Google Announces The First Beta of Their New Cross Platform Mobile SDK Flutter

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Today at Mobile World Congress, Google introduced Flutter, their new cross platform mobile SDK.  The new development tool will allow for developers to create native UI frameworks for both Android and iOS that are native to each platform.

The beauty of Flutter is that it comes packing its own rendering engine and framework which, in essence, bypasses the native UI frameworks in both platforms.  This is not something new for developers, especially game developers who have used different rendering engines.  This allows for significant performance increases (particularly on Android).  When you compile the app with the available Android and iOS SDKs, you get the appropriate app & framework for the respective platform.

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Google Home Actions API Opening To Developers Next Month

Having had a Google Home in my house for most of this week, there are some things that need improvement (I’ll cover that in more detail in my review coming up next week).  One of those areas is app integration.  There are just a handful of apps that work with the help of Google Assistant and Google Home.  For it to be successful, this has to change and it likely will starting next month.  Google has announced that the Google Assistant Actions API will be opening up to developers starting next month.  That means developers will be able to enhance their apps to work with Assistant and, in turn, Home, through three different action models.  First, there is the Direct Actions.  This is designed for straightforward requests for things like home automation, etc.  As the name suggests, it is something you direct your app to do as it interacts with Assistant.

Read on for more details

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Google Allows Developers To Use Promo Codes in Apps

One of the long missing elements of the Google Play Store has finally been resolved.  Unlike the Apple App Store, developers for Android have been unable to this point to offer promo codes for their apps or for in-app purchases.  That’s now changing and it is something that should help developers get their app out there in the hands of users and reviewers.

Promo codes let you give content or features away to a limited number of users free of charge. Once you create a promo code, you can distribute it subject to the terms of service. The user enters the promo code in your app or in the Play Store app, and gets the item at no cost. You can use promo codes in many ways to creatively engage with users. For example:

  • A game could have a special item, such as a character or decoration, that’s only available to players who attend an event. The developer could distribute cards with promo codes at the event, and users would enter their promo code to unlock the item.

  • An app developer might distribute promo codes at local businesses, to encourage potential users to try the app.

  • An app developer might give out “friends and family” codes to its employees to share with their friends.

The update was announced on the Google Developer Console and lays out the restrictions on how developers can use the codes, how often they can use them and of course how to implement them into their app.

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