Android App Development News : 09 – 15 Nov 2015

Google Introduces Upgraded Play Books for Enhanced Reading Experience

Google’s Play Books for Android is upgraded to improve the readability of the comics on phone and tablets.  Google has also introduced personalized comic recommendations which help the users to search for similar series and also find succeeding comic pages in the Play Store.

Google Play Books provide an access to the Google’s book store. It encompasses various types of reading material ranging from novel to text books. Some books are even available for free. The best part of these online books is that one can even read them offline. Readers also have an option to adjust font size and switch from day to night mode. Moreover, readers can even take notes and bookmark.

The upgraded Play Books for Android is launched for users in countries such as United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, India, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. This is the first ever upgrade for Play Books which is especially focused on to enhance the comic-reading experience of the users.

Mr. Books Greg Hartrell, Google’s lead product manager for Play Books, said “This was largely born out of the fact that comic books are hugely popular as a category on Google Play”. He also added that comic book readers turn twice as many pages as others on Google Play Books. Hartrell further mentioned that comic is one of the most famous categories in the store.

The Play Book is upgraded keeping in mind the reading habit of existing comic readers on Google play. The company studied reading habits of existing users using the “good old-fashioned usability studies.” And the outcome is a new reading mode which improves the reading experience.

Reading comics or pages with graphics was never so easy and convenient. However, the new reading mode promises to provide a better readability to all comic freaks. The new reading mode on Android will appear when the phone is in landscape mode. It is easy to scroll through a story just by swiping vertically. But the new feature is presently available only for limited renowned publishers in Google’s catalog. Some of them are DC Comics, Marvel, Image, IDW and Dark. However, the new mode is available for books of all publishers.

Two New Ads for Android on YouTube Page 

Google published two new commercials on Android’s YouTube page featuring Play Music and the Google app. The first commercial presents the innovative features of Play Music. It shows off the curated music option in Play Music which provides the users an option to select and play music as per their need and like or situations such as fast music for dancing, slow and melodic music (mantra chanting) for meditation etc. All these are possible with Google Now option. Since its launch, Play Music has been through a lot of facelifts and upgrade. This commercial just explains it all.

The second commercial demonstrates the revolutionary features of Google app which includes the user-friendly nature of the app. The commercial features a traveler group arrives an unknown spot and how they extract information about the place with the help of Google app. The man using the Google app asks “Ok Google, what’s the name of this park?” Using location information, the Google app responds, “Brimstone Head Park.”

Undoubtedly, Google Now is an excellent application and due to its impressive feature it continues to rule the hearts and minds of Android users. Google Now boasts a plethora of application from getting general information to entertainment. It can give information on any subject be it news, sports, scores, weather, and traffic information. The information appears in the form of cards which one can tap to get more detail or swipe away to ignore. Google app is also no less in performance and popularity. It has revolutionized the app industry and is expected to do so in the near future.

Apple’s New Music App for Android

Apple music comes to android. It is unique yet interesting to note that Apple has introduced a music app for Android platform. It is the first app that Apple has developed for Android.  With this launch, many people are wondering about the features of the new app.

Ahead of the launch, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, stated that “We’ve obviously been really excited about the response we’ve gotten to Apple Music. People love the human curation aspects of it, discovery, radio,” says Cue, launching into the reason for our chat. “But from the moment we got into music, many, many years ago, we’ve always wanted to do things for everyone when it came down to music. Part of that was letting you enjoy your music no matter where you were and what products you were using.”

Apple’s music for Android is quite similar to its iOS version with the features like For You, New, Radio, Connect, Playlists and My Music. It comes with the same free 3 months trail like iOS version. However, a couple of features are missing like music video and signing up option for a family membership. But it is a complete native app which has same look and feel like any Android app. Users will feel the same elegance as any Android app. It has the similar share icon, menu structure being in the same place.

Apple has taken this step to cater to the growing Android phone users in the market. It is reported that Android shares 77 % of the market in Chine, 60 % in Japan, 79% in Germany, and 90% in Spain. In these countries, iOS is in the second place. By introducing Apple Music for Android platform, the company wants to make its presence in the market where Android’s penetration is more. Another major reason is the new Apple’s customers who are coming from Android background. According to a report, around 30% of new iPhone buyers are switching from Android. The company wants to improve its visibility in the Android dominated market by introducing this type of apps.

Mr. Eddy Cue also added that “We did this with iTunes very early on when we did it for Windows. It’s really important for artists to get as broad an audience as possible, and for us it’s really important because it gives us an opportunity to interact with customers who may not have experienced any of our products before”.

The first version of the app is exclusively for Android. It is not compatible with Chromecast Audio or Android Wear. The app is compatible with phones and is also likely to work on tablets. Apple has intelligently embedded a feedback button in the app to get an idea of the customer’s reaction. It has also clubbed many iTune features with the Music app for Android. For example, an iCloud Music feature is incorporated into Apple Music. Customers don’t have to pay for songs as it is in iTune Music Store. Another interesting feature is that if a customer pays for Apple Music subscription in the Android app, he will get 30 percent Google’s discount.

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