Author Archives: Sameer Samat

Investing in the Wear OS ecosystem

When we introduced Wear OS by Google (then called Android Wear) five years ago, wearable tech was pretty nascent. 

While it was early, we felt there was something really exciting about this next era of computing and we wanted to enable an ecosystem of partners by providing a flexible platform. 

We’re really proud of the progress. We've also admired the amazing things others have done with wearables, and today we announced that Google has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fitbit. The Fitbit team has built a great health and fitness experience that is loved by people all over the world.

This agreement underscores our belief in how important wearable tech has become, and it’s also an exciting opportunity for Wear OS. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Fitbit to bring the best of our smartwatch platforms and health applications together, and enabling our partners to build the next generation of wearables. 

We’re hard at work on the next evolution of Wear OS—and if you’d like to join us, we’d love to hear from you.

Android P: Packed with smarts and simpler than ever

Ten years ago, when we launched the first Android phone—the T-Mobile G1—it was with a simple but bold idea: to build a mobile platform that’s free and open to everyone. Today, that idea is thriving—billions of people around the world rely on their Android phone every day.


To make Android smarter and easier to use than ever, today we’re unveiling a beta version of Android P, the next release of Android.

A smarter smartphone, with machine learning at the core

Android P makes your smartphone smarter, helping it learn from and adapt to you. Take battery life, for instance—I think all of us often wish we had more of it. In Android P, we partnered with DeepMind to build Adaptive Battery, which prioritizes battery power only for the apps and services you use the most, to help you squeeze the most out of your battery. We also used machine learning to create Adaptive Brightness, which learns how you like to set the brightness slider given your surroundings.


Across the platform, your phone will help you better navigate your day, using context to give you smart suggestions based on what you like to do the most and automatically anticipating your next action. App Actions, for instance, help you get to your next task more quickly by predicting what you want to do next. Say you connect your headphones to your device, Android will surface an action to resume your favorite Spotify playlist. Actions show up throughout Android in places like the Launcher, Smart Text Selection, the Play Store, the Google Search app and the Assistant.


Actions are a simple but powerful way for helping you get what you need quickly; but what if we could surface part of the app itself, right when you need it most? Slices do just that, giving you an even deeper look into your favorite apps. If you search for “Lyft” in Google Search, you can see an interactive Slice that gives you the price and time for a trip to work, and it’s interactive so you can quickly order the ride.

We want the entire device experience to be smarter, not just the OS, so we’re bringing the power of Google’s machine learning to app developers with the launch of ML Kit, a new set of cross-platform APIs available through Firebase. ML Kit offers developers on-device APIs for text recognition, face detection, image labeling and more. So mobile developers building apps like Lose It!, a nutrition tracker, can easily deploy our text recognition model to scan nutritional information and ML Kit’s custom model APIs to automatically classify over 200 different foods with your phone’s camera.


A simple, more approachable Android

With Android P, we put a special emphasis on simplicity. The look and feel of Android is more approachable with a brand new system navigation. In Android P, we’re extending gestures to enable navigation right from your homescreen. This is especially helpful as phones grow taller and it’s more difficult to get things done on your phone with one hand. With a single, clean home button, you can swipe up to see a newly designed Overview, the spot where at a glance you have full-screen previews of your recently used apps. Simply tap to jump back into one of them. If you find yourself constantly switching between apps, we’ve got good news for you: Smart Text Selection (which recognizes the meaning of the text you’re selecting and suggests relevant actions) now works in Overview, making it easier to perform the action you want.

new system navigation

Changing how you navigate your phone is a big deal, but small changes can make a big difference too. Android P also brings a redesigned Quick Settings, a better way to take and edit screenshots (say goodbye to the vulcan grip that was required before), simplified volume controls, an easier way to manage notifications and more. You’ll notice small changes like these across the platform, to help make the things you do all the time easier than ever.  


Awareness and control of your digital wellbeing

Technology should help you with your life, not distract you from it. So we've been working hard to add key capabilities right into Android to help you achieve your desired balance with technology. Our focus is on giving you a greater understanding of how you use your phone, as well as more controls. A new Dashboard, for instance, shows you how you’re spending time on your device, including time spent in apps, how many times you’ve unlocked your phone, and how many notifications you’ve received. App Timer lets you set time limits on apps, and will nudge you when you’re close to your limit and then gray out the icon to remind you of your goal. The new Do Not Disturb mode silences not just the phone calls and notifications, but also all the visual interruptions that pop up on your screen. And to make it even easier to use, we created a new gesture: if you turn your phone over on the table, it automatically enters Do Not Disturb so you can focus on being present.  Finally, Wind Down will switch on Night Light when it gets dark, and it will turn on Do Not Disturb and fade the screen to grayscale at your chosen bedtime to help you remember to get to sleep at the time you want.
Digital Wellbeing

Dashboard, App Timer, Wind Down

Beyond smarts, simplicity and digital wellbeing, there are hundreds of additional improvements coming in Android P, including security and privacy improvements such as DNS over TLS, encrypted backups, Protected Confirmations and more.  

Android P Beta is available today on Google Pixel. And thanks to work on Project Treble, an effort we introduced last year to make OS upgrades easier for partners, a number of our partners are making Android P Beta available today on their own devices, including Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21, OnePlus 6, and Essential PH‑1.  

Since we first launched Android ten years ago, we’ve been focused on how to build a platform for everyone. Android P is an important step toward bringing machine learning to everyone with an operating system that learns from you, adapts to you and helps you with everyday tasks.

Android Oreo superpowers, coming to a device near you

Today, we are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform–and it’s smarter, faster and more powerful than ever. It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. Plus, it’s got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at lightspeed. When you’re on your next adventure, Android Oreo is the superhero to have by your side (or in your pocket!).

Android Oreo, to the rescue!

Ever try checking your schedule while staying on a video call?  Android Oreo makes it easy with picture-in-picture, letting you see two apps at once: it's like having the power to be in two places at the same time! Overwhelmed by notifications, but missing the ones you care about the most? With Android Oreo, notification dots let you tap to see what's new in your apps -- like the important ones you put on your homescreen -- and then take action on those notifications quickly.

Evildoers trying to get bad software onto your device? Android Oreo is more secure with Google Play Protect built in, security status front and center in settings, and tighter app install controls.  

Battery depleted and still galaxies away from a charger? Been there, too. Android Oreo helps minimize unintentional overuse of battery from apps in the background;  these limits keep your battery going longer.

Supersonic speed

When you’re on the go, speed is perhaps the most important superpower. With Android Oreo, you can get started on tasks more quickly than ever with a faster boot speed (up to twice as fast on Pixel, in fact). Once you’re powered up, Autofill on Android Oreo remembers things like logins (with your permission) to quickly get you into your favorite apps. Plus, support for Android Instant Apps means you can teleport directly into new apps, no installation needed.

League of extraordinary emojis

Even superheroes don’t go it alone. Android Oreo brings along a team of
fully-redesigned emojis, including over 60 new emoji like
, and to help save the day!  

Coming to a device near you

We're pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today. Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and we expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player. We’ve also been working closely with our partners, and by the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version. You can learn more at android.com/oreo.

Source: Android


Android Oreo superpowers, coming to a device near you

Today, we are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform–and it’s smarter, faster and more powerful than ever. It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. Plus, it’s got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at lightspeed. When you’re on your next adventure, Android Oreo is the superhero to have by your side (or in your pocket!).

Android 8.0 Oreo

Android Oreo, to the rescue!

Ever try checking your schedule while staying on a video call?  Android Oreo makes it easy with picture-in-picture, letting you see two apps at once: it's like having the power to be in two places at the same time! Overwhelmed by notifications, but missing the ones you care about the most? With Android Oreo, notification dots let you tap to see what's new in your apps -- like the important ones you put on your homescreen -- and then take action on those notifications quickly.

Evildoers trying to get bad software onto your device? Android Oreo is more secure with Google Play Protect built in, security status front and center in settings, and tighter app install controls.  

Battery depleted and still galaxies away from a charger? Been there, too. Android Oreo helps minimize unintentional overuse of battery from apps in the background;  these limits keep your battery going longer.

Supersonic speed

When you’re on the go, speed is perhaps the most important superpower. With Android Oreo, you can get started on tasks more quickly than ever with a faster boot speed (up to twice as fast on Pixel, in fact). Once you’re powered up, Autofill on Android Oreo remembers things like logins (with your permission) to quickly get you into your favorite apps. Plus, support for Android Instant Apps means you can teleport directly into new apps, no installation needed.

League of extraordinary emojis

Even superheroes don’t go it alone. Android Oreo brings along a team of fully-redesigned emojis, including new emoji to help save the day like:

Coming to a device near you

We're pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today. Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and we expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player. We’ve also been working closely with our partners, and by the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version. You can learn more at android.com/oreo.

Source: Android


Android Oreo superpowers, coming to a device near you

Today, we are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform–and it’s smarter, faster and more powerful than ever. It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. Plus, it’s got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at lightspeed. When you’re on your next adventure, Android Oreo is the superhero to have by your side (or in your pocket!).

Android 8.0 Oreo

Android Oreo, to the rescue!

Ever try checking your schedule while staying on a video call?  Android Oreo makes it easy with picture-in-picture, letting you see two apps at once: it's like having the power to be in two places at the same time! Overwhelmed by notifications, but missing the ones you care about the most? With Android Oreo, notification dots let you tap to see what's new in your apps -- like the important ones you put on your homescreen -- and then take action on those notifications quickly.

Android-Oreo-Transformation.gif
Android Oreo

Evildoers trying to get bad software onto your device? Android Oreo is more secure with Google Play Protect built in, security status front and center in settings, and tighter app install controls.  

Battery depleted and still galaxies away from a charger? Been there, too. Android Oreo helps minimize unintentional overuse of battery from apps in the background;  these limits keep your battery going longer.

Supersonic speed

When you’re on the go, speed is perhaps the most important superpower. With Android Oreo, you can get started on tasks more quickly than ever with a faster boot speed (up to twice as fast on Pixel, in fact). Once you’re powered up, Autofill on Android Oreo remembers things like logins (with your permission) to quickly get you into your favorite apps. Plus, support for Android Instant Apps means you can teleport directly into new apps, no installation needed.

League of extraordinary emojis

Even superheroes don’t go it alone. Android Oreo brings along a team of fully-redesigned emojis, including new emoji to help save the day like:

androidEmoji_sample_850px.png

Coming to a device near you

We're pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today. Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and we expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player. We’ve also been working closely with our partners, and by the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version. You can learn more at android.com/oreo.

Source: Android


Google Play turns 5 today!

Google Play is celebrating its 5th birthday today! On March 6, 2012, we opened our digital doors to offer you a one stop shop to find and enjoy your favorite apps, games, movies, TV shows, music, and books—and access them at anytime on your laptop, at home, on your TV or on the go, whether you are on or offline.

In five years, we’ve grown to more than 1 billion active users in 190 countries. And with millions of apps, 40 million songs, 5 million books, and more movies than ever, there’s so much to explore. Google Play has also become an important distribution platform for developers to build their global audience.

Whether you have a phone, tablet, Chromebook or Watch, your device can become anything and take you anywhere, with a world of things to watch, read, play and do. Google Play brings your devices to life by delivering great content to people all around the world. In fact, the Google Play Store and Android apps are now available on in more places than ever before including Chromebooks, Android Wear devices and Daydream, Google’s Virtual Reality platform. And this is just the beginning.

In celebration of our 5th birthday, we looked back at the top 5 most popular books, games, apps, songs, albums and films in the U.S. since we launched Google Play. From Candy Crush to The Interview, check out the most popular content from the last five years.

Did your favorite make the list?

GOOGLE PLAY’S TOP 5 U.S. LISTS TO CELEBRATE TURNING 5


TOP INSTALLED GAMES

  1. Candy Crush Saga
  2. Subway Surfers
  3. Temple Run 2
  4. Despicable Me
  5. Clash of Clans

TOP INSTALLED APPS*

  1. Facebook
  2. Facebook Messenger
  3. Pandora Radio
  4. Instagram
  5. Snapchat
    *Download only. Does not include pre-installed apps on Android devices.

TOP SELLING SONGS

  1. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
  2. Lorde - Royals
  3. Taylor Swift - Blank Space
  4. Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk
  5. Pharrell Williams - Happy

TOP SELLING ALBUMS

  1. Adele - 25
  2. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Deluxe)
  3. Taylor Swift - 1989
  4. Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
  5. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

TOP SELLING MOVIES

  1. The Interview
  2. Frozen
  3. Deadpool
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy

TOP SELLING BOOKS

  1. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E L James
  2. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
  3. A Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin
  4. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
  5. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Android 7.0 Nougat: a more powerful OS, made for you

Today, we’ll begin rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices. And with more ways to make Android your own, it’s by far our sweetest release yet.

We took a different approach to building and launching Nougat this year. For starters, we invited developers to take a sneak peek at Android N back in March, so they could bring their apps to the new platform earlier. And of course we asked you to help us come up with names for this year’s release, resulting in lots of great ideas, and a delicious unveiling back in June.

Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans and developers all over the world. There are over 250 major features in Android Nougat, but we wanted to highlight a few of the features you’ve been most excited about.


More personal

Providing more ways to customize your phone to fit your personality is kind of a big deal, and Android has been leading the way since day one (Homescreen widgets, anyone?). With Android Nougat, you’ll have even more ways to make your phone your own, including:
  • Expanded emoji: There are now over 1,500 different emoji built into Android, including 72 new ones, so go ahead: express yourself.

Android - 08_22 - Nougat.jpg
  • Quick Settings controls: Quick Settings gives you easy access to things like bluetooth, WiFi and the all-important flashlight. With Android Nougat, you can actually control what tiles go where, and move ‘em around to fit your needs.
  • Multi-locale support: Apps can tailor their content based on your locale settings. So if you speak multiple languages, for instance, then search engines can show results in each of those languages. 
Android - 08_22 - Nougat2.png
Expanded emoji and Quick Settings controls

More productive

Whether you’re responding to work emails or making plans with friends, Android Nougat helps you multitask with ease with new features like Multi-window, Direct reply, and Quick switch.
  • Multi-window: Run two apps side-by-side. The windows are resizable, too, by simply dragging the divider.
  • Direct Reply: Reply directly to notifications without having to open any app.
  • Quick Switch: Switch between your two most recently used apps by simply double tapping the Overview button.

More battery smarts

Starting with the release of Android Marshmallow last year, we have been making the battery smarter. That’s why we made the Doze feature even dozier with Android Nougat. Your device can now drop into lower power usage when it’s getting jostled around in your pocket or bag while on the move.*
Android - 08_22 - Nougat3.png
Split-screen

More immersive

Android Nougat is designed with immersive experiences in mind—including support for VulkanTM (an advanced 3D rendering API) and Daydream (Google’s platform for mobile virtual reality).

  • VulkanTM: Games will now leap to life thanks to high-speed, next-generation graphics — all powered by your device’s multi-core processor.
  • Daydream: Android Nougat is ready to transport you to virtual worlds with Daydream-ready phones, headsets and controllers — all coming later this year.

More secure

As always, Android is built with powerful layers of security and encryption to keep your private data private. For new devices coming this fall, we’ve also added new features like Seamless updates, File-based encryption and and Direct Boot.
  • Seamless updates: New Android devices with Nougat can install software updates in the background which means you won't have to wait while your device installs the update and optimizes all your apps for the new version. And for current Nexus users, software updates now install much faster, so you won't have to wait for minutes while your device reboots. 
  • File-based encryption: Android Nougat can better isolate and protect files for individual users on your device.
  • Direct Boot: Direct Boot helps your device startup faster, and apps run securely even before you unlock your device when your device reboots.
And for those of you who also want to use your Android device at work, there are also new security features for using Android in enterprise, which you can learn more about on the Android for Work website.

Coming soon, to a device near you

Today, and over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over the air software update** to Android 7.0 Nougat. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.

And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20 which will be the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box. You can learn even more about Android Nougat at www.android.com/nougat.


*Hey, just a reminder that actual battery performance varies and will depend on a number factors including signal strength, network configuration, battery age, operating temperature, features selected, device settings, and voice, data, and other application usage patterns.

**The Nexus and Pixel C update to Android 7.0 Nougat occurs in stages and some carriers will receive the update later than others. This update will be pushed simultaneously to devices in the Android Beta Program.

Source: Android


Android 7.0 Nougat: a more powerful OS, made for you

Today, we’ll begin rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices. And with more ways to make Android your own, it’s by far our sweetest release yet.

We took a different approach to building and launching Nougat this year. For starters, we invited developers to take a sneak peek at Android N back in March, so they could bring their apps to the new platform earlier. And of course we asked you to help us come up with names for this year’s release, resulting in lots of great ideas, and a delicious unveiling back in June.

Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans and developers all over the world. There are over 250 major features in Android Nougat, but we wanted to highlight a few of the features you’ve been most excited about.


More personal

Providing more ways to customize your phone to fit your personality is kind of a big deal, and Android has been leading the way since day one (Homescreen widgets, anyone?). With Android Nougat, you’ll have even more ways to make your phone your own, including:
  • Expanded emoji: There are now over 1,500 different emoji built into Android, including 72 new ones, so go ahead: express yourself.

Android - 08_22 - Nougat.jpg
  • Quick Settings controls: Quick Settings gives you easy access to things like bluetooth, WiFi and the all-important flashlight. With Android Nougat, you can actually control what tiles go where, and move ‘em around to fit your needs.
  • Multi-locale support: Apps can tailor their content based on your locale settings. So if you speak multiple languages, for instance, then search engines can show results in each of those languages. 
Android - 08_22 - Nougat2.png
Expanded emoji and Quick Settings controls

More productive

Whether you’re responding to work emails or making plans with friends, Android Nougat helps you multitask with ease with new features like Multi-window, Direct reply, and Quick switch.
  • Multi-window: Run two apps side-by-side. The windows are resizable, too, by simply dragging the divider.
  • Direct Reply: Reply directly to notifications without having to open any app.
  • Quick Switch: Switch between your two most recently used apps by simply double tapping the Overview button.

More battery smarts

Starting with the release of Android Marshmallow last year, we have been making the battery smarter. That’s why we made the Doze feature even dozier with Android Nougat. Your device can now drop into lower power usage when it’s getting jostled around in your pocket or bag while on the move.*
Android - 08_22 - Nougat3.png
Split-screen

More immersive

Android Nougat is designed with immersive experiences in mind—including support for VulkanTM (an advanced 3D rendering API) and Daydream (Google’s platform for mobile virtual reality).

  • VulkanTM: Games will now leap to life thanks to high-speed, next-generation graphics — all powered by your device’s multi-core processor.
  • Daydream: Android Nougat is ready to transport you to virtual worlds with Daydream-ready phones, headsets and controllers — all coming later this year.

More secure

As always, Android is built with powerful layers of security and encryption to keep your private data private. For new devices coming this fall, we’ve also added new features like Seamless updates, File-based encryption and and Direct Boot.
  • Seamless updates: New Android devices with Nougat can install software updates in the background which means you won't have to wait while your device installs the update and optimizes all your apps for the new version. And for current Nexus users, software updates now install much faster, so you won't have to wait for minutes while your device reboots. 
  • File-based encryption: Android Nougat can better isolate and protect files for individual users on your device.
  • Direct Boot: Direct Boot helps your device startup faster, and apps run securely even before you unlock your device when your device reboots.
And for those of you who also want to use your Android device at work, there are also new security features for using Android in enterprise, which you can learn more about on the Android for Work website.

Coming soon, to a device near you

Today, and over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over the air software update** to Android 7.0 Nougat. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.

And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20 which will be the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box. You can learn even more about Android Nougat at www.android.com/nougat.


*Hey, just a reminder that actual battery performance varies and will depend on a number factors including signal strength, network configuration, battery age, operating temperature, features selected, device settings, and voice, data, and other application usage patterns.

**The Nexus and Pixel C update to Android 7.0 Nougat occurs in stages and some carriers will receive the update later than others. This update will be pushed simultaneously to devices in the Android Beta Program.

Source: Android