A couple of days ago, we pointed out a free eBook giveaway from Packt Publishing that involved a copy of the Android NDK Game Development Cookbook. Another great book just turned up and we wanted to give another shout out so everybody could jump on it before the offer was gone. Today's freebie is Android Database Programming by Jason Wei, first released in 2012. It's targeted at developers that already know something about database development, but focuses on building and optimizing a data-driven mobile app with SQLite and Google App Engine.
To score a free copy of Android Database Development, make sure you're logged into Packt's website (accounts are free), then go to the Free Learning promotion page and hit the big button to claim your copy.
If you're reading this, chances are you know more about the topic than I do. I am not a developer, and although I have always wanted to dabble a bit with app and game development (at least when it comes to the basics), I can almost never find a single free minute in the day for me to do that. But I'll do my best to explain what this book and deal are all about.
Packt, a publisher of technology related ebooks, is giving away one free eBook each day until January 3rd. I suppose it's part of the holiday spirit.
Now that Android Studio is faring quite well for its core necessities, the tools team is tackling some of the bigger challenges. A couple of weeks ago, they featured a new ability to deploy a limited set of changes to apps without fully restarting them. This week they're shooting to take on one of the longest and most requested items on the list: a faster and more useful emulator.
The biggest boost to speed can be seen while running Android 6.0 on the new emulator. This comes from newly added support for Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP), which allows the emulator to take full advantage of multiple processor cores on a computer.
Every developer has gone through a long afternoon of making a bunch of tiny changes to their app, rebuilding and running it, then repeating the same steps just to get back to a point where they can test the changes they just made. Forget it, those days are done! Android Studio 2.0 just hit the Canary channel and its headlining feature allows you to push changes from your computer to an app while it's running and see results right away. Also joining the latest release is a brand new GPU Profiler tool that can make OpenGL ES development significantly easier.
The Instant Run feature has been mentioned previously during Google I/O 2015, but it has been under wraps until now.
Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.
These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction.
Android Studio v1.5 just rolled out to the stable channel today and it's absolutely packed with a feature. Truth is this release was mostly focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and other fine tuning. Of course, for a tool used in professional software development, those certainly aren't bad things. Take a look as Reto Meier explains the changes and trolls teases Android developers with a mystery box that surely must include new language support, or a fully functional theme editor, or... something more likely.
The one notable addition can be found in the Memory Profiler. It's now capable of detecting leaked activities while testing.
The Unreal Engine serves as the core for any number of games across PCs, consoles, and mobile phones alike. When a new version comes out, the changelog is big. Really, really big. Not all of the changes introduced in version 4.10 affect Android, but a solid number of them do.
Google began rolling out v8.3 of the Play services framework a few weeks ago, and it looks like it's in a wide release. While this version didn't present with any direct user-facing features and only a few cryptic hints for a teardown, it did bring some definite improvements to the Play services SDK. There are some changes to streamline the sign-in experience for app developers and users alike, along with some additional enhancements that should make it easier for developers to set up new user accounts. New APIs have also been added to make data delivery more efficient between a phone and an Android Wear watch.
Nick Butcher (Developer Advocate at Google) recently published the source code for Plaid, an app meant to showcase material design on Android with playful animations, impeccable typography, and a simple, bold aesthetic. The code will provide useful examples for developers, but the app itself is worth keeping installed too - Plaid pulls stories from Designer News, Dribbble, and Product Hunt to serve up design news and inspiration, catered to your preferences.
Besides more standard material elements, the app has a few unique tricks. Specifically, the toolbar is behind the content rather than lying on top of it, making the scrolling action on the main grid a little more elegant.
Google releases an Android app each year providing Google I/O attendees with the schedule for the upcoming conference, and it uses the opportunity to show off how an Android app is supposed to feel. Then a couple months later it releases the source code, providing developers with a look at best practices. The source code for 2015's app has taken longer to arrive than last year's, but at last, it's here.
The Google I/O 2014 app arrived during the pre-Lollipop time when full material design wasn't yet possible on most Android devices due to the lack of the necessary APIs.