Category Archives: Android Blog

News and notes from the Android team

How Android and Pixel are changing the way musicians create

If you happened to go to Google I/O this year—or tune in to the live stream—the hour leading up to the keynote featured a fun surprise: the band Parisi, filling Shoreline Amphitheatre with a wall of sound, using just four Pixel phones and modular musical instruments called ROLI BLOCKS.

Part of Parisi's performance at Google I/O 2017

Parisi’s performance was powered by ROLI’s NOISE app, which launched in preview mode at I/O for Pixel and other high-end Android phones. NOISE and BLOCKS are intended for people with a range of musical expertise to play, but they depend on phones with powerful technology—including low audio latency, powerful and fast processing capabilities, and glitch-free audio. We’ve made a series of updates to Android recently to better support creative audio, with more coming in Android O. By introducing NOISE in beta on Android, ROLI became one of the first to take advantage of Android’s improved music-making possibilities—and Parisi became the first band to show them off.

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From left: Jack and Marco Parisi. Photo courtesy of Parisi.

We spoke to Marco Parisi about their performance at I/O, and how mobile technology like Android O, Pixel and NOISE is changing the way musicians create.

Keyword: How did you get involved with I/O?

Marco: Google was excited about the capabilities of its Pixel phone and Android for audio, and came to us with an ask... to open I/O 2017 with a live set. We’ve been working with ROLI, a company that makes digital musical instruments, for two years. ROLI has an app, NOISE, which lets you compose, mix and play music from a mobile device. Google wanted to know if we could use NOISE on Pixel to do a set live at I/O. We love to experiment and explore, so we said “yes.” They sent us the phones two weeks before the show!

Sounds like us. ;) Was it intimidating to plan a whole set that way?

I wasn’t worried. Even though it can be uncomfortable to change the way you do something when you always do it in a certain way, we were excited to try something new.

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Parisi’s setup at Google I/O included four Pixel phones along with ROLI’s modular instruments: BLOCKS and Seaboard. Photo courtesy of Parisi.

How was the I/O set-up different from your normal sets? Did anything surprise you?

It was the first set we’ve done with just four phones. We’re used to using lots of laptops for our sets, so it was a challenge. But now that we’ve done it, we know we can actually make a proper set with phones—it’s realistic.

Ninety percent of the show was played live. You’re not just pressing play, either—you’re using the phone as a real music instrument, along with BLOCKS and Seaboard (a piano-like keyboard also made by ROLI). The magic is in the integration between the phone and the other technology we used to play. The phone is like an engine, and the other devices are so close to an acoustic instrument. It really changed our vision.

Has the I/O set changed anything about how you’re approaching future work?

The tracks we played at I/O haven’t been released—it’s stuff we’re working on for our upcoming album. While playing live on stage, I realized that I could have added a few different things. On the second or third try, we were adding things to the original track that were working—basically improvising. Now we’re gonna try those things in the same way but on the track—so what we did live at I/O is going to make it into the recorded version.

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Parisi performing at I/O. On the right-hand screen, you can see a ROLI BLOCK being played.

Digital technology is having a big effect on music. Tell us more about how you use tech in your art.

We’re in a new phase for music tech and creativity. Tech gives artists amazing flexibility to approach creating in new ways. We’re able to make different art that wouldn’t have been doable in a traditional studio setup—and changing your workflow has an impact on what you make.

You also spent some time exploring I/O itself. What did you think?

Working with everybody was cool. We were always connected with everybody over earpieces—from the sound guy to stage manager, really amazing people. One person started talking in Italian to us!

ROLI has a strong culture of collaboration and being passionate about what you do, and I felt the same thing at I/O. Joy is at the essence of what we do, and to see that in a company—like Google—is unique. You can really see that the world is changing and for us as musicians that’s amazing.

Source: Android


Waze for Android Auto is here

You asked, we heard you, and it’s official: starting today, Waze is available for Android Auto.

If you have a car that supports Android Auto, you can now navigate with Waze via your vehicle’s in-car display, touch screens, steering wheel buttons, and other console-mounted controls.

The power of the Waze Community will be right there in the car with you (or at least on your screen). So you’ll not only find the fastest routes and most up-to-date road alerts, you’ll also be able to:

  • Navigate to all your most frequented destinations as pre-programmed in your Waze app in one tap—we’re talking home, work, and your Waze favorites.
  • Start any drive using the voice command “OK Google” to tell Waze where you want to go, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
  • Receive visual and audio alerts to keep you informed of what’s ahead and find the fastest routes on a larger map with bigger views of alerts, hazards, and more.
  • Access your personalized Waze experience from your phone on your car’s bigger screen.
  • Easily view your ETA Panel, which organizes everything you need in one place so you can seamlessly check alternate routes and adjust your sound settings.
  • Help other Wazers on the road by sharing accidents, road hazards or traffic jams through a visual reporting menu.

Getting started is easy. First, make sure you have the latest versions of both apps on your Android phone. Then, connect your phone with a cable to your car USB port, select Waze from the Navigation App footer, and start a drive by entering a location. Check out the Waze blog for more detailed instructions.

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Connecting Android phone with a cable to USB port.

Our goal is to help users avoid traffic while providing the best possible driving experience. If you’re new to Android Auto, please share your experiences with the User Community.  We will continue to make improvements and bring new features to Android Auto to deliver a safe and seamless experience that is purpose-built for driving.

Waze for Android Auto is available in all countries where Android Auto is available. Integration of Android Auto on your phone screen is in the works, sign up to receive the latest news on Waze for Android Auto.

Source: Android


Android Pay says “hola” to Spain

If life’s all about savoring the moment, there may be nowhere that does it better than Spain. Between the culture, the food, and the people, the country has perfected the art of enjoying the present. And Android Pay is about to make that even easier to do. Today, we’re introducing ourselves to Spain, making it the 14th country with Android Pay. We’re thrilled to bring you faster, more secure checkout – just tap with your phone wherever contactless payments are accepted.

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Where you can use it

Meeting a date for tapas or picking up snacks for the beach? You can now ditch your wallet. The next time you’re getting your café con leche at Starbucks, a new look from Zara, the essentials at El Corte Inglés, or tapas at 100 Montaditos, you’ll be able to pay quickly and easily using just your phone.

Android Pay works anywhere contactless payments are accepted, which amounts to over one million stores in Spain. Here are some of the places you can check out:

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And Android Pay isn’t just accepted in stores. Once you’ve set it up, you can speed through checkout online and in apps like Vueling—which means a weekend getaway to Italy is only one tap away.

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Banks on board – and coming soon

If you’ve got a Visa® or Mastercard debit or credit card with BBVA, you’ll be able to use Android Pay right away. Not you? No worries. We’re always adding more partners.

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Build up your business

If you’re a business owner or work for one, we’ve also made it easy to accept Android Pay in your stores, websites and apps. We’ve teamed up with a diverse group of leading payment platforms, processors, and technology providers—Adyen, Braintree, IMSolutions, and Stripe among them – so you can give your customers a faster way to pay for your goods and services. Check out the Android Pay API developer site to learn more.
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Pay with your phone today

Ready to give it a whirl? Download Android Pay on Google Play. If you have any questions, stop by our Help Center or visit our website. Then, go enjoy your day with the better way to pay.

Source: Android


What’s next for Google payment and loyalty experiences

Thousands of apps and millions of stores accept Android Pay, a simpler and more secure mobile payment experience. Android Pay is now available in 10 markets, with more coming soon, including Brazil, Canada, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. And in addition to our already announced Visa and Mastercard partnerships, we’ll soon enable a streamlined mobile checkout experience for PayPal users.

The newest ways to pay with Google

Yesterday, we announced the Google Payment API, which lets people pay in app or online with any verified credit or debit card saved to their Google Account, via products like Google Play, Chrome and YouTube.

Wish Pay with Google

For users, the option to pay with Google means breezing through checkout without needing to remember and type multiple lines of payment details. You simply choose your preferred card, enter a security code or authenticate with your Android device, and check out.

Developers who adopt this API can enable an easy-to-use checkout experience for their customers. Sign up for early access to the new Google Payment API.

In the upcoming months, we’ll also enable people in the U.S. to send or receive payments via the Google Assistant. On your Google Home or Android device, it’s as simple as saying “Ok Google, send $10 to Jane for pizza.” All you need is a debit card linked to your Google account.

P2P Assistant

Connect with customers before, during and after purchase

We’re also announcing new ways for merchants to engage and reward customers before they walk into the store and after they’ve left.

The Card Linked Offers API drives customer loyalty by providing a new channel to deliver targeted offers, and Panera Bread is one of the first merchants who will roll out this new capability nationally. MyPanera members who save their loyalty card to Android Pay can discover offers and learn about new menu items, surfaced by Android Pay when they are at the store. The offer is redeemed when you use your MyPanera account at checkout.

Card Linked Offers with Panera

We’re also making it easier for Android Pay users to add loyalty programs. For example, Walgreens Balance Rewards® members who manually apply their loyalty account with a phone number and use Android Pay will receive a notification on their phone that easily enables them to link that loyalty card to Android Pay for future visits. This experience is powered by our smart tap technology, which Walgreens has fully deployed across their 8,000+ U.S. stores.

There’s more—we’re collaborating with Clover, a First Data company, to expand our smart tap technology beyond national retailers to businesses of all sizes. With the upcoming integration of smart tap in Clover’s developer APIs, you’ll be able to build Android apps for loyalty, coupon and gift card redemption and new features, such as order ahead and tap for pick up. 

Visit developers.google.com/payments for the latest on all of our Google Payment, Loyalty and Offers APIs.

Source: Android


Keeping you safe with Google Play Protect

Whether you’re checking email for work, playing Pokémon Go with your kids or watching your favorite movie, confidence in the security of your device and data is important. And since day one, Android has been built with security in mind. As we’ve grown, so have our security services, which constantly protect the 2 billion active Android devices globally.

We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we are doubling down on our commitment to security. Today we introduced Google Play Protect—Google’s comprehensive security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Google Play Protect

Peace of mind in the palm of your hand

With more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, our machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks, identifying potentially harmful apps and keeping them off your device or removing them. All Google Play apps go through a rigorous security analysis even before they’re published on the Play Store—and Play Protect warns you about bad apps that are downloaded from other sources too. Play Protect watches out for any app that might step out of line on your device, keeping you and every other Android user safe.

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Control within reach, even when your device isn’t

One of the biggest security risks you’re likely to face is simply losing your phone. To help in these times of need, we’re launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect. With Find My Device you can locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. This feature is built in and enabled on all devices; visit android.com/find or check out the app.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out these new features to your device. To learn more about Google Play Protect, check out our website or give Find My Device a spin.

Source: Android


Keeping you safe with Google Play Protect

Whether you’re checking email for work, playing Pokémon Go with your kids or watching your favorite movie, confidence in the security of your device and data is important. And since day one, Android has been built with security in mind. As we’ve grown, so have our security services, which constantly protect the 2 billion active Android devices globally.

We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we are doubling down on our commitment to security. Today we introduced Google Play Protect—Google’s comprehensive security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Google Play Protect

Peace of mind in the palm of your hand

With more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, our machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks, identifying potentially harmful apps and keeping them off your device or removing them. All Google Play apps go through a rigorous security analysis even before they’re published on the Play Store—and Play Protect warns you about bad apps that are downloaded from other sources too. Play Protect watches out for any app that might step out of line on your device, keeping you and every other Android user safe.

1

Control within reach, even when your device isn’t

One of the biggest security risks you’re likely to face is simply losing your phone. To help in these times of need, we’re launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect. With Find My Device you can locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. This feature is built in and enabled on all devices; visit android.com/find or check out the app.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out these new features to your device. To learn more about Google Play Protect, check out our website or give Find My Device a spin.

Source: Android


Android: celebrating a big milestone together with you

When I started working at Google in early 2007, it was before Android, before iOS. Mobile was still niche. And while many of us had a sense that mobile was going to be big, I’m not sure we really realized just how big it was going to get. Fast forward to today, and there are now 2 billion monthly active Android devices globally. This is an extraordinarily humbling milestone—and it’s the largest reach of any computing platform of its kind. Today at Google I/O, we celebrated that milestone and showcased a number of ways we’re working to make Android even more useful, including a beta release of Android O and a new initiative to help bring Android to the next billion users.

Android across all your screens

Android brings the power of computing to the many screens in your life—from watches to TVs and beyond. We’re excited about the momentum we’re seeing in these new Android platforms too:

  • Watches: With new partners such as Emporio Armani, Movado and New Balance, Android Wear now enables 24 of the world’s top watch brands.

  • Cars: Android Auto has seen 10x user growth since last year, supported by more than 300 car models. And just this week, Audi and Volvo announced next generation infotainment systems will be powered by Android.

  • TVs: With 1 million new device activations every two months, Android TV has doubled its number of users since last year. And today we announced Android TV is revamping its home screen with a new channel-based, content-first experience so you can discover new shows and watch your favorites even faster.

  • Internet of Things: Android Things, which will fully launch later this year, already has thousands of developers in more than 60 countries using it to build connected devices with easy access to services such as the Google Assistant.

  • Chromebooks: Chromebooks, which can now run Android apps, comprise nearly 60 percent of K-12 laptops sold in U.S. schools and momentum is spreading. Adoption of Chromebooks in schools has doubled internationally, and we saw 75 percent growth in enterprise as well.

  • Play: Android users installed a staggering 82 billion apps and games in the past year from Google Play.

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Android O: fluid experiences to help you do more

Android O, coming later this year, will bring more fluid experiences to your smaller screen, as well as improvements to what we call “vitals” like battery life and security. With picture-in-picture, you can seamlessly do two tasks simultaneously, like checking your calendar while planning a party on a Duo video call. And Smart Text Selection improves copy and paste—because who enjoys fumbling with text selection handles? By using machine learning to recognize entities on the screen—like a complete address—you can easily select text you want with a double tap, and even bring up an app like Maps to help navigate you there.

Under the hood, we’re making your phone startup quicker and your apps faster, and are adding optimizations for developers to help prevent your battery from draining. Because with all of Android O’s new features, you’re going to want a device that can last all day.

O will begin rolling out later this year, but developers can try the preview at android.com/beta now. Read more on the Android Developer Blog

Keeping you safe with Google Play Protect

We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we’re doubling down on our commitment to security. Today we introduced Google Play Protect—Google’s comprehensive security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger. Play Protect detects and removes apps that might be harmful. And with more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, our machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks. We’re also launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect, allowing you to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. Google Play Protect is available out-of-the-box on every Android device with Google Play.

Reaching the next billions of users with a new initiative: Android Go

We also gave an early preview of a new initiative for entry-level Android devices—internally we call it “Android Go.” The goal is to get computing into the hands of more people by creating a great smartphone experience on all Android devices with 1GB or less of memory. Android Go is designed with features relevant for people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages, and comes to life through three key areas: the Android OS, Google apps, and the Google Play Store. We’re optimizing the latest release of Android, starting with Android O, to run smoothly on entry-level devices. We’re also designing Google apps—like YouTube Go, Chrome and Gboard—to use less memory, storage space and mobile data. And there will be a version of the Play Store that highlights apps specifically designed for the next billion users coming online, while still offering the entire app catalog. All three of these things will ship together, as a single experience, starting in 2018.

 If you’re a developer, we’ll be diving into these topics and more over the next three days at Google I/O—you can catch the live stream of 150+ sessions at events.google.com/io/. We’re excited to share more updates with you on all of these Android projects over the next few months.

Source: Android


Android: celebrating a big milestone together with you

When I started working at Google in early 2007, it was before Android, before iOS. Mobile was still niche. And while many of us had a sense that mobile was going to be big, I’m not sure we really realized just how big it was going to get. Fast forward to today, and there are now 2 billion monthly active Android devices globally. This is an extraordinarily humbling milestone—and it’s the largest reach of any computing platform of its kind. Today at Google I/O, we celebrated that milestone and showcased a number of ways we’re working to make Android even more useful, including a beta release of Android O and a new initiative to help bring Android to the next billion users.

Android across all your screens

Android brings the power of computing to the many screens in your life—from watches to TVs and beyond. We’re excited about the momentum we’re seeing in these new Android platforms too:

  • Watches: With new partners such as Emporio Armani, Movado and New Balance, Android Wear now enables 24 of the world’s top watch brands.

  • Cars: Android Auto has seen 10x user growth since last year, supported by more than 300 car models. And just this week, Audi and Volvo announced next generation infotainment systems will be powered by Android.

  • TVs: With 1 million new device activations every two months, Android TV has doubled its number of users since last year. And today we announced Android TV is revamping its home screen with a new channel-based, content-first experience so you can discover new shows and watch your favorites even faster.

  • Internet of Things: Android Things, which will fully launch later this year, already has thousands of developers in more than 60 countries using it to build connected devices with easy access to services such as the Google Assistant.

  • Chromebooks: Chromebooks, which can now run Android apps, comprise nearly 60 percent of K-12 laptops sold in U.S. schools and momentum is spreading. Adoption of Chromebooks in schools has doubled internationally, and we saw 75 percent growth in enterprise as well.

  • Play: Android users installed a staggering 82 billion apps and games in the past year from Google Play.

1

Android O: fluid experiences to help you do more

Android O, coming later this year, will bring more fluid experiences to your smaller screen, as well as improvements to what we call “vitals” like battery life and security. With picture-in-picture, you can seamlessly do two tasks simultaneously, like checking your calendar while planning a party on a Duo video call. And Smart Text Selection improves copy and paste—because who enjoys fumbling with text selection handles? By using machine learning to recognize entities on the screen—like a complete address—you can easily select text you want with a double tap, and even bring up an app like Maps to help navigate you there.

Under the hood, we’re making your phone startup quicker and your apps faster, and are adding optimizations for developers to help prevent your battery from draining. Because with all of Android O’s new features, you’re going to want a device that can last all day.

O will begin rolling out later this year, but developers can try the preview at android.com/beta now. Read more on the Android Developer Blog

Keeping you safe with Google Play Protect

We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we’re doubling down on our commitment to security. Today we introduced Google Play Protect—Google’s comprehensive security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger. Play Protect detects and removes apps that might be harmful. And with more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, our machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks. We’re also launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect, allowing you to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. Google Play Protect is available out-of-the-box on every Android device with Google Play.

Reaching the next billions of users with a new initiative: Android Go

We also gave an early preview of a new initiative for entry-level Android devices—internally we call it “Android Go.” The goal is to get computing into the hands of more people by creating a great smartphone experience on all Android devices with 1GB or less of memory. Android Go is designed with features relevant for people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages, and comes to life through three key areas: the Android OS, Google apps, and the Google Play Store. We’re optimizing the latest release of Android, starting with Android O, to run smoothly on entry-level devices. We’re also designing Google apps—like YouTube Go, Chrome and Gboard—to use less memory, storage space and mobile data. And there will be a version of the Play Store that highlights apps specifically designed for the next billion users coming online, while still offering the entire app catalog. All three of these things will ship together, as a single experience, starting in 2018.

 If you’re a developer, we’ll be diving into these topics and more over the next three days at Google I/O—you can catch the live stream of 150+ sessions at events.google.com/io/. We’re excited to share more updates with you on all of these Android projects over the next few months.

Source: Android


Smarter cars powered by Android

Remember paper maps? Long before GPS, in-car navigation systems, and smartphones, you may have kept stacks of them in your car. Or maybe you stopped by a gas station for directions or a pay phone to tell someone you were running late.

The world is pretty different today―we expect to be connected, no matter where we are. That’s why Android Auto is designed to give drivers an easy way to access the information they need―navigation, streaming audio, and communications—while minimizing the distractions they don’t need.

Since its launch three years ago, Android Auto has grown to be supported by 300 car models and aftermarket stereos. And thanks to the standalone Android Auto mobile app, millions more Android mobile users can now use Android Auto with the same large buttons and voice controls right on their phone screen, even if their car isn’t compatible.

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Android Auto

Today, Audi and Volvo announced they will build Android into their next generation of cars. That means your car’s built-in infotainment system could allow you to control your air conditioning, sunroof, and windows, find the nearest restaurant with Google Maps, listen to Spotify or NPR, or just ask your Google Assistant for help—even when you leave your phone behind.

A preview of their systems will be on display at Google I/O this week, from Wednesday May 17 through Friday May 19. If you are attending in person, see you there! If not, tune into the livestream of our session on May 17 at 2pm PT to learn more.

Source: Android


New ways to pay with Android Pay and PayPal

Android Pay | PayPal

We're thrilled to bring you even more options at checkout, thanks to a new strategic collaboration between Android Pay and PayPal, one of the world's leading online payment platforms.

Android Pay & PayPal

Millions of people already use their PayPal account to make online purchases, receive payments and send money to friends and family. Soon they can start using the same PayPal account to tap and pay with their phones in stores and speed through checkout in Android apps.

People in the U.S. can simply link their PayPal account to use with Android Pay. You can expect to see this new feature in the Android Pay and PayPal apps within the next few weeks.

Source: Android