Tag Archives: #11WeeksOfAndroid

11 Weeks of Android: That’s a wrap

11

This is the final blog post for #11WeeksOfAndroid. Thank you for joining us over the past 11 weeks as we dove into key areas of Android development. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of everything we talked about during each week:

Week 1 - People and identity

Discover how to implement the conversation shortcut and bubbles with ‘conversation notifications’. Also, learn more about conversation additions and other System UI news, and discover the people and conversations developer documentation here. Finally, you can also listen to the Android Backstage podcast where the System UI team is interviewed on people and bubbles.

To tackle user and developer complexity that makes identity a challenge for developers, we've been working on One Tap and Block Store, part of our new Google Identity Services Library.

If you’re interested in learning more about Identity, we published the video “in Identity on Android: what’s new in sign-in,” where Vishal explains the new libraries in the Google Identity System.

Two teams that worked very early with us are the Facebook Messenger team and the direct messaging team from Twitter. Read the story from Twitter here and find out how we worked with Facebook on the implementation here.

Find out more with the People and Identity learning path, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 2 - Machine learning

We kicked off the week by announcing the winners of the #AndroidDevChallenge! Check out all the winning apps and see how they used ML Kit and TensorFlow Lite, all focused on demonstrating how machine learning can come to life in a powerful way to help users get things done, like an app to help visually impaired navigate crowded spaces or another to help students learn sign language.

We recently made ML Kit a standalone SDK and it no longer requires a Firebase account. Just one line in your build.gradle file and you can start bringing ML functionality into your app.

Another much anticipated addition is the support for swapping Google models with your own for both Image Labeling as well as Object Detection and Tracking.

Find out about the importance of finding the unique intersection of user problems and ML strengths and how the People + AI Guidebook can help you make ML product decisions. Check out the interview with the Read Along team for more inspiration.

This week we also highlighted how adding a custom model to your Android app has never been easier.

Finally, try out our codelabs:

Find out more with the Machine Learning pathway, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 3 - Privacy and security

As shared in the “Privacy and Security” blog post, we’re giving users even more control and transparency over user data access.

In Android 11, we introduced various privacy improvements such as one time permissions that let users give an app access to the device microphone, camera, or location, just that one time. Learn more about building privacy-friendly apps with these new changes. You can also learn about various Android security updates in this video.

Other notable updates include:

  • Permissions auto-reset: If users haven’t used an app that targets Android 11 for an extended period of time, the system will “auto-reset” all of the granted runtime permissions associated with the app and notify the user.
  • Data access auditing APIs: In Android 11, developers will have access to new APIs that will give them more transparency into their app’s usage of private and protected data. Learn more about new tools in Android 11 to make your apps more private and stable.
  • Scoped Storage: In Android 11, scoped storage will be mandatory for all apps that target API level 30. Learn more and check out the storage FAQ.
  • Google Play system updates: Google Play system updates were introduced with Android 10 as part of Project Mainline, making it easier to bring core OS component updates to users.
  • Jetpack Biometric library:The library has been updated to include new BiometricPrompt features in Android 11 in order to allow for backward compatibility.

Find out more with the ‘privacy, trust and security’ learning pathway, playlist, and documentation on privacy and security best practices.

Week 4 - Android 11 compatibility

We shipped the second Beta of Android 11 and added a new release milestone called Platform Stability to clearly signal to developers that all APIs and system behaviors are complete. Find out more about Beta 2 and platform stability, including what this milestone means for developers, and the Android 11 timeline. Note: since week #4, we shipped the third and final beta and are getting close to releasing Android 11 to AOSP and the ecosystem. Be sure to check that your apps are working!

To get your apps ready for Android 11, check out some of these helpful resources:

In our “Accelerating Android updates” blog post, we looked at how we’re continuing to get the latest OS to reach critical mass by expanding Android’s updatability architecture.

We also highlighted Excelliance Tech, who recently moved their LeBian SDK away from non-SDK interfaces, toward stable, official APIs so they can stay more compatible with the Android OS over time. Check out the Excelliance Tech story.

Find out more with the Android 11 Compatibility learning pathway, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 5 - Languages

With the Android 11 beta, we further improved the developer experience for Kotlin on Android by officially recommending coroutines for asynchronous work. If you’re new to coroutines, check out:

Also, check out our new Kotlin case studies page for the latest case studies and data, including the new Google Home case study, and our state of Kotlin on Android video. For beginners, we announced the launch of our new Android basics in Kotlin course.

If you’re a Java language developer, watch support for newer Java APIs on how we’ve made newer OpenJDK libraries available across versions of Android. With Android 11, we also updated the Android runtime to make app startup even faster with I/O prefetching.

Android 11 included updates across the native toolchain, including better tools for profile-guided optimization (PGO) and improvements to native dependency management in Android Studio 4.0.

Finally, we continue to focus on improvements to the D8 and R8 compilers in Android Studio with better support for Kotlin in the R8 shrinker. Learn more.

Find out more with the languages learning pathway, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 6 - Android Jetpack

Interested in what’s new in Jetpack? Check out the #Android11 Beta launch with a quick fly-by introducing many of the updates to our libraries, with tips on how to get started.

  • Dive deeper into major releases like Hilt, with cheat sheets to help you get started, and learn how we migrated our own samples to use Hilt for dependency injection. Less boilerplate = more fun.
  • Discover more about Paging 3.0, a complete rewrite of the library using Kotlin coroutines and adding features like improved error handling, better transformations, and much more.
  • Get to know CameraX Beta, and learn how it helps developers manage edge cases across different devices and OS versions, so that you don’t have to.

This year, we've made several major improvements with the release of Navigation 2.3, which allows you to navigate between different screens of your app with ease while also allowing you to follow Android UI principles.

In Android 11, we continued our work to give users even more control over sensitive permissions. Now there are type-safe contracts for common intents and more via new ActivityResult APIs. These changes simplify how you request permissions, and we’ll continue to work on making permissions easier in the future.

Also learn about our recent releases of the AppStartup library as well as what’s new in WorkManager.

Find out more with the Jetpack learning pathway, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 7 - Android developer tools

We have brought together an overview of what is new in Android Developer tools.

Check out the latest updates in design tools, and go even deeper:

Also, find out about debugging your layouts, with updates to the layout inspector. Discover the latest developments for Jetpack Compose Design tools, and also how to use the new database inspector in Android Studio.

Discover the latest development tools we have in place for Jetpack Hilt in Android Studio.

Learn about the build system in Android developer tools:

To learn about the latest updates on virtual testing, read this blog on the Android Emulator. Lastly, to see the latest changes for performance tools, watch performance profilers content about System Trace. Additionally, check out more about C++ memory profiling with Android Studio 4.1.

Find out more with the Android developer tools learning pathway, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 8 - App distribution and monetization

Check out our webinars about the new Google Play Console beta if you weren’t able to tune in live.

We shared recent improvements we’ve made to app bundles, as well as our intention to require new apps and games to publish with this format in the second half of 2021. The new in-app review API means developers can now ask for ratings and reviews from within your app!

Don’t forget about our policy around more transparent subscriptions to help increase user trust in Google Play Billing. We also expanded our feature set to help you better reach and retain buyers, and launched Play Billing Library 3, which will be required by mid-2021.

Google Play Pass launched in nine new markets last month. Developers using both Google Play Pass and direct billing on Google Play have earned an average of 2.5 times US revenue with Google Play Pass, without diminishing Google Play store earnings. Learn more and express interest in joining.

Find out more with the app distribution and monetization learning pathway, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 9 - Android beyond phones

Check out some of the highlights from this week, including;

Find out more with the learning pathways for Android TV and Large Screens, Beyond phones playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Week 10 - Games and media

We shared several games updates and presented a special "11 Weeks" episode of The Android Game Developer Show.

You can also take advantage of Android 11's new media controls by making sure your app is using MediaStyle with a valid MediaSession token. Learn how to support media resumption by making your app discoverable with a MediaBrowserServiceCompat, using the EXTRA_RECENT hint to help with resuming content, and handling the onPlay and onGetRoot callbacks. Then check out how to leverage the MediaRouter jetpack library and check out the updated version of the UAMP sample.

Finally, we covered some of the primary ways apps can benefit from 5G. Android 11 adds new APIs and updates existing APIs to help ensure you have all the tools you need to leverage the capabilities of 5G, such as an enhanced bandwidth estimation API, 5G detection capabilities, and a new meteredness flag from cellular carriers. The Android emulator now enables you to develop and test these APIs without needing a 5G device or network connection. All of this and more is available from our dedicated 5G page.

Find out more with the ‘games and media’ learning pathway, playlist, and the wrap-up blog post, and visit d.android.com/games to stay up to date on all of our tools and resources for game developers.

Week 11 - UI

In our final week, we released 4 new codelabs, 9 new samples, new documentation and a podcast from the Compose team. If you prefer videos; we’ve got you covered:

New in Android 11 is the ability for apps to create seamless transitions between the on screen keyboard being opened and closed. To find out how to add this to your app, slide on over to the video, blog posts and sample app

We recommend following the Material Design guidelines to ensure that apps operate consistently, enabling patterns learned in one app to be used in another. Find out more about Material Theming (color, type and shape), dark theme and Material’s motion system using the Material Design Components (MDC) library. If you haven’t already migrated to MDC, then check out our migration guide.

It even becomes possible to ease your migration with libraries like the new MDC-Android Compose Theme Adapter which converts an MDC XML theme into a Compose `MaterialTheme`.

Find out more with the Compose learning pathway, the Modern UI learning pathway, playlist, and the week’s wrap-up blog post.

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here. Follow us on Twitter and YouTube, and subscribe to our email list to receive all the latest news and resources. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

11 Weeks of Android: UI and Compose

Posted by Chris Banes & Nick Butcher

Android

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. Each week we’re diving into a key area of Android so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted people & identity; here’s a look at what you should know.

The big news: Jetpack Compose Alpha

This week we released the first alpha of Jetpack Compose 🎉, Android’s modern UI toolkit with native access to the platform APIs. Compose combines the power of Kotlin with the reactive programming model to make it easier and faster to build UI. We want your feedback to help us build the APIs that you need in your apps, so now is the time to try it out.

To get you up to speed with Compose, this week we’ve released 4 new codelabs, 7 new samples, new documentation and a podcast from the Compose team. If you prefer videos; we’ve got you covered...

To understand the reactive mindset and how to think about building apps with Compose, check out ‘Thinking in Compose’:

Learn how Jetpack Compose makes Android UI easier by walking through concrete examples from our open-source sample apps in ‘Compose by Example’:

Finally, to understand how Jetpack Compose and View based UIs can co-exist and interact, making it easy to adopt Compose at your own pace, check out ‘Compose for Existing’ apps:

Keyboard (IME) animations

New in Android 11 is the ability for apps to create seamless transitions between the on screen keyboard being opened and closed, as well as a revamped WindowInsets API to enable control of things such as the keyboard (IME). To find out how to add this to your app, slide on over to the video, blog posts and sample app

Material Design Components

We recommend following the Material Design guidelines to ensure that apps operate consistently, that patterns learned in one app can be used in another. Check out our new blog posts on Material Theming (color, type and shape), dark theme and Material’s motion system using the Material Design Components (MDC) library.

Adopting MDC now will prepare your codebase for later adopting Jetpack Compose — it uses the same concepts, design vocabulary and components. It even becomes possible to ease your migration with libraries like the new MDC-Android Compose Theme Adapter which converts an MDC XML theme into a Compose `MaterialTheme`.

If you haven’t already migrated to MDC, then check out our migration guide.

Learning path

If you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week, you can check out the learning pathways. This week we have two pathways for you to go through: the Compose pathway, and the ‘Modern UI’ pathway.

A pathway is an ordered tutorial that allows users to complete a pre-defined module that culminates in a quiz. It may include codelabs, videos, articles and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz. Test your knowledge in each pathway to earn a limited edition badge.

Key takeaways

Whether you're building with the current UI toolkit or getting ready for the next generation we hope that the resources that we’ve shared this week help you to create beautiful, engaging UIs that your users will love. Thanks to everyone who tuned in or joined us for the AMA. Follow the Modern UI pathway to learn how to leverage Material Design, animation or the latest Android 11 features. Take the Compose pathway to learn about the future of Android UI development and help shape it with your feedback.

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

11 Weeks of Android: Games, media, and 5G

Posted by Dan Galpin, Developer Advocate

Android

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. For each of the #11WeeksOfAndroid, we’re diving into key areas so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted games, media, and 5G; here’s a look at what you should know.

What's the buzz in Android 11?

  • You can now control media applications from a dedicated space within the notification area while enabling features such as playback resumption and seamless transfer.
  • New and updated 5g APIs help you unlock transformative new user experiences.
  • Adds new support for key game tools and technologies. On top of that foundation, we're building tools to both improve your game developer experience and help you better characterize the performance of your game, services to help you expand the reach of your game to more devices and new audiences, and new and improved features to support your games' go-to-market with Google Play.

Android 11 media

We covered how to take advantage of Android 11's new media controls by making sure your app is using MediaStyle with a valid MediaSession token. We showed how to support Media resumption by making your app discoverable with a MediaBrowserServiceCompat, using the EXTRA_RECENT hint to help with resuming content, and handling the onPlay and onGetRoot callbacks. Finally we showed you how to leverage the MediaRouter jetpack library to support seamless media transfer between devices. Check out the updated version of the UAMP sample which contains a reference implementation for media controls and playback resumption.

Android 11 and 5G

We covered some of the primary ways apps can benefit from 5g, including:

  • Turning indoor use cases into outdoor use cases
  • Turning photo-centric UX into video-centric or AR-centric UX
  • Prefetch helpfully to make your app even more responsive
  • Turn niche use cases into mainstream use cases, such as allowing streaming content everywhere

Android 11 adds new APIs and updates existing APIs to ensure you have all the tools you need to leverage the capabilities of 5G, such as an enhanced bandwidth estimation API, 5G detection capabilities, and a new meteredness flag from cellular carriers. The Android emulator now enables you to develop and test these APIs without needing a 5G device or network connection. All of this and more is available from our dedicated 5G page.

Catch up on what's happening with game development

We presented a special "11 Weeks" episode of The Android Game Developer Show providing an update on the tools, services, and technologies we're bringing to help you build, optimize, and distribute great games.

Check out d.android.com/games to learn about everything we've covered this week and more, and stay up to date by signing up for the games quarterly newsletter.

Android game development tooling

In Android Studio 4.1, we enhanced the System Trace view of the CPU Profiler and added the Native Memory Profiler, and both can now be launched standalone from Android Studio. The System Trace and Native Memory blog posts have more details on how to use them with your game or app.

You can sign up for developer previews of the Android Game Development Extension, and the Android GPU Inspector. The Android Game Development Extension helps with building multi-platform C/C++ games, while the GPU Inspector is used to profile and debug graphics. Stay tuned for the open beta of the Android GPU Inspector.

Reaching more devices and users with your game

We took a deep dive into the Android Performance Tuner, explaining annotations, quality levels, and fidelity parameters along with some best practices on how to use them. Once you've implemented that, we also covered how to use the new insights and analysis you'll get within Android Vitals.

We showed how Google Play Asset Delivery brings the benefits of app bundles to games with large asset sizes, flexible delivery modes, auto-updates, compression, and delta patching. Texture compression format targeting is coming very soon letting you tap into modern texture compression such as ASTC (now supported on over 50% of devices) allowing you to considerably cut your game size and in-memory footprint.

We published new codelabs to help you integrate Android Performance Tuner and Google Play Asset Delivery into your Unity or native C/C++ game.

We explained how we can help protect your game, players, and business by fighting monetization and distribution abuse.

Boost your games' go-to-market

We launched the open beta of Play Games Services - Friends to help you bootstrap and enhance your in-game friend networks while having your games surfaced in new clusters in the Play Games app.

We demonstrated the new release management experience in the Google Play Console beta and showed how it can help your testing and publishing workflow.

Day one auto-installs is a new Google Play feature that allows users to request the automatic installation of your game during pre-registration. Early experiments show a +20% increase in day 1 installs when using this feature. The new pre-registration menu in the beta Google Play Console makes it easier than ever to access this feature.

We showed how to optimize your store listing page to take advantage of the greatly improved games visual experience within Google Play, showcasing rich game graphics and engaging videos.

The new in-app review API lets you choose when to prompt users to write reviews from within your game, without heading back to the app details page. This API supports both public and private reviews for when your app is in beta.

Learning path

If you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week, check out the Games, media, and 5G pathway. A pathway is an ordered tutorial that allows users to complete a pre-defined module that culminates in a quiz. It includes videos and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz. Test your knowledge of key takeaways about Android game development, media, and 5G to earn a limited edition badge.

Key takeaways

Thank you for tuning in and learning about the latest in Android game, media, and 5G development.

Seamless media transfer and media resumption

MediaRouter API (UAMP Sample)

5G

Bandwidth estimation API

5G Detection (Android Emulator)

Meteredness flag

Features found in Android Studio 4.1 (Beta Channel)

System Trace in Android Studio CPU Profiler

Android Studio Native Memory Profiler

Pre-release standalone tools

Android Game Development Extension

Android GPU Inspector.

Features in the Android Game SDK

Android Frame Pacing Library

Android Performance Tuner (C/C++ Codelab) (Unity Codelab)

Google Play features

Play Asset Delivery (C/C++ Codelab) (Unity Codelab)

In App Review API

App Licensing

SafetyNet Attestation

Pre-registration

Google Play Games Services

Play Games Services Friends Beta

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

New ways to reach more drivers on Android for cars

Posted by Mickey Kataria, Director of Product Management, Android for cars

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. For each week, we’re diving into a key area and this week we’re focusing on Android Beyond Phones. Today, we’ll be talking about cars.

Since 2014, Google has been committed to bringing the familiarity of apps and services from Android phones into the car in a safe and seamless way. We’re continuing to see strong momentum and adoption of both Android Auto and Android Automotive OS, and are excited to share new improvements that provide app developers the opportunity to reach more users in the car.

Android Auto momentum

We launched Android Auto for users to stay connected on-the-go and more easily access their Android phones on their car displays— while staying focused on the road. Android Auto is currently available with nearly every major car manufacturer and is on track to be in more than 100 million cars in the coming months. Many car manufacturers, including General Motors, BMW and Kia, have also added support for wireless connections, making it easier for drivers to use Android Auto as soon as they get into their car. We’re continuing to add new features to make the experience more seamless for users and help developers reach more drivers with in-car apps.

Expanding Android Auto’s app ecosystem

One of our most common requests for Android Auto continues to be support for more apps in the car. We currently have over 3,000 apps in Google Play whose in-car experiences have been purpose-built for driving.

Today, we’re showcasing our work with early access partners to build apps in new categories for Android Auto, including navigation, parking and electric vehicle charging. Using our new Android for Cars App Library, we’re able to ensure that all tasks within an app can be achieved with minimal glances or taps.

image

Early access partners for new apps on Android Auto

To mitigate driver distraction, we collaborated with government, industry and academic institutions to develop our own best practice guidelines that we apply to every aspect of our product development process. With our standard templates and guidelines, developers have the tools to easily optimize their apps for cars, without needing to become an expert in driver distraction.

Our early access partners will be releasing new apps to their beta testers by the end of this year. Pending additional testing and feedback, we then plan to make these APIs publicly available for all developers to build Android Auto apps in these categories.

Android

We're partnering with some of the leading navigation, parking and electric vehicle charging apps around the world including ChargePoint, SpotHero and Sygic.

Android Automotive OS adoption

More recently, we introduced Android Automotive OS as a full-stack, open source and highly customizable platform powering vehicle infotainment systems. With Android Automotive OS, car manufacturers are able to have apps and services like Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play built into vehicles so that a mobile device is not required for common activities like navigation, downloading third-party apps and listening to media. Polestar 2, the first car running Android Automotive OS with Google built in, is now on the road and available for customers globally. In addition, Volvo Cars, Renault, General Motors and more have announced plans for infotainment systems powered by Android Automotive OS with Google apps and services built-in.

Extending the reach of media apps in cars

As more manufacturers begin to ship cars with infotainment systems powered by Android Automotive OS, developers have the opportunity to deliver a seamless media experience using Google Play in the car. If you already have a media app for Android Auto, you can extend the reach by adding support for Android Automotive OS. The process for porting over your apps is simple with most of the work already done, just follow these steps.

Making it easier to develop media apps for Android Automotive OS

For the past year, we have been on a journey to allow app developers to design, develop, test and publish media apps directly on Google Play in the car. We are happy to share that this is now possible.

Android Auto image Image of Polestar 2 and Google Generic Automative system

Polestar 2 and Google Generic Automotive system images for Android emulator

We have made updates to the Android Automotive OS design guidelines and development documentation for you to add support for your media apps. We also launched updates to the emulator to include Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play, so you can develop and test your apps in an environment that more closely mirrors the software in the car. The Polestar 2 system image enables you to test your app on similar software that is available on the road today. Lastly, the Play Console now accepts Android Automotive OS APKs, enabling you to simply upload your app for quality review and publishing. These changes allow developers to seamlessly complete the end-to-end development process for Android Automotive OS.

Image of Google Play features

Google Play features many media apps today, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, NPR One and more.

To learn more about how to create an app for Android Automotive OS, look out for updates or post on the automotive-developers Google Group or Stack Overflow using android-automotive tags.

With new app expansion on Android Auto and improved development tools for Android Automotive OS, developers have more opportunity than ever to reach users with app experiences optimized for the car. Head over to developer.android.com/cars to get started!

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

11 Weeks of Android: App distribution and monetization on Google Play

Posted by Alex Musil, Director of Product Management, Google Play

11 Weeks of Android Week 8 App Distribution & Monetization

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. Each week we’re diving into a key area of Android so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted app distribution and monetization on Google Play; here’s a look at what you should know.

Thanks for joining us for this week of 11 Weeks of Android, where we focused on app distribution and monetization. The developments we announced will enable you to deliver the exciting improvements to the Android platform you’ve been hearing about since week 1.

Google Play partners with developers to deliver amazing digital experiences to billions of Android users. From the start, we’ve committed to providing the tools and insights you need to reach more users and grow your business. This week, we launched even more features — and improved existing ones — to help you continue to maximize your success.

Key takeaways

  1. We released several webinars about the new Google Play Console beta. Check out the videos if you weren’t able to tune in live.
  2. We shared recent improvements we’ve made to app bundles, as well as our intention to require new apps and games to publish with this format in the second half of 2021.
  3. Developers can now ask for ratings and reviews from within your app with the new in-app review API.
  4. To increase user trust in our billing platform, we made some product updates and reminded you of our policy around more transparent subscriptions. We also expanded our feature set to help you better reach and retain buyers, and launched Play Billing Library 3, which will be required by mid-2021.
  5. Google Play Pass launched in nine new markets last month. With an innovative revenue model, participating titles together have earned 2.5x the revenue of Google Play Store-only sales, without diminishing Play Store earnings. You can learn more and express interest in joining.

Google Play Console beta

Thank you to everyone who has already shared their feedback on the new Google Play Console beta, which launched a few months ago at play.google.com/console. As we’ve continued to update the beta, we’ve launched a number of key releases including:

  • Major performance increases across different browsers, which many of you requested
  • New menus and headers on mobile for a better responsive experience
  • Features including Inbox (your Google Play Console messaging hub) and enhanced subscription retention reports

Earlier this week, we hosted three webinars to get you up to speed on what’s new and what’s changed from the classic Play Console. If you weren’t able to tune in live, you can watch the videos on demand below.

If you’re just getting started, join Google Play Console’s lead engineer, Dan White, for a look at new features like Inbox, policy status, app content, and enhanced team management capabilities.

To help you release with even more confidence, check out this webinar with Google Play UX designer Matt McGriskin, who will walk you through the new testing and publishing workflow.

Finally, if you want to grow your audience, join Google Play engineer Ryan Fanelli for app store optimization best practices and an overview of the new acquisition reports.

You can also take our Play Console Play Academy course. And if you haven’t already, please opt in to 2-Step Verification to sign into Google Play Console, which will be required later this year.

Android App Bundle

We’re glad so many of you are already using the Android App Bundle to release your apps and games. We’re continuing to make app bundles a better publishing format with several recent improvements:

  • The recently-launched Play Asset Delivery brings the benefits of app bundles to games and allows developers to improve the user experience while cutting delivery costs and reducing the size of their game
  • You can now shrink resources when building modular apps
  • Install-time modules are now automatically fused by default when app bundles are processed into distribution APKs
  • Feature-to-feature dependency is now stable in Android Studio 4.0

If you haven’t switched to the app bundle yet, we’ve published some FAQs on Play App Signing—which is required for app bundles—as well as guidance on how to test your app bundle. Check out our recent blog post to find out more about the recent improvements we’ve made to developing, testing, and publishing with app bundles.

As we announced as part of the Android 11 Beta launch, we intend to require new apps to publish with the Android App Bundle on Google Play in the second half of 2021. This means that we will also be deprecating APK expansion files (OBBs) and making Play Asset Delivery the standard for publishing games larger than 150MB.

In-app review API

Because ratings and reviews are such an important touchpoint with your users, many of you asked us to give users the ability to leave a review from within your app. Now, with the new in-app review API, you can do just that. Choose when to prompt users for a review and get feedback when it’s most valuable. The in-app review API is available now in the Play Core Library.

We've also released a unified sample for Play Core APIs, which includes in-app reviews as well as on-demand feature modules and in-app updates. Check it out to learn how to use these APIs using our Play Core Kotlin extensions artifact, which makes working with Play Core easier for Kotlin users.

Google Play Commerce

We’ve made a number of updates to Play Commerce aimed at building user trust through clearer, easier payment experiences. The user trust policies we announced in April offer users greater transparency, safer trial experiences, and easier cancellations.

We also launched Play Billing Library 3, which supports cash payments, a better subscription promo code redemption experience, purchase attribution, and more. Billing Play Library 3 will be mandatory for all new apps starting August 2, 2021.

For more information, check out this session with Mrinalini Loew, Group Project Manager for Google Play Commerce.

We’ve also just kicked off a six-article series on Google Play Billing, which you can follow here on Medium.

Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass enables developers to earn additional revenue and connect with untapped audiences by offering experiences free of ads and in-app purchases. Since launching last September, Play Pass has added over 200 new titles to the catalog, from puzzles and racing games to utility and kid-friendly apps. We’re also excited to celebrate the world premieres of Super Glitch Dash and Element this week as the newest “Premiering on Play Pass” titles.

The expanded catalog has enabled rich user experiences and provided a sustainable stream of revenue for developers using an innovative revenue payout model. In aggregate, titles on Play Pass earn more than 2.5x the revenue compared to their Play Store-only earnings in the US.

Last month, we made Google Play Pass available in nine new markets and gave users the option to get started with either an annual subscription or the existing monthly plan.

Today, we are announcing that developers with in-app subscriptions can now nominate their titles to join Play Pass. If you’re building a great experience that Google Play Pass users would love, you can learn more and express interest in participating.

Learning path

If you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week, check out the app distribution and monetization pathway. Test your knowledge of key takeaways to earn a limited-edition virtual badge.

Thanks for joining us for 11 Weeks of Android! We hope you find these recent announcements and resources helpful in powering your success on Google Play.

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

Leverage the In-App Review API for your Google Play reviews

Posted by Scott Lin, Product Manager, Google Play

illustration of girl with starred review

For many developers, ratings and reviews are an important touchpoint with users. Millions of reviews are left on Google Play every day, offering developers valuable insight on what users love and what they want improved. Users also rely on ratings and reviews to help them decide which apps and games are right for them.

Over the past two years, Google Play has launched various features to make it easier for users to leave reviews, as well as for developers to interact and respond to them. For example, users are now able to leave reviews from the Google Play homepage. We also launched the Reviews page under My Apps & Games, which gives users a centralized place to leave and manage reviews.

But one of the most requested features from developers has been to give users the ability to leave a review from within the app, without heading back to the App Details page. So today, we’re pleased to launch the new in-app review API to address that need.

Ask for a review at just the right time

The API lets developers choose when to prompt users to write reviews within the app experience. We believe the best time to prompt your users is when they have used the app enough to be able to provide thorough and useful feedback. However, be sure not to interrupt them in the middle of a task or when their attention is needed, as the review flow will take over the action on the screen.

User ratings for app image

Users can now give ratings and reviews within your app.

The in-app review API supports both public and private reviews for when your app is in beta.

The review API is part of the Play Core Library, which is distributed for Java/Kotlin, C++, and Unity. It offers a lightweight API that allows apps to request a review and launch the review flow without users leaving the app.

The integration consists of four main steps:

  1. Define the conditions and best place to ask for a review
  2. Request the review flow to the API
  3. Launch the review at an appropriate moment
  4. Continue the flow after the review is completed

Whether the user leaves a review or not, the app must continue without altering the user flow. The in-app review API is designed to be seamless for users.

You can see the in-app review API in action in our newly published sample, which showcases calling the API through the Play Core Kotlin extensions (KTX) library, alongside other Play Core APIs such as in-app updates and on-demand feature modules installation.

Gathering the best feedback

The API will make it much easier for users to share valuable insights about your app.

Here’s what some of our partners said during the early-access program:

Calm logo
“It was quick and easy to integrate with the new In-App Review API changes, and we saw an almost immediate increase in positive ratings and reviews after releasing those changes.”

- Chris Scoville, Engineering Manager at Calm



Duolingo logo
“The in-app review API allows our customers to rate without leaving the application. Our 5-star ratings since implementing the API has increased by 4x.”

- Nathaniel Khuana, Technical Architect, Tokopedia



Traveloka logo
"We saw our all-time highest rating just a week after we implemented in-app reviews."

- Welly Chandra, Associate Product Manager at Traveloka







Because the best feedback is honest and unbiased, we designed the API to be self-contained and not require additional prompting other than to invoke the API. We’ve also placed cap limits to ensure that users won’t be prompted excessively should they choose not to leave a review.

We encourage developers to explore integrating the in-app review API as it will unlock the type of feedback that only your dedicated users can provide. And remember, once you receive those reviews, there are a multitude of ratings and reviews tools available to you on the Google Play Console to help you analyze the reviews and respond to users' concerns directly.

How useful did you find this blog post?

Leverage the In-App Review API for your Google Play reviews

Posted by Scott Lin, Product Manager, Google Play

illustration of girl with starred review

For many developers, ratings and reviews are an important touchpoint with users. Millions of reviews are left on Google Play every day, offering developers valuable insight on what users love and what they want improved. Users also rely on ratings and reviews to help them decide which apps and games are right for them.

Over the past two years, Google Play has launched various features to make it easier for users to leave reviews, as well as for developers to interact and respond to them. For example, users are now able to leave reviews from the Google Play homepage. We also launched the Reviews page under My Apps & Games, which gives users a centralized place to leave and manage reviews.

But one of the most requested features from developers has been to give users the ability to leave a review from within the app, without heading back to the App Details page. So today, we’re pleased to launch the new in-app review API to address that need.

Ask for a review at just the right time

The API lets developers choose when to prompt users to write reviews within the app experience. We believe the best time to prompt your users is when they have used the app enough to be able to provide thorough and useful feedback. However, be sure not to interrupt them in the middle of a task or when their attention is needed, as the review flow will take over the action on the screen.

User ratings for app image

Users can now give ratings and reviews within your app.

The in-app review API supports both public and private reviews for when your app is in beta.

The review API is part of the Play Core Library, which is distributed for Java/Kotlin, C++, and Unity. It offers a lightweight API that allows apps to request a review and launch the review flow without users leaving the app.

The integration consists of four main steps:

  1. Define the conditions and best place to ask for a review
  2. Request the review flow to the API
  3. Launch the review at an appropriate moment
  4. Continue the flow after the review is completed

Whether the user leaves a review or not, the app must continue without altering the user flow. The in-app review API is designed to be seamless for users.

You can see the in-app review API in action in our newly published sample, which showcases calling the API through the Play Core Kotlin extensions (KTX) library, alongside other Play Core APIs such as in-app updates and on-demand feature modules installation.

Gathering the best feedback

The API will make it much easier for users to share valuable insights about your app.

Here’s what some of our partners said during the early-access program:

Calm logo
“It was quick and easy to integrate with the new In-App Review API changes, and we saw an almost immediate increase in positive ratings and reviews after releasing those changes.”

- Chris Scoville, Engineering Manager at Calm



Duolingo logo
“The in-app review API allows our customers to rate without leaving the application. Our 5-star ratings since implementing the API has increased by 4x.”

- Nathaniel Khuana, Technical Architect, Tokopedia



Traveloka logo
"We saw our all-time highest rating just a week after we implemented in-app reviews."

- Welly Chandra, Associate Product Manager at Traveloka







Because the best feedback is honest and unbiased, we designed the API to be self-contained and not require additional prompting other than to invoke the API. We’ve also placed cap limits to ensure that users won’t be prompted excessively should they choose not to leave a review.

We encourage developers to explore integrating the in-app review API as it will unlock the type of feedback that only your dedicated users can provide. And remember, once you receive those reviews, there are a multitude of ratings and reviews tools available to you on the Google Play Console to help you analyze the reviews and respond to users' concerns directly.

How useful did you find this blog post?

Recent Android App Bundle improvements and timeline for new apps on Google Play

Posted by Posted by Dom Elliott and Yafit Becher, Product Managers at Google Play

Google
Android

In a little over two years, the Android App Bundle has become the gold standard for publishing on Google Play. Over 600,000 apps and games currently use the app bundle in production, representing over 40% of all releases on Google Play. App bundles are used by 50% of the top developers on Google Play — such as Adobe, which used app bundles to reduce the size of Adobe Acrobat Reader by 20%.

We recently launched Play Asset Delivery (PAD), bringing the great benefits of app bundles to games and allowing developers to improve the user experience while cutting delivery costs and reducing the size of their games. Gameloft used PAD to improve user retention, resulting in 10% more new players than with their previous asset delivery system.

For those of you making the switch, we’ve published some FAQs on Play App Signing — required for app bundles — as well as guidance on how to test your app bundle. Read on to find out more about the recent improvements we’ve made to developing, testing, and publishing with app bundles.

Play Feature Delivery

The app bundle enables modular app development using dynamic feature modules with a range of customizable delivery options. It’s now possible to shrink resources in dynamic feature modules as well as your base module when building modular apps. This long-requested feature can result in significantly greater size reduction of your apps. The feature is available from Android Studio 4.2, currently in Canary, under the experimental flag: android.experimental.enableNewResourceShrinker=true.

By default, install time modules are now automatically fused when app bundles are processed into distribution APKs (starting in bundletool 1.0.0). This means you can separate your app into modules during development while reducing the number of APKs distributed to each device, which will speed up your app’s download and installation. You can choose to set a “removable flag” for install-time modules to prevent fusing, which allows you to uninstall a module on the device after it’s been used. It’s a good idea to remove large modules once they’re no longer needed — reducing the size of your app can make it less likely to be uninstalled.

Feature-to-feature dependency is now stable in Android Studio 4.0, so you can specify that a dynamic feature module depends on another feature module. Being able to define this relationship ensures that your app has the required modules to unlock additional functionality, resulting in fewer requests and easier modularization of your app.

We know that it is critical for you to test your app delivery and get the same experience as your users would in the wild. Internal app sharing lets you upload test builds to Play and get a sharable link to download your app. When downloading your app from this link, you get an identical binary as would be served to users once your app is released to Play.

Play Asset Delivery

Play Asset Delivery extends the app bundle format, allowing you to package up to 2GB of game assets alongside the binary in a single artifact published on Google Play. PAD lets games larger than 150MB replace the legacy expansion files (OBBs) and rely on Play to keep assets up to date, just like you do with your game binary. It also takes care of compression and delta patching, minimizing the size of the download and getting your game to update faster.

Google

The contents of an Android App Bundle with one base module, two dynamic feature modules, and two asset packs.

You can then choose one of three delivery modes, depending on when you want those assets to be served to users: upfront, as part of the initial game installation; on-demand, so assets will be delivered only upon request; or fast-follow, which will trigger an additional download immediately after the game installation completes, independently of the user opening the app. Fast-follow lets you minimize time to first interaction while getting assets to users as quickly as possible.

In the coming months, we’ll release texture compression format targeting, which will allow you to include multiple texture compression format assets and rely on us to deliver them to the most advanced format supported by the requesting device.

Learn more in this session from our Game Developer Summit and check out the documentation to see integration options for Unity, Unreal Engine, Gradle, Native, and Java support.

Google Play’s best-in-class distribution

Google Play delivers billions of apps, games, updates, and dynamic feature modules every month to Android users on thousands of device types around the world. We invest a lot of time and energy into making sure your content is delivered to users as seamlessly and efficiently as possible while hiding the complexity from the user experience.

For example, we recently upgraded the download service Google Play uses. This change alone has sped up the installation of app bundle apps by an average of 6% and increased install success globally by 1%, resulting in millions more new installs for developers every week.

We’re also rolling out multiple improvements to dynamic feature module distribution, such as allowing them to be installed when your app is VISIBLE or higher, lowering the free storage threshold that triggers insufficient storage errors, and removing user confirmation for large dynamic features over Wi-Fi. This alone has resulted in 12% more successful deferred module downloads. Apps using dynamic features will benefit from these changes automatically.

Requirement for new apps in the second half of 2021

We’re continuing to make app bundles a better publishing format than APKs on Google Play. For example, the new app bundle explorer lets you manage all your app bundles in one place. You can download and attest the exact APKs that Play generates for delivery, as well as a signed, universal APK (a single, installable APK that includes all code and resources needed for supported devices) that you can use on other distribution channels.

We’ve been thrilled to see the app bundle embraced by the app and game ecosystem, and we’re excited to continue to improve it. As we announced in the Android 11 event, to help us invest in future improvements, we intend to require new apps and games to publish with the Android App Bundle on Google Play in the second half of 2021. In the same timeframe, we will deprecate legacy APK expansion files (OBBs), making Play Asset Delivery the standard option for publishing games over 150MB. We will also require instant experiences to be published via instant-enabled app bundles, deprecating the legacy instant app ZIP format.

Thank you to everyone who has already made the switch to the Android App Bundle, and a special thanks to those of you who’ve shared your feedback. Your comments help us shape the future of app bundles and improve the technology for everyone, so please continue to let us know what you think.


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Protecting your Google Play Console account with 2-Step Verification

Posted by Tom Grinsted, Product Manager, Google Play Console

Google Play Console has something for everyone, from QAs and PMs to engineers and marketing managers. The new Google Play Console beta, available now at play.google.com/console, offers customized, secure access to everyone on your team. For a closer look at some of its new features and workflows, tune in to this week’s series of live webinars, which will also be available on demand.

Granting your team members safe access to specific features in your developer account is one of the best ways to increase the value of our tools for your organization. We want to make sure that your developer account is as safe as possible so you feel confident when granting access. A key way to do that is to make sure that every person who has access to your account signs in using secure methods that follow best practices. That’s why, towards the end of this year, we’re going to start requiring users of Google Play Console to sign in using Google's 2-Step Verification.

Google

2-Step Verification uses both your password and a second way to identify you for added security. This could be a text message to a registered phone, an authenticator app, alerts on supported devices, or a hardware security key. Normally, you only have to do this when you sign in for the first time on a new computer. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase the level of security for you and your team members’ accounts.

Learn more about 2-Step Verification here, and how to set it up for your own account.

If you have any comments or concerns about using 2-Step Verification to sign in to Google Play Console, or if you think it will impact you or your teams’ use of Google Play Console, use this form to let us know. All responses will be read by our product team and will help us shape our future plans.

Your team won’t be required to use 2-Step Verification immediately, although we recommend that you set it up now. We will start mandating 2-Step Verification with new users to Google Play Console towards the end of Q3, followed by existing users with high-risk permissions like app publishing or changing the prices in in-app products, later in the year. We’ll also remind every impacted user in Google Play Console at least 30 days before the change takes effect. We may also start to re-verify when you’re undertaking a sensitive action like changing your developer name or transferring ownership of an app.

Hundreds of thousands of Google Play Console users already use 2-Step Verification to keep their accounts safe, and it's been the default for G Suite customers for years. But we understand that requiring this may impact some of your existing workflows, which is why we’re giving advance notice of this change and asking for your feedback.

We can all take steps to keep our accounts and the developer community safe. Thanks for publishing your apps on Google Play.


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11 Weeks of Android: Android Developer Tools

Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

11 Weeks of Android, Week 7 with badge

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. For each of the #11WeeksOfAndroid, we’re diving into a key area so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted Android Developer Tools; here’s a look at what you should know.

The big news

During the 11 weeks of Android, we launched a range of developer tool updates in Android Studio. As of today, you can find version 4.0 of Android Studio on the stable release channel, version 4.1 on the beta channel, and the very latest features of version 4.2 on the canary channel. The focus across each of these versions is a balance of app productivity and delivery of a high quality product that you can rely on for app development. For each day of this past week we highlighted improvements and tips in the key points of your development flow from app design, coding, deployment, build, app testing with the emulator, to app performance profiling. This blog highlights the content that we released during the Android Developer Tools week of 11 Weeks of Android.

What to watch and read

To see an overview of what is new in Android Developer Tools across the recent releases of Android Studio, check out this video from the #Android11 Beta launch which includes an exciting and in-depth demo.

What’s New in Android Development Tools

Design

At the beginning of the week we had a day of content focused on app design tools for developers. To start, watch this overview video of the latest updates in design tools:

What’s new in Design Tools

We also posted two in-depth blog posts for the design tools day:

  • Introducing the Motion Editor - provides a quick tour of the new Motion Editor and how to use the latest features to create animations for your app.

To debug your layouts, watch our video on the updates to the layout inspector:

Debugging UI issues with Layout Inspector

And lastly for design tools, we released a video about the latest developments for Jetpack Compose Design tools:

What's new in Compose Design Tools

Coding & Deployment

During the week, we posted tips and tricks to improve your coding experience and app deployment flow in Android Studio. Check out the following social media channels to review the latest postings:

  • @androidstudio - the Twitter channel for the official IDE for Android app development.
  • @androiddev - delivers news and announcements for developers from the Android team at Google

We also shared a new video on how to use the new database inspector in Android Studio:

Database Inspector

Additionally, you will find an updated blog on the development tools we have in place for Jetpack Hilt:

Build

In the middle of the week, we released four blogs posts around the build system in Android developer tools, which included:

  • Configuration Caching deep dive - a technical explanation on this new preview feature from Gradle and how to try it out in your project to speed up your builds.
  • Shrinking Your App with R8 - provides an overview of the features available in R8, the reduction in code size you might expect, and show how to enable these features in R8.

Android Emulator

On top of sharing a series of best practices and tips on social media about using the Android Emulator during the week, you can also a full summary in the following in-depth article:

Performance Profilers

We know improving app performance is critical for a great user experience. Therefore, we ended the week with a day on performance profilers content. To start, we posted a video about System Trace and how you can use it to troubleshoot app performance issues:

Troubleshooting app performance issues with System Trace in Android Studio

Plus, we published a blog post on C++ memory profiling:

Learning path

If you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week, check out the Developer Tools pathway. A pathway is an ordered tutorial that allows users to complete a pre-defined module that culminates in a quiz. It includes videos and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz. Test your knowledge of key takeaways about Developer Tools to earn a limited edition badge.

Key takeaways

Thank you for tuning in and learning about the latest in Android Development tools. Thanks to all of you who chatted with us during the Reddit AMA this week. Throughout this past week, we showcased features that can be found either in the latest stable release or the canary release channel of Android Studio. If you want to try out what you learned this week, download Android Studio today.

Below, you will find a quick listing of where you will find each of the major features. Note, that features in non-stable versions may not land in a particular version until they have reached our quality bar:

Features found in Android Studio 4.0 (Stable Channel)

  • Motion Editor
  • Layout Inspector
  • Layout Validation
  • Custom View Preview
  • CPU Profiler Update
  • R8 Rules Editing
  • Build Analyzer
  • Dynamic Feature Dependency
  • Clangd support
  • Intellij 2019.3

Features found in Android Studio 4.1 (Beta Channel)

  • Database Inspector
  • Dependency Injection Tools
  • Faster Apply Changes
  • Gradle Configuration Caching (Preview)
  • Custom View Preview
  • Android Emulator in IDE
  • Instrumentation Testing
  • Profiler UI Updates
  • Native Memory Profiling
  • System Trace 2.0
  • New Gradle API
  • MLKit & TFLite Model Import
  • Intellij 2020.1

Features found in Android Studio 4.2 + (Canary Channel)

  • Compose Interactive Preview
  • Compose Animation Visualization
  • Compose Deploy to Device
  • Sample Data API for Compose
  • Compose Editing Support
  • Test Failure Retention
  • Android Emulator- 5G Connectivity and Foldable Support
  • Intellij 2020.2 - coming soon

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!