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Imagination unveils its MIPS Creator CI20 Android/Linux development board

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

MIPS-Creator-C120_Close-up3_RGB

Today, Imagination Technologies has announced a new development board for university students, professionals, and hobbyists. The MIPS Creator CI20 platform currently runs various Linux distributions and will soon support Android 4.4 KitKat as well. Android developers looking to get to grips with MIPS CPUs and PowerVR GPUs now have a new toy to play with.

Typically your Android device will run on one of the many ARM processors designs out there, but Android is quite happy with other architectures too, including Intel’s x86 Silvermont and Imagination’s MIPS.

In terms of board hardware, the CI20 covers all of Imagination Technologies’ SoC IP processors. The CI20 comes with a dual-core MIPS-based Ingenic Xburst JZ4780 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, 1GB of DDR3 RAM memory, 8GB of NAND flash on-board storage and a SD card slot for additional space if required.

Just like the popular Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms, Imagination Technologies’ MIPS Creator CI20 also offers up a range of connectivity options, including Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, CMOS camera connector, an HDMI connection, and one port for USB OTG devices.

MIPS-Creator-CI20-Ingenic-JZ4780-MIPS-PowerVR-SGX540

Compared with some of the other development boards on the market, the CI20 gives developers access to hardware that is a little closer to what can be found in modern Android devices. The MIPS Ingenic Xburst CPU features FPU and SIMD functionality, which is particularly important for those looking to perform any math heavy signal processing. The PowerVR SGX540 GPU has also appeared in a number of Android devices, including the Motorola Razr i, Samsung Galaxy Nexus I9250, and LG Optimus L9, and supports OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenGL 2.1 graphics APIs.

Furthermore, the MIPS Creator CI20 features dedicated video hardware, which can decode popular formats in 1080p at 60fps, and a H.264 encoder which works at 1080p 30fps. Just like the Pi, the CI20 would make an ideal small-form factor HTPC .

MIPS-Creator-CI20-Raspberry-Pi-BeagleBone-Black

Above: See how the MIPS CI20 stacks up against the Raspberry Pi

If Android isn’t your thing, or if you just want to try the board out before Android support arrives, the MIPS Creator CI20 already has OS images available for Debian 7, Gentoo, Yocto, Arch, as well as other Linux distributions.

Developers and hobbyists keen to get their hands on one can do so by registering over at Imagination’s store. Imagination Technologies will be handing out development boards for free, depending on availability, once you’ve given them a brief description of your project.

With Imagination looking to make a push into the smartphone and wearable CPU space, the company hopes that these development boards will go some way towards familiarising the developer community with its MIPS architecture.


Source: Imagination Technologies;

Meet the Devs – Chengdu Everimaging Co., Ltd

Posted by wicked August - 26 - 2014 - 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 Sharon Lee of Chengdu Everimaging Co., Ltd.

Name: Sharon Lee

Developer Name: Chengdu Everimaging Co., Ltd

Country: China

Website: Fotor Official Website

Google + Profile/Page: Everimaging

How many people on your team? 80

developer interview

Apps

Fotor Photo Editor

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

As we all know, the level that a product can achieve is no longer decided by the coding and experience of some individuals. The level of the product is decided by the experience and capacity of the whole team. After years of development, most members of the Fotor team have more than 6 years of experience with large-scale project development. In the meantime, we kept building the team’s structure. The average age of the team is 25-28, so we are full of energy and able to respond quickly. The Fotor team is powerful and maintains sustainable development capacity in the industry.

What level of experience do you have with design?

Everimaging has been developing mobile apps since its establishment in 2009, starting with iOS. One year later, we began to develop Android versions. With rich experience in the design field of mobile UI and UE, the design team has kept in touch with developers all over the world and learned from them all the time. In light of this, we are quite right in believing that our team is good both at home and abroad.

What apps have you made?

Fotor Photo Editor, Fotor HDR, SnapStory.

How do you monetize your apps?

In-app purchase items.

What can Android do to improve?

The issues of severe fragmentization show up in aspects such as various devices, brands, versions and resolutions, which causes so many headaches for the developers.
As for the normalization of the apps, GooglePlay did provide the developers with a way to submit apps uniformly. However, it is not the only one. Every area, every language and every brand has their own application market. In order to make the apps popular, the developers would consistently work on the standardization of the versions, the compatibility and multi-language, but still the needs of the customers cannot be met.
As for the utilization of the devices, the multitasking background of Android provides humanized solutions under lots of situations, but it also occupied a great amount of system resources, which makes the users’ devices slow and causes crashes. And these all lead to bad experience for the users.

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

Because Android is an open platform, it’s easier to find partners than other platforms so that developers can complete and promote products in a way of their own, without being forced to go a certain way. Therefore, Android can expand to more markets easily. We do develop for other platforms. As a unified platform for the software and hardware, iOS has forged the best user experience. But Android has given everyone a chance to use smartphones. From the very beginning, Android has covered the mid-lower mobile device markets. And in the process of rapid development, Android is not only used in mobile markets, but also in the field of laptops, televisions, even washing machines and refrigerators.

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

IOS: closed, devices are unified, users are high-value (they are more willingly to pay for apps which reflect a good experience.)
Windows8: Open but authority-requested, apps have better normalization, too few users.

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

Design instruction does bring us some convenience in some aspects:
It helps to define a new design standard, which allows the android devices of different versions and brands to maintain unity and normalization in aspects such as colors, interactive operation and component using.
It is not compulsory, and developers can still realize the goal according to their original product design.
It can help to combine the system design and the product more closely and reduce the learning cost of the customers and improve the user experience. Besides, it can help to reduce the communication costs between the designers and developers and make them achieve the product goals more easily.

What are your favorite apps?

  • Dropbox: the stable speed and function of synchronous data, a preview of various kinds of files, good synchronization algorithm of different files and various kinds of ways to promote free space.
  • Evernote: multi-platform, write down and look through at any time, nice mobile recording experience.
  • Any.do: Clean interface, full functions, synchronizes with Google calendar which is key
  • Path: wonderful user experience and UI design
  • Instagram:clean and plain interactive experience
  • VSCO: excellent filters can help users edit great photos.

developer interview

What has been your experience working with Google?

Google is worth being respected. Its ability to innovate, team concept and unrivaled courage is an example for us. Indeed, Fotor’s Android Team is growing.

What does the future of development look like?

In the process of Fotor’s development, many complicated and professional techniques are used, all of which reflect the wisdom and hard work of engineers and the professional requirements of program development. However, this is not the future. Times are changing, programming languages are getting simpler to develop and easier to learn. Meanwhile, developing tools are stronger and easier to use. We will find that everyone is able to transform his/her idea to a relative product using a strong and easily-used tool. In the future, “developing” will be not only referred to developing something, but a real creation process. Like pianists just need a piano to play the melody that is just taken into shape so he doesn’t need to care about how the keys work.

What tips do you have for aspiring developers?

There is a request in Fotor: Never stop learning, never stop trying, and never stop thinking. That’s because we are creating the future.


We want to thank Sharon Lee 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.

8 best developers of icon packs for Android

Posted by wicked August - 25 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

the1dynasty icon packs
Icon packs have always been popular. Most mainstream launchers support them and they provide a cheap and unique way to customize your device. When we first thought about doing this list, we thought about doing individual icon packs. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), there are hundreds of amazing icon pack apps out there so instead, we decided to showcase the best icon pack developers. Each of them have multiple packs to choose from. Enjoy!


GSeth icon packsGSeth

[Price: Varies]
First up is an icon dev named GSeth. Included in GSeth’s repertoire are some fun packs like Circlons and Viby. The icons themselves are insanely highly rated and most present with a more sophisticated and minimal look than many others. GSeth does do some interesting ones though, like Rugo which is a crumpled paper and dirt style which looks awesome. To see GSeth’s collective work, click the Google Play button below.
Get it on Google Play
GSeth icon packs


kovdev icon packsKovdev

[Price: Varies]
Kovdev is a unique developer. S/he doesn’t have too many icon packs but it seems like whatever Kovdev releases gets put in the headlines. As one of the few devs that have had an icon pack go viral, you can imagine what kind of quality you’re looking at. The big ones by Kovdev are Nox, Domo, and Lumos. Nox is sharp and modern while Lumos is softer and muted and Domo is a marriage of complexity and simplicity. All of them have nearly 2000 icons and there are others by Kovdev if you want to check them out.
Get it on Google Play
kovdev icon packs


RyanMKelly icon packsRyanMKelly

[Price: Varies]
RyanMKelly is next and you may remember his work from Umbra which garnered a significant amount of popularity a while back. RyanMKelly’s icons generally have a more minimalistic feel and are often two-tone with sharp colors and shadows. He also does wallpapers and custom Zooper widgets as well.
Get it on Google Play
RyanMKelly icon packs


Samantha Conner icon packsSamantha Conner

[Price: Varies]
Samantha Conner isn’t the most flashy icon pack dev on this list but she does feature a lot of variety and a lot of baseline kind of stuff for those who don’t want to get all crazy. Some packs inclue various solid colors like red, pink, white, black, and orange as well as some stuff like Sense 5, Phlats, and Pushy which are a little more unique and flashy than the monotone ones.
Get it on Google Play
Samantha Conner icon packs


Samer Zayer icon packsSamer Zayer

[Price: Varies]
Samer Zayer features a little more out of the box thinking while still staying in popular designs. You can find highly rated glass, flat, neon, paper, and brushed metal icon packs that have all garnered a number of downloads and high reviews from users. Most of the icon packs have well over 1000 icons and we especially liked Samer’s glass icons. Many of the icons come in the form of theme packs so you’ll need a third party launcher like Apex or Nova but you usually need a launcher like that in order to use icon packs anyway!
Get it on Google Play


Stealthychief icon packsStealthychief

[Price: Varies]
Stealthychief has a number of themes and icon packs out there for a variety of platforms including most launchers, GO Keyboard, and icon packs. Stealthychief generally goes with more obscure stuff like the Aloha icon pack which adds a bit of tropical flair to your icons. However, there is a selection of monotone icons in a couple of colors as well as more popular designs like metal, gold, wood, platinum, and others. Browsing through Stealthychief’s app list is a veritable crap shoot of styles and ideas and that’s what makes it so enjoyable.
Get it on Google Play
Stealthychief icon packs


tha phlash icon packsTha PHLASH

[Price: Varies]
Tha PHLASH is one of the most iconic (get it?) icon pack developers out there and it’s because most of his packs are ridiculous and memorable. You can buy Tha PHLASH’s icons two ways. There is the Google Play collection (click the button below) or you can go to his official icon website to pick them up there too. They are some flashy and sophisticated icons and would do well to fit any theme.
Get it on Google Play
the phlash icon packs


the1dynasty icon packsthe1dyansty

[Price: Varies]
Last and certainly not least on this list (for right now anyway) is the1dynasty. There are a few really good icon packs worth checking out including the1Lucent pack but there are also CyanogenMod themes you can check out too if you need those. One of the more interesting apps is the Icon Pack Template that gives future icon pack devs a nice, usable template to use to make good icon pack apps.
Get it on Google Play
the1dynasty icon packs


Wrap up

If we forgot an awesome icon dev (and chances are that we did), please let us know about them in the comments below and we’ll consider adding them to the list!

Turbo Editor gives file editing a much needed boost

Posted by wicked August - 15 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

When it comes to writing text, most users would run to a word processor of some sort. Power users, system administrators, programmers, and web developers¸ on the other hand, will be flocking towards more powerful plain text editors. Surprisingly, there is no lack of such apps on the more touch-oriented Android platform, and Turbo Editor from XDA Senior Member Vlad Mihalachi is one of the latest contenders in that arena.

Turbo Editor boasts of many of the features power users would expect to find in such a type of text editor. There is syntax highlighting for many programming languages, specially those oriented towards web development like HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and more. And to further support that web-friendly workflow, Turbo Editor has a dedicated “View on the web” menu that takes you immediately to a web page preview of the file you are editing. There are, of course, optional line numbers to keep you from getting lost in your source code and a built-in mini file browser so that you can conveniently create and search for files right from within the app.

Turbo Editor does have some features that do make the app noteworthy. First is the fact that the app is open source, which makes development transparent and easier to facilitate. It also makes this very useful app a good foundation for others to build on and extend. Furthermore, being a power geek tool doesn’t mean it has to look like a relic of the past (though some might actually find that more appealing). Turbo Editor tries to apply a few principles of Google’s own Material Design language, particularly in the use of icons and colors, to keep the app easy on the eyes even while offering users all the power they need.

turbo-editor-1
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Of course, Turbo Editor is built on the assumption that you would want to edit text files on your Android device. Tablet users might have it easier, with a larger screen and an equally larger virtual keyboard, or the myriad accessories available that add a keyboard into the mix. The idea might be a harder sell on smartphones, which, by nature, don’t lend themselves easily to any kind of extended typing. But if you find yourself needing a more powerful text editor in a pinch, do give the free Turbo Editor a spin to see if it can meet your needs.

Download: Turbo Editor on Google Play Store
VIA: XDA

Amazon Appstore introduces live app testing for developers

Posted by wicked August - 15 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

If you’re an app developer, you would always want to ensure that your product is fully tested before unleashing it into the market. Live testing is probably the best way for you to see if there are any bugs needed to be fixed or if your app is actually working properly. Amazon Appstore is now introducing Live App Testing for their developers, proof that they are indeed serious in getting through to mobile developers and the app market.

Simply put, Live App Testing is for an app to be distributed to several selected people who will be able to fully use the product as if it were already live. They will be able to use it not just on their Amazon Kindle Fire tablets and Fire Phone, but also on other Android devices. The developers have a portal wherein they need to upload their new app, but instead of directly publishing it, they can choose the live testing option and manually add the email addresses of the selected testers.

The selected testers will then receive an email with instructions on how to download the app. From then on, they will have the capability of using the app and all its features They can then give feedback to the developers as to the feasibility of the app or to spot several things that need fixing. What is not clear at this point is how the feedback mechanism works. Do they just reply through email or is there a link where they just upload their comments and Amazon manages all of these feedback?

Google Play Store launched a similar program last year with its live beta testing and staged rollouts. But instead of adding the names and email addresses manually, developers could simply invite their selected testers to join the G+ group and from there, they will be given access to test the app. You could say the process is much simpler this way, but it’s still early stages for Amazon’s live testing capability so we can expect improvements later on.

SOURCE: Amazon

Meet the Devs – MogaMecha

Posted by wicked August - 5 - 2014 - 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 Erdin Kacan of MogaMecha.

Name: Erdwin Kacan

Developer Name: MogaMecha

Country: Turkey

Website: http://www.savethecomet.com

Google + Profile/Page: Erdwin Kacan’s Google+ page

How many people on your team? 5

Developer Interview

Apps

Save the Comet

Tell us about your company

We are a very young company that was formed at Global Game Jam 2012. Our company consists of 5 people. We were bigger at one point, smaller at another but the core team was always there. Our team has people from different ethics and jobs.

Erdin Kacan being me, is the Game Designer and the Developer of the game. At the same time a SAP Business Intelligence consultant. Oz Tova Suman (We can not reveal his real name) is our Game Designer and Project manager. He also created our beautiful UI and 3d Models. Mert Kutukoglu and Onur Sipahioglu are our 2D artists. Both had spent tremendous amounts of time drawing sketches and icons. Onur Sipahi is a Caricaturist and Mert is Industrial Product Designer. Our last guy is Burak Baduroglu, who is our Audio Designer and at the same time a Musician that plays in bars and is a kindergarten owner. Strange mix for sure! :)

You can get a lot more detailed information on our team and company at :
Team : www.savethecomet.com/people.php
About : www.savethecomet.com/about.php

We have been working on our game Save The Comet for about 2 years. Since we are also working on secondary jobs to survive the development process was a lot slower than it is expected to be for a mobile game. But we have took our time to polish every little detail we could.

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

I as Lead Developer and one of the Game Designers of MogaMecha and I have about 10 years of coding experience and 2 years of game development and design experience. Oz as Game Designer and Project Manager and also our 3D and UI Designer and he has about 8 years of Graphic Design and Animation experience. Our 2D Designer Mert has about the 8 years of 2D Design and Product Design experience. Onur has about a couple years of Digital Design and about 6-7 years of Traditional Drawing experience. Burak Baduroglu also has a several years of Audio experience and also experienced as a Musician.

All of ours Game Development experiences are between 1-2 years since we have formed the company pretty much together.

What level of experience do you have with design?

I have never worked as a professional designer. But as an amateur I have created a lot visuals, posters and so on. For my own projects. You can see some of them at https://www.behance.net/erdinkacan. As a game Designer i have been working for 2 years.

What apps have you made?

We have just released our very first game as a team. it is called Save The Comet. Also i have created a freeware app in my free times called Final Countdown. You can find it here : www.final-countdown.net.

How do you monetize your apps?

Minor full screen advertisement and some unique offers to show video ads. For example we offer a video ad when player wants to buy something but missing a very small portion of in game currency for it. So s/he can watch a video and we make a instant discount for them.

Do you consider yourself successful?

As of current. I am not sure I should or could be called successful. But I believe in what I do, and i believe that if do put everything I’ve got in it. I can fill this as “Yes, I am quite confident that I am”. Until then, I am a humble indie game designer.

How difficult is it to make money as a developer?

With our current download numbers, it is pretty much impossible. But with our calculations, with 500k downloads and over it is quite possible.

What can Android do to improve?

Well first of all showing disk write permission as photo and media permission is a quite big problem. I think they should be separated. We do receive a lot of complaints because we have to ask for disk write permission for caching but it is showing as photo and media in the Google Play Store. People are not happy with sharing photos and media with a game, even though we don’t want their photos at all.

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

Save The Comet is planned to be released at iOS and Windows Phone at a future date. We have chosen Android first because we are more close to the environment and we do not currently have an Apple device. We haven’t choose Windows Phone as our first platform for obvious reasons, not enough people. But we will definitely release on iOS and Windows Phone.

developer interview

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8

Well, just a random Google search would still suggest that iOS developers make a lot more money than Android, even though Android has a lot more users worldwide, so they must be doing something right over there. As for Windows, their still relatively new on the mobile OS market, but things are looking promising for them for the future.

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

Well, I believe iOS is a strong platform and operating system as it is. But lack of customization and control over their products are making me stay away from them, mostly.

Windows 8. Hmm. I think it is the most innovative thing ever created by Microsoft. I believe it has a great potential and ease of use. But the biggest mistake was to hurrying up and trying merge 2 very independent platforms together in a hurry. I am quite happy with where Windows 8.1 currently going. Windows Phone 8. I haven’t such beautiful interface for a long time. But currently lack of features makes it a nice looking and not very usable platform. But as a developer Android iOS and Windows 8 are all equal importance of me.

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

Well since we are a mobile game company, they are not very applicable to us. But I do like where android going with their design policies. 4.4 seems to be trying to get a simpler design which I support.

What are your favorite apps?

I do like a lot of them. I like gReader as my reader. Switching between OneNote and Evernote from time to time. Quick Office is quite nice. Trello andBitBeaker apps are a must for a developer think. I do frequently use Social apps and Dropbox too.

What has been your experience working with Google?

It was quite a smooth experience for me. We started using Developer Console from the beginning of our Beta, so we did not have any problem while launching our game. There were only 2 concerns from me about it. First of them was it was not possible to batch upload our Achievements. We had to create and translate them on Google Play one by one for each of the 7 languages we support. And secondly, the process of joining to a Beta test is very hard and complicated for most users.

Other than those everything was quite fine.

What does the future of development look like?

Well it is getting harder and harder to shine I believe. As I am following some researches, charts and so on, it is getting a lot more expensive to be seen and a lot harder to be found. I fear it is becoming more like you “have to” have a publisher to be seen as it has been in the PC game industry for a quite long time.

What tips do you have for aspiring developers?

1 – Marketing is more important than your game.
2 – You game is “VERY” important.
3 – Small graphical issues can piss users off.
4 – Make sure restarting the game takes a very small time.
5 – See number 1.


We want to thank MogaMecha for chatting with us in this week’s developer interviews! 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.

I/O 2014 app source code shows developers how it’s done

Posted by wicked July - 31 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Last month, Google released its fancy new I/O 2014 app in preparation for its annual conference. Now it’s announcing that the source code for the app is now available from Google‘s GitHub repository. While end-users might have no use for this, unless they happen to be knowledgeable about and/or like reading Java code, Google is inviting developers to take a look inside and learn about current best practices of creating an Android app and using Google’s API.

Aside from giving users a window into the world of Google I/O, the I/O 2014 app also showcases many of the staples of Android app development, whether it be components and featuers like Fragments, receivers, and notifications or design considerations like toolbars and themes. It also shows newer and better ways to use Google’s own services, like using Google Cloud Messaging (GSM) to keep devices up to date with the latest content and using Google Drive API to store users’ preferences and sync it with all connected devices. It even shows how to make an Android Wear companion app.

But aside from just hard, cold code, the app also gives developers a preview into Material Design. The app uses the design principles of tactile surfaces, animated feedback, colors, imagery, and the metaphor of paper, to give developers an idea how to theme their apps in preparation for Android L. The app also uses API found in the Android L Preview and has a separate APK for those already running it on their Nexus 5 or 7, or on the Android emulator. The video below, summarizes some of those key design points.

The source code for the I/O 2014 app is being released under an open source license. This means that more than just a reference, developers will be able to use code snippets to kickstart their own apps. Those interested in learning more about the different API and features in this app should keep tabs on the Android Developers Blog, source link below, as Google will be sharing more details about the app in the coming weeks.

SOURCE: Google (1), (2)

Google offers I/O 2014 app source code as Material Design sample code

Posted by wicked July - 31 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Google I/O 2014 app

The Google I/O 2014 app has successfully lived up to its initial purpose of providing scheduling for Google I/O attendees and allowing us at home to check in and watch the keynote presentation, as well as other live-streamed sessions. But what happens to the app now?

Instead of leaving the app to be forgotten in the Google Play Store, Google has decided to use the app as a shining light for developers. Google updated the I/O 2014 app with Material Design and the Android L developer preview before making the full source code free and available for developers to download and utilize as a template for their own apps.

Although the majority of actual benefits of the Google I/O 2014 app were only good during the two days of conference back in June, the app now offers developers examples of a number of features and techniques. Developers can look forward to sample code for:

  • Google Drive API
  • Google Cloud Messaging
  • Android L developer preview
  • Android Wear
  • Video streaming
  • Reminders and alarms
  • NFC scanning and beaming
  • Feedback mechanisms

In addition to simply just dropping the code on developers, there is also some reference material available on the project git page, expect also to see video tutorials coming soon through the developer channel.

Once you’ve got your Android L device or emulator up and rolling, grab the source code for the Google I/O 2014 app from the GitHub page and get on building your own Material Design apps.

What is the best Material Design app you’ve seen so far?


Via: Google;
Source: GitHub;

Google Play Developer Publishing API now open to all developers

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Google_Play_Logo_2855

Google has opened up their Google Play Developer Publishing API to all developers on the Play Store, which is great news for anyone looking to add some extra functionality to managing their apps. The new API makes it easier to manage in-app purchases and subscriptions, upload new APKs for beta testing or staged rollouts, and create and modify Play Store listings.

Overall, this Publishing API will make it significantly easier for developers to handle the management of their apps and listing, which should, in turn, create a better end user experience. If you’re interested, you can check out the full details of what the new API can do below.

source: Google Play Developers

Come comment on this article: Google Play Developer Publishing API now open to all developers

Android TV ADT-1 dev kits start shipping to developers

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

To prepare the new Android sub-platform for its first actual launch later this year, Google has started sending the ADT-1 Android TV preview kit to would-be app developers. This will hopefully ensure that by the time Android finally makes its way to the living room, there won’t be a dearth of apps, games and content that could steal the thunder from this new device category.

When Google announced Android’s new thrusts at Google I/O last month, it didn’t unveil actual finished products, except for Android Wear and smartwatches, of course. Both Android TV and Android Auto didn’t exist in shrink wrapped packages or final 1.0 versions but they came with promises of development tools later on to get things rolling. Development on Android TV might soon be kicking into high gear now that Google is delivering on its promise and is delivering a reference hardware for developers to play with, figuratively and literally.

Android TV is a potentially interesting new venture, because of its broad reach, at least compared to Android Auto, and new interface design challenges. An app designed for what Google terms as a “lean back” interface should not only be readable on a large screen from a distance but also usable without the use of conventional and more precise input methods like a finger, keyboard, or mouse. But as far as input devices go, Android TV won’t be boring either, as the dev kit comes with the wireless gamepad demoed at Google I/O as well. This will give game developers a chance to try out the new game pad standard in Android and adjust their games accordingly.

This batch of ADT-1 dev kits is just the first wave that is going out to developers. Google still has its online registration up so there’s a chance that there will be more coming in the near future. While the form to request a dev kit is open to anyone, it does require the applicant to have at least one app available on Google Play Store, with the implication that said applicant is both interested and capable of developing an app for Android TV.

SOURCE: Android Police

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