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Developer Preview of Google+ Platform for Mobile; Android SDK Tools R20; Google Developers Academy, Google Developers University Consortium; DFP API v201206; Enhancements to Styled Maps; New Ad Click Referral Format

Google for mobile developers now announced — a “developer preview of Google+ platform for mobile,” that includes mobile web optimized social plugins and Google+ SDK for iOS and Android (coming soon).

“With these new SDKs, you can integrate Google+ identity, sharing, and history into your mobile apps to create more engaging social experiences and connect with more users,” Google said.

Check out the mobile platform documentation to learn more about integrating Google+ into your app!

Android SDK Tools R20 and ADT 20.0.0

Also, during a Google+ platform fireside chat, Google+ VP Bradley Horowitz and other Google+ team members said that Google is still taking a very deliberate approach to Google+’s APIs. Google doesn’t want to “disrupt something very special” and “magical” by just opening up a full read/write API that would allow developers to write apps that can easily post to Google+, Horowitz said.

Also, Google acknowledged that it is quietly experimenting with more open APIs with select partners to figure out what kind of automatic sharing actually works on Google+. Google, however, wants to make sure it avoids unintentional consequences that could disturb the kind of experience Google is hoping for on Google+.

Horowitz said about the automated posts that “They don’t really work.” Instead, Google’s current focus is on filtered sharing features that, for example, let you share certain posts from third-party apps to very specific circles.

Google+ team also reiterated that it wants to give developers tools that will be stable and around for a long time.

It’s also possible, the Google+ team said, that a platform that has insufficient guidelines doesn’t nudge people in the right way. Only Google, of course, knows what that “right way” really is, but Horowitz stressed that Google wants Google+ to be “something more than just ego-casting” and a place for watering virtual plants.

Google on June 27 at the I/O 2012 previewed the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and now the company has launched Android SDK Tools R20 and ADT 20.0.0.

Here are the highlights of what’s news:

  • Application templates: Android ADT now supports a new application templates for creating apps, “blank activity, master-detail flow, and custom view.” These templates support the Android style guide thus making it faster and easier to build beautiful apps. More templates will be added over time.
  • Tracer for GLES tool let you capture the entire sequence of OpenGL calls made by an app into a trace file on the host and replay the captured trace and display the GL state at any point in time.
  • Device Monitor now combines all the Android debugging tools like DDMS, traceview, hierarchyviewer and Tracer for GLES.
  • Systrace for Jelly Bean and above lets you easily optimize your app. “You can capture a slice of system activity plus additional information tagged from the Settings > Developer Options > Monitoring: Enable traces or with specific calls added to your application code,” informs Android team.

To learn more on the layout editor, XML editing, build system & SDK Manager improvements, read the ADT 20.0.0 and SDK Tools R20 release notes.

Google Developers Academy, a new program launched today at the I/O12, provides training materials on Google technologies. Developers will learn and solidify their skills on many of our developer tools and APIs.

“We’ve launched with courses covering a variety of services like Google App Engine, Google Drive, YouTube, and our many advertising APIs. This is just the start, as we’ll add new lessons regularly,” Google said.

Also, Google Developers University Consortium launches today, is a collaborative community of academics who use Google’s tools and developer platforms for instruction and research.

“We are providing teachers and researchers with a platform to share their materials and communicate freely with other faculty worldwide. This is a great place for the academic community to make announcements about their work, highlight successes, publish research, exchange content, and share their enthusiasm and knowledge with each other,” posted google.

A new version of the DFP API, v201206 released today, adds a significant number of reporting improvements.

“The new release also fully supports OAuth 2.0 as the authentication mechanism of choice and we encourage you to switch to OAuth 2.0 from ClientLogin or OAuth 1.0a,” Google informed.

A full list of improvements from can be found on release notes.

To speed up the ad experience, Google announced an update to ad click referral.

“If you analyze your own traffic logs, or develop web analytics software, we have some news for you: we’re making a change to how some clicks coming from Google appear in your logs. We’re writing this mostly as an industry FYI, because Google Analytics reports will not be affected by this change,” Google stated.

The new referrer format ensures that advertisers will still get the relevant bits of information about a search that drove traffic to their site, but without the extra redirect.

In order to give everyone enough time to change any referrer log parsing software, “we’ll be keeping the number of affected searches at a low percentage through July. In August, we’ll be increasing the number of affected queries to 100%. When we’re done, you should expect to see all three forms of the URLs,” adds Ali Mohammad, Ads Latency Team.

Finally, in the developers news,

Google at the I/O12, launched a number of enhancements to Styled Maps that offer more precise control over both the selection of map features to style, and the ways you can style them.

“Styled Maps in the Google Maps API, allows you to customize the look of the map in your applications.”

With these changes, you can now:

  • “You can now specify a precise color for features as an RGB value in addition to the existing adjustment filters for hue, saturation, lightness, and gamma.
  • You can now style the outline stroke of features separately from the interior fill, and the label text separately from any icon.
  • You can now adjust the width of line features such as roads and rivers, and also the width of feature outlines,” informs Google.

If you like to try designing a map, start with the updated Styled Maps Wizard. Once you are happy with your style you can apply it to your Maps API v3 application as detailed in the Styling section of the Maps API documentation.

Buy Movies and TV Shows now on YouTube and Google Play

Until today, YouTube has allowed to rent full-length feature films from Hollywood and independent studios on youtube.com/movies. Now, with the June 27th Google I/O announcement, users can buy movies and TV shows as well.

Purchased movies and shows can be played back as many times as you like on YouTube, and on Android device via Google Play.

Visit youtube.com/movies and youtube.com/shows today to discover and buy your favorite movies and TV shows, and check back soon for even more titles and shows in the coming weeks.

Google has also announced some more options to the Google TV:

Now in addition to already available access apps on Google Play, soon you’ll be able to find movies, TV shows, and music from Google Play to stream on Google TV, adding to the more than 100,000 TV episodes and movies available in the app.

“Google Play works across devices, so you can rent and start watching a movie on your Google TV, keep watching on your tablet on the move, and finish watching on Google TV.”

The full power of Google Play will be available later this summer on all Google TV devices.

Google with top TV manufacturers Sony and Vizio joined LG, this week, launching a new generation of Google TV-powered products. Also Sony Google TV products will now be available in nine more countries over the coming months.

For developers, Google announced new APIs, libraries, and code to create whole new experiences for Google TV. Check out this Google TV developers site.

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