The official schedule for this year's Google I/O recently went live, and we're poring over the upcoming events with eager excitement. As one commenter was quick to point out, it looks like Android M will make an appearance at this year's conference. There's a direct mention under the Android for Work event scheduled for 2:30 PM PST on the 28th.
The presence of a What's New in Android session (1:00 PM) is also a tip-off.
This is the month of Google I/O, with the event set to take place from the 27th to the 29th. Eager conference goers and stay-at-home-live-streamers alike can now start planning those days out, because the official schedule has made its way online.
The page provides a general overview under the Agenda tab, but you can select other options to get a detailed list of what will take place each day. The most exciting event, the keynote, is scheduled for 9:30AM PST on the 28th.
What's New in Android will come later that day at 1 PM. It usually refers to a new version of Android, which are sometimes unveiled at Google I/O.
I'm sure everybody can agree, it makes almost no sense that the Nexus 9 is only now receiving a tiny maintenance update to 5.0.2 a couple of months after 5.1 came out. Nevertheless, that's how events are playing out, so we should at least know what's so special about this update. We've generated a changelog from AOSP, and honestly, there's not much to see.
Be aware, the Nexus 9 update goes from 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r3. However, since we've already seen the changelog for 5.0.1_r1 to 5.0.2_r1, we're keeping the previously seen changes in the old list, and producing a new one that includes only the commits that make up r1 to r3.
Most of the standard (non-game) Android apps we use today are created with Java. Alternatives are available, like Apache Cordova and Mono for Android, but there's no doubt that Java is the only true first-class citizen. However, a team at Google is now working on a new cross-platform alternative called Sky, and it's able to deliver 120 FPS out of the box.
Sony has recently been among the friendlier companies for custom ROM developers, but their devices still had a major hitch. They could not be booted from recovery, which meant third-party software had to modify the build system and if things went wrong, it was a lot more difficult to fix. To address this issue, Sony will begin releasing new bootloaders to allow booting from recovery.
This was first reported at FXP, home to developers who work exclusively with Sony devices to bring custom ROMs like CyanogenMod to end users. Official word should be coming soon, but the software is available to flash right now.
Running a good business requires an intimate knowledge of anything and everything that affects its operation. This means keeping track of numbers, reports, and any other data that can possibly be accumulated. Distributing apps on the Play Store is no different. Developers need to know if users are leaving bad reviews, if their apps are crashing, or if the install numbers suddenly rise. While the Play Store does tracks these things and more, many companies have more specific needs. Google is now allowing developers to export this data so it can be analyzed and re-used in many different ways.
Data is available in an assortment of reports for subjects ranging from financial details to crash records.
Microsoft is in the midst of its annual Build conference. This is sort of like Google I/O or WWDC, but with fewer online viewers. Wednesday's keynote presentation was filled with announcements about Windows 10, the Microsoft Edge browser, an augmented reality headset, and quite a bit more. One product failed to earn stage time: the Visual Studio Emulator for Android, but developers may find renewed interest since the latest version is showing maturity as it expands through the addition of Device Profiles and a number of other recent enhancements.
We originally covered Microsoft's emulator for Android after a mid-November release during the Connect() conference.
Google Play services 7.3 started rolling out to Android devices a little less than 2 weeks ago, making some small, but much needed changes in the process. It turns out that wasn't the only purpose for that release, as it also brings some cool new capabilities developers can use in their apps. Now that the rollout is finished, Google has released an updated Play Services SDK with new capabilities for Android Wear, Google Fit, and Location Services. There's also an improvement to the GoogleApiClient class to handle situations when APIs aren't available on a given device.
Magnus is back!
We learned last week from an update to the Android Wear app that support for connecting multiple watches – and possibly other devices – had become reality.
In every field, there are certain tools of the trade that everybody just simply knows. Apktool has become one of those, helping app modders and themers with reshaping the software we use on our phones every day. Version 2.0 has been in the works for 2 years, and just yesterday it was promoted to a final release.
The list of changes is pretty expansive; but if you've been following along with the beta versions, there aren't too many surprises. After all, Apktool still does the same things, just better than before. The one important change some people may have missed is that the new version requires Java 7 or above.