While all major tech companies use their flagship events to announce new products, Google doesn't shy away from putting developer tools on stage. And keeping with a common theme lately, there's a preview release for the next Android Studio. Version 2.2 includes some immediately popular and often-requested additions to the IDE.
We knew it was coming eventually, but just before the Google I/O keynote began, Google updated its developer documentation with more details about Family Library. Most important, we have a launch date of sorts: July 2nd. That date marks when app purchases will be shared in the Family Library by default unless the developer opts out.
For those who aren't familiar, Family Library will be a way for trusted family members to share Play Store purchases among one another. We have seen bits and pieces popping up in our APK teardowns for a while now. When it comes to video purchases, for instance, we can tell that you will be restricted to streaming the same title on only one device at a time.
Yo dawg. Google heard you like apps, so it made an app for tracking your apps. Specifically, there's now an app version of the Google Play Developer Console. It just went live in the Play Store, but it'll really only do you any good if you develop apps.
The workplace may be stuffy, but that doesn't mean there isn't space for a tech lover to geek out. You may be the IT guy responsible for managing user accounts and security policies, but just like on your personal phone, you like having access to the latest tools.
For you, dear corporate tech nerd, Google has introduced Android for Work DevHub.
The once beloved ES File Explorer was revealed recently to be little more than a Trojan Horse, used to get adware installed on thousands of devices with one update. This was apparently just the beginning. Users have started compiling a spreadsheet of apps that sneak the same adware-infused charging lock screen onto your device. There are already about 20 of them. Google, where are you?
Google posted at least some of the events and sessions for developers to check out at the Google I/O trade conference already. It looks like the Big G wasn't quite finished ironing out the details, because several new sessions have been added to the official website as of today. Here are a few of them that are particularly relevant to Android:
It's the beginning of the month again, and that means it's time for Google to update the Android platform distribution numbers. We've been waiting ages for Froyo to die, but it lives on this month. However, Marshmallow continues to show strong performance as the only version gaining market share right now.
Here's the full breakdown of this month's numbers.
Android version stats, May 2016
Previous data (%)
Current data (%)
So, as you can see, Froyo is still sitting there at 0.1%, mocking us with its obsolescence.
With last month's release of the Android N Preview, the Tools team launched a preview release of Android Studio 2.1. Not only did the new version add support for the N Preview SDK, but it also brought a few important important and welcomed additions, including adoption and support for many of the language features in Java 8, a semi-official switch to the Jack compiler, an updated New Project wizard, and further improvements to the new and faster Android Emulator. As of today, Android Studio 2.1 has been promoted to Stable and is available to all developers.
The biggest advantage of updating and switching to the Jack compiler, aside from playing with new Android N APIs like Launcher Shortcuts, is probably the addition of Lambda Expressions.
Normally only Nexus and other first-party Google devices get a taste of an upcoming Android version before it's released, barring custom ROMs and other end user activities. But Sony has been offering experimental AOSP builds for some of its phones for some time, and today the company has surprised and delighted owners of the former flagship Xperia Z3 with a custom Android N developer preview. This is more or less the same as the preview builds for Nexus phones and tablets, and it includes the Play Store and Google Services - everything one needs for a full Android experience.