Google has announced a new People API for Android to help apps gather information from your contacts list, which is meant to eventually replace the current Contacts API and move away from using Google+ to glean connections about a user. This is an interesting move compared to Google’s direction just a few years ago when the company was bent on forcing everything through the social media portion of their services, and really shows that Google has changed focus from Google+ back to multiple services, like Photos and Hangouts. Read more
A platform is only as good as its developers and apps, which has posed a problem for Android Auto up to this point. Developers had no way to really test out Android Auto apps without buying an Android Auto-enabled vehicle or an Android Auto head unit. Read more
Fans of games on Facebook will likely be interested in knowing that fun times could be coming to the Messenger app that Facebook makes available for users. Since the launch of Messenger, third party apps have mostly been limited to those that enhance the communication aspects of the platform, giving users things like emojis, the ability to send sound clips, gif support and similar functions. Reports indicate uptake has been slow for these apps, so Facebook is planning to start pushing for games to expand to the platform in hopes of giving developers something a little “stickier” and with higher revenue potential. Read more
Samsung has announced a new tool intended to help developers get on board the virtual headset train. The Gear VR framework, or GearVRf, is an open source framework that developers can utilize to prepare videos and apps for use on Android-powered virtual reality devices. Read more
Doesn’t it make sense that when sharing your location with someone, you actually share the name of the place that you’re at rather than the latitude and longitude? In other words, if I am at Joe’s Bar and Grill, it’s easier to understand that I am Joe’s Bar and Grill vs 26.78545419, -75.15212959.
Google’s Places API will solve this issue by bringing Google’s global database of 100 million places into your app. The Places API is not only released on Android, but Google also released a beta version for iOS.
The Google TV and Android TV teams took to Google+ today to announce the end of the road for the development on the Google TV platform. As the team indicates in their open “letter” to Google TV developers, the focus going forward will be working on the Android TV platform and helping OEMs get them to market. Much of this new focus is driven by the launch of Android 5.0 Lollipop and the ability to bring Android to the television form factor. In addition to Android TV, Google’s own development team will be working on the Google Cast ecosystem. Read more
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.” Read more
Well, this is new.
The LG G3’s QuickCircle case has a circular window which allows users to see important notification information and date/time data. But now, users will be able to use the window to actually play games while on the run.
Many industry forecasters have said that Amazon has set itself up for failure with its new Fire Phone — the device doesn’t have the specs we’ve come to expect from extreme high-end devices, and some of the features, like the camera identification feature that links straight to the Amazon app, isn’t exactly new in terms of technology (Google Goggles) and seems a bit gimmicky. Not the mention the price is pretty steep (right up there with today’s flagships, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8) and its AT&T exclusivity.
However, Amazon will be doing anything and everything it can to make sure the device doesn’t fail. Today, the company announced that it will be giving out up to $15,000 in Amazon Coins to developers if they update their apps to be optimized for the Fire Phone. Hit the break to see Amazon’s guidelines regarding what’s on the table here: