Google releases Android Auto APIs for developers

android auto

Earlier this year, Google announced Android Auto (a version of Android designed to bring the Android platform into cars), and today the search engine giant has granted developers access to its APIs for this service. According to the company, this will enable mobile apps to “be extended to the car in a way that is optimized for the driving experience.”


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Google adds 7 additional countries to its list of supported Play Store Merchants

Google_Play_Store_Update_4.0.25

Google has broadened international availability of its Play Store Merchant accounts by adding Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Qatar, and Venezuela to the mix.

For those unaware, Merchant accounts are designed exclusively for developers, enabling them to receive payment for premium apps through Google Play. Prior to today’s announcement, developers in the above seven locations were only able to list apps for free.


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Apple and Google provide promotional offers to developers to get exclusive games first

google-vs-apple

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Google have been offering promotional packages to developers in order to be the first to feature various games on their respective platforms. This promotional perk includes placing apps on hot spots on the app store page and features list.

The same report indicates that Apple previously offered Electronic Arts to promote its highly anticipated Plants vs. Zombies 2 on its App Store and in return, EA launched the popular title on the iOS platform 2 months before releasing it for Android. However, Gameloft, developer of Asphalt, refused to accept the deal offered by Apple, instead, it chose to launch the game on both Android and iOS at the same time.
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Pebble App Challenge launches, will provide $5,000 to top developer

Pebble App Challenge

Pebble’s standalone app store has officially launched, and the company is doing a lot to help developers begin producing useful apps for the up and coming smartwatch platform.

In fact, Pebble is starting its own “Pebble App Challenge,” which will award $5,000 to the first place app developer, and a Pebble Steel for each of the top 16 finalists.

The contest will accept submissions from today, March 10, until 5 p.m. PST on March 23. The public, developers and Pebble owners will be able to vote for their favorite apps between March 24 and March 27, with the top 16 moving onto the final rounds.

In April, Pebble users only will be able to vote for a different “app matchup” each day until one app, the winner, is left.

If you think you could do well in the competition, think about signing up at the link below.

Source: Pebble

Android 4.4 features new ART runtime compiler in addition to Dalvik, provides potential future performance boost

Google Play Android Kitkat Update_Talk Android 1

In addition to all of the other features we’ve seen about Android 4.4 today, some news is breaking about a more performance-oriented upgrade; a brand new runtime compiler.

Before now, Android has always used the Dalvik virtual machine as it’s runtime compiler, and for the most part, it works well. However, in what’s probably a piece of Android’s new Project Svelte, they’ve introduced a new compiler called ART. This is likely related to Google’s big purchase of Flexycore not long ago, as these compilers relate directly to Android performance.

ART is showing up in some Android developer menus, but it isn’t completely implemented just yet. ART reads .oat files as opposed to the traditional .odex files that have been common in Android system applications up to this point. Android also includes an odex2oat converter, so whenever this does get implemented, it seems like Android should be able to handle the change as well as backwards compatibility with older data and apps.

This is some pretty technical low-level hardware stuff that most users never even notice, but if you’re interested, you can find out more at XDA in the source link.

source: XDA Developers

Google Glass successfully unlocked, boots up with Ubuntu at I/O

Ubuntu

Google I/O 2013 featured a session titled, “Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass,” which was pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be. During the session, Google Glass was successfully unlocked, given root access, and then loaded up with Ubuntu.

Of course most manufacturers wouldn’t encourage people to hack into their devices, but because Google Glass is a developer device, they’re looking for all kinds of experimentation.

In order to install Ubuntu, a few steps (simplified) had to be taken:

  • Load Glass with Launcher, Settings, and Notepad APKs
  • Pair Glass to a keyboard and trackpad
  • Jump into the terminal, unlock and gain root access
  • Follow the normal process of installing Ubuntu
  • (Load up a terminal emulator, complete Linux installer)

The definition of “hack” that Google would probably use can be found on Urban Dictionary. Check it out after the break.
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Sony launches PlayStation Mobile Developer Program

It’s taken a few months, but Sony has finally taken the wraps off of their PlayStation Mobile Developer Program. This program allows developers to produce games on PlayStation-certified Android devices – such as HTC’s One X+ – as well as Sony’s PS Vita. It runs 7,980 Japanese yen for an annual license, or about $99. This annual license lets developers produce as many games as they would like, so that yearly fee doesn’t stack. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

Today’s launch covers Japan, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia, and Taiwan and Hong Kong are to follow suit in the near future. The SDK is available for download below, after processing that annual entry fee. Hit the break for the press release.

 


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