New report analyses mobile app SDK trends for Android

A report from SafeDK has shed light on a series of SDK (software development kit) trends in Android apps.

The report, which took its findings from data of more than 150,000 free Android apps in the upper echelons of the Google Play charts, alongside a database of 900 mobile SDKs, saw the average number of SDKs per app plateau after consistent increases. The current average, 17.8 for Q217, is the same as the previous quarter, compared with 16.6 for Q316 and 15.6 for Q216.

The company argues the rise is...

By James Bourne, 05 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools.

Android Things Preview 4.1 includes minor improvements for IoT developers

The latest Android Things preview update only contains minor improvements but could be useful for some IoT developers.

As the incremental version number suggests, this update isn’t filled with exciting new features. The first is support for the Pico i.MX6UL revision B board, while support for earlier revisions are being dropped. The latest board supports many common external peripherals from companies including Adafruit and Pimoroni.

A second addition is a smaller, more optimised version of Play...

By Ryan Daws, 16 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Devices, IoT, Platforms.

reCAPTCHA Android API launched to enable safer Internet usage on Android mobiles

(c)iStock.com/juniorbeep

Google has announced the launch of the first reCAPTCHA Android API as part of Google Play Services, aiming to better tell humans and bots apart on mobile.

The older versions of reCAPTCHA have been refined to create a version that can provide interruption-free, streamlined user experience – the Invisible reCAPTCHA in March 2017 – which means users can go through sites automatically.

The API will utilise the newest Invisible reCAPTCHA technology, with it also being included...

By Developer, 12 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API.

Google finalises APIs for Android O in Developer Preview 3

Unwilling to let Apple steal all the spotlight this week, Google has announced Android O Developer Preview 3 is rolling out with the final APIs before release.

The second developer preview was announced during Google I/O three weeks ago and included a look at the new ‘Fluid Experiences’ and ‘Vitals’ features.

Some of the Fluid Experience features include; Picture-in-Picture support, Notification Dots which allow developers to inform users an action is now available, Auto-Fill support...

By Ryan Daws, 09 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Industry, Phablet.

Android developers who incentivise positive reviews will be punished

Google will now punish Android developers who incentivise users to leave positive reviews under new Play Store rules.

Fake reviews have long been the scourge of most app stores and shady third-party services are available which can automate reviews or even have staff manually leaving false positive reviews in a bid to boost the app’s rankings.

Google tackled these services (for the most part) with improvements to its algorithms which detect and filter these reviews, but cunning developers found another...

By Ryan Daws, 07 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Ethics, Industry, Platforms.

Google helps developers take VR ideas from a Daydream to reality

Google made several big VR announcements during its annual I/O developer conference including the launch of new tools which aim to further improve the quality of content.

The VR industry has matured significantly over the past year – so much that BAFTA has rightly begun recognising some of the best examples alongside its renowned awards for film and TV. But for every good example, if we’re honest, there are more terrible examples as designers and developers get to grips with this relatively new...

By Ryan Daws, 19 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Platforms, VR.

Opinion: Google is shifting the focus away from traditional apps

Google’s announcements during their annual I/O developer conference demonstrate the company is beginning to shift the focus away from traditional download-and-install apps.

Downloading, installing, logging in or setting up an account, and navigating the app to find the content we’re looking for is a process many of us have gone through for decades. When you think about it, the process is cumbersome and overdue for modernisation.

Consumers have been able to stream music, videos, and even some...

By Ryan Daws, 18 May 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

Facebook launched Android UI and VR frameworks during its F8 developer conference

Social behemoth Facebook used its F8 developer conference to launch two frameworks – one for Android UI, and the other for VR.

Litho

Facebook’s internal framework to build efficient UIs on Android is called Litho, and the company has been talking it up since last October (much to the frustration of the rest of us outside the company without access to it.)

The company built its own framework after finding Android’s standard tools for building scrollable lists were lacking for the complexity...

By Ryan Daws, 19 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Facebook, VR.

Android Things Developer Preview 3 is out with full support for Bluetooth and USB

The third major developer preview of Android Things is now out and it adds full support for vital connectivity options.

Bluetooth remains important for many IoT deployments and today’s addition to Google’s platform will be welcome news for many developers. First noted back in February, the latest developer preview adds support for Android’s existing APIs for both standard Bluetooth and its BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) sibling.

Now, applications designed for Android Things can interface with custom...

By Ryan Daws, 07 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, IoT, Platforms.

Google wants developers to update their apps to support 18:9 aspect ratio

Android phones appear to be moving towards a new aspect ratio, and Google is politely reminding developers to update their apps or users will suffer.

When LG launched the G6 they made a big deal about its 18:9 aspect ratio display, and for good reason. The ratio allows two squares to be displayed next to each other and opens up a range of new possibilities – in particular for VR. Samsung has since followed suit with a similar ratio screen in the Galaxy S8; albeit marginally different to accommodate its...

By Ryan Daws, 30 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Design, Industry.