30 Sep 2016
US Cellular is flaunting some new LG devices in its product lineup, specifically the LG X Power and the LG G Pad X II tablet. Both devices are right above the entry level market of devices, so this will not hurt your bank accounts as much as flagship devices will. But if you're looking for […]
30 Sep 2016 4:00pm GMT
Garmin recently introduced a new wearable not for the adults but for the kids-children of techies who want to give the little ones a head start in geekery. Officially called as the vívofit jr., this device is an activity tracker and motivator for the kids. It helps the parents in making the children move and […]
30 Sep 2016 3:20pm GMT
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was highly anticipated and then launched with a hype but unfortunately, reports of batteries exploding spread. The situation prompted the South Korean tech giant to halt sales and make changes in the production process earlier this month. The past few weeks and since the phone's commercial launch, the company has […]
30 Sep 2016 2:40pm GMT
Robinhood is the popular (free) stock trading app that gained popularity last year for its excellent design, easy-to-use interface, and great premise. It's an easy way to get started in the stock market without paying excessive fees, and Robinhood has said that the app has helped beginners and experts alike. The next step for the […]
Come comment on this article: Robinhood Gold is a new premium tier for the free stock trading app
30 Sep 2016 2:33pm GMT
29 Sep 2016
As part of a move to enhance their offerings for enterprise clients, Google announced some improvements and enhancements to their Google Cloud platform and in particular to their set of tools previously known as Google Apps for Work. Those tools are basically a subset of all of Google's applications that are available to run on […]
Come comment on this article: Google Apps for Work gets upgrades, rebranded to G Suite
29 Sep 2016 10:04pm GMT
Happy news for all you Playstation Vue subscribers: starting today you can enjoy all the shows from HBO and Cinemax as either individual subscriptions or part of newly announced Ultra plan. Hit us up after the break for all the details. Streaming services have long been overtaking traditional cable TV as a way to enjoy […]
Come comment on this article: HBO and Cinemax come to Playstation Vue - plus a new Ultra plan
29 Sep 2016 8:09pm GMT
28 Sep 2016
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:
- Complications improvements: Starting with Developer Preview 3, watch face developers will need to request RECEIVE_COMPLICATION_DATA permission before the watch face can receive complication data. We have added
ComplicationHelperActivityto make this easier. In addition, watch face developers can now set default complications, including a selection of system data complications which do not require special permission (e.g. battery level and step count), as well as data providers that have whitelisted the watch face. Lastly, there are behavior changes related to
ComplicationDatato 1) help better differentiate various scenarios leading to "empty data" and 2) ease development by returning a default value for fields not supported by a complication type instead of throwing a runtime exception.
- New WearableRecyclerView: This new UI component helps developers display and manipulate vertical lists of items while optimizing for round displays.
- Inline Action for Notifications: A new API makes it easy to take action on a notification right from the stream. Developers can specify which action is displayed inline at the bottom of the notification by calling
NotificationCompat.Action replyAction = new NotificationCompat.Action.Builder(R.drawable.ic_message_white_24dp, "Reply", replyPendingIntent) .addRemoteInput(remoteInput) .extend(new NotificationCompat.Action.WearableExtender() .setHintDisplayActionInline(true)) .build();
- Smart Reply: Android Wear now generates Smart Reply responses for
MessagingStylenotifications. Smart Reply responses are generated by an entirely on-watch machine learning model using the context provided by the
MessagingStylenotification, and no data is uploaded to the cloud to generate the responses.
- And much more: Read about the complete list of changes in the Android Wear developer preview release notes.
We've gotten tons of great feedback from the developer community about Android Wear 2.0--thank you! We've decided to continue the preview program into early 2017, at which point the first watches will receive Android Wear 2.0. Please keep the feedback coming by filing bugs or posting in our Android Wear Developers community, and stay tuned for Android Wear Developer Preview 4.
28 Sep 2016 10:26pm GMT
27 Sep 2016
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.
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
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?"
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.
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.
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