If you've spent as much time on the Google Play Store as I have, you begin to recognize a pattern: developers asking (and sometimes begging) users to email them directly with complaints or bugs, because they can't reply to that snarky review left in lieu of a bug report. After years and years of frustration for devs who just want to make their apps better, Google has finally rolled out a direct reply feature.
As usual Google has updated monthly platform distribution numbers for Android in its developer dashboard. The numbers, based on devices accessing the Play Store over the last 14 days (ending May 1st), tell developers which versions of Android are most prevalent, and which are on the decline.
This month, as last month, we're seeing a decline in Gingerbread and a rise in Jelly Bean. Gingerbread has dropped from 39.8% to 38.5%, a 1.3% drop for those keeping tally at home.
Google just updated the sold out I/O 2013 conference website with the full schedule developers have been dying to see for months, ever since the initial announcement back in February. During the three days in mid-May (May 15-17), the company's engineers will host over 120 talks on such topics as:
- Chrome & Apps
- Google Cloud Platform
- Knowledge & Structured Data
- and other tech subjects
On day 3, developers will also be able to participate in Code Labs on the topics of Android, Google+, Chrome & Apps, Google Cloud Platform, and YouTube.
Recently, Google quietly began to test auto translation for app reviews in the developer console. Today, the company publicly announced that same feature and began rolling it out to all devs. Now, when they log in to their control panel, they can see the reviews in their preferred language, along with the original text. Neat.
Of course, this still isn't a replacement for native fluency, but it should aid developers in troubleshooting problems that users on the other side of the language barrier discover.
When Android first came out, there were a lot of concerns about an open source OS. One of the biggest ones was, what if a company takes Android, strips everything Google out of it, and builds an entirely new platform on top of it? Well, Amazon seems dead set on making sure we know what that's like. The company has already built its own Appstore, content delivery services, and closed hardware on top of Google's baby.
If you make money on the Play Store, you should probably check your email. Google is sending out a notification to developers to let them know that in the future, payments will be sent out on a 15 day delay instead of the one or two days the company has been using for a while. What does this mean for you? Well, if selling apps is a primary source of income for you, then you'll want to do some planning.
Remember when developers got their pre-release Ouya kits and started showing them off? In those videos, the controllers looked kinda crummy. Thankfully, the company said those were absolutely not indicative of the final design that will go out to consumers. Turns out, they really weren't! The company has detailed some changes and they sound pretty good.
For starters, the D-pad design has changed from a disconnected disc to the typical cross style that we've all gotten used to since the NES.
Most college kids are at home this time of the year, celebrating the end of finals and/or nursing hangovers. But the ROM's scene's number one destination is hosting classes all year round at the the new XDA University site. XDA-Developers has been working on the extension of the main site as a destination for newcomers to the world of root, custom ROMs, and other Android modifications, as well as a place to learn about more serious Android development.
As Google continues the work of expanding its Play Store services across the globe, it only makes sense that the giant is also working to provide a cohesive, pleasant experience for users in the 130+ countries that now support paid apps. To that end, Google has announced in a post to the Android Developers blog that developers can now include localized promotional graphics and video in their Play Store listings.
Basically, what this means is that developers can upload separate assets to ensure that users in, for example, the United States will see English-language graphics and video, while others around the world see materials in their own language.
As a developer, I absolutely love days like today. If the high-level "improves performance and stability and fixes bugs" changelog of Android 4.1.2 isn't good enough for you, how about we dive into the actual low-level source code commit logs Android engineers made into AOSP since 4.1.1_r1.1 (JRO03D) all the way through today's release 4.1.2_r1 (JZO54K). These commit logs are spread over probably 100+ repositories, so hunting for all of them manually would probably take you days.