Bottom nav bars. Between the time of Gingerbread and Marshmallow, they seemed to become significantly less prevalent on Android (or maybe I was just able to avoid more of them), with many developers and designers going for other navigation models. But those other nav models - specifically the hamburger menu - aren't always ideal. Often, teams worry that items in the drawer are "hidden" from users. Sometimes immediate visibility and total obscurity seem like the only two realistic options.
To be fair, it's true that ensuring users see these options each and every time they open the app tends to increase usage. And while the situation isn't so dire, it makes sense to have official guidance on popular navigation patterns.
It's that time again! Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers, showing the current state of Android version distribution among devices that have recently checked in to the Play Store.
As expected, KitKat has grown a bit more, up to 20.9% now (vs 17.9% last month), while Jelly Bean is down from 56.5 to 54.2%. Still hanging above the 50% mark and encompassing 3 API levels, Jelly Bean is the new Gingerbread.
Froyo is hanging tight at 0.7%, while - confusingly - Gingerbread has grown 0.1% to 13.6%. Ice Cream Sandwich is continuing its own decline, dropping to 10.6% from 11.4% last month.
The new Google Fit Platform is a set of cross-platform APIs that developers can use to provide consumers with the means to better keep track of their fitness goals. The product intends to blend together data from multiple sources, so users can get a better overall picture of their performance and health. It empowers apps by providing them with access to a user's entire stream of fitness activity, letting software tap into data that it didn't capture itself and provide better recommendations.
Traditionally companies such as Fitbit and Runtastic design their own hardware and allow owners to monitor the stats they gather, but this requires purchasing and regularly using only that company's products.
It's that time again - each month, Google updates the developer dashboard to reflect Android's latest platform distribution numbers, determined according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period.
Last month, we saw KitKat make a small leap to 1.4% - it's made another tiny gain, rising to 1.8% of devices, while Jelly Bean has gone from 59.1% up to 60.7%. Gingerbread meanwhile continues its death march, letting 1.2% slip through its icy grasp, falling to an even 20% of devices.
Ice Cream Sandwich has lost another 0.8%, while Honeycomb and Froyo remain unchanged, the latter somehow keeping grasp of 1.3% of devices that accessed the Play Store during the week ending on February 4th.
It's that time again - Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers. Following a predictable trend, KitKat has eked out its own 1.1% niche, Jelly Bean (API version 16-18) is going strong at 54.5%, putting it further over the mark it reached last month, running on over half of all devices that have checked in to the Google Play Store in the past two weeks, while Gingerbread's grip continues to slip, decreasing to 24.1% from 26.3% last month.
Honeycomb meanwhile is sticking at a negligible 0.1%, while ICS has dropped 1.2% to 18.6% from last month.
Platform games seem to have hit their stride on Android. With typical mascot-style fare like Sonic, Rayman, and Cordy, not to mention unconventional games like Bravoman, Gentlemen, and a handful of OrangePixel titles, platformer fans are spoiled for choice. Add one more game to the list, The Secret of Space Octopuses, a tongue-in-cheek game that takes inspiration from Metroid and adds in a few creative touches.
The gist is that you're an adorable alien abductee who's able to build his own helper robot in a cave, with a box of scraps. You then clomp through a collection of 2.5D stages trying to escape, though the focus is more on exploration than combat.
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. Jelly Bean, meanwhile, has seen a slightly more substantial shift, rising 3.4% from 25% to 28.4%.
Elsewhere, the ebb and flow of version numbers is more or less expected.
After some teasing, Paranoid Android has unveiled (in a lovely promo image) their plan for multi-window functionality on Android, which they promise to "get right," – Halo.
The premise is simple, yet extremely ambitious in scope – allow apps to give you notifications right on top of your screen, which allow you to pop into that app without leaving the one you're in (no matter what it is), take care of business, and resume your experience uninterrupted. The general concept, which rejects the notion of a distracting notification shade, and shuns implementations like "whacky s-multiwindow," is no doubt inspired by Facebook's admittedly awesome Chat Heads functionality, perhaps the most compelling feature of its new Home app.
Today, Facebook announced the Facebook Home suite that we've been hearing so much about. Well, to be more accurate, we've been hearing that Facebook is going to build its own phone and fork Android and create its own special social OS and that it would be the end of Google and that civilization will crash around us and we'll all wear monkey pelts and "Like" statuses by hurling spears through our enemies. Or something. Well, as it turns out, the world didn't end, Android is still whole, and Zuckerberg even thinks the idea of forking an entire OS to make an app is silly.