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What’s happening in tech? 

The week from Android, Apple and Microsoft rolled out these announcements and updates:

Android

  • Prepare your app to support predictive back gestures – Since, the company introduced gesture navigation in Android 10, users have signaled they want to understand where a back gesture will take them before they complete it. As the first step to addressing this need, the company has been developing a predictive back gesture. When a user starts their gesture by swiping back, they will see an animated preview of the destination UI, and the user can complete the gesture to navigate to that UI if they want. Read on for a tutorial!
     
  • Build apps for new Samsung devices – This week, Samsung launched the latest devices to come to the Android ecosystem at their Galaxy Unpacked event. If you haven’t already, check out their two new foldables, the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4, and their new lineup of watches running on Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch5 series. With the excitement around these new devices, there’s never been a better time to invest in making sure your app has an amazing experience for users, on large screens or Wear OS! This blog focuses on what you need to know to get started.

Apple

  • There’s still time to meet with App Store experts – Connect with experts online to learn how to make the most of App Store features. Discover how to attract new customers, test marketing strategies, add subscriptions, and so much more. Live presentations with Q&A are being held throughout August in multiple time zones and languages. Register today if you’re a member of the Apple Developer Program.
  • TestFlight Update – Developers can now submit apps built with Xcode 14 beta 5 using the SDK for iOS 16 beta 5, iPadOS 16 beta 5, macOS 13 beta 5, tvOS 16 beta 5, and watchOS 9 beta 5 for internal and external testing, with support for the following: CallKit, complications built with WidgetKit, WeatherKit, Shared with You, CloudKit, DriverKit, PushToTalk, Single-target, Media Device Discovery, and Metal offline shader compilation.

 


Microsoft 

  • .NET Framework August 2022 Security and Quality Rollup Updates – The August Security and Quality Rollup Update does not contain any new security fixes. This release contains networking and WPF1 quality and reliability improvements.
     
  • VisualStudio.Extensibility: A New Way to Write Extensions – This new model will make extensions easier to write and more reliable along with additional benefits such as being able to install these extensions without restarting the IDE. The company announced the second phase of the new extensibility model, now titled VisualStudio.Extensibility! Phase 1 enabled editor APIs that let you create linter and formatter extensions.  The following VisualStudio.Extensibility APIs allow you to write richer, non-language-based productivity extensions.
     
  • Productivity comes to .NET MAUI in Visual Studio 2022 – Microsoft announced that .NET Multi-platform App UI has graduated from preview and is available in the release edition of Visual Studio 2022 on Windows. Now, you have full access to productivity features that will help you build cross-platform native client apps with .NET faster than ever, and ship them to Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows from a single codebase.
     
  • Visual Studio 2022 17.3 is now available! – We are happy to announce that Visual Studio 2022 17.3 has been released and is now generally available. At Microsoft, we thrive on getting feedback and experiences from those using Visual Studio and continually work to improve the product based on this feedback. Visual Studio 2022 17.3 comes with new features such as .NET MAUI GA tooling, Azure Container Apps and more!
 
 

Weekly Picks

 

We’ve picked out some interesting articles from the tech world for you:
  • Getting Started with Git and Github– Motabar Javaid knows how confusing it is at first to understand why would someone needs git and Github and what’s a branch or push or pull. Until one day when he saw its capabilities. The use case, commands everything started to make sense.
     
  • Are thinking about how to localize your apps? Read this article on Android App Localization: Key Steps and learn how to do just that! You might be a beginner developer making your first Android app or an experienced programmer adding to your dozen or so other Android apps. But the main question is: who are you making this app for? This article will help you learn the key steps for the localization of Android applications and reaching new markets.

 

Tutorial of the Week

Publishing a beta version of your app in the Google Play Store

Before making your app available in release mode, it’s considered a best practice to have a smaller group of people test your app. It can be a small group of specific people, such as your team or your customers, or a larger group of people. In any case, publishing a beta version can give you invaluable feedback on your app. In this recipe, you will see how to publish your app in a beta track in the Google Play Store.  

Getting ready

Before following along with this recipe, you should have completed all the previous recipes in this chapter, or at least those that target Android. 

How to do it…

You will compile your app in release mode and upload it to the Google Play Store in beta. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open the fastfile file into your project’s android/fastlane directory.
  2. If in the file there is already a beta lane, comment it out.
  3. At the bottom of the platform: android lane, add the following instructions:
lane :beta do
  gradle( task: 'assemble', build_type: 'Release' )
end
  1. In a terminal window, from the android folder of your project, run the following command:
fastlane beta

If you are using Windows, you might need to change the character table for the terminal. One way to do this is by typing the command: chcp 1252 before running fastlane beta.

  1. Make sure you find the release version of your app file in the build\app\outputs\apk\release directory of your project.
  2. Go to the Google Play Console at https://play.google.com/console.
  3. Click on the Open Testing link in the Release | Testing section.
  4. Click on the Create new Release button.
  1. On the App signing preferences screen, choose Let Google manage and protect your app signing key, as shown in the following screenshot, then press the Update button:
     

                       
 

  1. In the Create open testing release section of the Google Play Console, upload the APK file that you have built, which you will find in the build\app\outputs\apk\release directory.
  2. After uploading your file, you might see some errors and warnings, which will guide you in completing the beta publishing of your app, as shown in the following screenshot:
     

                            
 

  1. Click on the Go to dashboard link and click on the setup your store listing link.
  2. Insert a short description (80 characters or less) and a long description (4,000 characters or less) for your app.
  3. Insert the required graphics and save.
  4. Back in the Open Testing track, select the country (or countries) where your beta testing should be available.
  5. Click on the Review and Rollout release link, and then click on the Start rollout to open testing button and confirm the dialog:

 

                      
 

Your app has now been uploaded to the beta release channel in the Play Store.

How it works…

It’s generally a very good idea to create a testing track for your app before it gets officially published. In the Google Play Store, you can choose between three tracks before release:

  • Internal testing: You can use internal testing to distribute your app to up to 100 testers. This is ideal when you want to show your app to a selected group of testers at the early stages of your development.
  • Closed testing: This is to reach a wider audience. You can invite testers by email, and this currently supports up to 200 lists of emails with 2,000 people each.
  • Open testing: This is the track we used in this recipe. Open testing means that anyone can download your app after joining your testing program.

Edit the beta lane in the file with the following instructions:

lane :beta do
  gradle( task: 'assemble', build_type: 'Release' )
end

This allows you to build an APK file in release mode with the fastlane beta command from the terminal. Once the file has been generated, you can upload it to the Google Play Store.

Currently, the first time you publish an Android release to the Google Play Store you must do it manually. For the second time, you can leverage the fastlane supply command to upload your builds.

The first time you publish an app, you need to provide required data in the store; this is a rather time-consuming activity, but it’s only required once.

This how-to was curated from the book Flutter Cookbook.

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