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Get ready to tap with Android 5.0 Lollipop Easter egg

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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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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HTC’s former Product Manager Snatched up by Cyanogen

Posted by wicked September - 24 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Cyanogen is on the prowl again, looking for more employees to sway over to its team. HTC’s former Product Manager of 3.5 yrs. was the latest target. She will assume the role of Product Evangelist starting Friday for Cyanogen Inc., which will presumably include multiple public relations campaigns for the software company.

Cyanogen’s recent deals with Oppo and OnePlus have helped it gain some sturdy legs to grow on as a company, and more recent acquisitions of a few more quality employees have only helped. Even the fact that Cyanogen has a need of a product evangelist means it’s molting into a much larger company that we will see affecting the industry in the future.

Source: Google+

 

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MediaTek Labs launched to support development of wearables and other devices

Posted by wicked September - 23 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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MediaTek announced today the launch of a new global initiative they are calling MediaTek Labs to provide resources for the development of wearables and “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices. The new project tries to provide support for a variety of groups that may be involved in efforts to create new devices across a wide range of skill levels. According to Marc Naddell, vice president for the new MediaTek Labs, “with the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone — from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers — to unleash their creativity and innovation. We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

The heart of the new initiative is MediaTek’s LinkIt development platform. The platform provides an operating system for wearables and IoT that run on a MediaTek Aster chip and also supports MediaTek’s WiFi and GPS chipsets. MediaTek also created a LinkIt Hardware Development Kit to be used for prototyping devices and the LinkIt ONE from Seeed Studio, a third-party development board compatible with the new hardware reference design.

MediaTek is also making a preview release available of the MediaTek SDK for Android so developers can start working on adding support to their code.

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You can read the full press release announcing the new MediaTek Labs below:

TAIWAN, Hsinchu — Sept 22, 2014 — MediaTek today launched MediaTek Labs (http://labs.mediatek.com), a global initiative that allows developers of any background or skill level to create wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The new program provides developers, makers and service providers with software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), and technical documentation, as well as technical and business support.

“With the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone — from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers — to unleash their creativity and innovation,” says Marc Naddell, vice president of MediaTek Labs. “We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

The Labs developer program also features the LinkIt™ Development Platform, which is based on the MediaTek Aster (MT2502) chipset. The LinkIt development Platform is the one of the best connected platforms, offering excellent integration for the package size and doing away with the need for additional connectivity hardware. LinkIt makes creating prototype wearable and IoT devices easy and cost effective by leveraging MediaTek’s proven reference design development model. The LinkIt platform consists of the following components:

System-on-Chip (SoC) — MediaTek Aster (MT2502), the world’s smallest commercial SoC for Wearables, and companion Wi-Fi (MT5931) and GPS (MT3332) chipsets offering powerful, battery efficient technology.
LinkIt OS — an advanced yet compact operating system that enables control software and takes full advantage of the features of the Aster SoC, companion chipsets, and a wide range of sensors and peripheral hardware.
Hardware Development Kit (HDK) — Launching first with LinkIt ONE, a co-design project with Seeed Studio, the HDK will make it easy to add sensors, peripherals, and Arduino Shields to LinkIt ONE and create fully featured device prototypes.
Software Development Kit (SDK) — Makers can easily migrate existing Arduino code to LinkIt ONE using the APIs provided. In addition, they get a range of APIs to make use of the LinkIt communication features: GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
To ensure developers can make the most of the LinkIt offering, the MediaTek Labs website includes a range of additional services, including:
Comprehensive business and technology overviews
A Solutions Catalog where developers can share information on their devices, applications, and services and become accessible for matchmaking to MediaTek’s customers and partners
Support services, including comprehensive FAQ, discussion forums that are monitored by MediaTek technical experts, and — for developers with solutions under development in the Solutions Catalog — free technical support.

“While makers still use their traditional industrial components for new connected IoT devices, with the LinkIt ONE hardware kit as part of MediaTek LinkIt Developer Platform, we’re excited to help Makers bring prototypes to market faster and more easily,” says Eric Pan, founder and chief executive officer of Seeed Studio.

Makers, designers and developers can sign up to MediaTek Labs today and download the full range of tools and documentation at http://labs.mediatek.com.
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About MediaTek Inc.
MediaTek is a pioneering fabless semiconductor company, and a market leader in cutting-edge systems on a chip for wireless communications and connectivity, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray. MediaTek created the world’s first octa-core smartphone platform with LTE and our CorePilot™ technology releasing the full power of multi-core mobile processors. Through MediaTek Labs™, the company is creating a worldwide ecosystem in support of device creation, application development and services based around MediaTek offerings. With an emphasis on enabling technology for the masses and not the chosen, everyone can be an Everyday Genius. MediaTek [TSE:2454] is headquartered in Taiwan and has offices worldwide. Please visit www.mediatek.com for more information.

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The Play Store could start listing in-app purchase price ranges later this month

Posted by wicked September - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

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You probably have noticed that many apps in the Play Store have “offers in-app purchases” listed near the install icon. The only problem with that is you really don’t know if it’s one small purchase to get rid of ads or if there is a slew of options. Well it looks like Google will start listing in-app purchase price ranges soon.

This information came from Google support when they contacted the developer of GoneMad Music Player regarding Google’s new policy that all developers of paid and in-app purchase apps must provide their publicly visible address. Hit the break for the full text.

Thanks for contacting Google Play Developer Support.

As of September 30, 2014, we are implementing a number of new changes to how apps are listed and displayed on Google Play, in accordance with consumer protection laws and current best-practices, ensuring a more transparent and positive experience for users. They include:

  • We are requiring developers to provide a physical address for all paid apps or apps that enable in-app purchases. The address will be displayed to users in the app store listing page. By September 30, 2014, you’ll be able to add a physical address by going to your Settings page on the Developer Console (https://play.google.com/apps/publish/#ProfilePlace[1]). Please comply within 30 days of the warning notification on the developer console. If you do not provide an address within this period, Google may take action affecting your account. This may include restricting your ability to update apps or publish new apps. Continued failure to provide an address may result in published apps being removed from the store.
  • We will display the price ranges for apps that offer in-app purchases and/or subscriptions on the app’s store listing page.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions and I’ll be happy to help.

Google is saying these changes are to comply with the “consumer protection laws.” Expect to see this change by September 30th.

What do you guys think? This has to be an improvement right?

source: Android Police

 

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Is your Android Wear app randomly closing on you? Check this out

Posted by wicked September - 16 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

using android wear aa (4 of 20)

We’ve been keeping a close eye on Android Wear since it was first rumored and announced earlier this year. Not only are we huge fans of all mobile technology, including wearables like smartwatches, we’re also interested in how it all works and where it is headed in the future. We’ve stumbled across a little quirk in the Android Wear system that may be causing you, or at least the developers of your favorite Android Wear apps, some grief.

If your Android Wear app keeps closing unexpectedly, you are not alone.

Here is the scenario that developers are facing: when building a full screen Android Wear app that collects data from the accelerometer – this goes for many fitness related app out there – you may find that the app unexpectedly closes and returns you to the home screen of the device.

What is going on with that? The answer is pretty simple, Android Wear itself is also collecting accelerometer data, updating the pedometer step count. Android Wear is so exciting for your progress, it fires up a new info card and presents it to you on the home screen of your device.

Android Wear App call to halt

As we keep tabs on this concern through the Android bug tracker, no official answers are available just yet. Perhaps developers are not supposed to build full screen apps for Android Wear that use the accelerometer, perhaps it is a bug, or maybe we’re just doing it wrong.

Luckily, the same user that filed the issue has a workaround. Developers, this is for you:

Instead of starting your app as a full screen activity, try creating a persistent notification in the context stream, then, give that notification an action to go full screen. This should prevent other cards from stopping your activity, so you can continue to collect accelerometer data and display it to your users.

We want to hear from you: Have you encountered an Android Wear app that closes unexpectedly? Are you a developer with any experience or insight into this particular situation, how did you overcome it?


Via: Android Bug Tracker;

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