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Google to have app ratings based on age, region

Posted by wicked March - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

In an effort to better serve both developers and users, Google announced that they will be implementing a new app rating system that will be based on age and region, and not a universal standard. “Appropriate” content varies from country/region and age group, and so you cannot hold just one standard for everything, is what Google is saying, and in the next few weeks, this will reflect in all the existing apps in the Google Play Store.

Before a developer submits an app for uploading in the Play Store, they now need to fill up a content rating questionnaire, which will then be turned over to appropriate ratings bodies (depending on what country/region your app or game will be sold in) to be rated objectively. Google assures developers that this process is not that “painful” and will give even better feedback fro you. By May, all apps submitted by developers must have the accomplished questionnaire before getting approved (or denied).

Even the already existing apps will have to be reviewed. Developers will be prompted to go into their console and take the same ratings questionnaire for each of their current apps that have already been published or are still waiting for approval. If the questionnaire is left unanswered or incomplete, the apps will have an “unrated” status. This is not good because your app might get deemed inappropriate in some regions for some age groups.

Another update for developers is that Google will now let you know why your app will not be approved. Previously, you’ll just receive a notice that it has been rejected, but without any explanation. Now that you will know why, it means you can fix what’s wrong and submit it again for approval.

SOURCE: Google

New Google reference app helps developers build multi-screen apps

Posted by wicked March - 12 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Reference

With the recent introduction of Android Wear, Android TV and Android Auto, Google is expanding its ecosystem to as many screen sizes as possible. With all of the new screen sizes now on the Android platform, the company is urging developers to create the best looking applications as possible, no matter what size screen. To do so, Google has created a new reference sample application called the Universal Music Player for developers to use as a reference point. The app combines a number of different features from Android 5.0 Lollipop and will show developers the recommended way to build their apps for Wear, Auto and Google Cast devices.

Universal Music Player

The application uses recently-added features like MediaStyle notifications, MediaSession and MediaBrowserService, which allows developers to easily implement browsing and playback on multiple devices while only using one version of the application. The app also shows developers how to add album artwork to the lock screen, control music playback through the Wear and Auto platforms, and much more.

If you’re a developer that’s interested in trying out the Universal Music Player, head to the GitHub link below. Or if you’d like some more information on the topic, check out the Google Developers Blog.

Yo, Developers, the Android 5.1 SDK was Released Today

Posted by Kellex March - 10 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

After announcing Android 5.1 and then giving us factory images of the latest build for a handful of Nexus devices, Google went ahead this morning and also made the new Android 5.1 SDK available. The new SDK falls under API Level 22 and includes a small set of new APIs. 

Some of the new APIs include support for multiple SIM cards and enhanced enterprise features that better support the newly announced Android for Work. Again, this is a pretty small update.

According to the announcement, we should start to see Android 5.1 updates arriving on your favorite Nexus phones and tablets within the “next few weeks.”

To see a list of features and changes in Android 5.1, check out this post.

Via:  Android Developers

Yo, Developers, the Android 5.1 SDK was Released Today is a post from: Droid Life

While MWC is still alive and kicking with news, the GDC (Game Developers Conference) is also taking place down in San Francisco this week. Yesterday, Google took the stage to announce a few important things, specifically focused on in-app purchases, in-app advertising, and a new API which allows developers to turn your smartphone into an Android TV game controller. 

As for ads and IAPs, Google harped on creating better advertising experiences for players, while staying true to any app’s overall design and UI. With Native Ads, currently available as a limited beta, Google is giving developers the power to weave advertisements straight into a game’s design fabric. For an example, look at this photo. If you are familiar with in-app advertising, almost all of the time, an ad looks completely out of place, and does take away from the overall user experience. With Native Ads, Google hopes to solve that issue, allowing developers to customize an ad to fit in perfectly with whatever design scheme their utilizing.

On the in-app purchase side of things, game players will need to be more aware of when they are being targeted by developers. According to Google’s announcement, “AdMob can now predict which users are more likely to spend on in-app purchases, and developers will be able to show these users customized text or display ads promoting items for sale.” For this very reason, a certain player is bound to see more IAPs opportunities than others, if the developer plans to utilize this new feature, which is still in beta.

Back to the actual gamers, Google also introduced the Nearby Connections API, which allows developers to turn your smartphone into a game controller when synced to an Android TV. For example, if you and your buddies want to play a round of Beach Buggy Racing, but only have one game controller for your Nexus Player, your friends can simply sync to the Android TV, then use their smartphone as a racing controller. A video demoing this new API can be viewed below.

To see the full list of info and announcements, follow the via link below to the Android Developers blog.

Via: Android Developers

Google at GDC 2015: Native In-App Ads Introduced, Nearby Connections API for Second-Screen Controls Showcased is a post from: Droid Life

Google_Play_Services_Splash_BannerGoogle has officially updated Play Services to version 7.0 bringing several new features and enhancements for developers to take advantage of. They had previously mentioned some additions to AdMob and Google Play Games, but now the entire service has been updated.

The new Places API seems like the biggest new addition to Play Services, as it will allow apps to get information from Google’s database of locations, venues, and restaurants, and users can quickly get info about the business in particular including addresses and phone numbers. 

Google Fit has introduced a handful of new APIs for tracking new measurements and sensors, and it’s supposedly significantly lighter on memory requirements for Fit apps. AdMobs is seeing some Google Analytics integrations, and Google Play Games has adopted a new feature that will let games use a nearby device as a second screen for content. This is especially useful for using your Android device as a controller on Android TV.

Although the developer SDK hasn’t gone live yet, this update should be hitting your devices in the near future. For Google’s full blog post about it, hit the link below.

source: Android Developers

Come comment on this article: Google Play Services 7.0 released, brings improvements to locations, Google Fit, and AdMob

Google Paid Out Over $7 Billion to App and Game Developers in 2014

Posted by Tim-o-tato February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Right before Google announced a way to get a portion of its money back from app and game developers through Google Play, the company stated it paid out over $7 billion to publishers in 2014. With over 1 billion Android devices activated across 190 countries, Google Play continues to be a great means of distribution for any developer’s hard work. 

Google states it is as committed as ever to maintaining the Play Store as the best place to find great apps, games, and entertainment. And with that, they introduced sponsored app listings, which only makes sense at this point.

Sort of related, but indirectly, Google I/O should be quite an interesting conference this year. It was reported yesterday that Google would unveil a new Android Pay API, allowing any app and game developer to build in a single-tap payment service connected to a user’s credit or debit card. This could ultimately lead to even more revenue for developers, making Google Play an even better place to publish apps.

Regardless of what the future may bring, congrats to developers who are creating the apps and games we all enjoy. Now, just give me Tiny Wings already.

Via: Google

Google Paid Out Over $7 Billion to App and Game Developers in 2014 is a post from: Droid Life

Meet the Devs – DJantel Ware

Posted by wicked February - 24 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

developer interview
Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. In this week’s developer interview, we are talking to Daniel and Janina Knittel of DJantel Ware.

Name: Daniel and Janina Knittel

Developer Name: DJantel Ware

Country: Germany

Website: Official website

Social Media Profile/Page: Google+

How many people on your team? 2

developer interview

Apps

Nightmare Defender: Epic TD

About your company?

We are a two man team from Germany. Actually we are a man and woman team, as me and my wife decided to try the life of indie game developers. We both studied at the University of Hamburg, where we gathered a lot of knowledge that comes to good use in our projects. We have several games in the making, and we released our first game (Nightmare Defender) several days ago.

What level of experience do you have with coding and development?

Both of us studied computer science at the University of Hamburg, we developed countless “traditional” desktop tools during our studies, for work and for my thesis. Plus we have several app projects in the making. So the coding part is very well covered.

What level of experience do you have with design?

Me (Daniel) is interested in art since I can hold a pencil. I have a long history of creating graphics for games and for flash movies.

What apps have you made?

We have several games that we still work on, the only finished project so far is Nightmare Defender. We have one very big project with the working title “Living in Hell”, where your objective is to survive in a zombie apocolypse not by simply killing everything that moves, but also thinking about gathering food, building up a home and keeping it zombie free. But this is something for the future.

How do you monetize your apps?

Our current approach is to show ads. We will see how this works out.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Nope, not by now. It is too soon to make conclusions like that.

developer interview

How difficult is it to make money as a developer?

Pretty difficult. Getting visibility in the Google Play Store is very hard, and downloads are the only thing that can generate money for you.

What can Android do to improve?

This is hard to tell. One point would be to improve the synchronization frequency of the store. The numbers shown to the people and to the developer are horribly wrong. Sometimes it takes days so that the users can see the proper ratings the app got, ratings that may have conviced people who already left because of the lack of any download numbers or reviews.

Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?

I developed for iOS as well during my studies and for a client I once had, but having no Apple device for my personal use (and you need apple to “be allowed to” develop for apple) this is not an option for us at the moment. But it is definitely a market we want to concer in the future. One of my side projects is an engine based on libgdx, which basically ports Cocos2D/AndEngine concepts over to the libgdx framework, enabling us to develop cross platform apps. But lacking any apple device (and the money to invest :D ), this is also something for the “far away future”.

Android is something that we can do with our equippment and we both personally prefer android phones.

developer interview

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

Windows 8 is not an option and at the moment. Their market is just too small. Read the previous question to get my thoughts about iOS :) .

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

Not much.

What are your favorite apps?

WhatsApp is definitely an app I would miss.

What has been your experience been like working with Gooogle?

We have not that much experience with Google by now. They made the app available pretty fast, which is a good point. The developer console and the numbers in the store are horribly wrong, which is a bad point. In general we are grateful that Google made all of this possible in the first place.

developer interview

What does the future of development look like?

Well, everything is getting faster and easier. It is already amazing that one or two man teams can produce pretty big and advanced games and apps. As the technology ripens, we can expect even greater things to come.

What tips do you have for aspiring developers?

If you do not like it, change it. Do not compromise. Every time I thought “oh, I will let it be like it is” I always had to come back later and change it anyway, having far more trouble than I would have if I changed it right away. If you have a clear goal in your mind, do not mess with it by compromising.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We would like to thank AndroidAuthority for this amazing opportunity to introduce ourselves and our game Nightmare Defender. Indie game development is really hard, getting visibility even harder. And thanks to anyone reading this. It would be really awesome if you gave our game a try.


Developer interview wrap up

We want to thank Daniel and Janina for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you!

Deal: Learn to make your own games with the Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle

Posted by wicked February - 20 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

redesign_26857531705470.Gd7RYFxXTK3ZC1ojljKV_height640

Learning to make great mobile games can be difficult, especially when there are so many courses out there to choose from. If you’d like to make quality mobile games for a fraction of the price, you should check out the Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle.

The Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle offers seven courses with more than 40 hours of content, all centered around the Unity 3D platform. To take the courses, all you need to have is an internet browser… it really couldn’t be any easier. Take a look below at all of the courses offered in this bundle:

  • Make Your First Video Game Today with Unity 3D – Dive into the World of Unity 3D Game Creation ($79 value)
  • The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Unity Game Development – Get a Comprehensive Look at the Key Features of Unity ($49 value)
  • Mobile Game Development with Unity 3D – Learn to Create & Publish Games for Mobile ($99 value)
  • Learn to Build a 3D Puzzle Game with Unity – Explore the Process of Building a Complete 3D Puzzle Game with Unity ($39 value)
  • Practical Game Development in Unity 4: Level 1 – A Beginner-Friendly Approach to Building Video Games in Unity ($59 value)
  • Make Your Own FPS without Code Using Unity & Playmaker – Create a First Person Shooter Game without Writing Code ($99 value)
  • Learn to Build Mobile Games Using Unity 3D – Master the Techniques for Building Best-Selling Mobile Games ($149 value)

Thanks to the Android Authority Deals Store, you can learn to make great games with the Unity3D Game Developer Course Bundle for only $39. Considering the suggested retail price of this bundle is $573, this is quite the deal. If you’re interested, head to the link below to sign up.

Get this deal now

Deal: Pay what you want for 8 different courses in this Learn To Code Bundle

Posted by wicked February - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

redesign_java_mainframe

Learning to code can be very difficult, especially if you’re trying it for the first time. So, why would you pay hundreds of dollars to try something you might not like? That’s where the Pay What You Want: Learn To Code Bundle comes in. This coding bundle offers up eight great courses, and all you need to do is beat the average price. At the time of writing this, the average price is only $15.07. It’s going to be really difficult to beat that price anywhere else you look.

So, what do you get with the Learn To Code Bundle? You’ll get lifetime access to eight different courses, including over 800 lectures and 80 hours of quality content. Here’s the full list of courses offered in this bundle:

  • The Ultimate Java Tutorial Course
  • PSD to HTML5/CSS3: Hand-Code a Beautiful Website in 4-Hour
  • Become a Web Developer from Scratch! (Complete Course)
  • Responsive Web Design Course
  • Build a Website from Scratch with HTML & CSS
  • Dynamic Website Design: PHP, MySQL & JavaScript Course
  • IOS & Mac OS X Programming Tutorial: Objective C & Xcode
  • Web Programming with Python Course

Oh, and this deal gets even better: 10% of the profits from your purchase will go to Creative Commons, a non-profit organization who develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. Make sure you don’t miss out on this deal! Head to the Android Authority Deals Store and start coding!

Get this deal now

Developers in 12 new countries can now sell apps in the Google Play Store

Posted by wicked February - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google Play Store Logo

Although Android app developers from all around the globe are able to upload their apps into the Google Play Store, less than half of those are actually able to charge for their apps, or collect in-app payments. Still below half, Google has increased the number of available paid app countries by 12, including Jamaica, Estonia and Panama.

The Google Play Store offers developers a few different account types that developers can apply for. The basic Developer Registration, as previously mentioned, is open to app creators in just over one hundred and fifty countries. This account type allows developers to upload free apps only, with no in-app purchases, leaving devs to find an income elsewhere for their hard work, usually with advertising.

Merchant Registration is where money comes into play. Devs must meet a specific list of Google account requirements, and their country of residence must have come to agreement with Google over taxes and such. Once all criteria is met, paid apps and in-app purchases are made available to the developer. This is the account type now open to a dozen new countries.

Google Play Store

The list of countries whose residents can now apply for Merchant Registrations today adds the following:

  • Bahrain
  • Bolivia
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Dominican Republic
  • Estonia
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Panama

In all, seventy four countries can now upload paid apps and apps with in-app payments into the Google Play Store. Luckily, the list of countries that can purchase said apps is much larger. But you likely already knew that.

Head on over to Google’s Supported locations page for developer accounts to see what you are allowed to develop in your country.

Do you think Google’s developer requirements are fair?