Android 4.0 Requires Holo Theme to Be Available On All Phones
Google today indicated via the Android Developers Blog that all Android 4.0 devices, be they smartphones or tablets, must include the native Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich "Holo" theme for app compatibility. According to Google, any device that has access to the Android Market has to include the Holo theme. The standardization applies to the Holo widgets too, which Google wants to be consistent from device to device. Google said that the intent behind this decision is not to limit what developers can do with respect to the appearance of their apps, but rather to provide a level of consistency in how developers can create apps that will run on all devices. Google has made a new API (Level 14) available for developers to work with the themes and incorporate them into their applications moving forward. Google also offers details on how to make apps designed for Android 4.0+ work with devices running Android 2.3 and lower.
Android Apps Headed to Google's Chromebooks
Google today said its Chrome operating system will soon have access to the Google Play Store and the Android apps therein. ChromeOS will support all Android phone and tablet apps, including games, productivity apps, and social networking.
Google Provides More Details About Android 7.1 for Non-Pixel Phones
Google today talked about several new features headed to Nougat within Android 7.1. While the recently-announced Pixel handsets will ship with their own version of Android 7.1 (including Google Assistant), this iterative update will eventually be made available to Nexus and other phones.
Google Play Services to Drop Support for Gingerbread
Google today said the next iteration of Google Play Services will sever backward compatibility with devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Today, Google Play Services — the core code behind app compatibility across Android platforms — is 10.0.0 and supports API level 9.
Android Pay Can Be Used for App-Based Purchasing
Google today added to Android Pay's capabilities, making it possible to use Android Pay when making purchases within select Android apps. Google believes this will benefit consumers and app developers alike.
That's a start--