Category: Android Development

Google Encouraging Android Developers to Support 18:9 Phone Ratios

With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ and the LG G6, a new 18:9 (in the case of Samsung, 18.5:9) is making its way to Android devices and Android developers will need to support it.  If developers don’t update the maximum aspect ratio of their apps, their apps will be rendered at 16:9 on these devices.  That means that users will have a black bar at the top and bottom of the display.  It’ll work, but won’t be so pretty.

In a blog post on the Android Developer blog, Google has posted on this and is encouraging developers to increase the maximum ratio of their apps to support this new 18:9 view so their apps can take full advantage of the screen size.

Google Makes ADB and Fastboot As Standalone Downloads

If you have manually flashed an Android phone before or have unlocked your bootloader, then you are familiar with the ADB and Fastboot commands that you use to make those changes to your Android devices.  The challenge, till now, is that you either had to download the entire Android Developer Studio, all 1.6GB of it, just to get the official ADB or you had to go off piste and get it from a 3rd party.  That, of course, opens you up to all kinds of fun like malware.  Now you have a third option:  Download these platform tools directly from Google.

Google has finally made it where you can download just these tools along with a few others without having to bother with the developer tools.  Frankly, unless you are a developer, those tools eat up a huge amount of storage on your PC or Mac and are somewhat dead to you.

Final Developer Preview of Android Nougat 7.1.1 Released

The Android team at Google has released what is slated to be the last Developer Preview of Android Nougat 7.1.1.  The update is already pushing out to devices that are enrolled in the beta program which now includes the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9 and Pixel C.  The builds you are looking for are NPF26F (Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9), NPF26H (Pixel C). For developers, Google has outlined that this is a near complete version of what will ship in early December to consumers and are urged to get their apps ready.

Developer Preview 2 is a release candidate for Android 7.1.1 that you can use to complete your app development and testing in preparation for the upcoming final release. In includes near-final system behaviors and UI, along with the latest bug fixes and optimizations across the system and Google apps.

To help developers, API Level 25 Platform updates have been rolled out to Android Studio 2.2.2 as part of the announcement today so final preparations and updates can be made to apps.

Android Nougat Developer Preview 5 Released – Likely The Final One

The Android development team at Google has rolled out what is likely the last Developer Preview for Android Nougat.  The update takes devices to build NPD90G and it is available for all of the Nexus devices that have been a part of the beta testing process.  Those devices include

  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 9
  • Nexus Player
  • Pixel C
  • General Mobile 4G (Android One)

For those how have devices registered in the Android Beta program, the OTA update should be coming to you over the course of the next few hours.  If you want to manually flash your device to the newest build, the images are available already.

Google One-Ups Apple on New Revenue Split Scheme with Developers

Google appears to be set to not only match the new developer revenue sharing model that Apple has announced, but to one-up it.  The hubbub started yesterday when Apple announced that developers would move from a 70/30 split to an 85/15 split on revenue share.  This is a very good thing for developers and came as a bit of a surprise from Apple.  Almost immediately the question became if Google would match it for those developers on Android.  The answer appears to be yes and to be even better.

Paranoid Android Returns With New AOSP-Based ROMs

After a lengthy hiatus after a lot of staff left, the all-new Paranoid Android team has returned with new AOSP-based ROMs for many popular devices.  This is the first release from the team since July of last year and the new builds are based on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and are available on a wide range of devices.  For those who like clean, non-bloated versions of Android, Paranoid Android is one of the best at giving you that on your device.  The team has had a heavy focus on design and the UI and the new ROMs look very clean and minimalist.

Google Adds OTA Images for Nexus Devices To Developer Site

Google has made a small but important update to the Android Developer site that brings the OTA images of the latest updates to Android Marshmallow for Nexus devices which can be downloaded.  Before now, Google has had the full images of updates available for Nexus owners to update their devices but it required a full install and subsequent reset of their devices.  Now developers and users who like to flash their devices manually can do just the OTA update instead of having to do a full reset of their device.

Google Launches Google Play App Security Improvement Program

Google’s commitment to security on Android is taking on a new angle.  They are making huge strides making the platform and apps running on them more secure.  To that end, Google has announced a new Google Play App Security Improvement Program which will not only point out security issues with apps that are published to the Google Play Store.  Not only will they point out security issues with an app being uploaded into the store by a developer, they have a whole set of security tips for developers to implement in their apps.

Bottom Navigation Adopted In Material Design

Whether you like the bottom navigation bar or not, it looks like it is here to stay in Android.  Today Google updated the Material Design guidelines for app developers, outlining how a bottom navigation bar should be implemented, along with a list of do’s and don’ts on for it.  To this point, Android has adhered more to a tab or top menu design but now developers are being told that a bottom navigation is the way to go as it is a better user experience.