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Software Development Blogs: Programming, Software Testing, Agile Project Management
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if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!
Posted by Taylor Savage, Product Manager, Polymer
Today we released the 1.0 version of the Polymer library. Polymer is a new way of thinking about building web applications - a sugaring layer on top of Web Components, making it easy for you to create interoperable custom elements. These elements can then be put together to create app-like immersive experiences on the web.
Since the âDeveloper Previewâ release, weâve re-written the library from the ground up, focusing on cross-browser performance while keeping the developer-friendly ergonomics. The new library is about 3x faster on Chrome, 4x faster on Safari, and a third less code than in developer preview. And itâs ready to be used in production applications.Get started with the new library
Weâve updated the polymer-project.org site with documentation for the 1.0 release. Major new and updated features include:
Itâs easier than ever to create high-quality, production-ready elements using Polymer, to use in your app or share with other developers.Browse, demo, and learn how to use the latest elements built by the Polymer team
Check out the many brand-new element product lines built by the Polymer team with the Polymer elements catalog. There you can browse for elements to help create or add features to your web app - whether you need buttons or layouts, Google maps or push notifications. For just about any problem you might need to solve on the web, thereâs an element for that.Kick off your app with the Polymer Starter Kit
Looking for a fast and easy way to get started building a production-ready web application using Polymer? Use the Polymer starter kit. Packed with the latest elements, ready-to-use boilerplate, and an end-to-end toolchain to use from development through production deployment, the starter kit works out of the box so you can focus on adding features right away.
Weâre incredibly excited about this release, and canât wait to see what youâll build!
Posted by Adam Dawes, Product Manager
Identity is an important building block to any app. Even if itâs not top of mind when youâre building out new features, authentication is critical to get right. We realize developers want their users to have an efficient and secure experience with their products rather than dealing with forgotten passwords that prevent app usage. The Google Identity Platform is a suite of developer tools that cuts friction out of every step of getting people signed in: Smart Lock for Passwords, Google Sign-in, and Identity Toolkit.New: Get people automatically signed-in with Smart Lock for Passwords
Smart Lock is a password manager built into your Google account. It can automatically sign you into an Android app, and autofills credentials on websites viewed with Chrome. It removes the need to remember and type in password credentials.
We're now extending Smart Lock as an API to app developers and publishers, starting with Android. Android developers can programmatically save and retrieve credentials, and automatically sign their users in across devices and websites in Chrome. Companies like Eventbrite, Orbitz, Netflix, Instacart, the New York Times, and soon â LinkedIn, are using Smart Lock for Passwords to get people automatically signed-in across their properties.For new account sign-ups, or first-time sign ins, your users now have the option to save their passwords to Smart Lock, and be automatically signed-in subsequently.
How does Smart Lock for Passwords work for your app or site? It recognizes and pre-fills login credentials across devices. When a user signs into or signs-up on your property, theyâll see a Smart Lock prompt to save their password for future use. If they accept, theyâll never have to enter a password again on your Android app or website on Chrome. In turn, this helps your app or site boost sign-up and sign-in rates for new and existing users.
This also means when your users buy and activate new devices, they can easily download and get logged right back into your app using the proper account. You donât have to spend resources in re-acquiring them again, or encounter forgotten passwords along the way.Integrating with Smart Lock for Passwords lets your users save their password on one device, and be automatically be signed-in on other devices.
Hereâs how early partners are using Smart Lock for Passwords, which you can see rolling out in their Android apps and websites on Chrome.
Later on this year, weâre planning to offer new features including support for sync passphrases and Smart Lock for Passwords API support on other platforms. Stay tuned!Give people a trusted registration system with Google Sign-in
Google Sign-in is the gateway to securely connecting Googleâs users and services to your app or site. It reduces the burden of login for your users, by enabling them to sign in with their Google accountâthe same account they already use with Gmail, Play, Google+, and other Google services. The New York Times was able attribute a 20% lift in new registered user signups to the implementation of Google Sign-In, in the months immediately following launch.Implement authentication in-a-box with Identity Toolkit
Identity Toolkit gives you a robust, more secure authentication system that helps you do sign-in the right way, and can grow with your app. The toolkit supports email and password authentication as well as major identity providers including Google and Facebook. Even non-technical developers can add future sign-in options and migrate existing users with simple configuration changes. Getting started with Identity Toolkit lets you easily scale your auth system as you grow across platforms.
We hope that the Google Identity Platform makes it easy for your users to sign in, so that you can deliver them more personalized, engaging experiences. To view documentation, visit developers.google.com/identity
Posted by Jonathan Beri, Product Manager
Today, weâre announcing that CocoaPods will be the primary channel to acquire Google SDKs for iOS. CocoaPods is a popular, free dependency manager for iOS that significantly simplifies the process of importing libraries and frameworks into XCode. And it will help you manage your dependencies between our various libraries.
While there was a small but growing number of official Google Pods, as well as a few Pods written by other iOS developers, it was often difficult for developer to find the right SDK. With todayâs announcement, some of our key libraries, like Google Cloud Messaging and the Google Maps SDK for iOS can now be found on the public CocoaPods service. Going forward, new iOS SDKs will be packaged and documented as Pods and published on cocoapods.org. You can find the full list of Google Pods and all supporting documentation at developer.google.com/ios/cocoapods.
If you haven't used CocoaPods yet, now is a great time to give it a try. Add GoogleAnalytics to a Podfile to start counting new users. Or pod install your way to adding AdMob ads in your app. And check out pod try, a CocoaPods plugin that allows you to quickly launch our demo projects.
For more iOS developer protips and to learn more about Googleâs iOS SDKs, please check out the Route 85 video series from Todd Kerpelman. We look forward to all the great Google-powered iOS apps you will create!
Posted by Jason Titus, Senior Director of Engineering
This morning, we kicked off our 8th annual Google I/O conference, joined by 5,600 developers at Moscone Center, 530 I/O Extended communities around the world, and millions via the I/O Live stream. This yearâs event is focused on delivering incredible experiences on mobile and helping developers build successful businesses through these key themes: Develop, Engage, and Earn.
During the keynote, we had a number of announcements that covered the evolution of the mobile platform, tools for Android, iOS, and Web developers, and the push towards more immersive mobile experiences with VR. Hereâs a closer look at the news:Develop
Posted by Nathan Camarillo and David Allison, Google Cast Product Managers
Google Cast makes it easy for developers to extend their mobile experiences to bigger screens and speakers. Since the launch of Chromecast, the first Google Cast device, weâve seen tremendous success. 17 million Chromecast devices have been sold, with 1.5 billion touches of the Cast button, changing the way people watch TV. In the US, active Chromecast users are consuming 66% more content per day than at launch in July 2013. We see a 45% increase in YouTube watch time upon a Chromecast activation.
The Google Cast ecosystem continues to grow, with a range of new entertainment devices with Google Cast built-in-- from Chromecast and Android TV devices to speakers and soundbars.
Today at Google I/O, we are announcing new developer tools specifically for mobile app and game developers to bring new experiences to the TV.Google Cast Remote Display APIs (Beta)
We are making it easy for mobile developers to bring graphically intensive apps or games to Google Cast receivers with Google Cast Remote Display APIs for Android and iOS.
While Casting your Android screen is an existing option for users, the new Remote Display API allows mobile developers to build a tailored, integrated second screen experience, without requiring an identical mirroring of content between mobile devices and the Google Cast device.
Remote Display will be available both iOS and Android. Your app will contain the same Google Cast icon allowing users to select a device. On Android, youâll connect to the device using the helper class CastRemoteDisplayLocalService, then create a subclass of CastPresentation where you can call setContentView() to display any content you want (including drawing directly on a SurfaceView!). The contents of your CastPresentation are then sent over to the connected Google Cast device for display. On iOS, youâll use the core Google Cast SDK to discover receivers and connect to one, then GCKRemoteDisplayChannel to establish a new Remote Display session. Your app will then send video and audio frames via the session. Adaptors for OpenGL ES and Metal are provided to help integrating Remote Display with existing rendering code.
Thereâs no need to write a receiver app as the Remote Display APIs are supported natively by all Google Cast receivers. However, youâll still need to register a Remote Display App ID using the Google Cast SDK Developer Console.
See Remote Display in action with DriverÂź Speedboat Paradise:Autoplay and Queuing APIs
Autoplay and Queuing APIs allow developers to create content queues and begin buffering a second video while a first video is finishing playback. This enables the creation of a continuous playback experience and can significantly increase watch time, helping lift per-session watch times by 10-20% or more.
Playing single media items on Chromecast has been something RemoteMediaPlayer (or CastCompanionLibraryâs VideoCastController) has been doing well for some time. With this release, RemoteMediaPlayer is gaining a full media queue, allowing you to queue up multiple MediaQueueItems, skip between items, set a repeat mode, reorder the queue, and enable autoplay for a seamless media playback experience. The MediaStatus returned to you will be augmented with the current queue of items as well as new OnPreloadStatusUpdatedListener, allowing you to display what will be played next. This ensures that all connected devices can easily maintain a synchronized queue of upcoming media items, opening up new possibilities of creating collaborative Google Cast media experiences.Game Manager APIs for Google Cast
Since last November, Cast has had the ability to turn your TV screen into a game board, racetrack, dance floor, or trivia quizâinviting everyone in your living room to use their phone as a personal game controller. Now weâre introducing new Game Manager APIs that will simplify the process for developers to build multiplayer games. To make it easier to synchronize game state across a potentially large number of players, Google Play services 7.5 introduces the Cast Game Manager API. This API, available for Android via the GameManagerClient class, iOS, Chrome, and for receivers, allows you to send messages and state changes to all connected clients and the receiver. All of the send methods also have a method that includes a specific player ID, making it possible to have multiple players sharing a single sender device.
All of these APIs are available on Android today. iOS and Chrome SDK updates will be available in the coming days.
You can learn more about these Google Cast APIs on the Google Cast Developers Site. Weâre excited to see what you come up with to bring more mobile-centric experiences to the living room.
Posted by Monica Bagagem, Developer Marketing
Google I/O 2015 starts tomorrow, and, like last year, weâve got an exciting lineup of design-focused content for both developers and designers to experience in-person and online. Just a year ago, we announced material design - a system for cross-platform visual, motion, and interaction design. This year at I/O, weâll see how material has been adopted and implemented by the community, and our approach on design across our platforms.Sessions
At 4PM PDT on Thursday, May 28, join Matias Duarteâs âMaterial Nowâ session to recap where weâve been and get a sneak peek of where weâre going with design at Google. Weâll be recognizing some of the phenomenal material design work from across the community, so definitely tune in if youâre an Android developer or designer. For more details, check Matiasâ post on Google+.
The session will be live streamed so you can follow along in real-time even if youâre not at Moscone. Recordings will also be available shortly after on the I/O website.
Weâve dedicated an entire section of Moscone West to design-related programming, including one-on-one and group UX reviews with members of the material design team. Appointments will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, but we'll also have Google designers on hand for more casual questions.
Google designers and engineers will host several deep-dive, 20 minute tech talks in a breakout area within the Design Sandbox on Level 2. The space has been designed to facilitate conversation and discussion with small audiences, so come prepared with questions! Weâll be covering a range of topics such as cross-platform and responsive design, designing for platforms like Google Cast and Android Auto, and how to adapt material design to your brand. As an added bonus, most Sandbox Talks will take place twice throughout the conference giving you more flexibility to adjust your schedule.
Explore the full Google I/O schedule here.
Be sure to follow +GoogleDesign and @GoogleDesign, where weâll be posting design-related announcements throughout the conference. You can also follow and join the general conversation about I/O at #io15. See you tomorrow!
Posted by Fabian Schlup, Software Engineer
Starting now, goo.gl short links function as a single link you can use to all your content â whether that content is in your Android app, iOS app, or website. Once youâve taken the necessary steps to set up App Indexing for Android and iOS, goo.gl URLs will send users straight to the right page in your app if they have it installed, and everyone else to your website. This will provide additional opportunities for your app users to re-engage with your app.
This feature works for both new short URLs and retroactively, so any existing goo.gl short links to your content will now also direct users to your app.
Zillow shares a short URL on Twitter that automatically links to their native app.Share links that âdo the right thingâ
You can also make full use of this feature by integrating the URL Shortener API into your appâs share flow, so users can share links that automatically redirect to your native app cross-platform. This will also allow others to embed links in their websites and apps which deep link directly to your app.
Take Google Maps as an example. With the new cross-platform goo.gl links, the Maps share button generates one link that provides the best possible sharing experience for everyone. When opened, the link auto-detects the userâs platform and if they have Maps installed. If the user has the app installed, the short link opens the content directly in the Android or iOS Maps app. If the user doesnât have the app installed or is on desktop, the short link opens the page on the Maps website.
Try it out for yourself! Donât forget to use a phone with the Google Maps app installed: http://goo.gl/maps/xlWFj.How to set it up
To set up app deep linking on goo.gl:
We hope you enjoy this new functionality and happy cross-platform sharing!
Posted by Eli Wald, Product Manager
Weâve been helping users discover relevant content from Android apps in Google search results for a while now. Starting today, weâre bringing App Indexing to iOS apps as well. This means users on both Android and iOS will be able to open mobile app content straight from Google Search.
Indexed links from an initial group of apps weâve been working with will begin appearing on iOS in search results both in the Google App and Chrome for signed-in users globally in the coming weeks:How to get your iOS app indexed
While App Indexing for iOS is launching with a small group of test partners initially, weâre working to make this technology available to more app developers as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are the steps to get a head start on App Indexing for iOS:
If you happen to be attending Google I/O this week, stop by our talk titled âGet your app in the Google indexâ to learn more about App Indexing. Youâll also find detailed documentation on App Indexing for iOS at g.co/AppIndexing. If youâve got more questions, drop by our Webmaster help forum.
Posted by Mike Pegg, reppin' I/O since 2011
Google I/O is almost here! Weâll officially kick-off live from the Moscone Center in San Francisco at 9:30AM PDT this Thursday, May 28th. While weâre putting the finishing touches on the keynote, sessions, sandbox talks, and code labs, we wanted to provide you with some tips to get ready to experience I/O, either in-person or offsite.Navigate the conference with the Web & Android apps
To get the most out of Google I/O, make sure to download the I/O Android App and/or add the I/O web app to your mobile homescreen (both work offline!). From either, you can plan your schedule, view the venue map, and keep up with the latest I/O details. We just updated the website this morning, optimizing it for real-time content, as well as the Android app on Google Play - make sure to download the latest version (3.3.2) before the conference starts.Attending in person?
New this year, keynote access will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis during badge pickup. Be sure to swing by Moscone West tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27th between 9AM-8PM PDT to pick up your badge (full badge pick-up schedule). Donât forget to bring your government-issued photo ID and a copy of your ticket (on your phone or a printed copy). If youâre an Academic attendee, please remember to bring proof of eligibility. You might want to read through the pro tips in our FAQ before you arrive to learn how to best navigate the conference.
Last but not least, weâre looking forward to kicking back and relaxing with you at the After Hours party during the evening of Day 1. Expect good food, good drinks, and a few Googley surprises. Be sure to check your email during the event for further instructions.Attending remotely?
Canât join us in person? Donât worry, weâve got you covered! Whether youâre looking to to experience I/O with other devs in your neighborhood, or if youâll be streaming it live from your couch, here are some ways you can connect with I/O in real-time:
Weâre looking forward to seeing you in person or remotely on Thursday and Friday. Donât forget to join the social conversation at #io15!
Posted by Hillel Maoz, Engineering Lead, Search Console Team and Mariya Moeva, Webmaster Trends Analyst
Originally posted to the Webmaster Central blog
Wouldnât it be nifty if you could track where your indexed app content shows up in search results, for which queries, which app pages are most popular, and which ones have errors? Yeah, we thought so too! So weâve equipped our freshly renamed Search Console with new reports to show you how Google understands and treats your app content in search results.
Our goal is to make Search Console a comprehensive source of information for everyone who cares about search, regardless of the format of their content. So, if you own or develop an app, Search Console is your new go-to place for search stats.Add your app to Search Console
Simply open Search Console and enter your app name: android-app://com.example. Of course, weâll only show data to authorized app owners, so you need to use your Google Play account to let Search Console know you have access to the app. If you donât have access to your app in Google Play, ask an owner to verify the app in Search Console and add you next.Connect your site to your app
The new Search Analytics report provides detailed information on top queries, top app pages, and traffic by country. It also has a comprehensive set of filters, allowing you to narrow down to a specific query type or region, or sort by clicks, impressions, CTR, and positions.
Use the Search Analytics report to compare which app content you consider most important with the content that actually shows up in search and gets the most clicks. If they match, youâre on the right track! Your users are finding and liking what you want them to see. If thereâs little overlap, you may need to restructure your navigation, or make the most important content easier to find. Also worth checking in this case: have you provided deep links to all the app content you want your users to find?Make sure Google understands your app content
If we encounter errors while indexing your app content, we wonât be able to show deep links for those app pages in search results. The Crawl Errors report will show you the type and number of errors weâve detected.See your app content the way Google sees it
Weâve created an alpha version of the Fetch as Google tool for apps to help you check if an app URI works and see how Google renders it. It can also be useful for comparing the app content with the webpage content to debug errors such as content mismatch. In many cases, the mismatch errors are caused by blocked resources within the app or by pop-ups asking users to sign in or register. Now you can see and resolve these issues.
To get started on optimizing and troubleshooting your own app, add it to Search Console now. If you want to know more about App Indexing, read about it on our Developer Site. And, as always, youâre welcome to drop by the help forum with more questions.
Posted by Anthony Maurice, Fun Propulsion Labs at Google
Fun Propulsion Labs at Google* is back with an exciting new release for game developers. Weâve updated Pie Noon (our open source Android game) to add support for Google Cardboard, letting you jump into the action directly using your Android phone as a virtual reality headset! Select your targets by looking at them and throw pies with a flick of the switch.Look out for incoming pie!
We used the Cardboard SDK for Android, which helps simplify common virtual reality tasks like head tracking, rendering for Cardboard, and handling specialized input events. And you might remember us from before, bringing exciting game technologies like FlatBuffers, Pindrop, and Motive, all of which you can see in use in Pie Noon.
* Fun Propulsion Labs is a team within Google that's dedicated to advancing gaming on Android and other platforms.
Posted by Mike Pegg, reppin' I/O since 2011
Today we launched the official schedule for Google I/O 2015 at google.com/io. At this yearâs event, happening May 28-29 in San Francisco, weâll host more than 200 talks centered around some important topics which matter to you: Design & Develop, to help you build beautiful, powerful apps; Earn & Engage, where weâll cover tools to grow your user base and create sustainable, successful businesses; and Whatâs Next, a peek into Googleâs emerging platforms. With just over three weeks until Google I/O, start planning your schedule today!Start building your schedule
Whether youâre attending in person or virtually, you can get started building your schedule. Donât worry about converting the start and end times to your local time zone, weâve taken care of that for you. Simply sign in to the I/O website to add talks directly to âMy Schedule.â If youâre using Chrome (on Android or desktop), you can enable notifications for events added to your schedule so that you can be sure to catch them. That way, you wonât miss exciting sessions like Astro Tellerâs âHelping Moonshots Survive Contact with the Real Worldâ or an update from the ATAP team on some cool new projects theyâre working on. All sessions will be livestreamed, so whether youâre watching from one of the 400 I/O Extended Locations around the world or the comfort of your own desk, weâve got you covered.Attending in person
In addition to the traditional breakout sessions, which are livestreamed, if youâre attending in person, youâll also get a chance to go to more than 100 sandbox talks. These intimate, 20-minute talks are often more technical, and the smaller size means that youâll get a chance to interact directly with the Googlers teaching them. Together, you can roll up your sleeves and tackle topics ranging from âMemory Performance & Toolingâ to âWhat's new in the Google Play Developer Console.â Most sandbox talks will happen twice throughout the two-day event, so youâll have more chances to participate.This year, there are over 100 sandbox talks: intimate, 20-minute technical talks where you can roll up your sleeves and interact directly with Googlers.
Donât forget to save time in your schedule for a code lab or two. Back by popular demand, these self-paced workshops will showcase a variety of technologies from Google on mobile, wearables, and Cloud to name a few. Weâll provide the workstations and tablets for use on-site - just bring yourself any time during the two days of I/O! If you have your own device, Googlers will be on hand to help you get set up so you can jump into it.See you soon
Weâre getting really excited about Google I/O 2015 and todayâs schedule is just a preview of whatâs to come. Weâll be adding more sessions, sandbox talks, and events to the schedule as we get closer to I/O. But, we canât give everything away beforehand. Be sure to check the agenda again after the keynote on Day 1, for those top secret talks. We look forward to connecting with you in-person, at I/O Extended or via I/O Live in a few weeks!
Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Product Manager
Back in 2014, we introduced add-ons for Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms in developer preview. Since then, the developer community has built a wide variety of features to help millions of Docs, Sheets and Forms users become more productive. Over the last few months, we launched a number of developer-friendly features that made it easier to build, test, deploy and distribute add-ons. Some key capabilities include:
With these features under our belt, we are ready to graduate add-ons out of developer preview. Starting today, any developer can publish an add-on. To ensure users find the best tools for them, every new add-on will undergo a review for adherence to our guidelines before itâs available in the add-ons store.
We canât wait to see what you will build!
Posted by William Denniss, Product Manager, Identity and Authentication
Support for ClientLogin, OAuth 1.0 (3LO1), AuthSub, and OpenID 2.0 has ended, and the shutdown process has begun. Clients attempting to use these services will begin to fail and must be migrated to OAuth 2.0 or OpenID Connect immediately.
To migrate a sign-in system, the easiest path is to use the Google Sign-in SDKs (see the migration documentation). Google Sign-in is built on top of our standards-based OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect infrastructure and provides a single interface for authentication and authorization flows on Web, Android and iOS. To migrate server API use, we recommend using one of our OAuth 2.0 client libraries.
We are moving away from legacy authentication protocols, focusing our support on OpenID Connect and OAuth 2.0. These modern open standards enhance the security of Google accounts, and are generally easier for developers to integrate with.
13LO stands for 3-legged OAuth where there's an end-user that provides consent. In contrast, 2-legged (2LO) correspond to Enterprise authorization scenarios such as organizational-wide policies control access. Both OAuth1 3LO and 2LO flows are deprecated, but this announcement is specific to OAuth1 3LO.
Posted by Andrew Nartker, Product Manager, Google Cardboard
All of us is greater than any single one of us. Thatâs why we open sourced the Cardboard viewer design on day one. And why weâve been working on virtual reality (VR) tools for manufacturers and developers ever since. We want to make VR better together, and the community continues to inspire us.
For example: what began with cardboard, velcro and some lenses has become a part of toy fairs and art shows and film festivals all over the world. There are also hundreds of Cardboard apps on Google Play, including test drives, roller coaster rides, and mountain climbs. And people keep finding new ways to bring VR into their daily livesâfrom campus tours to marriage proposals to vacation planning.
Itâs what we dreamed about when we folded our first piece of cardboard, and combined it with a smartphone: a VR experience for everyone! And less than a year later, thereâs a tremendous diversity of VR viewers and apps to choose from. To keep this creativity going, however, we also need to invest in compatibility. Thatâs why weâre announcing a new program called Works with Google Cardboard.
At its core, the program enables any Cardboard viewer to work well with any Cardboard app. And the result is more awesome VR for all of us.For makers: compatibility tools, and a certification badge
These days you can find Cardboard viewers made from all sorts of materialsâplastic, wood, metal, even pizza boxes. The challenge is that each viewer may have slightly different optics and dimensions, and apps actually need this info to deliver a great experience. Thatâs why, as part of todayâs program, weâre releasing a new tool that configures any viewer for every Cardboard app, automatically.
As a manufacturer, all you need to do is define your viewerâs key parameters (like focal length, input type, and inter-lens distance), and youâll get a QR code to place on your device. Once a user scans this code using the Google Cardboard app, all their other Cardboard VR experiences will be optimized for your viewer. And thatâs it.
Starting today, manufacturers can also apply for a program certification badge. This way potential users will know, at a glance, that a VR viewer works great with Cardboard apps and games. Visit the Cardboard website to get started.The GoggleTech C1-Glass viewer works with Google Cardboard For developers: design guidelines and SDK updates
Whether youâre building your first VR app, or youâve done it ten times before, creating an immersive experience comes with a unique set of design questions like, âHow should I orient users at startup?â Or âHow do menus even work in VR?â
Weâve explored these questions (and many more) since launch, and today weâre sharing our initial learnings with the developer community. Our new design guidelines focus on overall usability, as well as common VR pitfalls, so take a look and let us know your thoughts.
Of course, we want to make it easier to design and build great apps. So today we're also updating the Cardboard SDKs for Android and Unityâincluding improved head tracking and drift correction. In addition, both SDKs support the Works with Google Cardboard program, so all your apps will play nice with all certified VR viewers.For users: apps + viewers = choices
The number of Cardboard apps has quickly grown from dozens to hundreds, so weâre expanding our Google Play collection to help you find high-quality apps even faster. New categories include Music and Video, Games, and Experiences. Whether youâre blasting asteroids, or reliving the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special, thereâs plenty to explore on Google Play.New collections of Cardboard apps on Google Play
Todayâs Works with Google Cardboard announcement means youâll get the same great VR experience across a wide selection of Cardboard viewers. Find the viewer that fits you best, and then fire up your favorite apps.For the future: Thrive Audio and Tilt Brush are joining the Google family
Most of todayâs VR experiences focus on what you see, but what you hear is just as important. Thatâs why weâre excited to welcome the Thrive Audio team from the School of Engineering in Trinity College Dublin to Google. With their ambisonic surround sound technology, we can start bringing immersive audio to VR.
In addition, weâre thrilled to have the Tilt Brush team join our family. With its innovative approach to 3D painting, Tilt Brush won last yearâs Proto Award for Best Graphical User Interface. Weâre looking forward to having them at Google, and building great apps together.
Ultimately, todayâs updates are about making VR better together. Join the fold, and letâs have some fun.
Posted by Angana Ghosh, Product Manager, Google Fit
Last year, we teamed up with adidas, Polar, and Withings to invite developers to create amazing fitness apps that integrated the new Google Fit platform. The community of Google Fit developers has flourished since then and to help get them inspired, we even suggested a few ideas for new, fun, innovative fitness apps. Today, weâre announcing the twelve grand prize winners, whose apps will be promoted on Google Play.
We saw a wide range of apps that integrated Google Fit, and both the grand prize winners and the runner ups will be receiving some great devices from our challenge partners to help with their ongoing fitness app development: the X_CELL and SPEED_CELL from adidas, a new Android Wear device, a Loop activity tracker with a H7 heart rate sensor from Polar, and a Smart Body Analyzer from Withings.
Weâre thrilled these developers chose to integrate the Google Fit platform into their apps, giving users one place to keep all their fitness activities. With the userâs permission, any developer can store or read the userâs data from Google Fit and use it to build powerful and useful fitness experiences. Find out more about integrating Google Fit into your app.
Posted by Cheryl Simon Retzlaff, Software Engineer on the Realtime API team
Originally posted to the Google Apps Developer blog
Real-time collaboration is a powerful feature for getting work done inside Google docs. We extended that functionality with the Realtime API to enable you to create Google-docs style collaborative applications with minimal effort.
Integration of the API becomes even easier with a new in memory mode, which allows you to manipulate a Realtime document using the standard API without being connected to our servers. No user login or authorization is required. This is great for building applications where Google login is optional, writing tests for your app, or experimenting with the API before configuring auth.
Finally, we have refreshed the developer guides to make it easier for you to learn about the API as a new or advanced user. Check them out at https://developers.google.com/drive/realtime.
For details on these and other recent features, see the release note.
Posted by Jon Simantov, Fun Propulsion Labs at Google
Originally posted to the Google Open Source blog
Fun Propulsion Labs at Google* is back today with some new releases for game developers. Weâve updated Pie Noon (our open source Android TV game) with networked multi-screen action, and weâve also added some delicious new libraries weâve been baking since the original release: the Pindrop audio library and the Motive animation system.Pie Noon multi-screen action
Got an Android TV and up to 4 friends with Android phones or tablets? Youâre ready for some strategic multi-player mayhem in this updated game mode. Plan your next move in secret on your Android phone: will you throw at an opponent, block an incoming attack, or take the risky approach and wait for a larger pie? Choose your target and action, then watch the Android TV to see what happens!
We used the NearbyConnections API from the most recent version of Google Play Games services to easily connect smartphones to your Android TV and turn our original Pie Noon party game into a game of turn-based strategy. You can grab the latest version of Pie Noon from Google Play to try it out, or crack open the source code and take a look at how we used FlatBuffers to encode data across the network in a fast, portable, bandwidth-efficient way.Pindrop: an open source game audio library
Pindrop is a cross-platform C++ library for managing your in-game audio. It supports cross compilation to Android, Linux, iOS and OSX. An early version of this code was part of the first Pie Noon release, but itâs now available as a separate library that you can use in your own games. Pindrop handles loading and unloading sound banks, tracking sound locations and listeners, prioritization of your audio channels, and more.
Pindrop is built on top of several other pieces of open source technology:
You can download the latest open source release from our GitHub page. Documentation is available here and a sample project is included in the source tree. Please feel free to post any questions in our discussion list.Motive: an open source animation system
The Motive animation system can breathe life into your static scenes. It does this by applying motion to simple variables. For example, if youâd like a flashlight to shine on a constantly-moving target, Motive can animate the flashlight so that it moves smoothly yet responsively.
Motive animates both spline-based motion and procedural motion. These types of motion are not technically difficult, but they are artistically subtle. It's easy to get the math wrong. It's easy to end up with something that moves as required but doesn't quite feel right. Motive does the math and lets you focus on the feeling.
Motive is scalable. It's designed to be extremely fast. It also has a tight memory footprint -- smaller than traditional animation compression -- that's based on Dual Cubic Splines. Our hope is that you might consider using Motive as a high-performance back-end to your existing full-featured animation systems.
This initial release of Motive is feature-light since we focused our early efforts on doing something simple very quickly. We support procedural and spline-based animation, but we don't yet support data export from animation packages like Blender or Maya. Motive 1.0 is suitable for props -- trees, cameras, extremities -- but not fully rigged character models. Like all FPL technologies, Motive is open source and cross-platform. Please check out the discussion list, too.Whatâs Fun Propulsion Labs at Google?
Want to learn more about our team? Check out this recent episode of Game On! with Todd Kerpelman for the scoop!
* Fun Propulsion Labs is a team within Google that's dedicated to advancing gaming on Android and other platforms.
Originally posted to the Google Geo Developers blog
Editorâs note: This post is written by Adam Ratana, developer of Sun Surveyor. Read how Sun Surveyor is using Google Maps APIs to help photographers capture the perfect photo.
Posted by Adam Ratana, developer of Sun Surveyor
Iâm a photography enthusiast, and Iâm always looking for ways to improve my work. Thatâs what led me to develop Sun Surveyor, an iOS and Android app that uses Google Maps APIs to visualize the location of the sun and the moon anywhere in the world. The app makes it easy to figure out when the natural lighting will be just right â and get the ideal shot.
Sun Surveyor uses augmented reality to overlay the paths of the sun and moon on a cameraâs view, so you can see where in the sky theyâll be at a specific time and place. Photographers can use it to plan their shots ahead of time, and businesses can use it to gauge things like how best to align solar panels to make the most efficient use of the angle of the sun.
The app uses multiple Google Maps APIs, including the Elevation API, the Time Zone API, the Google Maps SDK for iOS and the Google Maps Android API. The Android API, which includes Street View, was particularly helpful. It allowed me to overlay the path of the sun and moon on any Street View location anywhere in the world. For programming details, see this blog post.
The following screen captures give you a sense of how the app works. They show overlays on top of the iconic Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. The first shows the paths of the sun (yellow line) and moon (blue line) over an aerial view of Yosemite Valley. The green line shows the distance between the photographer and the object to be photographed â in this case, Half Dome.
This next screen capture shows how the app looks when in Street View mode. Again, the yellow line shows the sunâs path, and the blue line shows the moonâs path. The green line represents the horizon. You can see how the app lets you plan the right time to get a shot of the sun behind Half Dome: in this particular instance, 8:06 am.
Nearly 500,000 people around the world have downloaded the free version of Sun Surveyor, and many have paid for the full edition. Theyâre taking remarkable photos as a result, and what started as a hobby for me has turned into a business â thanks to Google Maps APIs.
Posted by Ankur Kotwal, Software Engineer
The holiday spirit is about giving and though weâre early into April, weâre still in that spirit. Today, weâre announcing that Google's Santa Tracker is now open source on GitHub at google/santa-tracker-web and google/santa-tracker-android. Now you can see how weâve used many of our developer products to build a fun and engaging experience that runs across the web and Android.
Santa Tracker isnât just about watching Santaâs progress as he delivers presents on December 24. Visitors can also have fun with the winter-inspired games and an interactive North Pole village while Santa prepares for his big journey throughout the holidays.
Below is a summary of what weâve released as open source.Android app
Now that the source code is also available, developers can see many of the parts that come together to make Santa Tracker. We hope that developers are inspired to make their own magical experiences.