Take Away From Google I / O 2013 – All Androids Are Equal!

Introduction

Time was when Google developer conferences buzzed around Google Maps, Web tool kit and so on. But from the last conference on the Limelight was on Android, and Chrome in that order. Perhaps the humongous opportunity resting in smartphones has sunk deep into Google. A fact acknowledged by Larry Page himself when he quipped that he would like to run the company via his smartphone.

Google has bought to integrate its other products with Android and update them in Android without having to update Android to match them in compatibility.

Updates

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Android aficionados do see a silver lining out of the limited Android updates. Blogs are rife with how features introduced from this edition onwards do not needlessly need an update in the OS. It provides fodder for agreement as the basic premise for changing an OS 'version is to enable it to play all the applications, be it ancient or futuristic. The various versions and configurations (of individual mobile hardware companies like Samsung, HTC, Sony etc) of Android were creating considerable firewalls to updating even the proprietary Google apps; apps that provide the quintessential Android experience. Google via its feature update, effectively tackles the problem of fragmentation as Google+, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Play, apps that are present in Android from versions Froyo onwards a well as Google Music All access that is all in versions Froyo onwards without need of an update. It sees the issue of fragmentation has been hopefully nailed.

Android Studio : this update does have the name android stamped on it! Meaning, it is Android specific. News is that Google plans to introduce Android Studio to replace the existing Eclipse developer environment for Android apps. Google collaborated with JetBrains to create the Android Studio. Of course this development has some loose ends to tie up, yet Google feels this IDE when launched would help Android developers increase their productivity. Here's how it could help:

  • It combines capabilities of Maven and Ant to build flexible and variedly flavored solutions.
  • Excellent code editing capabilities including finding inline resources and Android specific customizations. It is boosted by advanced editor UI that enables drag-drop of widgets, simulate output view in different hardware configurations and even preview while editing in XML.
  • Provides deep analytical capability to identify all sorts of bugs
  • Provided wizards based on preset templates and also access to other Google services.
  • Provides for easy migration of projects from Eclipse (as export) or import into Studio (of existing Eclipse IDE projects).

Google has, like Android OS, made Android Studio free and open source which could be the sweetener.

Google Play : Android developers can use the Google Play services to procure the desired APIs to construct maps, games or social media (read Google+) on Android devices (mobiles or tablets).

Gaming : entertainment is moving to handheld devices by droves putting a premium on providing the same user experience as in computer / gaming console. Google has stepped up the user experience by introducing the following features:

  • Leaderboards: a maximum of 100 leaderboards, both public and social, is provided to enable developers engage users by letting them compare scores with other players. Leaderboards are created automatically for daily, weekly, monthly or customized versions.
  • Rewards system: developers can reward users for engaging in the game by providing standard or incremental achievements that can be viewed in a user interface. The can use the developer consoles to control the achievements.
  • Google provides the Cloud Saving APIs to save game status and settings on cloud.
  • Developers can allow users to invite other players to the game or play with random users with the maximum limit pegged at 4.

Google facilitates the development of location aware apps by providing the following APIs:

Geofencing APIs : this API is used to define geographical boundaries. It also provides the following options:

  • to create alert filters for customers exiting a particular area
  • alter updates of location in response to locomotion habit (like walking, riding or driving) of the customer (see Activity recognition API )
  • add or delete geographic boundaries

Fused location provider: this API uses underlying schema to provide the apt results to your query on locations, even complex level queries. It is quick, versatile and utilizes less battery power.

Activity recognition provider : this API uses power sensors to detect the customer's current activity, for example, driving, walking, riding idling etc. This is used in tandem with the Geofencing API to provide the apt updates to the customer.

Single Sign-on via Google+ : accounting for the fact that users change mobile devices often and that these devices may run different OS, Google provides the API to sign in via Google+ in any device. This obliterates the need to make services like Google Wallet, Games, Plus device specific. There are libraries for these services that respond to the auto sign request using their method.

Google Cloud Messaging : Google has made it possible to register apps using its Single Method. It also provides for messaging to 3rd party servers via its bi-directional messaging (XMPP) using Cloud Connection Server. Users can synchronize notifications across devices using Google's APIs for user notification.

Google Play Developer Console : Google has been supporting its huge Android developer community and this year's conference added the fillip to it.

App Translation Service : The localization support team from Google enables you to avail translation services for a nominal fee and post the strings to be translated in the language of your choice. If required it prompts the apt localization sting in the app graphics, APK or the About product sections. This eventually helps developers reach out to a wider audience.

Analytics and Monetization : Keep a track on the performance of an app just become easier. Google Play and Google Analytics provides complementary services like app views and downloads and engagement metrics.

Google has introduced the order status API to let developers view the order status of an in-app from their servers. It has also decided not to charge test accounts for in-app test purchases.

Alpha and Beta testing and Staged Rollouts : Google has added the alpha-beta testing to let developers split their apps into two alternatives, alpha and beta, and get them tested by different user groups. If needed, testers for Google+ can also be added to test these versions.

Developers can sinceforth roll-out updates only, to their apps to a batch of users to gauge their feedback. Developers can set the percentage of users who would be using the update.

Verdict

Perhaps for those expecting Android only chants at the Google I / O 2013, it might be a dampener. But for those familiar with the maverick that Google is will vouch the shrewd way it's gone about indulging Android community. Updates to Google Play, its services, launch of the Android Studio, cloud messaging and ability to sign into Google services sans OS or hardware requirements are significant game changers. In short, it is about updating features sans the need to update OS.

Google's I / O 2013 was an Android winner, in a hush hush way!

* Androider = a fan of Android who swears by it anytime, anywhere!



Source by Maheshwar Antony

Tips for iPhone and Android Users to Send Group Messages

It seems that the best and the most silent way of communication in the new generation is text messages. Even though there are numerous apps for messaging and various messaging services but this is the simplest and most convenient way of communication. It is personal, fast and the most efficient way of communication. Your SMS would reach the recipient regardless of any chat service installed, as there is no such hassle. Even when the recipient is not available the message would reach as soon as the network is up and running. However, many times it is more convenient to send group messages especially when you want to communicate same message to many people. Sending SMS related to any update, a movie date or a lunch appointment with your buddies or other group of people.

Even though you have some options like using third-party apps for creating groups and creating group messages. Viber and WhatsApp are some good examples that come for free. However, if you already own an Android or a iPhone then it would be easier for your to create group texts without installing another program. Apple iOS 6 and Android Galaxy SIII versions for this message.

Let us find out tips that will help you send group messages, first start with Android Smartphone

Step 1.

When you are using Android Smartphone then you can easily manage group messages by initially setting up group contacts. First you need to go to Contacts for initiating the process. Tap Apps->Contacts or go to Contacts directly from your home screen.

Step 2.

Tap Groups to access the Groups of your phone. However, everything depends upon the version of your Android, as you might be able to create groups via Add Groups options. Tap Menu to access Create Groups options.

Step 3.

Now is the time to give a distinct name or unique identity to your group that you want to create. You can use the name of a team like Red Sox. After entering the name Save to finish.

Step 4.

Now that your new group is created you need to add people to it from your contact list. If you are using Galaxy SIII then you can first access your group and then add relevant contacts to it. This can be done by selecting each person from your contact list and tapping the Add contact button.

Step 5.

Go to messaging app-> Contacts here you have the option to select all or make specific selection that you can utilize as a subset. Tap Done when you are through with it or add more recipients, construct your message and then hit the Send button.

Sending Group Messages through iPhone

Step 1.

First of all you need to know that there is no such facility in your iPhone even in iOS 7 for group messaging. therefore, you need to go ahead by creating groups within Messages app before constructing any message. Initial step would be to launch Messages app.

Step 2.

In the to field tap the + icon this will reveal your contacts list. Now start adding your contacts one by one adding them to the To field. For adding specific contacts use search functionality, this comes handy when you have lots of contacts.

Step 3.

Construct your message and hit Send when you are done. This message reaches to all the recipients and they will be able to even chat with each other.

Step 4.

You can even create a group of contacts. This is only possible at http://www.iCloud.com. Use your Apple ID for logging in and then create your group, drag and drop contacts into this new group.

Step 5.

Enable the iCloud to sync your iPhone to it by Settings-> iCloud. However, you will need to individually select contacts to be added in your list.

Step 6.

If you are looking for other options than the most obvious app solutions then you can opt to download Text2Group and Easy Group. This will help you to get past any limitations that your iPhone has and you will be easily able to send group messages to your contacts.

All the above tips will surely help you send group messages to your contacts without hassle. It hardly matters if you are using Android or iPhone there is always an easy way to get past the hassle of individual messages.



Source by Polly Uma Simpson

5 New Features on Android Wear 2.0 for Android App Development

The operating system is being optimized for hands-free operations. We bring you 5 new features on Android Wear 2.0 for Android App Development.

A new App Launcher

The app launcher has been redesigned to accommodate the round screen format and look uncluttered. Device interaction has been made user-friendly towards the new app launcher changes. Pushing the side button will display apps in an arc and a new action drawer at the bottom of the display will provide context-specific actions similar to the ones we find on the smartphone.

Notification Access

The new update will unclutter the interface, especially for spherical interface with the well placed cards. Smaller icons are displayed instead of huge messages and the notifications are easier manage with a progress bar on the bottom display showing how many cards are left in the stack. When the user raises the watch to activate it, the notification card will be first folded up before it is hidden. Bottom to top swiping action will enable the user to normally view the notifications. The cards themselves have been redesigned with light text on a black background and dark text with white background. The two options are offered as a battery saving moving and lessen intrusion of bright notification.

More on Fitness

Android is becoming fitness friendly and with new smartwatches, Google is exploring fresh scope in fitness applications. The new Wear update comes with Google Fit integration and has a new feature for automatic activity recognition. User can open relevant apps for running, walking or bike reading and sensing the activity the relevant app will open up. User can also launch fitness playlist to listen to music of their choice without turning on the device. Music apps can be accessed directly from the homescreen, without turning on the device. The Google Fit app itself can now automatically detect activity and log it. Data sharing between devices and apps have been overhauled.

Messaging Options

Messaging is a limited activity on the tiny screen as of now and with the new keyboard and voice texting options it is likely to get better with version 2.0. a small keyboard can be swipedscreen to type messages and handwriting recognition allows user to write single letters or join words for messaging. Smart answers from Gmail will be accessible with three reasonably responses as prompts to send quick reply to contact. By tapping o the message user can access options to respond to message.

Better Keyword

With the new version, users can now type text directly into the watch, which is a welcome update. There is support for handwriting recognition and Swype-style inputs with traditional typing option. Users can dictate their responses, although in the preview version only short messages are currently working smoothly. However, considering the fact that the wearable device format is for quick actions, this should not pose a big problem. One can access saved responses on the Wear which prompts three contextually relevant responses. This is a smart integration from Gmail's smart replies.

The new version is likely to be released in the fourth quarter of this year and will integrate with the new Android app development Nougat and come on new devices. The developer preview is available for installation and testing the new features on applications, but improvements are still awaited before the release date to fine-tune the new system.



Source by Cris Styris