Now that Google I/O is over for this year, it is time to take a look and reflect a bit what were the big news and what are the biggest improvements for every Android developer’s day to day life.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
The latest incarnation of Android platform 4.1 (Jelly Bean) brings again a lot of improvements and new features that should excite Android developers as well as Android users. First, on new APIs Google is introducing Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) API for Android, App encryption, Smart app updates and enhanced Google Play services. On UX improvements Jelly Bean brings Expandable notifications, Resizable app widgets and Simplified task navigation. These are just a tip of the iceberg of new cool stuff on Android 4.1 – see the full list here.
New Google Nexus Devices
Google announced two new Nexus devices, a 7 inch high powered yet cheap ($199) tablet and a very cool Nexus Q home entertainment hub.
Nexus 7 is manufactured by Asus and it is built on Nvidia Tegra 3 hardware platform offering Quad core power plus kick ass graphics performance. Nexus Q is based on the same TI OMAP 4460 dual core hardware platform as Galaxy Nexus. Nexus Q opens a totally new category of Android devices and it will be very interesting to see where this takes Android. More detailed specs for Nexus 7 can be found here and for Nexus Q http://www.google.com/nexus/#/q.
Google released a new version (20) of Andoid developer toolkit (ADT) with long list of new improvements including, new Lint rules, Improved layout editor wih localization rendering preview, NDK (Native Developer Kit) support and a bunch of performance and memory fixes. You can check the full list here
Google Analytics for mobile
Google also announced Google Analytics for Mobile, a very poweful addition to other tools Google is offering to Android developers. This tool makes it possible to track both mobile web app as well as native Android app usage and integrates tightly with Google Play and gives very detailed info about app usage, most visited screens, most common paths through your app and even crash reporing support. During their presentation Google Analytics people put it nicely: “It’s really about tracking how visitors interact with content, and that content includes tracking how people are interacting with mobile devices.” Slightly surprisingly Google Analytics for Mobile is also available for iOS.