedback and, if needed, updating your app in a timely manner. Having an up-to-date app that reflects your user's feedback can help you gain more installs, engagement, and higher ratings. Beta testing is a good way to get feedback from real users before launch. You can also check the ratings and reviews section of the Developer Console to see an analysis of what users are saying about your app and how that is affecting your rating compared to similar apps.

Review benchmarks in the Developer Console uses machine learning to give you insights about what users are saying about your app and how it affects your rating.


Google Play strives to help users find and discover the most safe, high quality, useful, and relevant apps. Building apps that put user's interest first will help you be successful in Google Play. For more tips and best practices for building a successful app business on Google Play, get the Playbook for Developers app.

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15 Dec 2016 7:13pm GMT

14 Dec 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Android Wear 2.0 for China - Developer Preview

Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate

Today at Google Developer Day China, we are happy to announce a developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 for developers creating apps for China. Android Wear 2.0 is the biggest update since our partners launched their first devices in China last year.

We're making a Developer Preview available today and plan to release additional updates in the coming months. Please send us your feedback by filing bugs or posting in our Android Wear Developers community.

Developing for the Chinese Market

With Android Wear 2.0, apps can access the internet directly on Android Wear devices. As a result, for the majority of apps, having a companion phone application is no longer necessary. This means that most developers creating apps for Android Wear 2.0 may no longer need to import the Google Play services library.

There are two situations where developers will need to import Google Play services for China:

You can find more details about how to import the China compatible version of Google Play services library here.

Product testing for Android Wear 2.0 for China

The Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview includes an updated SDK with tools, and system images for testing using the Huawei Watch.

To get started, follow these steps:

Give us feedback

We will update this developer preview over the next few months based on your feedback. The sooner we hear from you, the more we can include in the final release, so don't be shy!


Android Wear 2.0 中国版 - 开发者预览版

编辑: 林海泉, Android Wear 开发平台负责人

今天在上海举办的Google 开发者大会上,我们正式宣布了一款专门针对中国市场的Android Wear 2.0 开发者预览版。Android Wear 2.0系统,将是自我们的合作伙伴首次发布手表产品以来最重大的更新。

开发者预览版已于今日正式上线。与此同时,我们也计划在未来的几个月内持续进行更新。请您将您遇到的问题在此提交反馈,或者在我们的Android Wear开发者论坛发表意见。

为中国市场开发应用

在Android Wear 2.0系统中,应用可以由Android Wear手表直接连接至互联网。因此,对于大多数应用来说,手机端的伴侣应用也就变得不再必要。这也意味着,多数为Android Wear 2.0开发应用的开发者将不再需要引用Google Play services客户端库。

目前,在两个情况下开发者仍然需要引入Google Play Services客户端库来为中国市场开发应用:

您可以在这里找到关于如何引入与中国版兼容的Google Play service的更多信息。

Android Wear 2.0 中国版产品测试

Android Wear 2.0 开发者预览版包括最新的SDK套件,手表测试系统镜像(基于华为手表)。

情按照以下步骤进行测试:

开发反馈

我们会根据您的反馈在未来的几个月中更新开发者预览版。您给我们的反馈越早,我们将会在最终的发布版本中包含更多针对您的反馈的解决方案。敬请期待!

14 Dec 2016 2:09am GMT