Did you make it to Google I/O 2014? If so, you've probably been waiting on the edge of your seat for Google to send a Moto 360 to each of this year's attendees. Well, the wait is over! Almost. Shipping notifications have gone out to each of the lucky recipients indicating that the packages are on the way.
The packages are coming out of Fremont, California with 2-day shipping via FedEx. For most of us, that's going to mean they'll arrive at our homes -or wherever you asked for them to be sent- on Wednesday the 10th.
An indirect signature is required, which means anybody living at or in charge of that address can accept the package. Read More
Google I/O 2014 has come and gone, but that doesn't mean great stuff from the conference isn't still coming out. The companion app used by thousands of attendees -and hundreds of thousands of fans and followers- has been open sourced! Code for the I/O app is meant to serve as an example of best practices for Android developers, providing fully functioning implementations of the latest design principles, UI controls, networking code, and more.
It has become something of a tradition to release the source code for the I/O scheduler app, although this is only the 3rd time it has been done. Read More
Google's announcement of Android TV made it clear that a final product wasn't ready for store shelves, but it was certainly getting close. While Google is finishing up the software and hardware for an official release later this year, developers have been invited to begin work on their own apps. For most, that means firing up an emulator to test on, but a few have also been granted access to a preview device called ADT-1. Applications for the hardware opened up shortly after the Android TV talk at I/O, and now devices have started appearing for some lucky developers.
The initial batch of ADT-1 units went to Google partners like Netflix and Hulu in preparation for the I/O announcement, and a second wave was handed out to a small group of I/O attendees. Read More
Google I/O was pretty amazing this year, right? We got the deets on Material design, a preview version of Android L, the formal release of Android Wear, the first manifestations of Android TV and Android Auto, and plenty of other bits and pieces. However, all of that content and all of those developer sessions can take forever to absorb, and professional developers just don't have time for that. Now that all of the videos have been posted, I've combed through every last one to narrow the list down to just the sessions that absolutely can't be missed.
Like my post from last year, the goal is to point out videos that are important for as many developers as possible. Read More
Android is really turning into a jack of all trades, having become the OS of choice for phones, tablets, face computers, and now wristwatches. The combination of flexibility, open source code, and low cost of entry make it a prime candidate for countless utilitarian purposes. With the upcoming release of Android L, Google is aiming to make it even easier to deploy highly specialized environments with a new feature called Task Locking that allows a single app to take control of the interface and prevent users from switching apps or even seeing notifications.
Task Locking isn't intended for use on average consumer-oriented phones or tablets. Read More
Back in KitKat, we were introduced to translucent system bars, which gave app developers the ability to make the navigation and status bars semi-transparent. Reclaiming as much of the screen as possible became an obsession for many fans as they demanded their favorite apps go "full bleed." With Android L, Google is treating us to even more flexibility by allowing developers to set their own color for the status bar, or even turning it completely transparent.
Fundamentally, the translucent status bar was nothing more than a very low opacity static gradient from black to fully transparent. This was added to protect the visibility of KitKat's all-white notification icons. Read More
One of the less exciting (but still important) announcements at Google I/O 2014 was that Google will be adopting part of Samsung KNOX as a security platform in Android itself. KNOX, which is currently only on Samsung devices, is a business-oriented security solution that keeps work and personal data separate and secure on a single device. Sounds pretty good, right? Not to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, but you know what is good enough? You'll never guess – a BlackBerry. Obviously.
Battery life on Android has been a bit of a sore spot for many users, mostly because it's simply not good enough. Most devices can make it a day on moderate use, and a few can even do so comfortably, very few phones can hit two days without some time on the charger. The Android "L" release is making several improvements to power efficiency via Project Volta, but there are also ways to improve 3rd-party apps, and that's where the new Job Scheduler comes in.
In the past, if a developer wants to run a background task to pull data from a server or run some processor-intensive work, the app has to listen for certain events or set an alarm to wake up at regular intervals. Read More
Last year, at Google I/O 2013, some major new features and improvements were announced for Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) -the replacement for Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM). A couple of the new bits were even featured during the keynote, particularly notification syncing, which the audience loved. The one thing most people don't know is that most of the coolest things announced that year were marked as beta and locked behind an application process. Plenty of developers were accepted, but it certainly wasn't available to everybody. This year, the restrictions are dropping and all developers are allowed to make full use of GCM. Read More
If we're being honest, it's hard to deny that one of Android's most obnoxious flaws comes in the category of audio performance. Playing some music is generally fine, but the issues start to become obvious after introducing very high quality audio or trying to achieve precise timing or real-time processing. With the L Developer Preview, it appears that Google is driving to improve upon these weaknesses and give audio performance the shot of adrenaline it needs. In a session at Google I/O 2014 titled "Building great multi-media experiences on Android," Glenn Kasten and Andy Hung took to the stage to explain the improvements appearing in the next revision of Android that can give us access to higher quality sound and greatly reduced lag in audio input. Read More