Tag Archives: Android

Developer tips and guides: Common policy violations and how you can avoid them

By Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play App Safety

At Google Play, we want to foster an ecosystem of safe, engaging, useful, and entertaining apps used and loved by billions of Android users worldwide. That’s why we regularly update and revise our Google Play Developer Policies and Developer Distribution Agreement, detailing the boundaries of app content and functionalities allowed on the platform, as well as providing latest guidance on how developers can promote and monetize apps.

In recent efforts in analyzing apps for policy compliance on Google Play we identified some common mistakes and violations that developers make, and we’re sharing these with the developer community with tips and guides on how to avoid them, mitigating the risks of apps and developer accounts being suspended for violating our policies.

Links that take users back to other apps on the Play Store

One of the most common mistakes we see are apps that have buttons and menus that link out to the Play Store -- either to apps by the same developer, or other apps that may be affiliated with the developer, but not being clear that these are ads or promotional links. Without this clarity, apps may get enforced for having deceptive / disguised ads. One of the ways to avoid such mistakes is by explicitly calling these out by labeling the buttons and links as ‘More Apps’, ‘More Games’, ‘Explore’, ‘Check out our other apps’, etc.

Example of app content that link out to app listing on Play

Example of app content that link out to app listing on Play

Spammy app descriptions

Another mistake we frequently observe is where developers ‘stuff’ keywords in the app description in hope for better discoverability and ranking against certain keywords and phrases. Text blocks or lists that contain repetitive or unrelated keywords or references violate our Store Listing and Promotion policy. Writing a clear app description intended and optimized for user’s readability and understanding is one of the best ways to avoid this violation.

Watch this video to learn how to avoid spammy store listings and efforts to artificially boost app visibility.

Abandoned and broken apps

There are apps that have been published by the developers a long time ago, and are no longer being maintained. Abandoned and unmaintained apps often create user experience issues -- broken app functionality, for example. Not only are such apps at risk of getting a low star rating and negative user reviews, they will also be flagged as violating the minimum functionality policy. To mitigate the negative impact to the developer reputation and app enforcement, consider unpublishing such apps from the Play Store. Note the updated unpublish action won’t affect existing users who already installed the app, and developers can always choose to re-publish them after addressing the broken experiences.

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Minimum and Broken Functionality Spam’ course on Play Academy



Apps vs. Webview

Lastly, we observe a large volume of app submissions that are just webviews of existing websites. Most of these apps are submitted with a primary purpose of driving traffic rather than providing engaging app experiences to Android users. Such apps are considered webview spam, and are removed from Play. Instead, consider thinking through what users can do or do better with the app than in a web experience and implement relevant features and functionalities that enrich the user experience.

Example of webview without any app functionality

Example of a webview without any app functionality

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Webview Spam’ course on Play Academy



While the above are one of the most frequent mistakes, make sure to stay up to date with the latest policies by visiting the Play Developer Policy Center. Check out Google Play Academy’s Policy training, including our new Spam courses, and watch our Play PolicyBytes videos to learn more about recent policy updates.

Developer tips and guides: Common policy violations and how you can avoid them

By Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play App Safety

At Google Play, we want to foster an ecosystem of safe, engaging, useful, and entertaining apps used and loved by billions of Android users worldwide. That’s why we regularly update and revise our Google Play Developer Policies and Developer Distribution Agreement, detailing the boundaries of app content and functionalities allowed on the platform, as well as providing latest guidance on how developers can promote and monetize apps.

In recent efforts in analyzing apps for policy compliance on Google Play we identified some common mistakes and violations that developers make, and we’re sharing these with the developer community with tips and guides on how to avoid them, mitigating the risks of apps and developer accounts being suspended for violating our policies.

Links that take users back to other apps on the Play Store

One of the most common mistakes we see are apps that have buttons and menus that link out to the Play Store -- either to apps by the same developer, or other apps that may be affiliated with the developer, but not being clear that these are ads or promotional links. Without this clarity, apps may get enforced for having deceptive / disguised ads. One of the ways to avoid such mistakes is by explicitly calling these out by labeling the buttons and links as ‘More Apps’, ‘More Games’, ‘Explore’, ‘Check out our other apps’, etc.

Example of app content that link out to app listing on Play

Example of app content that link out to app listing on Play

Spammy app descriptions

Another mistake we frequently observe is where developers ‘stuff’ keywords in the app description in hope for better discoverability and ranking against certain keywords and phrases. Text blocks or lists that contain repetitive or unrelated keywords or references violate our Store Listing and Promotion policy. Writing a clear app description intended and optimized for user’s readability and understanding is one of the best ways to avoid this violation.

Watch this video to learn how to avoid spammy store listings and efforts to artificially boost app visibility.

Abandoned and broken apps

There are apps that have been published by the developers a long time ago, and are no longer being maintained. Abandoned and unmaintained apps often create user experience issues -- broken app functionality, for example. Not only are such apps at risk of getting a low star rating and negative user reviews, they will also be flagged as violating the minimum functionality policy. To mitigate the negative impact to the developer reputation and app enforcement, consider unpublishing such apps from the Play Store. Note the updated unpublish action won’t affect existing users who already installed the app, and developers can always choose to re-publish them after addressing the broken experiences.

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Minimum and Broken Functionality Spam’ course on Play Academy



Apps vs. Webview

Lastly, we observe a large volume of app submissions that are just webviews of existing websites. Most of these apps are submitted with a primary purpose of driving traffic rather than providing engaging app experiences to Android users. Such apps are considered webview spam, and are removed from Play. Instead, consider thinking through what users can do or do better with the app than in a web experience and implement relevant features and functionalities that enrich the user experience.

Example of webview without any app functionality

Example of a webview without any app functionality

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Webview Spam’ course on Play Academy



While the above are one of the most frequent mistakes, make sure to stay up to date with the latest policies by visiting the Play Developer Policy Center. Check out Google Play Academy’s Policy training, including our new Spam courses, and watch our Play PolicyBytes videos to learn more about recent policy updates.

Developer tips and guides: Common policy violations and how you can avoid them

By Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play App Safety

At Google Play, we want to foster an ecosystem of safe, engaging, useful, and entertaining apps used and loved by billions of Android users worldwide. That’s why we regularly update and revise our Google Play Developer Policies and Developer Distribution Agreement, detailing the boundaries of app content and functionalities allowed on the platform, as well as providing latest guidance on how developers can promote and monetize apps.

In recent efforts in analyzing apps for policy compliance on Google Play we identified some common mistakes and violations that developers make, and we’re sharing these with the developer community with tips and guides on how to avoid them, mitigating the risks of apps and developer accounts being suspended for violating our policies.

Links that take users back to other apps on the Play Store

One of the most common mistakes we see are apps that have buttons and menus that link out to the Play Store -- either to apps by the same developer, or other apps that may be affiliated with the developer, but not being clear that these are ads or promotional links. Without this clarity, apps may get enforced for having deceptive / disguised ads. One of the ways to avoid such mistakes is by explicitly calling these out by labeling the buttons and links as ‘More Apps’, ‘More Games’, ‘Explore’, ‘Check out our other apps’, etc.

Example of app content that link out to app listing on Play

Example of app content that link out to app listing on Play

Spammy app descriptions

Another mistake we frequently observe is where developers ‘stuff’ keywords in the app description in hope for better discoverability and ranking against certain keywords and phrases. Text blocks or lists that contain repetitive or unrelated keywords or references violate our Store Listing and Promotion policy. Writing a clear app description intended and optimized for user’s readability and understanding is one of the best ways to avoid this violation.

Watch this video to learn how to avoid spammy store listings and efforts to artificially boost app visibility.

Abandoned and broken apps

There are apps that have been published by the developers a long time ago, and are no longer being maintained. Abandoned and unmaintained apps often create user experience issues -- broken app functionality, for example. Not only are such apps at risk of getting a low star rating and negative user reviews, they will also be flagged as violating the minimum functionality policy. To mitigate the negative impact to the developer reputation and app enforcement, consider unpublishing such apps from the Play Store. Note the updated unpublish action won’t affect existing users who already installed the app, and developers can always choose to re-publish them after addressing the broken experiences.

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Minimum and Broken Functionality Spam’ course on Play Academy



Apps vs. Webview

Lastly, we observe a large volume of app submissions that are just webviews of existing websites. Most of these apps are submitted with a primary purpose of driving traffic rather than providing engaging app experiences to Android users. Such apps are considered webview spam, and are removed from Play. Instead, consider thinking through what users can do or do better with the app than in a web experience and implement relevant features and functionalities that enrich the user experience.

Example of webview without any app functionality

Example of a webview without any app functionality

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Webview Spam’ course on Play Academy



While the above are one of the most frequent mistakes, make sure to stay up to date with the latest policies by visiting the Play Developer Policy Center. Check out Google Play Academy’s Policy training, including our new Spam courses, and watch our Play PolicyBytes videos to learn more about recent policy updates.

Introducing the Android for Cars App Library

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In August, we announced plans to expand Android Auto’s app ecosystem to enable new navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging apps. We’ve been hard at work collaborating with our early access partners to test and refine the Android for Cars App Library. Today, we’re releasing the library into an open beta, for any developer to use. This means you’ll now be able to design, develop, and test your navigation, parking or charging app on Android Auto. We’re looking forward to enabling Google Play Store publishing for your beta apps in the coming months.

Android

Three of our early access partners: ChargePoint, SpotHero, and Sygic

The design phase is the time to familiarize yourself with our design guidelines and app quality guidelines. Driver safety is core to our mission and we want to help you optimize your app for the car.

When it comes time to build your app, our new library will hopefully make development easy. Get started with the developer guide and please give us feedback via our public issue tracker.

In the testing phase, see your app come alive on the Desktop Head Unit (DHU), our emulator that lets you simulate a car infotainment display. The DHU now supports multiple screen sizes, displaying information in the instrument cluster, and simulating vehicles with touchpad input.

Android for cars image

The DHU simulating an instrument cluster, a widescreen head unit, and a touchpad

You can get started with the Android for Cars App Library here. We’re excited to see what you build next!

Optimize your app publishing process with new Google Play Console features

Steve Suppe, Product Manager, Google Play

Publishing your app or game is one of the most important moments in your app’s lifecycle. You want everything to go smoothly, from making sure the production release is stable, to getting test releases out quickly, to getting your marketing message just right.

That’s why visibility is key. Knowing when your app is in review, when it’s been approved, and when it can go live on Google Play helps you set your own schedule.

Now, with two new features in the new Google Play Console, you can do just that. The Publishing overview page helps you better understand your publishing process and Managed publishing gives you better control of when your app updates go live on Google Play. When the new Play Console rolls out to everyone starting November 2, these features will be the recommended way to control your release timing, so let’s take a closer look.

Publishing overview

The new Publishing overview page displays all your recent changes to your releases, store listings, and more, including those that are currently being reviewed or processed by Google Play. For those of you with larger teams, this means you can now coordinate all your changes in one place and publish everything at the same time.

Unlike the developer activity log, the Publishing overview only shows changes that will be visible on Google Play, or what you’ve told us about how we should consider and review your app.

The “Changes in review” section lets you quickly see changes
that have not been published yet.

These changes are organized by the type of change or release track so it’s easy to understand at a glance.

Managed publishing

Many of you may be familiar with Timed publishing in the old Play Console. In the new Play Console, we’ve replaced Timed publishing with Managed publishing, to give you a clearer and more predictable publishing experience.


When you enable Managed publishing, approved changes will only go live when you decide instead of automatically after review and processing. This allows you to submit changes long before your intended release date, giving yourself time to review or make changes without sacrificing control over your publishing date.

See which changes have been reviewed and approved

When Managed publishing is on, the Publishing overview page contains two sections: one that shows which changes have been approved and are ready to publish, and another that shows changes that are still in review.

We’ve also made some improvements that many of you have been asking for:

  • You can now publish your approved changes even if other changes are still in review. Previously, Timed publishing did not allow you to make any changes live until all changes had been approved.
  • You can turn Managed publishing on or off at any time, even if there are changes in review or ready to publish. You no longer have to wait for pending reviews before you can use Managed publishing.

See if Managed publishing is turned in the left-hand navigation menu

Soon, you’ll be able to see the Managed publishing icon in the left-hand nav next to Publishing overview. This way, you can tell Managed publishing is on from anywhere in the Play Console.

To learn more about publishing with the new Play Console, including scenarios when these features would be most useful, check out this course from Play Academy. And if you haven’t already, update to the new Play Console at play.google.com/console and give Managed publishing a try.

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Android Studio 4.1

Posted by Scott Swarthout, Product Manager

Android Studio logo

Today, we’re excited to release the stable version of Android Studio 4.1, with a set of features addressing common editing, debugging, and optimization use cases. A major theme for this release was helping you be more productive while using Android Jetpack libraries, Android’s suite of libraries to help developers follow best practices and write code faster. Based on your feedback we made a number of improvements to the code editing experience with IDE integrations for popular Android libraries.

Some highlights of Android Studio 4.1 include a new Database Inspector for querying your app’s database, support for navigating projects that use Dagger or Hilt for dependency injection, and better support for on-device machine learning with support for TensorFlow Lite models in Android projects. We’ve also made updates to Apply Changes to make deployment faster. Based on your feedback, we’ve made several changes to help game developers with a new native memory profiler and standalone profiling tools.

Product quality continues to be a major focus for the team, and we’ve been hard at work tracking down bugs and performance issues. We’ve heard from many developers that they liked the focus on better performance and reliability, so we’re happy to report that during this release cycle we’ve fixed 2,370 bugs and closed 275 public issues. We stay committed to maintaining high quality since we know that is key to your developer productivity.

Thank you to those who gave your early feedback in preview releases. Your feedback helped us iterate and improve features in Android Studio 4.1. If you are ready for the next stable release, and want to use a new set of productivity features, Android Studio 4.1 is ready to download for you to get started.

Below is a full list of new features in Android Studio 4.1, organized by key developer flows.

Design

Material Design Components updates

Android Studio templates in the create New Project dialog now use Material Design Components (MDC) and conform to updated guidance for themes and styles by default. These changes will make it easier to use recommended material styling patterns and support modern UI features like dark themes.

Material Design Components updates

Material Design Components updates in Project Templates

Updates include:

  • MDC: Projects depend on com.google.android.material:material in build.gradle. Base app themes use Theme.MaterialComponents.* parents and override updated MDC color and “on” attributes.
  • Color resources: Color resources in colors.xml use literal names (for example, purple_500 instead of colorPrimary).
  • Theme resources: Theme resources are in themes.xml (instead of styles.xml) and use Theme.<ApplicationName> names.
  • Dark theme: Base application themes use DayNight parents and are split between res/values and res/values-night.
  • Theme attributes: Color resources are referenced as theme attributes (for example, ?attr/colorPrimary) in layouts and styles to avoid hard-coded colors.

Develop

Database Inspector

We wanted to make it easier to inspect, query, and modify your app's databases using the new Database Inspector. To get started, deploy your app to a device running API level 26 or higher and select View > Tool Windows > Database Inspector from the menu bar. Whether your app uses the Jetpack Room library or the Android platform version of SQLite directly, you can now easily inspect databases and tables in your running app or run custom queries.

Because Android Studio maintains a live connection while you’re inspecting your app, you can also modify values using the Database Inspector and see those changes in your running app. If you use the Room persistence library, Android Studio also places run buttons next to each query in the code editor to help you quickly run queries you define in your @Query annotations. Learn more

Database inspector

Inspect, query, and modify your app’s databases with the Database Inspector

Run Android Emulator directly in Android Studio

You can now run the Android Emulator directly in Android Studio. Use this feature to conserve screen real estate, to navigate quickly between the emulator and the editor window using hotkeys, and to organize your IDE and emulator workflow in a single application window. You can manage snapshots and common emulator actions like rotating and taking screenshots from within Studio, but access to the full set of options still requires running the stable emulator. You can opt-in to use this feature by going to File → SettingsToolsEmulator Launch in Tool Window.

Android Emulator in Android Studio

Run the Android Emulator inside of Android Studio

Dagger Navigation Support

Dagger is a popular library for dependency injection on Android. Android Studio makes it easier to navigate between your Dagger-related code by providing new gutter actions and extending support in the Find Usages window. For example, clicking on the go to producer gutter action gutter action next to a method that consumes a given type navigates you to the provider of that type. Conversely, clicking on the go to consumer gutter action gutter action navigates you to where a type is used as a dependency. Android Studio also supports navigation actions for dependencies defined with the Jetpack Hilt library. Learn more.

Gutter actions navigation in Android Studio

Navigate between Dagger-related code with gutter actions

Use TensorFlow Lite models

Android developers are using machine learning to create innovative and helpful experiences. TensorFlow Lite is a popular library for writing mobile machine learning models, and we wanted to make it easier to import these models into Android apps. Similar to view binding, Android Studio generates easy-to-use classes so you can run your model with less code and better type safety. The current implementation of ML Model Binding supports image classification and style transfer models, provided they are enhanced with metadata.

To see the details for an imported model and get instructions on how to use it in your app, double-click the .tflite model file in your project to open the model viewer page. Learn more.

TensorFlow Lite in Android Studio 4.1

View TensorFlow Lite model metadata in Android Studio 4.1

Build & Test

Android Emulator - Foldable Hinge Support

Android Studio

In addition to recently adding 5G cellular testing support, we’ve added support for foldables in the Android emulator. With Android emulator 30.0.26 and above, you can configure foldable devices with a variety of fold designs and configurations. When a foldable device is configured, the emulator will publish hinge angle sensor updates and posture changes, so you can test how your app responds to these form factors. See the Developing for Android 11 with the Android Emulator blogpost to read more.

Extended controls, device pose

Apply Changes updates

Faster builds help developers make changes to their app more easily and quickly. To help you be more productive as you iterate on your app, we've made multiple enhancements to Apply Changes for devices running Android 11 or higher.

We've invested heavily in optimizing your iteration speed by developing a method to deploy and persist changes on a device without installing the application. After an initial deploy, subsequent deploys to Android 11 devices using either Apply Code Changes or Apply Changes and Restart Activity are now significantly faster. We’ve also added support for additional code changes in Apply Changes. Now if you add a method, you can deploy those changes to a running app by clicking either Apply Code Changes or Apply Changes and Restart Activity.

Export C/C++ dependencies from AARs

Android Gradle Plugin 4.0 added the ability to import Prefab packages in AAR dependencies. We wanted to extend the capability of this feature to support sharing native libraries as well. AGP version 4.1 enables exporting libraries from your external native build in an AAR for an Android Library project. To export your native libraries, add the following to the android block of your library project's build.gradle file:

buildFeatures {
    prefabPublishing true
}

prefab {
    mylibrary {
      headers "src/main/cpp/mylibrary/include"
    }

    myotherlibrary {
        headers "src/main/cpp/myotherlibrary/include"
    }
}

Symbolication for native crash reports

When a crash or ANR occurs in native code, the system produces a stack trace, which is a snapshot of the sequence of nested functions called in your program up to the moment it crashed. These snapshots can help you to identify and fix any problems in the source, but they must first be symbolicated to translate the machine addresses back into human-readable function names.

If your app or game is developed using native code, like C++, you can now upload debug symbols files to the Play Console for each version of your app. The Play Console uses these debug symbols files to symbolicate your app's stack traces, making it easier to analyze crashes and ANRs. To include debug symbols in your app bundle, add the following line to your project’s build.gradle file:

android.buildTypes.release.ndk.debugSymbolLevel = 'SYMBOL_TABLE'

Optimize

System Trace UI improvements

In Android Studio 4.1 we’ve overhauled System Trace, an optimization tool that gives you a real-time look at how your app is using system resources. We made it easier to select a trace with box selection mode, added a new analysis tab, and added more frame rendering data to help you investigate rendering issues in your app’s UI. Learn more.

Box selection: In the Threads section, you can now drag your mouse to perform a box selection of a rectangular area, which you can zoom into by clicking the Zoom to Selection button on the top right (or use the M keyboard shortcut). When you drag and drop similar threads next to each other, you can select across multiple threads to inspect all of them at once.

Use box selection to more easily select traces.

Trace selection

Summary tab: The new Summary tab in the Analysis panel displays:

  • Aggregate statistics for all occurrences of a specific event, such as an occurrence count and min/max duration.
  • Trace event statistics for the selected occurrence.
  • Data about thread state distribution.
  • Longest-running occurrences of the selected trace event.
View aggregated statistics in Summary tab of Android Studio 4.1

View aggregated statistics in the Summary tab

Display data: In the Display section, new timelines for SurfaceFlinger and VSYNC help you investigate rendering issues in your app's UI.

Standalone profilers

It's now possible to access the Android Studio Profilers in a separate window from the primary Android Studio window. This is useful when optimizing Android games built with other tools like Unity or Visual Studio.

To run the standalone profilers, do the following:

  1. Make sure the profilers in Android Studio are not already running on your system.
  2. Go to the installation directory and navigate to the bin directory:

Windows/Linux: <studio-installation-folder>\bin

macOS: <studio-installation-folder>/Contents/bin

  1. Depending on your OS, run profiler.exe or profiler.sh

The standalone profiler will allow you to connect to the Android emulator or any connected devices.

Standalone Android Studio profiler

Optimize your app with the Standalone Android Studio Profilers

Native Memory Profiler

Tracking native memory usage is important for game developers and other developers using C++ to understand how to optimize their app’s memory consumption. The Android Studio Memory Profiler now includes a Native Memory Profiler for apps deployed to physical devices running Android 10 or later. The Native Memory Profiler tracks allocations/deallocations of objects in native code for a specific time period and provides information about total allocations and remaining system heap size.

To initiate a recording, click Record native allocations at the top of the Memory Profiler window:

Native Memory Profiler window in Android Studio 4.1

View native memory allocations with the Native Memory Profiler

To recap, Android Studio 4.1 includes these new enhancements & features:

Design

  • Material Design Components updates

Develop

  • Database Inspector
  • Run Android Emulator directly in Android Studio
  • Dagger navigation support
  • Use TensorFlow Lite models

Build & Test

  • Android Emulator - Foldable Hinge Support
  • Apply Changes updates
  • Export C/C++ dependencies from AARs
  • Symbolification for native crash reports

Optimize

  • System Trace UI Improvements
  • Standalone profilers
  • Native Memory Profiler

These materials are not sponsored by or affiliated with Unity Technologies or its affiliates. “Unity” is a trademark or registered trademark of Unity Technologies or its affiliates in the U.S. and elsewhere.

6 ways your Android is getting more helpful this fall

 

It was only a few weeks ago that we released Android 11, the latest version of the operating system. Today, we’re highlighting six of the latest Google features for Android—available even on older versions—that make your life a little easier and more enjoyable this fall.


1. Do even more with Google Assistant and your favorite apps

AFS_Assistant_v001.png

Click on the image above to see the video of Google Assistant working with Android apps

Your Android phone comes with Google Assistant, and now you can ask it to open or search across Android apps. Try saying “Hey Google, send snap with Cartoon Lens” or “Hey Google, log a berry smoothie on MyFitnessPal." We’ve partnered with many of the top apps on Google Play including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, to do specific tasks unique to those individual apps. Get started by saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts.”


2. New ways to connect with Google Duo

AFS_Comms_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of screen sharing in Google Duo

When your friends and family video call you with Google Duo, you can now share your screen to browse photos or plan activities together while on the call. If they aren’t catching you at a good time, they can leave a video message, which has automatic captions to help if you have hearing loss or are in a spot where you can’t play audio. Download Google Duo on Google Play.


3. Say goodbye to spam calls with Google’s Phone app


With Google’s Phone app, your Android device will stop spam callers for good and it’ll tell you who’s calling and why. We’ve been working to bring the app to more people, and it’s now available to download for the first time on most Android devices running Android 9 or above. Download Phone by Google on Google Play to get spam protection and other helpful features, and easily connect with friends and family no matter what type of devices they use. 


4. New tools for hearing loss with Sound Notifications

AFS_Access_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of Sound Notifications

Sound Notifications flags important, inconvenient, or alarming noises around you when you have hearing loss or are even wearing headphones. Set up Sound Notifications in the Live Transcribe app, and your phone will flash, vibrate, and provide push notifications when it detects a fire alarm, a door knocking, household appliance beeps, and more. You can also set up your Wear OS smartwatch to vibrate and send a push notification, as well. Download Live Transcribe on Google Play.


5. Communicate with Action Blocks when you don’t use your voice

Action Blocks - select speaking block.png

Caption: Action Blocks makes communication more accessible

Built for people with cognitive disabilities and age-related conditions, Action Blocks can now be used to communicate short phrases. It acts as an artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities. In addition, Action Blocks now incorporates thousands of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox, making it easier to use the Android app alongside existing speech therapy and special education materials. It also now supports Japanese, French, German, and Italian. Download Action Blocks on Google Play.


6. Enjoy the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google

GTV.png

Click on the image above to see a video of the Google TV app on Android

Your TV isn't the only place for finding and watching entertainment. Starting on Android phones in the U.S., the Google Play Movies & TV app is being updated to Google TV. Google TV helps you discover what to watch with recommendations for movies and shows from across your streaming apps. And with the Google TV app, your recommendations, Library, and Watchlist go with you wherever you are, whether it’s out the front door or just to the other room. Learn more on Google Play

Source: Android


6 ways your Android is getting more helpful this fall

 

It was only a few weeks ago that we released Android 11, the latest version of the operating system. Today, we’re highlighting six of the latest Google features for Android—available even on older versions—that make your life a little easier and more enjoyable this fall.


1. Do even more with Google Assistant and your favorite apps

AFS_Assistant_v001.png

Click on the image above to see the video of Google Assistant working with Android apps

Your Android phone comes with Google Assistant, and now you can ask it to open or search across Android apps. Try saying “Hey Google, send snap with Cartoon Lens” or “Hey Google, log a berry smoothie on MyFitnessPal." We’ve partnered with many of the top apps on Google Play including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, to do specific tasks unique to those individual apps. Get started by saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts.”


2. New ways to connect with Google Duo

AFS_Comms_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of screen sharing in Google Duo

When your friends and family video call you with Google Duo, you can now share your screen to browse photos or plan activities together while on the call. If they aren’t catching you at a good time, they can leave a video message, which has automatic captions to help if you have hearing loss or are in a spot where you can’t play audio. Download Google Duo on Google Play.


3. Say goodbye to spam calls with Google’s Phone app


With Google’s Phone app, your Android device will stop spam callers for good and it’ll tell you who’s calling and why. We’ve been working to bring the app to more people, and it’s now available to download for the first time on most Android devices running Android 9 or above. Download Phone by Google on Google Play to get spam protection and other helpful features, and easily connect with friends and family no matter what type of devices they use. 


4. New tools for hearing loss with Sound Notifications

AFS_Access_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of Sound Notifications

Sound Notifications flags important, inconvenient, or alarming noises around you when you have hearing loss or are even wearing headphones. Set up Sound Notifications in the Live Transcribe app, and your phone will flash, vibrate, and provide push notifications when it detects a fire alarm, a door knocking, household appliance beeps, and more. You can also set up your Wear OS smartwatch to vibrate and send a push notification, as well. Download Live Transcribe on Google Play.


5. Communicate with Action Blocks when you don’t use your voice

Action Blocks - select speaking block.png

Caption: Action Blocks makes communication more accessible

Built for people with cognitive disabilities and age-related conditions, Action Blocks can now be used to communicate short phrases. It acts as an artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities. In addition, Action Blocks now incorporates thousands of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox, making it easier to use the Android app alongside existing speech therapy and special education materials. It also now supports Japanese, French, German, and Italian. Download Action Blocks on Google Play.


6. Enjoy the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google

GTV.png

Click on the image above to see a video of the Google TV app on Android

Your TV isn't the only place for finding and watching entertainment. Starting on Android phones in the U.S., the Google Play Movies & TV app is being updated to Google TV. Google TV helps you discover what to watch with recommendations for movies and shows from across your streaming apps. And with the Google TV app, your recommendations, Library, and Watchlist go with you wherever you are, whether it’s out the front door or just to the other room. Learn more on Google Play

Source: Android


Important household sounds become more accessible

Appliances beeping. Water running. Dogs barking. These are all sounds that are meant to grab your attention when something important is happening. But, if you have hearing loss or are wearing headphones, these sounds might not be able to draw your attention like they’re intended to. 


Sound Notifications is a new feature on Android that provides push notifications for critical sounds around you. Designed for the estimated 466 million people in the world with hearing loss, Sound Notifications makes important and critical household sounds more accessible with push notifications, a flash from your camera light, or vibrations on your Android phone. This feature can also be helpful if someone is unable to hear temporarily as a result of an injury, wearing earplugs or headphones.
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Receive real-time push notifications of critical sounds around you.

Sound Notifications works with other devices, including Wear OS by Google smartwatches. You can get text notifications with vibrations on your wrist when there is important noise detected by your phone. That way you can continue to get alerts about critical sounds even when you are asleep, a concern shared by many in the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Sound Notification Smartwatch.png

Receive critical sound notifications on other devices, including Wear OS by Google smartwatches.

Developed with machine learning, Sound Notifications works completely offline and uses your phone's microphone to recognize ten different noises—including baby sounds, water running, smoke and fire alarms, appliances beeping and door knocking. This expands our sound detection work in Live Transcribe which shows over 30 sound events alongside real time captions, to provide a better picture of overall sound awareness.

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Use Timeline view to scroll through a snapshot of detected sounds from the past few hours.

While we can notify you about baby sounds or dog barking, it often helps to know more about the preceding events that might have caused that disturbance. With the Timeline view, you can scroll through a brief snapshot of detected sounds from the past few hours. This shows when and how long the sound occurred to get a better sense of the sound’s importance. So if the dog has been barking because of a siren heard before that for 10 minutes, you can see that.


To start using Sound Notifications, go into Settings, then the Accessibility menu and enable Sound Notifications. If you don’t see this option on your phone, you can download both Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications from Google Play, then go to your settings and turn on Sound Notifications. To learn more about using Sound Notifications, visit the help center.

Source: Android


Important household sounds become more accessible

Appliances beeping. Water running. Dogs barking. These are all sounds that are meant to grab your attention when something important is happening. But, if you have hearing loss or are wearing headphones, these sounds might not be able to draw your attention like they’re intended to. 


Sound Notifications is a new feature on Android that provides push notifications for critical sounds around you. Designed for the estimated 466 million people in the world with hearing loss, Sound Notifications makes important and critical household sounds more accessible with push notifications, a flash from your camera light, or vibrations on your Android phone. This feature can also be helpful if someone is unable to hear temporarily as a result of an injury, wearing earplugs or headphones.
Cropped Sound Notification.png

Receive real-time push notifications of critical sounds around you.

Sound Notifications works with other devices, including Wear OS by Google smartwatches. You can get text notifications with vibrations on your wrist when there is important noise detected by your phone. That way you can continue to get alerts about critical sounds even when you are asleep, a concern shared by many in the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Sound Notification Smartwatch.png

Receive critical sound notifications on other devices, including Wear OS by Google smartwatches.

Developed with machine learning, Sound Notifications works completely offline and uses your phone's microphone to recognize ten different noises—including baby sounds, water running, smoke and fire alarms, appliances beeping and door knocking. This expands our sound detection work in Live Transcribe which shows over 30 sound events alongside real time captions, to provide a better picture of overall sound awareness.

Timeline_Snapshot.png

Use Timeline view to scroll through a snapshot of detected sounds from the past few hours.

While we can notify you about baby sounds or dog barking, it often helps to know more about the preceding events that might have caused that disturbance. With the Timeline view, you can scroll through a brief snapshot of detected sounds from the past few hours. This shows when and how long the sound occurred to get a better sense of the sound’s importance. So if the dog has been barking because of a siren heard before that for 10 minutes, you can see that.


To start using Sound Notifications, go into Settings, then the Accessibility menu and enable Sound Notifications. If you don’t see this option on your phone, you can download both Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications from Google Play, then go to your settings and turn on Sound Notifications. To learn more about using Sound Notifications, visit the help center.

Source: Android