24 Oct 2016

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Mojang updates Minecraft: Pocket Edition with Add-ons, Realms upload features

So more updates for Mojang's Minecraft: Pocket Edition. It looks like the gaming company is far from being done in their quest to push Minecraft as one of the most popular games on mobile. Mojang has been pouring a lot of new content and features into the game, and with this new update rolling out, […]

24 Oct 2016 10:00am GMT

23 Oct 2016

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Notion launches new AI email app, funded for $9.5 million

With the amount of email that we receive every day (Yes kids, we still use email), both for personal and professional reasons, and the occasional promo or spam ones thrown in there, we need smarter ways to sort through them and make our lives easier. We've seen Gmail and Outlook and other new apps help […]

23 Oct 2016 4:00am GMT

Google Pixel’s new promo videos tap three popular YouTube stars

Aside from being the first phone that Google can really call its own, one other thing that stands out about the newly-released Pixel smartphone is that the tech giant seems to be pouring so much effort into marketing it. From billboards to pop-up stores to large installations, they are really pulling out all the stops […]

23 Oct 2016 3:00am GMT

Stickmen take on a new sport in new game Stickman Basketball 2017

These Stickmen have been pretty busy, having taken on sports like soccer, American football, volleyball, biking, ski racing, etc. Now, they will be playing one of the most popular sports in the world with the new Stickman Basketball 2017. The game follows the basic rules of the sport of course, but also adds some fantastic […]

23 Oct 2016 12:30am GMT

22 Oct 2016

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Crystal Picnic is a modern tribute to classic action RPGs

A sarcastic gardener. A bumbling, wanna-be knight. Crystal-stealing ants. Ants that went crazy after stealing crystals. If you think that real life nowadays is crazy, game developers can still find a way to make virtual games even crazier. Crystal Picnic is a new "lighthearted and colorful" role-playing game that actually pays tribute to the classic […]

22 Oct 2016 11:00pm GMT

Mini Metro lets you create your own fictional subway system

This has probably happened to most people who've ridden and have experienced the pains of being on a a subway train. You wonder if you can actually do better if you had the opportunity and the power to create a subway system from scratch in your city, one that would run better and is planned […]

22 Oct 2016 9:30pm GMT

Bug Butcher lets you live your dreams of being an exterminator

Maybe you've always had a secret dream of being a bug exterminator. Or maybe you really just hate bugs and want to kill them all with fire. But this new game from Noodlecake Studios, who are making a reputation in creating awesome mobile games, will let you go on a killing rampage over bugs with […]

22 Oct 2016 8:00pm GMT

OnePlus 3T sighted online on with Snapdragon 821

A new OnePlus phone is coming. It's not another flagship or mid-range device but just a new variant of the OnePlus 3. It's not's a OnePlus 3S as most industry insiders were thinking but it will be known officially as the OnePlus 3T. The 3T is short for 3 Turbo which we're assuming is a […]

22 Oct 2016 6:30pm GMT


Google makes it easy to get screen replacements for the Pixel and Pixel XL

Google is partnering with uBreakiFix to make screen replacements as easy as possible for the Pixel. Join us after the break for details. uBreakiFix is a company that does repairs on a number of different electronics, including Macs, PCs and all sorts of different smartphones. This partnership with Google would make it insanely easy for […]

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22 Oct 2016 5:00pm GMT

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More Mi Note 2 information leaked before official launch

Xiaomi is set to launch another phone in the form of the Mi Note 2. We're sure about this because the Chinese OEM already announced the event and everyone is invited. It will an FB event so more people can tune in and see Xiaomi unveiling the new product. The teaser ad says something about […]

22 Oct 2016 5:00pm GMT

LINE update brings 24-hour posts, video call effects,hashtag search

Messaging apps these days have to be more than just about sending messages to family and friends. With intense competition, they need to have features that will attract the most discerning of users, as well as stand out from their peers. LINE's attempt to bring new features in their latest update, version 6.8.0, isn't really […]

22 Oct 2016 3:30pm GMT

LG V20 undergoes 60,000 tests, unit boasts of high repairability

We've just seen the Scratch, Burn, and Bend Durability Test for the LG V20. The smartphone survived with flying colors as last year's V10 model. The phone may still need a standard phone case for protection so don't hesitate to buy one. Even if the phone is ready for rough use, it's always advisable that […]

22 Oct 2016 2:00pm GMT


Don’t expect to see any more modular smartphones from LG

It seems that modularity in smartphones isn't going so well for LG. After experimenting with it in the LG G5 and hinting that it would come to the successor of the recently released V20, Korea's Electronic Times is saying that LG is ditching the current concept and going back to its regular design for the […]

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22 Oct 2016 1:20pm GMT

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Samsung thinking of tapping LG for next flagship’s battery

Samsung is at a point where it's deliberating on what to do not just on the Note 7 fiasco but also on the next Galaxy S8. We also know that it has plans to change its marketing strategies and that it might launch only one premium flagship phone next year. We're almost certain there will […]

22 Oct 2016 12:30pm GMT

OPPO R9s and R9s Plus officially unveiled with enhanced imaging

After several leaks and teasers, OPPO has officially took the wraps off the new R9s and R9s Plus. The Chinese OEM has rolled out these two as follow-up to the R9 and R9 Plus launched earlier this year. The design and build are similar to the original duo but obviously, the R9s and R9s Plus […]

22 Oct 2016 11:00am GMT

Asus reportedly working on a new (expensive) Chromebook

When something is still in the rumors and leaks stage, you probably will not want to hear about how expensive it will be. But apparently, this is one of the "selling points" of the rumored new Chromebook for the ASUS, the C302CA. While of course a new Chromebook will be met with interest, how will […]

22 Oct 2016 8:00am GMT

Arcane Online tries to convince you of MMORPGs on mobile

Arcane Online is yet another title that tries to convince gamers that MMORPG joy can be found on the mobile platform. If we have to be honest, the MMORPGs that acquit themselves well on mobile are few and far between. Japanese game publishers Gala Inc. hopes that Android gamers would take to this new game […]

22 Oct 2016 2:00am GMT

Fabriq is the first Alexa-powered portable speaker

Alexa, the intelligent personal assistant that is part of Amazon Echo's portable smart speaker, has been a pretty good competitor to the likes of Apple's Siri, Window's Cortana, and Google's…well, Ok Google. But previously, you could only experience it on the aforementioned Echo. Until now, that is. Fabriq is the first Alexa-powered portable, all-in-one speaker. […]

22 Oct 2016 1:00am GMT

21 Oct 2016


Syllable D900 Mini Wireless Earbuds review

As far as headphones and earphones go, almost everything we use is wired. But, with some manufacturers getting rid of auxiliary ports, it's worth it to start considering quality wireless earphones. Apple's AirPods have caused a lot of excitement in both the Android and iOS realm, but they're a little too pricey for early adopters. […]

Come comment on this article: Syllable D900 Mini Wireless Earbuds review

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21 Oct 2016 9:28pm GMT

Time Warner targeted for AT&T takeover

It's like we're living in 2000 all over again. A blockbuster deal involving Time Warner might be happening soon. Time Warner, according to Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, is engaged in advanced talks to be acquired by AT&T. It's possible a deal is announced this weekend, preparing the alignment of AT&T's distribution and Time […]

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21 Oct 2016 7:56pm GMT

Ouch – Samsung roasted by President Obama

Samsung must feel like everyone is just piling on now regarding all of the trouble they have had with the Galaxy Note 7. From a continuous litany of explosive puns and digs directed at the company to lawsuits to the financial impact of the failed product launch, Samsung cannot seem to get out in front […]

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21 Oct 2016 7:00pm GMT

ASUS’ upcoming high-end Chromebook could come at a killer price

ASUS is soon expected to announced a new high-end Chromebook. We're expecting it to be called the Chromebook C302CA and feature a 360-degree hinge and so much more. Details after the break. As you might've seen already, 360-degree Chromebooks and even laptops are becoming commonplace. It essentially lets you transform it into a tablet for […]

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21 Oct 2016 5:00pm GMT

OnePlus 3T rumored to launch with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821

OnePlus has been quite a popular manufacturer for a powerful unlocked Android smartphone at an affordable price. The OnePlus 3 was the company's 2016 flagship and received very positive reviews for its top specs, competitive camera experience, 6GB of RAM, and all for $399. Now it appears that OnePlus is not slowing down as rumors […]

Come comment on this article: OnePlus 3T rumored to launch with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821

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21 Oct 2016 3:44pm GMT

Factory images and binaries are up for the Pixel and Pixel XL

Just because the Pixel dropped the Nexus name doesn't mean it won't get quick access to development goodies from Google. Like the entire Nexus family before it, you'll be able to download binaries, OTA images, and factory images for the Pixel, and they're all now officially available directly from Google. Specifically, you can now download […]

Come comment on this article: Factory images and binaries are up for the Pixel and Pixel XL

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21 Oct 2016 2:59pm GMT

[TA Deal] Get Samsung’s wireless charging pad for just $19! (72% off)

Wireless charging pads can be a bit pricey, especially if you choose one of Samsung's in-house options. It's usually around $68 for a wireless charging pad from Samsung and other top brands; however, there's a way for you to still get a quality product at a low price without giving up all of the great […]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deal] Get Samsung's wireless charging pad for just $19! (72% off)

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21 Oct 2016 1:45pm GMT

20 Oct 2016


Dead Zebra’s Frank Patches figurine available for order

Android figurine producer Dead Zebra has launched their latest Halloween oriented option, Frank Patches, for pre-orders. According to their web site, orders for Frank Patches will start shipping October 27th. Like past designs, Frank Patches was designed by Andrew Bell and will be manufactured by Dyzplastic. An annual Halloween figurine is a bit of a […]

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20 Oct 2016 10:40pm GMT

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Android Developer Stories: drupe and Noom expand globally by localising their apps on Google Play

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Marketing Programs Manager, Google Play

Interested in growing your app on a global scale? See how two app developers localized their apps in unique ways to drive revenue and user engagement.


drupe is a communications app that utilizes the openness of android to build a truly native experience delivering highly contextual recommendations to their users across the world.

Key to achieving international growth, drupe has translated their app in 17 languages, and their store listing page in 28 languages. This led to an increase in conversion and retention rates. Additionally, when entering India, the team noticed several user reviews requesting integration with a specific messaging app widely used in the Indian market. Through a combination of this integration, adding Hindi language translation, and other new features, drupe saw improved performance. In six months, daily active users increased 300%, and actions per average daily user increased 25% in the Indian market.


Noom is a health & fitness app that has achieved an 80% increase in international revenue growth on Android over the past three years by localizing their app with unique cultural behaviors, cuisines, and local-market coaches.

In addition to translating their app and store listing page, Noom conducted extensive analysis to determine the right financial model tailored to each international market. This included evaluation of their competitive landscape and local health and wellness spending behavior, in addition to running pricing experiments to determine the optimal offering between subscriptions, IAPs, or a premium app.

Use the Localization Checklist to learn more about tailoring your app for different markets to drive installs and revenue, and to create a better overall user experience. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date on new features and learn best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

Read the full articles for drupe and Noom.

20 Oct 2016 5:26pm GMT

19 Oct 2016

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Now available: Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

A couple of weeks ago we announced that a developer preview of Android 7.1 Nougat was on the way. You can get started with this new release today by downloading the SDK and tools. To get the 7.1 release on your eligible device, enroll your device in the Android Beta program. If your device is already enrolled, you'll receive the update automatically.

What's in the Developer Preview?

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview gives you everything you need to test your app on the new platform or extend it with new features like app shortcuts and image keyboard support. It includes an updated SDK and tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported devices.

We're continuing the model we used in N and earlier releases, and with Android 7.1 being an incremental release there are a few differences to highlight:

After the initial preview release, we plan to deliver an update in November followed by the final public release to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) in December. Initially available on Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, we'll extend the Developer Preview to other devices in November.

Get your apps ready for Android 7.1

To get started, update to Android Studio 2.2.2 and download API Level 25 platform, emulator system images and tools. The final API Level 25 SDK is available for download through the SDK Manager in Android Studio.

Once you've installed the API Level 25 SDK, you can update your project's compileSdkVersion to 25 to build and test against the new APIs. If you're doing compatibility testing, we recommend updating your app's targetSdkVersion to 25 to test your app with compatibility behaviors disabled. For details on how to set up your app with the API Level 25 SDK, see Set up the Preview.

If you're adding app shortcuts or circular launcher icons to your app, you can use Android Studio's built-in Image Asset Studio to quickly help you create icons of different sizes that meet the material design guidelines.

The Google APIs Emulator System images shipped with the Android API Level 25 SDK include support for round icons and the new Google Pixel Launcher. The Google API system image allows you to test how your app's circular app icons look in devices that support circular icons. Also, if you are developing live wallpapers, you can also use the the new system images with the Android Emulator to test the enhanced preview metadata in Android 7.1.

To help you add image keyboard support, you can use the Messenger and Google Keyboard apps included in the preview system images for testing as they include support for this new API.

Along with the API Level 25 SDK, we have also updated the Android Support Library to 25.0.0. The new version lets you add image keyboard support with compatibility back to API level 13. It also introduces BottomNavigationView widget, which implements the bottom navigation pattern from the material design guidelines.

For details on API Level 25 check out the API diffs and the updated API reference on the developer preview site.

Image keyboard support on Nexus 6P

You can use the Android Emulator in Android Studio to test your circular app icons & shortcuts in a launcher

App shortcuts on Nexus 6P

You can use the Image Asset tool to quickly create circular icon assets.

Publish your apps to alpha, beta or production channels in Google Play

Since the Android 7.1 APIs are final, you can publish updates compiling with, and optionally targeting, API 25 to Google Play. You can now publish app updates that use API 25 to your alpha, beta, or even production channels in the Google Play Developer Console. In this way, push your app updates to users whose devices are running Android 7.1, such as Pixel and Android Beta devices.

How to Get Android 7.1 Developer Preview on Your Eligible Device

If you are already enrolled in the Android Beta program, then your eligible enrolled devices will get the Android 7.1 Developer Preview update right away, no action is needed on your part. If you aren't yet enrolled in Android Beta, the easiest way to get started is to visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet -- you'll soon receive this (and later) preview updates over-the-air. If you have an enrolled device and do not want to receive the update, just visit Android Beta and unenroll the device. You can also download and flash this update manually.

We welcome your feedback in the Developer Preview issue tracker, N Preview Developer community, or Android Beta community as we work towards the consumer release in December!

19 Oct 2016 9:33pm GMT

13 Oct 2016

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Tips to help you stay on the right side of Google Play policy

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Today we have released a new video '10 tips to stay on the right side of Google Play policy'. The video provides 10 best practices to help you develop and launch apps and games which follow Google Play's Developer Program Policies.

It accompanies the recently published News video series and is part of our 10 tips for success on Google Play video series.

Watch the video to learn how to review your app, to ensure you have appropriate content and the rights to use it, how to handle user data, and more. Also, find out how to stay up to date with policy updates and get support from our policy team.

You can also find more resources on Google Play policies in the Developer Policy Center, and also get the new Playbook for Developers app to learn more best practices to find success on Google Play.

13 Oct 2016 4:00pm GMT

12 Oct 2016

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Android Developer Story: PicMix reaches global audience on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Inovidea Magna Global, is the developer of PicMix, a photo and video editing app, which has now evolved into an interest based social media platform powered by content discovery and social commerce. It has 27 million users worldwide, 65% of which are outside of its home market in Indonesia.

Hear Calvin Kizana, CEO, and Sandy Colondam, Co-founder, explain how they used Google Play tools, such as Store Listing Experiments and Material Design, to create a high quality app which appeals to a global audience.

Learn more about store listing experiments and find out how to get started with Material Design. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app and stay up-to-date with more features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

12 Oct 2016 5:59pm GMT

11 Oct 2016

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Coming soon: Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Today, we're taking the wraps off of Android 7.1 Nougat, the latest version of the platform. You probably saw a sneak peek of it at last week's event. It's an incremental update based on Android 7.0 but includes new features for consumers and developers - from platform Daydream VR support and A/B system updates to app shortcuts and image keyboard support.

We've already been working closely with device makers to get them ready for Android 7.1, and next we'll give you access to this update so you can start getting your apps ready.

Later this month we'll be bringing you the Android 7.1 platform as an open Developer Preview, similar to what we did for Android 7.0. You'll be able to test and build on the new platform and try the latest features.

As always, we'll deliver the Developer Preview through the Android Beta program, which makes it incredibly easy to participate.

What's in Android 7.1?

Android 7.1 delivers the productivity, security, and performance of Android 7.0, along with a variety of optimizations and bug fixes, features, and new APIs (API level 25).

For developers, Android 7.1 adds new capabilities to help you drive engagement in your app and deliver an improved user experience, such as:

Android 7.1 also adds these much-requested developer features to the platform:

For carriers and calling apps, the platform includes new APIs to support multi-endpoint calling and new telephony configuration options.

Image keyboard support on Nexus 6P

Image keyboard support: Let users input images and other content directly from a keyboard.

App shortcuts on Nexus 6P

App shortcuts: Use app shortcuts to surface key actions and take users deep into your app instantly.

Get your apps ready

Android 7.1 is an incremental release, but it's always important to make sure your apps look and run great - especially as devices start to reach consumers.

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview will give you everything you need to test your apps or extend them with new features like shortcuts or keyboard images. Included are the SDK with new APIs, build tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported Nexus devices. We'll also include a launcher and apps that support app shortcuts, and a keyboard and apps that support keyboard images.

If you want to receive the Developer Preview automatically, visit Android Beta and enroll your device. If you previously enrolled a device and haven't unenrolled, your device will receive the update. If you already enrolled but don't want to receive the update, visit Android Beta to unenroll the device as soon as possible.

Initially, we'll offer the Developer Preview for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, extending to other supported devices by the end of the preview. At the final release of the Android 7.1.x platform, due in early December, we'll roll out updates to the full lineup of supported devices - Nexus 6, 5X, 6P, 9, Player, Pixel C, and supported Android One devices - as well as Pixel and Pixel XL devices.

Coming to consumer devices soon

We're working with our partners to bring Android 7.1 to devices in the ecosystem over the months ahead, so we recommend downloading the Android 7.1 Developer Preview as soon as it's available. Test your apps for compatibility and optimize them to look their best, such as by providing circular app icons and adding app shortcuts.

Meanwhile, stay tuned, we'll be sharing more details about the Developer Preview soon!

11 Oct 2016 6:30pm GMT

05 Oct 2016

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Android Developer Story: Papumba grows revenue globally by localising its family titles on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Papumba is an educational games developer based in Argentina, with a core team of four people and a vision to grow a global business.

Watch Gonzalo Rodriguez, CEO, and Andres Ballone, CFO, explain how working with a team of experts from across the world and adapting their games to local markets helped them find success globally.

Learn more about localized pricing and translation services to grow your app or game business globally on Google Play. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date on new features and learn best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

05 Oct 2016 5:01pm GMT

28 Sep 2016

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Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3: Play Store and More

Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate

Today we're launching the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 with a big new addition: Google Play on Android Wear. The Play Store app makes it easy for users to find and install apps directly on the watch, helping developers like you reach more users.

Play Store features

With Play Store for Android Wear, users can browse recommended apps in the home view and search for apps using voice, keyboard, handwriting, and recommended queries, so they can find apps more easily. Users can switch between multiple accounts, be part of alpha and beta tests, and update or uninstall apps in the "My apps" view on their watch, so they can manage apps more easily. Perhaps the coolest feature: If users want an app on their watch but not on their phone, they can install only the watch app. In fact, in Android Wear 2.0, phone apps are no longer necessary. You can now build and publish watch-only apps for users to discover on Google Play.

Why an on-watch store?

We asked developers like you what you wanted most out of Android Wear, and you told us you wanted to make it easier for users to discover apps. So we ran studies with users to find out where they expected and wanted to discover apps--and they repeatedly looked for and asked for a way to discover apps right on the watch itself. Along with improvements to app discovery on the phone and web, the Play Store on the watch helps users find apps right where they need them.

Publish your apps

To make your apps available on Play Store for Android Wear, just follow these steps. You'll need to make sure your Android Wear 2.0 apps set minSdkVersion to 24 or higher, use the runtime permissions model, and are uploaded via multi-APK using the Play Developer Console. If your app supports Android Wear 1.0, the developer guide also covers the use of product flavors in Gradle.

Download the New Android Wear companion app

To set up Developer Preview 3, you'll need to install a beta version of the Android Wear app on your phone, flash your watch to the latest preview release, and use the phone app to add a Google Account to your watch. These steps are detailed in Download and Test with a Device. If you don't have a watch to test on, you can use the emulator as well.

Other additions in Developer Preview 3

Developer Preview 3 also includes:

28 Sep 2016 10:26pm GMT

27 Sep 2016

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Announcing the winners of the Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco; Indie Games Contest coming soon to Europe

Posted by Jamil Moledina, Google Play, Games Strategic Lead

Last Saturday, we hosted the first Google Play Indie Games Festival in North America, where we showcased 30 amazing games that celebrate the passion, innovation, and art of indies. After a competitive round of voting from fans and on-stage presentations to a jury of industry experts, we recognized seven finalists nominees and three winners.

Presented by Greg Batha
Bit Bit Blocks is a cute and action-packed competitive puzzle game. Play with your friends on a single screen, or challenge yourself in single player mode. Head-to-head puzzle play anytime, anywhere.
Presented by Kaveh Daryabeygi, Wombo Combo
Numbo Jumbo is a casual mobile puzzle number game for iOS and Android. Players group numbers that add together: for example, [3, 5, 8] works because 3+5=8.
Presented by Chetan Surpur & Eric Rahman, Highkey Games
ORBIT puts a gravity simulator at the heart of a puzzle game. Launch planets with a flick of your finger, and try to get them into orbit around black holes. ORBIT also features a sandbox where you can create your own universes, control time, and paint with gravity.

Finalist nominees:

Antihero [coming later in 2016]
Presented by Tim Conkling
Antihero is a "fast-paced strategy game with an (Oliver) Twist." Run a thieves' guild in a gas-lit, corrupt city. Recruit urchins, hire thugs, steal everything - and bribe, blackmail, and assassinate your opposition. Single-player and cross-platform multiplayer for desktops, tablets, and phones.
Armajet [coming later in 2016]
Presented by Nicola Geretti & Alexander Krivicich, Super Bit Machine
Armajet is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that pits teams of players against each other in fast-paced jetpack combat. Armajet is a best in class mobile game designed for spectator-friendly competitive gaming for tablets and smartphones. Players compete in a modern arena shooter that's easy to learn, but hard to master.
Norman's Night In: The Cave [coming later in 2016]
Presented by Nick Iorfino & Alex Reed, Bactrian Games
Norman's Night In is a 2D puzzle-platformer that tells the tale of Norman and his fateful fall into the world of cave. While test driving the latest model 3c Bowling Ball, Norman finds himself lost with nothing but his loaned bball and a weird feeling that somehow he was meant to be there.
Presented by David Fox, Double Coconut
Parallyzed is an atmospheric adventure platformer with unique gameplay, set in a dark and enchanting dreamscape. You play twin sisters who have been cast into separate dimensions. Red and Blue have different attributes and talents, are deeply connected, and have the ability to swap bodies at any time.

Finalists nominees and winners also received a range of prizes, including Google I/O 2017 tickets, a Tango Development kit, Google Cloud credits, an NVIDIA Android TV & K1 tablet, and a Razer Forge TV bundle.

Indie Games Contest coming to Europe

We're continuing our effort to help indie game developers thrive by highlighting innovative and fun games for fans around the world. Today, we are announcing the Indie Games Contest for developers based in European countries (specific list of countries coming soon!). This is a great opportunity for indie games developers to win prizes that will help you showcase your art to industry experts and grow your business and your community of players worldwide. Make sure you don't miss out on hearing the details by signing up here for updates.

As we shared at the festival, it's rewarding to see how Google Play has evolved over the years. We're now reaching over 1 billion users every month and there's literally something for everyone. From virtual reality to family indie games, developers like you continue to inspire, provoke, and innovate through beautiful, artistic games.

27 Sep 2016 5:03pm GMT

21 Sep 2016

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Extending Web Technology with Android

Developer guest post by Active Theory

Paper Planes started as a simple thought - "What if you could throw a paper plane from one screen to another?"

The heart of our concept was to bring people together from all over the world, using the power of the web - an instant connection to one another. Modern web technology, specifically JavaScript and WebGL, powered the experience on every screen.

Paper Planes was initially featured at Google I/O 2016, connecting attendees and outside viewers for 30 minutes preceding the keynote. For the public launch on International Peace Day 2016, we created an Android Experiment, which is also featured on Google Play, to augment the existing web technology with native Android Nougat features such as rich notifications when a plane is caught elsewhere in the world.


Users create and fold their own plane while adding a stamp that is pre-filled with their location. A simple throwing gesture launches the plane into the virtual world. Users visiting the desktop website would see their planes flying into the screen.

Later, users can check back and see where their planes have been caught around the world. Each stamp on the plane reads like a passport, and a 3D Earth highlights flightpath and distance travelled.

In addition to making their own planes, users can gesture their phone like a net to catch a plane that has been thrown from elsewhere and pinch to open it, revealing where it has visited. Then they can add their own stamp, and throw it back into the flock.


We developed Paper Planes to work across devices ranging from the 50-foot screen on stage at Google I/O to desktop and mobile using the latest in web technology.


From the stylized low-poly Earth to the flocking planes, WebGL is used to render the 3D elements that power the experience. We wrote custom GLSL shaders to light the Earth and morph targets to animate the paper as the user pinches to open or close.


When a user "throws" a plane a message is sent over websockets to the back-end servers where it is relayed to all desktop computers to visualize the plane taking off.


The plane flocking simulation is calculated across multiple threads using WebWorkers that calculate the position of each plane and relay that information back to the main thread to be rendered by WebGL.

To create an experience that works great across platforms, we extended the web with native Android code. This enabled us to utilize the deep integration of Chromium within Android to make the view layer of the application with the web code that already existed, while adding deeper integration with the OS such as rich notifications and background services.

If you're interested in learning more about how to bridge WebView and Java code, check out this GitHub repo for a tutorial.


Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) was used to send push notifications to the Android app. When a user's plane has been caught and thrown by someone else, a notification showing how many cities and miles it has travelled is sent to the device of the plane's creator via FCM. Outgoing notifications are managed to ensure they are not sent too frequently to a device.

Background Service

We implemented a background service to run once a day which checks against local storage to determine when a user last visited the app. If the user hasn't visited in over two weeks, the app sends a notification to invite the user back into the app to create a new plane.

The Communication Network

Our application runs on a network of servers on Google Cloud Platform. We used built-in geocoding headers to get approximate geographic locations for stamps and Socket.IO to connect all devices over WebSockets.

Users connect to the server nearest them, which relays messages to a single main server as well as to any desktop computers viewing the experience in that region.

Moving forward

This approach worked extremely well for us, enabling an experience that was smooth and captivating across platforms and form factors, connecting people from all over the world. Extending the web with native capabilities has proven to be a valuable avenue to deliver high quality experiences going forward. You can learn even more on the Android Experiments website.

21 Sep 2016 5:01pm GMT

19 Sep 2016

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Android Studio 2.2

By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

Android Studio 2.2 is available to download today. Previewed at Google I/O 2016, Android Studio 2.2 is the latest release of our IDE used by millions of Android developers around the world.

Packed with enhancements, this release has three major themes: speed, smarts, and Android platform support. Develop faster with features such as the new Layout Editor, which makes creating an app user interface quick and intuitive. Develop smarter with our new APK analyzer, enhanced Layout Inspector, expanded code analysis, IntelliJ's 2016.1.3 features and much more. Lastly, as the official IDE for Android app development, Android Studio 2.2 includes support for all the latest developer features in Android 7.0 Nougat, like code completion to help you add Android platform features like Multi-Window support, Quick Settings API, or the redesigned Notifications, and of course, the built-in Android Emulator to test them all out.

In this release, we evolved the Android Frameworks and the IDE together to create the Constraint Layout. This powerful new layout manager helps you design large and complex layouts in a flat and streamlined hierarchy. The ConstraintLayout integrates into your app like a standard Android support library, and was built in parallel with the new Layout Editor.

Android Studio 2.2 includes 20+ new features across every major phase of the development process: design, develop, build, & test. From designing UIs with the new ConstraintLayout, to developing C++ code with the Android NDK, to building with the latest Jack compliers, to creating Espresso test cases for your app, Android Studio 2.2 is the update you do not want to miss. Here's more detail on some of the top highlights:


Layout Editor



C++ Code Editing & CMake Support

Sample Code Menu


Enable Instant Run

APK Analyzer

Build Cache Setting


Android Emulator Virtual Sensors

Espresso Test Recorder
GPU Debugger

To recap, Android Studio 2.2 includes these major features and more:





Learn more about Android Studio 2.2 by reviewing the release notes and the preview blog post.

Getting Started


If you are using a previous version of Android Studio, you can check for updates on the Stable channel from the navigation menu (Help → Check for Update [Windows/Linux] , Android Studio → Check for Updates [OS X]). You can also download Android Studio 2.2 from the official download page. To take advantage of all the new features and improvements in Android Studio, you should also update to the Android Gradle plugin version to 2.2.0 in your current app project.

Next Release

We would like to thank all of you in the Android Developer community for your work on this release. We are grateful for your contributions, your ongoing feedback which inspired the new features in this release, and your highly active use on canary and beta builds filing bugs. We all wanted to make Android Studio 2.2 our best release yet, with many stability and performance fixes in addition to the many new features. For our next release, look for even more; we want to work hard to address feedback and keep driving up quality and stability on existing features to make you productive.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like to see. Connect with us -- the Android Studio development team -- on our Google+ page or on Twitter.

What's New in Android Studio 2.2

19 Sep 2016 5:30pm GMT

06 Sep 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Keeping Android safe: Security enhancements in Nougat

Posted by Xiaowen Xin, Android Security Team

Over the course of the summer, we previewed a variety of security enhancements in Android 7.0 Nougat: an increased focus on security with our vulnerability rewards program, a new Direct Boot mode, re-architected mediaserver and hardened media stack, apps that are protected from accidental regressions to cleartext traffic, an update to the way Android handles trusted certificate authorities, strict enforcement of verified boot with error correction, and updates to the Linux kernel to reduce the attack surface and increase memory protection. Phew!

Now that Nougat has begun to roll out, we wanted to recap these updates in a single overview and highlight a few new improvements.

Direct Boot and encryption

In previous versions of Android, users with encrypted devices would have to enter their PIN/pattern/password by default during the boot process to decrypt their storage area and finish booting. With Android 7.0 Nougat, we've updated the underlying encryption scheme and streamlined the boot process to speed up rebooting your phone. Now your phone's main features, like the phone app and your alarm clock, are ready right away before you even type your PIN, so people can call you and your alarm clock can wake you up. We call this feature Direct Boot.

Under the hood, file-based encryption enables this improved user experience. With this new encryption scheme, the system storage area, as well as each user profile storage area, are all encrypted separately. Unlike with full-disk encryption, where all data was encrypted as a single unit, per-profile-based encryption enables the system to reboot normally into a functional state using just device keys. Essential apps can opt-in to run in a limited state after reboot, and when you enter your lock screen credential, these apps then get access your user data to provide full functionality.

File-based encryption better isolates and protects individual users and profiles on a device by encrypting data at a finer granularity. Each profile is encrypted using a unique key that can only be unlocked by your PIN or password, so that your data can only be decrypted by you.

Encryption support is getting stronger across the Android ecosystem as well. Starting with Marshmallow, all capable devices were required to support encryption. Many devices, like Nexus 5X and 6P also use unique keys that are accessible only with trusted hardware, such as the ARM TrustZone. Now with 7.0 Nougat, all new capable Android devices must also have this kind of hardware support for key storage and provide brute force protection while verifying your lock screen credential before these keys can be used. This way, all of your data can only be decrypted on that exact device and only by you.

The media stack and platform hardening

In Android Nougat, we've both hardened and re-architected mediaserver, one of the main system services that processes untrusted input. First, by incorporating integer overflow sanitization, part of Clang's UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer, we prevent an entire class of vulnerabilities, which comprise the majority of reported libstagefright bugs. As soon as an integer overflow is detected, we shut down the process so an attack is stopped. Second, we've modularized the media stack to put different components into individual sandboxes and tightened the privileges of each sandbox to have the minimum privileges required to perform its job. With this containment technique, a compromise in many parts of the stack grants the attacker access to significantly fewer permissions and significantly reduced exposed kernel attack surface.

In addition to hardening the mediaserver, we've added a large list of protections for the platform, including:

App security improvements

Android Nougat is the safest and easiest version of Android for application developers to use.

We've also continued to refine app permissions and capabilities to protect you from potentially harmful apps.

System Updates

Lastly, we've made significant enhancements to the OTA update system to keep your device up-to-date much more easily with the latest system software and security patches. We've made the install time for OTAs faster, and the OTA size smaller for security updates. You no longer have to wait for the optimizing apps step, which was one of the slowest parts of the update process, because the new JIT compiler has been optimized to make installs and updates lightning fast.

The update experience is even faster for new Android devices running Nougat with updated firmware. Like they do with Chromebooks, updates are applied in the background while the device continues to run normally. These updates are applied to a different system partition, and when you reboot, it will seamlessly switch to that new partition running the new system software version.

We're constantly working to improve Android security and Android Nougat brings significant security improvements across all fronts. As always, we appreciate feedback on our work and welcome suggestions for how we can improve Android. Contact us at security@android.com.

06 Sep 2016 8:02pm GMT

01 Sep 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

The Power Of “Early Access”

By Karolis Balciunas, VC & Startups Business Development Manager, Google Play

If you have ever launched a mobile app, you know full well that launching your app into the world successfully requires more than publishing it and hoping for the best.

It's the diligent testing, constant user feedback loop and incremental tweaks leading up to that special launch moment that truly count.

The Google Play Developer Console gives developers robust tools to do beta tests or experiment with how they market their apps to users through the Play store listing. Getting this critical early feedback from users requires just that - users. And as a developer working on a new product that isn't fully launched yet, how do you find people to try your new app and take the time to give you feedback?

1 Million Tester Installs And Counting

At Google I/O in May, we unveiled a new destination on Google Play to address this dilemma head on. Together with 29 app and game partners, we launched an "Early Access" collection that made select new Android titles that are running an open beta available for anyone to try before they officially launch. It was an immediate hit. Early-adopter users were eager and willing to send developers actionable, private feedback in exchange for an opportunity to get their hands onto the latest exciting apps and games. Most importantly, the feedback was objective and candid as it did not come from their friends and family who are often afraid to hurt their feelings. In just over a month since the collection became available to all users, open beta titles have been installed over 1 million times and demand is only growing.

3 Powerful Stories

Our launch partners experienced the power of Early Access in various ways. Peer-based language practice developer Lingbe was eager to validate the concept of their app connecting natives with language learners via voice conversations, which meant they needed to connect with a critical mass of possible users around the world from different language and cultural backgrounds. In just a few weeks, "the surge in users in addition to our current fan base meant that we've had Brazilians practicing with Spanish users and talking about their hobby in photography, Mexicans making friends with people from India, and Filipinos talking to Moroccans!"

Readfeed, one of the first online book clubs on Android, relied on Early Access to solicit feature requests, identify bugs, locate new and optimize existing target markets as well as build a sizable reader community. They stated that "early access confirmed that our target market exists and that we have something that they need. I don't think we'd be in the same place right now without it. It enabled us to validate and effectively iterate on our idea from day one."

Finally, Drippler participated in Early Access to test their new "Wiz" app and understand their beta title's appeal to their target demographic. Their performance in the Early Access collection as well as private feedback from thousands of newly acquired beta testers allowed them to polish the app before the launch and gave them confidence that their users will enjoy it."

These three developers' stories show us just a few ways that Early Access can help developers build great new apps and games, and it shows the value of getting early feedback from beta testers before launching more broadly.

Get Involved

If you are a developer getting ready to launch on Google Play, you can nominate your app or game to be part of Early Access. Learn more here.

New titles are added weekly and thousands of users are looking to experiment with new and exciting ideas.

01 Sep 2016 4:52pm GMT

31 Aug 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Android Developer Story: Hutch improves player engagement with A/B testing on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Hutch is a London based mobile studio focusing entirely on racing games, with more than 10 million players on Google Play. For their latest game, MMX Hill Climb, they used A/B testing and game analytics to improve the game design and experience resulting in more than 48 mins daily active usage per user.

Watch Shaun Rutland, CEO, and Robin Scannell, Games Analyst, explain how they were able to deliver a more engaging user experience in this video.

Learn more about A/B testing and get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date on new features and learn best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

31 Aug 2016 4:09pm GMT

29 Aug 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Announcing Open Registration and Exhibitors for Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco, Sept. 24

Posted by Jamil Moledina, Google Play, Games Strategic Lead

To celebrate the art of the latest innovative indie games, we're hosting the first Google Play Indie Games Festival in North America on September 24th in San Francisco. At the festival, Android fans and gamers will have a unique opportunity to play new and unreleased indie games from some of the most innovative developers in the US and Canada, as well as vote for their favorite ones.

Registration is now open and the event is free for everyone to enjoy.

We're also excited to announce the games selected to exhibit and compete at the event. From over 200 submissions, we carefully picked 30 games that promise the most fun and engaging experiences to attendees. Fans will have a chance to play a variety of indie games not yet available publicly.

Check out the full list of games selected here and below.

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Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite games at the festival, along with an authoritative panel of judges from Google Play and the game industry. They include:

We are also thrilled to announce that veteran game designer and professor Richard Lemarchand will be the emcee for the event. He was lead designer at Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog, and is now Associate Chair and Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media and Games Division.

The winning developers will receive prizes, such Google Cloud credits, NVIDIA SHIELD Android TVs and K1 tablets, Razer Forge TV bundles, and more, to recognize their efforts.

Join us for an exciting opportunity to connect with fellow game fans, get inspired, and celebrate the art of indie games. Learn more about the event on the event website.

29 Aug 2016 5:03pm GMT

22 Aug 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Taking the final wrapper off of Android 7.0 Nougat

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Android Nougat

Android 7.0 Nougat

Today, Android 7.0 Nougat will begin rolling out to users, starting with Nexus devices. At the same time, we're pushing the Android 7.0 source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), extending public availability of this new version of Android to the broader ecosystem.

We've been working together with you over the past several months to get your feedback on this release, and also to make sure your apps are ready for the users who will run them on Nougat devices.

What's inside Nougat

Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans and developers like you, all around the world. There are over 250 major features in Android Nougat, including VR Mode in Android. We've worked at all levels of the Android stack in Nougat - from how the operating system reads sensor data to how it sends pixels to the display - to make it especially built to provide high quality mobile VR experiences.

Plus, Nougat brings a number of new features to help make Android more powerful, more productive and more secure. It introduces a brand new JIT/AOT compiler to improve software performance, make app installs faster, and take up less storage. It also adds platform support for Vulkan, a low-overhead, cross-platform API for high-performance, 3D graphics. Multi-Window support lets users run two apps at the same time, and Direct Reply so users can reply directly to notifications without having to open the app. As always, Android is built with powerful layers of security and encryption to keep your private data private, so Nougat brings new features like File-based encryption, seamless updates, and Direct Boot.

You can find all of the Nougat developer resources here, including details on behavior changes and new features you can use in your apps. An overview of what's new for developers is available here, and you can explore all of the new user features in Nougat here.

Multi-window mode in Android Nougat

Multi-window mode in Android Nougat

The next wave of users

Starting today and rolling out over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over-the-air software update to Android 7.0 Nougat. Devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.

And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20, which will be the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box.

With all of these new devices beginning to run Nougat, now is the time to publish your app updates to Google Play. We recommend compiling against, and ideally targeting, API 24. If you're still testing some last minute changes, a great strategy to do this is using Google Play's beta testing feature to get early feedback from a small group of users - including those using Android 7.0 Nougat - and then doing a staged rollout as you release the updated app to all users.

What's next for Nougat?

We're moving Nougat into a new regular maintenance schedule over the coming quarters. In fact, we've already started work on the first Nougat maintenance release, that will bring continued refinements and polish, and we're planning to bring that to you this fall as a developer preview. Stay tuned!

We'll be closing open bugs logged against Developer Preview builds soon, but please keep the feedback coming! If you still see an issue that you filed in the preview tracker, just file a new issue against Android 7.0 in the AOSP issue tracker.

Thanks for being part of the preview, which we shared earlier this year with an eye towards giving everyone the opportunity to make the next release of Android stronger. Your continued feedback has been extremely beneficial in shaping this final release, not just for users, but for the entire Android ecosystem.

22 Aug 2016 5:31pm GMT

10 Aug 2016

feedAndroid Developers Blog

New features for reviews and experiments in Google Play Developer Console app

Posted by Kobi Glick, Google Play team

With over one million apps published through the Google Play Developer Console, we know how important it is to publish with confidence, acquire users, learn about them, and manage your business. Whether reacting to a critical performance issue or responding to a negative review, checking on your apps when and where you need to is invaluable.

The Google Play Developer Console app, launched in May, has already helped thousands of developers stay informed of crucial business updates on the go.

We're excited to tell you about new features, available today:

Receive notifications about new reviews

Use filters to find the reviews you want

Review and apply store listing experiment results

Increase the percent of a staged rollout or halt a bad staged rollout

Download the Developer Console app on Google Play and stay on top of your apps and games, wherever you are! Also, 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.

10 Aug 2016 7:00pm GMT