Google I/O: New Features for Android Developers

Last week, Bottle Rocket’s Luke Wallace attended Google I/O, an annual developer-focused conference held in San Francisco. The conference gave an in-depth look at Google’s technologies, plus quite a few sessions on design and business.

Luke returned with plenty of information to share with fellow Rocketeers – especially Android developers.

“During the keynote and sessions, we heard a high-level overview of some of the new Android features coming from Google,” Luke said. “Nearly all are being implemented so we can use them right away, meaning they are seriously combating the fragmentation concerns expressed inside and outside the industry.”

Luke feels that the following features are key for Android developers:

  • Location, Location, Location – Three new APIs will allow for better detection of location, activity recognition (if the user is walking, biking or driving) and geofencing
  • Google Cloud Messaging – Enhanced to allow upstream messaging (pushing back from the device) and persistent connections.
  • Google Play Game Services – Similar to GameCenter, but available on Android and iOS, allowing for saved games to be cross-platform.
  • New Development Tools – A new development environment toolkit based on ItelliJ, with nice features for developers.
  • Volley – A new networking library that makes downloading feeds and images much easier.
  • New Support Library – DrawerLayout for making navigation drawers and more.

For a complete list of Google I/O sessions, including videos, click here.