24 Sep 2014
People in Europe looking to purchase a Chromebook will be without one major manufacturer's devices to choose from. Samsung is pulling out of the the laptop business in Europe and Chromebooks are included in the company's definition of a laptop. They did clarify that this is strictly for Europe and other markets are not going […]
Come comment on this article: Samsung pulls out of laptop business, including Chromebooks, in Europe
24 Sep 2014 2:01am GMT
While watching videos and viewing pictures on your smartphone or tablet are more than okay when you're on your own, it becomes a little more awkward or inconvenient when you … Continue reading
24 Sep 2014 2:00am GMT
Does your smartwatch need to be charged? Is your phone ready to get involved? Samsung is going to let you use one to help the other with its new Power Sharing cable. To work, a Galaxy device is required on one end along with any micro USB compatible device. Right now, the listed devices compatible to […]
Come comment on this article: Samsung Power Sharing cable transfers a charge between devices
24 Sep 2014 1:38am GMT
The new Moto X may have just gone live, but Verizon subscribers might soon have a few more options to choose from, or to confuse them a wee bit. Leaked … Continue reading
24 Sep 2014 1:20am GMT
App launchers are extremely important, particularly when you have a gazillion apps in your smartphone or tablet. But there are also a gazillion (okay, maybe not that many) app launchers … Continue reading
24 Sep 2014 12:40am GMT
23 Sep 2014
The folks at 11 bit studios have spawned the final game in the Anomaly series. The series made its name with a special tower offense genre. Today, Anomaly Defenders is available for $3.99 in the Play Store. Now, players control the aliens attacking the humans unlike previous games. There are eight upgradeable towers that each […]
Come comment on this article: Anomaly Defenders constructs in the Play Store, final game in 11 bit studios' series
23 Sep 2014 9:34pm 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
Posted by Rich Hyndman, Developer Advocate
With the launch of Android One, more people across the world will have access to high-quality and affordable smartphones, packed with plenty of processing power and running the latest version of Android. These devices are available now in India and soon in Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Asia, so now is a good time to make sure your apps are ready for these new markets. This post highlights a few areas to consider.
These days, we often talk about smooth, 60fps transitions and keeping apps jank-free, and rightly so - performance is a critical metric for app quality. But in the user experience hierarchy of needs, an app should first and foremost do its job reliably and consistently.
If your app has search functionality, will user requests time out entirely? Do you think it is more important that a result is returned in a timely manner, or that the result is returned at all? If you're trying to build a robust app to reach the next five billion, it might be less about returning a result immediately, and more about returning a result at all. To address this challenge, why not include an option to users to "notify me with the results" when a search query is running on a slow network? Your app can then take as long as it needs to successfully retrieve the data in the background and show a notification when complete. The difference in user experience between an app that times out on a slower network and one that caters to user-specific needs will be very impactful for driving mobile app adoption.
There are also ways to test app performance without flying around the globe. The Android Emulator has network speed and network delay emulation settings, which can become an integral part of your testing strategy. If you're testing on physical hardware, try turning off WiFi and switching the network to 2G only; how well does your app perform? Do search pages load? Does data refresh? These issues can often be fixed with relatively minor changes to your app logic or by leveraging a SyncAdapter. Check out our blog post on sync in the Google I/O app for more ideas.
Another key area for you to be aware of is app memory utilization. As part of the KitKat launch, we added new tools to the SDK for analyzing memory use and new APIs like isLowRamDevice(). We also just added a Memory Monitor to Android Studio 0.8.10 (currently in Canary). Much of this is documented in our Best Practices for Performance guide.
Moving forward, the Android L release has a strong focus on battery usage and analysis. Project Volta introduces new tools, such as Battery Historian and new APIs like JobScheduler, that can really help optimize battery use of your app.
By ensuring your app works well on slower networks, uses minimal memory, minimizes battery usage and doesn't have a larger-than-necessary APK, you will help the next five billion discover, use and love your app.
16 Sep 2014 5:35pm GMT