Every day, millions of smartphones run out of space. While phones with 16GB or 32GB of storage are becoming more popular, many phones around the world have much less storage, often as low as 4GB. And with the barrage of images, videos, apps and documents that keep piling up, at some point it becomes a mess—it’s hard to find what you need when you need it, and your phone slows down and starts crashing. We all eventually reach that point where we have to choose what to keep or delete.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce Files Go, an app that takes a mobile-first approach to freeing up space, finding files faster and easily sharing them with others.
Files Go helps you:
We’ve been testing Files Go for a month, and the average user is saving 1GB of space and has shared many files with others without using data. Starting today, we’re opening up Files Go globally on the Google Play Store for all phones running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and higher. Free up more space and share files faster—give Files Go a try!
Posted by Fred Chung, Developer Advocate
In recent months, there’s a growing trend for handset makers to ship new devices
with long screen aspect ratio (stretching beyond 16:9), many of which also sport
rounded corners. This attests to the Android ecosystem’s breadth and choice.
Pixel 2 XL and Huawei Mate 10 Pro are just two of many examples. These screen
characteristics could bring a very immersive experience to users and they take
notice of apps and games that don’t take advantage of the long aspect ratio
screen on these new devices. Therefore it is important for developers to
optimize for these screen designs. Let’s have a look at related support
provided by the Android OS.
Most apps using standard UI widgets will likely work out-of-the-box on these devices. Android
documentation details techniques for flexibly working on multiple screen
sizes. However, some games and apps with custom UIs may run into issues due to
incorrect assumptions on certain aspect ratios. We’re sharing a few typical
issues faced by developers, so you can pay attention to those relevant to you:
If responsive UI is really not suitable for your situation, as a last
resort declare an explicit maximum supported aspect ratio as follows. On
devices with a wider aspect ratio, the app will be shown in a compatibility mode
padded with letterbox. Keep in mind that certain device models provide an
override for users to force the app into full-screen compatibility mode, so be
sure to test under these scenarios too!
Targets API level 26 or higher: Use
Targets API level 25 or lower: Use
Note that maximum aspect ratio values will be respected only if your
activities don’t support
resizableActivity. See documentation
System letterboxes an app when the declared maximum aspect ratio is smaller
than the device’s screen.
Long aspect ratio devices enable even more multi-window use cases that could
increase user productivity. Beginning in Android 7.0, the platform offers a
standard way for developers to implement multi-window on supported devices as
well as perform data drag and drop between activities. Refer to documentation
Testing is crucial. If you don’t have access to one of these long screen
devices, be sure to test on the emulator with adequate screen size and
resolution hardware properties, which are explained in the emulator
We know you want to delight your users with long screen devices. With a few
steps, you can ensure your apps and games taking full advantage of these
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Posted by Wayne Piekarski,
Developer Advocate for IoT
The next release of Android Things Developer Preview 6 (DP6) is here with lots
of new features and bug fixes. Android Things is Google’s platform that enables
Android Developers to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices with support for
powerful applications such as video and audio processing and on-board machine
learning with TensorFlow. For the specifics on what is new, visit the release
notes. Here are a few of the highlights of what is in DP6.
DP6 includes a new IoT launcher that allows the user to see the current state of
the device and change settings using a touch screen or USB input devices.
Settings such as configuring the WiFi, finding the build ID, and checking for
updates is now something that can be done interactively, making it even easier
to get started. This launcher is visible when no other developer-provided IOT_LAUNCHER
Activity is present.
Android Things uses the open-source SwiftShader library, a
CPU-based implementation of the OpenGL ES APIs. This enables common OpenGL
support across all platforms, even those with no GPU hardware. However, many
simple 2D UIs render faster if the drawing is done directly to the framebuffer
and OpenGL emulation is not used. In DP6, OpenGL rendering is disabled by
default to ensure that most apps run with the fastest UI possible. If you need
OpenGL support for 3D rendering, WebView, or TextureView, then explicitly enable
it in your AndroidManifest.xml according to the documentation:
<activity ... android:hardwareAccelerated="true">
DP6 is now based on the latest Android 8.1 developer preview, with API level 27.
Most of the standard Android samples now work on DP6. For example, the Camera2Basic
sample using the Camera2 API and TextureView now works on both NXP and Raspberry
Pi based devices (with the hardwareAccelerated flag set to true). Google Play
Services has been updated to support SDK version 11.6, supporting all the latest
We heard from developers that flashing and configuring a board using fastboot
can be tedious, so the Android Things
Console now brings a new and simpler way of flashing device images. Instead
of using fastboot and adb commands manually, a new interactive command-line
is now provided. This tool makes it much easier to get started with Android
Things, and automates the download and flashing process.
DP6 introduces the new partition scheme that will be used for the upcoming
production release. Due to the new partition layout, the over-the-air update
(OTA) system cannot update existing DP5.1 or earlier devices. Developers will
need to go to the Android
Things Console, and download and flash a new DP6 build. The Console UI has
also been changed for DP6 features, and will only allow you to create new builds
based on DP6. If you have any older existing builds, they are still available
for download but will not support OTA updates. Developers are encouraged to move
all work to DP6.
The interactive IoT launcher shown at boot now includes an I/O pinout section
where you can discover the labels of all the pins. The pin naming used by the
i.MX7 has been changed, and you should update your code to use this new naming
convention. See the i.MX7
documentation for the complete list of pin names.
New APIs have been added to Android Things that control the configuration
of the local device and device updates. UpdateManager
gives developers control over when updates and reboots can be performed,
ensuring the device is available for the user when needed. DeviceManager
controls factory reset, reboot, and device locales. APIs are also provided for
settings such as ScreenManager
to control the screen, and TimeManager
to control the clock and time zone.
We now provide a command-line tool
that gives developers access to the Peripheral API via the adb shell. Developers
can interactively test GPIO, PWM, UART, I2C, SPI, and future interfaces from an
adb shell, which is useful for debugging and automated testing.
DP6 includes significant changes and improvements to the platform. Please send
us your feedback by filing bug
reports and feature
requests, as well as asking any questions on Stack
Overflow. To start using DP6, use the Android Things Console to
download system images and flash existing devices, or use the
More information about the changes are available in the release
notes. You can also join Google’s IoT
Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss
ideas. Also, we have our new hackster.io
community, where everyone can share the amazing projects they have built. We
look forward to seeing what you build with Android Things!