Time to celebrate the 2018 Google Play Award nominees

Posted by Purnima Kochikar, Director, Apps and Games Business Development, Google Play

2018 Google Play Awards

This year’s Google Play Awards will take place on Monday, May 7th, kicking off the week of Google I/O. Celebrating our third year, we’re excited to highlight nine categories; some you may recognize from previous years, along with new additions highlighting growth areas and trends we’re focused on, such as building for emerging markets.

Each year, the Google Play Awards recognize top apps and games on Google Play. They represent some of the best experiences available on Android, with an emphasis on overall quality, strong design, technical performance, and innovation. The nominees were selected by various teams across Google, and all meet criteria thresholds covering high star rating, Android vitals, and have had a launch or major update since April 2017.

Congratulations to this year’s nominees below and don’t forget to check them out on the Google Play store at g.co/play/gpa2018.

Standout Well-Being App: Clue, Fabulous, Headspace, Lifesum, Simple Habit

Standout Well-Being App

Apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies

Best Accessibility Experience: Audio Game Hub, Be My Eyes, Open Sesame, Universal Copy, Voice Volume Catcher

Best Accessibility Experience

Apps or games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serves people with disabilities or special needs

Best Social Impact: Forest, Khan Academy, Otsimo, Tala, TODXS

Best Social Impact

Apps or games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (focused on health, education, crisis response, refugees, financial health & fundraising functions)

Standout Indie: Agent A, Bridge Constructor Portal, Flipping Legend, Old Man’s Journey, OPUS: Rocket of Whispers

Standout Indie

Games from indie developers that focus on artistic design, gameplay mechanics, and overall polish

Best Community Building Game: Clash Royale, Lineage 2: Revolution, Pokémon GO, PUBG MOBILE

Best Community Building Game

Games built to connect gamers, encouraging social interaction and community building

Best AR or VR Experience: ASTEROIDS!, BBC Earth: Life in VR, Brickscape, Figment AR, Porsche Mission E

Best AR or VR Experience

Apps or games offering highly engaging and immersive experiences with optimal use of ARCore or Daydream UI

Standout Build for Billions Experience: Cricbuzz, Flipkart, Mercado Libre, Moovit, Viki

Standout Build for Billions Experience

Apps or games with optimized performance, localization, and culturalization for emerging markets

Standout Startup: Astro, Canva, Drops, Kredivo, N26

Standout Startup

Apps from new developers that offer a unique experience while achieving strong organic install growth.

Best Breakthrough Hit: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Cooking Craze, Empires & Puzzles, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, PUBG MOBILE

Best Breakthrough Hit

New apps or games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong organic install growth

Check out the winners, and make sure to try out some of these great apps and games on Google Play at g.co/play/gpa2018.

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Introducing new Android Excellence apps and games on Google Play

Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Congratulations to the latest apps and games featured in the Android Excellence program on Google Play. As a reminder, these collections are refreshed every three months and recognize apps and games that set the bar for high quality, great user experience, and strong technical performance.

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

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC: Capture, edit, and share your photos with the power of Lightroom on your mobile device. Use presets for quick and easy edits, or dive in with the advanced editing tools.
  • Seven – 7 Minute Workout Training Challenge: Use this app to fit seven minute workouts into your busy lifestyle. Grab your phone, or even your Wear OS device to work out anywhere and anytime. Keep it up to earn achievements and join the 7 Club for even more support.
  • SoloLearn: Learn to Code for Free: Learn one of many new coding languages by joining a community of millions. Tap in to the 24/7 peer support, or create your own lessons to become a community influencer.

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

  • CodyCross: Crossword Puzzles: Try this game for a fun new style of crossword puzzles. Play for free on adventure mode or subscribe for special themed packs, varying difficulty levels and fresh content added weekly.
  • MARVEL Contest of Champions: Play with your favorite Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villians in iconic locations from the Marvel Universe. Assemble your team of champions to play through the exciting storyline and even build alliances with your friends.
  • Orbital 1: Test your skills in this real-time multiplayer game with beautiful 3D graphics. Collect and upgrade fighters and weapons to build out your perfect squad for quick battles and new daily quests.

See the full list of Android Excellence apps and games.

New Android Excellence apps New Android Excellence games
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC

Dashlane

Holstelworld

iCook

Keeper Password Manager

Keepsafe Photo Vault

Mobisystems OfficeSuite

PhotoGrid

Runtastic Results

Seven – 7 Minute Workout Training Challenge

SoloLearn: Learn to Code for Free

Tube Map

WPS Office

Angry Birds 2

Azur Lane アズールレーン

CodyCross

Into the Dead 2

Little Panda Restaurant

MARVEL Contest of Champions

Orbital 1

Rooms of Doom

Sky Dancer Run

Sling Kong

Soul Knight

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.

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Cryptography Changes in Android P

Posted by Adam Vartanian, Software Engineer

We hope you’re enjoying the first developer preview of Android P. We wanted to specifically call out some backward-incompatible changes we plan to make to the cryptographic capabilities in Android P, which you can see in the developer preview.

Changes to providers

Starting in Android P, we plan to deprecate some functionality from the BC provider that’s duplicated by the AndroidOpenSSL (also known as Conscrypt) provider. This will only affect applications that specify the BC provider explicitly when calling getInstance() methods. To be clear, we aren’t doing this because we are concerned about the security of the implementations from the BC provider, rather because having duplicated functionality imposes additional costs and risks while not providing much benefit.

If you don’t specify a provider in your getInstance() calls, no changes are required.

If you specify the provider by name or by instance—for example, Cipher.getInstance("AES/CBC/PKCS7PADDING", "BC") or Cipher.getInstance("AES/CBC/PKCS7PADDING", Security.getProvider("BC"))—the behavior you get in Android P will depend on what API level your application targets. For apps targeting an API level before P, the call will return the BC implementation and log a warning in the application log. For apps targeting Android P or later, the call will throw NoSuchAlgorithmException.

To resolve this, you should stop specifying a provider and use the default implementation.

In a later Android release, we plan to remove the deprecated functionality from the BC provider entirely. Once removed, any call that requests that functionality from the BC provider (whether by name or instance) will throw NoSuchAlgorithmException.

Removal of the Crypto provider

In a previous post, we announced that the Crypto provider was deprecated beginning in Android Nougat. Since then, any request for the Crypto provider by an application targeting API 23 (Marshmallow) or before would succeed, but requests by applications targeting API 24 (Nougat) or later would fail. In Android P, we plan to remove the Crypto provider entirely. Once removed, any call to SecureRandom.getInstance("SHA1PRNG", "Crypto") will throw NoSuchProviderException. Please ensure your apps have been updated.

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!

Winner

Bury me, my love

Playdius

France

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

Austria

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

Yellow

Bart Bonte

Belgium

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

Picodongames

France

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

I Love Hue

Zut!

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

Gamebra.in

Turkey

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.

Kenshō

FIFTYTWO

Russia

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

Norway

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

The Big Journey

Catfishbox

Ukraine

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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Android Developer Story: Big Fish Games uses open beta testing to de-risk their game launch

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Based in Seattle, Big Fish Games was founded in 2002. Starting as a game studio, they quickly turned into a major publisher and distributor of casual games. Leading up to the launch of their hit time management game, Cooking Craze, the team ran an open beta on Google Play.

Big Fish Games found that using open beta provided more than 10x the amount of user feedback from around the world, and also gave them access to key metrics and Android Vitals in the Play Console. The ability to monitor game performance metrics pre-launch allowed the team to focus on areas of improvement, which lead to a 21% reduction in crash rate. The larger sample size of beta testers also provided more insights on player behavior and helped achieve a +7% improvement in day 1, day 7, and day 30 retention rates.

You can also learn more pre-launch best practices and strategies to improve performance post-launch at our Google Developer Day on Monday, March 19th at GDC. Sign up to stay informed.

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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

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
Gallery
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.

A
Planet of Mine


Tuesday Quest

France

Bridge
Constructor Portal


ClockStone Softwareentwicklung GmbH

Austria

Bury
me, my Love


Playdius

France

Captain
Tom Galactic Traveler


Picodongames

France

Core

FURYJAM

Russia

Flat
Pack


Nitrome

United Kingdom

Fern
Flower


Macaque

Poland

I
Love Hue


Zut!

United Kingdom

Jodeo

Gamebra.in

Turkey

Kami
2

State of Play

United Kingdom

Kenshō

FIFTYTWO

Russia

No
More Buttons


Tommy Søreide Kjær

Norway

Old
Man’s Journey


Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH

Austria

Radium 2 | Ra²

Developster

Germany

The
Big Journey


Catfishbox

Ukraine

The
House of Da Vinci


Blue Brain Games, s.r.o.

Slovakia

The
Office Quest


11Sheep

Israel

Unbalance

TVEE

Turkey

Undervault

Andriy Bychkovskyi

Ukraine

yellow

Bart Bonte

Belgium

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
    Gallery
  • 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
prizes
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

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
1tap

Acorns

Airbnb

Blink Health

Blinkist

Clue

Ditty

EyeEm

Fabulous

IFTTT

iReader

Journey

KKBOX

LinkedIn

Mobills: Budget Planner

Musixmatch

Shpock

Stocard

Video Editor

ViewRanger

YAZIO

YOP

Agent A

Bit Heroes

Bloons Supermonkey 2

Dancing Line

DEAD WARFARE: Zombie

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

Posted by Sergejs Cuhrajs, Community Manager, Google Play

Earlier this year we launched the Google Play Apps & Games publication on
Medium
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
    read)

    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)
    Useful
    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
    read)

    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
    read)

    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

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
too.]

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
term.

  • 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
prepare.

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
    5.0
    )
  • Runtime permissions (Android
    6.0
    )
  • User-added CAs not trusted by default for secure connections (Android
    7.0
    )
  • Apps can’t access user accounts without explicit user approval (Android
    8.0
    )

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;
background
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
    higher.

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
Treble
to help the latest releases reach devices faster. Get started
building apps that target Android 8.1 Oreo
today.

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
Architectures
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
2017
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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Celebrating and empowering women in mobile gaming with CHANGE THE GAME

Together, Android and Google Play bring millions of games to more than one billion people in 190 countries, making games accessible to almost everyone. As we continue to create entertainment experiences that cater to each individual person; and with more people gaming on mobile devices than ever before, there’s an opportunity to be even more inclusive—starting with women.

There’s little existing research about women and mobile gaming—so we partnered with Newzoo to learn more about the experiences and perceptions of female mobile players in the U.S. Our study found that 65% of women play mobile games, making-up half of all mobile gamers. In fact, female mobile gamers play more frequently than men with 43% of of them playing more than five days a week compared to just 38% of men.

Despite the fact that women are playing mobile games like never before, only 24.8% of people in the industry identify as women or transgender. This has an impact on women’s behaviors and perceptions of mobile games—for example, we found that the majority of female gamers think that only 30% of those games are actually made for them. Additionally, we found that women are less likely than men to explore multiple genres, talk with friends about mobile games, or identify as a “gamer.”

To tackle this issue, we’re launching CHANGE THE GAME, a new Google Play initiative promoting diversity in games, celebrating all women who play games, and empowering the next generation of game-makers through ongoing research, development programs, and partnerships. The program includes:

  • An interactive experience shining light on the relationship between women and mobile games in the U.S. 
  • A short film celebrating the diversity of women who play mobile games and inviting all women to be part of the game
  • A collection highlighting games with great female protagonists on Google Play’s Indie corner 

This builds on our work to inspire teen girls with the power of games through Wonder Woman, our support of Girls Make Games and the launch of a mobile game development program for emerging game designers. While moving the needle won’t be easy, we hope our commitments to change the game will influence long-term change for women as both players and creators.

Spreading holiday cheer with great deals on Google Play

As temperatures drop, stay warm and entertained with these hot holiday deals on Google Play. Starting today, you’ll be able to find your favorite movies, apps, games, music, TV and books at deep discounts. Just in time for the holidays, these deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday run through November 27 in select markets.

Battle in your favorite games—not the crowds—on Black Friday.

Avoid store crowds and battle it out with a favorite game instead. Google Play offers discounts of up to 80 percent for premium games, including Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin and LEGO® Jurassic World™  and more. You’ll also get special discounts, power ups and unlimited lives for the perennially popular Gardenscapes and Homescapes games on Google Play.

Set the mood with Google Play Music.

‘Tis the season to start playing songs of cheer. You can get a Google Play Music subscription free for four months, for the right songs to suit your mood anytime.

Survive the season with must-have apps.

When you need a last-minute recipe or a mental break from those holiday errands, Google Play has you covered with discounts on hundred of apps, including a 50 percent discount on a monthly subscription to Colorfy.

Take a turkey break with a movie or TV show.

Once the meal is done and the dishes are cleared, wind down with a favorite classic or a new release as Google Play offers 50 percent off any one movie to own and 25 percent off a TV season of your choice starting on November 23. You’ll also be able to rent any movie for 99 cents for one day only on November 25.

Whether it’s catching up on the latest episodes of “The Walking Dead” or “Outlander,” the latest Minion antics in “Despicable Me 3” or a young Peter Parker in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” there’s something the entire family can enjoy.

Snuggle in with a good book.

The weather outside may be frightful, but a good book can be delightful. Whether it’s a bedtime story or the latest mystery, Google Play is offering a $5 credit towards any book over $5 and discounts on top titles starting on November 23. You can also find some of the most popular omnibus comics books, including Batman: The Complete Hush, Thor and Flashpoint, for $5 or less on November 25 only.

For more information on these and other deals throughout the season, head to Google Play’s Holiday Hub.

Moving Past GoogleApiClient

Posted by Sam Stern, Developer Programs Engineer

The release of version 11.6.0 of the Google Play services SDK moves a number of popular APIs to a new paradigm for accessing Google APIs on Android. We have reworked the APIs to reduce boilerplate, improve UX, and simplify authentication and authorization.

The primary change in this release is the introduction of new Task
and GoogleApi
based APIs to replace the GoogleApiClient access pattern.

The following APIs are newly updated to eliminate the use of
GoogleApiClient:

  • Auth – updated the Google Sign In and Credentials APIs.
  • Drive – updated the Drive and Drive Resource APIs.
  • Fitness – updated the Ble, Config, Goals, History,
    Recording, Sensors, and Sessions APIs.
  • Games – updated the Achievements, Events, Games, Games
    Metadata, Invitations, Leaderboards, Notifications, Player Stats, Players,
    Realtime Multiplayer, Snapshots, Turn Based Multiplayer, and Videos APIs.
  • Nearby – updated the Connections and Messages
    APIs.

These APIs join others that made the switch in previous releases, such as the
Awareness, Cast, Places, Location, and Wallet APIs.

The Past: Using GoogleApiClient

Here is a simple Activity that demonstrates how one would access the Google
Drive API using GoogleApiClient using a previous version of the
Play services SDK:

public class MyActivity extends AppCompatActivity implements
        GoogleApiClient.OnConnectionFailedListener,
        GoogleApiClient.ConnectionCallbacks {

    private static final int RC_SIGN_IN = 9001;

    private GoogleApiClient mGoogleApiClient;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);

        GoogleSignInOptions options =
               new GoogleSignInOptions.Builder(GoogleSignInOptions.DEFAULT_SIGN_IN)
                        .requestScopes(Drive.SCOPE_FILE)
                        .build();

        mGoogleApiClient = new GoogleApiClient.Builder(this)
                .enableAutoManage(this, this)
                .addConnectionCallbacks(this)
                .addApi(Auth.GOOGLE_SIGN_IN_API, options)
                .addApi(Drive.API)
                .build();
    }

    // ...
    // Not shown: code to handle sign in flow
    // ...

    @Override
    public void onConnectionFailed(@NonNull ConnectionResult connectionResult) {
        // GoogleApiClient connection failed, most API calls will not work...
    }

    @Override
    public void onConnected(@Nullable Bundle bundle) {
        // GoogleApiClient is connected, API calls should succeed...
    }

    @Override
    public void onConnectionSuspended(int i) {
        // ...
    }

    private void createDriveFile() {
        // If this method is called before "onConnected" then the app will crash,
        // so the developer has to manage multiple callbacks to make this simple
        // Drive API call.
        Drive.DriveApi.newDriveContents(mGoogleApiClient)
            .setResultCallback(new ResultCallback<DriveApi.DriveContentsResult>() {
                // ...
            });
    }
}

The code is dominated by the concept of a connection, despite using the
simplified “automanage” feature. A GoogleApiClient is only
connected when all APIs are available and the user has signed in (when APIs
require it).

This model has a number of pitfalls:

  • Any connection failure prevents use of any of the requested APIs, but using
    multiple GoogleApiClient objects is unwieldy.
  • The concept of a “connection” is inappropriately overloaded. Connection
    failures can be result from Google Play services being missing or from
    authentication issues.
  • The developer has to track the connection state, because making some calls
    before onConnected is called will result in a crash.
  • Making a simple API call can mean waiting for two callbacks. One to wait
    until the GoogleApiClient is connected and another for the API call
    itself.

The Future: Using GoogleApi

Over the years the need to replace GoogleApiClient became apparent,
so we set out to completely abstract the “connection” process and make it easier
to access individual Google APIs without boilerplate.

Rather than tacking multiple APIs onto a single API client, each API now has a
purpose-built client object class that extends GoogleApi. Unlike
with GoogleApiClient there is no performance cost to creating many
client objects. Each of these client objects abstracts the connection logic,
connections are automatically managed by the SDK in a way that maximizes both
speed and efficiency.

Authenticating with GoogleSignInClient

When using GoogleApiClient, authentication was part of the
“connection” flow. Now that you no longer need to manage connections, you
should use the new GoogleSignInClient class to initiate
authentication:

public class MyNewActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    private static final int RC_SIGN_IN = 9001;

    private GoogleSignInClient mSignInClient;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);

        GoogleSignInOptions options =
               new GoogleSignInOptions.Builder(GoogleSignInOptions.DEFAULT_SIGN_IN)
                        .requestScopes(Drive.SCOPE_FILE)
                        .build();

        mSignInClient = GoogleSignIn.getClient(this, options);
    }

    private void signIn() {
        // Launches the sign in flow, the result is returned in onActivityResult
        Intent intent = mSignInClient.getSignInIntent();
        startActivityForResult(intent, RC_SIGN_IN);
    }

    @Override
    protected void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
        super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data);

        if (requestCode == RC_SIGN_IN) {
            Task<GoogleSignInAccount> task = 
                    GoogleSignIn.getSignedInAccountFromIntent(data);
            if (task.isSuccessful()) {
                // Sign in succeeded, proceed with account
                GoogleSignInAccount acct = task.getResult();
            } else {
                // Sign in failed, handle failure and update UI
                // ...
            }
        }
    }
}

Making Authenticated API Calls

Making API calls to authenticated APIs is now much simpler and does not require
waiting for multiple callbacks.

    private void createDriveFile() {
        // Get currently signed in account (or null)
        GoogleSignInAccount account = GoogleSignIn.getLastSignedInAccount(this);

        // Synchronously check for necessary permissions
        if (!GoogleSignIn.hasPermissions(account, Drive.SCOPE_FILE)) {
            // Note: this launches a sign-in flow, however the code to detect
            // the result of the sign-in flow and retry the API call is not
            // shown here.
            GoogleSignIn.requestPermissions(this, RC_DRIVE_PERMS, 
                    account, Drive.SCOPE_FILE);
            return;
        }

        DriveResourceClient client = Drive.getDriveResourceClient(this, account);
        client.createContents()
                .addOnCompleteListener(new OnCompleteListener<DriveContents>() {
                    @Override
                    public void onComplete(@NonNull Task<DriveContents> task) {
                        // ...
                    }
                });
    }

Before making the API call we add an inline check to make sure that we have
signed in and that the sign in process granted the scopes we require.

The call to createContents() is simple, but it’s actually taking
care of a lot of complex behavior. If the connection to Play services has not
yet been established, the call is queued until there is a connection. This is in
contrast to the old behavior where calls would fail or crash if made before
connecting.

In general, the new GoogleApi-based APIs have the following
benefits:

  • No connection logic, calls that require a connection are queued until a
    connection is available. Connections are pooled when appropriate and torn down
    when not in use, saving battery and preventing memory leaks.
  • Sign in is completely separated from APIs that consume
    GoogleSignInAccount which makes it easier to use authenticated APIs
    throughout your app.
  • Asynchronous API calls use the new Task API rather than
    PendingResult, which allows for easier management and
    chaining.

These new APIs will improve your development process and enable you to make
better apps.

Next Steps

Ready to get started with the new Google Play services SDK?

Happy building!

Google Play Referrer API: Track and measure your app installs easily and securely

Posted by Neto Marin, Developer Advocate

Understanding how people find your app and what they do once they’ve installed
it is crucial to helping you make the right product and marketing decisions.
This is especially important when you’re deciding your advertising strategy and
budget. Today many app measurement companies and ad networks offer ad
attribution solutions based on referral data. As such accurate install referral
data is vital for correctly attributing app installs, as well as discounting
fraudulent attempts for install credit.

To help you obtain more accurate and reliable data about your installs, we’re
introducing the Google Play Install Referrer API, a reliable
way to securely retrieve install referral content. Using this API, your app will
get precise information straight from the Play Store, including:

  • The referrer URL of the installed package.
  • The timestamp, in seconds, of when the referrer click happened.
  • The timestamp, in seconds, of when the installation began.

We’ve tested the API with our App Attribution
Program
partners including Adjust,
AppsFlyer, Singular and TUNE.

“The new Play API provides us with the data we need to effectively detect
and prevent click injection; it’s a monumental step in securing a crucial
information exchange on Android.”

– Paul Müller, CTO & Co-Founder, Adjust

“The new Google Play API introduces fresh insights into both mobile ad fraud
and the mobile user journey, two key domains with impact across the ecosystem.”

– Elad Mashiach, VP, AppsFlyer

“This additional data directly from the Play Store provides increased precision for the Kochava fraud suite to further minimize fraud for our customers.”

– Charles Manning, CEO, Kochava

“Google’s new API is a game changer that will help marketing analytics
platforms like Singular identify and prevent a significant portion of Ad Fraud,
and provide security and accuracy to mobile advertisers”

– Gadi Eliashiv, CEO &
Co-Founder, Singular

“This new data from Google Play is essential for marketers who demand
accountability out of their mobile app install advertising spend. At TUNE, this
data is allowing us to outright eliminate entire forms of mobile app install
fraud while providing new insight into how mobile app installs are driven.”

– Dan Koch, Chief Technical Officer, TUNE

Starting today, the API works with the Play Store app from version
8.3.73 and later for all developers.

Play Install Referrer Library 1.0 now available

To make it easy to integrate the Install Referrer API, we’ve released the
Install Referrer Library 1.0 for Android. The library is available in our Maven
repository. To start using it, add the following dependency to your app module
build.gradle file:

dependencies {
          ...
          compile 'com.android.installreferrer:installreferrer:1.0'
      }

All communication with the Play Store app happens through a Service, so the
first step is to establish the connection between your app and the Play Store.
Also, to receive the connection result and updates it’s necessary to implement a
listener, InstallReferrerStateListener. This listener could be your
current Activity or any other class you want to use:

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity 
    implements InstallReferrerStateListener {
    …
}

Now that you have an InstallReferrerStateListener, you can start
binding your app to the Play Store app service. To establish the connection, you
must build an InstallReferrerClient instance and call the
startConnection() method:

InstallReferrerClient mReferrerClient
...
mReferrerClient = newBuilder(this).build();
mReferrerClient.startConnection(this);

Then, handle the connection result in the
onInstallReferrerSetupFinished() method. If the connection is OK,
the app can retrieve install referrer information, by calling the
getInstallReferrer() method:

@Override
public void onInstallReferrerSetupFinished(int responseCode) {
   switch (responseCode) {
       case InstallReferrerResponse.OK:
           try {
               Log.v(TAG, "InstallReferrer conneceted");
               ReferrerDetails response = mReferrerClient.getInstallReferrer();
               handleReferrer(response);
               mReferrerClient.endConnection();
           } catch (RemoteException e) {
               e.printStackTrace();
           }
           break;
       case InstallReferrerResponse.FEATURE_NOT_SUPPORTED:
           Log.w(TAG, "InstallReferrer not supported");
           break;
       case InstallReferrerResponse.SERVICE_UNAVAILABLE:
           Log.w(TAG, "Unable to connect to the service");
           break;
       default:
           Log.w(TAG, "responseCode not found.");
   }
}

For more details about the new API and the client library, visit the Install
Referrer Client Library page
and the reference
documentation
.

Other Implementations

If you are not able to use our client library, you can use the AIDL interface
and establish the connection with Google Play Store on your own. Check out the
IGetInstallReferrerService
AIDL reference
for details of the methods and the service
specification.

What’s next?

Check out the Play
Install Referrer API documentation
for details about the new API, the library’s
reference docs
, and our Quick
Start guide
.

Playtime 2017: Find success on Google Play and grow your business with new Play Console features


Posted by Vineet Buch, Director of Product Management, Google Play Apps & Games

Today we kicked off our annual global Playtime series with back-to-back events in Berlin and San Francisco. Over the next month, we’ll be hearing from many app and game developers in cities around the world. It has been an amazing 2017 for developers on Google Play, there are now more than 8 billion new installs per month globally.
To help you continue to take advantage of this opportunity, we’re announcing innovations on Google Play and new features in the Play Console. Follow us on Medium where presenters will be posting their strategies, best practices, and examples to help you achieve your business objectives. As Google Play continues to grow rapidly, we want to help people understand our business. That’s why we’re also publishing the State of Play 2017 report that will be updated annually to help you stay informed about our progress and how we’re helping developers succeed.
Apps and games on Google Play bring your devices to life, whether they’re phones and tablets, Wear devices, TVs, Daydream, or Chromebooks like the new Google Pixelbook. We’re making it even easier for people to discover and re-engage with great content on the Play Store.

Recognizing the best

We’re investing in curation and editorial to showcase the highest quality apps and games we love. The revamped Editors’ Choice is now live in 17 countries and Android Excellence recently welcomed new apps and games. We also continue to celebrate and support indie games, recently announcing winners of the Indie Games Festival in San Francisco and opening the second Indie Games Contest in Europe for nominations.

Discovering great games

We’ve launched an improved home for games with trailers and screenshots of gameplay and two new browse destinations are coming soon, ‘New’ (for upcoming and trending games) and ‘Premium’ (for paid games).

Going beyond installs

We’re showing reminders to try games you’ve recently installed and we’re expanding our successful ‘live operations’ banners on the Play Store, telling you about major in-game events in popular games you’ve got on your device. We’re also excited to integrate Android Instant Apps with a ‘Try Now‘ button on store listings. With a single tap, people can jump right into the app experience without installing.

The new games experience on Google Play
The Google Play Console offers tools which help you and your team members at every step of an app’s lifecycle. Use the Play Console to improve app quality, manage releases with confidence, and increase business performance.

Focus on quality

Android vitals were introduced at I/O 2017 and already 65% of top developers are using the dashboard to understand their app’s performance. We’re adding five new Android vitals and increasing device coverage to help you address issues relating to battery consumption, crashes, and render time. Better performing apps are favored by Google Play’s search and discovery algorithms.
We’re improving pre-launch reports and enabling them for all developers with no need to opt-in. When you upload an alpha or beta APK, we’ll automatically install and test your app on physical, popular devices powered by Firebase Test Lab. The report will tell you about crashes, display issues, security vulnerabilities, and now, performance issues encountered.
When you install a new app, you expect it to open and perform normally. To ensure people installing apps and games from Google Play have a positive experience and developers benefit from being part of a trusted ecosystem, we are introducing a policy to disallow apps which consistently exhibit broken experiences on the majority of devices such as​ crashing,​ closing,​ ​freezing,​ ​or​ ​otherwise​ ​functioning​ ​abnormally. Learn more in the policy center.

Release with confidence

Beta testing lets trusted users try your app or game before it goes to production so you can iterate on your ideas and gather feedback. You can now target alpha and beta tests to specific countries. This allows you to, for example, beta test in a country you’re about to launch in, while people in other countries receive your production app. We’ll be bringing country-targeting to staged rollouts soon.
We’ve also made improvements to the device catalog. Over 66% of top developers are using the catalog to ensure they provide a great user experience on the widest range of devices. You can now save device searches and see why a specific device doesn’t support your app. Navigate to the device catalog and review the terms of service to get started.

Grow your subscriptions business

At I/O 2017 we announced that both the number of subscribers on Play and the subscriptions business revenue doubled in the preceding year. We’re making it easier to setup and manage your subscription service with the Play Billing Library and, soon, new test instruments to simplify testing your flows for successful and unsuccessful payments.
We’re helping you acquire and retain more subscribers. You can offer shorter free trials, at a minimum of three days, and we will now enforce one free trial at the app level to reduce the potential for abuse. You can opt-in to receive notifications when someone cancels their subscription and we’re making it easier for people to restore a canceled subscription. Account hold is now generally available, where you can block access to your service while we get a user to fix a renewal payment issue. Finally, from January 2018 we’re also updating our transaction fee for subscribers who are retained for more than 12 months.

Announcing the Google Play Security Reward Program

At Google, we have long enjoyed a close relationship with the security research community. Today we’re introducing the Google Play Security Reward Program to incentivize security research into popular Android apps, including Google’s own apps. The program will help us find vulnerabilities and notify developers via security recommendations on how to fix them. We hope to bring the success we have with our other reward programs, and we invite developers and the research community to work together with us on proactively improving Google Play ecosystem’s security.

Stay up to date with Google Play news and tips

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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

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:

ShareTheMeal–Help
children

Peak–Brain
Games & Training

Dragon
City

Cooking
Fever

Animation
Throwdown: TQFC

Legendary:
Game of Heroes

My
Cafe: Recipes & Stories – World Cooking Game

TRANSFORMERS:
Forged to Fight

Rodeo
Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari

Jurassic
World™: The Game

MARVEL
Contest of Champions

Sling
Kong

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

Fight global hunger with your favorite apps and games on 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 percent 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.

1

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

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

Google Play and Movies Anywhere bring your movies together

Whether you’re looking for a Halloween classic or the latest action thriller, we want you to access that movie, no matter what platform or device you’re using. You can already find the Google Play Movies & TV app on Android devices, on Apple’s App Store, Roku’s Channel Store, and many top Smart TVs by Samsung, LG and Vizio, not to mention Chromecast and Android TV. And with Family Library, everyone in the family can share purchased movies at no additional fee, even if they’re using a different device.

Today, we’re taking it one step further by adding support for Movies Anywhere, allowing you to bring together your movies from Google Play, Amazon, iTunes and Vudu into a single library that you can access on any of your devices, regardless of where the purchase was originally made. Available first in the U.S., just connect your accounts using the new Movies Anywhere app or on the Movies Anywhere website, and all the movies you’ve purchased from Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. will be available for you to watch on Google Play.

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Even better, when you link two or more accounts through Movies Anywhere, you’ll get these blockbuster movies for free:

Done linking your accounts? Now all your movies are together in one place—enjoy the show.

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
Lover
or want to experience the thrill of stunt-racing with stunning
graphics and real-time challenges in Asphalt
8
, 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
apps
New Android Excellence
games
Agoda Asphalt
8
AlarmMon Bubble
Witch 3 Saga
Bring! Castle
Creeps
CastBox Crab
War
Email
by Edison
Crash
of Cars
Eve Dan
the Man
Fotor Dawn
of Titans
Mint Dream
Defense
Money
Lover
Iron
Marines
Onefootball Karma.
Incarnation 1.
Robinhood Postknight
Viki Sky
Force Reloaded
Zombie
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

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
create.

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

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
Corner
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
Excellence
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
Excellence
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

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
compatibility
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
specifically.

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
usage
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
resizing.

The system will handle window
management
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:

android:configChanges="screenSize|smallestScreenSize|orientation|screenLayout".

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 android.hardware.camera.any 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
previews.

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
means:

  • 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
    mode

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
mode
for Chrome OS to emulate touchscreen scrolling and other touch events,
it would be best to optimize an Android app by declaring

<uses-feature
    android:name="android.hardware.type.pc"
    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
navigation.

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
APIs
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
community
and post with the hashtag #AndroidAppsOnChromeOS.


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Enroll for app signing in the Google Play Console & secure your app using Google’s robust security infrastructure

Posted by Kobi Glick, Product Manager, Google Play

Every app on Android is signed with a key. This key is used to ensure the app’s
integrity by checking that updates are signed with the same signature. In the
past, the burden of securely holding the signing key has always been with the
developer. We’re now offering an app signing service on Google Play that can
help you if you lose or compromise your key.

Until recently, losing your key would make it impossible to update your app with
a new version. A compromised key would be a serious issue too: a third-party
could maliciously replace an authentic app or corrupt it. Unfortunately in such
cases, the only solution was to publish a new app, with a new package name and
key, and ask all of your users to install it.

App signing in the Play Console allows us to offer help in such circumstances.
For existing apps, it requires transferring your app signing key to Google Play.
For new apps, we can generate your app signing key. Once enrolled in app
signing, you sign your APK with an upload key, which we use to authenticate your
identity. We’ll then strip that signature and re-sign your app with the app
signing key.

The app signing key is now securely managed by Google Play meaning that you are
only responsible for managing your upload key. If your upload key is compromised
or lost, our developer operations team can assist by verifying your identity and
resetting your upload key. We’ll still re-sign with the same app signing key,
allowing the app to update as usual.

Rest assured, your key will be fully protected by Google’s robust cloud security
infrastructure
and will benefit from the ongoing investment we’re making to
our security systems. In the future, we plan to offer developers who sign with
Google Play automatic optimizations to enhance their app distribution. Stay
tuned for more news in this area!

Learn more about how
app signing works
in the help center or watch the session about app
signing
from Google I/O 2017. Get started on securing your app in the release management section of
the Play Console.


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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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Updates to Google Play policy promote standalone Android Wear apps

Posted by Hoi Lam, Lead Developer
Advocate, Android Wear

Strava – a standalone wear app available to both Android and iOS users

Android Wear 2.0 represents the the latest evolution of the Android Wear
platform. It introduced the concept of standalone
apps
that can connect to the network directly and work independently of a
smartphone. This is critical to providing apps not only to our Android users,
but also iOS users – which is increasingly important as we continue to expand
our diverse ecosystem of watches and users. In addition, Wear 2.0 brought
multi-APK support to Wear apps, which reduces the APK size of your phone apps,
and makes it possible for iOS users to experience your Wear apps.

Today, we are announcing that multi-APKs will also work for Android Wear 1.0
watches, so you can now reach all of your users without needing to bundle your
Wear app within your phone app’s APK. Additionally, the Google Play Store policy
will change to promote the use of multi-APKs and standalone apps. This covers
all types of apps that are designed to run on the watch, including watch faces,
complication data providers as well as launchable apps.

Policy change

The policy change will be effective from the 18th of January, 2018. At this
time, the following apps will lose the “Enhanced for Android Wear” badge in the
Google Play Store and will not be eligible to be listed in the top charts in the
Play Store for Android Wear:

  • Mobile apps that support Wear notification enhancements but do not have a
    separate Wear app.
  • Wear apps that are bundled with mobile apps instead of using
    multi-APK.

Since multi-APK is now supported by devices running Wear 1.0 and 2.0, developers
embedding their Wear app APKs in phone APKs should unbundle their Wear APK
and upload
it to the Play Store as a multi-APK
. This will allow them to continue to
qualify for the “Enhanced for Android Wear” badge as well as be eligible to
appear in the Android Wear top charts. The two APKs can continue to share the
same package name.

In addition to providing top app charts, we periodically put together curated
featured collections. To be eligible for selection for these collections,
developers will need to make their Wear apps function independently from the
phone, as a standalone app. These apps will need to work on watches that are
paired with both iOS and Android phones.

What are standalone apps?

Standalone
apps
are Wear apps that do not require a phone app to run. The app either
does not require network access or can access the network directly without the
phone app – something that is supported by Android Wear 2.0.

To mark your app as standalone, put the following meta-data tag in the
AndroidManifest.xml:

<application>
...
  <meta-data
    android:name="com.google.android.wearable.standalone"
    android:value="true" />
...
</application>

In some rare cases, the user experience may be enhanced by the syncing of data
between the phone and watch. For example, a cycling app can use the watch to
display the current pace, and measure the user’s heart rate, while displaying a
map on the phone. In this scenario, we recommend that developers ensure that
their Wear apps function without a phone and treat the phone experience as
optional as far as the Wear apps are concerned. In these cases, a Wear app is
still considered standalone and should be marked as such in its
AndroidManifest.xml file.

Wear what you want

From the beginning, Android Wear has been about wear what you want — the
styles, watches, and apps you want to wear. This latest policy change lets you
highlight your Android Wear apps, giving users even more choice about what apps
they want on their watches.

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
g.co/play/sfindiegamesfest2017.

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

7
Pin Pool

SPG Inc

Age
of Rivals

Roboto Games

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

pixelbizarre
Dokudo

Sense of Wonder
Flipping
Legend


Hiding Spot
Gladiator
Rising


Happii Gamer Studio
Jigsaw
Story


Happy Square Studio Inc
Loteria
Latin Bingo


Gorilla Bean Games
Maruta Escape

Busan Sanai Games

(game not yet released)
NoStranger

Black Vein Productions
Slayaway
Camp


Blue Wizard Digital
Space
Tunnel


Spacewave Studios
Star
Vikings Forever


Akupara Games
Storm
Wars


Zom.bio
Tiny Bubbles

Pine Street Codeworks

(game not yet released)
Topsoil

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 g.co/play/sfindiegamesfest2017.


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How to improve app design for Wear 2.0

Posted by Steven Tepper, App Quality Consultant, Google Play

Wear
2.0 launched
back in February with added support for new hardware features
in addition to adopting new Material
Design themes
,
guidelines,
and a simpler vertical UI pattern. It also introduces a complications
API
, making it easier for apps to provide data to watch faces, and watch
faces to incorporate external data. The final big update was that, apps
targeting Wear 2.0 now have the ability to operate in a standalone
mode
, without needing a connection to a companion app on the phone.

There are a few design considerations in relation to navigation, notifications,
the complications API, and the standalone functionality to help you better
optimize for Wear 2.0 devices:

Navigation

  1. Use the WearableDrawerLayout navigation drawer for simple and infrequent
    navigation:
    Simple navigation includes tasks such as accessing app
    settings, switching users or logging out. You can implement
    this on Wear 2.0 to switch between different views or sections of the app via a
    swipe down from the top of the screen, or an action drawer can be set up for
    context-specific actions when swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Present a navigation drawer as a single-page drawer to enable users
    to navigate views quickly:
    A navigation drawer can be presented as
    either a multi-page or single-page drawer. The single-page layout is useful for
    when the user is expected to navigate quickly between 7 or less views of the
    app. Remember that if the app is using a single-page drawer, the iconography
    should be clear and understandable as there will not be any sort of text
    labeling in this layout. If there are more than 7 views to navigate to or the
    views are not easily represented by icons, you should instead use the multi-page
    drawer layout.

  3. Use multiple app launchers if your app has two or three discrete
    functions:
    For example, if your app supports
    both activity tracking—with various options, actions,
    and views—and historical analysis and management of tracked activities, you can
    use multiple app launchers to handle these tasks. Alternatively, if your app has
    a simple home screen, these features could be placed in line, at the bottom of
    the screen.
  4. Use peeking at the top of the action drawer to provide quick access
    to the primary action:
    If there is no primary action associated with
    the view, override the default behavior and force an overflow button to peek
    instead, exposing all actions at the bottom of a view, when tapped.

Ensure that for devices using Wear 2.0, your app takes advantage of these new UI
patterns to provide a consistent user experience. Check out more training
resources for Wear
Navigation and Actions
and the Material Design specifications for Navigation
and Action
Drawers.

Notifications

Wear 2.0 uses a simpler vertical navigation pattern, removing the horizontal
swiping gesture to present actions for a notification. Notification actions are
now presented as a single primary action (if applicable) at the bottom of a
notification. If there is no primary action, expanding the notification will
present options in a single, vertically scrollable view.

Notifications will work without needing many changes on both 1.x and 2.0
devices, but appear quite different:

When creating apps for Wear 2.0 devices, improve the user experience with
notifications by applying the following best practices:

  1. Support expandable notifications: Use BigTextStyle
    so that users can see more content on their watch.
  2. Use the collapsed view of the notification (if applicable):
    Add the primary action for your notification to the collapsed view of the
    notification using setContentIntent(), where appropriate.
  3. For messaging apps, use the MessagingStyle:
    Provide a rich chat app-like experience in the expanded notification using this
    style.
  4. Update user directions which are specific to Wear 1.0:
    Remove any text guiding users to act on a card by swiping horizontally
    (the Wear 1.x pattern).
  5. Enhancing notifications to use inline actions: This allows
    users to do things without needing tap to see the expanded notification details.
    Actions for messaging notifications can use several different input methods
    including Smart Reply presets, voice, and keyboard input. Take advantage of
    these features to provide added functionality and delight users.

To learn more about adding
wearable features to notifications
.

Complications

The complications API in Wear 2.0 makes it much easier for watch face developers
and third-party data providers to surface important information users want, at a
glance. Watch faces that support the API can be configured to use any of the
data providers that have been installed on the watch while maintaining complete
control over their appearance. Apps supporting the complication API allow the
app’s data to be accessible on any watch faces that support complications. These
complications can be displayed in a variety of forms (short text, icon, ranged
value, long text, small image, and large image) depending on what the data
provider has configured and how much space has been allocated on the watch face.

To ensure that complications fit the overall design of the watch face and
properly handle their data type, when adding complication support we recommend
watch face makers should:

  1. Use the TextRenderer
    class found in the Wear 2.0 SDK:
    This allows the text within
    complications to be adjusted to their bounds by shrinking the text, dynamically
    supporting line breaks or ellipsizing strings when they exceed the bounds of a
    text-based complication.
  2. Use the ComplicationDrawable
    class to set the background color, shape, border, and font options for the
    complications:
    This gives complete control of how the complication is
    rendered to the watch face.
  3. Design the watch face to provide a way for users to configure or
    adjust complications on the watch face through a settings menu:
    To
    learn how to construct these settings see the watch face sample
    on GitHub.
  4. Use the data provider test
    suite
    app to feed dummy data to the watch face complications:
    This
    will enable you to verify that all of the complications render properly and have
    fonts formatted for their bounds.
  5. As a complication data provider, expose relevant data by using the
    ComplicationProviderService:

    Simply define and configure what types of ComplicationData
    the app can provide for complications.

Standalone functionality on Wear devices

  1. Make sure your app is able to handle itself if there is no companion
    app installed when using the android.hardware.type.watch hardware feature
    flag
    : Using this feature enables your app to become searchable and
    installable directly on Wear devices without needing to install a companion
    phone app, so ensure your app can handle itself to avoid a confusing or broken
    user experience.
  2. Ensure your wearable app doesn’t rely on the phone app for
    sign-in/authentication or primary functionality
    : When requiring
    complicated input for authentication (for example, password entry) your wearable
    app can point to the companion phone, but should rely on web UI for
    account/password entry rather than an app.
  3. Where a companion app must be present on a phone to support your app
    in some other way, the app should use the CapabilityApi:

    This should be used to properly direct users to the Play Store listing on their
    companion device to install the missing app. Otherwise, the app should function
    on its own, using the Wear built-in Wi-Fi, GPS, or other connectivity functions.

  4. Include wording about any companion app requirements or briefly
    mention how your Wear app should function within the Play Store listing
    description
    : This will help set expectations and guide users to install
    the correct apps for the best possible experience.
  5. Incorporate the com.google.android.wearable.standalone
    flag in the manifest if your Wearable app can function without any phone
    companion interaction
    : This flag indicates that the wearable app can be
    installed and will fully function when not paired to an Android or iOS companion
    phone.

Though a lot was covered here, there are additional resources you can use to
ensure that your apps or games are optimized and use the latest patterns and
functionality on Wear. Be sure to review
the quality guidelines
and check out the developer training documentation to
learn more best practices for wearable app
development
and wearable
app design
in order to build quality apps for Wear.

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