Tag Archives: Google Play

Come celebrate the art of indie games with us

Today we’re announcing the 2020 edition of the Google Play Indie Games Festival, a celebration of the passion, creativity and innovation that indie game developers bring to the Google Play store. 

This year we will host three competitions for indie game developers from Japan, South Korea and several European countries. The top 20 creators in each region will be chosen to showcase their games at public events in Tokyo, Seoul and Warsaw. Players, industry experts and the Google Play team will vote to select the top 10, and from there, three winners for each regional contest will be crowned. 

Prizes are designed to help indie developers showcase their games and grow their businesses on Google Play. This includes things like promotions on the Google Play Store and chances to network with industry experts and influencers. Winners could even go home with the latest Android devices, which can help them curb development costs.

If you make indie games and meet the eligibility criteria, enter your game by March 2, 2020. 

The contests aren’t just for developers, though. If you like playing unique, creative, high quality games, you can sign up to attend the final events in Warsaw, Tokyo and Seoul, where you’ll get the chance to  play the games, meet the developers, vote for your favorites, help choose the winners….and of course, have a little fun. 

Need some inspiration? Check out the winners of the 2019 edition in Europe.

Enter the Indie Games Festival from Google Play

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Developer Marketing

Indie Games Festival banner

The indie developer community released several fantastic titles on Google Play during 2019, showing the technical skill and innovative design that makes them an essential part of the gaming landscape.

To continue helping indie developers thrive, today we’re announcing the 2020 edition of our annual Google Play Indie Games Festival. This year we will host three competitions for developers from several European countries*, Japan, and South Korea.

Prizes:

Prizes are designed to help you grow your business, including:

  • The chance to exhibit at the final events in Warsaw, Tokyo or Seoul
  • Promotions on the Google Play Store
  • Promotions on our consumer and developer-facing channels
  • Access to exclusive developer-focused Google events
  • Personalized consultation sessions with Google team members
  • And more!

Eligibility:

The contests are open to developers from selected countries, with no more than 50 employees. The submitted game must be new, released at least in open beta between May 7, 2019 and March 2, 2020. See other requirements in the terms and conditions for each of the contests.

Process:

process banner for Indie Games Festival

Simply fill out the relevant form by clicking here. Submissions are open until March 2, 2020, at 3pm CET.

The Top 20 entries in each region will be announced in March and invited to showcase at the Festival events where the field will be narrowed to 10 by the event audience, industry experts and the Google team. The Top 10 will present their games on stage and the 3 winners will be selected.

Not submitting a game? Come and take part:

Even if you’re not submitting a game to the competitions, we’d love to see you at one of the Festival events on the 25th of April 2020.

Learn more and sign up on g.co/play/indiefestival

* The European competition is open to developers from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland).

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#IMakeApps: One developer’s life on the road

Sterling Udell and his wife Teresa always loved to travel and the opportunity to hit the road full-time was a dream for them. At some point, they realized that software development was a remote-friendly job, and decided not to put off traveling any longer. Check out more #IMakeApps stories on g.co/play/imakeapps.

What kickstarted your nomadic lifestyle? 

I’ve always loved travel, and my wife and I used to dream about someday making it work as a lifestyle. Then, a serious health issue brought home that there might not be a “someday.” I was already working remotely as a programmer, and we realized that it would be possible to kit out an RV to support doing so on the road. So we took the plunge!

How do you juggle your lifestyle with your work as a developer? 

Being an independent developer gives me lots of flexibility in how I work, and we’re pretty flexible in our travel as well, so it’s not too difficult to fit the two together. Our preferred mode of travel is to park up for a few days in one location, where I’ll tend to work on apps most days, with some time off for getting to know the area as well. Then we’ll pack up and move on to somewhere else⁠—seeing the sights along the way⁠—and start the cycle over. 

Does your lifestyle inspire or influence the types of apps you create? 

Absolutely. We spend a lot of time outdoors, and that makes you very aware of the natural passage of time: day into night, summer into winter, then back around again. Not to mention, if you’re spending time outdoors, there’s a practical side to knowing what time the sun will rise, or when the daylight will fade. This was the basis of TerraTime, an app that displays the natural flow of sunlight, clouds, seasons and beyond, accessible in the palm of your hand. And Lunescope works  similarly, but for the phases of the moon. Both apps are focused on showcasing the world’s  natural rhythm.

What app are you working on at the moment?  

I’m currently working on a major update to TerraTime Pro, adding a feature that many folks have requested. The focus of the app has always been to help people connect with the world we live in, linking our human understanding of time with the natural cycles that underpin it. Without giving too much away, the new feature should further that goal⁠—on a global scale⁠—as well as making the app more useful day-to-day.

What has been your experience creating apps on Android and distributing them through Google Play? 

I was drawn to developing for Android specifically by unique platform features, like widgets and live wallpapers, that I wanted to include in my early apps. As my portfolio has grown, I’ve continued to leverage such features into apps that wouldn’t be possible anywhere except Android. I think that’s what’s kept me on the platform for the last 10 years: the unique possibilities that it offers. 

Source: Android


How Google Play works

There are more than 2.5 billion active Android devices worldwide—and that number is growing. A major force behind that growth is Google Play, the global online content store that brings incredible apps, games and digital content to Android users everywhere.

Today we are publishing the “How Google Play Works” report, a comprehensive look under the hood at how the Play Store operates, focusing on how we keep users safe and how we support developers and help them build sustainable global businesses. 

At Android Dev Summit 2019, we announced that there were over 116 billion downloads from Google Play in the last 12 months. With such scale comes an enormous responsibility to respect and protect everyone involved—both the people downloading the apps, and the developers creating them.

This is why we continually review our Google Play developer policies, which cover topics ranging from bullying and harassment to malware. It’s why we try to scan all apps being installed with Play Protect, even apps that don’t come from Play. It’s also why we invest heavily in helping to make developers successful in sustainable ways that respect our users and their devices.

Creating a global platform for everyone and providing useful tools for developers has been our goal since we launched the very first Android device. 

As content and devices evolve, so will the Google Play Store, and we look forward to bringing developers and users the very best digital discovery and store experience. 

Please visit our How Google Play Works report site at android.com/play/how-google-play-works.

How Google Play works

There are more than 2.5 billion active Android devices worldwide—and that number is growing. A major force behind that growth is Google Play, the global online content store that brings incredible apps, games and digital content to Android users everywhere.

Today we are publishing the “How Google Play Works” report, a comprehensive look under the hood at how the Play Store operates, focusing on how we keep users safe and how we support developers and help them build sustainable global businesses. 

At Android Dev Summit 2019, we announced that there were over 116 billion downloads from Google Play in the last 12 months. With such scale comes an enormous responsibility to respect and protect everyone involved—both the people downloading the apps, and the developers creating them.

This is why we continually review our Google Play developer policies, which cover topics ranging from bullying and harassment to malware. It’s why we try to scan all apps being installed with Play Protect, even apps that don’t come from Play. It’s also why we invest heavily in helping to make developers successful in sustainable ways that respect our users and their devices.

Creating a global platform for everyone and providing useful tools for developers has been our goal since we launched the very first Android device. 

As content and devices evolve, so will the Google Play Store, and we look forward to bringing developers and users the very best digital discovery and store experience. 

Please visit our How Google Play Works report site at android.com/play/how-google-play-works.

Google Play Best of 2019 Winners

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/SqdGrEKaUoQ4F34VVHjXwqCtnT3BF8K5JmCCCbWCK67FUMkqN-38-eTp6xsfGh6cFyEHTgDeZ2ulRJ4_P3VxNKs8TYmJpv3TXbNfZK8Gvt4_Xi63f_FVmmkEJUhigQjhT9ptNPfB




2019 took us to distant worlds and brought us together with new apps, games, movies and books. We grooved to the rhythms of Andhadhun, answered the Call of Duty, and read books of hope – it was an amazing year from beginning to Endgame. Now, we’re celebrating the year’s top content across Google Play.


You rocked the vote to crown your favorites… and the votes are in: Your 2019 Users’ Choice winners are Spotify, Call of Duty: Mobile, Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame, and Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope


Explore the lists below to see what the Google Play editors loved and what topped the charts in Indian entertainment this year. And check out the full lists in the Best of 2019 section of the Play Store.



Mobile Magic 

Screen Time


Literary Legends 

Top-Selling Ebooks of 2019


Top-Selling Audiobooks of 2019


Posted by Brett Bouchard, Global Head of Editorial, Google Play

Google Play’s Best of 2019

2019 took us to distant worlds and brought us together with new apps, games, movies and books. We answered the Call of Duty, made photos move, and went back to Gilead—it was an amazing year from beginning to Endgame. Now, we’re celebrating the year’s top content across Google Play.

You rocked the vote to crown your favorites … and the votes are in: Your 2019 Users’ Choice winners are Call of Duty: Mobile, Video Editor - Glitch Video Effects, Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Explore the lists below to see what the Google Play editors loved and what topped the charts in U.S. entertainment this year. And check out the full lists in the Best of 2019 section of the Play Store.

Creating stargazing apps and the perfect loaf

Editor’s note: Maurizio Leo is a software engineer-turned baker, and co-founder and developer of SkyView, a stargazing app that uses your camera to identify objects in the sky. As a part of our I Make Apps series, we talk to him about developing his app, as well as his baking side hustle. 

1. Tell us about SkyView. How is it useful to people? 

SkyView is an augmented reality app we created to educate and inspire others to explore the universe no matter their location, night and day. There's a magical and exciting universe out there to explore, and SkyView's aim has always been to make exploring the sky as effortless and approachable as possible. Just point your device up to the sky and discover a new star, find a new planet, or spot the International Space Station streaking across the sky.

2. How did you get into baking?  

I grew up in an Italian household that always emphasized food made by hand. And while I went into computer science because of my curiosity surrounding computers and software, I think cooking and baking has always been a big part of my life. About ten years ago, when I was given a book on baking sourdough as a gift, I was immediately taken by the marriage of craft and science needed to bake a loaf of bread. The precision behind baking bread spoke to me, and the science behind fermentation piqued my logical side. After creating my first sourdough starter from scratch and baking my first loaf, I became obsessed.

3. How do you juggle baking and making apps in your daily life as a developer?

Working from my home office on our app SkyView allows me time between writing lines of code to hop into the kitchen and weigh, mix, or shape a batch of bread dough. It gives me an opportunity to relax my mind for a few moments or perhaps explore a possible solution, much like taking a walk would offer. Sometimes some of my best code breakthroughs were achieved when I was in the kitchen with my hands covered in flour and water! In the end, being an app developer who works at home has allowed me to simultaneously work on software I'm passionate about and explore my dedication to the craft of baking bread.

4. What are the similarities and differences between baking bread and making apps? 

At first glance, writing apps and baking sourdough bread seem a world apart—but they have more in common than one might initially think. Both pursuits benefit from a sound plan, precision, adjustment to changing inputs, and iterative improvement. Software certainly is a more analytical and tactical pursuit, while working with something tangible like bread dough satisfies more of my artistic side. For me, these two offer a delicate balance, where software lets me build imaginative structures and baking bread fulfills my desire to slow down and work with my hands. With naturally leavened bread, time is the best ingredient.

5. What has been your experience creating apps on Android & distributing them through Google Play?

We've been working with Android since the beginning (that's over ten years!), and it has always provided us with the right set of tools to help bring our ideas to reality. With modern language constructs, good editing, debugging and reporting tools, and a thoughtful testing framework, we've been able to update and release SkyView with more functionality to delight our users. And, Google Play allows us to quickly deploy our app, reaching millions of people, and keep with our mission to get as many excited about space as we are.

Source: Android


Finalists from our Design Challenge are Changing the Game

Research shows that while half of all mobile game players are women, only 23 percent of them think there’s equal treatment and opportunity in the industry. In order to promote women as players and creators, Change The Game empowers the next generation of game makers so all players can feel represented and engaged. 

Our annual Design Challenge encouraged teenagers nationwide to design an original game. We received over 1,500 entries and selected five finalists, who worked with Girls Make Games. These winning games are now available for download on Google Play.

Read more about our finalists, their vision, and the inspiration behind their games below:

Grand prize winner: Anna, 18 years old, from New York.

Anna was inspired to create Brightlove when she noticed a lack of active intervention by her peers in situations when someone was being bullied or hurt. Brightlove encourages players to be kind and to take action, rather than being mere bystanders. A refreshing contrast to the violence that often permeates mobile games, Brightlove encourages positive actions and rewards kindness.
Bright Love

Bridgette, 16 years old, from Washington.

Bridgette had been toying with the idea ofLune for quite some time, but Change The Game “gave her the push she needed to bring her thoughts to life.” She wanted to create a game that combined both entertaining mechanics while also telling a powerful narrative. Lune takes place in a distant future where humanity has achieved deep space travel and created sentient AI. The player is prompted to make choices that will dictate her performance, battle options, and ultimately decide her fate.

Lune

Grace, 15 years old, from Texas.

Grace’s interest in game design comes from an unorthodox place. She wasn’t a big gamer growing up. But when she discovered YouTube, she also discovered creators who worked on game development. This inspired her to create games of her own. This particular game idea came to her when she was walking her dog, a miniature poodle named Lucy. Good Dogs Bring Joy flips the virtual pet game idea on its head. The user plays as a dog named Alex who wants to help their owner to collect information about the world. What will they sniff up together?
Good Dogs

Krista, 18 years old, from New Hampshire.

Krista has always been fascinated by games that have a relatable and personable story to follow. With Spectrum, Krista wanted to capture a feeling of love and belonging, as well as the ability to do something about the various situations life throws at you. Fun fact: Spectrum evolved from doodles and sketches, with little notes in the margins. Spectrum is a 2D platformer fantasy game in which “sprites” small pixie-like creatures, are taking over the bodies of other creatures on Earth, controlling their actions and powers.
Spectrum

Neha, 15 years old, from California.

Neha was watching a show about the vastness of the universe at a planetarium when she was struck with the idea of YuMe. Living in a society caught up with differences and judgement, Neha was inspired to focus on similarities and how we can all belong as one. The word “yume” in Japanese means dream, and the game name, YuMe, is a play on the word which combines the English words “You” and “Me.” The title expresses that the character’s dream is for “you and me” to meet.
Yume

Inspired to learn more about game making? Interested in empowering the next generation of game-makers? Learn more about Change The Game today.

Still Using InstallBroadcast? Switch to the Play Referrer API by March 1, 2020

Posted by Marcus Leal, Product Manager, Google Play Ads

How do people find your app? It’s the million-dollar question for any developer, and the answer can help you make the right choices about your marketing strategy and budget. Accurate install referral data is crucial for understanding which traffic sources send users to download your app from the Google Play Store, as well as identifying fraudulent attempts to claim install attributions.

That’s why in 2017, we launched the Play Install Referrer API, which provides a reliable and robust mechanism for apps to retrieve referral information directly from the Play Store. It was a big step forward from the old install_referrer intent broadcast, so many developers made the switch right away, including App Attribution Program partners like Adjust, AppsFlyer, and Kochava. Now, because it’s been replaced by the new API, we’ve decided to deprecate the install_referrer intent broadcast mechanism on March 1, 2020. After this date, new versions of the Play Store app will no longer broadcast the install_referrer intent after app installs.

We are asking developers who still rely on the install_referrer to use the Play Install Referrer API instead. Among other advantages, the Install Referrer API offers better performance, uses a secure communication channel between your app and the Play Store, and offers a more robust solution against spoof and attribution fraud.

If you still use the Broadcast API and the install_referrer intent to track your referrals, be sure to make the switch by March 1, 2020. Migration is easy, and the cost of adoption is low. Learn how to use the Play Install Referrer API to track your app installs today.