Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Announcing the Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco, Sept. 24

If you’re an indie game developer, you know that games are a powerful medium of expression of art, whimsy, and delight. Being on Google Play can help you reach over a billion users and build a successful, global business. That’s why we recently introduced programs, like the Indie Corner, to help more gamers discover your works of art.
To further celebrate and showcase the passion and innovation of indie game developers, we’re hosting the Google Play Indie Games Festival at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco, on September 24.
This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your indie title to the public, increase your network, and compete to win great prizes, such as Tango devices, free tickets for Google I/O 2017, and Google ad campaign support. Admission will be free and players will get the chance to play and vote on their favorites.
If you’re interested in showcasing your game, we’re accepting submissions now through August 14. We’ll then select high-quality games that are both innovative and fun for the festival. Submissions are open to US and Canadian developers with 15 or less full time staff. Only games published on or after January 1, 2016 or those to be published by December 31, 2016 are eligible. See complete rules.
We encourage virtual reality and augmented reality game submissions that use the Google VR SDK and the Tango Tablet Development Kit.
At the end of August, we’ll announce the group of indies to be featured at the festival.
You can learn more about the event here. We can’t wait to see what innovative and fun experiences you share with us!

Connecting your App to a Wi-Fi Device

My photo
With the growth of the Internet of Things, connecting Android applications to Wi-Fi enabled devices is becoming more and more common. Whether you’re building an app for a remote viewfinder, to set up a connected light bulb, or to control a quadcopter, if it’s Wi-Fi based you will need to connect to a hotspot that may not have Internet connectivity.
From Lollipop onwards the OS became a little more intelligent, allowing multiple network connections and not routing data to networks that don’t have Internet connectivity. That’s very useful for users as they don’t lose connectivity when they’re near Wi-Fis with captive portals. Data routing APIs were added for developers, so you can ensure that only the appropriate app traffic is routed over the Wi-Fi connection to the external device.
To make the APIs easier to understand, it is good to know that there are 3 sets of networks available to developers:
  • WiFiManager#startScan returns a list of available Wi-Fi networks. They are primarily identified by SSID.
  • WiFiManager#getConfiguredNetworks returns a list of the Wi-Fi networks configured on the device, also indexed by SSID, but they are not necessarily currently available.
  • ConnectivityManager#getAllNetworks returns a list of networks that are being interacted with by the phone. This is necessary as from Lollipop onwards a device may be connected to multiple networks at once, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, etc… The current state of each is available by calling ConnectivityManager#getNetworkInfo and is identified by a network ID.
In all versions of Android you start by scanning for available Wi-Fi networks with WiFiManager#startScan, iterate through theScanResults looking for the SSID of your external Wi-Fi device. Once you’ve found it you can check if it is already a configured network using WifiManager#getConfiguredNetworks and iterating through the WifiConfigurations returned, matching on SSID. It’s worth noting that the SSIDs of the configured networks are enclosed in double quotes, whilst the SSIDs returned inScanResults are not.
If your network is configured you can obtain the network ID from the WifiConfiguration object. Otherwise you can configure it using WifiManager#addNetwork and keep track of the network id that is returned.
To connect to the Wi-Fi network, register a BroadcastReceiver that listens forWifiManager.NETWORK_STATE_CHANGED_ACTION and then call WifiManager.enableNetwork (int netId, boolean disableOthers), passing in your network ID. The enableNetwork call disables all the other Wi-Fi access points for the next scan, locates the one you’ve requested and connects to it. When you receive the network broadcasts you can check withWifiManager#getConnectionInfo that you’re successfully connected to the correct network. But, on Lollipop and above, if that network doesn’t have internet connectivity network, requests will not be routed to it.
Routing network requests
To direct all the network requests from your app to an external Wi-Fi device, callConnectivityManager#setProcessDefaultNetwork on Lollipop devices, and on Marshmallow callConnectivityManager#bindProcessToNetwork instead, which is a direct API replacement. Note that these calls require android.permission.INTERNET; otherwise they will just return false.
Alternatively, if you’d like to route some of your app traffic to the Wi-Fi device and some to the Internet over the mobile network:
Now you can keep your users connected whilst they benefit from your innovative Wi-Fi enabled products.

Money Forward improves user engagement and ensures user security on Google Play

Money Forward, founded in Japan, allows you to manage your financial information from bank accounts, credit cards, through to loyalty points and bonds, all from a single app that is updated in real time. Learn how Money Forward increased user engagement using Material Design, and how they maintain user security on Android.

Android 6.0: What's New With Marshmallow?

Android 6.0 Marshmallow
While Apple takes much of the press in terms of smartphones, Android users are more numerous than their iOS counterparts. With the imminent release of yet another iPhone and iOS 9, you might wonder how Google will counter. Meet Android 6.0: Marshmallow. The following is everything you should know about the new Android operating system and how it stacks up against the best Apple has to offer.

Android Pay

While Android and iOS seem to only run in different directions, they do get drawn together by each other's innovations. Android has a slew of updates for Marshmallow that iPhone 6 users will already be familiar with, one of which is Android Pay. Although Google Wallet failed in its attempt, it was largely due in part to a lack of infrastructure. But the advent of Android Pay will see a much more comprehensive system, with many store owners and businesses already in possession of the electronic dock Android Pay will utilize.


One of the most sought after upgrades is extended battery life. With Doze, Android Marshmallow will stretch your smartphone's life considerably. Doze even knows when your phone is prone and face down, which enacts a battery save mode that extends your battery life. According to Digital Spy Doze doubles your smartphone's or tablet's battery life.

Google Now

Google Now is Google’s response to iOS's Siri. In Marshmallow, Google Now will be capable of far more thorough conversations. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will even be able to understand context. Whether you’re texting with friends about dinner plans or talking with your significant other about movie times, Google Now will be listening and ready with suggestions.


Chrome is not only faster and sleeker than ever before, but it also can monitor your Internet connection and limit the strain on your connection by cutting out superfluous content. For example, if your connection is bad, you may see blank boxes rather than intricate images while online. Chrome also sports a new Offline Mode, which comes in handy for saving websites you want to refer to later when Internet or cell data isn’t an option.

Google Photos

Google Photos has long been a subsidiary of Google Plus, but with Marshmallow, Google Photos will be its own beast. Google Photos will allow unlimited saved pictures of up to 16MB a piece and video of 1080p. This is a cloud service, so you won’t have to store photos or video on your phone and eat up its memory.

Now on Tap

With Now on Tap, Google Now works inside apps for a sleeker, faster and voice-controlled navigation process to super charge one of its most beloved features. Use Now on Tap by simply pressing and holding the screen until Google Now makes an educated guess at what will be the most helpful to you at the time. It works in accordance w

Appsdrop - The way to find quality apps

appsdrop app iconAppsDrop is a free Android app whose focus is to help users to install only good apps.
It is like a quality filter for Google Play. Google Play is not a bad search engine, but it provide so many results that it is difficult to compare them to find the best ones. Appsdrop doesn't have millions of apps; just the best ones according to their editors. This way is easy to discover and download interesting apps.
Using AppsDrop I found it easy to find apps as the design is quite similar to Google Play or App Store. Every app has an independent review by an editor so it is a bit better than the common developer review found in Google Play. Nevertheless, they don't have as many user reviews as the original market.
Apps are sorted in more than 300 categories, so it is easier to browse apps than in Google Play where they rely only on their search engine. And more than 8.000 apps has been reviewed by their team. So it seems an interesting app.
Whay I liked the most was their filtering options. You can select only free apps, recommended apps, new apps... I found interesting apps when I tested it. More common questions about AppsDrop. You should give it a try!
featured Cathegory screenshot from Appsdrop appsearch results screenshot from Appsdrop app
appsdrop home screen

Why Your Ecommerce Store Needs a Mobile App

Ecommerce has become the mainstay of how a lot of people shop in today's world. Although the competition can be great, there are many methods you could develop that may set you above the competition. For example, targeting mobile devices has potential to enhance your overall sales income online. According to statistics, more than four out of five people prefer to use apps tailored for shopping over websites with responsive designs.
By the end of 2015, it's estimated that mobile commerce will account for more than $160 billion in sales around the world. Without an app to inspire customers to make a purchase, you may be losing out on some of that proverbial pie. Investing in a Mcommerce mobile app builder can help prevent the loss of sales from those customers. With more mobile devices activated every year, you may be losing out on sales the longer you wait. This means your competition is relishing in your inability to meet the demands of online shoppers.
Mobile ecommerce infographic