22 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!! Guides How to setup Trusted Devices on Android Lollipop […]
Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Daily Dose for October 21, 2014
22 Oct 2014 3:03am GMT
We reported earlier that the LG G Watch is now receiving an update (4.4W.2) so it's no surprise that the Moto 360 is also receiving the same update. However there are a few things that are specific to the Moto 360 such as that now ambient mode will automatically turn off when your battery hits […]
Come comment on this article: Motorola seeding 4.4W.2 update to Moto 360 with loads of improvements
22 Oct 2014 2:51am GMT
Well that exclusive was short lived. About 2 weeks ago, Nokia's HERE maps made its debut on Android, but only for Samsung devices through the Samsung Apps Store. I'm not sure I ever understood the exclusive, but I definitely don't understand the fact that it only lasted 2 weeks. Nokia has made the HERE Beta […]
Come comment on this article: Nokia's HERE Maps now available on all Android devices
22 Oct 2014 2:30am GMT
A few months after making the beta version available for Samsung Galaxy devices, offline mapping app HERE is now, well, here for other Android devices. The app can now be … Continue reading
22 Oct 2014 2:00am GMT
As promised, HTC has started the push to get its new EYE features to its flagship smartphone, at least for those who purchased one under T-Mobile's patronage. This practically puts … Continue reading
22 Oct 2014 1:20am GMT
If you were one of those who backed the charging dock Arq Dock 1.0 and were pretty happy with it but wanted to see some improvements, well, then get ready … Continue reading
22 Oct 2014 12:00am GMT
20 Oct 2014
By Ankur Kotwal, Developer Advocate
Android 5.0 Lollipop is the biggest update of Android to date, introducing an all new visual style, improved performance, and much more. Android 5.0 Lollipop also extends across screens big and small, including phones, tablets, wearables, TVs and cars, to give your users access to information when they need it most.
To get you started on developing and testing on Android 5.0 Lollipop, here are some of the developer highlights with links to related videos and documentation.
- Material design for the multiscreen world - Material Design is a new approach for designing apps in today's multi-device world that takes a comprehensive strategy to visual, motion, and interaction design across a number of platforms and form factors. Android 5.0 brings Material Design to the platform, with a full set of tools for implementing material design in your apps. The system is incredibly flexible, allowing your app to express its individual character and brand with bold colors and a variety of responsive UI patterns and themeable elements.
- Enhanced notifications - New lockscreen notifications let you surface content, updates, and actions to users at a glance, without needing to unlock their device. Heads-up notifications let you display content and actions in a small floating window managed by the system, no matter which app is in the foreground. Notifications are refreshed for Material Design and you can use accent colors to express your brand.
- Concurrent documents in Overview - Now you can organize your app by tasks and present these concurrently as individual "documents" on the Overview screen. For example, instant messaging apps could declare each chat as a separate document. Users can flip through these on the Overview screen to find the specific chat they want and jump straight to it.
- Android Runtime (ART) - Android 5.0 runs exclusively on the ART runtime. ART offers ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation, more efficient garbage collection, and improved development and debugging features. In many cases it improves performance of the device, without you having to change your code.
- 64-bit support - Support for 64-bit ABIs provides additional address space and improved performance with certain compute workloads. Apps written in the Java language can run immediately on 64-bit architectures with no modifications required. NDK r10c includes 64-bit support, for apps and games using native code.
- Project Volta - New tools and APIs help you build battery-efficient apps. Battery Historian, a tool included in the SDK, lets you visualize power events over time and understand how your app is using battery. The JobScheduler API lets you set the conditions under which your background tasks and other jobs should run, such as when the device is idle or connected to an unmetered network or to a charger, to minimize battery impact. More in this I/O video.
- OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android Extension Pack - With OpenGL ES 3.1, you get compute shaders, stencil textures, and texture gather for your games. Android Extension Pack (AEP) is a new set of extensions to OpenGL ES that bring desktop-class graphics to Android including tessellation and geometry shaders, and use ASTC texture compression across GPU technologies. More on what's new for game developers in this DevBytes video.
- WebView updates - We've updated WebView to support WebRTC, WebAudio and WebGL will be supported. WebView also includes native support for all of the Web Components specifications: Custom Elements, Shadow DOM, HTML Imports, and Templates. WebView is now unbundled from the system and will be regularly updated through Google Play.
- Managed provisioning and unified view of apps - to make it easier for employees to have a single device for personal and work use, framework enhancements offer a unified view of apps, notifications & recents across work apps and personal apps. Profile owner APIs, in the workplace context, let administrators create and manage work profiles and defined as part of a new managed provisioning process. More in this I/O video.
- Advanced camera capabilities - A new camera API gives you new capabilities for advanced image capture and processing. On supported devices, your app can capture uncompressed YUV capture at full 8 megapixel resolution at 30 FPS. You can also capture raw sensor data and control parameters such as exposure time, ISO sensitivity, and frame duration, on a per-frame basis.
- Audio improvements - The sound architecture has been enhanced, with lower input latency in OpenSL, the addition of multichannel-mixing, and USB digital audio mode support. More in this I/O video.
- BLE Peripheral Mode - Android devices can now function in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) peripheral mode. Apps can use this capability to broadcast their presence to nearby devices - for example, you can now build apps that let a device function as a beacon and transmit data to another BLE device. More in this I/O video.
- Multi-networking - Apps can dynamically request networks based on capabilities such as metered or unmetered. This is useful when you want to use a specific network, such as cellular. Apps can also request platform to re-evaluate networks for an internet connection. This is useful when your app sees unusually high latency on a particular network, it can enable the platform to switch to a better network (if available) sooner with a graceful handoff.
You can get started developing and testing on Android 5.0 right away by downloading the Android 5.0 Platform (API level 21), as well as the SDK Tools, Platform Tools, and Support Package from the Android SDK Manager.
Check out the DevByte video below for more of what's new in Lollipop!
20 Oct 2014 7:18pm GMT
17 Oct 2014
Two more weeks!
By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android
At Google I/O last June, we gave you an early version of Android 5.0 with the L Developer Preview, running on Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Android TV. Over the course of the L Developer Preview program, you've given us great feedback and we appreciate the engagement from you, our developer community. Thanks!
This week, we announced Android 5.0 Lollipop. Starting today, you can download the full release of the Android 5.0 SDK, along with updated developer images for Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013), ADT-1, and the Android emulator.
The first set of devices to run this new version of Android -- Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player -- will be available in early November. In the same timeframe, we'll also roll out the Android 5.0 update worldwide to Nexus 4, 5, 7 (2012 & 2013), and 10 devices, as well as to Google Play edition devices.
Therefore, now is the time to test your apps on the new platform. You have two more weeks to get ready!
What's in Lollipop?
Android 5.0 Lollipop introduces a host of new APIs and features including:
- Material Design theme & APIs
- Enhanced Notifications for your apps
- Project Volta and Battery Historian for better power efficiency for apps
- Enhanced app runtime with Android Runtime (ART)
- OpenGL ES 3.1, Android Extension Pack & 64-bit support for better game & app performance
There's much more, so check out the Android 5.0 platform highlights for a complete overview.
What's in the Android 5.0 SDK?
The Android 5.0 SDK includes updated tools and new developer system images for testing. You can develop against the latest Android platform using API level 21 and take advantage of the updated support library to implement Material Design as well as the leanback user interface for TV apps.
- Android 5.0 SDK Platform & Tools
- Android 5.0 Emulator System Image - 32-bit & 64-bit (x86)
- Android 5.0 Emulator System Image for Android TV (32-bit)
- Android v7 appcompat Support Library for Material Design theme backwards capability
- Android v17 leanback library for Android TV app support
For developers using the Android NDK for native C/C++ Android apps we have:
- NDK r10c with API level 21 support
For developers on Android TV devices we have:
- Android 5.0 system image over the air (OTA) update for ADT-1 Developer Kit. OTA updates will appear over the next few days.
Similar to our previous release of the preview, we are also providing updated system image downloads for Nexus 5 & Nexus 7 (2013) devices to help with your testing as well. These images support the Android 5.0 SDK, but only have the minimal apps pre-installed in order to enable developer testing:
- Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE) "hammerhead" Device System Image
- Nexus 7 (2013) - (Wifi) "razor" Device System Image
For the developer preview versions, there will not be an over the air (OTA) update. You will need to wipe and reflash your developer device to use the latest developer preview versions. If you want to receive the official consumer OTA update in November and any other official updates, you will have to have a factory image on your Nexus device.
Validate your apps with the Android 5.0 SDK
With the consumer availability of Android 5.0 and the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player right around the corner, here are a few things you should do to prepare:
- Get the emulator system images through the SDK Manager or download the Nexus device system images.
- Recompile your apps against Android 5.0 SDK, especially if you used any preview APIs. Note: APIs have changed between the preview SDK and the final SDK.
- Validate that your current Android apps run on the new API 21 level with ART enabled. And if you use the NDK for your C/C++ Android apps, validate against the 64-bit emulator. ART is enabled by default on API 21 & new Android devices with Android 5.0.
Once you validate your current app, explore the new APIs and features for Android 5.0.
Migrate Your Existing App to Material Design
Android 5.0 Lollipop introduces Material Design, which enables your apps to adopt a bold, colorful, and flexible design, while remaining true to a small set of key principles that guide user interaction across multiple screens and devices.
After making sure your current apps work with Android 5.0, now is the time to enable the Material theme in your app with the AppCompat support library. For quick tips & recommendations for making your app shine with Material Design, check out our Material Design guidelines and tablet optimization tips. For those of you new to Material Design, check out our Getting Started guide.
Get your apps ready for Google Play!
Starting today, you can publish your apps that are targeting Android 5.0 Lollipop to Google Play. In your app manifest, update
"21", test your app, and upload it to the Google Play Developer Console.
Starting November 3rd, Nexus 9 will be the first device available to consumers that will run Android 5.0. Therefore, it is a great time to publish on Google Play, once you've updated and tested your app. Even if your apps target earlier versions of Android, take a few moments to test them on the Android 5.0 system images, and publish any updates needed in advance of the Android 5.0 rollout.
Stay tuned for more details on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices, and how to make sure your apps look their best on them.
Next up, Android TV!
We also announced the first consumer Android TV device, Nexus Player. It's a streaming media player for movies, music and videos, and also a first-of-its-kind Android gaming device. Users can play games on their HDTVs with a gamepad, then keep playing on their phones while they're on the road. The device is also Google Cast-enabled, so users can cast your app from their phones or tablets to their TV.
If you're developing for Android TV, watch for more information on November 3rd about how to distribute your apps to Android TV users through the Google Play Developer Console. You can start getting your app ready by making sure it meets all of the TV Quality Guidelines.
Get started with Android 5.0 Lollipop platform
If you haven't had a chance to take a look at this new version of Android yet, download the SDK and get started today. You can learn more about what's new in the Android 5.0 platform highlights and get all the details on new APIs and changed behaviors in the API Overview. You can also check out the latest DevBytes videos to learn more about Android 5.0 features.
Enjoy this new release of Android!
17 Oct 2014 4:21pm GMT
07 Oct 2014
By Ben Frenkel, Google Play Games team
Game services UIs are now updated for material design, across all of the SDKs.
Game developers, we've updated some of our popular developer tools to give you a consistent set of game services across platforms, a refreshed UI based on material design, and new tools to give you better visibility into what users are doing in your games.
Let's take a look at the new features.
Real-time Multiplayer in the Play Games cross-platform C++ SDK
To make it easier to build cross-platform games, we've added Real-Time Multiplayer (RTMP) to the latest Google Play Games C++ SDK. The addition of RTMP brings the C++ SDK to feature parity with the Play services SDK on Android and the Play Games iOS SDK. Learn more »
Material Design refresh across Android, cross-platform C++, and iOS SDKs
We've incorporated material design into the user-interface of the latest Play Games services SDKs for Android, cross-platform C++, and iOS. This gives you a bold, colorful design that's consistent across all of your games, for all of your users. Learn more »
New quests features and completion statistics
Quests are a popular way to increase player engagement by adding fresh content without updating your game. We've added some new features to quests to make them easier to implement and manage.
First, we've simplified quests implementations by providing out-of-the-box toasts for "quest accepted" and "quest completed" events. You can invoke these toasts from your game with just a single call, on any platform. This removes the need to create your own custom toasts, though you are still free to do so.
You also have more insight into how your quests are performing through new in-line quest stats in the Developer Console. With these stats, you can better monitor how many people are completing their quests, so you can adjust the criteria to make them easier to achieve, if needed. Learn more »
Last, we've eliminated the 24-hour lead-time requirement for publishing and allowing repeating quests to have the same name. You now have the freedom to publish quests whenever you want with whatever name you want.
Multiplayer game statistics
Now when you add multiplayer support through Google Play game services, you get multiplayer stats for free, without having to implement a custom logging solution. You can simply visit the Developer Console to see how players are using your multiplayer integration and look at trends in overall usage. The new stats are available as tabs under the Engagement section. Learn more »
New game services insights and alerts
We're continuing to expand the types of alerts we offer the Developer Console to let you know about more types of issues that might be affecting your users' gameplay experiences. You'll now get an alert when you have a broken implementation of real-time and turn-based multiplayer, and we'll also notify you if your Achievements and Leaderboard implementations use too many duplicate images. Learn more »
You can get started with all of these new features right away. Visit the Google Play game services developer site to download the updated SDKs. For migration details on the Game Services SDK for iOS, see the release notes. You can take a look at the new stats and alerts by visiting the Google Play Developer Console.
07 Oct 2014 7:54pm GMT