Google Calendar Update for Android: Custom Colors and More

One of the most requested features we’ve seen so far for Google Calendar on Android is the ability to customize event and calendar colors directly from your device. Today’s update allows you to do just that. Now you can highlight those super-urgent meetings and important birthdays, or just switch up the color of your calendar whenever your heart desires.

Adding events is now easier and more fun with our redesigned date and time pickers, which let you schedule your special dinner date or the start of your well-deserved vacation in a snap.

For all of you world travelers, our redesigned timezone picker makes it simpler to find the region that you’re looking for, whether you’re in San Francisco, Tokyo or Zurich.

Finally, it’s easier to schedule repeating events. You can now set events to repeat every Tuesday and Thursday, every month, or every 7 weeks, it’s completely up to you.

The latest version of Google Calendar is built for devices running Android 4.0.3 and above (Android 4.1 or higher for custom event colors). Get it on Google Play, rolling out over the course of the day, and let us know what you think.

Posted by James Kung, Software Engineer

A smoother Drive app for Android

(cross-posted to the Google Drive Blog)

The process of creating and accessing your stuff shouldn’t be, well...a process. Today, the Drive app for Android is getting several improvements to make creating and accessing your stuff on-the-go even easier.
To help you find the content you care about, Drive files will now be displayed in a clean, simple card-style. You can swipe between files to see large previews that let you quickly review and discover the information you’re looking for. And if you want to keep some Drive files on your Android device, you’ll now be able to “download a copy” from the actions menu inside settings.

The updated Drive for Android app also gives you to a way to keep track of important paper documents like receipts, letters, and billing statements. Simply click “Scan” from the Add New menu, snap a photo of your document, and Drive will turn the document into a PDF that’s stored for safekeeping. And because Drive can recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, a simple search will retrieve the scanned document later. No more frantic scrambling through drawers looking for a receipt or digging through your pockets to find that business card -- just scan, upload and search in Drive.

The editing experience in Google Sheets has also gotten some improvements: now you can adjust font types and sizes for a spreadsheet and tweak the cell text colors and cell alignment right from the app. Plus, the Drive app comes with Cloud Print support so you can print anything from Drive with a Cloud Ready printer -- perfect if you need to, say, print that extra resume right before a job interview.

Get the Google Drive app today on Google Play and circle us on Google+ for continued updates. 

Posted by Denis Teplyashin, Software Engineer

Android@I/O: Just press Play

As our developer audience knows, Android is more than simply a phone or tablet. It’s a platform, an ecosystem, and an opportunity for developers around the world to build exciting services and apps that reach millions of people every day. The flexibility and openness of Android provides developers--and Google, through services like Google Now--the opportunity to build simple, beautiful experiences across multiple devices.

Here’s a quick look at what we announced today at Google I/O, our annual developer conference:

Developers, the heart of Google Play 
Just a year after launch, there are now more ways than ever for developers to monetize their apps in Google Play, and for users to discover and enjoy apps and entertainment. We’ve passed 48 billion app downloads, with more than 2.5 billion downloads in the last month alone. Today, we launched a range of new tools, including services for game developers. For users, this means that you’ll be able to challenge your friends on Google+ to real-time multiplayer competitions, or race against them to the top of the leaderboards. (Check out a few of our favorites: World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos).

Our library is your library: Google Play Music All Access 
Google Play Music All Access is a new monthly music subscription service that lets you listen to millions of songs across your devices. You can create a radio station from any song or artist you love, browse recommendations from our expert music team or explore by genre. And when millions of songs just aren’t enough, Google Play Music lets you combine our collection with your own collection. You can store 20,000 songs for free in the cloud and listen to them alongside the All Access catalog. It’s $9.99 a month, and you can try it free for the first month. Or better yet, start your trial by June 30 and you’ll pay only $7.99 a month.

Google Play for Education: Android goes to school 
Imagine a world in which all classrooms and students are connected to the web. While such a vision will take the efforts of many, Google has contributed to this endeavor through Google Apps and Chromebooks. Today we are excited to expand Google’s education offering by combining the ease and portability of Nexus tablets with highly engaging educational content. Through this new program educators will be able to manage tablets and discover, purchase, and distribute content through Google Play for Education--whether they're in charge of one classroom or one thousand. We’re inviting developers to get started now to create world class educational apps for grades K-12. Schools interested in learning more can sign up here.

Samsung Galaxy S4 on Google Play 
Next month, we are adding a new Android device to the store to join our current lineup of Nexus phones and tablets. We’ve worked closely with Samsung to create a special Samsung Galaxy S4 exclusively for Google Play. It brings together cutting edge hardware from Samsung with Google’s latest software and services -- including the user experience that ships with our popular Nexus devices. Starting June 26, it will be available with no contract for $649, supporting both T-Mobile and AT&T, with LTE.

Hugo Barra VP, Product Management, Android