27
Jun
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Google is slowly expanding support for developers all over the world, and while devs in hundreds of countries can publish Android apps on the Google Play Store, only a small subset can charge money for them. After extending support to eight new countries last month, Google has added another nine today, bringing the total up to 54. Here are the new additions:

  • Belarus (US Dollars)
  • Chile (Chilean Pesos)
  • Colombia (Colombian Pesos)
  • Costa Rica (Colón)
  • Egypt (Egyptian Pound)
  • Kazakhstan (US Dollars)
  • Kuwait (US Dollars)
  • Nigeria (US Dollars)
  • United Arab Emirates (Dirham)

To be clear, customers in these countries could already download and/or pay for Android apps on Google Play, and developers could already upload free apps, but after today they can charge for apps and in-app purchases and collect revenue from a Google Play Merchant account. 

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If you want in on the action, head to the Google Play Developer console and set up a Merchant account for $25 USD (or your local equivalent).

26
Jun
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Project Ara is still going strong, and Google demonstrated it at I/O at the ATAP presentation. Project Ara Technical Lead Paul Eremenko talks up the modular phone platform in the video below (starting at around 23:30), bringing the concept beyond simple phone component upgrades. "What if a phone could see in the dark? What if a phone could test if water is clean?" The collaborative Ara team wants the hardware to be just as flexible as the larger Android ecosystem.

26
Jun
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Android 4.4 contained a number of interesting and very powerful features for developers, many of which went unused or misunderstood for quite a long time. Since it was introduced in KitKat, The Storage Access Framework (SAF) may be one of the best examples of an API that has been underutilized, despite offering a great method to provide cleaner and more informative interfaces. I even theorized that it may ultimately take the place of file system access.

24
Jun
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Sometimes corresponding events that might otherwise be considered mere coincidence are so amazing that they're attributed to serendipity or universal irony. This... isn't one of those times. But it might just make you go, "huh." Google's recent acquisition Nest Labs has launched the Nest Developers Program, which will allow developers to easily create connections between the smart thermostat and smoke detector hardware and other integrated devices. You can check out various tools and documentation at developer.nest.com.

17
Jun
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Since the Chromecast debuted, Google has had partnered apps featured at chromecast.com/apps. According to a tip we received this evening, and a post by Leon Nicholls to the Google Cast Developers community, it looks like Google might be ready to show off third-party apps at the same URL.

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The Google Cast Developer console has been updated, allowing users to enter details about their apps for inclusion on the Chromecast site.

21
May
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Sometimes the Google machine relents and the internet wins. The case of Mizuu's removal from the Play Store is an example of that. After just a few days of exile, the Google Play team got in touch with the developer to let him know the app was being restored. There is a condition, though.

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20
May
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Hunting down good libraries can be a pretty tedious chore for developers. Sometimes we know what we want, but can't find the right keywords for a search. Other times we're already familiar with one option but want to find alternatives that might work better for our project. And sometimes, we just need a little inspiration. Take a look at The Android Arsenal, a large categorized directory of Android-oriented projects that can go a long way toward speeding up your development.

20
May
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Free-to-play is a divisive topic in the games industry right now. Some developers and publishers, especially in the mobile gaming world, love it - free games get downloaded more, and they have the potential to bring in more revenue. Gamers used to the "pay once, pay forever" model of games and software in general over the last 30 years think it's changing the industry and damaging both the economics and the mechanics of gaming itself.

16
May
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Google changed the policy for app refunds from 24 hours to 15 minutes a few years ago, but Android users eventually adjusted to it. There is still a less prominent way to seek a refund after the 15 minute window if you have a legitimate gripe – it's tucked away in the Play Store order history. However, at some point recently, Google changed the way these refund requests worked.

The blog iTechTriad posted this as a PSA and a potentially serious bug on April 8th, and we've spent the last several weeks digging for details, eventually confirming it as a new Google policy.

02
May
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Google continues its monthly ritual of posting platform distribution numbers for Android. After getting a fairly late start, KitKat is keeping up its suddenly explosive pace by adding 3.2% to last month's 5.3%. This is largely due to a continual stream of updates to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3.

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The increase in KitKat's presence came at the expense of almost every older version of Android except for Jelly Bean 4.2, which actually rose 0.7%.

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