16 Feb 2017

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And the winners of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe are...

Posted by Matteo Vallone, Google Play Games Business Development


Today, at Saatchi Gallery in London, we hosted the final event of the first Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe. The 20 finalists, selected from nearly 1000 submissions, came from 12 countries to showcase their games to an excited room of gamers, industry experts and press. Selected based on the votes of the attendees and the Google Play team, the Top 10 pitched in front of a jury of industry experts who chose the top winners.



Stay tuned for more pictures and a video of the event.

Without further ado, join us in congratulating the winners!

Winner & Unity prize winner:

Reigns, by Nerial, from the United Kingdom

You are the King. For each decision, you only have two choices. Survive the exercise of power and the craziness of your advisors... as long as you can.

Runners up:


The Battle of Polytopia, by Midjiwan AB, from Sweden

A turn based strategic adventure. It's a game about ruling the world, fighting evil AI tribes, discovering new lands and mastering new technologies.
Causality, by Loju, from the United Kingdom

A puzzle about manipulating time, altering the sequence of events and changing the outcome of each level to help a group of astronauts find a route to safety.


The other top games selected by the event attendees and the Google Play team are:


Blind Drive, by Lo-Fi People, from Israel

You're driving blindfolded as a mysterious voice gives you suicidal commands on the phone. Survive on-rushing vehicles using only your hearing to guide you.
Gladiabots, by GFX47, from France

A competitive tactical game in which you design the AI of your robot squad. Use your own strategy, refine it online and fight for the top of the leaderboard.
Happy Hop: Kawaii Jump, by Platonic Games, from Spain

This isn't just an original one-tap endless hopper, it's also the cutest one. Ever wondered what's in the end of the rainbow? That would be Happy Hop.
Lost in Harmony, by Digixart Entertainment, from France

Experience music in a new way with the combination of rhythmic tapping and choreographic runner to go through two memorable journeys with Kaito and M.I.R.A.I.
Paper Wings, by Fil Games, from Turkey

A fast-paced arcade game which puts you in control of an origami bird. Avoid the hazards and collect the falling coins to keep your paper bird alive.
Pinout, by Mediocre, from Sweden

A breathtaking pinball arcade experience: race against time in a continuous journey through this canyon of pulsating lights and throbbing retro wave beats.
Rusty Lake: Roots, by Rusty Lake, from Netherlands

James Vanderboom's life drastically changes when he plants a special seed in the garden. Expand your bloodline by unlocking portraits in the tree of life.



Check out the prizes
The prizes of this contest were designed to help the winners showcase their art and grow their business on Android and Google Play, including:
  • YouTube influencer campaigns worth up to 100,000 EUR
  • Premium placements on Google Play
  • Tickets to Google I/O 2017 and other top industry events
  • Promotions on our channels
  • Special prizes for the best Unity game
  • And more!
What's next?
The week is not over just yet for Indie games developers. Tomorrow we are hosting the Indie Games Workshop for all indie games developers from across EMEA in the new Google office in Kings Cross.

It's been really inspiring to see the enthusiasm around this inaugural edition, and the quality and creativity of the indie games developed across the eligible European countries. We are looking forward to bringing a new edition of the contest to you in late 2017.

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16 Feb 2017 7:59pm GMT

15 Feb 2017

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Tips for building high-quality and accessible financial services apps

Posted by Joel Newman & Ashraf Hassan, Strategic Partnerships, Finance, Google Play

Millions of people around the globe have limited or no access to basic financial services to enable them to manage their day-to-day finances. Mobile technology can help bridge this gap by connecting historically underserved consumers with high-quality tools to help them improve their financial health.

Often faced with an uncertain regulatory environment and/or a highly fragmented financial marketplace, many developers struggle with building great app experiences while also navigating this complex financial space. That's why we recently worked with CFSI, the authority on consumer financial health, to create the FinTech App Development Compass, a six-step guide for building high quality mobile apps to make financial services more accessible on Google Play.

Below, we're sharing six tips to consider when building a financial services app. For more, read the complete FinTech App Development Compass.

Tip 1: Know Your User
Understand who your consumer is and what difference your product can make in their day-to-day life. What are their financial needs? How can your product improve their financial health? How does your product fit within the context of their financial lives?

Tip 2: Focus on Access
Responsibly expand access to your product. Consider how your product can fit seamlessly into your users' routines. Consider your users' circumstances, including that English may not be their first language and that they may be using older devices with limited data plans.

Tip 3: Establish and Maintain Trust
Trust is at a premium in the financial space. Make sure you are developing mutually beneficial financial solutions that deliver clear and consistent value. Similarly, make sure you are using the latest security tools available from the Android platform to secure your users' data.

Tip 4: Test and Iterate
Before releasing any product to the public, make sure it has been thoroughly tested. From a financial perspective, be sure to measure the actual impact of your product on users over time. From a technological perspective, be sure to leverage Google Play alpha and beta channels for distributing apps before their public release.

Tip 5: Drive Positive User Behavior
Drive positive consumer behavior through smart design and communication. Leverage the Android platform tools like Material Design and notifications to steer users toward positive action or take financial action at appropriate times.

Tip 6: Recognize the Value of Mutual Success
Remember that the best business models are win-win: If your users' financial health improves, your company profits. Consider embedding financial impact and technological tracking capabilities within your platform from the beginning.

For additional information, refer to the CFSI Compass Principles and get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date with more features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

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15 Feb 2017 5:29pm GMT

09 Feb 2017

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Android Wear 2.0 is here with new hardware features!


Posted by Hoi Lam, Lead Developer Advocate, Android Wear


Today, we are releasing the final SDK for Android Wear 2.0. In this release, we have added support for the new hardware features announced yesterday. If you have not done so already, it really is time to publish your apps so as to not miss the consumer hardware launch tomorrow.
Throughout the developer preview program, you have given us a lot of constructive feedback as well as bug reports. Thank you again!

Android Wear 2.0 recap



Android Wear 2.0 is our biggest update since we launched Wear in 2014, with numerous platform and developer enhancements. Some of the highlights include:
  • Material Design for Android Wear - A new system user interface and design guidelines, featuring a darker colour palette, vertical layout and visual components such as the WearableRecyclerView and WearableNavigationDrawer. We have also enhanced notifications on the watch with the new MessagingStyle rich notification style and inline actions.
  • Watch Face Complications - Complications are areas of the watch face that display information other than time. Apps can supply data to supported watch faces by creating a ComplicationProviderService, and watch faces can render this data in a style that suits the watch face design.
  • Standalone Android Wear apps and iOS support - Apps can now be downloaded directly to Wear devices via an on-watch Google Play Store. In addition, these apps can access the internet directly without relying on phone apps. This means that apps can now run on Android Wear devices that are paired to iOS devices.

New hardware support

The first two watches with Android Wear 2.0 give users more ways to interact with their smartwatches. In the final SDK, we have added API support for physical button locations and rotary input. At present, developers will need the new LG Watch Style or LG Watch Sport to test these new functionalities; however, we are working to add these new hardware features to the emulator. Stay tuned for updates! The SDK also includes a few other final bug fixes, such as support for more than three items in the Wearable Action Drawer.

App review changes

Now that Android Wear 2.0 is live, we'll soon update the Android Wear App Quality review process with two important changes. First, enhancing your phone app notifications for Android Wear will no longer be sufficient for passing the review. Second, it will soon be required that you upload a watch APK that's compatible with Android Wear 2.0. Only apps that pass these criteria will receive badging in Play Store on the phone and be eligible for top charts for Android Wear apps. These changes will ensure a more consistent experience for users and allow us to streamline the review process for you.

The journey doesn't stop here!

The Android Wear 2.0 developer preview lasted longer than we originally planned, but we think that the extra time has paid off in a big way. Thank you once again for your input and patience. You helped us achieve a higher quality bar than we could have achieved on our own.

We have integrated the Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview documentation into the main Wear developer documentation site and we continue to maintain links to the factory images for the preview devices. For developer related bugs, please continue to file developer bug reports or post comments in our Android Wear Developers community.

From the Android Wear team: Thank you again for your feedback and support!



09 Feb 2017 6:05pm GMT