Developers have plenty of great new APIs and features coming with Android N, but perhaps the best thing to look forward to is at the language level itself. Starting with the preview SDK due out today, some of the language features of Java 8 will be supported by the Jack compiler. This will bring things like support for lambdas, default and static methods, streams, and functional interfaces. Google is also declaring that the Jack compiler will also be able to remain more up-to-date with Java language features in the future.
One of the top requests from developers over the last few years has been for a more rapid uptake of new language features for Java, many of which would allow for more efficient use of development time and ultimately easier to read code. Read More
Google began rolling out v8.3 of the Play services framework a few weeks ago, and it looks like it's in a wide release. While this version didn't present with any direct user-facing features and only a few cryptic hints for a teardown, it did bring some definite improvements to the Play services SDK. There are some changes to streamline the sign-in experience for app developers and users alike, along with some additional enhancements that should make it easier for developers to set up new user accounts. New APIs have also been added to make data delivery more efficient between a phone and an Android Wear watch. Read More
The rollout for Google Play services v8.1 is complete and now it's time to open the floodgates for developers to begin working with some of the changes. When new versions come out, it's fairly common for Google to hold back a few extra details to be announced after the rollout has completed. This time around, there are improvements for the Maps API, Nearby API, and App Invites. The previously announced Play Games Play Stats API has been added, and Google has advice on properly handling Android 6.0 permissions. There are also a couple of minor breaking changes that have to be dealt with too. Read More
Google is progressively rolling out the full array of releases for Android 5.1, and the SDK is now joining the ranks. If developers open up the SDK Manager today, they will find a brand new software development kit for API 22. The SDK package is there, along with the typical documentation, samples, source code, and an assortment of system images for each of the major hardware architectures. All is ready to start updating apps to take advantage of everything Android 5.1 has to offer.
To download the latest version, first launch the Android SDK Manager. This can be done from the command line by navigating to the root folder of the SDK, then to the /tools folder, where you can then run the 'android' executable. Read More
On Wednesday, Google teased developers and enthusiasts by officially announcing Lollipop, but chose to delay the release of anything substantial for another two days. Well, we've waited for the obligatory 48 hours, and the SDK is finally available, just in time for the weekend. (Yay?) Developers can finally abandon the interim SDK and move on to the real thing. There's no more pretending 'L' counts as an API Level, Android 5.0 is officially numbered 21.
For those who skipped the L Preview, it's worth taking a look at some of the more notable APIs available with this release, including the new Camera 2.0 API with its extensive performance improvements and DNG support, a JobScheduler for more efficient recurring tasks, and of course, all of the new animation capabilities intended to enable Material Design. Read More
HTC didn't bump up the megapixel count on the HTC One M8's 4 "ultrapixel" camera over the course of the past year, but that doesn't make the company any less eager to show off what the phone can do. This year's flagship doesn't have just one camera, but two, and they're capable of pulling off no shortage of somewhat impressive, somewhat gimmicky features. Now, as the company promised on Big Unveil Day, the Dual Lens SDK Preview is available for download, waiting for developers to come and crack it open.
The included Dual Lens API contains libraries, sample projects, and JavaDoc API documentation. Read More
The PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One all allow gamers to record and broadcast gameplay online via Twitch, turning even single-player games into social experiences. Now the technology is coming to Android. Today Twitch has announced the release of its mobile SDK, which game developers can use to provide players with functionality similar to that found on consoles. Mobile gamers will soon be able to share their mobile gaming experience with the rest of the Twitch community.
What features are provided by the Twitch SDK:
- The ability to capture and broadcast gameplay video and audio
- Video capture from the front-facing camera
- Audio capture using an internal or external microphone
- Videos can be archived for immediate viewing on Twitch and uploaded for sharing
- Broadcast quality can be toggled between High, Medium, and Low settings
- Robust chat options including emoticons badges and chat colors
- The easy discovery of related broadcasts from other gamers
This revelation begs the next question - will anyone care to watch others play mobile games? Read More