Google went to great efforts to point out that it runs virus checks on apps uploaded to Google Play, on a regular basis, to minimise the amount of malware on the platform. Google said that less than half a percent of Android users run into malware issues, which equates to roughly 5 million users.
Later this year, some Android apps will be able to work on Chromebooks such as Evernote and Vine. The apps let developers take advantage of local hardware and cameras opening up new avenues for innovation and cross-device app experiences; where it won’t matter if a user is on a phone, tablet or Chromebook.
From a developer perspective, one of the big news stories, was Google’s move from the Dalvik runtime to ART. Where Dalvik used a just-in-time compiler, that runs code as it is needed, ART relies on an ahead-of-time compiler, to process code in advance. This will lead to much smoother performance when apps are running. ART is not only faster, but will also bring battery life improvements, thanks to more efficient processing.
In a true Google way, developers won’t have to do anything special to bring their apps and games in line with the latest runtime, it should just migrate over as L rolls out.
Beacons on Android
At the moment, getting beacons working on a multitude of Android powered devices is a bit of a struggle. With Android L however, Google is changing that. Devices capable of running Android L, and featuring Bluetooth 4.0 chips, will be able to act as beacons, by sending out signals for other devices, to intercept and run background scanning to pick up beacon signals.
This signals a huge improvement to how beacons will interact with Android devices and indicates that Google understands the value beacons can bring, in terms of the user experience and data.
James Frost, one of Mubaloo’s senior iOS developers who has been working on beacons for the past eight months commented, “It’s still different to how Apple handle beacon signals, as Apple has specific functionality for iBeacon. With Android L, it appears to just be about improving BLE, which developers can build beacon support on top of.
The main benefit looks to be a much improved battery life thanks to optimisations, devices to act as beacons, the ability for the device to go on standby whilst still listening for BLE signals and the ability to filter down & listen for specific types of devices.”
It’s rather obvious to state that every year, mobile platforms get better. Android has made huge leaps since it was first released. Google seems to be more commited to bringing a more connected experience across the platforms running its software or offering its services. Everything at I/O this year was focused around developer opportunities and showing that Android can be a unified experience.