The Google Play Developer Console has undergone some pretty major changes over the years, including a complete overhaul 2 years ago. While the improvements continue to make for a more powerful and usable tool, some developers still find areas where it could be better. Google's engineers don't have time to build everything for everybody, but a new version of the Google Play Developer API makes it possible to build quite a few things for yourself.
Developers have certainly made great use of the Alpha and Beta distribution channels in the Play Store since they became available last summer. There was one glaring oversight: developers could only write a single block of text for the "What's New" section. This often led to changelogs that left beta testers in the dark about changes or confusing regular users with promises of new features and fixes that hadn't yet materialized in the stable channel.
Google has been pushing developers to build tablet-optimized UIs for their apps since the Xoom was the hot new challenger to the iPad (haha). Okay, so that didn't work out very well, but with the release of devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, devs are finally starting to see the value of building a great tablet experience. Of course, it's not like you'd know. The Play Store is terrible at showing off tablet UIs, but that's about to change.
Recently, Google quietly began to test auto translation for app reviews in the developer console. Today, the company publicly announced that same feature and began rolling it out to all devs. Now, when they log in to their control panel, they can see the reviews in their preferred language, along with the original text. Neat.
Of course, this still isn't a replacement for native fluency, but it should aid developers in troubleshooting problems that users on the other side of the language barrier discover.
If you're a developer publishing apps on Google Play, the developer console is probably something you're checking every day compulsively. And Google understands that just because you're a developer, you don't need to look at something ugly and boring to track your apps' download and ratings stats, or manage their publication status. Back at I/O in June, Google showed off a bunch of new console features that were "coming soon."
And today, Google is finally unveiling those features in a brand-new version of the developer console, and you can start using it right now.
Back in late June, Google teased a new, cleaner developer console. A couple weeks after that, the beta signup went live, allowing devs to get in line for an early look at the next-gen console. Now, for those who signed up for said beta, the updated console is beginning to show up.
The first impression that we're hearing from developers who've used the new console is that it feels faster, has a much better UI, and is far easier to use.
One of the (numerous) problems with the Android Market has been its billing system - up to now, buyers were charged in the seller's currency. While most credit card companies were smart enough to convert the bill to the buyer's coinage, others flat out cancelled the payment. No longer - Google just announced Buyer's Currency, which gives developers the ability to set their apps' prices in each of the currencies available in the Market.
Google has been making multiple changes to the Android Market recently, with the introduction of 6 additional screenshots, new promo graphics, YouTube video links, recent changes, and a whole new and refreshed Market app. It looks like they're not planning on stopping, as yet another, more subtle, update just hit the Android Market publishing interface, also known as the Developer Console.
The new change expands the previously measly 325 character Description and Recent Changes fields to a whopping 4,000 characters for the Description and 500 characters for the Recent Changes.
As a registered Android developer, today I, along with thousands of other devs, got the following email from the Android Market Support team. The email informed me that the developer console, which is the interface used for publishing new apps, will be unavailable this Thursday, November 18th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST. The customer-facing Market itself will continue working just fine (or so I hope at least), but no new applications or app updates will be allowed.