Google Play services 7.3 started rolling out to Android devices a little less than 2 weeks ago, making some small, but much needed changes in the process. It turns out that wasn't the only purpose for that release, as it also brings some cool new capabilities developers can use in their apps. Now that the rollout is finished, Google has released an updated Play Services SDK with new capabilities for Android Wear, Google Fit, and Location Services. Read More
Remember that report that claimed Google was preparing to make the Android Wear platform compatible with iOS? Yeah, that might not go down as smoothly as you had hoped. There's still no official word on Wear for iOS, but the latest news out of the Apple camp has disturbing implications. According to one developer over on the official Pebble Watch forum, Apple is rejecting apps from its App Store simply for mentioning Pebble wearable support. Read More
In every field, there are certain tools of the trade that everybody just simply knows. Apktool has become one of those, helping app modders and themers with reshaping the software we use on our phones every day. Version 2.0 has been in the works for 2 years, and just yesterday it was promoted to a final release.
The list of changes is pretty expansive; but if you've been following along with the beta versions, there aren't too many surprises. Read More
At one time in history, building an app that gave a consistent experience across all (or most) versions of Android was nearly impossible without dedicating a lot of time and effort. Thanks to the Android Support Library (a.k.a. AppCompat), it's easy to use some of the most important and commonplace user interface elements on versions of Android going as far back as Donut and Éclair. A fresh update for AppCompat was just released, bringing it to v22.1, and it introduces some really big changes. Read More
When a new version of Android hits, we want to know what's inside of its candy-coated shell. One of the best ways to discover all of the new treats is to read through the developer comments located in the Android Open Source Project. We've downloaded the code and generated a changelog of every single modification made between v5.1.0_r5 (LMY47O) and the newly released v5.1.1_r1 (LMY47V).
There are a total of 34 commits, with the majority falling into either core OS functions, media decoding and handling, or telephony. Read More
With Cardboard, it seems that Google is in the middle of an effort to push VR along as quickly as possible by inviting everyone to participate.
Since launching the viewer with an open-sourced design, Google has gone on to promote Cardboard-compatible apps, provide viewer specifications, and publish SDKs, encouraging more developers and would-be Cardboard manufacturers to join the party. Ostensibly the philosophy is that VR will reach its potential faster if everyone works together.
Today, Google has announced a new "Works with Cardboard" program to equip developers and manufacturers with even more tools.
For manufacturers, Google will release a tool that configures any viewer to work with all apps. Read More
When Android Studio v1.1 entered the Stable channel, about 6 weeks ago, the Dev Tools team gave word that v1.2 was already well underway and that it would be based on the newly released IntelliJ 14. A couple of weeks later, the first preview build turned up, and it had already been upgraded to include IntelliJ 14.1, as well. Developers on the Canary channel have been testing and playing with the new features since early March, and now it's time to bring the goods to a larger audience. Android Studio v1.2 has just been released to the Beta channel with a mindboggling list of improvements. Read More
Google has been slowly rolling out Android apps for Chrome OS on a case-by-case basis, with new additions coming in a handful at a time. According to OMG! Chrome!, the company is opening the process up to all Android developers.
Porting relies on a native client extension known as the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC for short). It runs Android software at a speed that's close to native inside of a sandboxed Dalvik virtual window. The runtime is still in beta, and Google refers to the experience as a Developer Preview.
Developers also need to grab the ARC Welder app from the Chrome Web Store in order to test their work. Read More
For an app developer, there's nothing worse than finding out your latest update is catastrophically flawed and blowing up for your users. This is the reason Google introduced the alpha and beta channels, and then added staged rollouts. These features give developers a way to steadily release new versions into the wild, discover their bugs, and fix them before a wide release. However, all of this still relies on treating some of your users as guinea pigs. If you'd like to keep them around, it's best to minimize the fallout of a bad release as soon as it's discovered. To make things a little easier, Google has added a new button to the Developer Console that stops a staged rollout immediately. Read More