The Android ecosystem –as most of us think of it– is built on more than just an operating system and a marketplace for independent apps. It's largely shaped by dozens of services that have been built by Google, allowing developers to add rich features to their apps without building out expensive infrastructures. The Google Play services package is the core element in this equation, and it's getting a pretty major update to version 7.0 over the next couple of weeks.
Not to be completely left out of the spotlight during Mobile World Congress, Cyanogen Inc. has a few announcements to make. Firstly, the logo and website you knew are now gone, replaced by something with a bit of a sci-fi vibe. More importantly, the company has partnered with Qualcomm to make it easier for Cyanogen OS to find its way onto more devices.
The Pebble Time still has almost a month to get more pre-orders on Kickstarter, but it's already passed the $10 million mark, which is the record set by the first Pebble. In preparation for what is sure to be a big launch for the company, the new v3.0 update of Pebble's SDK is now available. Developers can start building apps for the Time, and they'll work with the regular Pebbles in the meantime.
In the early days of Android, developers had to be serious nerds to pay the platform any real attention. After all, the real money was on iOS. Google has been working to make Android more hospitable to developers, and in that spirit, there's a change coming to the Google Play app—ads. Just like in regular Google Searches, you will soon see sponsored results at the top of the list.
We can attribute Android's eternal connection with sugary snacks to Google's whimsical use of desserts as codenames; but for many, Android is indelibly linked with grilled meat, thanks to the team behind the the Big Android BBQ. The huge gathering in Texas for Android fans first began in 2009 and continues to grow. Last year, the BABBQ organizers launched a new event in San Francisco to coincide with Google I/O 2014, called the Big Android Meat & Greet.
See that email in the featured image of this post? It's junk. Several developers have received this and rightfully felt very nervous, but it is simply a scheme to get you to turn over your Google credentials to scammers. It isn't the cleverest phishing expedition we've ever seen, but it certainly is better than most. First of all, it is not filled with the kind of typographical and grammatical errors you often see. Also, the biggest giveaway of what is going on is obscured when viewing from Gmail.
December brought us many gifts, not least of which was the official release of Android Studio v1.0. While things have been fairly quiet for developers sticking to Stable releases, the Android Tools team has been busy with a steady stream of updates for those of us on the Canary builds. After two months in development, v1.1 is finally ready to roll out to the masses. This version is mostly dedicated to bug fixes, but there are a few features added in test builds that will feel new to users that are just now receiving the update.
At some point or another, most Android developers will eventually open up the profiling tools to track down bugs and performance issues in a misbehaving application. Let's be honest, the tools included with the Android SDK do leave something to be desired. Facebook has just released one of its internally-developed tools which provides network inspection, database inspection and interaction, and a support for access to the dumpapp output with the use of customizable plugins. The most interesting feature about Stetho is that it runs entirely through the Chrome Developer Tools – the same interface used by web developers everywhere.
Keep in mind, Stetho is not a total debugger replacement.
Developers can be found all over the world, toiling away for hours on a computer as they build cool apps and games for our gadgets. Most of them would like to earn a few duckets for their work, but that's not always possible with certain types of apps and games. Today, the doors are open for developers from 12 additional countries to register for merchant accounts and begin selling paid apps to the world.
Support for merchant accounts has been added for:
Just to clarify, it was already possible for customers in these countries to buy paid apps and make in-app purchases, but developers registered in these countries were limited to submitting only free apps without IAPs – until now.
Sony slipped the official SmartEyeglass app into the Play Store yesterday, and now here we are with an official announcement on availability (sort of). The developer edition SmartEyeglass is available for pre-order in the UK and Germany today and ships in March. It'll cost you a hefty sum to get a piece of the next wearable concept. Sony is asking $840 (£520, €670) for the developer unit.