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New Android developer tools: Google Fit, Play Games extension, and new testing tools
Towards the end of its massive I/O keynote address, Google unveiled several new features that will allow app developers to create new and delightful experience for all Android users.
Google will roll out features that will make life easier for app developers and users, on three main directions – development, distribution, and monetization.
Starting with development, Google announced that app testing startup Appurify is joining its ranks, with Appurify’s services to become available under the freemium model. The company offers a cross-platform testing service, with global device support, and advanced features such as support for simulation of various connectivity conditions and detailed logs on indicators like CPU performance, battery consumption, and system stability.
The rumored fitness component of Android materialized as Google Fit, a platform similar to Play Games that offers a backend and interconnection options for app developers to tap into data collected by wearable devices and smartphones sensors. Google Fit will work with Android and iOS apps, offering a set of APIs that app devs will be able to use to quickly bring fitness data into their apps.
As a privacy protection measure, users will need to explicitly grant apps access to fitness data, probably through a new permission at app installation.
Google mentioned athletic goods companies Nike and Adidas as partners that will open up data from some of their devices to Fit APIs, with many other partners to join in the future. The Google Fit Platform will become available in the following weeks.
Next up, Google announced new features coming to the Play Games framework, such as game profiles, cloud saves, and quests. The company touted Play Games as the fastest growing mobile game network, and said 100 million users were added to the network in the past six months alone.
When it comes to monetization, Google announced that carrier billing is now available in 25 countries, and that users will soon be able to buy apps using carrier billing from tablets, even if the devices don’t have a cellular connection. In other words, if the user account on the tablet is signed up for carrier billing on a phone, the user will be able to buy apps from either device.
Finally, Google announced that it paid an impressive $5 billion to developers since Google I/O 2013, a 2.5X increase over the previous period.
Stay tuned for a full roundup of developer-oriented news coming out of Google I/O 2014.