Tag Archives: Featured

All developers will get the new Google Play Console on November 2, 2020

Posted by Tom Grinsted, Product Manager, Google Play Console

We hope you’re enjoying the new Google Play Console. With over 350,000 people now using it as their default experience and thousands more providing feedback, the new Play Console is ready to come out of beta. Thank you to everyone who has helped to get it here. This means that the old Play Console will be discontinued starting November 2, 2020. After this date, you’ll be automatically directed to the new Play Console when you log into your account.

If you haven't tried it already, we recommend that you switch to the new version now. To get started, visit play.google.com/console.

The new Play Console’s responsive design means that you can use it across all of your devices. The new navigation makes it easier to find and understand important features, and we’ve added areas to help you better understand your release status, acquisition performance, and guidance on policy changes.

Thanks to your feedback, we’ve already made a lot of improvements:

  • We reorganized the releases area of the navigation. Production is now at the top level, and we've grouped all testing tracks together. Internal app sharing has moved to Setup.
  • Speed and performance on different browsers have increased, and we’ve made UI tweaks such as making text boxes resizable, introducing unread notices for messages, and refining headers on mobile so they use space more efficiently.
  • We launched Inbox, your personalized messaging area featuring helpful information, policy updates, feature recommendations, and more.
  • The new Publishing overview page lets you see what changes are in review. Managed publishing gives you control over your launch by allowing you to decide when approved changes are actually published.
  • Acquisition reports have been completely overhauled to help you understand your performance over time. This includes discontinuing some cohort-based metrics. These will not be available in the new console. If you want to keep a record of this data, please download it from the old Play Console before November 2. Find out more
  • You can still link to your Google Ads account for conversion tracking and remarketing lists, but Google Ads campaign reporting and account notifications will now be available exclusively in Google Ads.
  • You can now search across Play Console, making it easier to find pages and features quickly.
  • And lastly, we announced that later this year, all Play Console users will need to use 2-Step Verification.

To learn more about the new Play Console, you can:

  • Get a high-level overview of what’s new in this blog post.
  • Watch these videos for more in-depth information about the biggest changes.
  • Take a course on the Academy for App Success to become an expert on the new experience.
  • Dive into key features and find supporting information in the new education pages.

Thank you for being a part of our community, and we hope you enjoy the new Play Console!

How useful did you find this blog post?

All developers will get the new Google Play Console on November 2, 2020

Posted by Tom Grinsted, Product Manager, Google Play Console

We hope you’re enjoying the new Google Play Console. With over 350,000 people now using it as their default experience and thousands more providing feedback, the new Play Console is ready to come out of beta. Thank you to everyone who has helped to get it here. This means that the old Play Console will be discontinued starting November 2, 2020. After this date, you’ll be automatically directed to the new Play Console when you log into your account.

If you haven't tried it already, we recommend that you switch to the new version now. To get started, visit play.google.com/console.

The new Play Console’s responsive design means that you can use it across all of your devices. The new navigation makes it easier to find and understand important features, and we’ve added areas to help you better understand your release status, acquisition performance, and guidance on policy changes.

Thanks to your feedback, we’ve already made a lot of improvements:

  • We reorganized the releases area of the navigation. Production is now at the top level, and we've grouped all testing tracks together. Internal app sharing has moved to Setup.
  • Speed and performance on different browsers have increased, and we’ve made UI tweaks such as making text boxes resizable, introducing unread notices for messages, and refining headers on mobile so they use space more efficiently.
  • We launched Inbox, your personalized messaging area featuring helpful information, policy updates, feature recommendations, and more.
  • The new Publishing overview page lets you see what changes are in review. Managed publishing gives you control over your launch by allowing you to decide when approved changes are actually published.
  • Acquisition reports have been completely overhauled to help you understand your performance over time. This includes discontinuing some cohort-based metrics. These will not be available in the new console. If you want to keep a record of this data, please download it from the old Play Console before November 2. Find out more
  • You can still link to your Google Ads account for conversion tracking and remarketing lists, but Google Ads campaign reporting and account notifications will now be available exclusively in Google Ads.
  • You can now search across Play Console, making it easier to find pages and features quickly.
  • And lastly, we announced that later this year, all Play Console users will need to use 2-Step Verification.

To learn more about the new Play Console, you can:

  • Get a high-level overview of what’s new in this blog post.
  • Watch these videos for more in-depth information about the biggest changes.
  • Take a course on the Academy for App Success to become an expert on the new experience.
  • Dive into key features and find supporting information in the new education pages.

Thank you for being a part of our community, and we hope you enjoy the new Play Console!

How useful did you find this blog post?

Announcing DevFest 2020

Posted by Jennifer Kohl, Program Manager, Developer Community Programs

DevFest Image

On October 16-18, thousands of developers from all over the world are coming together for DevFest 2020, the largest virtual weekend of community-led learning on Google technologies.

As people around the world continue to adapt to spending more time at home, developers yearn for community now more than ever. In years past, DevFest was a series of in-person events over a season. For 2020, the community is coming together in a whole new way – virtually – over one weekend to keep developers connected when they may want it the most.

The speakers

The magic of DevFest comes from the people who organize and speak at the events - developers with various backgrounds and skill levels, all with their own unique perspectives. In different parts of the world, you can find a DevFest session in many local languages. DevFest speakers are made up of various types of technologists, including kid developers , self-taught programmers from rural areas , and CEOs and CTOs of startups. DevFest also features a wide range of speakers from Google, Women Techmakers, Google Developer Experts, and more. Together, these friendly faces, with many different perspectives, create a unique and rich developer conference.

The sessions and their mission

Hosted by Google Developer Groups, this year’s sessions include technical talks and workshops from the community, and a keynote from Google Developers. Through these events, developers will learn how Google technologies help them develop, learn, and build together.

Sessions will cover multiple technologies, such as Android, Google Cloud Platform, Machine Learning with TensorFlow, Web.dev, Firebase, Google Assistant, and Flutter.


At our core, Google Developers believes community-led developer events like these are an integral part of the advancement of technology in the world.

For this reason, Google Developers supports the community-led efforts of Google Developer Groups and their annual tentpole event, DevFest. Google provides esteemed speakers from the company and custom technical content produced by developers at Google. The impact of DevFest is really driven by the grassroots, passionate GDG community organizers who volunteer their time. Google Developers is proud to support them.

The attendees

During DevFest 2019, 138,000+ developers participated across 500+ DevFests in 100 countries. While 2020 is a very different year for events around the world, GDG chapters are galvanizing their communities to come together virtually for this global moment. The excitement for DevFest continues as more people seek new opportunities to meet and collaborate with like-minded, community-oriented developers in our local towns and regions.

Join the conversation on social media with #DevFest.

Sign up for DevFest at goo.gle/devfest.





Still curious? Check out these popular talks from DevFest 2019 events around the world...

Improve Your Game with Texture Compression Format Targeting

Posted by Yafit Becher, Product Manager & Dan Galpin, Developer Advocate

Play Asset Delivery downloads the best supported texture for the device

Google Play Asset Delivery allows you to publish an Android App Bundle to Google Play containing all the resources your game needs. It offers multiple delivery modes, auto-updates, compression, and delta patching, all hosted at no cost to you.

As of today, you can use Google Play Asset Delivery to include textures in multiple texture compression formats in your Android App Bundle and Google Play will automatically deliver the assets with the best supported texture compression format for each device. With Texture Compression Format Targeting, you can start using ASTC for devices that support it while falling back to ETC2/ETC1 to devices that don’t. The Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) format offers advantages, such as improved rendering performance, faster load times, a smaller in-memory footprint, better battery life, and improved visual quality. You can even dramatically reduce your download size and on-device footprint by optimizing the tradeoff between size and quality.

Higher bandwidth version of much of this information

Android App Bundle will be the required publishing format for all new games and apps as of August 2021, which means that Google Play Asset Delivery will be required for new games that want Google Play to host more than 150MB of assets. Texture format targeting provides value even for smaller games due to the advantages of newer texture compression formats.

Texture compression

Texture compression is a form of lossy image compression that allows the GPU to render directly from the compressed texture using specialized silicon blocks, reducing the texture memory and memory bandwidth required to render the texture. As GPUs have gotten more advanced, more sophisticated texture compression formats have been developed, but not all GPUs can take advantage of them.

ASTC was released in 2012 to give developers more flexibility in trading compression size vs image quality. It compresses using fixed 128-bit block sizes, but allows for variable block footprints from 4x4 (8 bits per texel) to 12x12 (.89 bits per texel).

Texture compression format image  Texture compression format image Texture compression format image

Googleplex from Google Earth at 12x12 (.89 BPT), 6x5 (4.27 BPT), 4x4 (8 BPT)

This allows almost any type of texture to be used in compressed form, and allows for textures to occupy much less space in RAM — up to 36x less space compared to uncompressed 2D textures depending on quality. Smaller textures also take less time to load, making games start faster.

Memory bandwidth

Since the GPU needs to do fewer reads from texture memory in order to render the texture, the memory bandwidth required to render the scene is reduced, often substantially when texture caches are taken into account.

Texture compression formats in Android

The top compression formats in Android are ETC1, ETC2, and ASTC.

texture compression image

Top texture compression formats with device penetration as of September 2020

ETC1 is supported on practically all devices. It has no transparency support; games can use a second texture for the alpha component. It has quality issues with sharp transitions such as edges and text.

ETC2 is supported by all devices that support GLES3. It supports multiple transparency modes and improves quality compared to ETC1.

ASTC is a more recent format that's more flexible; it supports many different kinds of textures, allowing for just about any texture in your game to benefit from compression. In addition, it supports various block sizes with different associated compression ratios. Using this format is a good way to optimize the size, image quality, and performance of your game.

Asphalt Xtreme Gameloft image

When experimenting with ASTC on Asphalt Xtreme Gameloft found that they could reduce the size of their game by up to 30%

Using texture compression format targeting

Once you've implemented Google Play Asset Delivery in your game, adding texture format targeting is an incremental step. Inside your asset packs, make sure you have a directory that holds just your textures, such as [assetpackname]/textures. This directory will be used to hold default textures (probably in ETC1 or ETC2 format).

Then, create additional texture directories with a suffix representing the additional formats you wish to support.

[assetpackname]/textures#tcf_etc2
[assetpackname]/textures#tcf_astc

Finally, update your app build.gradle file to enable texture splits in asset packs:

// In the app build.gradle file:
android {
    ...
    bundle {
        texture {
            enableSplit true
        }
    }
}

Google Play strips off the texture suffixes so your game reads its assets from the default directory, regardless of what textures are delivered to the device.

If you're using Unity, our Play Asset Delivery plugin for Unity is ready to create app bundles with texture-targeted packs.

Texture compression format targeting is available now

We're committed to helping you serve your entire game through Play with customized dynamic delivery and features such as texture compression format targeting. Documentation at d.android.com will walk you through the integration process depending on the game engine you use, and we also have codelabs ready for both C/C++ and Unity games. We have more information on all of our game related developer resources at d.android.com/games and stay up to date with Google Play Asset Delivery and other game developer tools by signing up for the games quarterly newsletter.

Turning it up to 11: Android 11 for developers

Posted by Stephanie Cuthbertson, Director, Product Management

Android 11 logo

Android 11 is here! Today we’re pushing the source to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and officially releasing the newest version of Android. We built Android 11 with a focus on three themes: a People-centric approach to communication, Controls to let users quickly get to and control all of their smart devices, and Privacy to give users more ways to control how data on devices is shared. Read more in our Keyword post.

For developers, Android 11 has a ton of new capabilities. You’ll want to check out conversation notifications, device and media controls, one-time permissions, enhanced 5G support, IME transitions, and so much more. To help you work and develop faster, we also added new tools like compatibility toggles, ADB incremental installs, app exit reasons API, data access auditing API, Kotlin nullability annotations, and many others. We worked to make Android 11 a great release for you, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll build!

Watch for official Android 11 coming to a device near you, starting today with Pixel 2, 3, 3a, 4, and 4a devices. To get started, visit the Android 11 developer site.

People, Controls, Privacy

People

Android 11 is people-centric and expressive, reimagining the way we have conversations on our phones, and building an OS that can recognize and prioritize the most important people in our lives. For developers, Android 11 helps you build deeper conversational and personal interactions into your apps.

  • Conversation notifications appear in a dedicated section at the top of the shade, with a people-forward design and conversation specific actions, such as opening the conversation as a bubble, creating a conversation shortcut on the home screen, or setting a reminder.
  • Bubbles - Bubbles help users keep conversations in view and accessible while multitasking on their devices. Messaging and chat apps should use the Bubbles API on notifications to enable this in Android 11.
  • Consolidated keyboard suggestions let Autofill apps and Input Method Editors (IMEs) securely offer users context-specific entities and strings directly in an IME’s suggestion strip, where they are most convenient for users.
mobile display of conversation UI

Bubbles and people-centric conversations.

Controls

Android 11 lets users quickly get to and control all of their smart devices in one space. Developers can use new APIs to help users surface smart devices and control media:

  • Device Controls make it faster and easier than ever for users to access and control their connected devices. Now, by simply long pressing the power button, they’re able to bring up device controls instantly, and in one place. Apps can use a new API to appear in the controls. More here.
  • Media Controls make it quick and convenient for users to switch the output device for their audio or video content, whether it be headphones, speakers or even their TV. More here.
Device controls on mobile device Media controls on mobile device

Device controls and media controls.

Privacy

In Android 11, we’re giving users even more control and transparency over sensitive permissions and working to keep devices more secure through faster updates.

One-time permission - Now users can give an app access to the device microphone, camera, or location, just for one time. The app can request permissions again the next time the app is used. More here.

Permission notification

One-time permission dialog in Android 11.

Background location - Background location now requires additional steps from the user beyond granting a runtime permission. If your app needs background location, the system will ensure that you first ask for foreground location. You can then broaden your access to background location through a separate permission request, and the system will take the user to Settings to complete the permission grant.

Also note that in February we announced that Google Play developers will need to get approval to access background location in their app to prevent misuse. We're giving developers more time to make changes and won't be enforcing the policy for existing apps until 2021.

Permissions auto-reset - if users haven’t used an app for an extended period of time, Android 11 will “auto-reset” all of the runtime permissions associated with the app and notify the user. The app can request the permissions again the next time the app is used. More here.

Scoped storage - We’ve continued our work to better protect app and user data on external storage, and made further improvements to help developers more easily migrate. More here.

Google Play system updates - Launched last year, Google Play system updates help us expedite updates of core OS components to devices in the Android ecosystem. In Android 11, we more than doubled the number of updatable modules, including 12 new modules that will help improve privacy, security, and consistency for users and developers.

BiometricPrompt API - Developers can now use the BiometricPrompt API to specify the biometric authenticator strength required by their app to unlock or access sensitive parts of the app. For backward compatibility, we’ve just added these capabilities to the Jetpack Biometric library. We’ll share further updates as the work progresses.

Identity Credential API - This will unlock new use cases such as mobile drivers licences, National ID, and Digital ID. We’re working with various government agencies and industry partners to make sure that Android 11 is ready for digital-first identity experiences.

You can read about all of the Android 11 privacy features here.

Helpful innovation

Enhanced 5G support - Android 11 includes updated developer support to help you take advantage of the faster speeds and lower latency of 5G networks. You can learn when the user is connected to a 5G network, check whether the connection is metered, and get an estimate of the connection bandwidth. To help you build experiences now for 5G, we’ve also added 5G support in the Android Emulator. To get started with 5G on Android, visit the 5G developer page.

image of Google Maps on mobile

Moving beyond the home, 5G can for example let you enhance your “on-the-go” experience by providing seamless interactions with the world around you from friends and family to businesses.

New screen types - Device makers are continuing to innovate by bringing exciting new device screens to market, such as hole-punch and waterfall screens. Android 11 adds support for these in the platform, with APIs to let you optimize your apps. You can manage both hole-punch and waterfall screens using the existing display cutout APIs. You can set a new window layout attribute to use the entire waterfall screen, and a new waterfall insets API helps you manage interaction near the edges.

Call screening support - Android 11 helps call-screening apps do more to manage robocalls. Apps can verify an incoming call’s STIR/SHAKEN status (standards that protect against caller ID spoofing) as part of the call details, and they can report a call rejection reason. Apps can also customize a system-provided post call screen to let users perform actions such as marking a call as spam or adding to contacts.

Polish and quality

OS resiliency - In Android 11 we’ve made the OS more dynamic and resilient as a whole by fine-tuning memory reclaiming processes, such as forcing user-imperceptible restarts of processes based on RSS HWM thresholds. Also, to improve performance and memory, Android 11 adds Binder caching, which optimizes highly used IPC calls to system services by caching data for those that retrieve relatively static data. Binder caching also improves battery life by reducing CPU time.

Synchronized IME transitions - New APIs let you synchronize your app’s content with the IME (input method editor, or on-screen keyboard) and system bars as they animate on and offscreen, making it much easier to create natural, intuitive and jank-free IME transitions. For frame-perfect transitions, a new WindowInsetsAnimation.Callback API notifies apps of per-frame changes to insets while the system bars or the IME animate. Additionally, you can use a new WindowInsetsAnimationController API to control system UI types like system bars, IME, immersive mode, and others. More here.

Synchronized IME transition through insets animation listener. App-driven IME experience through WindowInsetsAnimationController.

Synchronized IME transition through insets animation listener.

App-driven IME experience through WindowInsetsAnimationController.

HEIF animated drawables - The ImageDecoder API now lets you decode and render image sequence animations stored in HEIF files, so you can make use of high-quality assets while minimizing impact on network data and APK size. HEIF image sequences can offer drastic file-size reductions for image sequences when compared to animated GIFs.

Native image decoder - New NDK APIs let apps decode and encode images (such as JPEG, PNG, WebP) from native code for graphics or post processing, while retaining a smaller APK size since you don’t need to bundle an external library. The native decoder also takes advantage of Android’s process for ongoing platform security updates. See the NDK sample code for examples of how to use the APIs.

Low-latency video decoding in MediaCodec - Low latency video is critical for real-time video streaming apps and services like Stadia. Video codecs that support low latency playback return the first frame of the stream as quickly as possible after decoding starts. Apps can use new APIs to check and configure low-latency playback for a specific codec.

Variable refresh rate - Apps and games can use a new API to set a preferred frame rate for their windows. Most Android devices refresh the display at 60Hz refresh rate, but some support multiple refresh rates, such as 90Hz as well as 60Hz, with runtime switching. On these devices, the system uses the app’s preferred frame rate to choose the best refresh rate for the app. The API is available in both the SDK and NDK. See the details here.

Dynamic resource loader - Android 11 includes a new public API to let apps load resources and assets dynamically at runtime. With the Resource Loader framework you can include a base set of resources in your app or game and then load additional resources, or modify the loaded resources, as needed at runtime.

Neural Networks API (NNAPI) 1.3 - We continue to add ops and controls to support machine learning on Android devices. To optimize common use-cases, NNAPI 1.3 adds APIs for priority and timeout, memory domains, and asynchronous command queue. New ops for advanced models include signed integer asymmetric quantization, branching and loops, and a hard-swish op that helps accelerate next-generation on-device vision models such as MobileNetV3.

Developer friendliness

App compatibility tools - We worked to minimize compatibility impacts on your apps by making most Android 11 behavior changes opt-in, so they won’t take effect until you change the apps’ targetSdkVersion to 30. If you are distributing through Google Play, you’ll have more than a year to opt-in to these changes, but we recommend getting started testing early. To help you test, Android 11 lets you enable or disable many of the opt-in changes individually. More here.

App exit reasons - When your app exits, it’s important to understand why the app exited and what the state was at the time -- across the many device types, memory configurations, and user scenarios that your app runs in. Android 11 makes this easier with an exit reasons API that you can use to request details of the app’s recent exits.

Data access auditing - data access auditing lets you instrument your app to better understand how it accesses user data and from which user flows. For example, it can help you identify any inadvertent access to private data in your own code or within any SDKs you might be using. More here.

ADB Incremental - Installing very large APKs with ADB (Android Debug Bridge) during development can be slow and impact your productivity, especially those developers working on Android Games. With ADB Incremental in Android 11, installing large APKs (2GB+) from your development computer to an Android 11 device is up to 10x faster. More here.

Kotlin nullability annotations - Android 11 adds nullability annotations to more methods in the public API. And, it upgrades a number of existing annotations from warnings to errors. These help you catch nullability issues at build time, rather than at runtime. More here.

Get your apps ready for Android 11

With Android 11 on its way to users, now is the time to finish your compatibility testing and publish your updates.

Flow chart steps for getting your apps ready for Android 11.

Here are some of the top behavior changes to watch for (these apply regardless of your app’s targetSdkVersion):

  • One-time permission - Users can now grant single-use permission to access location, device microphone and camera. More here.
  • External storage access - Apps can no longer access other apps’ files in external storage. More here.
  • Scudo hardened allocator - Scudo is now the heap memory allocator for native code in apps. More here.
  • File descriptor sanitizer - Fdsan is now enabled by default to detect file descriptor handling issues for native code in apps. More here.

Android 11 also includes opt-in behavior changes - these affect your app once it’s targeting the new platform. We recommend assessing these changes as soon as you’ve published the compatible version of your app. For more information on compatibility testing and tools, check out the resources we shared for Android 11 Compatibility week and visit the Android 11 developer site for technical details.

Enhance your app with new features and APIs

Next, when you're ready, dive into Android 11 and learn about the new features and APIs that you can use. Here are some of the top features to get started with.

We recommend these for all apps:

  • Dark theme (from Android 10) - Make sure to provide a consistent experience for users who enable system-wide dark theme by adding a Dark theme or enabling Force Dark.
  • Gesture navigation (from Android 10) - Support gesture navigation by going edge-to-edge and ensure that custom gestures work well with gestures. More here.
  • Sharing shortcuts (from Android 10) - Apps that want to receive shared data should use the sharing shortcuts APIs to create share targets. Apps that want to send shared data should make sure to use the system share sheet.
  • Synchronized IME transitions - Provide seamless transitions to your users using the new WindowInsets and related APIs. More here.
  • New screen types - for devices with hole-punch or waterfall screens, make sure to test and adjust your content for these screens as needed. More here.

We recommend these if relevant for your app:

  • Conversations - Messaging and communication apps can participate in the conversation experience by providing long-lived sharing shortcuts and surfacing conversations in notifications. More here.
  • Bubbles - Bubbles are a way to keep conversations in view and accessible while multitasking. Use the Bubbles API on notifications to enable this.
  • 5G - If your app or content can benefit from the faster speeds and lower latency of 5G, explore our developer resources to see what you can build.
  • Device controls - If your app supports external smart devices, make sure those devices are accessible from the new Android 11 device controls area. More here.
  • Media controls - For media apps, we recommend supporting the Android 11 media controls so users can manage playback and resumption from the Quick Settings shade. More here.

Read more about all of the Android 11 features at developer.android.com/11.

Coming to a device near you!

Android 11 will begin rolling out today on select Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and realme phones, with more partners launching and upgrading devices over the coming months. If you have a Pixel 2, 3, 3a, 4, or 4a phone, including those enrolled in this year’s Beta program, watch for the over-the-air update arriving soon!

Android 11 factory system images for Pixel devices are also available through the Android Flash Tool, or you can download them here. As always, you can get the latest Android Emulator system images via the SDK Manager in Android Studio. For broader testing on other Treble-compliant devices, Generic System Images (GSI) are available here.

If you're looking for the Android 11 source code, you'll find it here in the Android Open Source Project repository under the Android 11 branches.

What’s next?

We’ll soon be closing the preview issue tracker and retiring open bugs logged against Developer Preview or Beta builds, but please keep the feedback coming! If you still see an issue that you filed in the preview tracker, just file a new issue against Android 11 in the AOSP issue tracker.

Thanks again to the many developers and early adopters who participated in the preview program this year! You gave us great feedback to help shape the release, and you filed thousands of issues that have made Android 11 a better platform for everyone.

We're looking forward to seeing your apps on Android 11!

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!

What’s new for Android game developers: August update

Posted by Greg Hartrell, Head of Product Management, Games on Android & Google Play

Android

Welcome to our latest Android games update and the start of our #11WeeksOfAndroid week focused on games, media and 5G. With all of your interest and feedback in our developer previews, tools and services, we have lots to share in our ongoing efforts to help you better understand your game’s performance, expand your reach to more devices and new audiences, and support your go-to-market with Google Play.

Get the latest updates below and follow us at @AndroidDev for additional games resources and more.

Android tools for mobile game development

  • Android Studio 4.1: We've enhanced the CPU Profiler to expose more data with an improved UI, and we've added memory visualization, startup profiling capabilities, and sampling rate configuration to our Native Memory Profiler. Additionally, you can now open the Android Studio Profilers in a standalone UI. Checkout the System Trace and Native Memory blog posts for more details, and update Android Studio today for better profiling.
  • Android Game Development Extension: For developers building games on multiple platforms with C/C++, we continue to invest in our extension for Visual Studio, including adding support for Visual Studio 2019 and launching standalone Android Studio Profilers. Sign up for the developer preview to integrate with your Visual Studio workflow.
  • Android GPU Inspector: Look into the GPU of Android devices to better understand the bottlenecks and utilize the insights to optimize the graphical performance of your game experiences. Sign up for the developer preview and stay tuned for our upcoming open beta.

Reach more devices and users

  • Android Performance Tuner: Deliver higher quality game experiences to more Android users with less effort. Measure your frame rate performance and graphical fidelity and optimise between them to achieve stable frame rates at scale across the whole Android device ecosystem. Integrate the Unity plug-in or do a custom integration. Learn more in our new session.
  • Android Game SDK: Achievieving smoother frame rates and managing input latency on Android has become even easier! Now that the Game SDK is part of Jetpack, it’s simple to integrate our gaming libraries, such as the Frame Pacing API or the Android Performance Tuner, into your game. Grab the SDK or integrate it now through Jetpack.
  • Play Asset Delivery: Improve your user experience while reducing delivery costs and the size of your game with Play Asset Delivery’s flexible delivery modes, auto-updates and delta patching. Gameloft used PAD to improve user retention, resulting in 10% more new players than with their previous asset delivery system. App bundle format will be required for all new apps starting August 2021. As part of this, we will deprecate legacy APK expansion files (OBBs), making Play Asset Delivery the standard option for publishing games over 150MB.
  • Protect game integrity and fairness with Google Play tools: Protect your game, players, and business by reducing costs fighting monetization and distribution abuse. Some partners have seen up to a 40% decrease in potential hacks and up to a 30% decrease in fraudulent purchase attempts using our integrity and commerce APIs. Express interest in the automatic integrity protection EAP.

Boost your go-to-market

  • Play Games Services - Friends: Now in open beta, help players easily find and play with friends across Android games. Millions of players have a new platform-level friends list that you can access to bootstrap and enhance your in-game friend networks and have your games surfaced in new clusters in the Play Games app. Start using Google Play Games Services - Friends in your game today.
  • Pre-registration: Boost early installs with pre-registration and day 1 auto install. Early experiments show a +20% increase in day 1 installs when using this new feature. We have also optimized our day 1 notifications to pre-registered users. Try out the new pre-registration menu in the Play Developer Console to access this feature.
  • Play store updates: We’re updating games home with a much greater visual experience, showcasing rich game graphics and engaging videos. This provides a more arcade-like browse experience helping users discover new games that match what they like to play. Learn how to optimize your store listing page with the best quality assets.
  • In-app reviews: Give users the ability to leave a review from within your game, without heading back to the app details page, using our new in-app review API, part of the Play Core Library. Learn more in our recent blog post.

Check out d.android.com/games to learn about these tools and more, and stay up to date by signing up for the games quarterly newsletter.


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11 Weeks of Android: Beyond phones

Posted by Product Leads for Android TV, Android for cars, Wear OS, and Chrome OS

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 Android Beyond Phones; here’s a look at what you should know.

With Android, people can experience the apps and services that they love across many devices & surfaces. Beyond phones, Android offers distinct yet familiar experiences on devices of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the smallest smartwatch screens, to larger displays on foldables and Chromebooks, to in-car entertainment systems, and all the way up to the largest television screens. For the past 4 days, we featured a daily deep dive into each of these exciting form factors that are providing developers with new and growing ways to engage people. Read on for a recap.

Android TV

We kicked off the week with Android TV, which is now partnering with 7 of the top 10 OEMs and over 160 television operators across the globe. The Android TV team highlighted 6 upcoming launches, like instant app trials right from Google Play and an updated Gboard, to help developers acquire more users, more easily monetize, and build even more engaging experiences. Then, new resources were published to help developers build their first Android TV app, or even go deep on new integrations like Cast Connect and frictionless subscriptions. If you’re excited about developing for TV, pick up an ADT-3, learn the latest from the training pathway, and bring your Android app to the biggest screen in the home!

Android for Cars

We shared new ways to reach more drivers on Android for cars. Android Auto, which allows you to connect your phone to your car display, is currently available with nearly every major car manufacturer and is on track to reach 100 million cars. Soon, new app categories including navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging will be available and the experience for Android Auto users will become even more seamless as car manufacturers continue to add support for wireless connectivity. We also highlighted the launch of the first car powered by Android Automotive OS with Google apps and services built in — the Polestar 2. As more manufacturers ship cars with this embedded functionality, we’re making it even easier for developers to build media apps on Android Automotive OS with updated documentation and emulators. Get started today to bring your app to cars!

Large Screens

We covered large screens starting with the announcement of ChromeOS.dev — a dedicated resource for technical developers, designers, product managers, and business leaders. We’ve showcased our growth in device sales in Chrome OS, seeing Chromebook unit sales grew 127% year over year between March and June this year1, as well as some of the new features coming, such as customizable Linux Terminal and Android Emulator support. We’ve also continued to see growth in apps optimized for larger screen experiences, with over 1 million apps optimized for tablets and large screens available in the Google Play store. To help you develop the best-in-class apps for Chrome OS, foldables and tablets, we are continuing to release new features and updates. We released new design recommendations for your app as well as a few updates made in Android Studio. Check out the new sessions and some of the resurfaced content to learn more about bringing the best experiences to your users on these large-screen devices.

Wear OS

To round out the week, we talked about Wear OS where we are investing in the fundamentals with a focus on performance and faster app startup times, which you’ll see in the latest platform release coming in the fall. Wear OS will be launching updates to cornerstone features like Weather in the coming months, and is investing in helpful experiences, such as our recent hand-wash timer to help people maintain hand-hygiene in the Covid-19 pandemic. The team is working hard to bring the best of Android 11 to Wear OS.

Learning paths

Are you building your apps with different screen sizes and form factors in mind? Check out all the resources for Wear OS and Android for cars, and if you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week for Android TV and large screens, consider completing the pathway for each. These include codelabs, videos, articles and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz.

We hope that you found the Android Beyond Phones week useful, and we're excited to see all the great experiences that you'll build on these platforms!

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!

Sources:
1 The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Notebook Computers, based on unit sales, April–June 2020 and March–June 2020​.

11 Weeks of Android: Beyond phones

Posted by Product Leads for Android TV, Android for cars, Wear OS, and Chrome OS

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 Android Beyond Phones; here’s a look at what you should know.

With Android, people can experience the apps and services that they love across many devices & surfaces. Beyond phones, Android offers distinct yet familiar experiences on devices of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the smallest smartwatch screens, to larger displays on foldables and Chromebooks, to in-car entertainment systems, and all the way up to the largest television screens. For the past 4 days, we featured a daily deep dive into each of these exciting form factors that are providing developers with new and growing ways to engage people. Read on for a recap.

Android TV

We kicked off the week with Android TV, which is now partnering with 7 of the top 10 OEMs and over 160 television operators across the globe. The Android TV team highlighted 6 upcoming launches, like instant app trials right from Google Play and an updated Gboard, to help developers acquire more users, more easily monetize, and build even more engaging experiences. Then, new resources were published to help developers build their first Android TV app, or even go deep on new integrations like Cast Connect and frictionless subscriptions. If you’re excited about developing for TV, pick up an ADT-3, learn the latest from the training pathway, and bring your Android app to the biggest screen in the home!

Android for Cars

We shared new ways to reach more drivers on Android for cars. Android Auto, which allows you to connect your phone to your car display, is currently available with nearly every major car manufacturer and is on track to reach 100 million cars. Soon, new app categories including navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging will be available and the experience for Android Auto users will become even more seamless as car manufacturers continue to add support for wireless connectivity. We also highlighted the launch of the first car powered by Android Automotive OS with Google apps and services built in — the Polestar 2. As more manufacturers ship cars with this embedded functionality, we’re making it even easier for developers to build media apps on Android Automotive OS with updated documentation and emulators. Get started today to bring your app to cars!

Large Screens

We covered large screens starting with the announcement of ChromeOS.dev — a dedicated resource for technical developers, designers, product managers, and business leaders. We’ve showcased our growth in device sales in Chrome OS, seeing Chromebook unit sales grew 127% year over year between March and June this year1, as well as some of the new features coming, such as customizable Linux Terminal and Android Emulator support. We’ve also continued to see growth in apps optimized for larger screen experiences, with over 1 million apps optimized for tablets and large screens available in the Google Play store. To help you develop the best-in-class apps for Chrome OS, foldables and tablets, we are continuing to release new features and updates. We released new design recommendations for your app as well as a few updates made in Android Studio. Check out the new sessions and some of the resurfaced content to learn more about bringing the best experiences to your users on these large-screen devices.

Wear OS

To round out the week, we talked about Wear OS where we are investing in the fundamentals with a focus on performance and faster app startup times, which you’ll see in the latest platform release coming in the fall. Wear OS will be launching updates to cornerstone features like Weather in the coming months, and is investing in helpful experiences, such as our recent hand-wash timer to help people maintain hand-hygiene in the Covid-19 pandemic. The team is working hard to bring the best of Android 11 to Wear OS.

Learning paths

Are you building your apps with different screen sizes and form factors in mind? Check out all the resources for Wear OS and Android for cars, and if you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week for Android TV and large screens, consider completing the pathway for each. These include codelabs, videos, articles and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz.

We hope that you found the Android Beyond Phones week useful, and we're excited to see all the great experiences that you'll build on these platforms!

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!

Sources:
1 The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Notebook Computers, based on unit sales, April–June 2020 and March–June 2020​.