Google has just published its latest distribution figures for the Android operating system. The numbers were uploaded to the official Developer Dashboard blog and reveal a consistent growth in the amount of users running KitKat (4.4), whilst older versions of the OS continue on their long path towards extinction.
If a line of code hidden within Google’s latest Play Services APK and pending patents are anything to go by, it certainly looks as if the search engine giant is preparing to release a new mobile communication service, entitled “Copresence,” which should make sharing data between Android and iOS incredibly easy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.