There's some great news for anyone using CyanogenMod. A long-existing bug that prevented users of the hugely popular ROM from displaying their screen on the Google Chromecast has finally been squashed. The problem is present in applications that use the Chromecast Remote Display API. On devices running CyanogenMod, instead of the intended content, users would see a solidly black screen. This issue is limited to CyanogenMod and its derivatives.
In addition to a handful of stock Google applications, like Google Photos, many third-party apps have been bitten by this bug. One of these is Cast-A-Draw, which is a Chromecast-oriented word guessing-game. Read More
Android's rapid rise to the top of the mobile market was accompanied by a number of legal battles, and perhaps none of them was so central and so contentious as Oracle versus Google. The fight over the legality of patents and copyrights in some of the portions of Android that used allegedly proprietary Oracle-owned Java software has been raging since 2010, eventually being considered for review by the US Supreme Court before being bounced back to the lower appeals court. The fight was a constant, and sometimes dramatic, part of legal software news at one point.
Apparently Google is as tired of dealing with the legal headache as we are of writing about it, because the company has confirmed that Android will do away with the remaining Java APIs starting with Android N, which will probably be released sometime in 2016. Read More
Unless you regularly develop video games or other visually-intensive programs, you probably don't know what Vulkan is. That's OK. But if you are in the habit of developing visually complex apps for Android, the news that Google plans to support the Vulkan API is a big deal indeed. And it looks like the company intends to jump into the Vulkan pool with both feet: Google has just hired an entire team of dedicated Vulkan developers and folded them into the Android team.
Here's the gist: Vulkan is a cross-platform, low-overhead graphics API created by a consortium called Khronos (get it?). The advantage of Vulkan over other standards is that it gives developers direct access to GPU hardware, allowing a game to manually manage things like GPU cores and memory. Read More
Floating apps have become emblematic of Android's unique flexibility and range. No other mobile OS allows non-system apps to directly interact with users and overtake the screen while another app is supposed to be in the foreground. This capability allows for a powerful and customizable user experience, but it can also quickly become a problem if an app is poorly implemented or its developer abuses this privilege for malicious purposes.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is setting some new rules for drawing on the screen. Starting with Developer Preview 3, apps targeting API 23 (or above) will have to ask users to grant permission for them to draw on top of other apps. Read More
Trello is a service that allows teams of people to delineate tasks and assignments. I've used it for various projects, and it's surprisingly effective once you get used to its somewhat unconventional drag-and-drop card/stack system. The design is most effective for large teams that don't often get everyone in the same place. But what about the times when you do happen to be close to your teammates? Enter Google's fancy audio/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connection API, Nearby, which was integrated into Google Play Services last month.
Now if you want to add another Trello user to a board and said user happens to be near you (and also using an Android phone or tablet), you can do so with the Nearby feature. Read More
It has been almost a month since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out to users, and as of yesterday, it is in wide release to everybody. A previous blog post by Google discussed the big new feature for developers would be the Nearby Messages API, but it turns out there are a couple of other additions worth checking out. In a new post on the Android Developers blog, Google announced a new Mobile Vision API with the ability to detect the presence, orientation, and some details of faces when they are in frame on an active camera. Read More
Last year we received information that Google was working on an initiative called "Nearby" that would enable Android devices to communicate with people, places, and devices that were in close proximity. In the time since, things have mostly been silent. We've seen similar functionality pop up in the likes of Chromecast guest mode and trusted devices, but not the full shebang.
Now, Google is taking the feature public. In a post over on its developers blog, the company details ways in which Nearby will make sharing information with someone nearby easier than exchanging account information or scanning QR codes. Read More
IF This Then That, or IFTTT for short, lets you automate the way products and services interact with one another. Want to receive an email every time your camera uploads an image to Dropbox? Go right ahead. Want to adjust the thermostat when your car nears the home? You can do that too.
Now Sony and IFTTT have worked together to produce a new channel using the Lifelog API. The channel lets you integrate the activity tracking you've done from a SmartBand or the Sony app with other services to accomplish all sorts of things. Some of the examples provided include posting a Facebook status every time you take a certain amount of steps, automatically sharing calories burned to Google Drive, and receiving an email summary of your daily Lifelog activity. Read More