Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3: Play Store and More

Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer

Today we’re launching the third developer preview of href="">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

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 href="">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

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

Publish your apps

To make your apps available on Play Store for Android Wear, just href="">follow
these steps. You’ll need to make sure your Android Wear 2.0 apps set
minSdkVersion to 24 or higher, use the href="">runtime
permissions model, and are uploaded via multi-APK using the Play Developer
Console. If your app supports Android Wear 1.0, the href="">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 href="">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 href="">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 href="">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 href="">various
    scenarios leading to “empty data” and 2) ease development by returning a href="">default
    value for fields not supported by a complication type instead of throwing a
    runtime exception.
  • New href="">WearableRecyclerView:
    This new UI component helps developers display and manipulate vertical lists of
    items while optimizing for round displays.
  • href="">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 href="">setHintDisplayActionInline:
    NotificationCompat.Action replyAction =
    new NotificationCompat.Action.Builder(R.drawable.ic_message_white_24dp,
    "Reply", replyPendingIntent)
    .extend(new NotificationCompat.Action.WearableExtender()

  • href="">Smart
    Android Wear now generates Smart Reply responses for
    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 href="">release


    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 href="">Android Wear
    Developers community, and stay tuned for Android Wear Developer Preview 4.

Announcing the winners of the Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco; Indie Games Contest coming soon to Europe

Posted by Jamil Moledina, Google Play, Games Strategic Lead

Last Saturday, we hosted the first href="">Google
Play Indie Games Festival in North America, where we showcased 30 amazing
games that celebrate the passion, innovation, and art of indies. After a
competitive round of voting from fans and on-stage presentations to a jury of
industry experts, we recognized seven finalists nominees and three winners.


Presented by Greg Batha

Bit Bit Blocks is a cute and action-packed competitive puzzle game. Play with your friends on a single screen, or challenge yourself in single player mode. Head-to-head puzzle play anytime, anywhere.

Presented by Kaveh Daryabeygi, Wombo Combo

Numbo Jumbo is a casual mobile puzzle number game for iOS and Android. Players group numbers that add together: for example, [3, 5, 8] works because 3+5=8.

Presented by Chetan Surpur & Eric Rahman, Highkey Games

ORBIT puts a gravity simulator at the heart of a puzzle game. Launch planets with a flick of your finger, and try to get them into orbit around black holes. ORBIT also features a sandbox where you can create your own universes, control time, and paint with gravity.

Finalist nominees:

Antihero [coming later in 2016]

Presented by Tim Conkling

Antihero is a "fast-paced strategy game with an (Oliver) Twist." Run a thieves' guild in a gas-lit, corrupt city. Recruit urchins, hire thugs, steal everything – and bribe, blackmail, and assassinate your opposition. Single-player and cross-platform multiplayer for desktops, tablets, and phones.

Armajet [coming later in 2016]

Presented by Nicola Geretti & Alexander Krivicich, Super Bit Machine

Armajet is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that pits teams of players against each other in fast-paced jetpack combat. Armajet is a best in class mobile game designed for spectator-friendly competitive gaming for tablets and smartphones. Players compete in a modern arena shooter that’s easy to learn, but hard to master.

Norman's Night In: The Cave [coming later in 2016]

Presented by Nick Iorfino & Alex Reed, Bactrian Games

Norman's Night In is a 2D puzzle-platformer that tells the tale of Norman and his fateful fall into the world of cave. While test driving the latest model 3c Bowling Ball, Norman finds himself lost with nothing but his loaned bball and a weird feeling that somehow he was meant to be there.

Presented by David Fox, Double Coconut

Parallyzed is an atmospheric adventure platformer with unique gameplay, set in a dark and enchanting dreamscape. You play twin sisters who have been cast into separate dimensions. Red and Blue have different attributes and talents, are deeply connected, and have the ability to swap bodies at any time.

Finalists nominees and winners also received a range of prizes, including Google
I/O 2017 tickets, a Tango Development kit, Google Cloud credits, an NVIDIA
Android TV & K1 tablet, and a Razer Forge TV bundle.

Indie Games Contest coming to Europe

We’re continuing our effort to help indie game developers thrive by highlighting
innovative and fun games for fans around the world. Today, we are announcing the
Indie Games Contest for developers based in European countries (specific list of
countries coming soon!). This is a great opportunity for indie games developers
to win prizes that will help you showcase your art to industry experts and grow
your business and your community of players worldwide. Make sure you don’t miss
out on hearing the details by shref="">igning up
here for updates.

As we shared at the festival, it’s rewarding to see how Google Play has evolved
over the years. We’re now reaching over 1 billion users every month and there’s
literally something for everyone. From virtual reality to family indie games,
developers like you continue to inspire, provoke, and innovate through
beautiful, artistic games.

Extending Web Technology with Android

Developer guest post by Active Theory

Paper Planes started as a simple thought - “What if you could throw a
paper plane from one screen to another?”

The heart of our concept was to bring people together from all over the world,
using the power of the web - an instant connection to one another. Modern web
technology, specifically JavaScript and WebGL, powered the experience on every

was initially featured at Google I/O 2016, connecting attendees
and outside viewers for 30 minutes preceding the keynote. For the public launch
on International Peace Day 2016, we created an href="">Android
Experiment, which is also featured on href="">Google
Play, to augment the existing web technology with native Android Nougat
features such as rich notifications when a plane is caught elsewhere in the


Users create and fold their own plane while adding a stamp that is pre-filled
with their location. A simple throwing gesture launches the plane into the
virtual world. Users visiting the desktop website would see their planes flying
into the screen.

Later, users can check back and see where their planes have been caught around
the world. Each stamp on the plane reads like a passport, and a 3D Earth
highlights flightpath and distance travelled.

In addition to making their own planes, users can gesture their phone like a net
to catch a plane that has been thrown from elsewhere and pinch to open it,
revealing where it has visited. Then they can add their own stamp, and throw it
back into the flock.


We developed Paper Planes to work across devices ranging from the 50-foot screen
on stage at Google I/O to desktop and mobile using the latest in web technology.


From the stylized low-poly Earth to the flocking planes, WebGL is used to render
the 3D elements that power the experience. We wrote custom GLSL shaders to light
the Earth and morph targets to animate the paper as the user pinches to open or


When a user “throws” a plane a message is sent over websockets to the back-end
servers where it is relayed to all desktop computers to visualize the plane
taking off.


The plane flocking simulation is calculated across multiple threads using
WebWorkers that calculate the position of each plane and relay that information
back to the main thread to be rendered by WebGL.

To create an experience that works great across platforms, we extended the web
with native Android code. This enabled us to utilize the deep integration of
Chromium within Android to make the view layer of the application with the web
code that already existed, while adding deeper integration with the OS such as
rich notifications and background services.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to bridge WebView and Java code,
out this GitHub repo for a tutorial


Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) was used to send push notifications to the
Android app. When a user’s plane has been caught and thrown by someone else, a
notification showing how many cities and miles it has travelled is sent to the
device of the plane’s creator via FCM. Outgoing notifications are managed to
ensure they are not sent too frequently to a device.

Background Service

We implemented a background service to run once a day which checks against local
storage to determine when a user last visited the app. If the user hasn’t
visited in over two weeks, the app sends a notification to invite the user back
into the app to create a new plane.

The Communication Network

Our application runs on a network of servers on Google Cloud Platform. We used
built-in geocoding headers to get approximate geographic locations for stamps
and Socket.IO to connect all devices over WebSockets.

Users connect to the server nearest them, which relays messages to a single main
server as well as to any desktop computers viewing the experience in that

Moving forward

This approach worked extremely well for us, enabling an experience that was
smooth and captivating across platforms and form factors, connecting people from
all over the world. Extending the web with native capabilities has proven to be
a valuable avenue to deliver high quality experiences going forward. You can
learn even more on the href="">Android
Experiments website.

Android Studio 2.2

By Jamal Eason, Product
Manager, Android

Android Studio 2.2 is available to href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">download today.
Previewed at Google I/O 2016, Android Studio 2.2 is the latest release of our
IDE used by millions of Android developers around the world.

Packed with enhancements, this release has three major themes: speed, smarts,
and Android platform support. Develop faster with features such as the new
Layout Editor, which makes creating an app user interface quick and intuitive.
Develop smarter with our new APK analyzer, enhanced Layout Inspector, expanded
code analysis, IntelliJ’s 2016.1.3 features and much more. Lastly, as the
official IDE for Android app development, Android Studio 2.2 includes support
for all the latest developer features in Android 7.0 Nougat, like href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#code_completion">code
completion to help you add Android platform features like href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#multi-window_support">Multi-Window
support, href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#tile_api">Quick
Settings API, or the redesigned href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#notification_enhancements">Notifications,
and of course, the built-in href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Android
Emulator to test them all out.

In this release, we evolved the Android Frameworks and the IDE together to
create the Constraint Layout. This powerful new layout manager helps you design
large and complex layouts in a flat and streamlined hierarchy. The
ConstraintLayout integrates into your app like a standard Android
support library, and was built in parallel with the new Layout Editor.

Android Studio 2.2 includes 20+ new features across every major phase of the
development process: design, develop, build, & test. From designing UIs with
the new ConstraintLayout, to developing C++ code with the Android
NDK, to building with the latest Jack compliers, to creating Espresso test cases
for your app, Android Studio 2.2 is the update you do not want to miss. Here’s
more detail on some of the top highlights:


  • Layout Editor: Creating Android app user interfaces is now
    easier with the new user interface designer. Quickly construct the structure of
    your app UI with the new blueprint mode and adjust the visual attributes of each
    widget with new properties panel. href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Learn

Layout Editor

  • Constraint Layout: This new layout is a flexible layout
    manager for your app that allows you to create dynamic user interfaces without
    nesting multiple layouts. It is backwards compatible all the way back to Android
    API level 9 (Gingerbread). ConstraintLayout works best with the new Layout
    Editor in Android Studio 2.2. href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Learn



  • Improved C++ Support: You can now use href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">CMake
    or ndk-build to compile your C++ projects from Gradle. Migrating projects
    from CMake build systems to Android Studio is now seamless. You will also find
    C++ support in the new project wizard in Android Studio, plus a number of bug
    fixes to the C++ edit and debug experience. href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Learn

C++ Code Editing & CMake Support

  • Samples Browser: Referencing href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Android sample code
    is now even easier with Android Studio 2.2. Within the code editor window, find
    occurrences of your app code in Google Android sample code to help jump start
    your app development. Learn more.

Sample Code Menu


  • Instant Run Improvements: Introduced in Android Studio 2.0,
    href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#instant-run">Instant
    Run is our major, long-term investment to make Android development as fast
    and lightweight. Since launch, it has significantly improved the edit, build,
    run iteration cycles for many developers. In this release, we have made many
    stability and reliability improvements to Instant Run. If you have previously
    disabled Instant Run, we encourage you to re-enable it and let us know if you
    come across further issues. (Settings → Build, Execution, Deployment → Instant
    Run [Windows/Linux] , Preferences → Build, Execution, Deployment → Instant Run
    [OS X]). For details on the fixes that we have made, see the href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Android Studio
    2.2 release notes.

Enable Instant Run

  • APK Analyzer: Easily inspect the contents of your APKs to
    understand the size contribution of each component. This feature can be helpful
    when debugging href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">multi-dex
    issues. Plus, with the APK Analyzer you can compare two versions of an APK. href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Learn

APK Analyzer

  • Build cache (Experimental): We are continuing our
    investments to improve build speeds with the introduction of a new experimental
    build cache that will help reduce both full and incremental build times. Just
    add android.enableBuildCache=true to your file. href="">Learn more.

Build Cache Setting


  • Virtual Sensors in the Android Emulator: The Android
    Emulator now includes a new set of virtual sensors controls. With the new UI
    controls, you can now test href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Android
    Sensors such as Accelerometer, Ambient Temperature, Magnetometer and more.

Android Emulator Virtual Sensors

  • Espresso Test Recorder (Beta): The Espresso Test Recorder
    lets you easily create UI tests by recording interactions with your app; it then
    outputs the href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#Espresso">UI
    test code for you. You record your interactions with a device and add
    assertions to verify UI elements in particular snapshots of your app. Espresso
    Test Recorder then takes the saved recording and automatically generates a
    corresponding UI test. You can run the test locally, on your continuous
    integration server, or using href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#run-ctl">Firebase
    Test Lab for Android. href="">Learn

Espresso Test Recorder

  • GPU Debugger (Beta): The GPU Debugger is now in Beta. You
    can now capture a stream of OpenGL ES commands on your Android device and then
    replay it from inside Android Studio for analysis. You can also fully inspect
    the GPU state of any given OpenGL ES command to better understand and debug your
    graphical output. href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Lean

GPU Debugger

To recap, Android Studio 2.2 includes these major features and more:


  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Layout
  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Constraint
  • Layout
  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">PSD
    File Support in Vector Asset Studio


  • href="">Firebase
  • Updated Code
    Analysis & Lint checks

  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Enhanced
    accessibility support
  • Improved C++
    Support Edit & Debugging

  • href="">IntelliJ
    2016.1.3 platform update
  • Samples Browser
  • Improved Font Rendering


  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#configuration">Jack
    Compiler Improvements
  • Java 8
    Language Support

  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">C++
    ndk-build or CMake
  • href="">Merged
    Manifest Viewer
  • Build cache
  • OpenJDK Support
  • Instant Run Improvements


  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">Espresso
    Test Recorder (Beta)
  • APK

  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">GPU
    Debugger (Beta)
  • href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog#extended">Virtual
    Sensors in the Android Emulator

Learn more about Android Studio 2.2 by reviewing the href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">release notes
and the href="">preview
blog post.

Getting Started


If you are using a previous version of Android Studio, you can check for updates
on the Stable channel from the navigation menu (Help → Check for Update
[Windows/Linux] , Android Studio → Check for Updates [OS X]). You can also
download Android Studio 2.2 from the official href=" studio_launch_2.2_091916&utm_source=anddev&utm_medium=blog">download page. To
take advantage of all the new features and improvements in Android Studio, you
should also update to the Android Gradle plugin version to 2.2.0 in your current
app project.

Next Release

We would like to thank all of you in the Android Developer community for your
work on this release. We are grateful for your contributions, your ongoing
feedback which inspired the new features in this release, and your highly active
use on canary and beta builds filing bugs. We all wanted to make Android Studio
2.2 our best release yet, with many stability and performance fixes in addition
to the many new features. For our next release, look for even more; we want to
work hard to address feedback and keep driving up quality and stability on
existing features to make you productive.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like
to see. Connect with us -- the Android Studio development team -- on our href="">Google+ page or on href="">Twitter.

What's New in Android Studio 2.2