The latest Android and Google Play news for app and game developers.
By Austin Robison, Android Wear team
Android Wear extends the Android platform to wearables. These small, powerful devices give users useful information just when they need it. Watches powered by Android Wear respond to spoken questions and commands to provide info and get stuff done. These new devices can help users reach their fitness goals and be their key to a multiscreen world.
We designed Android Wear to bring a common user experience and a consistent developer platform to this new generation of devices. We can’t wait to see what you will build.
Your app’s notifications will already appear on Android wearables and starting today, you can sign up for the Android Wear Developer Preview. You can use the emulator provided to preview how your notifications will appear on both square and round Android wearables. The Developer Preview also includes new Android Wear APIs which will let you customize and extend your notifications to accept voice replies, feature additional pages, and stack with similar notifications. Head on over to developer.android.com/wear to sign up and learn more.
For a brief introduction to the developer features of Android Wear, check out these DevBytes videos. They include demos and a discussion about the code snippets driving them.
We’re just getting started with the Android Wear Developer Preview. In the coming months we’ll be launching new APIs and features for Android Wear devices to create even more unique experiences for the wrist.
Join the Android Wear Developers community on Google+ to discuss the Preview and ask questions.
We’re excited to see what you build!
Day 2 of Game Developers Conference 2014 is getting underway and today Google is hosting a special Developer Day at Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Building on yesterday’s announcements for game developers, we'll be presenting a series of sessions that walk you through the new features, services, and tools, explaining how they work and what they can bring to your games.
We'll also be talking with you about how to reach and engage with hundreds of millions of users on Google Play, build Games that scale in the cloud, grow in-game advertising businesses with AdMob, track revenue with Google Analytics, as well as explore new gaming frontiers, like Glass.
If you’re at the conference, the Google Developer Day sessions are a great opportunity to meet the developer advocates, engineers, and product managers of the Google products that drive users, engagement and retention for your games. If you’re remote, we invite you to sit-in on the sessions by joining the livestream below or on Google Developers channel on YouTube.
The Developer Day sessions (and livestream) kick off at 10:00AM PDT (5:00PM UTC). A complete agenda is available on the GDC Developer Day page.
Last December we announced the initial release of LiquidFun, a C++ library that adds particle physics, including realistic fluid dynamics, to the open-source Box2D.
To get Google Developer Day started, we’re releasing LiquidFun 1.0, an update that adds multiple particle systems, new particle behaviors, and other new features.
Check out the video below to see what Liquid Fun 1.0 can do, visit the LiquidFun home page, or join today's LiquidFun session at Google Developer Day to learn how LiquidFun works and how to use particle physics in your games. The session starts at 4:35PM PDT (11:35PM UTC).
Google Play services 4.3 has now been rolled out to the world, and it contains a number of features you can use to improve your apps. Specifically, this version adds some new members to the Google Play services family: Google Analytics API, Tag Manager, and the Address API. We’ve also made some great enhancements to the existing APIs; everything to make sure you stay on top of the app game out there.
Here are the highlights of the 4.3 release.
The Analytics API and Google Tag Manager has existed for Android for some time as standalone technologies, but with this release we are incorporating them as first class citizens in Google Play services. Those of you that are used to the API will find it very similar to previous versions, and if you have not used it before we strongly encourage you to take a look at it.
Google Analytics allows you to get detailed statistics on how you app is being used by your users, for example what functionality of your app is being used the most, or which activity triggers users to convert from an advertised version of an app to paid one. Google Tag Manager lets you change characteristics of your app on-the-fly, for example colors, without having to push an update from Google Play.
The furious speed of innovation in Android mobile gaming has not slowed down and neither have we when it comes to packing the Google Play Game services API with features.
With this release, we are introducing game gifts, which allows players to send virtual in-game requests to anyone in their Google+ circles or through player search. Using this feature, the player can send a 'wish' request to ask another player for an in-game item or benefit, or a 'gift' request to grant an item or benefit to another player.
This is a great way for a game to be more engaging by increasing cross player collaboration and social connections. We are therefore glad to add this functionality as an inherent part of the Games API, it is an much-wanted extension to the multi-player functionality included a couple of releases ago. For more information, see: Unlocking the power of Google for your games.
The Google Drive for Android API was just recently added as a member of the Google Play services API family. This release adds a number of important features:
In addition to the above, we've also added the ability to access a number of new metadata fields.
This release will also includes a new Address API, which allows developers to request access to addresses for example to fill out a delivery address form. The kicker is the convenience for the user; a user interface component is presented where they select the desired address, and bang, the entire form is filled out. Developers have been relying on Location data which works very well, but this API shall cater for cases where the Location data is either not accurate or the user actually wants to use a different address than their current physical location. This should sound great to anyone who has done any online shopping during the last decade or so.
That’s it for this time. Now go to work and incorporate these new features to make your apps even better!
And stay tuned for future updates.
For the release video, please see:
DevBytes: Google Play Services 4.3
For details on the APIs, please see:
Google Tag Manager
Google Play Games services Gifts
Google Drive Android API - Change Events
Google Drive Android API - Pinning
Google Drive Android API - App Folder
By Greg Hartrell, Google Play Games team
Today, everyone is a gamer — in fact, 3 in every 4 Android users are playing games, allowing developers to reach an unprecedented audience of players in an Android ecosystem that’s activated over one billion devices. This has helped Google Play Games — Google’s cross-platform game service and SDK for Android, iOS and the web (which lets you easily integrate features like achievements, leaderboards, multiplayer and cloud save into your games) — grow at tremendous speed. The momentum continues on Google Play, where four times more money was paid out to developers in 2013 than in 2012.
With the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this week, we announced a number of new features for Google Play Games and other Google products. As they launch over the coming weeks, these new services and tools will help you unlock the power of Google to take your games to the next level.
With game gifts, players in your games can send virtual in-game objects to anyone in their circles or through multiplayer search.
To help players get the most out of your games, Play Games will be expanding engagement and discovery options.
We'll be introducing game gifts, a new service that lets players send virtual in-game objects to anyone in their circles or through player search. The Play Games app now supports multiplayer invites directly, further helping players discover your game and keep them playing. And the Google Play Store will also feature 18 new game categories, making it easier for players to find games they'll love.
Further enhancing Google Play Game services, we're expanding multiplayer to support iOS, bringing turn-based and real-time multiplayer capabilities to both Android and iOS.
To further help with cross platform game development, we're updating our Play Games Unity Plug-in to support cross-platform multiplayer services, and introducing an early Play Games C++ SDK to support achievements and leaderboards.
In addition, we're launching enhanced Play Games statistics on the Google Play Developer Console, providing easy game analytics for Play Games adopters. Developers will gain a daily dashboard that visualizes player and engagement statistics for signed in users, including daily active users, retention analysis and achievement, and leaderboard performance.
Of course, once you build a great gaming experience, it's important to get rewarded for your work, which is why we'll also be introducing new features to the AdMob platform. We're making Google Analytics available directly in the AdMob interface, so you can gain deeper insights into how users are interacting with your app. Turning those insights into effective action is vital, so we're excited by the opportunities that in-app purchase ads will offer — enabling you to target users with specific promotions to buy items in your game. Advertising continues to be a core vehicle driving many game developers' success, so we're also bringing you new ways to optimize your ads to earn the most revenue.
Check out the stream from our Google Developer Day sessions at GDC 2014. Learn more about how to reach and engage with hundreds of millions of users on Google Play, build Games that scale in the cloud, grow in-game advertising businesses with AdMob, track revenue with Google Analytics, as well as explore new gaming frontiers, like Glass.