20 October 2016

Android Developer Stories: drupe and Noom expand globally by localising their apps on Google Play

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Marketing Programs Manager, Google Play

Interested in growing your app on a global scale? See how two app developers localized their apps in unique ways to drive revenue and user engagement.


drupe is a communications app that utilizes the openness of android to build a truly native experience delivering highly contextual recommendations to their users across the world.

Key to achieving international growth, drupe has translated their app in 17 languages, and their store listing page in 28 languages. This led to an increase in conversion and retention rates. Additionally, when entering India, the team noticed several user reviews requesting integration with a specific messaging app widely used in the Indian market. Through a combination of this integration, adding Hindi language translation, and other new features, drupe saw improved performance. In six months, daily active users increased 300%, and actions per average daily user increased 25% in the Indian market.


Noom is a health & fitness app that has achieved an 80% increase in international revenue growth on Android over the past three years by localizing their app with unique cultural behaviors, cuisines, and local-market coaches.

In addition to translating their app and store listing page, Noom conducted extensive analysis to determine the right financial model tailored to each international market. This included evaluation of their competitive landscape and local health and wellness spending behavior, in addition to running pricing experiments to determine the optimal offering between subscriptions, IAPs, or a premium app.

Use the Localization Checklist to learn more about tailoring your app for different markets to drive installs and revenue, and to create a better overall user experience. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date on new features and learn best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

Read the full articles for drupe and Noom.

19 October 2016

Now available: Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

A couple of weeks ago we announced that a developer preview of Android 7.1 Nougat was on the way. You can get started with this new release today by downloading the SDK and tools. To get the 7.1 release on your eligible device, enroll your device in the Android Beta program. If your device is already enrolled, you'll receive the update automatically.

What’s in the Developer Preview?

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview gives you everything you need to test your app on the new platform or extend it with new features like app shortcuts and image keyboard support. It includes an updated SDK and tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported devices.

We’re continuing the model we used in N and earlier releases, and with Android 7.1 being an incremental release there are a few differences to highlight:

  • Since 7.1 has already launched on Pixel, we’re delivering the initial Developer Preview at beta quality for the Nexus lineup of devices. The goal is to tease out any device-specific issues.
  • We’ve finalized the new APIs as API Level 25
  • We’ve opened up publishing on Google Play for apps targeting the new API level, so you can update your apps soon as you are ready.

After the initial preview release, we plan to deliver an update in November followed by the final public release to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) in December. Initially available on Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, we’ll extend the Developer Preview to other devices in November.

Get your apps ready for Android 7.1

To get started, update to Android Studio 2.2.2 and download API Level 25 platform, emulator system images and tools. The final API Level 25 SDK is available for download through the SDK Manager in Android Studio.

Once you’ve installed the API Level 25 SDK, you can update your project’s compileSdkVersion to 25 to build and test against the new APIs. If you’re doing compatibility testing, we recommend updating your app’s targetSdkVersion to 25 to test your app with compatibility behaviors disabled. For details on how to set up your app with the API Level 25 SDK, see Set up the Preview.

If you’re adding app shortcuts or circular launcher icons to your app, you can use Android Studio’s built-in Image Asset Studio to quickly help you create icons of different sizes that meet the material design guidelines.

The Google APIs Emulator System images shipped with the Android API Level 25 SDK include support for round icons and the new Google Pixel Launcher. The Google API system image allows you to test how your app’s circular app icons look in devices that support circular icons. Also, if you are developing live wallpapers, you can also use the the new system images with the Android Emulator to test the enhanced preview metadata in Android 7.1.

To help you add image keyboard support, you can use the Messenger and Google Keyboard apps included in the preview system images for testing as they include support for this new API.

Along with the API Level 25 SDK, we have also updated the Android Support Library to 25.0.0. The new version lets you add image keyboard support with compatibility back to API level 13. It also introduces BottomNavigationView widget, which implements the bottom navigation pattern from the material design guidelines.

For details on API Level 25 check out the API diffs and the updated API reference on the developer preview site.

Image keyboard support on Nexus 6P

You can use the Android Emulator in Android Studio to test your circular app icons & shortcuts in a launcher

App shortcuts on Nexus 6P

You can use the Image Asset tool to quickly create circular icon assets.

Publish your apps to alpha, beta or production channels in Google Play

Since the Android 7.1 APIs are final, you can publish updates compiling with, and optionally targeting, API 25 to Google Play. You can now publish app updates that use API 25 to your alpha, beta, or even production channels in the Google Play Developer Console. In this way, push your app updates to users whose devices are running Android 7.1, such as Pixel and Android Beta devices.

How to Get Android 7.1 Developer Preview on Your Eligible Device

If you are already enrolled in the Android Beta program, then your eligible enrolled devices will get the Android 7.1 Developer Preview update right away, no action is needed on your part. If you aren’t yet enrolled in Android Beta, the easiest way to get started is to visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet -- you’ll soon receive this (and later) preview updates over-the-air. If you have an enrolled device and do not want to receive the update, just visit Android Beta and unenroll the device. You can also download and flash this update manually.

We welcome your feedback in the Developer Preview issue tracker, N Preview Developer community, or Android Beta community as we work towards the consumer release in December!

13 October 2016

Tips to help you stay on the right side of Google Play policy

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Today we have released a new video ‘10 tips to stay on the right side of Google Play policy’. The video provides 10 best practices to help you develop and launch apps and games which follow Google Play’s Developer Program Policies.

It accompanies the recently published News video series and is part of our 10 tips for success on Google Play video series.

Watch the video to learn how to review your app, to ensure you have appropriate content and the rights to use it, how to handle user data, and more. Also, find out how to stay up to date with policy updates and get support from our policy team.

You can also find more resources on Google Play policies in the Developer Policy Center, and also get the new Playbook for Developers app to learn more best practices to find success on Google Play.

12 October 2016

Android Developer Story: PicMix reaches global audience on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Inovidea Magna Global, is the developer of PicMix, a photo and video editing app, which has now evolved into an interest based social media platform powered by content discovery and social commerce. It has 27 million users worldwide, 65% of which are outside of its home market in Indonesia.

Hear Calvin Kizana, CEO, and Sandy Colondam, Co-founder, explain how they used Google Play tools, such as Store Listing Experiments and Material Design, to create a high quality app which appeals to a global audience.

Learn more about store listing experiments and find out how to get started with Material Design. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app and stay up-to-date with more features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

11 October 2016

Coming soon: Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Today, we’re taking the wraps off of Android 7.1 Nougat, the latest version of the platform. You probably saw a sneak peek of it at last week’s event. It’s an incremental update based on Android 7.0 but includes new features for consumers and developers — from platform Daydream VR support and A/B system updates to app shortcuts and image keyboard support.

We’ve already been working closely with device makers to get them ready for Android 7.1, and next we’ll give you access to this update so you can start getting your apps ready.

Later this month we’ll be bringing you the Android 7.1 platform as an open Developer Preview, similar to what we did for Android 7.0. You’ll be able to test and build on the new platform and try the latest features.

As always, we’ll deliver the Developer Preview through the Android Beta program, which makes it incredibly easy to participate.

What’s in Android 7.1?

Android 7.1 delivers the productivity, security, and performance of Android 7.0, along with a variety of optimizations and bug fixes, features, and new APIs (API level 25).

For developers, Android 7.1 adds new capabilities to help you drive engagement in your app and deliver an improved user experience, such as:

  • App shortcuts API — lets you surface key actions directly in the launcher and take your users deep into your app instantly. You can create up to 5 shortcuts, either statically or dynamically.
  • Circular app icons support — lets you provide great-looking rounded icon resources that match the look of Pixel and other launchers.
  • Enhanced live wallpaper metadata — lets you provide metadata about your live wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpapers as a preview. You can show existing metadata such as label, description, and author, as well as a new context URL and title to link to more information.

Android 7.1 also adds these much-requested developer features to the platform:

  • Image keyboard support — expands the types of content that users can enter from their keyboards, letting them express themselves through custom stickers, animated gifs, and more. Apps can tell the keyboard what types of content they accept, and keyboards can deliver all of the images and other content that they offer to the user. For broad compatibility, this API will also be available in the support library.
  • Storage manager Intent — lets an app take the user directly to a new Settings screen to clear unused files and free up storage space on the device.

For carriers and calling apps, the platform includes new APIs to support multi-endpoint calling and new telephony configuration options.

Image keyboard support on Nexus 6P

Image keyboard support: Let users input images and other content directly from a keyboard.

App shortcuts on Nexus 6P

App shortcuts: Use app shortcuts to surface key actions and take users deep into your app instantly.

Get your apps ready

Android 7.1 is an incremental release, but it’s always important to make sure your apps look and run great — especially as devices start to reach consumers.

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview will give you everything you need to test your apps or extend them with new features like shortcuts or keyboard images. Included are the SDK with new APIs, build tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported Nexus devices. We’ll also include a launcher and apps that support app shortcuts, and a keyboard and apps that support keyboard images.

If you want to receive the Developer Preview automatically, visit Android Beta and enroll your device. If you previously enrolled a device and haven’t unenrolled, your device will receive the update. If you already enrolled but don’t want to receive the update, visit Android Beta to unenroll the device as soon as possible.

Initially, we’ll offer the Developer Preview for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, extending to other supported devices by the end of the preview. At the final release of the Android 7.1.x platform, due in early December, we’ll roll out updates to the full lineup of supported devices — Nexus 6, 5X, 6P, 9, Player, Pixel C, and supported Android One devices — as well as Pixel and Pixel XL devices.

Coming to consumer devices soon

We’re working with our partners to bring Android 7.1 to devices in the ecosystem over the months ahead, so we recommend downloading the Android 7.1 Developer Preview as soon as it’s available. Test your apps for compatibility and optimize them to look their best, such as by providing circular app icons and adding app shortcuts.

Meanwhile, stay tuned, we’ll be sharing more details about the Developer Preview soon!

05 October 2016

Android Developer Story: Papumba grows revenue globally by localising its family titles on Google Play

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Papumba is an educational games developer based in Argentina, with a core team of four people and a vision to grow a global business.

Watch Gonzalo Rodriguez, CEO, and Andres Ballone, CFO, explain how working with a team of experts from across the world and adapting their games to local markets helped them find success globally.

Learn more about localized pricing and translation services to grow your app or game business globally on Google Play. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date on new features and learn best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

28 September 2016

Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3: Play Store and More

Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate

Today we’re launching the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 with a big new addition: Google Play on Android Wear. The Play Store app makes it easy for users to find and install apps directly on the watch, helping developers like you reach more users.

Play Store features

With Play Store for Android Wear, users can browse recommended apps in the home view and search for apps using voice, keyboard, handwriting, and recommended queries, so they can find apps more easily. Users can switch between multiple accounts, be part of alpha and beta tests, and update or uninstall apps in the “My apps” view on their watch, so they can manage apps more easily. Perhaps the coolest feature: If users want an app on their watch but not on their phone, they can install only the watch app. In fact, in Android Wear 2.0, phone apps are no longer necessary. You can now build and publish watch-only apps for users to discover on Google Play.

Why an on-watch store?

We asked developers like you what you wanted most out of Android Wear, and you told us you wanted to make it easier for users to discover apps. So we ran studies with users to find out where they expected and wanted to discover apps––and they repeatedly looked for and asked for a way to discover apps right on the watch itself. Along with improvements to app discovery on the phone and web, the Play Store on the watch helps users find apps right where they need them.

Publish your apps

To make your apps available on Play Store for Android Wear, just follow these steps. You’ll need to make sure your Android Wear 2.0 apps set minSdkVersion to 24 or higher, use the runtime permissions model, and are uploaded via multi-APK using the Play Developer Console. If your app supports Android Wear 1.0, the developer guide also covers the use of product flavors in Gradle.

Download the New Android Wear companion app

To set up Developer Preview 3, you’ll need to install a beta version of the Android Wear app on your phone, flash your watch to the latest preview release, and use the phone app to add a Google Account to your watch. These steps are detailed in Download and Test with a Device. If you don’t have a watch to test on, you can use the emulator as well.

Other additions in Developer Preview 3
Developer Preview 3 also includes:
  • Complications improvements: Starting with Developer Preview 3, watch face developers will need to request RECEIVE_COMPLICATION_DATA permission before the watch face can receive complication data. We have added ComplicationHelperActivity to make this easier. In addition, watch face developers can now set default complications, including a selection of system data complications which do not require special permission (e.g. battery level and step count), as well as data providers that have whitelisted the watch face. Lastly, there are behavior changes related to ComplicationData to 1) help better differentiate various scenarios leading to “empty data” and 2) ease development by returning a default value for fields not supported by a complication type instead of throwing a runtime exception.
  • New WearableRecyclerView: This new UI component helps developers display and manipulate vertical lists of items while optimizing for round displays.
  • Inline Action for Notifications: A new API makes it easy to take action on a notification right from the stream. Developers can specify which action is displayed inline at the bottom of the notification by calling setHintDisplayActionInline:
    NotificationCompat.Action replyAction =
        new NotificationCompat.Action.Builder(R.drawable.ic_message_white_24dp,
                "Reply", replyPendingIntent)
                .extend(new NotificationCompat.Action.WearableExtender()
  • Smart Reply: Android Wear now generates Smart Reply responses for MessagingStyle notifications. Smart Reply responses are generated by an entirely on-watch machine learning model using the context provided by the MessagingStyle notification, and no data is uploaded to the cloud to generate the responses.
  • And much more: Read about the complete list of changes in the Android Wear developer preview release notes.

    We’ve gotten tons of great feedback from the developer community about Android Wear 2.0––thank you! We’ve decided to continue the preview program into early 2017, at which point the first watches will receive Android Wear 2.0. Please keep the feedback coming by filing bugs or posting in our Android Wear Developers community, and stay tuned for Android Wear Developer Preview 4.