App Bundles will help trim Google TV apps

While it’s that time of year when most of us will put on some weight, Google is putting apps for its TV platforms on a diet.

Google has announced that apps for Google TV and Android TV will require the use of Android App Bundles (AABs) by May 2023.

App Bundles were introduced to Android in November 2020 to replace Android Package Kits (APKs).

According to Google, AABs offer the following benefits:

Smaller size – AABs are around 20 percent smaller...

Windows Subsystem for Android is now considered stable

Microsoft is making good on its promise to fully support Android apps on Windows.

Following the demise of Windows Phone, Microsoft has put its weight behind Android. The company adopted Google’s OS for its Surface Phone and said that Android apps will run on Windows 11 as if they were native.

In reality, Android app support on Windows has been limited in functionality and limited to Windows Insiders in some markets. However, as of this week, Windows Subsystem for...

App Store revenue hit a seven-year low in September

According to a Morgan Stanley report, App Store revenues in September were rather disappointing.

Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring published a report this week that highlighted App Store revenues hit a seven-year low in September.

The analysis used data from mobile intelligence specialists Sensor Tower and represents a drop of five percent year-on-year, the steepest drop since the bank started modelling data in 2015.

Games revenue suffered the most, with a...

Google expands third-party billing support to more countries

Android developers in more countries now have the option to offer third-party billing options.

As spotted by 9to5Google, Google quietly expanded its ‘User Choice Billing’ pilot which allows third-party billing options in non-gaming apps.

Registered developers in the European Economic Area (EEA), India, Australia, Japan, and Indonesia can now participate in User Choice Billing.

A Google spokesperson said:

“Android has always been a uniquely open...

Huawei AppGallery vulnerability gives away paid apps for free

A vulnerability has been discovered in Huawei’s AppGallery that enables paid apps to be downloaded for free.

Huawei claims that AppGallery is now the third-largest app store in the world—serving over 600 million Huawei device users in over 170 countries/regions.

Dylan Roussel, an Android developer, wanted to know how Huawei’s APIs worked. He figured out that one API took an app’s package name as a parameter and returned a JSON object with the details of the...

ARCore Geospatial API helps developers build immersive experiences

During I/O 2022, Google launched its ARCore Geospatial API to help developers build more immersive, richer, and more useful experiences.

Augmented reality experiences are beginning to gain traction beyond Pokémon Go. Now there are AR apps for making floorplans, seeing how furnishings will look in your home, understanding the world around you, and even getting real-time information about the night sky.

Google showed off enhancements to its own AR solution, Lens, during...

Android Studio will soon help developers fix broken UIs on Chromebooks

Android Studio will soon make it much easier for developers to fix broken UIs when their apps are used on Chromebooks.

Chromebook users have suffered from all sorts of issues since Google enabled support for Android apps. Many of these problems stem from how apps designed for Android respond when confronted with freeform windows and other desktop features.

The ‘Electric Eel’ release of Android Studio will bring with it the new Desktop Android Virtual Device...

Play Store blocks users in Russia from purchasing or updating paid apps

Google is blocking users in Russia from purchasing or updating paid applications as the fallout continues from the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company paused billing for Russian users on 10 March 2022 due to sanctions imposed on the country. That decision impacted new app purchases, as well as in-app purchases and subscription payments.

However, Google has now updated its policy and says that it is “blocking the downloading of paid apps and updates to paid...

Google’s new Play Store section forces developers to explain their data collection

Google is rolling out a new section in Play Store listings that forces developers to explain what data they’re collecting and how it’s being used.

The new section is titled ‘Data safety’ and will appear alongside the usual sections like ‘About this app’ and ‘Ratings and reviews’:

Apple released a similar feature as part of numerous privacy-enhancing features in last year’s iOS 14. Google showed off its version last year but is only beginning to roll...

Google will hide outdated Android apps to improve security

Google will start hiding outdated apps on the Play Store in a bid to improve security.

With almost three million apps hosted on the Play Store, keeping Android’s three billion users protected is a gargantuan task.

Given the scale of the challenge, Google’s AI-powered security does an admirable job. However, Google’s system is far from perfect and software that poses a threat to users does slip through.

Sometimes the apps that slip past Google’s security...