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Developers only need a few lines of code to add their apps to Google Voice Search

Posted by wicked October - 30 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Google_Voice_Search_Third_Party_Apps

We saw glimpses of this at Google I/O, and developers can now make their apps searchable through Google Voice Search. It only takes a few lines of code. Once added, apps can receive the SEARCH_ACTION intent containing the SearchManager.QUERYextra with the search expression.

Examples of such searches might be Ok Google, search pizza on Eat24” or Ok Google, search for hotels in Maui on TripAdvisor.” Imagine the possibilities.

Also, users now have the ability to enable OK Google hot-word detection from any screen, which gives them access to apps even quicker.

Android devices must be on the English local, running Jelly Bean or higher, and have the Google app version 3.5 or higher.

And now for the code…..

<activity android:name=”.SearchableActivity”>
<intent-filter>
<action android:name=”com.google.android.gms.actions.SEARCH_ACTION”/>
<category android:name=”android.intent.category.DEFAULT”/>
</intent-filter>
</activity>

source: Android Developers

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YouTube WatchMe for Android project brings YouTube live streaming to Android apps

Posted by wicked October - 29 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

YouTube_Live_Streaming_01

YouTube announced the WatchMe for Android project that allows developers to integrate YouTube live streaming into their Android apps. It’s already being utilized by HTC with the Re and Sony with the Live on YouTube app.

It’s an open-source project that uses the YouTube Data API v3, YouTube Live Streaming API, Google Play Services, and Plus API. It’s available on Github and can be customized. It’s still experimental, but you can make sure to keep up with the progress if you subscribe to the YouTube for Developers channel.

How to start using the app
  1. Sync the Github repo
    1. Enable the Youtube Data API v3 and Google+ API.
    2. Create a client ID for Android, using your SHA1 and package name.
  2. Include cross-platform compiled streaming libraries.
Either
  • libffmpeg.so under src/main/jniLibs/armeabi,
or
  • another streaming library with modifying VideoStreamingInterface

source: YouTube API Blog

 

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Google releases Google Fit SDK for developers

Posted by wicked October - 28 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

google_fit_devices

As we reported earlier today, the long-awaited Google Fit app is now available in the Play Store, and as with most Google Services, the SDK is now available to download for developers. Any developer interested can grab the APIs at the source link and start building apps that take full advantage of the exciting new platform. The SDK allows for full access to all information stored inside Google Fit, opening the door for a plethora of fitness based apps.

Google has already partnered up with multiple companies to bring you applications and services that take full advantage of Google’s new service including: Nike+ Running, Withings HealthMate, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Noom Coach, Strava, MapMyRun, LynxFit, LifeSum, FatSecret, and Azumio. Quite a list, and with the new APIs available to developers, the amount of available Google Fit-powered apps will only grow. For those who’ve tried it, let us know what you think of Google’s new service in the comments below.

Source: Google Developers

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Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Nest privacy

It was only a matter of time before the now Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat (and smoke detector) became even more integrated in the “Internet of things.”

Now, the device can be paired and controlled with other home automation products, including Pebble smartwatches (to check and control the temperature in your home), ivee (voice-controlled home manager) and Life360 (an app used to check the location of family and friends and can adjust the temperature when people enter and leave your home).

WallyHome, a device that checks for water leaks, is also on the list of compatible products, as is Rachio, which controls sprinklers in the house for fires. Expect more and more products to become compatible with Nest, as Google is looking for more partners to expand the capabilities of its device.

Source: Engadget

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Get ready to tap with Android 5.0 Lollipop Easter egg

Posted by wicked October - 18 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

lollipop_screenshot

Google including an Easter egg or two in a release of Android should be no surprise to anyone. The company enjoys having fun with their software releases and challenging fans to find the stuff they have hidden. The Easter egg included in Android 5.0 Lollipop may be their most ambitious yet as it is a full game for users to enjoy.

Down within the settings, users can access a special screen displaying the build’s name and a long press will reveal the Easter egg – a Flappy Bird clone that makes use of lollipops in place of pipes and Bugdroid in place of a bird. The graphics are nice and crisp with no attempt to give it a retro 8-bit look.

To get to the Easter egg, if you have the final developer preview loaded, go into Settings and drill down to About Tablet or About Phone. On the entry for Android Version, start tapping on that line rather quickly. Eventually this will open up a screen with a graphic of a big lollipop and the name of the build. Tapping on the lollipop will change its color while a long press will launch the game.

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: The Verge

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Google releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and other tools

Posted by wicked October - 17 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

android_lollipop_waving

As previously reported, Google has followed up their official release of Android 5.0 Lollipop earlier this week with the announcement that the full Android 5.0 SDK is now ready for developers to download. Along with the new SDK, the team is also making available updated developer images for the Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013), ADT-1, and the Android emulator. On their Android Developers Blog, Google indicates the first consumer devices to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop will be the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player starting on November 3rd with the Nexus 9. They indicate other Nexus devices, including the Nexus 4, 5, 7 (both the 2012 and 2013 versions), 10, and Google Play Edition devices, will receive an OTA update for Android 5.0 Lollipop “in the same timeframe.”

Android 5.0 Lollipop is packed full of new features and a long list of new APIs that developers can take advantage of, including the code necessary for their new Material Design, enhanced notifications, Project Volta and Battery Historian, Android Runtime (ART), OpenGL ES 3.1, and 64-bit support. With so many changes, Google is encouraging developers to grab appropriate preview images and start testing their apps now so they can be ready when consumer devices start getting Android 5.0 Lollipop.

If you don’t mind wiping your system, the developers have also made final preview images of Lollipop available for the Nexus 5 (“hammerhead”) and the Nexus 7 (2013) (“razor”) devices. If you decide to go down this path though, note that you will not receive the OTA update when released in November until you install a factory image on your device.

Google is also encouraging developers to go ahead and publish their updated apps with support for Android 5.0 Lollipop to Google Play. Depending on how fast developers move on this, we should probably expect to see a ton of updated apps hitting Google Play in the coming weeks.

source: Android Developers Blog

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Android L developer preview emulator image released by Google

Posted by wicked October - 9 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

android_developers_google_plus_logo

Another step has been taken in the march to the release of Android L by Google. A developer preview emulator image has been released for x86 platforms so that developers can get to work in earnest on the 64-bit versions of their apps. By taking advantage of the 64-bit architecture that will be available through Android L, developers will be able to access additional memory space, a larger number of registers, and new instruction sets. For apps built using Java, no changes to code will be needed as they get the benefits automatically.

Android L was announced earlier this year at Google I/O when the inclusion of 64-bit support was noted. Google also released a preview image for developers to start to get a look at the new operating system. Since then, there have been various leaks surrounding the different builds and what may or may not make the final cut. There has also been a lot of conjecture about the new name and the release date.

source: +Android Developers

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Google worked on native multi-window support for Android, but future implementation unclear

Posted by wicked October - 7 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

google_multi_window_concept_01

One of the features that Samsung has used to try to sell the usefulness of their Touchwiz interface is the ability to open two apps at once, splitting screen real estate between them in a multi-window configuration. Sources have revealed that Google was working on a similar feature in late 2013 and early 2014 for possible inclusion in Android.

Like other implementations of a multi-window function, Google’s attempt would let users effectively split their screen into two “panes” which could each handle an app. Unlike what others have done, it appears Google would let users keep one pane open to their home screen.

Like Samsung or LG, Google would let users slide a divider between the panes to adjust the size of the pane. If a user scaled one pane down to only 25% of the total screen width, the app would automatically flip to a phone layout. Sliding the divider all the way to one edge, or 0%, would give the other pane full control again.

Like Samsung’s recent implementation of multi-window in Touchwiz, Google was exploring the possibility of enabling users to drag and drop items like images or highlighted text from one pane to another.

Although reports indicate the feature does not work very well yet, Google appears to be trying to embed this at a relatively low level in the operating system code. This would mean any app would be able to be opened in a pane. Reliance on app developers to include the appropriate code has been an annoyance for users who get a multi-window feature via a manufacturer’s implementation.

The source did not indicate whether Google decided to proceed with including a multi-window feature in Android L, some future version of Android, or possibly abandoned the effort altogether.

Would you use multi-window if it were available on your device?

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google_multi_window_concept_04

source: Android Police

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New video shows more refinements to Android L UI

Posted by wicked October - 1 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

android_l_video_leak_screens

Earlier in September some images leaked that showed some tweaks to the Android L interface that appear to be in the works for the final release. Now a video has surfaced on the Chromium issue tracker that shows some more changes to the UI. The entry in the issue tracker also shows a new build of Android L was being tested, a build that came out about five days ago.

The video is showing an example of a crash event, which itself does not reveal any new information. In the status bar, we see the solid icons for WiFi and signal strength that were previously spotted. However, in a subtle change, the font for the clock is slightly different, having a more bold and shorter look.

In addition to the changes in the status bar, the nav bar’s soft buttons are slightly different as well. The icons are smaller and are spaced farther apart. Sources have noted these icons and the status bar icons appear to be the work of Sebastien Gabriel, a Visual Designer on the Chrome team.

While these are small changes to the UI, are there any big changes that you hope to see implemented?

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: Android Police

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Updated Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement enforces quicker response times

Posted by wicked September - 26 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google-Play-Developer-Console

Google has quietly updated its official Google Play Distribution Agreement to introduce some new clauses that are targeted at developers to take more responsibility for their products, which should, in turn, make things a wee bit easier on us, the consumer.

The first of these new clauses states that developers who offer paid applications or in-app purchases will have a maximum of three business days to respond to customer support inquiries, or just 24 hours if a customer’s issue is deemed urgent by Google.

Next we’re looking at amendments to some of the company’s marketing language, which now prevents developers from embedding links directed to people, applications or games that aren’t supplied through the Play Store.

Lastly, Google has made some changes to the wording surrounding its VAT and tax policy. Starting today, the firm will handle all VAT charges for applications and services purchased via the Play Store.

If you’re a developer we’d love to hear what you think of the new Distribution Agreement clauses, so be sure to drop us a comment in the section below.

Source: Google Play

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