Google just started rolling out Android Wear 2.8 earlier this month, but it's already talking about Wear 2.9. Like the last update, this one isn't making huge changes to the nature of Wear. It does, however, include a few new options for notification counters on your watch face and some changes to the way developers handle complications. Read More
As developers, it's almost always desirable to be able to write shorter and more readable code without sacrificing performance, stability, or control. Many Android devs have adopted Kotlin to replace Java because it delivers on those points and many others. Even though Kotlin's syntax and language features make it well-suited to Android, it's still not designed specifically for Android, so there are plenty of platform-specific patterns that require a lot of boilerplate code. To that end, a new extension library called Android KTX was released in preview form today with a focus on wrapping a lot of that boilerplate code. Read More
We're probably just a few months away from the first developer preview release of Android P, but there are some hints of what Google's cooking in AOSP. According to a report at XDA, Google might be planning a move that'll upset some developers. New commits suggest Google will remove access to unofficial APIs in the next big Android release. Read More
Ricoh's Theta V came out just last summer, bringing 4K 360-degree recording in a diminutive package. At the time, Ricoh announced that the new camera would be able to make use of first-party plug-ins via the companion app. Now the company is expanding things to a larger audience, opening up a new "Plug-in Partner Program" for the Ricoh Theta V. Read More
Last year, there was a rumor that Google was going to follow Apple's footsteps and improve its subscription revenue split with providers by only deducting 15% instead of 30% for distribution and miscellaneous fees. At the time, Recode was optimistic that Google would make the change universal, so that any time a user subscribed to something, the provider would only lose 15% in fees.
We didn't hear anything about this until now, thanks to a bunch of changes published on the Google Developers Blog. There, we learned that subscription revenue sharing with be lowered from 30% to 15%, but unlike last year's hopeful rumor and much like Apple's terms, they will only apply for users retained after 12 months. Read More
Google started contacting developers last month with a bit of an ultimatum: make sure accessibility mode is only used to help disabled users or risk being banned from the Play Store. Android's accessibility services have been used for a great many things over the years, so this change in policy caught many developers off guard. However, Google is now notifying developers that it's pausing the ban as it looks into how apps can make "responsible and innovative" use of accessibility features. Read More
Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps. You can't completely avoid them, but there are some ad implementations that are so annoying that Google has explicitly disallowed them from the Play Store. Remember Airpush? The current advertising scourge is ad-infused lock screens, which have shown up in previously safe apps like ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN. Google has finally listened to our pleading, and lock screen ads are no longer allowed in the Play Store. Read More
Google already has some tools to make creating VR and AR content easier, but designing 3D models for apps can still be difficult and time-consuming. Google aims to lessen the hassle with its newest initiative. Poly is a searchable database of 3D objects and scenes for developers to use in their apps. It has thousands of models, and supports remixing and editing via Google's design tools. Best of all, it's free. Read More
This is a guest post from developer Carlos Lopez, also known as ShortFuse. He’s the developer of SuperOneClick and Fusion.
With the Pixel 2's release, it seems many Android fans have their pitchforks in hand, and it's the display that's the target of their criticism. Owners of the 2 XL have noticed color shifting at an angle or laggy pixel response, which causes a "jelly-like" effect. Another complaint, which will be the focus of this article, is what some have called "muted colors." At first glance, it seems like the Pixel 2 isn’t capable of showing as many colors as other OLED devices, but this isn’t true—the colors are intentionally “muted” and locked via software. Read More
If anyone saw our hands-on with the Pixel 2 XL at Google's October 4th event, you may have noticed the phones are rocking some intriguing new live wallpapers. They are obviously intended to be Pixel 2 exclusives, but if there's one thing that you can rely on in the Android developer community, it's that someone out there will be on hand to mod an interesting new app and get it working on more devices.
The new Pixel 2 launcher thankfully works on other phones without modification, although if you want the swipe-for-Google-Feed functionality on phones other than the first generation Pixels and Nexus devices, you'll need to install it as a system app. Read More