Tag Archives: Featured

Wear OS hybrid interface: Boosting power and performance

Posted by Kseniia Shumelchyk, Android Developer Relations Engineer

In collaboration with our hardware partners, we’ve continued to prioritize the Wear OS by Google user experience. As such, we’ve made fundamental design changes to the platform and substantially expanded the capabilities of the Wear OS hybrid interface that improve two key areas: power and performance.

With OnePlus Watch 2, powered with the latest version of Wear OS (Wear OS 4), the dual-chipset architecture works with our hybrid interface to get both chips to work better in tandem. This enables even more use cases to benefit from dramatically extended battery life of up to 100 hours of regular use with all functionalities accessible in Smart Mode.

Together, we’ve created a premium smartwatch experience that doesn’t compromise the advanced feature set or battery life. In this post, we’ll share how you can benefit from these changes when building experiences for Wear OS.

On the edge of innovation: redesigned smartwatch architecture

Wear OS smartwatches have a dual-chipset architecture inclusive of a powerful application processor (AP) and ultra low-power co-processor microcontroller unit (MCU). The architecture has a powerful AP capable of handling complex operations en-masse, and is seamlessly coupled with a low power MCU.

The Wear OS hybrid interface enables intelligent switching between the MCU or the AP, allowing the AP to be suspended when not needed to preserve battery life. It helps, for instance, achieve more power-efficient experiences, like sensor data processing on the MCU while the AP is asleep. At the same time, the hybrid interface provides a seamless transition between these states, keeping a rich and premium user experience without jarring transitions between power modes.

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Connectivity and notification experience

To enhance connectivity-reliant interactions like notifications and phone calls, OnePlus utilized platform capabilities with the notification API in the hybrid interface, enabling the MCU to process regular notification experiences and reduce the need to activate the AP.

For example, bridged notifications will be delivered to the watch without waking up the high-performance AP. Users can read and dismiss these notifications while the watch is still powered by the MCU. The MCU can also handle wearable-specific actions in notifications, such as quick replies or remote actions.

What this means for development

You can leverage existing Wear OS APIs to get these optimizations without any added effort – no code changes required!

Notifications

The notification hybrid interface enables seamless transitions between power modes to work with the Wear OS notification stack. You get the best notification performance by using the Notification API.

Health & Fitness experiences

The Wear OS hybrid interface also elevates the fitness experience with more precise workout tracking, automatic sports recognition and smarter health data monitoring. All of these can be offered to users without compromising battery life.

Starting with Wear OS 3, developers use Health Services on Wear OS to gain access to sensor data. The health hybrid interface works under the hood to enable power optimizations by batching sensor data on the MCU and periodically updating developer apps through the Health Services API on the AP.

Watch Faces

With Wear OS 4, we launched the Watch Face Format, a declarative XML format to create customizable and power-efficient watch faces.

The platform has created capabilities to implement Watch Face Format rendering on the MCU, so using the new format helps future-proof certain watch faces to take advantage of emerging optimizations in future devices for better battery usage.

Check out the watch face format documentation and design guidelines for Wear OS watch faces.

Expand your reach with Wear OS

With the additions to the Wear OS smartwatch ecosystem and expanded device capabilities, it's an ideal time to build experiences for smartwatches that can reach more users and benefit your business.

To begin developing apps for Wear OS, try our Compose for Wear OS codelab, and check out the documentation and samples.

Read more about developer updates in Wear OS 4, and how you can get your apps ready for the latest Wear OS watches.

We can’t wait to see what experiences you’ll build!

#WeArePlay | How two sea turtle enthusiasts are revolutionizing marine conservation

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

When environmental science student Caitlin returned home from a trip monitoring sea turtles in Western Australia, she was inspired to create a conservation tool that could improve tracking of the species. She connected with a French developer and fellow marine life enthusiast Nicolas to design their app We Spot Turtles!, allowing anyone to support tracking efforts by uploading pictures of them spotted in the wild.

Caitlin and Nicolas shared their journey in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which showcases the amazing stories behind apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with the pair to find out more about their passion and how they are making strides towards advancing sea turtle conservation.

Tell us about how you both got interested in sea turtle conservation?

Caitlin: A few years ago, I did a sea turtle monitoring program for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in Western Australia. It was probably one of the most magical experiences of my life. After that, I decided I only really wanted to work with sea turtles.

Nicolas: In 2010, in French Polynesia, I volunteered with a sea turtle protection project. I was moved by the experience, and when I came back to France, I knew I wanted to use my tech background to create something inspired by the trip.

How did these experiences lead you to create We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: There are seven species of sea turtle, and all are critically endangered. Or rather there’s not enough data on them to inform an accurate endangerment status. This means the needs of the species are going unmet and sea turtles are silently going extinct. Our inspiration is essentially to better track sea turtles so that conservation can be improved.

Nicolas: When I returned to France after monitoring sea turtles, I knew I wanted to make an app inspired by my experience. However, I had put the project on hold for a while. Then, when a friend sent me Caitlin’s social media post looking for a developer for a sea turtle conservation app, it re-ignited my inspiration, and we teamed up to make it together.

close up image of a turtle resting in a reef underwater

What does We Spot Turtles! do?

Caitlin: Essentially, members of the public upload images of sea turtles they spot – and even get to name them. Then, the app automatically geolocates, giving us a date and timestamp of when and where the sea turtle was located. This allows us to track turtles and improve our conservation efforts.

How do you use artificial intelligence in the app?

Caitlin: The advancements in AI in recent years have given us the opportunity to make a bigger impact than we would have been able to otherwise. The machine learning model that Nicolas created uses the facial scale and pigmentations of the turtles to not only identify its species, but also to give that sea turtle a unique code for tracking purposes. Then, if it is photographed by someone else in the future, we can see on the app where it's been spotted before.

How has Google Play supported your journey?

Caitlin: Launching our app on Google Play has allowed us to reach a global audience. We now have communities in Exmouth in Western Australia, Manly Beach in Sydney, and have 6 countries in total using our app already. Without Google Play, we wouldn't have the ability to connect on such a global scale.

Nicolas: I’m a mobile application developer and I use Google’s Flutter framework. I knew Google Play was a good place to release our title as it easily allows us to work on the platform. As a result, we’ve been able to make the app great.

Photo pf Caitlin and Nicolas on the bach in Australia at sunset. Both are kneeling in the sand. Caitlin is using her phone to identify something in the distance, and gesturing to Nicolas who is looking in the same direction

What do you hope to achieve with We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: We Spot Turtles! puts data collection in the hands of the people. It’s giving everyone the opportunity to make an impact in sea turtle conservation. Because of this, we believe that we can massively alter and redefine conservation efforts and enhance people’s engagement with the natural world.

What are your plans for the future?

Caitlin: Nicolas and I have some big plans. We want to branch out into other species. We'd love to do whale sharks, birds, and red pandas. Ultimately, we want to achieve our goal of improving the conservation of various species and animals around the world.


Discover other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



How useful did you find this blog post?

#WeArePlay | How two sea turtle enthusiasts are revolutionizing marine conservation

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

When environmental science student Caitlin returned home from a trip monitoring sea turtles in Western Australia, she was inspired to create a conservation tool that could improve tracking of the species. She connected with a French developer and fellow marine life enthusiast Nicolas to design their app We Spot Turtles!, allowing anyone to support tracking efforts by uploading pictures of them spotted in the wild.

Caitlin and Nicolas shared their journey in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which showcases the amazing stories behind apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with the pair to find out more about their passion and how they are making strides towards advancing sea turtle conservation.

Tell us about how you both got interested in sea turtle conservation?

Caitlin: A few years ago, I did a sea turtle monitoring program for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in Western Australia. It was probably one of the most magical experiences of my life. After that, I decided I only really wanted to work with sea turtles.

Nicolas: In 2010, in French Polynesia, I volunteered with a sea turtle protection project. I was moved by the experience, and when I came back to France, I knew I wanted to use my tech background to create something inspired by the trip.

How did these experiences lead you to create We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: There are seven species of sea turtle, and all are critically endangered. Or rather there’s not enough data on them to inform an accurate endangerment status. This means the needs of the species are going unmet and sea turtles are silently going extinct. Our inspiration is essentially to better track sea turtles so that conservation can be improved.

Nicolas: When I returned to France after monitoring sea turtles, I knew I wanted to make an app inspired by my experience. However, I had put the project on hold for a while. Then, when a friend sent me Caitlin’s social media post looking for a developer for a sea turtle conservation app, it re-ignited my inspiration, and we teamed up to make it together.

close up image of a turtle resting in a reef underwater

What does We Spot Turtles! do?

Caitlin: Essentially, members of the public upload images of sea turtles they spot – and even get to name them. Then, the app automatically geolocates, giving us a date and timestamp of when and where the sea turtle was located. This allows us to track turtles and improve our conservation efforts.

How do you use artificial intelligence in the app?

Caitlin: The advancements in AI in recent years have given us the opportunity to make a bigger impact than we would have been able to otherwise. The machine learning model that Nicolas created uses the facial scale and pigmentations of the turtles to not only identify its species, but also to give that sea turtle a unique code for tracking purposes. Then, if it is photographed by someone else in the future, we can see on the app where it's been spotted before.

How has Google Play supported your journey?

Caitlin: Launching our app on Google Play has allowed us to reach a global audience. We now have communities in Exmouth in Western Australia, Manly Beach in Sydney, and have 6 countries in total using our app already. Without Google Play, we wouldn't have the ability to connect on such a global scale.

Nicolas: I’m a mobile application developer and I use Google’s Flutter framework. I knew Google Play was a good place to release our title as it easily allows us to work on the platform. As a result, we’ve been able to make the app great.

Photo pf Caitlin and Nicolas on the bach in Australia at sunset. Both are kneeling in the sand. Caitlin is using her phone to identify something in the distance, and gesturing to Nicolas who is looking in the same direction

What do you hope to achieve with We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: We Spot Turtles! puts data collection in the hands of the people. It’s giving everyone the opportunity to make an impact in sea turtle conservation. Because of this, we believe that we can massively alter and redefine conservation efforts and enhance people’s engagement with the natural world.

What are your plans for the future?

Caitlin: Nicolas and I have some big plans. We want to branch out into other species. We'd love to do whale sharks, birds, and red pandas. Ultimately, we want to achieve our goal of improving the conservation of various species and animals around the world.


Discover other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



How useful did you find this blog post?

#WeArePlay | How two sea turtle enthusiasts are revolutionizing marine conservation

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

When environmental science student Caitlin returned home from a trip monitoring sea turtles in Western Australia, she was inspired to create a conservation tool that could improve tracking of the species. She connected with a French developer and fellow marine life enthusiast Nicolas to design their app We Spot Turtles!, allowing anyone to support tracking efforts by uploading pictures of them spotted in the wild.

Caitlin and Nicolas shared their journey in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which showcases the amazing stories behind apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with the pair to find out more about their passion and how they are making strides towards advancing sea turtle conservation.

Tell us about how you both got interested in sea turtle conservation?

Caitlin: A few years ago, I did a sea turtle monitoring program for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in Western Australia. It was probably one of the most magical experiences of my life. After that, I decided I only really wanted to work with sea turtles.

Nicolas: In 2010, in French Polynesia, I volunteered with a sea turtle protection project. I was moved by the experience, and when I came back to France, I knew I wanted to use my tech background to create something inspired by the trip.

How did these experiences lead you to create We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: There are seven species of sea turtle, and all are critically endangered. Or rather there’s not enough data on them to inform an accurate endangerment status. This means the needs of the species are going unmet and sea turtles are silently going extinct. Our inspiration is essentially to better track sea turtles so that conservation can be improved.

Nicolas: When I returned to France after monitoring sea turtles, I knew I wanted to make an app inspired by my experience. However, I had put the project on hold for a while. Then, when a friend sent me Caitlin’s social media post looking for a developer for a sea turtle conservation app, it re-ignited my inspiration, and we teamed up to make it together.

close up image of a turtle resting in a reef underwater

What does We Spot Turtles! do?

Caitlin: Essentially, members of the public upload images of sea turtles they spot – and even get to name them. Then, the app automatically geolocates, giving us a date and timestamp of when and where the sea turtle was located. This allows us to track turtles and improve our conservation efforts.

How do you use artificial intelligence in the app?

Caitlin: The advancements in AI in recent years have given us the opportunity to make a bigger impact than we would have been able to otherwise. The machine learning model that Nicolas created uses the facial scale and pigmentations of the turtles to not only identify its species, but also to give that sea turtle a unique code for tracking purposes. Then, if it is photographed by someone else in the future, we can see on the app where it's been spotted before.

How has Google Play supported your journey?

Caitlin: Launching our app on Google Play has allowed us to reach a global audience. We now have communities in Exmouth in Western Australia, Manly Beach in Sydney, and have 6 countries in total using our app already. Without Google Play, we wouldn't have the ability to connect on such a global scale.

Nicolas: I’m a mobile application developer and I use Google’s Flutter framework. I knew Google Play was a good place to release our title as it easily allows us to work on the platform. As a result, we’ve been able to make the app great.

Photo pf Caitlin and Nicolas on the bach in Australia at sunset. Both are kneeling in the sand. Caitlin is using her phone to identify something in the distance, and gesturing to Nicolas who is looking in the same direction

What do you hope to achieve with We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: We Spot Turtles! puts data collection in the hands of the people. It’s giving everyone the opportunity to make an impact in sea turtle conservation. Because of this, we believe that we can massively alter and redefine conservation efforts and enhance people’s engagement with the natural world.

What are your plans for the future?

Caitlin: Nicolas and I have some big plans. We want to branch out into other species. We'd love to do whale sharks, birds, and red pandas. Ultimately, we want to achieve our goal of improving the conservation of various species and animals around the world.


Discover other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



How useful did you find this blog post?

Prompt users to update to your latest app version

Posted by Lidia Gaymond – Product Manager, Google Play

For years, Google Play has helped users enjoy the latest versions of your app through auto-updates or in-app updates. While most users update their apps this way, some may still be stuck on outdated, unsupported or broken versions of your app.

Today, we are introducing a new tool that will prompt these users to update, bringing them closer to the app experience you intended to deliver.

Play recovery tools allow you to prompt users running specific versions of your app to update every time they restart the app.

Image of side by side mobile device screens showing how the prompt to update may look to users
Note: Images are examples and subject to change

To use this new feature, log into Google Play Console and head to your Releases or to the App Bundle Explorer page, where you can select the app versions where you want to deliver the prompts. Alternatively, the feature is also available via the Play Developer API, and will soon be extended to allow you to target multiple app versions at once. Please note that the version you want to deploy the prompt to needs to be built as an app bundle.

You can then narrow your targeting criteria by country or Android version (if required), with no prior integration necessary.

Currently, over 50% of users are responding to the prompts, enabling more users to get the best experience of your apps.

After prompting users to update, you can use Play Console's recovery tools to edit your update configuration, view its progress, or cancel the recovery action altogether. Learn more about the feature here and start using it today!

#WeArePlay | Learn how a childhood experience with an earthquake shaped Álvaro’s entrepreneurial journey

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

Being trapped inside a house following a major earthquake as a child motivated Álvaro to research and improve the outcomes of destructive, large-scale quakes in Mexico. Using SkyAlert technology, sensors detect and report warnings of incoming earthquakes, giving people valuable time to prepare and get to safety.

Álvaro shared his story in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which spotlights the founders and creatives behind inspiring apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with him to find out his motivations for SkyAlert, the impact the app’s had and what his future plans are.


What was the inspiration behind SkyAlert?

Being in Colima near the epicenter of a massive earthquake as a kid had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling powerless to nature and very vulnerable watching everything falling apart around me. I was struck by how quick and smart you had to be to get to a safe place in time. I remember hugging my family once it was over and looking towards the sea to watch out for an impending tsunami – which fortunately didn’t hit my region badly. It was at this moment that I became determined to find out what had caused this catastrophe and what could be done to prevent it being so destructive another time.

Through my research, I learned that Mexico sits on five tectonic plates and, as a result, it is particularly prone to earthquakes. In fact, there've been seven major quakes in the last seven years, with hundreds losing their lives. Reducing the threat of earthquakes is my number one goal and the motivation behind SkyAlert. The technology we’ve developed can detect the warning signs of an earthquake early on, deliver alerts to vulnerable people and hopefully save lives.


How does SkyAlert work exactly?

SkyAlert collects data from a network of sensors and translates that information into alerts. People can put their zip code in order to filter updates for their locality. We’re constantly investing in getting the most reliable and fast technology available so we can make the service as timely and effective as possible.


Did you always imagine you’d be an entrepreneur?

Since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. This was inspired by my grandfather who ran a large candy company with factories all over Mexico. However, what I really wanted, beyond just running my own company, was to have a positive social impact and change lives for the better: a feat I feel proud to have achieved with SkyAlert.


How is Google Play helping your app to grow?

Being on Google Play helps us to reach the maximum number of people. We’ve achieved some amazing numbers in the last 10 years through Google Play, with over 7 million downloads. With 35% of our income coming from Google Play, this reach has helped us invest in new technologies and sensors.

We also often receive advice from Google Play and they invite us to meetings to tell us how to do better and how to make the most of the platform. Google Play is a close partner that we feel really takes care of us.


What impact has SkyAlert had on the people of Mexico?

The biggest advantage of SkyAlert is that it can help them prepare for an earthquake. In 2017, we were able to notify people of a massive quake 12 seconds before it hit Mexico City. At least with those few seconds, many were able to get themselves to a safe place. Similarly, with a large earthquake in Oaxaca, we were able to give a warning of over a minute, allowing teachers to get students in schools away from infrastructure – saving kids’ lives.

Also, many find having SkyAlert on their phone gives them peace of mind, knowing they’ll have some warning before an earthquake strikes. This can be very reassuring.


What does the future look like for SkyAlert?

We’re working hard to expand our services into new risk areas like flooding, storms and wildfires. The hope is to become a global company that can deliver alerts on a variety of natural phenomena in countries around the world.


Read more about Álvaro and other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



How useful did you find this blog post?

#WeArePlay | Learn how a childhood experience with an earthquake shaped Álvaro’s entrepreneurial journey

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

Being trapped inside a house following a major earthquake as a child motivated Álvaro to research and improve the outcomes of destructive, large-scale quakes in Mexico. Using SkyAlert technology, sensors detect and report warnings of incoming earthquakes, giving people valuable time to prepare and get to safety.

Álvaro shared his story in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which spotlights the founders and creatives behind inspiring apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with him to find out his motivations for SkyAlert, the impact the app’s had and what his future plans are.

What was the inspiration behind SkyAlert?

Being in Colima near the epicenter of a massive earthquake as a kid had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling powerless to nature and very vulnerable watching everything falling apart around me. I was struck by how quick and smart you had to be to get to a safe place in time. I remember hugging my family once it was over and looking towards the sea to watch out for an impending tsunami – which fortunately didn’t hit my region badly. It was at this moment that I became determined to find out what had caused this catastrophe and what could be done to prevent it being so destructive another time.

Through my research, I learned that Mexico sits on five tectonic plates and, as a result, it is particularly prone to earthquakes. In fact, there've been seven major quakes in the last seven years, with hundreds losing their lives. Reducing the threat of earthquakes is my number one goal and the motivation behind SkyAlert. The technology we’ve developed can detect the warning signs of an earthquake early on, deliver alerts to vulnerable people and hopefully save lives.

How does SkyAlert work exactly?

SkyAlert collects data from a network of sensors and translates that information into alerts. People can put their zip code in order to filter updates for their locality. We’re constantly investing in getting the most reliable and fast technology available so we can make the service as timely and effective as possible.

Did you always imagine you’d be an entrepreneur?

Since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. This was inspired by my grandfather who ran a large candy company with factories all over Mexico. However, what I really wanted, beyond just running my own company, was to have a positive social impact and change lives for the better: a feat I feel proud to have achieved with SkyAlert.

How is Google Play helping your app to grow?

Being on Google Play helps us to reach the maximum number of people. We’ve achieved some amazing numbers in the last 10 years through Google Play, with over 7 million downloads. With 35% of our income coming from Google Play, this reach has helped us invest in new technologies and sensors.

We also often receive advice from Google Play and they invite us to meetings to tell us how to do better and how to make the most of the platform. Google Play is a close partner that we feel really takes care of us.

What impact has SkyAlert had on the people of Mexico?

The biggest advantage of SkyAlert is that it can help them prepare for an earthquake. In 2017, we were able to notify people of a massive quake 12 seconds before it hit Mexico City. At least with those few seconds, many were able to get themselves to a safe place. Similarly, with a large earthquake in Oaxaca, we were able to give a warning of over a minute, allowing teachers to get students in schools away from infrastructure – saving kids’ lives.

Also, many find having SkyAlert on their phone gives them peace of mind, knowing they’ll have some warning before an earthquake strikes. This can be very reassuring.

What does the future look like for SkyAlert?

We’re working hard to expand our services into new risk areas like flooding, storms and wildfires. The hope is to become a global company that can deliver alerts on a variety of natural phenomena in countries around the world.

Read more about Álvaro and other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



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#WeArePlay | Meet Steven from Indonesia. More stories from around the world.

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

As we bid farewell to 2023, we're excited to unveil our last #WeArePlay blog post of the year. From Lisbon to Dubai, let’s meet the creators behind the game-changing apps supporting communities, bringing innovation and joy to people.



We’re starting off in Indonesia, where Steven remembers his pocket money quickly running out while traveling around rural areas of Indonesia with his parents. Struck by how much more expensive food items were in the villages compared to Jakarta, he was inspired to create Super, providing more affordable goods outside the capital. The app allows shop owners to buy items stored locally and supply them to their communities at lower prices. It's helped boost the hyperlocal supply chain and raise living standards for rural populations. Steven is keen to point out that “it’s not just about entrepreneurship”, but “social impact”. He hopes to take Super even further and improve economic distribution across the whole of rural Indonesia.


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Next, we’re crossing the Java Sea to Singapore, where twin brothers – and marathon runners – Jeromy and Kenny decided to turn their passion for self-care into a journaling app. On Journey, people can log their daily thoughts and work towards their mental health and self-improvement goals using prompts. With the guidance of coaches, they can practice gratitude, record their ambitions, and learn about mindfulness and building self-confidence. “People tell us it helps them find time to invest in themselves and dedicate space to self-care”, says Jeromy. In the future, the pair want to bring in additional coaches to support even more people to achieve their wellness goals.


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Now we’re landing in the Middle East where former kindergarten friends Chris and Rene decided to use their experience being expats in Dubai to create a platform for connecting disparate communities across the city. On Hayi حي, locals can share information with their neighbors, find help within the community and connect with those living nearby. “Community is at the heart of everything we do and our goal is to have a positive effect”, says Chris. They’re currently working on creating groups for art and sport enthusiasts to encourage residents to bond over their interests. The pair are also dedicated to sustainability and plan on launching environmental projects, such as wide-scale city clean-ups.


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And finally, we’re off to Europe where Lisbon-based university chums Rita, João and Martim saw unexpected success. Initially, the trio created a recipe-sharing platform, SaveCook. When they launched its accompaniment, Super Save, however, which compared prices of recipe ingredients across different supermarkets, it exploded in popularity. With rising inflation, people were hugely thankful to the founders “for providing a major service” at such a crucial time. Next, they’re working on a barcode scanner that tells shoppers where they can buy cheaper versions of products “to help people save as much as they can.”

Discover more founder stories from across the globe in the #WeArePlay collection.



How useful did you find this blog post?

#WeArePlay | Meet Steven from Indonesia. More stories from around the world

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

As we bid farewell to 2023, we're excited to unveil our last #WeArePlay blog post of the year. From Lisbon to Dubai, let’s meet the creators behind the game-changing apps supporting communities, bringing innovation and joy to people.



We’re starting off in Indonesia, where Steven remembers his pocket money quickly running out while traveling around rural areas of Indonesia with his parents. Struck by how much more expensive food items were in the villages compared to Jakarta, he was inspired to create Super, providing more affordable goods outside the capital. The app allows shop owners to buy items stored locally and supply them to their communities at lower prices. It's helped boost the hyperlocal supply chain and raise living standards for rural populations. Steven is keen to point out that “it’s not just about entrepreneurship”, but “social impact”. He hopes to take Super even further and improve economic distribution across the whole of rural Indonesia.

ALT TEXT

Next, we’re crossing the Java Sea to Singapore, where twin brothers – and marathon runners – Jeromy and Kenny decided to turn their passion for self-care into a journaling app. On Journey, people can log their daily thoughts and work towards their mental health and self-improvement goals using prompts. With the guidance of coaches, they can practice gratitude, record their ambitions, and learn about mindfulness and building self-confidence. “People tell us it helps them find time to invest in themselves and dedicate space to self-care”, says Jeromy. In the future, the pair want to bring in additional coaches to support even more people to achieve their wellness goals.

ALT TEXT

Now we’re landing in the Middle East where former kindergarten friends Chris and Rene decided to use their experience being expats in Dubai to create a platform for connecting disparate communities across the city. On Hayi حي, locals can share information with their neighbors, find help within the community and connect with those living nearby. “Community is at the heart of everything we do and our goal is to have a positive effect”, says Chris. They’re currently working on creating groups for art and sport enthusiasts to encourage residents to bond over their interests. The pair are also dedicated to sustainability and plan on launching environmental projects, such as wide-scale city clean-ups.

ALT TEXT

And finally, we’re off to Europe where Lisbon-based university chums Rita, João and Martim saw unexpected success. Initially, the trio created a recipe-sharing platform, SaveCook. When they launched its accompaniment, Super Save, however, which compared prices of recipe ingredients across different supermarkets, it exploded in popularity. With rising inflation, people were hugely thankful to the founders “for providing a major service” at such a crucial time. Next, they’re working on a barcode scanner that tells shoppers where they can buy cheaper versions of products “to help people save as much as they can.”

Discover more founder stories from across the globe in the #WeArePlay collection.



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Android Studio Hedgehog is stable

Posted by Sandhya Mohan, Product Manager

Today, we are thrilled to announce the stable release of Android Studio Hedgehog 🦔 : The official IDE for building Android apps!

In this Android Studio release, we have upgraded the IntelliJ platform to 2023.1, with features designed to improve app performance and battery life, make it easier to upgrade applications to the latest Android version, and make it faster to develop using Jetpack Compose. Read on to learn more about how Android Studio Hedgehog can help supercharge your developer productivity.

App performance

Android vitals in App Quality Insights

In addition to helping you investigate crash reports for apps instrumented with the Firebase Crashlytics SDK, App Quality Insights now also includes Android vitals data from Google Play Console. With Android vitals, you can see crash reports for any app you publish to the Google Play Store without requiring additional instrumentation in your app. You can view Android vitals issues, filter them, and see crash insights from Play to quickly understand and resolve the cause of a crash, and jump from stack trace to code all from the App Quality Insights tool window. Learn more.

Note: If you don't have permission to view your app in the Play Console, request that the app admin share read-only access to only app quality information, by clicking Users and permissions > View app quality information (read-only) in the Play Console.

Screengrab of Android Vitals data in App Quality Insights
Android Vitals data in App Quality Insights

Power Profiler

The new Power Profiler shows power consumption on devices. It segments the power consumption information by subsystems called "Power Rails". This helps you visualize the correlation between power consumed and the actions occurring in your app. This approach of directly measuring power consumption differs from the legacy Energy Profiler, which only used a model to estimate energy consumption.

By understanding this information, you can potentially identify and fix power consumption issues in your app by running A/B tests to compare the power consumption of different algorithms, features or even different versions of your app.

Apps which are optimized for lower power consumption lead to an improved battery and thermal performance, eventually leading to an improved end user experience. Power Rails data is available on Pixel 6+ devices running Android 10+.

Example of power consumption in different power rails.
Example of power consumption in different power rails.

Coding productivity

Target Android 14 using Android SDK Upgrade Assistant

The SDK Upgrade Assistant provides a step by step wizard flow to help developers through targetSdkVersion upgrades. It pulls documentation directly into the IDE, saving you time and effort.

Android Studio Hedgehog adds support for upgrading projects to Android 14 (API Level 34). We’ve also added additional relevance filters so that unnecessary steps are removed — and in some cases, the upgrade assistant will pinpoint exactly where in code the changes need to be made.

Screengrab of Android SDK Upgrade Assistant
Android SDK Upgrade Assistant

New UI updates

In the Giraffe release, we launched a new UI for the IDE. This reimagined theme reduces visual complexity and provides easier access to essential features, resulting in a more modern and clean look and feel. We’ve listened to your feedback and, in Hedgehog, we’ve added updates for compact mode, vertical and horizontal splitting, and project tabs for Mac OS. If you have not yet tried the new UI, we encourage you to do so.

Screengrab of Compact mode in the New UI
Compact mode in the New UI

Device mirroring

You can now mirror your physical Android device in the Running Devices window in Android Studio. While mirroring your device's display directly via ADB over USB or Wi-FI to Android Studio, you can execute common actions such as starting and interacting with apps, rotating the screen, folding and unfolding the phone, changing the volume, and more – directly from within Android Studio. Learn more.

Moving image demonstrating device mirroring in the running devices window
Device Mirroring in the Running Devices window

Embedded Layout Inspector

You now have the option to run the Layout Inspector directly in the Running Devices tool window while running your app on an embedded virtual device or mirrored physical device. This opt-in feature significantly improves performance of Layout Inspector, conserves screen real estate, helps organize your UI debugging workflow in a single tool window, and improves speed while inspecting your layout. In embedded mode, you can show a view hierarchy, inspect the properties of each view, navigate to code using “deep inspect” mode, and access other common Layout Inspector features. Enable it through Settings > Experimental > Layout Inspector

Screengrab showing Embedded Layout Inspector
Embedded Layout Inspector

Live Edit updated manual mode shortcut

Live Edit has a new default shortcut for manual mode for: Control+\ (Command+\ for macOS). Manual mode is helpful in situations where you want to have precise control over when updates are deployed to the running application. For more information, see the video clip in Live Edit for Jetpack Compose.

Compose tools

Compose Preview’s Gallery Mode

Gallery mode is a new mode in Compose Preview that lets you focus on one Preview at a time to conserve rendering resources. Use Gallery mode when iterating on UI and switch to other modes (Grid or List) when you need to see UI variants.

Moving image of Compose Preview's Gallery Mode
Compose Preview’s Gallery Mode

Compose State information in Debugger

When setting a breakpoint on a Composable function, the debugger now lists the parameters of the composable and their state, so you can more easily identify what changes might have caused unexpected recompositions.

Screengrab of Compose State information in Debugger
Compose State information in Debugger

Compose Multipreview templates

Android Studio Hedgehog includes support for the latest annotations added by the Compose Multipreview API, allowing developers to render common layout scenarios side-by-side while working with the Compose Preview.

The new annotations added include: @PreviewScreenSizes, @PreviewFontScales, @PreviewLightDark, and @PreviewDynamicColors

Screengrab of Compose Multipreview templates
Compose Multipreview templates

Build tools

New macro to specify JDK path

A new macro, #GRADLE_LOCAL_JAVA_HOME, makes it safer and easier to specify the Java* home path used for the Gradle daemon (background process) execution for your project by referencing your .gradle/config.properties file. This reduces errors related to incompatible Gradle and project JDK versions, since there is now a single source of truth for your Gradle JDK selection.

Starting with Android Studio Hedgehog, new projects will use #GRADLE_LOCAL_JAVA_HOME by default. Existing projects will automatically be migrated to the new macro after a successful sync, unless you're already using a macro like #JAVA_HOME.

[Windows-only] Minimize the impact of antivirus software on build speed

The Build Analyzer informs users if antivirus software may be impacting build performance. This can occur if antivirus software, such as Windows Defender, is performing real-time scanning of directories used by Gradle. Build Analyzer recommends a list of directories to exclude from active scanning, and, if possible, provides a link to add them to the Windows Defender folder exclusion list.

Use Firebase Test Lab devices with Gradle Managed Devices

Gradle Managed Devices can now target Firebase Test Lab devices, and you can utilize it to run your automated tests at scale. Use Gradle Managed Devices to select from a wide range range of both physical and virtual FTL devices, with support for test sharding for accelerated execution time. To use FTL devices, you need Android Gradle Plugin 8.2 with the latest Alpha version of the Firebase Test Lab Gradle plugin. Learn more.

Download Android Studio today!

Now is the time to download Android Studio Hedgehog to incorporate the new features into your workflow. As always, we appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues, or features you would like to see. If you find an issue, please check the known issues and file a bug if needed. Remember to also follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter), Medium, or YouTube for more Android development updates!


*Java is a trademark or registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.