Android 4.4 contained a number of interesting and very powerful features for developers, many of which went unused or misunderstood for quite a long time. Since it was introduced in KitKat, The Storage Access Framework (SAF) may be one of the best examples of an API that has been underutilized, despite offering a great method to provide cleaner and more informative interfaces. I even theorized that it may ultimately take the place of file system access.
Developers and Android information fanatics, this is just a quick PSA that the official API overview, developer materials, and L Developer Preview reference are all now available on the Android developers site. The API overview can be found here, and the developer reference is right here.
If you want a detailed, piece-by-piece breakdown of the developer-facing changes in Android, the developer reference is by far your best bet. It includes tons of information, what's been added, what's been changed, and what's been removed in the "L" release.
There have been rumblings of RAW-style image capture support in Android for some time now, and it looks like the "L" release will finally bring photographers everywhere the freedom to individually process and archive their smartphone photos DSLR-style. The "L" developer documentation specifically mentions the new DngCreator class, an API that will allow camera apps to capture images and save them in the Digital Negative format, an open standard published by Adobe as a more generally-compatible alternative to RAW images (which generally require OEM or camera-specific plugins).
Google has just released the "L" preview factory images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi, and you can get them right now. Here are direct links:
- Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE) "hammerhead": hammerhead-lpv79-preview-ac1d8a8e.tgz
- Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi) "razor": razor-lpv79-preview-d0ddf8ce.tgz
Go! And if you're a developer, the "L" preview SDK is available now, as well.
Developers, ROMers, countrymen - lend me your ears, because the SDKs for both the Android "L" release preview and Android Wear have just landed. Just fire up the SDK manager (be sure to update your SDK tools!) and you should see both are ready for downloading immediately, so you can start digging around in the latest Android releases.
The Wear SDK was actually released as a preview a few months back, but today is the real deal, with all the Wear resources you'll need to get developing great wearable experiences for the Gear Live, LG G Watch, and Moto 360.
If you use a third-party app on any OS to manage your Gmail, you may be in for some very good news today: Google has announced the official Gmail API, and it's available immediately as a beta.
For developers of third-party email experiences, or apps that access email data, the Gmail API is huge. Previously, developers were left using IMAP as the typical way to interface with Gmail, and that standard is far from ideal for a great many reasons.
Google's just brought the official Android "L" preview site online, and while there's not much there yet, you know this is the place to check for info about the latest version of Android.
The site gives a quick overview of what's new in "L" (with a focus on what's relevant for developers), Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto. Hit up the link below to check it out - you can probably expect more information to be added here as I/O goes on.
Sundar Pichai let something of a bomb drop in regard to data privacy in apps on Android today at I/O, potentially addressing a long-standing complaint that the OS doesn't allow users enough control over what apps can do with their information, or if they can access it at all. Now, there's a tool to manage your privacy in Android, and it's called Universal Data Controls.
No interface was demoed, no real details were provided, and we don't even know if this is actually just putting all the existing Google privacy settings in a dedicated area and giving them a fresh coat of paint.
Just a couple quick tidbits from the I/O keynote in case you missed them: Google will be publishing factory image previews of the "L" release of Android for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (presumably 2013 only) tomorrow morning, that being June 26th. We're guessing anyone can download them, so long as you're comfortable flashing an image to your device.
You can see a few more features and APIs in the L here.