APIs Stories May 6, 2015

Google has today released an open source exercise “game sample” to GitHub which utilizes a handful of Android technologies to demonstrate to developers how they can create fun games using Google Fit and Android Wear.

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APIs Stories January 21, 2015

Google Maps APIs gain improved transit directions for Android developers

Google today released a set of improvements to the Google Maps APIs for developers looking to use transit directions in their Android apps. Specifically, users can now receive fare info where available and make use of the same mode and routing options as the Google Maps app.

APIs Stories October 9, 2014

Google is still battling Oracle over code used in the search giant’s Android operating system.The Mountain View-based software company recently petitioned the US Supreme Court, arguing that the high court needs to protect innovation. Google is trying to overturn an appeals court ruling that Oracle has the right to copyright portions of the Java code found in Android.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

APIs Stories October 31, 2013

Google releases Google Play Services 4.0 w/ Google Mobile Ads SDK and new APIs for devs

Google has decided to launch the new Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat today at a quiet press event and alongside those announcements is also releasing Google Play Services 4.0. The update to the developer services platform includes the integration of Google Mobile Ads SDK, and also offers new features for Google+, Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs, and geofencing.

Google says the new Google Mobile Ads SDK lets those using AdMob to monetize their apps provide “seamless improvements” to users. For example, pushing bug fixes automatically. The new Play Services also include new Maps and Location features:

You can save power by requesting larger latency values for notifications alerting your app to users entering or exiting geofences, or request that entry alerts are sent only after a user stays within a geofence for a specified period of time. Setting generous dwell times helps to eliminate unwanted notifications when a user passes near a geofence or their location is seen to move across a boundary. The Maps API enhances map customization features, letting you specify marker opacity, fade-in effects, and visibility of 3D buildings. It’s also now possible to change ground overlay images.

WIth Google Play Services 4.0, Google is offering Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs to everyone with a simplified API. New Wallet Objects means “you can award loyalty points to a user’s saved rewards program ID for each applicable Google Wallet Instant Buy purchase.”

The the new Google Play services SDK is available to download now for developers to start developing with the new Android 4.4 APIs. You can learn more in Google’s blog post here.

Google also noted that it’s dropping support for Froyo in this release now that “over 97% of devices now running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or newer platform versions.”

APIs Stories August 13, 2013

Google announces Chrome Dev Summit coming Nov. 20-21 in Mountain View

Google announced today on Google+ that it will be holding a two-day Chrome Dev Summit later this year to discuss “new web APIs, multi-device workflows, performance tips and the guts of Blink.” The event will be held at Google’s HQ in Mountain View and it will also be live streamed to all that can’t make it on YouTube.

The dev summit is scheduled for November 20-21 and Google says registration for developers will open soon. No word on whether or not we might see some new product announcements, but it’s likely this will be a much smaller event that Google I/O and its recent Nexus 7 event.

Google has a website for the upcoming Chrome Dev Summit for those that want to learn more and a survey to find out what developers are interested in learning about at the event. Here’s a bit of what to expect:

  • Laughing in the face of dropped network connections
  • Optimizing the performance across GPU, CPU, and network
  • Maintaining and scaling your code
  • Jank busting and smooth scrolling
  • Testing workflows for multi-device deployments
  • Designing UX patterns for mobile web apps
  • Making friends with screens of all sizes
  • Directing the evolution of the web
  • Living in a declarative world with Web Components
  • Working smarter not harder with better workflow and tools

APIs Stories March 18, 2013

FastCompany today posted an in-depth look at the differences between Apple’s MapKit and Google’s recently launched Google Maps for iOS SDK from the perspective of developers. The lengthy piece gets insight from several iOS app developers with apps that rely on the SDKs and sheds some light on a few things that Apple is doing much better than Google despite a perception from users that Google Maps are superior:

“Google doesn’t currently charge for the Places API, but they do require a valid credit card for access–which gives you a quota of 100,000 daily requests. So you have to wonder if they plan to start charging sooner or later,” McKinlay explains. “That 100,000 limit perhaps sounds reasonable, but each user session can generate many requests–particularly when using the ‘autocomplete’ feature of Tube Tamer–and some types of requests count for 10 times the quota each, so it can get used up pretty quickly.”

While noting that Google wins out with location lookup services, 3D buildings, directions, geocoding, and better hybrid satellite imagery, the developers were also quick to point out downsides of the Google Maps SDK such as quotas for the Places API, an increased app size, and limitations with markers, gradient polylines, and overlays.

Developer of transportation app Tube Tamer, Bryce McKinlay, discussed some of the benefits of using Apple’s MapKit: expand full story

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