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. Read More
Google is doing its darnedest to make developers happy. To a certain extent, anyway - it still makes some major mistakes on a pretty regular basis, but at least it's trying to expand availability for paid apps to more users and, crucially, more developers. Today developers in Azerbaijan, Iceland, Peru, And Yemen can submit paid apps to the Google Play Store, as well as offer in-app purchases. Previously Android users in all four nations could buy apps, but not sell them. Read More
It seems like the only thing anybody can talk about is Android M, but we should remember that we've got about 4 more months with Lollipop v5.1.1 as the current version until Mango Mojito (probably not) is officially released in October. This is no more apparent than when an update appears on AOSP and brings with it thousands of changes. In fact, this update is large enough it probably deserved more than a barely noticeable revision bump. Read More
Twitter made its name on the basis of brevity. You have 140 characters to get your point across, and that's it. This limit has also been in place for direct messages this whole time, but that changes in July. Twitter has posted an overview of the new DM API features so developers can get ready for longer messages. Read More
Android's share menu has always been useful and extensible, but Android M will make it even more handy with the addition of direct share. This is a set of APIs that will let developers specify sharing targets deeper inside their apps. So instead of sharing that photo to Hangouts, for example, you might be able to share it to a specific contact in Hangouts in a single tap.
Touchscreens are okay, but what about putting those pipes to better use? The description of one of Google's talks at I/O later this month points to an interesting new feature called Voice Access. Basically, instead of touching the phone, you talk to it to control apps. So essentially Star Trek? That'd be rad.
Google recently dropped the price of the Project Tango developer tablet to $512, but there was no new hardware announced at I/O. Qualcomm just can't contain itself any longer, apparently. The chip maker has announced a new piece of Tango hardware is on the way, and it's powered by the Snapdragon 810 [insert overheating joke].
Google I/O is first and foremost a developer conference. New products may be announced at the keynote, but just about everything is really meant for the people that build the apps. For Android developers, there are few things that matter more than their tools. Today, a fresh release of Android Studio hit the Canary channel, and it brings one of the most often requested features: C/C++ support.
Android apps, as most people think of them, are usually written in Java and have a runtime environment that imposes some additional overhead on execution. Read More