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Seven things Google is doing to please developers

Mikael Ricknäs | June 2, 2015
At its I/O keynote, Google did its best to get developers excited about building apps for Android with new tools and money-making schemes. But Google is also expanding support for developers who'd rather create iOS apps.

Experiment with Play store listings to attract more users

Google is bringing A/B testing to Play store app listings, to help developers compare different graphical and text presentations of their apps and see which one drives the most downloads. Related to this change is the ability to see how many users are looking at a listing and making purchases in the Play Developer Console, in addition to the number of installs. Developers that have multiple apps can now create a Play home page, where they can explain what their company is about and pick a special app to feature.

Expanded support for iOS

One thing Google came back to on several occasions was expanded support for Apple's iOS. Developers can now access the tools it offers for the OS via CocoaPods, which has become the official distribution channel for Google SDKs on iOS. Using CocoaPods simplifies the process of importing libraries and frameworks into Apple's XCode IDE, according to Google. Other announcements included the indexing of iOS apps so they can show up in search results, support for the Cloud Messaging service and compatibility with the Google Cardboard SDK.

Google may not be as wedded to the idea of offering cross-platform support as Microsoft, but the company is moving more in that direction. With the success of the iPhone 6, Apple has been gaining smartphone market share and is therefore becoming even more important for Google.

Learn to code for Android from the ground up

Google is hoping to attract more people that can build applications for its operating system. The company has worked with Udacity to put together an Android Nanodegree. The curriculum covers everything from fundamentals to advanced development skills, as well as Google Play services and Material Design. Participants should have at least one year of experience in Java or another object-oriented programming language before enrolling. The course costs US$200 per month and takes 9 to 12 months to complete assuming a minimum workload of 10 hours per week.


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