Until now, the Play Store beta testing system was tied to Google+ communities or Google Groups, but that's changing now. Google is rolling out two new options for developers to run beta tests that don't rely on Google+.
Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT.
Razer, PC gaming accessory maker and recent Android TV also-ran, bought Ouya. That left a lot of people hanging, and not just Ouya employees or customers. Those Android game developers who had taken the company up on its "Free The Games" funding offer for extra development money in exchange for timed exclusivity to the Ouya platform, and who hadn't yet been paid, got stung by a "bankruptcy or buyout" clause in the contract. Since Ouya was bought by an outside company, the matching funds from the original deal no longer have to be provided.
Now, Google is taking the feature public. In a post over on its developers blog, the company details ways in which Nearby will make sharing information with someone nearby easier than exchanging account information or scanning QR codes.
A large part of the What's New in Android Development Tools session at Google I/O 2015 focused on one particular feature, or rather, group of features coming to Android Studio: upcoming support for C/C++ and the Android NDK. Version 1.3 RC1 of the IDE hit the canary channel late yesterday, finally enabling developers of native apps and games to begin transitioning from Eclipse (or another IDE) to Android Studio, if they choose to. Functionality is described as "preview quality," so there are still some known issues and probably quite a few bugs.
With the addition of NDK support, this release brings a number of internal and organizational changes, some of which will affect all developers.
Gameloft is one of the most prolific and high-profile developers of mobile games, having taken an early lead with the rise of the iTunes App Store and continuing to release games at a rapid pace. But all is not well for the well-known developer: this morning reports have surfaced that the company has completely shut down its New York City studio and related offices.
YouTube is just over ten years old. That's about the time that a global and ubiquitous web service oughta straighten up and stream right, throw off adolescent comforts and maybe start considering some branch-off services, like Music or Games. The development team has decided to release news of upcoming features in that time-honored and totally not aggravating format, the video list. The following is specifically for "creators" (read: people who upload regularly and/or try to make money with videos), but some of the information is interesting for mobile users.
If you don't have four and a half minutes to spend watching for the new stuff, here's a breakdown in the old-fashioned and completely dead text format.
It's been a long and winding road, but the days of Eclipse with ADT are over. In a post on the Android development blog, Google has announced that development and official support for the Android Development Tools plugin for Eclipse will be shut down at the end of this year. Google intends to focus all of its effort on improving Android Studio and advises developers move their active projects to Android Studio using the included migration tool.
Amazon probably isn't the first company that comes to mind when you think of innovative gadgets. Not anymore, anyway. Hearing a company is producing a ho-hum smartphone based on Android isn't nearly as exciting as hearing about the Kindle for the first time. But with the Echo, the online retailer does have a cool piece of tech on its hands.
The Echo, which recently became available for general purchase in the US, is essentially what you get when you stick Google Now or Siri into a plastic tube. While that may not sound all that creative, delivery is everything. Saying OK Alexa (the name of the persona inside the device) out in the middle of the kitchen and having the product pick up from another room is rather impressive, especially when you just want to fire up some background music or search for a recipe.