01 Oct 2014
With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That's why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day's hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!! Apps Nokia HERE Maps for Android leaks TiVo Android […]
Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Daily Dose for September 30, 2014
01 Oct 2014 3:55am GMT
You've TiVo-ed the latest episode of Game of Thrones, but when you were supposed to watch it, you fell asleep because you were so tired from work. You wanted to … Continue reading
01 Oct 2014 3:40am GMT
Google+ keeps adding new useful features, and the latest one's a good one. The social network now allows users to limit their posts to be viewable by only people in a certain age range or geographic location. For example, you can now decide that only users 18+ or 21+ should be able to see your posts, […]
Come comment on this article: Google+ now allows age and location post restrictions
01 Oct 2014 3:36am GMT
It's obvious the HTC M8 Eye is really close to launch, considering the leaks we're getting. An alleged press image, shown above, shows the M8 Eye in all its glory, with the same design as the HTC One (M8), but instead with a stellar 13MP camera and a secondary sensor for depth of field measuring. Aside from those improvements, […]
Come comment on this article: HTC M8 Eye captured in press image ahead of launch
01 Oct 2014 3:22am GMT
Canadians don't need to envy most of the world now, at least when it comes to enjoying one of the biggest music streaming services currently on the market. Spotify has … Continue reading
01 Oct 2014 3:00am GMT
You're visiting a remote Italian village and you suddenly forgot the name of this quaint little cafe you were looking for, but you have no data or wifi connection to … Continue reading
01 Oct 2014 1:00am GMT
24 Sep 2014
By Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate, Android Wear
The best cooking companion since the apron?
Android Wear is designed for serving up useful information at just the right time and in the right place. A neat example of this is Allthecooks Recipes. It gives you the right recipe, right when you need it.
This app is a great illustration of the four creative visions for Android Wear:
- Launched automatically
- Suggest and demand
- Zero or low interaction
Allthecooks also shows what developers can do by combining both the power of the mobile device and the convenience of Android Wear.
Pick the best tool for the job
One particularly well-designed aspect of Allthecooks is their approach to the multi-device experience. Allthecooks lets the user search and browse the different recipes on their Android phone or tablet. When the user is ready, there is a clearly labelled blue action link to send the recipe to the watch.
The integration is natural. Using the on-screen keyboard and the larger screen real estate, Allthecooks is using the best screen to browse through the recipes. On the wearables side, the recipe is synchronised by using the DataApi and is launched automatically, fulfilling one of the key creative visions for Android Wear.
The end result? The mobile / Wear integration is seamless.
Once the recipe has been sent to the Android Wear device, Allthecooks splits the steps into easily glanceable pages. At the end of that list of steps, it allows the user to jump back to the beginning with a clearly marked button.
This means if you would like to browse through the steps before starting to cook, you can effortlessly get to the beginning again without swiping through all the pages. This is a great example of two other points in the vision: glanceable and zero or low interaction.
A great (cooking) assistant
One of the key ingredients of great cooking is timing, and Allthecooks is always on hand to do all the inputs for you when you are ready to start the clock. A simple tap on the blue "1" and Allthecooks will automatically set the timer to one hour. It is a gentle suggestion that Allthecooks can set the timer for you if you want.
Alternatively, if you want to use your egg timer, why not? It is a small detail but it really demonstrates the last and final element of Android Wear's vision of suggest and demand. It is an ever ready assistant when the user wants it. At the same time, it is respectful and does not force the user to go down a route that the user does not want.
It's about the details
Great design is about being user-centric and paying attention to details. Allthecooks could have just shrunk their mobile app for wear. Instead the Allthecooks team put a lot of thoughts into the design and leveraged all four points of the Android Wear creative vision. The end result is that the user can get the best experience out of both their Android mobile device and their Android Wear device. So developers, what will you be cooking next on Android Wear?
For more inspiring Android Wear user experiences, check out the Android Wear collection on Google Play!
24 Sep 2014 8:43pm GMT
17 Sep 2014
By Timothy Jordan, Developer Advocate
Sending messages on Android Wear feels as easy as it was to pass notes back in school. Remember when your friends always felt nearby? That feeling is why I love staying in touch with friends and family using my wearable.
Your messaging app likely already works on Android Wear. With just a few more lines of code you can unlock simple but powerful features that let your users communicate even more effortlessly.
Message notifications for free
If your Android app uses notifications to let the user know about new messages, these will work automatically on their wearable. That is, when you build notifications with the
NotificationCompat.Builder class, the system takes care of displaying them properly, whether they appear on a handheld or wearable. Also, an "Open on phone" action will be added so it's easy for the user to reply via the app on their handheld.
Google+ Hangouts message.
Reply like a champ
Messages on Wear get really exciting when you can reply directly from the watch with your voice. In addition to being super convenient, this always gives me a Dick Tracy thrill… but maybe that's just me. =]
To add this functionality, it's as simple as adding an action to the notification via
WearableExtender that includes a RemoteInput to your notification. After the user replies, you'll just grab their voice input as a string from the RemoteInput included in the Intent. You can even include text responses the user can easily select from a list by passing an array of them to the setChoices method of the RemoteInput. More details and code can be found here.
WhatsApp message with the reply by voice action.
See who is texting
Messages are more meaningful when you are connected to the sender. That's why we recommend you include the photo of the sender as the background of the notification. As soon as the user taps into the message, they also see who it's from, which will make it matter more (or maybe that other thing, depending on who it is).
You should add a photo with a resolution of at least 400x400, but we recommend 640x400. With the larger size, the background will be given parallax scrolling. If the background is to be included in the apk, place it in the res/drawable-nodpi directory. Then call
setBackground() on your
WearableExtender and add it to your notification. More details and code can be found here.
Path Talk message with a clear picture of the sender.
Basic notifications with reply by voice and a good background image are the most important parts to get done right away. But why stop there? It's easy to extend the unique parts of your service to the wearable. A simple first step is adding in a custom action the way Omlet does. These are just actions defined with the
WearableExtender that raise an intent on the handheld.
Omlet includes two extra actions with every message: Like and Check-In. Check-In sends along the user's current location.
Custom interaction on the wearable, like the following example from TextMe, is straightforward to implement. They have what appears to be a simple notification with an action that allows the user to select an emoticon. However, to show this emoticon picker, they are actually issuing a notification from the wearable. The round trip looks something like this:
- The handheld gets a new message, issues a notification
setLocalOnly(True), and sends a message to the wearable using the Data Layer API
- The wearable receives that message using the
WearableListenerServiceand issues a custom notification with a
PendingIntentto launch an activity when the user views the notification
- That activity has a custom layout defined with the Wearable UI Library
- Once the user selects an emoticon, the wearable sends a message back to the handheld
- The handheld receives that message and sends it along to the server
Custom layouts are documented in more depth here.
TextMe allows users to reply with a quick emoticon.
Make your messaging service awesome by providing rich functionality on the user's wearable. It's easy to get started and easy to go further. It all starts at developer.android.com/wear.
17 Sep 2014 5:29pm GMT
16 Sep 2014
Today, we're excited to introduce the latest version of Google Play services to help you easily build on the newest features from Google and optimize your apps.
Google Play services 6.1 adds Enhanced Ecommerce analytics support from Google Tag Manager and offers new improvements to the Google Drive Android API. With the latest release, we're also including a refresh of the Google Fit developer preview, so that you can test your fitness apps on any Android device.
Launched in Google Play services 5.0, Enhanced Ecommerce is an analytics extension designed to provide richer insights into pre-purchase shopping behavior and into product performance. It's a great way to gain visibility into the full customer journey, helping you understand how different user acquisition campaigns are performing at a granular level. By including support for Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Tag Manager with the latest release of Google Play services, we are supercharging your ability to regularly update and manage tags on mobile apps more easily, so that you can consistently measure product impressions, shopping funnel events, and more.
To make it easier to use Drive, we added enhancements to the Google Drive Android API. With the new Completion Events feature, you can see when actions are committed to the server and improve the response time to conflicts. Material design elements have been incorporated into the File Picker UI, along with the addition of Recent and Starred views. A new setParents() method enables you to organize files and folders, while the previous Contents class has been replaced with a simpler DriveContents class.
Initially introduced in August, the Google Fit Developer Preview has been refreshed to enable you to test your new fitness apps on any Android device. We expect to make additional changes to the APIs, so please check back with us on new developments.
We will be rolling out Google Play services 6.1 over the next few days, after which we will publish the documentation and make the SDK available.
To learn more about Google Play services and the APIs available to you through it, visit the Google Services section on the Android Developers site.
16 Sep 2014 9:34pm GMT