This post is specifically for app and game developers. Ladies and gentlemen, let's peek behind the editorial curtain for a bit. Here at Android Police, each writer sifts through hundreds of emails every day. A good portion of these are from people trying to promote an app, game, or service. Someone at AP reads each and every one of them, but to be perfectly honest, it's impossible for us to follow up on all of them.
App developers are getting their own little April Fools prank from Google today in the form Signature Apps. What is a Signature App? Well, rather than a cold, impersonal download, developers can ship apps to customers on a thumbdrive inside an ornate package ready for unboxing. Efficiency be damned.
Google has updated its Play Store developer policy with some tweaked language and a few new sections. As usual, Google is making changes to address worrying trends it is seeing in apps. Developers whose apps are not in line with the new policy risk getting booted from the store. Perhaps the most interesting alteration is a new section outlining unacceptable app promotion techniques.
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 threw the tech world a curveball today with its new Android Wear platform, a wearable version of Android that's starting with "smart" watches. Digging through some of the developer documentation reveals even more information on the upcoming platform than what's in the consumer-facing videos. After reading through the developer site, a rough image of Android Wear begins to take shape.
There are three major functions of Wear: a Google Now-style "homescreen" with a a scrollable list of cards, a notification system that alerts you to information from your smartphone, and a series of contextual tools that pop up during certain activities.
It's no mystery that Google has been poking around wearable gadgets for quite some time. The list of projects seems to keep growing as we hear about rumors of an LG-made smartwatch, another prototype watch designed by Motorola, and of course, Google's own Glass. Earlier today at SXSW, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to announce plans to release a brand new SDK for Android-based wearable devices in about two weeks.
Remember Project Ara? We haven't heard much about it since Motorola revealed its existence back in October, exciting us with the real possibility that one day we will be able to effectively build and customize phones to suit our tastes. As it turns out, the Advanced Technology and Projects team (now owned by Google) is still working full-steam ahead. Today they've announced the first Ara Developers' Conference, which will take place online from April 15 - 16th.
We were left wondering what Google had planned for its annual developer conference this year as we inched closer to the usual time of year. Now Google's Sundar Pichai has finally spilled the beans. Google I/O 2014 is happening June 25-26 at Moscone West in San Francisco.
As usual, there will be live streams if you can't get there. Those interested in attending will want to keep an eye out next month.
Qualcomm has released the software development kit for its Toq smartwatch, which could be just the shot in the arm the limited product needs. The Toq's colorful Mirasol e-ink display, which is easily visible in sunlight, gives the smartwatch a real advantage over competitors. But without more compelling functionality, it struggles to justify its relatively expensive price point. Hopefully there's enough interest in the product for developers to flock to the SDK.