The I/O news is starting to turn to developer-centric topics, and one of the more significant things to come out of the keynote is an official declaration that Google is now officially supporting Kotlin as a first-class language for developing Android apps. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin is included out-of-the-box, so there are no additional setup steps or add-ons to install. Read More
One of the more annoying aspects of owning a smartphone on a not fully-updated version of Android can be emoji. Not how they look, but which ones your device supports. If you're running an older OS version, you probably don't have the latest Unicode revision of the emoji character library, and that can lead to the infamous blank square issue.
With Android O, Google is going to solve this problem, even if in a less-than-ideal way. Read More
The beta program is now live! Cruise on over here to check it out, if you'd like to register for the program. Only a few Nexus and Pixel devices are compatible with the service, but now you can whet your Android O whistle in a slightly more stable way. Read More
In one more slice of I/O developer news, Google has launched another set of tools for developers using its Console Dashboard for apps on Google Play. The new tool automatically analyzes app reports to show developers pertinent info about app issues. This is the 2nd big feature about making app performance and bug fixing easier for developers after the new visual profiler tools in the latest preview of Android Studio. Read More
Google is adding a new tool for developers in the form of the Android Studio Profilers, which allow for quick visual interpretation of an app's operations. Recently announced at I/O, the feature is already part of Studio 2.4 Preview as well as 3.0, and replaces the Android Monitor. The new tools allow you to visually monitor the network, CPU, and RAM use of an app on a timeline graph, along with pertinent info like interaction events. Android Developers everywhere will have a slightly easier time, now, finding and fixing weird stutters and slowdowns in their apps. Read More
Android Go is a new version of Android that is meant to run on super low-end, incredibly cheap hardware. Think the Android One initiative, but applied to software only, as applied to really cheap devices. We're talking optimized at an OS and app level for sub 1GB, near-disposable phones. This should help Google bring Android to more people in more places. Read More
There are over a hundred individual events going on at this year's I/O. If anything, with new announcements, that number is only going to increase. No one has enough time to attend them all, and the cumulative investment to watch all of the events would consume almost a full week, waking and sleeping. I might work here, but even I don't have the time for that.
In my attempts to prioritize I found there were a few events that, no matter the conflict or overlap with other potential interests, I just couldn't do without. Your interests might not align if you have any specific niches outside of the Android ordinary, but this might still be a good place to start if you haven't taken a look yet. Read More
With each new version of Android, we all look out for the big, front-facing changes that alter the way the OS looks or works in a big way. But for every major new feature, there are countless smaller ones behind the scenes that altogether add up to a better experience. One such change that seems to be heading our way with the upcoming release of Android O is an improved SMS authentication process for use by third party apps. Read More
Easily the most annoying aspect of using an Android phone (with the exception of Pixel/Nexus) is slow updates. Android 7.1 (which came out last year) currently sits at 0.5% marketshare, and brand new phones are still being released with 6.0 Marshmallow. Google is aiming to solve this with "Project Treble," which will modularize part of the Android OS to decrease the time OEMs spend updating their devices. Read More
Earlier in the month, Google released an official statement on a particularly virulent phishing email imitating Google Docs that was doing the rounds. That same day, coincidentally or not, an update to the Gmail Android app added a special warning page that pops up every time a link in one of the suspect emails is clicked. Now, Google is implementing further changes to help prevent future scams of this type. Read More