Since the launch of Android 5.0 last month, the sheer number of app updates has been magnificent – and downright overwhelming. Believe it or not, most of the new versions haven't done much more than add Lollipop support and splash a fresh coat of Materialized paint on the UIs. Seriously, we've been checking. This isn't entirely a bad thing, as it's giving me time to work on some other projects...
In an interesting bit of news this evening, it looks like Google has opened up merchant support to China, allowing developers to distribute free or paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in over 130 countries.
The news comes in a post to Google's official Android Developers blog, which goes on to explain that Chinese developers distributing paid apps through the Play Store will receive payment via wire transfer to a Chinese bank account in USD.
The debate between physical and digital books is a heated one. Some people prefer the look of a tome on their bookshelf and enjoy the smell of each page as they hold their nose to an old favorite. Others like the convenience that comes with having access to an entire personal library of books whenever and wherever they have their phone. One clear disadvantage of digital books, though, is the ability for a single company to determine when and where you can buy them.
We've all seen it happen. A great technology, service, or platform comes out, but without a solid base of users and apps, it fails to gain traction. Google wants to see the Fit API work out, and developers have been called upon to help make that happen. If you know how to write an Android app, and you've got a great idea for something that will get people off the couch and into the gym, you're invited to join the Google Fit Developer Challenge.
When you've already created a browser-based interactive experience that lets players explore a 3D recreation of various locales spread throughout Middle-earth, how do you up your game? You add multiplayer. At least, that's what Google's decided to do. The company has updated its "A Journey Through Middle-earth" Chrome experiment with the ability for players to challenge each other to a bout of Hobbit-inspired fun.
Google developers designed the game using web technologies such as WebRTC and WebGL.
For a limited-time, Google is willing to pay people to invite their friends to use Wallet. The tech giant will provide you and the recipient with $5 in credit whenever a friend who doesn't already have a Google Wallet balance receives money from you. Any amount is fine, including as little as a penny. All that matters is that you both live in the US and that they don't already have an account.
Those lucky few who were able to order a Nexus 6 from the Play Store in that first round should have a surprise on their doorsteps very soon. Buyers started getting shipping notifications last night indicating the devices are on the way.
Google's latest and greatest smartphone is still hard to come by in most of the world (i.e. impossible), but Indian buyers can now pre-order the phone for quite a lot of money. Flipkart is offering both colors and storage sizes on its website for shipping in the second week of December.
The third installment of Motorola's Spotlight stories has arrived in the Spotlight Player, and it's called Duet. Like the last two videos, this is an interactive story that you experience by moving your device around to follow the characters. While the last stories (Windy Day and Buggy Night) were quirky and whimsical, Duet is one of those heartstring-tugging, Disney-esque shorts. If you don't want to see too much, go watch the story now before checking out the screenshots.
You can add a few new tricks to the list of stuff Google search does. Just ask your phone or tablet to flip a coin, and it will be done. This was actually announced by Google last week, but now they've added a die. Neat.