04 Mar 2015
Waze could be pre-installed on your next Android smartphone. Right out of the box, you might see the GPS maps & traffic social app as Google is adding Waze as … Continue reading
04 Mar 2015 4:20pm GMT
Last week we told you that not one, but two Nexus phones could get launched this year,and it was rumored that LG and Huawei would be the makers. Today we are getting further confirmation on Huawei as the Director of China Research at iSuppli, Kevin Yang, has confirmed it. If you look at this in hindsight, […]
Come comment on this article: Huawei confirmed to make the next Nexus phone
04 Mar 2015 4:14pm GMT
Gionee finally took the wraps off of the Elife S7 during Mobile World Congress. At 5.5 mm thick it's pretty thin, but not even their thinnest phone. It will will sport a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 1.7 GHz 64-bit octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, 13 MP rear […]
Come comment on this article: Gionee announces the Elife S7 with a 64-bit octa-core processor
04 Mar 2015 3:54pm GMT
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge may have only been announced a few days ago on March 1st, but Samsung is already seeing some benefits. Firstly in the form of its share price rising by over 4% and by the number of pre-orders placed for its latest flagship smartphones according to the President of the IT […]
Come comment on this article: Galaxy S6 Pre-orders are 'Pouring in' according to Samsung Electronics President
04 Mar 2015 3:44pm GMT
While other Google products like Gmail, Maps, Hangouts, have been constantly updated with new features or even just bug fixes, some like Google Contacts have been sorely neglected. It's funny … Continue reading
04 Mar 2015 3:40pm GMT
More than ever, security and privacy has become by-words in the tech industry, especially after Edward Snowden dropped his bombshell of a revelation. But security isn't as simple as flicking … Continue reading
04 Mar 2015 3:00pm GMT
03 Mar 2015
Posted by Ian Lake, Developer Advocate
Today, we're bringing you new tools to build better apps with the rollout of Google Play services 7.0. With this release, we're delivering improvements to location settings experiences, a brand new API for place information, new fitness data, automatic integration of AdMob and Google Analytics, Google Play Games, and more.
Location Settings Dialog
While the FusedLocationProviderApi combines multiple sensors to give you the optimal location, the accuracy of the location your app receives still depends greatly on what settings are enabled on the device (e.g. GPS, wifi, airplane mode, etc). In Google Play services 7.0, we're introducing a standard mechanism to check that the necessary location settings are enabled for a given LocationRequest to succeed. If there are possible improvements, you can display a one touch control for the user to change their settings without leaving your app.
This API provides a great opportunity to make for a much better user experience, particularly if location information is critical to the user experience of your app such as was the case with Google Maps when they integrated the Location Settings dialog and saw a dramatic increase in the number of users in a good location state.
Location can be so much more than a latitude and longitude: the new Places API makes it easy to get details from Google's database of places and businesses. The built-in place picker makes it easy for the user to pick their current place and provides all the relevant place details including name, address, phone number, website, and more.
If you prefer to provide your own UI, the
getCurrentPlace() API returns places directly around the user's current location. Autocomplete predictions are also provided to allow a low latency search experience directly within your app.
You can also manually add places with the
addPlace() API and report that the user is at a particular place, ensuring that even the most explorative users can input and share their favorite new places.
The Places API will also be available cross-platform: in a few days, you'll be able to apply for the Places API for iOS beta program to ensure a great and consistent user experience across mobile platforms.
Google Fit makes building fitness apps easier with fitness specific APIs on retrieving sensor data like current location and speed, collecting and storing activity data in Google Fit's open platform, and automatically aggregating that data into a single view of the user's fitness data.
In Google Play services 7.0, the previous
Fitness.API that you passed into your
GoogleApiClient has now been replaced with a number of APIs, matching the high level set of Google Fit Android APIs:
SENSORS_APIto access raw sensor data via SensorsApi
RECORDING_APIto record data via RecordingApi
HISTORY_APIfor inserting, deleting, or reading data via HistoryApi
SESSIONS_APIfor managing sessions via SessionsApi
BLE_APIto interact with Bluetooth Low Energy devices via BleApi
CONFIG_APIto access custom data types and settings for Google Fit via ConfigApi
This change significantly reduces the memory requirement for Google Fit enabled apps running in the background. Like always, apps built on previous versions of Google Play services will continue to work, but we strongly suggest you rebuild your Google Fit enabled apps to take advantage of this change.
Having all the data can be an empowering part of making meaningful changes and Google Fit is augmenting their existing data types with the addition of body fat percentage and sleep data.
Google Mobile Ads
We've found integration of AdMob and Google Analytics a powerful combination for analyzing how your users really use your app since we launched Google Analytics in AdMob last year. This new release enables any Google Mobile Ads SDK implementation to automatically get Google Analytics integration giving you the number of users and sessions, session duration, operating systems, device models, geography, and automatic screen reporting without any additional development work.
In addition, we've made numerous improvements across the SDK including ad request prefetching (saving battery usage and improving apparent latency) and making the SDK MRAIDv2 compliant.
Google Play Games
Announced at Game Developers Conference (GDC), we're offering new tools to supercharge your games on Google Play. Included in Google Play services 7.0 is the Nearby Connections API, allowing games to seamlessly connect smartphones and tablets as second-screen controls to the game running on your TV.
App Indexing lets Google index apps just like websites, enabling Google search results to deep-link directly into your native app. We've simplified the App Indexing API to make this integration even easier for you by combining the existing
action()/end() flows into a single
Changes to GoogleApiClient
GoogleApiClient serves as the common entry point for accessing Google APIs. For this release, we've made retrieval of Google OAuth 2.0 tokens part of GoogleApiClient, making it much easier to request server auth codes to access Google APIs.
SDK Coming Soon!
We will be rolling out Google Play services 7.0 over the next few days. Expect an update to this blog post, published documentation, and the availability of the SDK once the rollout is completed.
To learn more about Google Play services and the APIs available to you through it, visit the Google Services section on the Android Developer site.
03 Mar 2015 1:22am GMT
02 Mar 2015
Posted by Greg Hartrell, Senior Product Manager of Google Play Games
Everyone has a gaming-ready device in their pocket today. In fact, of the one billion Android users in more than 190 countries, three out of four of them are gamers. This allows game developers to reach a global audience and build a successful business. Over the past year, we paid out more than $7 billion to developers distributing apps and games on Google Play.
At our Developer Day during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) taking place this week, we announced a set of new features for Google Play Games and AdMob to power great gaming. Rolling out over the next few weeks, these launches can help you better measure and monetize your games.
Better measure and adapt to player needs
"Player Analytics has helped me hone in on BombSquad's shortcomings, right the ship, and get to a point where I can financially justify making the games I want to make."
Eric Froemling, BombSquad developer
Google Play Games is a set of services that help game developers reach and engage their audience. To further that effort, we're introducing Player Analytics, giving developers access to powerful analytics reports to better measure overall business success and understand in-game player behavior. Launching in the next few weeks in the Google Play Developer Console, the new tool will give indie developers and big studios better insight into how their players are progressing, spending, and churning; access to critical metrics like ARPPU and sessions per user; and assistance setting daily revenue targets.
BombSquad, created by a one-person game studio in San Francisco, was able to more than double its revenue per user on Google Play after implementing design changes informed during beta testing Player Analytics.
Optimizing ads to earn the most revenue
After optimizing your game for performance, it's important to build a smarter monetization experience tailored to each user. That's why we're announcing three important updates to the AdMob platform:
- Native Ads: Currently available as a limited beta, participating game developers will be able to show ads in their app from Google advertisers, and then customize them so that users see ads that match the visual design of the game. Atari is looking to innovate on its games, like RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, and more effectively engage users with this new feature.
- In-App Purchase House Ads Beta: Game developers will be able to smartly grow their in-app purchase revenue for free. AdMob can now predict which users are more likely to spend on in-app purchases, and developers will be able to show these users customized text or display ads promoting items for sale. Currently in beta, this feature will be coming to all AdMob accounts in the next few weeks.
- Audience Builder: A powerful tool that enables game developers to create lists of audiences based on how they use their game. They will be able to create customized experiences for users, and ultimately grow their app revenue.
"Atari creates great game experiences for our broad audience. We're happy to be partnering with Google and be the first games company to take part in the native ads beta and help monetize games in a way that enhances our users' experience."
Todd Shallbetter, Chief Operating Officer, Atari
New game experiences powered by Google
Last year, we launched Android TV as a way to bring Android into the living room, optimizing games for the big screen. The OEM ecosystem is growing with announced SmartTVs and micro-consoles from partners like Sony, TPVision/Philips and Razer.
To make gaming even more dynamic on Android TV, we're launching the Nearby Connections API with the upcoming update of Google Play services. With this new protocol, games can seamlessly connect smartphones and tablets as second-screen controls to the game running on your TV. Beach Buggy Racing is a fun and competitive multiplayer racing game on Android TV that plans to use Nearby Connections in their summer release, and we are looking forward to more living room multiplayer games taking advantage of mobile devices as second screen controls.
At Google I/O last June, we also unveiled Google Cardboard with the goal of making virtual reality (VR) accessible to everyone. With Cardboard, we are giving game developers more opportunities to build unique and immersive experiences from nothing more than a piece of cardboard and your smartphone. The Cardboard SDKs for Android and Unity enable you to easily build VR apps or adapt your existing app for VR.
Check us out at GDC
Visit us at the Google booth #502 on the Expo floor to get hands on experience with Project Tango, Niantic Labs and Cardboard starting on Wednesday, March 4. Our teams from AdMob, AdWords, Analytics, Cloud Platform and Firebase will also be available to answer any of your product questions.
For more information on what we're doing at GDC, please visit g.co/dev/gdc2015.
02 Mar 2015 6:18pm GMT
26 Feb 2015
Posted by Michael Siliski, Product Management Director, Google Play
Google Play now reaches more than 1 billion people on Android devices in more than 190 countries, helping a growing number of developers like you build successful global businesses. In fact, in the past year, we paid more than $7 billion to developers distributing apps and games on Google Play. We remain as committed as ever to making Google Play the best place to find great apps, games and other entertainment.
App discovery plays a critical role in driving your continued success, and over the past year Google has provided best practices to enhance app discovery and engagement, as well as app promotion tools to get the most out of search and display advertising for developers. We are always looking for new ways to help you get your apps in front of potential new users. That's why, in the next few weeks, we will begin piloting sponsored search results on Google Play, bringing our unique expertise in search ads to the store.
With more than 100 billion searches every month on Google.com, we've seen how search ads shown next to organic search results on Google.com can significantly improve content discovery for users and advertisers, both large and small. Search ads on Google Play will enable developers to drive more awareness of their apps and provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed.
In the coming weeks, a limited set of users will begin to see ads from a pilot group of advertisers who are already running Google search ads for their apps. We'll have more to share in the coming months about the expansion of this program as we look at the results and feedback. We believe search ads will be a useful addition to Google Play for users and developers alike, and we hope this will bring even more success to our developer community.
26 Feb 2015 1:05pm GMT