API Stories June 27, 2016

android-mobile-vision-api

Announced last August, the Mobile Vision API allows app developers to detect faces in images and video. The API was briefly removed, however, and today it makes a return as part of Google Play Services 9.2. A new Text API has also been added and will give developers access to optical character recognition.

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API Stories May 26, 2016

GOOGLE

After closing arguments wrapped up in the Google vs. Oracle case on Monday, the jury has come to a decision over the use of Java code in Android. Announced moments ago, the jury sided unanimously in Google’s favor.

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API Stories May 19, 2016

awareness-api

Update 6/27: The Google Awareness API is now available to all developers as part of Play Services 9.2. Using seven types of context, apps can intelligently react to what users are doing. The Snapshot API lets developers request information about the user’s current context, while the Fence API lets an app react to changes in a user’s context.

Google worked closely with several partners, including real estate site Trulia to suggest open houses and SuperPlayer Music to suggest music to match the mood. New developer documentation provides more details on how to implement.


With Assistant, Google wants to build technology that is conversational and helpful. Many of the company’s services are being updated to be more useful and Google wants third-party apps to be the same. With the new Awareness API, developers will be able to build apps that intelligently react to a user’s current situation.

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API Stories May 10, 2016

YouTube gives Creators access to more historical data, adds video progress bar in Home feed

Announced in October, the YouTube Reporting API lets Creators see detailed metrics about their videos. Today, the API has been updated with historical data going back 180 days. In other features, the Android app is testing a feature that allows users to quickly see their progress through a video.

API Stories April 25, 2016

fenix-1

Update: And it’s back. It seems Twitter has extended grace and granted the developer more tokens.

Fenix is without a doubt one of the most popular Twitter clients for Android, but it looks like the app’s days are numbered (if not already depleted). Announced today on Twitter, the developer says that the app has run out of Twitter API tokens and will no longer be accepting new users (although current users of the app may continue using it of course)…

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API Stories April 4, 2016

Google announces new faster API for Google Cloud Datastore

Today Google has announced a new faster API for its NoSQL database for web and mobile apps. It goes without saying that this is read as a foreign language to anyone without a development background, Google says that it  has “redesigned the underlying architecture that supports the cross-platform API for accessing Datastore outside of Google App Engine, such as from Google Container Engine and Google Compute Engine“…

API Stories March 9, 2016

Chrome 49 for Android arrives w/ improved background sync, new APIs, nearby beacon notifications, & more

Chrome 49 for Android, which introduces improved background sync, new APIs, notifications for nearby smart beacons, and more, is today available to all users through Google’s public, stable release channel.

API Stories September 10, 2015

bazel-google-beta

Google has just released Bazel as a public beta, and the company claims it can help engineers build software quickly, and correctly. It can be used to build client and server software for Android and iOS and is available for Linux and OS X. Despite it being labelled as a public beta, Google’s engineers have been using it for a very long time. As betas go, it’s a very thoroughly tried and tested one.

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API Stories August 18, 2015

Pocket Casts, the popular podcast player for iOS and Android, has been updated on Android to take advantage of Google’s new Nearby technologies for enabling interactions between devices within a close proximity of one another.

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API Stories August 13, 2015

Google has today completed its roll-out of Google Play services version 7.8, the package of app tools and APIs that Google manages and which make it stand out from those who use the open source version of Android to create their own mobile platforms. With version 7.8 comes some new technology that will make it easier for developers to recognize when you’re smiling into your Android device’s camera.

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API Stories August 10, 2015

Google announces plans to bring Vulkan 3D rendering API to Android

Google today announced at SIGGRAPH 2015 that it plans to bring Vulkan, a 3D rendering API, to Android. You can read more about the new API over the Android Developers blog, but here’s the gist:

In order to address some of the sources of CPU overhead and provide developers with more explicit control over rendering, we’ve been working to bring a new 3D rendering API, Vulkan™, to Android. Like OpenGL™ ES, Vulkan is an open standard for 3D graphics and rendering maintained by Khronos. Vulkan is being designed from the ground up to minimize CPU overhead in the driver, and allow your application to control GPU operation more directly. Vulkan also enables better parallelization by allowing multiple threads to perform work such as command buffer construction at once.

Android has long supported OpenGL, and now Google is introducing Vulkan to hopefully combat some of the sources of CPU overhead. The company says that it will give developers “more explicit control over rendering,” and will enable “better parallelization”.

Google says that it’s working hard to “help create, test, and ship Vulkan,” but also plans to continue supporting the simplicity of OpenGL ES. You’ll be able to choose which API is right for you, and Google says that it is committed to “providing an excellent developer experience” either way.

API Stories June 29, 2015

Google Classroom API

Google is steadily improving its Classroom feature introduced last year that lets teachers set up lesson plans and students use apps in education. Today Google unveiled a number of improvements coming to Classroom including a developer API, a new share button, mobile notifications, and more. expand full story

API Stories June 24, 2015

Play Store dev guidelines updated w/ sensitive events policy, in-app currency provision, more

 

Google has today pushed some minor — although notable — updates to the Play Store Developer Program Policies, including some brand new policies and provisions and clarified wording for others.

Most notable (possibly added due to recent events) is a new “Sensitive Events” policy. According to the new guidelines, Google doesn’t “allow content which may be deemed as capitalizing on or lacking reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, atrocity, conflict, death, or other tragic event.” Somewhat related, the new policies also clarify wording in the deceptive behavior section to more clearly lay out the expectations for apps being unique and, well, not deceptive.

The Mountain View company has also made some changes to payments policies. Language has been clarified in the payment section, and Google has also added a new provision which states that “in-app virtual currencies must only be used within the app where they were first purchased.” Among other minor changes, Google has also specified that apps should not go messing with or improperly access developer APIs.

To read the new Developer Program policies, head over to Google’s website.

API Stories May 21, 2015

Android_robot.svg

Google is set to launch Android ‘M’ at Google I/O next week, and now a new report from BuzzFeed News suggests that the company will be launching native fingerprint authentication features with the new version…

Google’s new mobile operating system, Android M, will include native fingerprint authentication, BuzzFeed News has learned. The new functionality will allow users to log in to all of the supported applications on their Android devices without entering a password.

The report is very light on details, but it does note that users will be able to log in to “all supported applications” on their devices without entering a password. Unless there are some unforeseen circumstances, it seems we’ll be hearing  more about the feature in just about a week… expand full story

API Stories February 13, 2015

Google launches Android WebView beta channel for developers

Google today announced that it’s launching a beta channel or Android WebView, the API many apps use to display webpages. Google noted that with Android 5.0 Lollipop, it now “has the ability to update WebView independently.” It will begin to allow developers to use the new beta channel for testing the latest updates to WebView starting today:

WebView updates bring numerous bug fixes, new web platform APIs and updates from Chromium. If you’re making use of the WebView in your app, becoming a beta channel tester will give you an early start with new APIs as well as the chance to test your app before the WebView rolls out to your users.

Developers interested in becoming beta testers can join the community here in order to sign up for the program and install the WebView beta from Google Play.

API Stories January 14, 2015

Logitech announces Harmony API, begins accepting applications for beta access

Logitech has announed a new API for developers that will allow them to integrate their software with the many smart home devices supported by the Harmony system. There are currently over 270,000 different automation products and services that work with the Harmony API.

The API will enable the creation of new control platforms that let users carry out automated tasks using voice control, gestures, and more. Many developers have already been granted beta access, and others who would like to give the system a try can request access by emailing the company. The full press release is available below.

API Stories December 12, 2014

google_earth

Google today announced that it is sunsetting the Google Earth API. The company says its reasoning for shutting the API is that both Firefox and its own Chrome browser are removing support for Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface plugins due to security reasons. A lack of cross-platform support, specifically on mobile devices, also contributed to the decision to shutter the Earth API.

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API Stories December 10, 2014

Developers: Official Android Wear watch face API now available

Following the announce of the next major version of Android Wear this morning, Google has today announced that the official API for Android Wear watch faces is available to developers. The company has also published a video to  help give some guidelines to developers on how to take advantage of the API and help them get started.

We’re pleased to announce that the official Android Wear Watch Face API is now available for developers. Watch faces give users even more ways to express their personal style, while creating an opportunity for developers to customize the most prominent UI feature of the watches. Watch faces have been the most requested feature from users and developers alike, and we can’t wait to see what you build for them.

Google asks that developers have their watch faces transitioned to the new API by January 31st, 2015, after which point Google says they plan to completely remove support for watch faces that aren’t built with the API.

You can check out the official watch face API over at the Google Developers website. You’ll need Android Studio 1.0.0 or higher, an Android device with version 4.3 (API level 18) or higher, and an Android Wear watch with version 5.0 (API level 21) or higher to start building faces.

API Stories December 8, 2014

Google Play Services 6.5 now available from Android SDK Manager

The latest version of Google Play Services for Android is now available to developers through Android SDK Manager. Google Play Services 6.5 features several new developer features for its Maps, Fit, and other APIs. Moreover, there is a new “lite mode” that allows developers to include a static map image in locations that would normally make it impractical or impossible to manipulate the map.

API Stories December 3, 2014

Dropbox for Business API officially announced for corporate IT systems

Dropbox today officially announced its Dropbox for Business API allowing corporate IT systems to integrate the cloud-syncing platform for businesses into their own solutions. Dropbox says its newly announced Business API (application programming interface) will let developers take advantage of “team-level functionality”  and corporate partners to further integrate Dropbox for Business into their own systems. Specifically, the Dropbox for Business API will provide the following benefits for partners:

API Stories October 29, 2014

unnamed

Version 3.5 of the Google for Android application includes a new API that developers can take advantage of to activate “Ok Google” functionality within their own apps. According to the Android developer blog, software makers can add a few lines of code to their app to enable users to search it using a global voice command.

Once the feature has been integrated into an app (Talon, for example), users will be able to say things like “Ok Google, search for 9to5google in Talon” to trigger a search for that term within Talon.

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API Stories October 23, 2014

Google brings extra functionality to Forms w/ Add-ons support

Google previously allowed developers to make add-ons that bring extra functionality to its Google Docs and Sheets web apps, and now Google is bringing the same feature to its Forms app. Google gives a few examples of add-ons that might be handy for Forms. Imagine, for example,“setting a survey end date, sending custom emails based on responses, storing lists of choices that you frequently add to questions, and more.”

Over the last few months, Forms has been getting a bunch of updates to help you make good looking surveys, like new theme choices and the ability to create your own personalized themes. To give you even more flexibility and options, we’re introducing add-ons for Forms—new tools, created by developer partners, that deliver even more features to your surveys (just like add-ons for Docs and Sheets).

Google highlighted a few add-ons that are already available:

  • formLimiter: Close your survey automatically, after a maximum number of responses is reached, or at a date and time of your choosing.
  • Ultradox Trigger: Create custom emails, reports, invoices, newsletters, etc., based on information that people enter into your form.
  • Form Values: Store and pull from lists that you use regularly in Forms, like a list of staff, students, rooms, resources or anything you want.

Add-ons for Forms are accessible from a new “Add-ons” menu in the app or this link. Developers interested in learning more about developing add-ons can do so here.

API Stories July 29, 2014

Google Play Developer API now available to all developers

Google announced on Tuesday that it has made the Google Play Developer Publishing API available to all developers, allowing for various publishing and management tasks for apps. The API can be used for managing in-app products and subscriptions, products purchase status, subscriptions purchase management, uploading new versions of an app, releasing apps by assigning APKs to various tracks, and creating and modifying Play Store listings. 

API Stories July 17, 2014

samsung-gear-live-android-wear (704×613) 2014-07-04 10-27-21 2014-07-04 10-27-23

When Android Wear first launched, it was unclear whether Google was going to be offering official support for third-party watch faces. This uncertainty definitely didn’t stop developers from just going ahead and making some, but Google has today come out to say that they’re “hard at work” on an official watch face API.

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API Stories July 9, 2014

Chromecast updated with full support for closed captions on Android, Chrome and iOS

 

Google has released an update for the Google Cast SDK, bringing full closed caption support to Chromecast on Android, Chrome and iOS devices. A new version of the Media Player Library (0.8.0) is also available. Moreover, the receiver SDK, the default receiver and the styled media receiver now also have closed caption support.

A detailed list of changes are outlined in the official release notes.

API Stories June 25, 2014

Google introduces new API beta that makes it easier for apps to integrate Gmail features

Yet another announcement from Google I/O today comes in the form of a new Gmail API beta that will make it easier for developers to integrate Gmail features into their apps:

While IMAP is great at what it was designed for (connecting email clients to email servers in a standard way), it wasn’t really designed to do all of the cool things that you have been working on, which is why this week at Google I/O, we’re launching the beta of the new Gmail API.

Designed to let you easily deliver Gmail-enabled features, this new API is a standard Google API, which gives RESTful access to a user’s mailbox under OAuth 2.0 authorization. It supports CRUD operations on true Gmail datatypes such as messages, threads, labels and drafts.

So what’s the benefit over IMAP or other solutions that developers have already been using to integrate Gmail features? Google says the new API, unlike IMAP, “gives fine-grained control to a user’s mailbox.” That means that an app, for example, “only needs to send mail on behalf of a user and does not need to read mail, you can limit your permission request to send-only.” There are also other benefits like speed:

To keep in sync, the API allows you to query the inbox change history, thereby avoiding the need to do “archaeology” to figure out what changed. Finally, a huge benefit is speed. While there’s still some tuning to be done (“beta” – remember?), results from our tests and feedback from pre-release developers suggest that the new Gmail API is delivering dramatic performance improvements over IMAP for web application use cases.

Google has more on the new API here. 

API Stories February 21, 2014

Google releases public beta version of Google Cast Chrome extension

After making the Google Cast SDK public and launching a dedicated forum for Chromecast, Google has announced a public beta version of the Google Cast extension available in the Chrome Web Store.

The Google Cast extension allows users to beam content from a Chrome tab on their desktop to a Chromecast or other devices that support he Google Cast standard. Like Google’s beta versions of Chrome and other apps, the public beta release will provide devs and anyone else that downloads it to the latest features and APIs.

More info on the new beta is available from Google Developer Advocate Shawn Shen on Google+.

API Stories January 17, 2014

Chrome 33 beta brings Custom Elements, speech synthesis API, & web payments on Mac

Following the release of Chrome 32 on Google’s stable release channel, today Chrome 33 has moved into beta bringing access to Custom Elements, a Web Speech API for speech recognition and synthesis, and more. The new Custom Elements will allow developers to add new HTML elements in web applications in “much cleaner ways” as highlighted by Google in the sample code for a chat app above. With the spec developers will able to:

  1. Define new HTML/DOM elements
  2. Create elements that extend from other elements
  3. Logically bundle together custom functionality into a single tag
  4. Extend the API of existing DOM elements

The release also includes access to the Web Speech API for adding speech recognition and synthesis features to web pages. Google gives the example of dictations being “synthesized to play back in a different language.” Google described some of the other updates in the release including the availability of the requestAutocomplete API for easily implementing web payments on Mac:

Other web platform changes in this release

  • The requestAutocomplete API for easy web payments is now available on Mac.
  • The Page Visibility API has been unprefixed.
  • WebFont downloading has been optimized so that fonts (at the median) are available before Blink layout is done, meaning that the net latency impact of using a webfont is usually zero.
  • The Blink CSS Animations and Transitions implementations are now powered by the newWeb Animations model. This change should not affect developers or sites; let us know if it does.
  • Chrome now supports the latest version of the Web Notification API. We’ll be deprecating support for the legacy API down the road, so please update your websites if they’re using it.

API Stories January 16, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 10.15.22 PM

 

With rumors of Apple’s upcoming iWatch and its focus on fitness, it’s not a stretch to think that Google couldn’t also be exploring a similar use for its own devices. Now, as spotted by the unofficial Google Operating System blog, it seems we have our first glimpse at a fitness API for Android.

Whether this API will become available in a future Android update or will require new hardware or sensors to fully operate is not yet known. The company has already included some fitness sensors with its Nexus 5, but there’s currently no way for other devices to take advantage of similar data natively. A system fitness API could open up new doors, not just for Google’s own software, but for third-party developers like Nike.

API Stories July 9, 2013

Dropbox-API-Android

Dropbox kicked off its developer conference in San Francisco today and with it came a few updates including new tools for devs and the announcement that the service now has 175 million users. That’s up about 75 million users from just last November.

The developer conference also included some announcements about new tools coming to let third-party app and website developers easier integrate Dropbox. The company is introducing a platform for developers that includes a new API called Datastores, allowing app devs to store and sync data from their apps across multiple devices and platforms. It’s something developers have been doing on their own for a while (for example 1Password), but now Dropbox is making easy for all:

The Datastore API provides developers a new way to sync data beyond files across a variety of devices and platforms. The Datastore API allows developers to save their app’s structured data (e.g. contacts, to-do items, and game state) on Dropbox and handles all the magic necessary to sync it quickly and reliably. Users of a Datastore-enabled app can be sure their data will be up-to-date across all their devices whether online or offline.

It also showed off new “Drop-ins” that will let devs easily integrate the ability to open and save from Dropbox within their apps: expand full story

API Stories June 19, 2013

happy-retirement-gr

Following Google’s announcement that its RSS Reader product would be retired on July 1st, apps like Feedly that relied on the Google Reader backend announced big plans to help itself and other apps through the transition. Feedly has been preparing its move to its own “feedly cloud” back end since the announcement, and earlier this month transitioned its own iOS client to the platform. Today, Feedly is officially launching the new back end and API, as well as a brand new web interface and the first apps to integrate the feedly cloud platform:

As of today, feedly cloud is now live, providing a fast and scalable infrastructure that serves as the backbone to feedly, as well as a number of connected applications. Feedly cloud is open today to all users visiting http://feedly.com, providing a simple one-click migration path from Google Reader.  And thanks to the great developer community that has gathered around it, providing multiple safe and sound alternatives to Google Reader.  With the release of feedly cloud, feedly today transitions from a product to a platform. We are also today delivering a new, completely stand-alone Web version of feedly.

On top of the new API and feedly cloud back end, the company is also delivering on one of the most requested features for the service: a standalone new web interface that doesn’t require any plugins or browser extensions. expand full story

API Stories April 1, 2013

If Nuance gets its way with the just announced ‘Voice Ads’ mobile advertising platform, soon every mobile ad could include Siri-like functionality that lets you communicate with and ask questions about the product being advertised.

Nuance, the company behind the voice recognition module now used in Apple’s Siri, today announced a new project to bring its voice recognition technology to the mobile advertising world. The basic concept of the new platform, which Nuance made available through an SDK for advertising companies, is to bring a two-way, interactive conversation to mobile ads. As highlighted by Nuance in the video above, ads that implement the Voice Ads platform will allow users to engage in a Siri-like conversation with an advertisement:

Nuance Voice Ads gives mobile advertisers and creative agencies an opportunity to go beyond the limitations of the four-inch mobile device screen and create a conversation with consumers through the power of voice recognition. Voice Ads finally creates an opportunity for brands to deepen the relationship with their consumers, with targeted interactive ads that deeply engage their core audience – much in the way that the world’s most popular mobile personal assistants have deepened consumers’ relationship with their mobile phones.

In the demo above, Nuance shows an advertisement for a fictional deodorant brand that uses a magic 8-ball theme to answer any question that users might have. The ad of course ends in a pitch for the product in question, as you might expect. Other ads could allow users to ask specific questions about a product’s release date or specs…

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API Stories December 3, 2012

Google Play services v2.0 includes Google Maps Android API

The Android Developers blog just unveiled version 2.0 for Google Play services.

Google Play services is a new platform that provides developers with improved integration for Google products. The latest version of the platform includes two new APIs, and the most notable one is an anticipated upgrade for Maps.

According to the announcing blog post, the new Google Maps Android API allows developers to “bring many of the recent features of Google Maps for Android to your Android apps.” The API is available supports Froyo devices and up:

The new API uses vector-based maps that support 2D and 3D views, and allow users to tilt and rotate the map with simple gestures. Along with the layers you’ve come to know from Google Maps such as satellite, hybrid, terrain and traffic, the new API lets you include indoor maps for many major airports and shopping centers in your app.

Google further launched Photo Sphere mode in the Camera for Android 4.2, which allows users to create panoramas, and now it is releasing new APIs that enable “developers, businesses, and photographers to explore new uses of Photo Sphere for work and for play.”

Photo Sphere is now an open format, too, so users can create and access it via the web and mobile devices. Go to the Android Developers blog for more information on either API key.

API Stories November 16, 2012

Google just gave itself a pat on the back by detailing how Google Consumer Surveys efficiently polls anonymous web users and helps to analyze voter preferences.

“So how’d you all do in your first election with us?” wrote Googler Brett Slatkin on the official Google Politics blog, “Pretty spectacularly.”

FiveThiryEight’s Nate Silver, a media-dubbed “high priest” of polling, called Google Consumer Surveys the “No. 1 most accurate poll online and the No. 2 most accurate poll overall,” according to Slatkin, while the Pew Research Center said Google’s surveys will “likely be an important addition to the research tool kit available to pollsters.”

The surveys run across the web and subsequently earn websites money for showing them, and web surfers can then anonymously submit their responses, and the cropped data gives publishers, such as Texas Tribune, Denver Post, etc., as well as political campaigns, academics, start-ups, and marketers, detailed research to better improve their products.

In related news, Google does more than collect data; the Internet giant also supplies it. Eric Hysen, of the Google Politics and Elections team, said the search engine saw “unprecedented digital engagement in this election on Google and across the web” during the 2012 U.S. Elections.

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API Stories November 13, 2012

Today, alongside the launch of Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, Google is officially making the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean SDK available to developers. Included in the release are the lock screen widgets, the Daydream interactive screensaver mode, enhanced support for external displays, and more. Developers can download the Android 4.2 platform from the Android SDK Manager. Google also has an overview of what’s new on its website and an API overview here.

The full release notes from Google (via the Android Developers Blog) are below:

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API Stories November 15, 2011

Google announced in a post today on the AdWords blog that a new API for third-party apps will allow businesses to manage their branded Google+ pages through social media management services like HootSuite.

Initially the API will only be open to six partners including Buddy Media, Involver, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Vitrue, and HootSuite. Starting with selects users, these services will allow businesses to manage their circles, make posts to their Google+ page, and monitor activity and analytics. On the Hootsuite website, for instance, features listed include the ability to manage circles, as well as “monitor, search, share, and post” right within the app’s interface.

The API will inevitably be opened up to more third-party apps after the initial experiment, and social media management companies can already click here to sign up. Below is an image showing Google+ integration in the updated HootSuite dashboard, which is probably the most in-depth solution, and it looks like just about every aspect of a Google+ page has been included. expand full story

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