Congratulations to the winners of the Google Play Indie Games Contest  2017 in Europe

Congratulations to the winners of the Google Play Indie Games Contest 2017 in Europe

Posted by Adriana Puchianu, Developer Marketing Google Play

We have just wrapped up the second edition of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe! The iconic Saatchi Gallery in London welcomed 20 developers, from 12 countries, who showcased their games to the audience of gamers, industry experts, and journalists.

The finalists’ games were on show to the public, who spent three hours trying out their games and voting for their favourites, alongside the Google Play team. The top 10 finalists were then selected, and went on to pitch their games, and compete for the big prizes in front of our jury.

Please join us in congratulating the winners! They will be bringing home a well-deserved diploma, along with a prize package that will help them reach more gamers worldwide; including premium placement on the Google Play Store, marketing campaigns of up to 100,000 EUR and influencer campaigns of up to 50,000 EUR, the latest Google hardware, tickets to Google I/O, and much more.

It’s really inspiring to see the excitement around this second edition, and great to see the new wave of indie games coming from Europe. We are already looking forward to playing the games that will be developed in 2018!

Check out the main winners and the other finalists on the Google Play Store!


Bury me, my love



A reality-inspired interactive fiction designed for mobile phones. It tells the story of Nour, a Syrian woman trying to reach Europe in hope of a better life.

Runners up

Old Man’s Journey

Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH


A story game about life’s precious moments, broken dreams, and changed plans.


Bart Bonte


A puzzle game for you! A love letter to a marvelous colour and to the little wonder called touchscreens. Warning: very yellow!

The other games that have made it into top 10 are:

Captain Tom Galactic Traveler



An open world platformer and space exploration game. Embark on an exploratory mission, discover planets, collect oxygen, play with gravity.

I Love Hue


United Kingdom

A minimalist, ambient puzzle game influenced by mindfulness apps and abstract art. Players arrange shuffled mosaics of coloured tiles into perfectly ordered palettes.



Jodeo is a 2D jelly critter. There’s something it’s curious about: what if 3D objects and 2D physics are in the same game? How can 2D objects interact with 3D objects?

Kami 2

State of Play

United Kingdom

The calming yet addictive puzzle game is back! With over 100 handcrafted puzzles, it takes you on a mind-twisting journey that combines logic and problem-solving.




A tile sliding puzzle with a wonderful soundtrack. Mysterious things happen in a ruined room. Doors inside that room lead to different worlds and beautiful landscapes.

No More Buttons

Tommy Søreide Kjær


A hand-drawn platformer where the buttons are part of the environment.

The Big Journey



Designed for kids and adults alike, this a beautiful, casual adventure. Tilt to roll around and explore a beautiful world with Mr. Whiskers.

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Join us for Google Developer Day at GDC 2018

Join us for Google Developer Day at GDC 2018

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

We’re hosting another Google Developer Day at this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) on Monday, March 19th.

Join us for a full day, where we’ll kick things off with a keynote to share our latest news for game developers, followed by three sessions focused on innovation & new platforms, pre-launch best practices, and strategies to improve performance post-launch. Each session will include mini-talks from different Google teams and developer partners sharing new tools, learnings and more.

We’ll also have a booth in Moscone South, Wednesday (March 21) through Friday (March 23), offering three days of additional talks from many Google teams and a chance for you to ask the experts any of your questions. Stop by to hear talks, meet experts, and try out exciting demos. These events are part of the official Game Developers Conference and require a pass to attend.

Learn more about Google’s activities throughout the week on our event site where you can sign up to stay informed. For those who can’t make it in person, join the live stream starting at 10am PST on Monday, March 19th.

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Meet the finalists of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe

Meet the finalists of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe

Posted by Adriana Puchianu, Developer Marketing Google Play

Back in October we launched the 2nd edition of the Google Play Indie
Games Contest in Europe
, with the aim to identify, showcase and reward indie
gaming talent from more than 30 countries. We were amazed by the innovation and
creativity that indie developers from the region have to offer.

Selecting just 20 finalists has once again been a huge challenge. We had a lot
of fun playing the games that will go on to showcase at the Saatchi
on February 13th in London. Without further ado, we are happy
to announce the Top 20 finalists of this year’s edition. Congratulations to the
finalists and thanks to everyone else who has entered the contest.

Planet of Mine

Tuesday Quest


Constructor Portal

ClockStone Softwareentwicklung GmbH


me, my Love



Tom Galactic Traveler








United Kingdom




Love Hue


United Kingdom




State of Play

United Kingdom




More Buttons

Tommy Søreide Kjær


Man’s Journey

Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH


Radium 2 | Ra²



Big Journey



House of Da Vinci

Blue Brain Games, s.r.o.


Office Quest







Andriy Bychkovskyi



Bart Bonte


Check out the prizes

All the 20 finalists are getting:

  • A paid trip to London to showcase their game at the Final held at Saatchi
  • Inclusion of their game on a promotional billboard in London for 1 month
  • Inclusion of their game in a dedicated Indie Games Contest collection on the
    Indie Corner for one month in more than 40 countries across EMEA
  • Two (2) tickets to attend a 2018 Playtime event, an invitation-only event
    for top apps and games developers on Google Play
  • One (1) Pixel 2 device

They will also have the chance to win more
at the final event.

Join the Google Play team and the finalists at the final event:

Anyone can now register
to attend the final
showcase event
for free at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 13
February 2018
. Come and play some great games and have fun with indie
developers, industry experts, and the Google Play team.

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Android Excellence: Congratulations to the newly added apps and games

Android Excellence: Congratulations to the newly added apps and games

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Kicking off the new year, we’re excited to welcome our latest group of Android Excellence apps and games. These awardees represent some of the best experiences and top performing apps and games on the Play Store and can be found with other great selections on the Editors’ Choice page.

If you’re looking for some new apps, below are a few highlights.

  • EyeEm: A great photo editor app with a full suite of filters and tools to make your pictures shine. Learn style tips from their community and even sell your images through the EyeEm marketplace.
  • Musixmatch: Check out Musixmatch’s updated app while learning the lyrics to all your favorite songs. The app is compatible with many of the top music streaming services and you can even follow along with your Android Wear device or on the big screen with Chromecast support.
  • ViewRanger: Plan your next hiking adventure by discovering new routes and trail guides with ViewRanger. Check out the Skyline feature using your phone’s camera to identify over 9 million sites across the world through augmented reality.

Here are a few of our favorite new games joining the collection.

  • Fire Emblem Heroes: Nintendo’s popular strategy-RPG franchise is now reimagined for mobile. Fight battles, develop your heroes’ skills, and try various gameplay modes for hours of exciting gameplay.
  • Lumino City: Explore the charming papercraft style world in this award-winning puzzle adventure game. The beautiful scenery is all handcrafted.
  • Old Man’s Journey: Gorgeous scenery, an immersive soundtrack, and deep emotion help you uncover the old man’s life stories while you solve puzzles and shape the landscape to determine his future.

Congratulations to the newly added Android Excellence apps and games.

New Android Excellence apps New Android Excellence games



Blink Health











Mobills: Budget Planner




Video Editor




Agent A

Bit Heroes

Bloons Supermonkey 2

Dancing Line


Dragon Project

Fire Emblem Heroes

Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow

Idle Heroes

Last Day on Earth: Survival

Lords Mobile

Lumino City

Modern Combat Versus

Old Man’s Journey

The Walking Dead No Man’s Land

War Wings

Explore other great apps and games in the Editors’ Choice section on Google Play and discover best practices to help you build quality apps and games for people to love.

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A look back at the most read Google Play posts on Medium in 2017

A look back at the most read Google Play posts on Medium in 2017

Posted by Sergejs Cuhrajs, Community Manager, Google Play

Earlier this year we launched the Google Play Apps & Games publication on
to help developers discover best practices and insights to grow
successful apps and games businesses on Google Play. As we draw closer to the
end of the year we thought it’s a good time to revisit some of our most popular
posts according to you – our readers.

It’s clear that many of you are excited by the potential of new technology, such
as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and how it could enhance
user interaction with your apps and games. You’re also concerned with everyday
issues including how to keep your APK size manageable, how to acquire new users,
and how to monetize games without pushing away your players.

So without further adieu, here’s the list of the top 10:

  1. Applying
    human-centered design to emerging technologies

    (by By Peter Hyer, Fabian Herrmann, and Kristin Kelly, 7 min read)

    VR, AR, and digital assistant present exciting opportunities for the future, but how can we ensure
    we’re designing for what people really want?
  2. Shrinking
    APKs, growing installs

    (by Sam Tolomei, 6 min read)
    Smaller APK
    sizes correlate with higher install conversion rate on Google Play – we share
    tips for keeping your apps lean.
  3. Who
    plays mobile games?

    (by Allen Bevans, UX Researcher at Google, 6 min

    Four actionable insights for game developers based on our research
    into different player segments.
  4. Why
    the first ten minutes are crucial if you want to keep players coming back

    (by Adam Carpenter, 7 min read)

    How to analyze your retention data so you can keep players coming back again
    and again.

  5. Design
    your app for decision-making

    (by Jeni Fisher, 10 min read)
    tips and strategies for encouraging desired user behavior in your apps. Also
    check out follow-up posts on boosting
    motivation through app rewards
    , and common
    pitfalls of persuasive app design
  6. Predicting
    your app’s monetization future

    (by Ignacio Monereo, 10 min read)
    Learn about predictive analytics and calculating your apps lifetime value (LTV)
    to gain practical insight into the future of your app. In the second part
    Ignacio shares how to calculate
    LTV based on five popular monetization models
  7. Five
    tips to improve your games-as-a-service monetization

    (by Moonlit
    Beshimov, 9 min read)

    5 proven strategies to improve your game revenue
    without driving players away.
  8. An
    introduction to in-app A/B testing

    (by Gavin Kinghall Were, 13 min

    Learn how in-app A/B testing can drive insight into your app’s future
    design and development, and maximise its performance.
  9. Taking
    the guesswork out of paid user acquisition

    (by David Yin, 8 min

    A simple tool to help you estimate lifetime value (LTV) of your users
    and what to spend to grow your audience.
  10. Rethinking
    interface assumptions in AR: selecting objects

    (by Aaron Cammarata, 8
    min read)

    In this article for beginner AR developers we explore one of the
    most fundamental user interface actions: object selection.

Do you have suggestions for topics we should tackle in 2018? Let us know by
tweeting with the hashtag #AskPlayDev and we’ll reply from @GooglePlayDev, where we regularly
share news and tips on how to be successful on Google Play.

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Improving app security and performance on Google Play for years to come

Improving app security and performance on Google Play for years to come

Posted by Edward Cunningham, Product Manager, Android

[Edit: Updated post on Dec 21 to clarify that when the
64-bit requirement is introduced in August 2019, 32-bit support is not going
away. Apps that include a 32-bit library just need to have a 64-bit version

Google Play powers billions of app installs and updates annually. We
relentlessly focus on security and performance to ensure everyone has a positive
experience discovering and installing apps and games they love. Today we’re
giving Android developers a heads-up about three changes designed to support
these goals, as well as explaining the reasons for each change, and how they
will help make Android devices even more secure and performant for the long

  • In the second half of 2018, Play will require that new apps and app updates
    target a recent Android API level. This will be required for new apps in
    August 2018, and for updates to existing apps in
    November 2018. This is to ensure apps are built on the latest
    APIs optimized for security and performance.
  • In August 2019, Play will require that new apps and app
    updates with native libraries provide 64-bit versions in addition to their
    32-bit versions.
  • Additionally, in early 2018, Play will start adding a small amount of
    security metadata on top of each APK to further verify app authenticity. You do
    not need to take any action for this change.

We deeply appreciate our developer ecosystem, and so hope this long advance
notice is helpful in planning your app releases. We will continue to provide
reminders and share developer resources as key dates approach to help you

Target API level requirement from late 2018

API behavior changes advance the security and privacy protections of Android –
helping developers secure their apps and protecting people from malware. Here
are a few such changes from recent platform versions:

  • Implicit intents for bindService() no longer supported (Android
  • Runtime permissions (Android
  • User-added CAs not trusted by default for secure connections (Android
  • Apps can’t access user accounts without explicit user approval (Android

Many of these changes only apply to apps that explicitly declare their support
for new API behaviors, through the targetSdkVersion
manifest attribute. For example, only apps with a targetSdkVersion of 23
(the API level of Android 6.0) or higher give the user full control over what
private data – such as contacts or location – the app can access via runtime
permissions. Similarly, recent releases include user experience improvements
that prevent apps from accidentally overusing resources like battery and memory;
execution limits
is a good example of this type of improvement.

In order to provide users with the best Android experience possible, the Google
Play Console will require that apps target a recent API level:

  • August 2018: New apps required to target API level 26
    (Android 8.0) or higher.
  • November 2018: Updates to existing apps required to target
    API level 26 or higher.
  • 2019 onwards: Each year the targetSdkVersion requirement
    will advance. Within one year following each Android dessert release, new apps
    and app updates will need to target the corresponding API level or

Existing apps that are not receiving updates are unaffected. Developers remain
free to use a minSdkVersion
of their choice, so there is no change to your ability to build apps for older
Android versions. We encourage developers to provide backwards compatibility as
far as reasonably possible. Future Android versions will also restrict apps that
don’t target a recent API level and adversely impact performance or security. We
want to proactively reduce fragmentation in the app ecosystem and ensure apps
are secure and performant while providing developers with a long window and
plenty of notice in order to plan ahead.

This year we released Android Oreo, the most secure and best performing version
of Android yet, and we introduced Project
to help the latest releases reach devices faster. Get started
building apps that target Android 8.1 Oreo

64-bit support requirement in 2019

Platform support for 64-bit architectures was introduced in Android 5.0. Today,
over 40% of Android devices coming online have 64-bit support, while still
maintaining 32-bit compatibility. For apps that use native libraries, 64-bit
code typically offers significantly better performance, with additional
registers and new instructions.

In anticipation of future Android devices that support 64-bit code only, the
Play Console will require that new apps and app updates with native libraries
provide 64-bit versions in addition to their 32-bit versions. This can be within
a single APK or as one of the multiple APKs published.

We are not removing 32-bit support. Google Play will continue to support 32-bit
apps and devices. Apps that do not include native code are unaffected.

This change will come into effect in August 2019. We’re providing advance notice
today to allow plenty of time for developers who don’t yet support 64-bit to
plan the transition. Stay tuned for a future post in which we’ll take an
in-depth look at the performance benefits of 64-bit native libraries on Android,
and check out the CPUs and
guide of the NDK for more info.

Security metadata in early 2018

Next year we’ll begin adding a small amount of security metadata on top of each
APK to verify that it was officially distributed by Google Play. Often when you
buy a physical product, you’ll find an official label or a badge which signifies
the product’s authenticity. The metadata we’re adding to APKs is like a Play
badge of authenticity for your Android app.

No action is needed by developers or users. We’ll adjust Play’s maximum APK size
to take into account the small metadata addition, which is inserted into the APK Signing Block
and does not alter the functionality of your app. In addition to enhancing the
integrity of Play’s mobile app ecosystem, this metadata will enable new
distribution opportunities for developers in the future and help more people
keep their apps up to date.

Looking ahead

2017 has been a fantastic year for developers who have seen growth and success
on Google Play. We’ve been hard at work on features (including those announced
at I/O
and at Playtime)
to help you improve your app quality and business performance. With these
features and the upcoming updates, we hope to see the Android and Play ecosystem
continue to thrive in 2018 and beyond.

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Google Play’s Indie Games Contest is back in Europe. Enter now

Google Play’s Indie Games Contest is back in Europe. Enter now

Posted by Adriana Puchianu, Developer Marketing Google Play

Following last year’s success, today we’re announcing the second annual Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe, expanding to more countries and bigger prizes. The contest rewards your passion, creativity and innovation, and provides support to help bring your game to more people.

Prizes for the finalists and winners

  • A trip to London to showcase your game at the Saatchi Gallery
  • Paid digital marketing campaigns worth up to 100,000 EUR
  • Influencer campaigns worth up to 50,000 EUR
  • Premium placements on Google Play
  • Promotion on Android and Google Play marketing channels
  • Tickets to Google I/O 2018 and other top industry events
  • Latest Google hardware
  • Special prizes for the best Unity games

How to enter the contest

If you’re based in one of the 28 eligible countries, have 30 or less full time employees, and published a new game on Google Play after 1 January 2017, you may now be eligible to enter the contest. If you’re planning on publishing a new game soon, you can also enter by submitting a private beta. Check out all the details in the terms and conditions. Submissions close on 31 December 2017.

Up to 20 finalists will showcase their games at an open event at the Saatchi Gallery in London on the 13th February 2018. At the event, the top 10 will be selected by the event attendees and the Google Play team. The top 10 will then pitch to the jury of industry experts, from which the final winner and runners up will be selected.

Come along to the final event

Anyone can register to attend the final showcase event at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 13 February 2018. Play some great indie games and have fun with indie developers,industry experts, and the Google Play team.

Enter now

Visit the contest site to find out more and enter the Indie Games Contest now.

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Fight global hunger with your favorite apps and  games on Google Play

Fight global hunger with your favorite apps and games on Google Play

Editor’s note: Cross-post from The Keyword. If you’re a developer interested in supporting a fundraising cause within your title or if you have a social impact app, let us know

Posted by Maxim Mai, Partner Development Manager, Google Play

We grow enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Yet 815 million people–one
in nine—still go to bed on an empty stomach every day.

On October 16, people from around the world come together for World Food Day, with the goal to
promote awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and to advocate
for food security and nutritious diets for all.

To raise funds and awareness for this cause, Google Play has joined forces with
12 popular apps and games to create the Apps
and Games Against Hunger
collection available in North and Latin America.

From now until October 21, 100% of revenue from designated in-app purchases made
in Google Play’s Apps and Games Against Hunger collection will be donated to
World Food Program USA.

World Food Program USA supports the mission of the UN World Food Programme, the leading agency
fighting hunger, by mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S.
to advance the global movement to end hunger, feeding families in need around
the world.

These are the 12 global leading apps and games taking part in this special
fundraising collection on Google Play:


Games & Training



Throwdown: TQFC

Game of Heroes

Cafe: Recipes & Stories – World Cooking Game

Forged to Fight

Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari

World™: The Game

Contest of Champions


Thank you to all our users and developers for supporting World Food Day.

Android Excellence: congratulations to the new apps and games for Fall 2017

Android Excellence: congratulations to the new apps and games for Fall 2017

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Android Excellence recognizes some of the highest quality apps and games on
Google Play. With a strong focus on great design, an engaging user experience,
and strong app performance, this set of apps
and games
show the diversity of content on Google Play. Whether you’re trying to better
manage personal finances with Money
or want to experience the thrill of stunt-racing with stunning
graphics and real-time challenges in Asphalt
, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

One new awardee is Bring!,
a simple-to-use app that helps manage your grocery lists. Use the existing
catalog of items or add your own product photos, then share your lists and
message in-app to let others know when it’s time to shop. If you’re looking for
a new game to play, Karma.
Incarnation 1.
is a “wonderfully weird, puzzle-filled indie adventure game.”
With beautiful hand-drawn art, you guide the story’s hero through moments of
humor and challenge to be reunited with his love.

Congratulations to the new Android Excellence apps and games for Fall 2017.

New Android Excellence
New Android Excellence
Agoda Asphalt
AlarmMon Bubble
Witch 3 Saga
Bring! Castle
CastBox Crab
by Edison
of Cars
Eve Dan
the Man
Fotor Dawn
of Titans
Mint Dream
Onefootball Karma.
Incarnation 1.
Robinhood Postknight
Viki Sky
Force Reloaded
Age 3

Explore other great apps and games in the Editors’ Choice section on Google Play.

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Announcing the Winners from the Indie Games Festival in San Francisco

Announcing the Winners from the Indie Games Festival in San Francisco

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

At the Google Play Indie Games Festival over the weekend, we welcomed hundreds
of attendees to try out and enjoy a diverse range of amazing games from the
indie community. The competition was very tough, and in the end, we recognized
three winners:

We’d also like to congratulate the rest of the Top 10 developers and all of the
finalists who shared their games to make for such a fun and exciting event.
Check out the great collection
of games on Google Play.

Here are the other seven games that rounded out the Top 10:

The day started with time for attendees to play the 20 finalists’ games. They
experienced different genres and styles of gameplay and were encouraged to talk
with the developers about their work and what it’s like to make mobile games for
a living. The event brought together kids, adults, gaming enthusiasts and
non-gamers, and was a great representation of the fun experiences mobile games

In the afternoon, attendees voted for their favorites and the Top 10 moved on to
the presentation round. These developers had three minutes to deliver their best
pitch to the panel of judges. After the judges voted, results were in and the
three winners and seven runners up were named.

If you like indie games and want to keep up with our favorite indie picks, visit
the Indie Corner on Google Play.

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Helping indie developers get discovered on Google Play

Helping indie developers get discovered on Google Play

Posted by Adriana Puchianu, Google Play Developer Marketing

There are increasing growth opportunities for indie game developers, but being
one can still feel daunting in today’s crowded gaming industry. We’ve been
working hard to help indie developers find an audience and to recognize them for
their creativity and innovation. We launched the Indie
as a destination for exciting new games along with longstanding indie
masterpieces. Since launch, more than 380 games have been featured. Earlier this
year, we launched Android
which showcases apps and games that deliver incredible user
experiences on Android, while providing another opportunity to be discovered on
Google Play.

We’ve also held several indie games contests across the globe, giving indies the
chance to showcase their games and find new audiences. In April, we selected the
winner of the second Indie Games Festival in South Korea and we recently
announced the top 20 finalists of this year’s San Francisco event. Come and see the finalists in person on
September 23rd, it’s free to attend and open to the public. Soon we’ll be
bringing back the second Indie Games Contest in Europe too.

Watch François Alliot, the developer of Reigns,
an indie game showcased in Android
and the winner of last year’s Indie Games
Contest in Europe
, share how he built a successful games business in the
video below.

And, finally, check out our recent Q&A
with Spry Fox
, makers of the popular game Alphabear, to learn more about what it’s like to be an indie game developer.

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Optimize your Android apps for Chromebooks

Optimize your Android apps for Chromebooks

Posted by Cheryl Lindo Jones, Mobile App Solutions Consultant, Google Play

As more Chromebooks are enabled with Google Play, now is a great time to optimize
your Android app for Chromebooks
to reach a larger audience. The changes
made to optimize for large screens will benefit mobile devices that are able to
project to desktop monitors, like the Samsung Galaxy S8. The current
list of Chromebooks
that can access the Play Store continues to grow.

There are several differences to consider when optimizing your Android app or
game for Chromebooks:

  • Larger screen sizes and higher resolutions
  • Multi-window and resizable-window support
  • Different hardware input methods: keyboard, trackpad, mouse, stylus
  • Convertible Chromebooks enabling use in laptop and tablet modes

Chromebook users can change screen resolutions, switch between various input
methods, and convert from laptop to tablet mode at any time, so Android apps and
games should handle all of these situations gracefully.

Discoverability on Google Play

If Android apps or games require hardware not available in a Chromebook (like
cellular capability or GPS), those titles will not show up on Google Play for
Chromebook users, similar to Play on Android tablets. Developers should maximize
discoverability on Google Play by doing the following:

Set requested permissions and uses-features in the manifest to ensure
with Chromebooks. Not all Chromebooks will have touchscreens,
GPS, or rear-facing cameras which are typical for smartphones. Update the
manifest so that sensors and hardware not commonly found on Chromebooks are not
required. Example:

<uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.touchscreen"
    android:required="false" />

Additionally, to educate Chromebook users on any Chrome OS-specific features
that have been implemented, for example supporting additional input methods like
keyboard, trackpad, and stylus, or supporting large, high-resolution screens
with a responsive layout, developers should update the app description on Google
Play. It would also be useful to provide screenshots showcasing how well the app
or game works on the larger screen, or how the title works on a Chromebook

Optimizing functionality

While most apps and games already work fairly well on Chromebooks without any
changes, it is still a good idea to explore how to provide an optimized,
consistent experience for Chromebook users.

Large screens and resizable windows

Chromebook users will be more inclined to multitask, opening multiple apps
and/or games at once, taking advantage of the screen size, and operating in a
manner consistent with a desktop or laptop form factor. Unlike on Android
phones, they can also change the screen resolution to fit more onto the screen,
or enlarge the fonts, UI, and graphics, if needed. Multi-window support and
fully resizable window support are key for this usage. Graphics, fonts, layout,
and touch targets should be adjusted accordingly as the screen resolution and
orientation changes.

It is also important to note that just because an app or game window is not in
focus, it does not mean that it is not visible. For example, if a video app is
open in an inactive window, it should continue to play content “in the
background” because it could still be visible along side another app window. To
fully support multi-window
in this case, pause video in onStop(), and resume in onStart().

Targeting Android N (API level 24 and higher) will signal to the Chrome OS
window manager that compatibility restrictions should not be used. This allows
for more flexibility and control on the developer’s part for supporting window

The system will handle window
best if Android N is targeted, but for pre-N API support, windows
can be toggled between either a default size selected at app launch, or a
full-screen mode with either the window bar visible, or with window UI hidden in
immersive full-screen mode.

When handling different windowing modes, it is important to know that the window
area for an app or game will be offset by the presence or absence of the window
control bar. The app should not assume that the activity will always be at (0,0)
in the window. Adjust the layout and touch targets accordingly. It is somewhat
common to see apps or games become unresponsive after a window resize or
orientation change because it did not gracefully handle the presence of the
window control bar, or the higher resolution settings of a Chromebook screen.

Orientation support

Because of the laptop form-factor, Chromebook users expect landscape to be the
default orientation for apps on Chromebooks. However, Android apps often assume
that portrait is the default orientation to support, due to the typical way
users interact with their smartphones. To offer flexibility to users, it is
highly recommended to support both portrait and landscape orientations. Some
Chromebooks are convertible, so users can change between laptop and tablet modes
at will, switching between portrait and landscape orientation, according to what
feels comfortable for a given use case.

Most importantly, if possible, do not require a restart if the orientation or
window size changes. If a user is in the process of filling out a form, creating
or editing some content, or in the middle of a level in a game and loses
progress because of an window change — intentional or not — it would be a poor
user experience.

Developers can monitor window configuration changes using
onConfigurationChanged() and dynamically handle those changes by adding this
line to the activity’s manifest:


If it is absolutely necessary to require a restart upon changes to the window,
at least restore state by using the onSaveInstanceState() method so that work or
state is not lost.

Additionally, it is important to be consistent with the app’s orientation as the
user is navigating through activities. Currently, the system forces Android apps
to follow the orientation of the root activity to help maintain consistency.
However, this may result in a situation where, perhaps an app starts out in
landscape orientation, and a login screen normally laid out for portrait
orientation pops up, and now does not look optimized due to an unresponsive
layout. Also, it is still possible to have a case where a springboard activity
starts out in an orientation that is different from the primary orientation of
the app. Please keep these possible scenarios in mind when designing the layout
for activities.

Finally, developers should be aware of the differences in handling cameras and
orientation on Chromebooks. Obviously, Android phones have front-facing and
rear-facing cameras that are situated at the top of a portrait-oriented screen.
The front-facing cameras on Chromebooks are situated at the top of a
landscape-oriented screen. Many Chromebooks do not have rear-facing cameras. If
an app requires a camera, it would be best to use to
access the front-facing camera, if a rear-facing one is not available. Again,
developers should target Android N and, if possible allow the app to be
resizable so that the system can take care of properly orienting the camera

Supporting multiple input methods

Chromebook users are used to interacting with webpages and apps using a keyboard
and trackpad. Effectively supporting these two input methods for an Android app

  • Supporting hotkeys for commands that a desktop app user may be familiar with
  • Using arrow and tab keys and a trackpad to navigate an activity
  • Allowing hover and opening context menus
  • Supporting other trackpad gestures to enhance productivity in desktop/laptop

Something as simple as hitting return to send text in a messaging app, or
allowing a user to navigate fields by hitting the tab key will make an app feel
more efficient and cohesive on a Chromebook.

While there is a compatibility
for Chrome OS to emulate touchscreen scrolling and other touch events,
it would be best to optimize an Android app by declaring

    android:required="false" />

in the manifest to disable compatibility mode in order to further define custom
support for keyboard and trackpad.

Similarly, the system can guess at giving focus to the right views when
navigating via the tab or arrow keys on a keyboard. But for best performance,
specify how keyboard navigation should be handled
in the activity manifest
using the android:nextFocusForward attribute for
tab navigation, and android:nextFocusUp, android:nextFocusDown,
android:nextFocusLeft, android:nextFocusRight attributes for arrow key

On a related note, some Chromebooks do not have touchscreens, therefore
well-optimized Android apps on Chrome should not assume the user can perform
typical swipe and multi-touch tap gestures to navigate through an app or game.
If primary functionality cannot be performed using only a keyboard or trackpad,
the user experience will be severely impacted on non-touchscreen Chromebooks.
Try to “translate” existing touchscreen tap and swipe gestures into something
that can be easily done on a trackpad or using the keyboard.

Newer Chromebooks are gaining stylus support, allowing for richer interactions
for sketchbook and note-taking apps, photo editors, games, and more. Developers
are encouraged to use available
to support pressure-sensitivity, tilt, and eraser inputs. To enable
users to comfortably rest their hands on the screen while writing, drawing, or
playing games with the stylus, support palm rejection. The system will attempt
to ignore input from a user’s resting palm, but in case such erroneous touch
events are registered, Android apps should gracefully handle ACTION_CANCEL
events to erase the erroneous inputs.

By supporting all of these additional input methods, users will be able to take
full advantage of the laptop mode for Chromebooks to work more efficiently, or
to be more creative.

Learn more

While a lot was covered in this article, we have additional resources for you to
learn more about optimizing their apps and games for Chromebooks. Read our Medium post
with tips to get your app running great on Chromebooks and watch our
session at Google I/O 2017, Android Apps for Chromebooks
and Large Screen Devices
. There is also training material on the Android
developers website for building apps for
Chrome OS
. If you have any questions, reach out to the Android developer
and post with the hashtag #AndroidAppsOnChromeOS.

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

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

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Announcing the 20 finalists and open registration for the Indie Games Festival in San Francisco

Announcing the 20 finalists and open registration for the Indie Games Festival in San Francisco

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

With so many great mobile games launching this year, we saw a huge amount of
interest from indie developers to showcase their art at the Google
Play Indie Games Festival
in San Francisco next month. While it was a tough
selection process, we’re excited to announce the 20 finalists, as well as our
esteemed judging panel. Fans will be able to play the new and un-released indie
games in a fun festival atmosphere where they can also meet the creators
themselves. To attend and learn more about the event, register now for free at

So how did we choose the 20 finalists? We powered up our phones, put our
game-faces on, and looked for games that not only met the festival requirements,
but also stood out with their overall design, fun, and quality. These are the 20
finalists who will be joining us at the festival to demo their games.

Meet the finalists

Pin Pool


of Rivals

Roboto Games

Brave Hand
Heart Shaped Games
(game not yet released)
Raincrow Studios, LLC


Sense of Wonder

Hiding Spot

Happii Gamer Studio

Happy Square Studio Inc
Latin Bingo

Gorilla Bean Games
Maruta Escape

Busan Sanai Games

(game not yet released)

Black Vein Productions

Blue Wizard Digital

Spacewave Studios
Vikings Forever

Akupara Games
Tiny Bubbles

Pine Street Codeworks

(game not yet released)

Nico Prins

In addition to playing these games and meeting the developers who made them,
fans will have a chance to vote for their favorites throughout the festival. The
Top 10 will then move on to present a short pitch in pursuit of going home as
one of the three overall festival winners. The winners will be chosen by this
year’s panel of judges representing a diverse lineup of gaming expertise.

  • Alex the Gamerette, YouTube Creator
  • Lina Chen, Co-founder & CEO of Nix Hydra
  • Emily Greer, CEO of Kongregate
  • Jamil Moledina, Games Strategic Lead, Google
  • Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer for GamesBeat
  • Sarah Thomson, BD Lead, Indie Games, Google Play

Emceeing this year’s event is J.D. Witherspoon, aka runJDrun. No stranger to gaming,
YouTuber/actor/comedian, J.D. plays a wide array of games and frequently uploads
gaming, vlog, and comedy content to his channels.

If you want to try out these games and celebrate the indie community, learn more
about the event and register at

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