A big new set of services began rolling out to Firebase users today. Google's mainstream service for push messaging and other app services just announced an assortment of new capabilities. The big addition in this update is a new in-app messaging feature that enables quick announcements and offers to users, and can be tied to certain user behaviors. There are also big revisions to the management console and statistics tracking views, upgrades to the Crashlytics services, a new history view for Remote Config, and more. Read More
Most of our audience is at least familiar with seeing the name TensorFlow appear in our coverage. For the uninitiated, Tensor Flow is a machine learning framework/library created by Google that allows developers to leverage the emerging technology for their own uses. Although v1.0 only landed last year, the team behind the project has continued its work, just recently announcing that a preview for v2.0 of the platform would be coming later this year. This update could break compatibility with v1.0 APIs, but with its "focus on ease of use," developers shouldn't run into too much trouble updating. Read More
Every Android app is signed with a cryptographic signature. When the app is updated, Android will compare the signatures of the new and old versions, and only allow the update if they match. This is far more secure than having no signing method, but it's not perfect. Development teams have to share a single key, and if a key is lost, a new Play Store listing has to be created. Read More
Most of you probably aren't aware of this, but only developers in select countries can sell apps and in-app purchases on the Play Store. Support is slowly spreading, with Tunisia and Zimbabwe having been the most recent additions in April, but the list has just grown by another six countries. Read More
Most of our readers are probably aware that Android is an open source effort, with much of code that comprises a working image being publicly accessible—in fact, that openness is a big chunk of why people like me prefer it to other platforms. So I'm especially happy to see that the current/final Android 9 changes are hitting AOSP.
Google regularly updates its Play Store developer policies; the last time it happened, fake ID apps were banned from being submitted by developers. The guidelines have once again been changed, and several more categories of applications are now banned.
First, applications that "appeal to children but contain adult themes" are no longer allowed. This is possibly a follow-up to the 'Elsagate' controversy, where thousands of inappropriate videos featuring family/children characters were being uploaded to YouTube. Apps and games with similar content are now banned. Read More
For a while, Ricoh wasn't too well-known in the consumer electronics space as it mostly sold B2B office IT services, but over the last few years it has changed that by releasing impressively-specced 360-degree cameras and effectively dominating that market. It released the Theta V camera in September last year, offering spherical 4K recording plus "surround-sound" audio in a surprisingly compact device. Back in January, Ricoh announced a partner program to develop plug-ins for the Theta V, and that project is now bearing fruit. Read More
For a while now, App Annie has been offering its metrics to interested parties so developers can better understand their place in the app economy. Careful examination and integration of data like this, paired with the knowledge of a target audience, can influence where a developer's time can be best spent. And according to App Annie's latest report, Play Store downloads are up significantly, with a 20% rise year-over-year, and 160% higher than Apple's Play Store. On the other hand, consumer spending is still 80% higher on iOS. Read More
Are you an Android developer (or an aspiring one)? Do you have some burning questions you've been dying to ask Google's Android team? Well, there's good news for you; the Android P engineering team will be answering your questions in an r/androiddev AMA on July 19th, and you can get your questions in now. Read More
Android Studio's device emulator used to be incredibly slow, even on capable hardware. Google has drastically improved the performance over the past two years, but a few issues remain. The Windows version of the Android Emulator uses HAXM, which only works on Intel processors. That means AMD-powered computers can only use non-accelerated ARM images. Read More