Phandroid » Developers Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:58:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Google updates AppCompat so developers can bring Material Design to pre-Lollipop devices Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:23:29 +0000 Android Developers Google Materia Design

When Google first unveiled their fresh new Material Design interface for Android 5.0 Lollipop (then known as Android L), we just about flipped. A mixture of colorful, clean UI and gorgeous animations, we’ve never seen Android look so beautiful and full of life. Since then, we’ve seen bits and pieces of Material make its way to Google’s core apps like Google+ and more recently the Google Play Store.

Now, in an update to AppCompat (V21), Google is looking to provide developers with the resources they need to bring the Android 5.0 look to older Android versions still running on the vast majority of devices (and will be for some time). They’ve also updated the RecyclerView, CardView and Palette libraries, which should be of some use.

Android Toolbar Widget

Google is also introducing the Toolbar widget which they say supports a more focused feature set than the Action Bar. The Toolbar can contain elements like a navigation button, branded logo image, title and subtitle, one or more custom views, and an action menu with optional overflow menu for additional actions (see above).

By giving developers the resources they need to beautify their apps with Material, Google is creating a more unified look to the apps that are made available in the Play Store. Getting developers to use these new tools, however, is another story. For more details on getting your pre-Lollipop apps updated with a Material Design, hit the link down below.

[Android Developers Blog]


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Digits is Twitter’s new tool to help developers avoid using passwords Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:58:15 +0000 Twitter Digits concept app

As part of Twtiter’s first mobile developer conference in 4 years — dubbed Flight — the social network talked about their latest efforts to add millions of new users by way of eliminating the password. What’s wrong with the password? Well, aside from being easily forgotten (the more secure ones anyway), easily hacked, or just a pain in the butt to type out, they mostly rely on the user having some sort of email address.

After traveling the globe, Twitter’s Senior Product Manager found that when outside the US, not too many people have email accounts. This is why Twitter is now introducing Digits, the company’s new method of killing off passwords once and for all. It’s really not too different from the sign in method you’ve seen a few apps use already, and works by sending an SMS verification code to a phone, and then authenticating the user.

The big deal about Digits is that it’s not just Twitter’s new method for signing in users, it’s available to any and all developers looking to integrate the sign in method into their apps (and for free). Like Vine before it, the Twitter-owned Digits will act as its own separate brand and is yet another way for Twitter to help diversify themselves.

Developers interested in integrating Digits int their apps can learn more via Twitter’s developer site here.

[via The Verge]

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Download: 750 Material Design icons provided by Google Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:53:42 +0000 Android 5.0 Lollipop DSC07199

App developers will want to get their hands on the latest collection of icons Google just open-sourced. Below is a download link to a pack of 750 different icons for use in apps, the mobile web and, well, whatever else you can think of. Many of the icons are featured throughout Android 5.0 Lollipop as part of Google’s Material Design makeover so your apps won’t look out of place when trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Here’s a quick list of what to expect from this huge pack of icons:

  • SVG versions of all icons in both 24px and 48px flavours
  • SVG and CSS sprites of all icons
  • 1x, 2x icons targeted at the Web (PNG)
  • 1x, 2x, 3x icons targeted at iOS (PNG)
  • Hi-dpi versions of all icons (hdpi, mdpi, xhdpi, xxhdpi, xxxhdpi) (PNG)

And below you’ll find a quick preview of some of the many icons available for use:

material action icons

material device icons

material image icons

Looking quite good to me. Be sure to give it a download and use them in your apps and websites as soon as you can, because it won’t be long before the first Android 5.0 devices hit the market.

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Hey Android Devs: $75 gets you a month-long sponsorship on! Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:15:48 +0000 IMG_0037

It can be tough for a developer to get the word out about their apps and games. Google Play is big, so much so that good apps often get lost in a sea of digital mayhem. The bad news is it won’t be getting any smaller anytime soon. It’d be a shame to let all the hard work and time put into development go unseen. Advertisements work, but many independent developers don’t have very large marketing budgets. The good news? Phandroid understands.

That’s why we’re offering affordable sponsorship slots for apps and games right on! For just $300, your app will get 30 days of prominent placement in our apps and games widget that shows up on desktop and the mobile web throughout the entire site. That will get your app an estimated 1 million+ impressions for every month you’re signed up, and turning even just a few of those impressions into downloads could do wonders for the growth of your app.

So what exactly are you getting for your money? Let’s take a look:

  • One of 25 spots for your app or game icon (50 x 50 pixels) throughout linking directly to your download.
  • A post on at the end of each month mentioning and thanking all of our great sponsors, including you!

A couple of other things to note: when submitting your request for sponsorship, your creative must be that of an app icon in the aforementioned dimensions of 50 pixels by 50 pixels, and it must link directly to your app on Google Play.

We also want to stress that we want this to be an opportunity for serious, respected (and respectable) developers looking to advertise legitimate apps and games. In other words, if your app is more along the lines of a shameless Flappy Bird clone or something of the same ilk we reserve the right to deny it based on our own discretion.

To top all that off, there’d be no better time to sign up than right now as we’re offering 75% off the usual price to the first 20 developers who sign up by Friday, October 24th — that brings the cost of your first month to just $75! Simply use the promo code phandev at checkout to receive your discount.

This is a great opportunity to get your app or game off the ground and into the phones and tablets of the millions of Android users around the world. Be sure to take a look at this and many other great advertising opportunities available on Phandroid right here, and we’d love to hear from you so don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you have any questions!

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Final Android 5.0 Lollipop SDKs and APIs now available, as well as preview images for Nexus 5 and 7 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:09:52 +0000 Lollipop-Forrest-Cropped large

Developers, listen up: Android 5.0 Lollipop will soon be headed to handsets, and that means final APIs and SDKs are ready for you to begin developing against. You’ll use these to make sure everything’s good to go by the time the update begins hitting the first handsets (which are sure to be those from the Nexus camp).

There are over 5,000 new APIs to get your feet wet with, including libraries for material design animations and UI elements, new under-the-hood features, new user-facing features and more. You’ll be looking for API Level 21, and apps made at that level can now be uploaded to Google Play for use when Android Lollipop arrives for the masses.

Google also has tons of documents to help you get started with building Material Design user interfaces, building user interfaces for Android TV and a whole lot more. Here are a few relevant links for you to get started with:

And at the source link you’ll be able to find download links for the final preview images for both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, though they haven’t gone live as of the time of this writing (and note that these aren’t to be considered final images — those will be along once the final Android 5.0 upgrade begins rolling out for these devices).

Have fun and get those apps ready for the next exciting chapter of Android! As for users, be sure to get a refresher on everything new in Android 5.0 right here (and cross your fingers that it doesn’t take too long for it to make its way to your handset or tablet if you’re a non-Nexus user).

[via Android Developers]

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Become an Android programming master with this amazing deal Thu, 09 Oct 2014 13:43:03 +0000 android-programming-bundle

How do you turn $19 into a never-ending revenue stream? You invest that money in this Android fundamentals programming bundle.* Yes, for less than twenty bucks you can gain access to close to 10 hours of educational content, including over 105 lectures, that will help your learn and master everything you need to know to start publishing your own apps on the Google Play Store.

Learn & Master Android Programming Fundamentals – $19

What’s that, you say? You have absolutely zero programming experience? You won’t need it where we’re going. This set of lessons is designed for the absolute beginner and covers the ins and outs of creating and designing applications for Android in precise detail. The best part (other than the price)? You need only an internet-connected device and web browser to get started. Also included are working files so you can practice the concepts of each lesson as you go.

With these courses you will discover how to manipulate Android APIs, take advantage of system resources in your apps, and add animation and graphics. Concepts also include interfacing with device sensors, reading and writing to internal storage and SQLite databases, and more.

The total package would typically be valued at $99, but you’ll save 80% when buying through our deals site. For less than the price of dinner and a movie you will be well on your way to creating the next big app craze for Android. That’s a hard deal to turn down.

* no guarantee you will create the next Flappy Bird or otherwise earn boatloads of cash off of your app creations

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Google could be considering adding app and game trials to the Google Play Store Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:01:36 +0000 Google Play Store 4.9.13 1

Despite numbers showing the Android OS dominating the smartphone market share, some were surprised to find that iOS users still fork over the most money for their apps (a staggering $5.1 million a day compared to Google’s $1.1 million according to recent reports). To help get wary consumers pulling the trigger on those $.99 cent apps, Google is reportedly mulling over the idea of implementing a try-before-you-buy trial period for games and apps in the Play Store.

Details are scarce, but it’s said to work in a similar fashion to the way you only have to download a portion of an app or game when updating (as opposed to the entire thing). This trial portion would allow for users to download only a specific portion of the app to see how it functions and if they like, download the rest of the app at full price. Like Costco but without fighting with kids over the last chicken nugget sample.

It’s pretty easy to see how this would not only save time, but decrease data costs when looking for something new to download outside of a WiFi connection (you know how much data costs these days). This would prove especially useful in emerging markets where data is further constricted. Of course, this is all just rumor at the moment with nothing set in stone.

[The Information | via Engadget]

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CyanogenMod 11.0 M11 begins rolling out, here’s the changelog Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:53:57 +0000 cyanogenmod logo 5

CyanogenMod faithful be joyous, for a big new update is headed to your phone and/or tablet. CyanogenMod has announced the M11 release for CyanogenMod 11, which is to be seen as a major milestone release that brings a lot of changes and fixes. Folks brave enough to be on the nightlies track may have already been enjoying these features, but this is a rather important release for folks who prefer to stick with stable goods. Changelog? Thought you’d never ask:

  • New Devices: Galaxy S4 Active (jactivelte), Galaxy S4 SK I-9506 (ks01lte), Galaxy S5 GSM (klte), Galaxy Tab 10.1 (picassowifi), Galaxy Player 4.0 (ypg1)
  • Re-introduce Samsung Galaxy Relay 4G (apexqtmo) support
  • Fix signal strength showing ‘2147483647′ on certain devices
  • Frameworks & Core Apps: CAF and other upstream updates
  • Lockscreen: Do not play sounds while a phone call is active & MSIM updates
  • Frameworks: Add base & MSIM APIs for SEEK (Secure Element Evaluation Kit) support
  • Frameworks: Fix volume button changing two ‘steps’ per click
  • Frameworks: Add ‘Screen Off’ action for double-tap/long-press configuration options
  • Show devices connected to your WiFi (tethering) Hotspot
  • Fix bug related to ‘switch to last app’ action while in Recents view
  • Fix Navigation Bar arrow keys in RTL locales
  • Translations updates from CyanogenMod CrowdIn team
  • Adjustments to ‘Glove Mode’ (High Touch Sensitivity)
  • APN Updates for various regions
  • Camera: Add support for all available Slow Shutter speeds (hardware dependent); Improve shutter button
  • Dialer/InCallUI: Fix smartcover always showing answer fragment
  • LG G2: Address GPS and NFC issues
  • Base support for HTC Desire 816 & HTC One Mini 2 (pending nightlies)
  • Various security updates
  • General bug fixes

At this point we most likely won’t be seeing a lot more exciting additions as we’re on the road to Android L, but it’s always nice to get such a wide breadth of changes that should benefit a great majority of the user base. Be sure to head here to find the download for your specific device, and don’t forget that you take full responsibility for anything that happens with your phone. Happy flashing!

[via CyanogenMod]

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Latest Google Play suspension underscores the need for better developer relations Mon, 06 Oct 2014 20:14:23 +0000 Google Play Store wm watermark

Google strikes another one down with little to no sensible cause. Popular theme developer “the1dynasty” has had their Google Play developers’ account terminated due to what Google says is a failure to comply with their terms of use. According to the developer, Google issued them notices about several of their apps over copyright issues, all of which had some form of “Android” or “Google” in the package name or app name. That bit isn’t surprising — Google almost zapped Phandroid’s wares for the very same reason. They simply don’t want people to use Android in app names in a certain way so as to not confuse people into thinking these are “official” Android apps.

The problem this go ’round is that the developer didn’t fight the issue with Google. They complied immediately, and unpublished every single app Google submitted a complaint about upon receiving the notices. All seemed to be well until the big guys in Mountain View decided to terminate his entire Google Play account (seemingly after the 14-day grace period they now give you to make necessary changes). The developer writes:

Well, its officially official… My developer account has been terminated… Even with the themes that violated the Terms were removed, I am still hit with this automatically created email.

Said email states:

This is a notification that your Google Play Publisher account has been terminated.

REASON FOR TERMINATION: multiple violations of the Content Policy and Developer Distribution Agreement as outlinedd in previous emails sent to the registered email address of your Publisher account.

Please note that Google Play terminations are associated with developers, and may span multiple account registrations and related Google services. If you feel we have made an error, you can visit the Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this termination.

Please do not attempt to register a new developer account. We will not be restoring your account at this time.

The Google Play Team

Nothing surprising or out of the ordinary — just your typical canned response. This effectively erased his existence on Google Play. That this happened even after complying with Google’s request only adds fuel to what has become a nasty fire, with said fire being Google’s lack of proper developer relations.

coder coding developer development

The gentleman suspects Google has an automatic flagging system that finds apps with the word “Android” in their name and sends notices to violating developers, but Google’s automated emails and actions indicate the could be automating more than just the initial flag. Where’s the conversation between the developer and a moderator or administrator? Where’s the explanation and the chance to show Google that they’ve attempted to make things right?

Google’s reputation as a lax company when it comes comes to developer relations seems to be a double-edged sword. The good end of the sword is in the initial publishing of apps. Google’s screening system is famously more lax than their competitors. Apple, for instance, manually screens and approves every app that comes to their app store, which not only delays publishing but presents a chance for the app to be denied entrance. On the other hand, Google allows apps to appear in the Google Play Store almost as soon as developers upload them with no real review process to be had. They’d prefer to bust apps after the fact.

The downside to such a lax stance is when it comes to making sure a developer’s livelihood isn’t affected. Their “attack first, ask questions later” method of flagging and removing apps and terminating accounts is a very scary situation for developers who’ve relied on Google Play to afford a meal every night. It’s also a frustrating ordeal for the users downloading the apps.

To a bit of Google’s credit, it’s easy enough to appeal a decision to terminate an account and get back onto the road of recovery, but why should it have gotten this far? Why doesn’t Google provide an email address for developers manned by an actual human being to contact upon receiving Google Play violation notices? Why wasn’t he able to show Google that he removed the apps upon receiving the notices to avoid having his account terminated in the first place? And who’s to say the appeal will even work out (our own experiences suggest he should be able to get this sorted, but you never know)?

It’s a problem that’s probably never going to be 100% rectified in the near future, but we’re of the opinion that Google could be doing a lot more to help out the very folks who’ve allowed them to build as big of a software ecosystem as they have. Let’s hope this gentlemen finds his way in due time (otherwise we could be losing his awesome talents to the iOS customization scene).

[via Google+]

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Project Ara still on track for early 2015 release, will run on modified Android L version Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:27:53 +0000 Project Ara prototype

It might still sound like science fiction, but it seems Project Ara is still on course for an early 2015 release. In a blog post posted earlier today, Phonebloks talks about how the Google ATAP team is gearing up to unveil the first fully functional Ara prototype smartphone — along with the release of a new Project Ara MDK — during their 2nd developers conference in December.

What’s more is because Android isn’t designed to support dynamic hardware configurations, Project Ara is teaming up with Linaro to have the device run on a modified version of Android L, Google’s next major Android release expected to launch later this year (October is the date being whispered around the web). The modified Android version will allow for users to quickly and easily hot swap most of the Ara modules — with the exception of the CPU and display — without having to first power down the device. This includes camera modules, battery modules, and more.

Project Ara Linaro Android L software

With partners like Toshiba, Foxconn, and more, all the modules will be sold in an online store or “Modular Marketplace” similar to the Google Play Store, and will need to be certified before being available to consumers.

We expect to learn much more during the devcon where we expect to see various modules and features never before seen on a smartphone. Pretty exciting stuff! If you’re curious to learn more, you can check out Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko’s talk during this year’s Linaro Connect USA 2014 event (starts at the 44:10 mark).

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Google provides new details on Android Auto – talks about design, architecture, and development process Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:51:24 +0000 Android Auto smartphone connect

I think it’s safe to say we’re all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Android L, Google’s latest desert arriving later this year. But aside from a redesigned smartphone user interface with flashy new animations, it’s what Android L will introduce with Android Auto that really has our interest piqued.

Up until now, information about Android Auto was a bit scarce. Sure, Google had a landing page with signup information about what it will do, but additional information about actual development was absent. Today, Google is now providing Android developers with a brief overview about Android Auto, detailing areas such as design, architecture, user interface, and the development process.

Android Auto screenshots

Similar to Android Wear, Google is looking to keep things simple. Notifications will display in a very specific manner (just like Android Wear) and developers wont have too much leeway in how their apps can look when in media mode, Android Auto’s interface when handling music, podcasts, and other audio centric apps. For the most part, this means apps like Pandora will look nearly identical to apps like Google Play Music. While the general layout is off limits, developers can still choose their own icons, colors, or background images — but not much else. Android Auto provides a darker night mode, presumably switching on the fly once the sun sets (a feature we’ve seen in apps like Waze).

This will not only ensure a much more uniform experience, but ensure drivers will be familiar with all Android Auto apps out if the box and keeps everything safe and kosher with local driving laws as well as automotive OEMs. Google also assures developers that the tight restrictions make their coding life much easier in that they wont have to maintain a separate app specifically for Android Auto since it’s using the same functionality from their existing app.

If you’re a developer curious about learning more about Android Auto, or testing your app with the media client in the Android Auto SDK, hit up the source link below.

[Android Developers]

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Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact receive root and custom recovery Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:54:50 +0000 Sony-Xperia-Z3-Compact_2

It hasn’t been long since the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact’s debut, but the devices have already received root and a custom recovery for those looking to tinker with them. The former exploit can be applied to any handset with the official launch firmware and will enable you to use root apps and hacks. The custom recovery, which allows you to install custom after market ROMs once they start rolling in, requires an unlocked bootloader (though we hear that’s easy enough to obtain right now).

It’s not that surprising that the Z3 and Z3 Compact have gotten exploited so easily. Developers have had plenty of time to play round the the Xperia Z2, and we imagine Sony hasn’t changed much to the base framework of those devices for this new set of hardware.

Sony is also famously supportive of the development scene and they don’t tend to put the shackles on as tight as other companies might. XDA has all the goods for you here (Z3) and here (Z3 Compact) if you’re interested, but always know that you proceed at your own discretion and are responsible for what happens to your own device.

[via XperiaBlog]

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Droidcon NYC 2014 Recap: A developers paradise Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:53:19 +0000 Droidcon NYC 2014

So why the hell am I, Phandroid’s Lead Android Developer, writing an article?  Some of you may not know this but I have a hidden talent writing technical documentation and spreading my passions through words.  In the future when I have something awesome to share with you; expect some erotic love novels featuring Android.


Droidcon is a global developer conference series and a network focusing on the best of Android.  Since 2009 I have been envious about Droidcon events taking place in other countries, which are just not practical for me to attend.  I love reading about the events and I am sure that this Phandroid Army — yes; that is a thing and you’re enlisted — does as well.  So let’s talk about this years phenomenal event, Droidcon NYC 2014 which was organized by Kevin Galligan and his company Touch Lab.

This year was not only the first Droidcon NYC conference, but also the first major Android event that was able to take place in New York City.  To afford a venue that is located in the center of Manhattan, it requires a lot of money along with some “Platinum” sponsors.  Of course you can probably guess that Google is indeed a platinum sponsor but something that may take a lot of you by surprise, is the fact that Microsoft is as well.  If you visit Droidcon NYC, you will also see Gold, Silver, and bronze sponsors of familiar names such as Yahoo!, Sony, Etsy, along with some other big names.

So many great speakers, company booths and free swag at this event; you could almost say it’s like a mini Google I/O.  I gained more knowledge about Android Development this year by attending Droidcon NYC than when I attended Google I/O.  What???  Yes, it’s true! Let me break it out for you… Google I/O has become /r/androidcirclejerk as to Droidcon is /r/androiddev.  I won’t include /r/Android since I managed to get banned for submitting too many Phandroid articles — sigh — but that could be another article that I will not even entertain the idea of writing.


The Keynote on the first day was a pretty awesome pep talk to start off the conference. Chris Haseman and Kevin Grant from Tumblr expressed some of their experiences with the development of the Tumbler app and how to create software with soul.  Creating software with soul is important for Android’s future.  If you scratching your heads, let me explain a little what this means.  Rather than developers creating Android apps that provide a function, we also need to create apps that are polished.  It’s those small features and unexpected UX pleasures that will make your apps stand out from the rest.

Soul goes hand and hand with one of the most talked about topics right now; Material Design.  Material Design plays a huge role in the future of Android.  We all love to hear about Google’s new design language and I took advantage of sitting in on two different talks covering this topic alone.

Steve Albright with Roman Nurik

One of the Material Design talks was presented by Roman Nurik, a well known Android Developer Advocate at Google and recently my new buddy.  You can find most of what he covered at Google Design but I believe he provided a few more exciting details for us developers as well as answered some one on one questions.  Keep your eyes out for his slides as he told me he is currently working on getting them released.  I also believe TouchLab will be providing videos for some of the talks and I am confident this would be one of them.

Super Jean-Baptiste “JBQ” Quéru

As I mentioned earlier, Yahoo was a sponsor this year and even provided a talk with the one and only Jean-Baptiste “JBQ” Quéru.  His talk was excellent as I learned a lot about Yahoo’s inside decisions on how their products got to the point of where they are at today. JBQ also gave the hint that over the next few months we can expect to see a lot more getting published from Yahoo, which has me a little excited to check out.  I talked quite a bit with JBQ and he is an all around stellar dude.  I can’t even begin to express the inspiration you get from just a few hours hanging around these Android all stars.  I’m glowing, aren’t I?  Well, JBQ and I hit up the club at the after party; having an amazing time as you can see below.

Droidcon NYC After PartyPhoto Credit: Patrick Hill

One company that stands out and I feel that I need to give a shout out to, is Square.  You won’t find Square listed on the sponsor list but you should in my opinion because they had a total of four different Android developers giving talks.  This included Jesse Wilson, Ray Ryan, Dimitris Koutsogiorgas and the amazing Jake Wharton.  Jake gets amazing because this guy is probably the most important contributor to open source libraries for Android. His claim to fame before Square was ActionBarSherlock, which you can still find in dozens of apps on Google Play.  If you are a developer or an Android Fanboy, you may already know Square from their superb contribution to open source.  The beauty of all their talks is the fact that they all complimented each other and lead right back to sharing everything with you as open source libraries.  They honestly have solutions for almost every needed angle that developers spend countless hours banging their heads trying to support.


In summary each and every speaker this year had great and resourceful information to share.  Keep in mind these events are not just for developers, but also designers. Designers play an important role in the finalized product that the developer creates. Google I/O I feel has too much non developer drama these days and I can’t thank Kevin Galligan and Touch Lab enough for organizing this amazing NYC event.

If you missed the event you can find some of these presentation slides over at Speaker Deck and stay tuned to DroidCon NYC to find more pictures and videos of the events.

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[Update: on second thought...] “Android M” references begin showing up in AOSP comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 19:29:25 +0000 android m spot

We haven’t even gotten a full taste of Android L (or a final treat name for that matter) and Google engineers are already looking ahead to M. A comment about “Android M” appeared in an Android Open Source Project thread. The comment was in relation to obscure developer stuff that you or I may never understand, and there’s no telling what, exactly, they’re talking about.

It’s not odd to learn Google is already thinking about Android M. In fact, we’d be worried if they weren’t. Android L is likely in a state of fine tuning and bug crushing more than packing in more features. Anyone using the Android L developer preview knows that there certainly are a lot of things to take care of ahead of the final build. Google shouldn’t be adding much more than the goods they’ve already shown off at Google I/O earlier this year.


One thing we’re curious about — what will the “M” treat be? Marshmallow? Mint? Moon pie? Maybe even Milky Way? It’s tough to guess when we don’t even know what to call Android L yet. Google probably doesn’t even know what they want M to be, but it’s something to ponder while we await the latest round of goodness coming out of the Googleplex.

[via MYCE]

[Update]: Whoops! Looks like our excitement got the best of us — apparently “M” doesn’t refer to the next major version of Android, but instead an internal milestone release. Nevertheless, we know Android L is their top and only priority right now, and it was fun to come up with some possible names for whatever “M” turns out to be.

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Google Play will soon display in-app purchase prices before downloading Mon, 22 Sep 2014 19:02:00 +0000 Google Play Store 4.9.13 1

It seems adding a notice about in-app purchases for apps that have them isn’t enough — Google’s looking to give you even more information about in-app purchase prices before you download it. The company has recently confirmed via the Google Play developers’ back end that an upcoming update to Google Play will show price ranges for games and apps with in-app purchases. The change will go into effect starting September 30th, according to Google.

For instance, A game with an item for as low as $1 and an item as high as $99 would show you $1 – $99. You don’t get the specifics of everything in between, but it should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect ahead of the download.

This comes at a time where in-app purchases have been the source of much controversy. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to pay a settlement for folks who claimed it was too easy to purchase in-app content (with many claiming their kids were purchasing that content without authorization or permission).

Google was eventually forced to do the same. The incidents have caused Apple and Google to update their digital marketplaces with proper notices, frequent prompts for passwords and other changes that will ensure no one can “accidentally” purchase anything. This is yet another step to make sure people know what they’re getting into before they download an app, even if that app’s initial download is free of charge. We’ll be on the lookout for the change at some point next week.

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