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.
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.”
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
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.
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?
source: Android Police
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Google Play Services received an update today, bringing the software version up to 6.1. Nothing too wild here, but there are some updates to the Google Analytics API, Google Drive API and Google Fit API.
The update is slowly rolling out, so be patient. Unless you’re a developer, not much is relevant here, but some solid enhancements nonetheless.
Source: Android Developers Blog