Google started contacting developers last month with a bit of an ultimatum: make sure accessibility mode is only used to help disabled users or risk being banned from the Play Store. Android's accessibility services have been used for a great many things over the years, so this change in policy caught many developers off guard. However, Google is now notifying developers that it's pausing the ban as it looks into how apps can make "responsible and innovative" use of accessibility features. Read More
Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps. You can't completely avoid them, but there are some ad implementations that are so annoying that Google has explicitly disallowed them from the Play Store. Remember Airpush? The current advertising scourge is ad-infused lock screens, which have shown up in previously safe apps like ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN. Google has finally listened to our pleading, and lock screen ads are no longer allowed in the Play Store. Read More
Google already has some tools to make creating VR and AR content easier, but designing 3D models for apps can still be difficult and time-consuming. Google aims to lessen the hassle with its newest initiative. Poly is a searchable database of 3D objects and scenes for developers to use in their apps. It has thousands of models, and supports remixing and editing via Google's design tools. Best of all, it's free. Read More
This is a guest post from developer Carlos Lopez, also known as ShortFuse. He’s the developer of SuperOneClick and Fusion.
With the Pixel 2's release, it seems many Android fans have their pitchforks in hand, and it's the display that's the target of their criticism. Owners of the 2 XL have noticed color shifting at an angle or laggy pixel response, which causes a "jelly-like" effect. Another complaint, which will be the focus of this article, is what some have called "muted colors." At first glance, it seems like the Pixel 2 isn’t capable of showing as many colors as other OLED devices, but this isn’t true—the colors are intentionally “muted” and locked via software. Read More
Last year, there was a rumor that Google was going to follow Apple's footsteps and improve its subscription revenue split with providers by only deducting 15% instead of 30% for distribution and miscellaneous fees. At the time, Recode was optimistic that Google would make the change universal, so that any time a user subscribed to something, the provider would only lose 15% in fees.
We didn't hear anything about this until now, thanks to a bunch of changes published on the Google Developers Blog. There, we learned that subscription revenue sharing with be lowered from 30% to 15%, but unlike last year's hopeful rumor and much like Apple's terms, they will only apply for users retained after 12 months. Read More
If anyone saw our hands-on with the Pixel 2 XL at Google's October 4th event, you may have noticed the phones are rocking some intriguing new live wallpapers. They are obviously intended to be Pixel 2 exclusives, but if there's one thing that you can rely on in the Android developer community, it's that someone out there will be on hand to mod an interesting new app and get it working on more devices.
The new Pixel 2 launcher thankfully works on other phones without modification, although if you want the swipe-for-Google-Feed functionality on phones other than the first generation Pixels and Nexus devices, you'll need to install it as a system app. Read More
Grow with Google is the company's educational initiative offering free training and tools to help kickstart the careers of budding developers across the United States. The platform has several partners with which Google works to create learning programs and provide support. One such partner is Udacity, which offers free and paid online courses for a range of different technical disciplines.
Together, Google and Udacity are offering 50,000 new scholarships in the US. They will specifically target Android and mobile web developers with a view to training them up and getting them into work. The courses are intended to prepare students for Google's Associate Android Developer and Mobile Web Specialist developer certifications. Read More
Android Wear is entering a potentially critical time. Wear 2.0 hasn't been received nearly as well as might have been expected, with many observers understandably worrying for its future. Watches were conspicuously absent from Google's big hardware event last week, and the Google Store site refresh has removed all non-Google products, including LG's recently released Android Wear watches.
Wear fans could use some more good news to add to the recent announcement of the Oreo beta program for the LG Watch Sport, and it looks as though we have exactly that. Googler Hoi Lam took to Google+ yesterday to share some new information about future updates to Android Wear 2.0. Read More
Finding stock firmware for phones can be a pain, but Chainfire is here to help. He's launched a new website at firmware.mobi, where you can find official firmware for a variety of devices. It also simplifies the process of using CF-Auto-Root, if that's your goal. Read More
Everyone's favorite reader app, Feedly, seems to be having some problems on Android right now. For some users, version 37.3.0 (which was released back in June) has started crashing every time it's opened. I can confirm the issue on my Pixel XL, and it looks a little something like this... Read More