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.
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.
The Google Cast Developer console has been updated, allowing users to enter details about their apps for inclusion on the Chromecast site.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
While developers from a startling number of countries can post apps to the Google Play Store for users around the world to download, setting up the infrastructure for these developers to sell paid apps - and more importantly, to get paid for their apps - isn't quite so widespread. Today Google is opening up Google Wallet Merchant registration to eight more countries, allowing developers in those countries to get paid in their local currency.
If you entered Google's new lottery system for I/O 2014, go check your email account. Odds are pretty good that you've got an email, or that you will receive one shortly. Several Google+ users are showing off their fancy invitations. Those who have "won" the right to purchase their $900 tickets have already been charged via their Google Wallet accounts.
Source: Bao-Long Nguyen-Trong, Google+
And if you didn't get in?
In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.