One of the most powerful features of Google Earth is the ability to view custom maps or overlays, which are also commonly known as KML files. Ever since we introduced Google Earth on mobile devices, users have requested support for custom content. Today, we are proud to announce Google Earth 6.2 for Android and iOS, which includes support for KMLs. Now anywhere you find a “Google Earth file” (KML file) while you’re browsing the mobile web, just click on the link and the Google Earth app will automatically launch and load the custom map.
With this release, the Google Earth Gallery is also now available in the mobile app, enabling you to easily explore some of the best maps from around the web directly within Google Earth. For example, not sure if that was an earthquake? Go to the Earth Gallery and click on the USGS’ real-time earthquake map to see recent earthquakes from around the world.
Maybe you’re interested in finding hiking trails on your next vacation. Check out Everytrail to find a hike wherever you might be.
If you’re a basketball fan, be sure to check out the new College Basketball Tournament map, which takes you on a virtual trip to the school and stadiums of this year’s competing teams.
For Google Earth for Android users, we’ve also added a new “Share” feature, which allows you to share a screenshot of your current view with people in your Google+ circles, via Gmail, or on other applications. Now you can share your favorite places with friends and family from your desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet. And, if you follow the Google Earth +Page, you can see what others are sharing and discover new locations around the world.
The 6.2 release of Google Earth for Android and iOS also includes improvements in navigation, which make it even easier to fly to your favorite spots on the globe.
To check out the latest version of Google Earth for Android phones and tablets, download it now from Google Play.
Google are announcing Android 4.0.3, an incremental release of the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) platform. The new release includes a variety of optimizations and bug fixes for phones and tablets, as well as a small number of new APIs for developers. The new API level is 15.
Some of the new APIs in Android 4.0.3 include:
- Social stream API in Contacts provider: Applications that use social stream data such as status updates and check-ins can now sync that data with each of the user’s contacts, providing items in a stream along with photos for each. This new API lets apps show users what the people they know are doing or saying, in addition to their photos and contact information.
Calendar provider enhancements. Apps can now add color to events, for easier tracking, and new attendee types and states are now available.
New camera capabilities. Apps can now check and manage video stabilization and use QVGA resolution profiles where needed.
Accessibility refinements. Improved content access for screen readers and new status and error reporting for text-to-speech engines.
Incremental improvements in graphics, database, spell-checking, Bluetooth, and more.
For a complete overview of what’s new in the platform, see the Android 4.0.3 API Overview.
Going forward, we’ll be focusing our partners on Android 4.0.3 as the base version of Ice Cream Sandwich. The new platform will be rolling out to production phones and tablets in the weeks ahead, so we strongly encourage you to test your applications on Android 4.0.3 as soon as possible.
We would also like to remind developers that we recently released new version of the SDK Tools (r16) and of the Eclipse plug-in (ADT 16.0.1). We have also updated the NDK to r7.
Visit the Android Developers site for more information about Android 4.0.3 and other platform versions. To get started developing or testing on the new platform, you can download it into your SDK using the Android SDK Manager.
By Alexandra Levich, Product Manager
Cross-posted from the Chromium Blog
We recently expanded the reach of the Chrome Web Store from the U.S. to 24 more countries. Developers from around the world have already launched successful apps in the Chrome Web Store to US users. Now all developers can reach a global user base.
What makes this global reach even more interesting is the global payments infrastructure that goes along with it. The store allows developers from 20 countries to sell apps in the store, and users to buy apps in their local currency. We also recently launched the In-App Payments API, which allows developers (U.S.-only for now; international soon) to sell virtual goods in their apps. Integration is easy and transaction fees are only 5%. Graphicly, an early user of in-app payments, saw its net revenues double after starting to use the API and experienced an even bigger rise in profit margins due to increased conversions and lower transaction fees.
In keeping with our international theme, we’d like to highlight a few developers from different parts of the world who have utilized Chrome’s global reach to find success in the store:
- Audiotool is an online music production app that was built by a team of German developers. They saw the Chrome Web Store as a way to present their app to an international audience. Audiotool’s traffic increased by 20% after launching in the store, and this motivated the team to release another app in the store.
- Psykopaint is the brainchild of French developer Mathieu Gosselin. The Chrome Web Store provided Mathieu an opportunity to get his photo painting app noticed outside of France. Traffic to Psykopaint has jumped by 700% since it launched in the store and Mathieu has found that Chrome Web Store users tend to be more engaged than other users.
- Finally, Nulab, a Japanese company, launched its online diagramming app, Cacoo, in the store to expand its user base outside Japan. In just a few months after Cacoo was released in multiple languages in the Chrome Web Store, the app already accounts for 20% of Cacoo’s user base.
The experience of Audiotool, Psykopaint and Nulab shows that no matter where you’re located, you can always find a global audience for your applications in the Chrome Web Store. To learn more about the stories of these and other successful Chrome Web Store developers, read our case studies. And if you want to find out more about posting your app in the store, visit our documentation at code.google.com/chrome/webstore.
Alex Levich is a product manager working on Chrome Web Store.
Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor