Google plans to roll out a new Google Play program that places an emphasis on family-focused (i.e. kid-friendly) apps and games. This initiative will display pre-approved content under an experience the company is calling "Designed for Families." The goal is to point parents in the direction of software from the likes of Crayola and PBS Kids without exposing them to the flood of less age-appropriate content on display in the Play Store. Read More
When Android Studio v1.1 entered the Stable channel, about 6 weeks ago, the Dev Tools team gave word that v1.2 was already well underway and that it would be based on the newly released IntelliJ 14. A couple of weeks later, the first preview build turned up, and it had already been upgraded to include IntelliJ 14.1, as well. Developers on the Canary channel have been testing and playing with the new features since early March, and now it's time to bring the goods to a larger audience. Read More
It should come as no surprise that Android is due for a v5.1.1 release at some point, even if only to fix a particularly well-known memory leak. Now, thanks to an SDK update, we've got good reason to anticipate the new version is probably due out in the very near future. If developers check the SDK Manager for updates, they should see a new revision to the Platform SDK with a product description that reads "Android SDK Platform 5.1.1."
Now that the 5.1.1 version number is out there, it stands to reason Google has finalized the code and is either running some final tests or preparing for a release. Read More
Google has been slowly rolling out Android apps for Chrome OS on a case-by-case basis, with new additions coming in a handful at a time. According to OMG! Chrome!, the company is opening the process up to all Android developers.
Porting relies on a native client extension known as the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC for short). It runs Android software at a speed that's close to native inside of a sandboxed Dalvik virtual window. Read More
For an app developer, there's nothing worse than finding out your latest update is catastrophically flawed and blowing up for your users. This is the reason Google introduced the alpha and beta channels, and then added staged rollouts. These features give developers a way to steadily release new versions into the wild, discover their bugs, and fix them before a wide release. However, all of this still relies on treating some of your users as guinea pigs. Read More
Azure is Microsoft's answer to cloud computing, a back-end platform that powers services with general computer users knowing nothing of its role (or existence). Now the company is taking its offering mobile by announcing the Azure App Service.
This mobile-geared expansion of Microsoft's cloud platform lets developers create web apps using a framework of their choice, including .NET, Java, PHP, and Python. It supports the creation of native apps on mobile platforms, including Android. Read More
Early this month, Google announced a major update to its Play services framework, which brings the version number up to 7.0 and adds several great new APIs. The SDK for this update was held back until the corresponding apk had time to make its way out to Android devices everywhere. The wait is now over, and the SDK is live. Developers are now free to incorporate all of the new APIs into their apps. Read More
It's no secret that Google advocates developing apps with multiple form factors in mind. While not all the apps in Google's own portfolio are quite up to speed on this front, apps like the ones in Google's Play suite have done a nice job so far in supporting phones and tablets alike.
But since I/O 2014, Google's been working on more than just phones and tablets. Last year saw the introduction of Android for TVs, watches, and even cars, so now is the time for developers to start thinking about how their experiences will look and feel on those new form factors.
To that end, Google has announced a new reference sample app - a music player - that's available for developers to play with. Read More