22 Aug 2019

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Say goodbye to Android Q and hello to Android 10

Mark today as the day that Android for geeks and enthusiasts died, and the day that the world's most popular operating system turned into Apple finally matured. The enjoyable pastime of guessing if Android Q would be known as Qi Lime Pie is at an end, with Google's announcement that it will instead be known […]


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22 Aug 2019 3:09pm GMT

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Xbox Elite Controller support over USB on Android possible soon

Not many people may be using an XBOX Elite controller but when support for such is added to your favorite gaming console, then we pay attention. A few months ago, we reported the NVIDIA SHIELD added wired XBOX Elite controller support. Today, the Android team has announced that it's bringing controller mapping for the Xbox […]

22 Aug 2019 3:00pm GMT

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LG launches new K50S and K40S phones, offering tons of features on a budget

LG's first announcement at IFA 2019 won't be a flagship, but instead a refresh of their budget K series line of phones. They're bringing several flagship features down to the wallet-friendly line, and both new phones have spacious screens. First up is the K50S, the higher-end of the two phones. You're getting a large 6.5-inch […]


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22 Aug 2019 2:55pm GMT

Recover deleted information from your Android smartphone with EaseUS’s MobiSaver recovery software

Have you ever accidentally deleted a super important text message that you realized you'll need tomorrow? Lost a ton of contacts because something went sideways on your phone, like your SD card going bad? That's a reason to panic, we get it. But you don't have to freak out. There's an easy way to recover […]


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22 Aug 2019 2:30pm GMT

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Google Nest Mini may come with aux jack, built-in wall mount

Ever since the Google Nest acquisition happened some five years ago, we've seen a number of Nest products. It was only recently that Google has started testing out "Move to" controls on Nest Hub which could mean further integration of the two brands. It was only yesterday when we learned Nest users can now migrate […]

22 Aug 2019 2:00pm GMT

Galaxy Note 10 launches in Korea, gets record 1.3M pre-orders

Things are looking up for Samsung with the release of its latest Galaxy device. At least in the early days in its native country. The Galaxy Note 10 has officially gone on sale in South Korea after getting a record number of 1.3 million pre-orders. It's the highest number that they have gotten in terms […]

22 Aug 2019 1:00pm GMT

21 Aug 2019

feedAndroid Developers Blog

The Google Play store’s visual refresh

Boris Valusek, Design Lead, Google Play

The Google Play Store has over two billion monthly active users coming to find the right app, game, and other digital content. To improve the overall store experience, we're excited to roll out a complete visual redesign. Aligning with Material design language, we're introducing several user-facing updates to deliver a cleaner, more premium store that improves app discovery and accessibility for our diverse set of users.

Google Play store's visual refresh

To make browsing faster and easier, we've introduced a new navigation bar at the bottom of the Play Store on mobile devices and a new left navigation on tablets and Chrome OS. There are now two distinct destinations for games and apps, which helps us better serve users the right kind of content. Once users find the right app or game, the updated store listing page layout surfaces richer app information at the top of each page as well as a more prominent call-to-action button. This makes it easier for users to see the important details and make a decision to install your app. You'll also notice our new icon system with a uniform shape, helping content to stand out more over UI. If you haven't done so already, make sure to update your icon following the new icon specifications as soon as possible.

If you're looking for best practices to make a compelling store listing page, we have several resources to help. To ensure your page resonates well with Android users, use store listing experiments to test for the best app icon, images, video, and descriptions on Google Play. You can also tailor your marketing messages to specific user groups based on their country, install state or even pre-registration by creating custom store listings. For even more, try our free e-learning resource, Academy for App Success.

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21 Aug 2019 5:00pm GMT

20 Aug 2019

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Android Studio 3.5: Project Marble goes into stable


Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android
Android Studio logo
Have you ever wished that Android Studio was faster, more performant, and more memory efficient? If so, then download Android Studio 3.5 today. This stable version of Android Studio is a different kind of release where the Android Studio team took a step back from large feature work for eight months and instead focused on product quality to further accelerate your day-to-day app development. We called this initiative Project Marble, and it focused on making the fundamental features and flows of Android Studio & Emulator rock-solid by looking at three core areas: system health, feature polish, and bugs. Working on Project Marble was in direct response to feedback from you and we continue to welcome any further feedback you have.
To improve system health in Android Studio, we first created a new set of infrastructure and internal dashboards to better detect performance problems. We did this to establish a safety net to catch issues that are typically difficult to catch with regular unit testing. Then, the team addressed a range of issues from fixing over 600 bugs, 50 memory leaks, 20 IDE hangs, and improving XML & Kotlin typing latency. Additionally, for the Android Emulator, we decreased the CPU and memory impact on your development machine. Project Mable was a focused period to work on the IDE and Android Emulator system health but it also uncovered a set of quality areas we will continue to work on going forward.
On top of memory and performance, we spent time polishing and fixing core user facing feature areas. For example, we took a look at the app deployment flow to a device, and completely re-architectured and replaced Instant Run with Apply Changes so that it's more reliable and trusted. With Apply Changes, we no longer modify an APK during your build but instead, we use runtime instrumentation to redefine classes on the fly. If you want to quickly edit code and see code changes, you should try Android Studio 3.5 today.
Lastly, over the course of Project Marble we fixed bugs which landed in Android Studio in 3.5. We are thankful to those who filed bug reports and engaged with us on social media. We are especially thankful for the over 40 external contributors in the Android community that diligently worked with us in filing and resolving critical quality issues in Android Studio 3.5. Project Marble is not the end of quality work for the Android Studio team, but this latest stable release is a major milestone of our on-going quality investment into the IDE. With the quality work and new infrastructure put in place during Project Marble, we hope that you are even more productive in developing Android apps when you download and use Android Studio 3.5.
There are many quality changes we made to Android Studio 3.5. To see the full list of changes, see the Android Studio 3.5 beta release blog and release notes. But you can dive into some of the highlights of the changes below:

System Health


System health improvements during Project Marble was a combination of memory performance, typing & user interfaces freezes, build speed, CPU usage, and I/O performance. For each of these areas we created new ways to detect issues during development and a better process to analyze your feedback both from opt-in analytics and bugs that you file.
Our system health work has many under the hood improvements but a few notable changes include:
Auto-recommend Memory Settings
With Android Studio 3.5, the IDE will recognize when an app project needs more RAM on a machine with higher RAM capacity and will notify you to increase the memory heap size or you can adjust the settings yourself under Appearance & Behavior → Memory Settings.
Memory Settings
Memory Settings
User Interface Freezes
During the Project Marble development timeframe, we found in our opt-in product analytics that XML code editing was notably slower in the IDE. With this data point, we optimized XML typing, and have measurably better performance in Android Studio 3.5. You can see below that editing data binding expressions in XML is faster due to typing latency improvements.
Code Editing Before
Code Editing Before - Android Studio 3.4

Code Editing After - Android Studio 3.5
Build Speed
For Android Studio 3.5 we made many speed improvements but a significant change is the addition of incremental build support to the top annotation processors including Glide, AndroidX data binding, Dagger, Realm, and Kotlin (KAPT). Incremental support can make a notable impact on build speed. Learn more here.
Disk I/O File Access Speed
For users on Microsoft® Windows®, we found that disk I/O access times were notable higher on average than other platforms. Digging into the data, we found the default configuration of anti-virus scanners did not optimally exclude build output folders. In Android Studio 3.5, we detect this situation and help guide you through the optimal setup.
System Health Notification
System Health Notification - Anti-virus Check

Feature Polish


In addition to improving system health we relooked at a few critical users flows to address bugs and user friction. The areas we looked at ranged from data binding, layout editor, ChromeOS support to project upgrades. One notable area of improvement to highlight is the app deployment flow:
Apply Changes
During the Project Marble time period, we removed Instant Run and re-architectured and implemented from the ground-up a more practical approach in Android Studio 3.5 called Apply Changes. Apply Changes uses platform-specific APIs from Android Oreo and higher to ensure reliable and consistent behavior; unlike Instant Run, Apply Changes does not modify your APK. To support the changes, we re-architected the entire deployment pipeline to improve deployment speed, and also tweaked the run and deployment toolbar buttons for a more streamlined experience.
Apply Changes Buttons
Apply Changes Buttons
App Deployment User Flow
App Deployment User Flow
To recap, Android Studio 3.5 has hundreds of bug fixes and notable changes in these core areas:
System Health
  • Memory Settings
  • Memory Usage Report
  • Reduce Exceptions
  • User Interface Freezes
  • Build Speed
  • IDE Speed
  • Lint Code Analysis
  • I/O File Access
  • Emulator CPU Usage
Feature Polish
  • Apply Changes
  • Gradle Sync
  • Project Upgrades
  • Layout Editor
  • Data Binding
  • App Deployment
  • C++ Improvements
  • Intellij 2019.1 Platform Update
  • Conditional Delivery for Dynamic Feature Support
  • Emulator Foldables & Google Pixel Device Support
  • Chrome OS Support
Check our the Android Studio release notes page for more details and read about deep dives into several areas of Project Marble in the following Medium blog posts & Google I/O talk:

Opt-In & Feedback


The specific areas and the approach we took to optimize Android Studio for Project Marble were all based on your feedback and metrics data. The aggregate metrics you can opt-in to inside of Android Studio allow us to figure out if there are broader problems in the product for all users, and the data also allows the team to prioritize feature work appropriately. There are are a couple pathways to help us build better insights. At a baseline, you can opt-in to metrics, by going to Preferences /Settings → Appearance & Behavior → Data Sharing.
IDE Data Sharing
IDE Data Sharing
Additionally, throughout the year, you might see user sentiment emojis in the bottom corner of the IDE. Those icons are a lightweight way to inform the Android Studio team on how things are going and to give us in-context feedback, and the fastest way to log a bug and send to the team.
IDE User Feedback
IDE User Feedback

Getting Started


Download
Download Android Studio 3.5 from the download page. If you are using a previous release of Android Studio, you can simply update to the latest version of Android Studio.
To use the mentioned Android Emulator features make sure you are running at least Android Emulator v29.1.9 downloaded via the Android Studio SDK Manager.
As mentioned above, we appreciate any feedback on things you like, and issues or features you would like to see. If you find a bug or issue, feel free to file an issue. Follow us -- the Android Studio development team ‐ on Twitter and on Medium.

20 Aug 2019 5:00pm GMT

15 Aug 2019

feedAndroid Developers Blog

Improving Accessibility in the Android Ecosystem

Posted by Ian Stoba, Program Manager, Accessibility Engineering

With billions of Android devices in use around the world and millions of apps available on the Play Store, it might seem difficult to drive change across the entire ecosystem, but the Accessibility Developer Infrastructure team is doing just that.

Every time a developer uploads an APK or app bundle to the open or closed tracks, Play tests this upload on various device models running different versions of Android and generates a pre-launch report to inform the developer of issues.

One year ago, the team added accessibility suggestions to the report based on industry best practices and Google's own experience. These tests check for common issues that can make an app harder to use by people with disabilities. For example, they check that buttons are large enough to be comfortable for people to press, and that text has enough contrast with the background to be easier to read.

Since launching in July 2018, more than 3.8 million apps have been tested and over 171 million suggestions have been made to improve accessibility. Along with each suggestion, the developer gets detailed information about how to implement it. Every developer, from a one-person startup to a large enterprise, can benefit from the accessibility suggestions in the pre-launch report.

We are already seeing the real-world impact of these efforts. This year at Google I/O, the number of developers signing up for in-person accessibility consultations was four times the number from 2018. Googlers staffing these sessions reported that the developers had specific questions that were often based on the suggestions from the pre-launch report. The focused questions allowed the Googlers to give more actionable recommendations. These developers found that improving accessibility isn't just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense by increasing the potential market for their apps.

Accessibility tests in the pre-launch report are just one way Google is raising awareness about accessibility in the global developer community. We partnered with Udacity to create a free online course about web accessibility, released our Accessibility Scanner for Android on the Play Store, and published iOS Accessibility Scanner on GitHub, allowing iOS developers to easily instrument apps to accessibility tests. Together, these efforts support Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Learn more about developing with accessibility in mind by visiting the Android Developer Guidelines and the Google Developer Documentation Style Guide.

15 Aug 2019 11:00pm GMT