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2 years ago

Android design team talk about Honeycomb, good app design guidelines

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Matias Duarte and the rest of the Android UI designers got together to spend an hour or so to talk about how they went about changing elements for Honeycomb's "Holo" UI, and how developers should go about designing apps to keep things looking fresh and like they all belong together.  It's the little things that make a big difference, like setting up your action bar elements in a sane order, and sticking things that look out of place in the secondary menu.  Things are getting pretty geeky, with code snippets being tossed around, but for you and I, this all means apps that look as good as they run.  This is why they gave all the developers a nice tablet, and are taking the time to give direction -- the folks at Google want nice looking apps as much as we do.

There was a lot of talk about the action bar, and how to use it effectively.  Everything from how and where the icons should go, and a whole new api to go along with it.  Finally, using the Google I/O app as an example (which has been open sourced just for this occasion), the crew showed us all how to translate tabs, the action bar and fragments so that an app only has to be written once to look (and work) well on both tablets and phones. I can't wait to see what Android developers come up with after this one.

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2 years ago

Full-length Chrome keynote video now available on YouTube

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YouTub link for mobile viewing

Did you miss the Google IO day 2 Chrome keynote this morning? Google has posted the full length video on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. Maybe you want to see the Chrome Web Store going worldwide, or perhaps you're dying to see Angry Birds in the browser; there were many exciting announcements this morning, including Chromebooks' release dates and price.

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2 years ago

First look at Honeycomb on Google TV

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We're sitting in on the Google TV session this afternoon at Google IO and just got our first look at Android 3.1 Honeycomb on the platform. Announced during the Day 1 keynote on Tuesday, Honeycomb on Google TV will bring full Android compatibility at the 12-foot level. That means full Android access on your TV, including Android applications and the full Android Market.

In addition, Google TV will gain full ADB support -- meaning devs can debug, and hackers can hack. There's an SDK add-on in the works (no word on when we'll see it just yet), and there will be additional television-specific functionality.

Much of the talk consisted of how devs will need to handle the resolution and pixel density on something as large as a television. The main difference between Google TV and Android on a phone, at least from a UI perspective, is that you hold a phone a foot or so away from your peepers, while a TV is across the room, thus the "12-foot view."

Honeycomb will also be able to handle the inevitable screen clipping that can occur when switching from HD to standard-def content.

Other news out of the session:

  • For the obvious reasons, users won't be rotating their screens. Devs need to remember this.
  • Apps will need to optimized for navigation via the D-pad, and not touch.
  • Right now, devs can run apps in the Honeycomb emulator.
  • A Google TV emulator is coming soon.
  • ADB access is coming later this summer, but devs can get early access through the Fishtank Program.
  • The Android Market has a nice 12-foot view. (Pic via Jason Howell)
  • NDK apps are not supported on Google TV.
  • Neither are apps that use the camera, microphone or other sensors.
  • Source code for the Google TV remote app is being released under the Apache 2 license.

Developing ...

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2 years ago

IO Bootcamp - Beginner's Guide to Android session videos and more now live

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No doubt, there is a bunch of Android developers out there who would not have been able to attend this years Google IO. Luckily, the BootCamp sessions are now starting to appear on YouTube and as such are accessible to anyone and everyone who may be interested in taking them all in. Whether you're a new developer or old hat -- you'll want to go ahead and take them all in. The information is coming from the experts within Google, and you won't find any better place to get that kind of insight. Check em out via the Google Developers YouTube page.

Source: @googleio

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2 years ago

Android Market now allows content filtering

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Most of the Android news hit us yesterday during IO's day 1 keynote, but today we have a lot of Market improvements to rejoice about. Google expanded app sizes to 4GB from 50MB, which should improve the selection of quality games available. They also made a lot of improvements to the Web Market in terms of app discovery.

A few of these enhancements will be hitting phone as well, including the improved 'Related Apps' category. Some of us have already received the new Market update, which also includes content filtering, which shold make parents very happy. You can access this feature at Market -> Menu -> Settings, where you'll see 'Content filtering' up top. You can filter content by allowing the user to access apps rated:

  • Everyone
  • Low maturity
  • Medium maturity
  • High maturity
  • Show all apps

This is certainly an area that needed to be addressed as parents didn't want their children to be able to access the entire Market. Thanks, Richard!

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2 years ago

Google: No movement on the 15-minute app uninstall refund window

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We're sitting in on an Android Market press Q&A and just asked the question many of you have been pressing for us to ask for a while now -- is there any plan to revisit the 15-minute app uninstall refund window. And the answer to that is, no. No plans. Nada. But they did explain that the 15-minute ticker starts when the app finishes its download, so if you're getting one of the new maximum 4GB downloads, you won't get screwed.

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2 years ago

Spotted: Google co-founder Sergey Brin

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One of the cooler things you'll see at Google IO -- and there's a whole lot of coolness going on here -- is seeing the the Android and Google leadership wandering the floor, checking out the goings on. And who'd we just run into? Google co-founder Sergey Brin. And, yes, he's got his VFF's on.

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2 years ago

Sony Ericsson working on a Cyber-shot Android phone?

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Although we wish these photos were taken with a Cyber-shot camera, they weren't -- funny how that works. No matter, we're sure this isn't the last blurry spy shots we'll see so, let's cut to the chase here. If the image above is in any sort of way accurate, it looks as though Sony Ericsson has a Cyber-Shot branded Android device in the works.

The images lack the finer details but, looking at them you can see the Cyber-Shot branding right there on the display and given the fact the buttons down below are laid out in Android fashion -- it's not a far stretch to assume Android is the base OS here.

We're not gonna go all in as of yet and say it's certainly something that will be arriving, we'll take it as a rumored device for now though. Realistically, the images could just be trickery but we'll be on the lookout for more details, you can count on that. One more blurry cam special can be found after the break.

Source: Xperia Blog

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2 years ago

Android Market's international paid app footprint to hit 131 countries

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If you've been on the outside looking in when it comes to paid apps on the Android Market -- whether you're a developer or consumer -- your day in the sun may be near. Google just announced that paid applications will soon be available in 131 nations. We'll have to wait until Google updates its list of availability, but for now feel free to squint at the map.

More: Paid App Availability

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2 years ago

Google unveils 'Editor's Choice' badges for top, trustworthy apps

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Google today announced Editor's Choice for Android Market, aimed to help you find the best applications on the Android Market. Google's also going to begin awarding the "Top Developer Badge" to help show users who are the best, and most trustworthy apps. For consumers, it's a way to help find new apps. For developers, it's another way of promotion and to monetize.

It's not the most eye-catching way to display the badget, but you'll see it in Market lists, as well as when you go to individual app pages. It's currently live on the Android Market web portal, and it'll be coming to devices soon. For a sneak peek of that, hit the break.

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