DX Digest: Mark Grannan on Core Services Architecture #DXS15

DX Digest: Mark Grannan on Core Services Architecture #DXS15

In a comment responding to Part 1 of my conversation with Forrester analyst Mark Grannan, Arjan van Rooijen, the chief evangelist with customer experience management platform provider SDL, said, “I strongly believe practitioners need to transform their practices to meet the demands of a digital era.” Technology

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Google Play Services 8.1 SDK ships with new app invites, permissions, Player Stats API

Google Play Games' built-in developer analytics tools grew more robust today.

Google has rolled out a series of updates for Google Play and Android 6.0 Marshmallow today aimed at giving better support for developers. The company announced that Marshmallow now has a new permissions model aimed at improving the way app installs and updates are handled. Additionally, Google Play services 8.1 offers support runtime permissions, a new Play Games Player Stats API, and more.

Within Google’s newest mobile operating system version, a new app permissions model promises to let developers offer more control to the users. Not only can the app declare the permissions it’s going to need, but permissions will be divided into groups based on their functionality, making the organization easier. Marshmallow also includes limits on how permissioning is handled at install time — users won’t be prompted to grant permission to some apps because of the nature of these services, such as alarm clock or Internet apps.

Developers interested in tapping into the updated permission model can view more information here. Google cautions that during the preview period, not all of its core apps will have fully implemented this new model.

Besides Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google Play services has received some updates. The completed rollout of version 8.1 now allows developers to customize the email invitation with a custom image and a call-to-action button. The idea is that by giving more control to developers, more engagement and conversions will happen.

Game developers will be interested in the new Play Games Player Stats API, which will let developers better tailor the user experience to specific segments of players. In an example, Google said that the most valuable players could be rewarded with a special welcome back message when returning to the game.

For those developers using Google Nearby, the company has added a feature that gives apps the ability to receive a callback when an active Nearby publish or subscribe expires. Google Nearby lets apps communicate with nearby devices, and traditionally it would hog up resources. But this update claims to improve accuracy and make it easy to enable apps across devices to talk to one another.

This is the first update to Google Play services since last month, when new APIs were made available that let developers utilize face detection, barcode recognition, and facilitated Nearby Messages.

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Unity touts new services for game developers such as monetization, analytics, and discovery

Unity Heat Maps show where players have been in a game.

Unity Technologies announced today that it has made it easier than ever for game developers to make money, run analytics, and get their games discovered thanks to free services that come with the Unity game engine.

Beyond enabling game companies to make games more easily, Unity is also making it more convenient them to add advertisements and monetize games. It is making it easy for the companies to generate revenue from the ads and receive analytics. Developers can add Unity Ads simply by clicking a button within the Unity 5 development tool and adding two lines of code. They can do the same for analytics, which is free.

“It’s a complete seamless integration that makes analytics simpler than ever,” said John Cheng, general manager for analytics at Unity. “It’s so seamless now there is no reason not to do it.”

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Cheng demonstrated the new services at the Unite 2015 event in Boston.

Bandai Namco Entertainment used Unity Analytics for Pac-Man 256, which has had more than 10 million users.

Unity also makes heat maps that shows game developers where players are spending their time in a game. The Unity Heat Map features is available for free as part of the Unity game engine.

Big games shipping on Unity include Lara Croft Go, which was made by a small team at Square Enix’s studio in Montreal. It was published across multiple platforms using Unity.

Unity analytics general manager John Cheng.

Above: Unity analytics general manager John Cheng.

Image Credit: Unity
VB’s research team is studying web-personalization… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.

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