DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!! DEVELOPERS!!! Yeah, ok, I know, the chant has been done to death. But, we at Android Police really do <3 developers. Building great apps is a challenging job and it requires an obscene amount of time. As a developer myself, I know how hard it is to invest an extra hour when I'm already busy writing software, supporting customers, and of course, having a life. Unless you are eager to dive into every last session from Google I/O, all 25 hours of Android-specific content, then you might be wondering which sessions are really worth it for you.
Shhhh. Listen closely. Do you hear that? It's the sound of thousands of developers and modders salivating. Though the system images for Google Glass have been available for some time (thanks in no small part to this humble establishment), Google has decided to take the guesswork out of backups and modifications for their wearable tech. The Google Developers website has a brand new Downloads section for Glass, complete with the latest factory image (XE5) and a bootloader.
Things just got a little better for any game developer who uses the Unity3D Engine – the formerly $400-a-piece mobile add-on packs for Android iOS are now free for life. This is a massive bonus for game devs, as it allows them to easily brings their games to the mobile scene with very little effort.
Of course, there are limitations within these now-free add-ons that will require the Pro version of Unity ($1500) to circumvent, but this will at the very least give you a good idea of what's in store if you wish to port a game.
Since their announcement last month, we haven't heard too much about the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3 (barring rumors of a delayed release). That doesn't mean Samsung plans on breaking its pattern of timely (or early, depending on your perspective) kernel source code releases. Keeping with form, Samsung has released kernel source for the 6.3" Mega's I9205 (LTE) variant.
There's no sign of the Mega's I9200 version (or the Mega 5.8) just yet, but given Samsung's track record, we can expect it any time now.
Well hi-diddly ho there, aspiring app developer! Has the life of a recent CompSci grad got you down? Does the world of independent mobile app programming leave something to be desired in the area of, say, ostentatious sports cars and penthouse apartments? Samsung would like to help you out with their Smart App Challenge 2013. A cool $800,000 has been reserved for the makers of ten winning apps, with 200,000 American greenbacks going to the top entrant.
Yesterday Google launched an early access preview of Android Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) for Android based on IntelliJ IDEA. This one-stop shop for coding, compiling, and testing includes all the standard Android SDK tools, plus build support, quick fixes, tools to catch major coding flaws, and a preview window. The Android Developer Tools session at Google I/O went into massive detail on the new project. The 53-minute session is embedded below, in case you couldn't make it.
In our review of the Pebble SmartWatch, we only had two complaints about the software: a lack of apps, and a lack of utility. The second point stems from the fact that the Pebble can only receive alerts from your phone, and it can't send information back. Both issues have now been addressed by the Pebble SDK. Developers have been cranking away on watch apps for some time, but the latest SDK update adds AppMessage, a method of implementing bi-directional communication for Pebble.
Between Hangouts, the gorgeous new Maps, Play Music All Access, and everything else discussed in I/O's opening keynote this morning, several revisions to the Play Store developer's console were announced.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to the console will be an organized method for alpha and beta testing, and staged rollouts. Basically, developers can select alpha and beta testers, receiving all feedback directly (instead of through reviews) and, when the time comes, roll out the app to certain percentages of the user base.
For Android fans with children, it can be a bit disheartening to learn that your kids are using iPads and iPods for learning every day. While this is becoming more and more standard across the country, Google is looking to change that with its newly announced "Google Play for Education." This is exactly what it sounds like: a specially curated version of the Play Store made for educational environments. It offers curriculum-based discovery for grades K-12, which will make it easy for teachers to find apps appropriate for his or her students.
Right off the bat here at Google I/O, the company is telling developers about some awesome new tools for apps. A new series of APIs will enable a variety of new services for both developers and end users. Here are some of the highlights.
Version 2 of the Location API, which includes:
- Geofencing (assigning triggers to specific geographical locations) and up to 100 fences per app
- a fused location provider, which should allow for active location gathering at just 1% battery drain per hour or increased accuracy
- Activity recognition - API can recognize if users are walking, biking, driving, et cetera.