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Thursday, May 19, 2016

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Google posts Android Wear Material Design guidelines

Posted: 19 May 2016 02:30 PM PDT

Making mobile apps isn't always easy, especially when it comes to apps for smartwatches. The regular information-dense mobile app won't work on a smartwatch, so things have to be done very differently. To help developers, Google has released some Material Design guidelines for making apps for Android Wear.

In the simple-to-follow guide, Google discusses how to make an app that works well on a tiny display on one's wrist. The guide talks about having very few buttons that are large, simple navigation, small amounts of data per screen, and more. It's definitely interesting, and it really makes sense why such features are necessary when you consider how small the display on a smartwatch is.

If you're a developer or you just want to see what goes into designing a functional watch app, hit the source link and look through the guide. With Android Wear 2.0 already announced, developers will have a lot of work ahead of them.


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Allo And Duo APKs Leaked But Inoperable, So One Modder Used A Custom Xposed Module To Peek Into Allo

Posted: 19 May 2016 02:27 PM PDT

alloSo Allo has some people in the Android world quite excited, even if it is Google's third chat standard in four years and leaves the future of Hangouts somewhat nebulous. It's going to be several months before the public gets access to Allo in all its Assistant-infused glory, but there are already APKs leaking out to the Internet for both the standard Allo and the new Duo video chat app.

Read More

Allo And Duo APKs Leaked But Inoperable, So One Modder Used A Custom Xposed Module To Peek Into Allo was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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The New Awareness API Will Let Apps Better Understand Your Environment

Posted: 19 May 2016 01:56 PM PDT

aware

Android has always made use of location services in various ways, including recent innovations like location-based smart lock. What if your phone could truly understand what's going on in the world around it with a simple API? That's Google's new Awareness API, which was just announced at I/O.

Awareness provides unified access to seven different signals on the device including time, location, places, beacons, headphones, activity and weather. All that data is collected and processed without the app getting involved at all.

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The New Awareness API Will Let Apps Better Understand Your Environment was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Native Android apps and the Google Play Store are coming to Chrome OS

Posted: 19 May 2016 12:16 PM PDT

Rumors and speculation regarding one major new feature coming to Chrome OS and Chromebooks have been circulating for a bit of time now, and Google has finally made it official.

During the second day of Google I/O, the company officially announced that native Android apps are arriving on Chrome OS later this year. Developers will get access beginning very soon, with a beta rolling out in June, and the public version rolling out this fall. To make this oft-requested feature a reality, Google is also bringing the Play Store to Chrome OS as well, making it possible for Chromebook owners to download Android apps right from the digital storefront onto their computer.

The built-in search function within Chrome OS will show the native Android apps alongside the Chrome OS apps, making it easy to choose.

Google made a quick list of what the native Android apps will bring to the table later this year:

  • Android Apps can be shown in 3 different window sizes to allow the best experience
  • Users can multi-task with multiple Android apps in moveable windows along with a full desktop browser, all within the familiar Chrome OS interface.
  • Keyboard, mouse, and touch input will seamlessly work together
  • Users will get Android notifications on their Chromebooks
  • Android apps benefit from the Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity setup by the user or the administrator
  • File sharing is seamless between Chrome and Android apps through the Files app
  • Performance of demanding apps such as games or design apps is excellent

To get started, developers will need a Chromebook Pixel 2, an ASUS Chromebook Flip, or the Acer Chromebook R11, but Google says support for more Chromebook models, including less-powerful options, will be coming in the future. For Chromebook owners, those aforementioned models and many more will all be able to run native Android apps before the end of 2016.

Google says it's also working with device manufacturers to bring "some great new devices specially design for Play," so that should be interesting to see what's coming down the pipe.

If you're a Chromebook user, what do you think of the news?


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Google Confirms That The Play Store And Over A Million Android Apps Are Coming To Chrome OS Later This Year

Posted: 19 May 2016 12:11 PM PDT

F101_Pixel2_Silver_PlayStore

The day has come. Okay, not quite. But you've waited a long time for Android apps to come to Chrome OS. You've left comments. You've replied to comments. You even left more comments. Now your work is being rewarded. As we've all recently heard, Google plans to bring the Play Store to Chromebooks. At Google I/O today, the company has made things official.

Like everything in Chrome, the feature will first arrive in the developer channel.

Read More

Google Confirms That The Play Store And Over A Million Android Apps Are Coming To Chrome OS Later This Year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google will launch its own Daydream virtual reality headset

Posted: 19 May 2016 11:17 AM PDT

Yesterday at the Google I/O keynote speech, Google officially took the wraps off its big virtual reality (VR) initiative called Daydream. Considering it's a developer conference, a lot of the talk was about how devs will be able to grow the platform, build hardware and software, and basically just make the whole thing awesome in the future.

Now, Recode reports that Google does have plans to launch its own Daydream VR headset in the future, and that it will sell right alongside third-party Daydream-ready headsets. Unfortunately, the details are light on the situation right now, but it will be interesting to see what Google develops in this regard and how other companies build their own headsets in comparison.

The reference design Google showed for Daydream yesterday includes a headset and the controller, which you can see in this post.

What do you think of the idea of Google building its own VR headset? Do you plan on jumping onto the Daydream platform later this year?


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Sprint is ending two-year contracts again

Posted: 19 May 2016 11:17 AM PDT

In January of this year, Sprint did away with two-year contracts, giving the options of either buying a new device outright, leasing, or paying a monthly installment. In February, Sprint said it "listened to our customers" and decided to resurrect the two-year contract from its very short-lived death.

But now a new leaked image published by Android Central says that Sprint is going back to its original strategy just three months later and axing two-year contracts again. The leaked document is from internal Sprint communication and says that two-year contracts will no longer be available beginning May 24. However, it also says existing Sprint customers will be able to get contracts "on a reactive basis only."

Once May 24 rolls around, and for as long as Sprint sticks to its plans this time, new customers will have to go with a leasing option, monthly installment, or simply buy the device they want outright.

As to why Sprint's making this decision, the document doesn't say. It's certainly a rollercoaster of sorts, and one can't help but wonder how long it will be before Sprint changes its mind again.


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Bring Your Android App to Chromebooks

Posted: 19 May 2016 11:02 AM PDT

Posted by Dylan Reid and Elijah Taylor, Software Engineers, Chrome OS

Users love Chromebooks for their speed, security and simplicity. According to IDC1, in Q1 of this year Chromebook shipments overtook Macs in the U.S. That means, thanks to your support, in the U.S. Chrome OS is now the second most popular PC operating system.  As we continue to increase our focus on mobility, we want to make sure your apps are easily available on this new form factor, reaching the many Chrome devices while maintaining a great experience.

Today we announced that we're adding Android apps to Chromebooks, which means users will be able to install the apps they know and love. Later this year you can expand your app's reach to a new hardware platform and wider audience while maximizing the Google Play ecosystem. With expanded app availability, new use cases and improved workflows can be achieved for all Chromebook users, whether for personal use, for work or for education.  As a developer we encourage you to test your app as described here.



Developers can start to optimize their app for the Chromebook form factor in advance of launch later in 2016. Here are some of the benefits:
  • Android Apps can be shown in 3 different window sizes to allow the best experience
  • Users can multi-task with multiple Android apps in moveable windows along with a full desktop browser, all within the familiar Chrome OS interface.
  • Keyboard, mouse, and touch input will seamlessly work together
  • Users will get Android notifications on their Chromebooks
  • Android apps benefit from the Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity setup by the user or the administrator
  • File sharing is seamless between Chrome and Android apps through the Files app
  • Performance of demanding apps such as games or design apps is excellent
In addition to being a great personal device, one of the reasons Chromebooks are popular in schools and businesses is that you can centrally manage and configure them with 200+ policies. Administrators can manage Android apps on Chromebooks using the same Admin Console. In addition to whitelisting or push installing specific apps to users, admins can selectively enable them for parts of their organization while disabling in others.

Please come to our Google I/O session on May 19th at 4 pm. You will hear directly  from our friendly engineers on how to optimize your Android app for Chromebooks. We are making the feature available in early June on Asus Chromebook Flip, Chromebook Pixel (2015) and Acer Chromebook R11 specifically for developers to have sufficient time to test their apps. For the actual launch and thereafter we will keep adding support for the following list of devices. Please see detailed instructions on how to get started with testing your apps.

1 - IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, May 2016

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Comcast Already Has Its Xfinity TV App Running On The Nvidia Shield TV, No Set-Top Box Necessary

Posted: 19 May 2016 08:06 AM PDT

Comcast_Xfinity

While Google I/O is all the rage on our side of the internetz, another conference is taking place that is probably a lot less exciting for us: INTX, the Internet and Television Expo. But one interesting nugget has escaped INTX and found its place on our radar as Android users and it's about Comcast, of all evil companies and things.

Last month, Comcast had announced the Xfinity TV Partner program, an initiative aimed to make the Xfinity TV app available to smart TVs, and TV-connected and IP-enabled devices (read: other set-top boxes) without the requirement for a Comcast set-top box. Think of this as Comcast wanting to be Netflix'ish, ie available to you through an app and with a subscription, no need to call the company and lease a physical box from it.

Read More

Comcast Already Has Its Xfinity TV App Running On The Nvidia Shield TV, No Set-Top Box Necessary was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Top 10 new Android games this week: Abeytu, Vector 2

Posted: 19 May 2016 07:08 AM PDT

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we're playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week's post.

Abeytu

DescriptionClicker games meet tower defense mechanics in this challenging game experience. Will you have the skills to protect this last forest? A game by David Bouchard-Gagnon and Walid boudina.

 

Super Rocket Pets

Description:  The Rocket Pets are blasting off through a galaxy not so far, far away. These flying furballs are on a thrilling quest for coins. Explore the beautiful planets as you try to travel as far as possible in this action platform game. Customize your wonderful pets, upgrade their gear and beat your previous records in Rocket Pets!

 

Assassin's Creed Identity

DescriptionPlay now the first ACTION RPG game of the acclaimed ASSASSIN'S CREED Franchise. Explore the ITALIAN RENAISSANCE through the eyes of your OWN ASSASSIN, complete dozens of missions and unravel the epic mystery of The Crows.

 

Bushido Bear

DescriptionBushido Bear is an original action game by Spry Fox, the developer of the award-winning games Triple Town, Steambirds & Alphabear. Defend your forest against endless waves of evil demons by hacking and slashing through your foes with two giant swords! Slice and dice the invaders for as long as you can survive.

 

Vector 2

DescriptionVector 2 features intense gameplay with procedurally generated environment and lifelike animations in a dystopian world. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. Descend through a huge and complex research facility and try to get out alive – over and over again.

 

Crashing Season

Description: Crashing Season is an award winning action-packed runner game, with a physics based 3D world in which your mission is to survive and beat waves of enemies, fight mean bosses and complete goals!

 

Oddhop

DescriptionOddhop is a unique puzzle game, where each puzzle takes place on a hexagonal terrain populated by a group of creatures. There are also cherries to be picked up. The goal is to collect points by eliminating the creatures one by one until a single survivor remains, while collecting all the cherries.

 

Raid Tactics

DescriptionRaid Tactics is a great game for turn based tactical RPG fans! Every decision is a life or death situation. Our three heroes need your brilliant strategy to overcome challenges across more than 70 levels spread out over 8 uniquely themed dungeons.

 

1 Dimension

Description Welcome to the first single dimensional game for Android! Test your reflexes by creating coloured dots to defend yourself, and with three different difficulty levels, this game is great for anyone.

 

She Wants Me Dead

DescriptionMax is in trouble. He pissed off his cat Lula and now she's out to get him. And Lula is far from sweet. She is vicious, cold and unforgiving. More dangerous than Lula are her traps – deadly and brutal killing contraptions with Max's name written all over them.

 


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Android Pay Now Works On Android N Developer Preview 3

Posted: 19 May 2016 05:47 AM PDT

androidpayn

The first two N Developer Previews were alpha releases, so naturally a good number of things didn't work correctly. One of the apps that purposely did not work as intended was Android Pay, which produced a screen saying it was disabled until a future release. As Developer Preview 3 is now officially a beta, the Android team has seemingly seen fit to restore Android Pay to working order.

The reason Android Pay now works is because Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) is now approved.

Read More

Android Pay Now Works On Android N Developer Preview 3 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Spotify Releases Its Music App For Android TV

Posted: 19 May 2016 02:02 AM PDT

spotify-music-android-tv

Do you like Spotify? Do you want to listen to all of your playlists, stream new albums, and discover interesting artists from your Android TV unit? Until today, you could only use a third-party client (Emma for Spotify) that required a premium account. But today, you can finally use Spotify's own app which doesn't even require a paid account.

"Spotify Music for Android TV" as it is aptly called lets you check your playlists, albums, and tracks, as well as discover new music while also enjoying the album artwork on your TV.

Read More

Spotify Releases Its Music App For Android TV was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Android N Preview 3 Brings Google Keyboard 5.1: Themes And Emojis Abound [APK Download]

Posted: 19 May 2016 01:47 AM PDT

google-keyboard-51-themes

Earlier this month, Google updated the Google Keyboard to version 5.0 with plenty of new gestures, optional borders, one-handed mode, and more features. However, version 5.0 was not compatible with Android N, so those running the Preview couldn't benefit from it.

This is now fixed with Android N's third Preview. The new image includes Google Keyboard 5.1 that not only brings all of the same changes, but also adds two new cool features: themes and all those new emojis we were promised with Android N.

Read More

Android N Preview 3 Brings Google Keyboard 5.1: Themes And Emojis Abound [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Resident Evil 5 Lands On The SHIELD TV, But You'll Need Ten Bucks And 5.5GB Of Free Space To Play It

Posted: 19 May 2016 12:47 AM PDT

image (1)Long ago in the far-off time of last year, NVIDIA announced a handful of current and last-gen console titles would be released for the Android TV-powered SHIELD. It took a long time, but eventually most of the promised high-profile games came along, including Metal Gear Rising, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and War Thunder, but one of the more long-standing franchises was still a no-show before today. Capcom's Resident Evil, or at least the fifth entry in the main series, is available on the SHIELD TV right now.

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Resident Evil 5 Lands On The SHIELD TV, But You'll Need Ten Bucks And 5.5GB Of Free Space To Play It was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Galaxy Tab S2 Marshmallow Update Is Rolling Out

Posted: 18 May 2016 10:36 PM PDT

Galaxy Tab S2

Another device has joined the Marshmallow ranks as Samsung has begun rolling out the update to the Galaxy Tab S2 here in Canada.  From what I've been hearing, only the larger version of the S2 is currently getting the update but its likely that all variants will be getting the update soon enough.

As usual, the update brings with it Marshmallow's new features such as Now on Tap, Doze and greater permission controls.  You'll also get the usual bug fixes and performance boosts.

Let us know if you get the update and which model you have!

The post Galaxy Tab S2 Marshmallow Update Is Rolling Out appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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You can withdraw cash from select Bank of America ATMs with Android Pay

Posted: 18 May 2016 09:37 PM PDT

Mobile payment options want to make it easier to pay for things while also reducing the need to carry around all sorts of cards in a wallet. The ability to store multiple cards in one app rather than in one wallet does cut down on potential clutter, but it only works as well as the services out there in the wild that support it.

For example, pulling out cash from an ATM typically means you need your physical debit or credit card to access your account. But even that is beginning to change. Bank of America officially announced today that Android Pay users are now able to withdraw money from official Bank of America ATMs just by placing their device over the dedicated contactless card reader.

Bank of America confirmed that it will begin its rollout of this technology with 2,400 ATMs across the United States this month. The feature is already available at some ATMs located in Boston, San Francisco, New York City, Charlotte, and within Silicon Valley. The banking establishment also said that this particular rollout will see the majority of BofA ATMs in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco regions support the feature.

Bank of America plans for the rollout to continue throughout the year, saying that it should have support for Android Pay-based withdrawals at 5,000 ATMs by the end of the year.

To withdraw cash, you'll need to select your Bank of America card within the Android Pay app, place the phone over the contactless card reader, and then enter your PIN as you normally would on the ATM's keypad. Once that's done, you'll be able to withdraw cash, check your balance, and make a transfer.


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Google's New Playbook Beta App Helps Developers Create And Launch Successful Apps

Posted: 18 May 2016 03:30 PM PDT

playbook

Developers got a nice treat earlier today when Google released a new dashboard app in the Play Store. That one is available to all right away, but there's another new developer-oriented release called Playbook that you'll have to join a beta to get. Playbook is an app that aggregates help articles, tips, and videos that help you create a better app.

As with all Play Store betas, the link below will not work right now until you join the beta.

Read More

Google's New Playbook Beta App Helps Developers Create And Launch Successful Apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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