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Google is killing 'rewarded product' developer ad program

Early last year, Google rolled out a new monetization method for developers to take advantage of in their apps. The woefully non-descriptive "rewarded products" allowed for things like watching videos to get in-game currency or extra lives — you get the idea. For simplicity, it was built right into the Google Play Billing Library, but Google has just announced that it will be deprecating the feature on April 21st, 2020, about two months from now.

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Excellent writing app JotterPad switches to subscriptions for cloud sync, ignores users who paid for one-time unlock

I love writing anything and everything, and since I get tons of ideas when I only have my phone with me, I need an excellent writing app on my phone. For more than 6 years, I've used JotterPad, Android's best writing app, to do so. I've sung the app's praises in 2014, was still enamored with it in 2018, and still can't find a decent replacement to it in 2020. So yes, this article is personal, and I'm fuming because JotterPad switched to a subscription model for cloud sync without a single warning or any clear communication to its existing users who paid for a one-time unlock.

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Official Fuchsia developer site goes live

Google has been silently working on a new operating system called "Fuchsia" for years, with details, rumors, and wild speculation swirling through the blogosphere every time some new tidbit trickles out. Yesterday Google pushed up an official documentation site at, with instructions and details that can help developers play with the early operating system and its software. It appears to be the same info that was previously available at the Fuchsia Git, but with better formatting, and at a verifiably Google-owned domain (according to ICANN's WHOIS).

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Google Play extends developer registration and merchant support to 10 new countries

Google has quietly added more countries to its supported locations for developer and merchant registration. First up, developers in Palau and the U.S. Virgin Islands, two countries that were previously completely off the list, can now register on Google Play as well as create merchant accounts. Their payments will be made in USD, which is the official currency of both nations.

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Developers in six more countries can now publish paid apps on the Play Store

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.

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Google's Flutter cross-platform app SDK hits Release Preview 1, leaving beta

Google's been teasing Flutter—its cross-platform iOS and Android app-development framework—since 2015. Earlier this year it hit beta at MWC, with a final third production-ready beta landing at this year's I/O developer conference. As of yesterday, Flutter has hit Release Preview 1, marking further increased confidence in the quality and stability of the framework. 

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Developers in Tunisia and Zimbabwe can now publish paid apps on the Play Store

It might surprise you to know that developers in many countries can't sell paid apps on the Play Store. Last month, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania added support for merchant registration (a prerequisite to sell paid apps and IAPs on the Play Store), and now Tunisia and Zimbabwe have joined in on the fun.

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[Update: Sri Lanka and Tanzania too] Developers in Ecuador can now sell paid apps on the Play Store

Not all countries are equal when it comes to making and selling apps on the Play Store. Some don't even support developer registration, others let developers register but only let them distribute free apps. That was the case of devs in Ecuador until now: the ability to register as a merchant is available to them so they can finally sell paid apps and IAPs on the Play Store.

The change showed up in the Play Console's support documents so we don't know if it's already live or if it's going out to be soon.

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Chrome OS is testing a dark system tray option in Developer and Canary channels

Late last week, we got confirmation that dark mode would be available in an upcoming Android release... and then it was revealed that wasn't actually true. But what if Chrome OS beats Android to the punch? The folks over at Chrome Unboxed have spotted a "dark mode" (well, a dark system tray) that can be enabled in the Developer and Canary Chrome OS channels.

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Google releases first preview of Android Things Console

If you're not familiar with Android Things OS, it's a lightweight version of Android designed to run on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The first Developer Preview was released last year, and there have been a few updates since then. Now Google has released the first preview of Android Things Console, which makes managing a fleet of Android Things devices significantly easier.

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