Tag Archives: Google Play

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

By Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play App Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spammy app descriptions

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

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

Abandoned and broken apps

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

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Play icon with graduation cap

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



Apps vs. Webview

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

Example of webview without any app functionality

Example of a webview without any app functionality

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Webview Spam’ course on Play Academy



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

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

By Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play App Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spammy app descriptions

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

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

Abandoned and broken apps

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

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Play icon with graduation cap

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



Apps vs. Webview

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

Example of webview without any app functionality

Example of a webview without any app functionality

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Webview Spam’ course on Play Academy



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

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

By Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play App Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spammy app descriptions

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

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

Abandoned and broken apps

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

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Play icon with graduation cap

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



Apps vs. Webview

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

Example of webview without any app functionality

Example of a webview without any app functionality

Play icon with graduation cap

Take the ‘Webview Spam’ course on Play Academy



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

Google Play Points: a rewards program for the ways you Play


Since 2012, Google Play has been your place to find and enjoy apps, games, movies, TV shows, and books. More than 2 billion people in 190 countries use Google Play to discover blockbuster movies, apps that help you be more productive, and books that inspire imagination. 
To show our appreciation, we created a new rewards program called Google Play Points that lets you earn points and rewards for the ways you already use Google Play. Over the two years, millions of people in Japan, South Korea, the US, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have joined the program. Starting this week, Google Play Points is launching in Australia, as well as UK, France and Germany. 

It’s free to join, and you can earn Play Points to use for special items and discounts in top games like Candy Crush Saga and Pokémon GO, or for Google Play Credit to use on movies, books, games, and apps. 


Play your way and earn points 
With Google Play Points, you’ll earn points on everything you buy with Google Play, including in-app items, movies, books, subscriptions and more. You can also earn Play Points by downloading featured free apps and games. Weekly points events can boost your earning rate on movies, books, and select games. 

Google Play Points has four levels, from Bronze to Platinum. Your level depends on how many points you’ve collected, and higher levels have perks like weekly prizes. 


Redeem your Play Points how you’d like 
We’re partnering with developers of some of the top apps and games on Google Play so that you can redeem points for special in-app items like characters, gems and more. You can also use Play Points for Google Play Credit and rent an award-winning movie or buy a best-selling audiobook. 


Join for free 
Google Play Points will be available over the next week. It’s free to join, there is no recurring or monthly fee, and you’ll earn three times the Play Points on everything you buy your first week. To get started, visit Google Play. Tap menu, then Play Points. Learn more about Play Points--and get ready to earn points and rewards. 

Optimize your app publishing process with new Google Play Console features

Steve Suppe, Product Manager, Google Play

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

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

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

Publishing overview

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

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

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

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

Managed publishing

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


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

See which changes have been reviewed and approved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Google Play’s billing system: Update

Listening carefully to developer and user feedback is integral to how we continue to make Android better with each release, and improve how the Play Store works. Since we posted a clarification to our Play Payments policy, we have heard some additional questions from the community in India. Below we wanted to address and clearly respond to the topics we’ve heard.  


First and foremost, we want to reiterate that we are deeply committed to the success of the Indian ecosystem -- we do not succeed unless our partners succeed. Being mindful of local needs and concerns, we’ve taken the following immediate steps: 


  • We are setting up listening sessions with leading Indian startups to understand their concerns more deeply;

  • We will be setting up Policy Workshops to help clear any additional questions about our Play Store policies;

  • And we’re also extending the time for developers in India to integrate with the Play billing system, to ensure they have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play -- for all apps that are yet to launch, or that currently use an alternative payment system, we set a timeline of 31st March 2022.


In addition, we’d like to provide more clarity on the three recurring topics we’ve heard from the Indian community: 

  • Whether this is a new policy and who it applies to;

  • The forms of payment the Google Play billing system supports;

  • Supporting choice of app stores on Android.


Last week we clarified the language in our Google Play Payments Policy in response to developer feedback that the policy language could be more clear regarding which types of transactions require the use of Google Play’s billing system. Our payments policy is not new -- it is our global business model and policy, and we have always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods. In fact more than 97% of developers with apps on Google Play already comply with the policy. 


To be clear, the policy only applies if a developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, which is less than 3% of developers with apps on Google Play. You can find more detail on our Payments Policy page and we’ve also posted a developer FAQ that answers many of the top developer questions. 


There has also been some confusion that Google Play billing is in itself a form of payment.  Google Play billing is a billing system that supports many ways for consumers to pay -- today Play’s billing supports more than 290 forms of payment globally. Over the last several years we have added more local forms of payment in India including credit and debit cards, netbanking, carrier billing, gift cards, and all supported UPI apps. And we will continue to engage with developers and consumers on adding additional forms of payment.  

 Google Play’s billing system is a payment platform that offers numerous payment options, on which UPI -- and all supported UPI apps -- are available, along with many other forms of payment including netbanking, credit and debit cards, carrier billing, and gift cards.


Note that Google Play’s billing system isn’t just about offering several forms of payment -- it helps ensure a great purchasing experience for Google Play users. It provides clear disclosures about price, what is being purchased, and key subscription information like when a charge will be incurred and whether a charge is recurring. It also includes post-purchase experiences including reminders about when free trials end, and is a one-stop shop for managing your subscription in Google Play including cancellations and refunds.


In short, our billing system provides a simple, safe way for consumers to transact -- and we have seen that this simplicity and safety is critical to growing developers’ businesses inside Google Play. 


Finally, we have always said developers should have a choice in how they distribute their apps, and that stores should compete for consumers’ and developers’ business. Android is open and choice is a core tenet of the operating system. It’s why users have always been able to get apps from multiple app stores and why they have always had control over which apps they use, be it their keyboard, messaging app, phone dialer, or app store. In fact, most Android devices ship with at least two app stores preinstalled, and consumers are able to install additional app stores.  


We consider it extremely important to understand the concerns across the ecosystem, and these listening sessions over the next several weeks will help us find comprehensive solutions that work for everyone. When a developer succeeds on the Play Store, we consider it our biggest win. At Google we have always had a long and deep commitment to India, and working alongside the startups and developers has given us a more meaningful understanding of how technology can be more helpful. And so we remain committed to engaging with the community, to listen and find the right ways to help the indian ecosystem grow and flourish.


Posted by Purnima Kochikar, Director of Business Development, Games & Applications, Google Play


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?

Explore Kids Space: A way to nurture your kid’s curiosity

Parents have told us that they’re constantly wrestling with the role of technology in their children’s lives, and this is especially true for the many families who are spending more time at home. But kids are natural explorers and when they have access to great content, it can be a magical experience--they can read up on their favorite dinosaur, watch videos on how to bake a treat or discover new hobbies.


Family Link was created and built into our core products to give parents the tools they need to stay involved and help manage their child’s online experiences, from setting screen time limits to content safety filters, privacy controls and more. But we’ve heard that parents want more than just parental controls; with so much content out there, they also need help finding things that are enriching and engaging for their kids. To help meet this request, we took a first step with the launch of a new kids tab in Google Play that helps parents easily find and pick “teacher-approved” apps for their kids.


Today, we’re continuing to build upon these efforts with Google Kids Space, a new kids mode on select Android tablets that features apps, books and videos for your kids to explore, learn and have fun.* Kids Space will be available globally on certain Lenovo™ tablets first, including the new Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD Gen 2, and will be coming to more Android tablets soon.†


Designed for nurturing your kid’s curiosity and creativity

Kids Space is designed with your kid at the center of the experience and made for them to become explorers of the things they love. By selecting their interests, your kids will see new and engaging content to read, play and make. Kids can even customize their experience by creating their own character.

Recommended library of free books, apps and videos 

To evaluate and select “teacher-approved” apps in Google Play, we worked with academic experts and children’s education specialists to define rubrics. For Kids Space, we’ve built on that foundation and applied our quality standard to an ever-expanding library of apps and books in the Play and Read tabs. We worked with top publishers to make popular children’s books free of charge, and have over 400 free books available in the U.S. alone. In the Watch and Make tabs, your kids can view creative and fun videos from YouTube Kids that are engaging and encourage off-screen activities. And if you’re looking to customize even more, parents can download additional content from Google Play.

Tabs.gif

Access content that’s age-appropriate, thoughtfully designed and fun or inspiring. 

Join us in our journey as we continue to create productive and healthy experiences for kids that adapt to the evolving world and needs of your family.


* Kids Space requires a Google Account for your child. Parental controls require the Family Link app on a supported Android, Chromebook, or iOS device. Books and video content not available in all regions. Video content subject to availability of YouTube Kids app. Books content requires the Play Books app. Availability of apps, books and video content may change without notice.

† Google Assistant not available in Kids Space.

Source: Android


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

Posted by Dan Galpin, Developer Advocate

Android

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

What's the buzz in Android 11?

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

Android 11 media

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

Android 11 and 5G

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

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

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

Catch up on what's happening with game development

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

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

Android game development tooling

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

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

Reaching more devices and users with your game

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

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

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

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

Boost your games' go-to-market

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

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

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

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

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

Learning path

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

Key takeaways

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

Seamless media transfer and media resumption

MediaRouter API (UAMP Sample)

5G

Bandwidth estimation API

5G Detection (Android Emulator)

Meteredness flag

Features found in Android Studio 4.1 (Beta Channel)

System Trace in Android Studio CPU Profiler

Android Studio Native Memory Profiler

Pre-release standalone tools

Android Game Development Extension

Android GPU Inspector.

Features in the Android Game SDK

Android Frame Pacing Library

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

Google Play features

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

In App Review API

App Licensing

SafetyNet Attestation

Pre-registration

Google Play Games Services

Play Games Services Friends Beta

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