Create stickers for Gboard on Google Play

Posted by Alan Ni, Associate Product Manager, Gboard

Messaging is getting more and more expressive — today you can say I love you
with an emoji, a gif, or a sticker. Millions of users share expressive content
every day on Android devices using Gboard as their default keyboard. We want to
push expression even further by allowing developers to create their own
stickers for Gboard. Some of our early partners include Bitmoji, Disney, and
even our own Allo team. Once published, your stickers could be seen and shared
by millions of users around the world.

Using the Firebase App
Indexing API
, you’ll be able index any sticker assets you create, publish
your app to the Play Store, and get featured in the Gboard
Sticker collection
. Once a user downloads your sticker pack from the Play
store, they’ll be able to send those stickers directly from their keyboard in
any Android app that supports image insertion!

Getting Started with Stickers

To kick things off, you’ll need to add the Firebase App Indexing library. Visit
the Firebase
Getting Started Guide
for details. Once
you’ve set up Firebase App Indexing, read through our sticker
guide
to learn how to index those stickers. Next, create your sticker
assets!

You should build and index stickers on first run after update or install to
minimize the lag between a user installing the app and seeing the stickers in
Gboard. Our sample
app
should give an idea of the end-to-end flow.

Making your Stickers Searchable

Users often look for stickers via searching on keywords. That means you’ll want
to add appropriate keywords to allow users to find your stickers and you can
use the put method to add keywords. In the code snippet below, you’ll see that
a Snoopy sticker is tagged with the keywords: “bye”, “snoopy”, “see ya”, and
“good bye”.

new Indexable.Builder("Sticker")
   .setName("Bye")
   // add url for sticker asset 
   .setImage("http://www.snoopysticker.com?id=1234")
   // see: Support links to your app content section
   .setUrl("http://sticker/canonical/image/bye")
   // Set the accessibility label for the sticker.
   .setDescription("A sticker for Bye")
   // Add search keywords.
   .put("keywords", "bye", "snoopy", "see ya", "good bye")
   .put("isPartOf",
        new Indexable.Builder("StickerPack")
          .setName("Snoopy Pack")
          .build())
   .build())};

For larger sticker packs, you’ll want to make sure you’ve tagged stickers with
keywords so that they’re easier for users to find. We’ve come up with a list of
common
English phrases/keywords
you can use to tag your stickers. But don’t forget
to internationalize your stickers — to do this you’ll want to first detect the
device language and then index keywords that correspond to that language.

Get Featured in the Sticker Collection

Finally, share your stickers with the world! To be featured in our Sticker
Collection on the Play Store, fill out this form.
But first, make sure to thoroughly test the sticker pack using the
latest build of Gboard,
If your app has high-quality stickers and is working well with Gboard, we’ll add
it to our sticker collection; this is the best way to get it seen by millions of
Gboard users!

We’re really excited to see what sticker packs you’re able to build.

Android Developer Story: Zalando increases installs and revenue by focusing on app quality

Posted by Adriana Puchianu

Based in Berlin, Zalando
is Europe’s leading online fashion platform. With more than 70% of its traffic
now coming from mobile, the company has invested a lot in improving the quality
of its app to provide a good user experience. Investing in bridging the online
and the offline worlds, as well as providing a seamless cross-platform
experience, has had positive results on their user engagement and revenue. Using
features like A/B testing, the pre-launch report and the new release dashboard
from the Google Play Console, Zalando saw a 6% increase in installs and a 15%
increase in the users’ lifetime value.

Watch Rushil Dave, Senior Product Specialist and Meritxell Rivera, Android
Developer discuss how the company has improved user experience and key revenue
and engagement metrics by investing in app quality for their Zalando
app.


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The post New devices and Windows Mixed Reality headsets unveiled at IFA 2017, Cortana and Alexa collaborate and Skype TX wins an Emmy® Award — Weekend Reading: Sept. 1 edition appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.