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...

Google makes it easier for developers to offer eco-routing

Google is making it easier for developers to offer eco-routing in their apps following announcements from its annual Search On event.

Current users of the Google Maps app may have seen that the service launched “eco-friendly” routes earlier this year, enabling the environmentally conscious to minimise their carbon footprints.

Later this year, Google says that it will launch a preview of the feature to developers. The feature will enable developers to offer...

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...

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’s Project Zero found over twice as many exploits in 2021

Project Zero, Google’s in-house team of experts tasked with finding zero-day exploits, reports that it found over twice as many in 2021.

According to the team’s annual report, it found a record 58 zero-day exploits in 2021. That’s over double the 25 it detected in 2020 and the previous record of 28 detected in 2015.

(Credit: Google)

While such a large uptick may cause alarm, Google puts a positive spin on the news.

“We believe the large...

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...

CAF report highlights developers’ plight from anti-competitive practices

A report from the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) highlights the difficulties that developers face due to anti-competitive practices.

CAF is an independent nonprofit with over 60 member companies that advocates for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem. Epic Games, which has regularly made headlines for its court battles against Apple over alleged anti-competitive practices, is one of CAF’s founding members.

The industry group is currently...