Android Experiments Is Google’s New Playground For Coders

Google has lifted the curtain on a new Android Experiments website, which it wants to use as a way of showcasing “creative ways to utilize … device capabilities” and “new or unique uses of technology, aesthetics and interface.” 

Essentially, it’s a collection of demos of just how great Android can be, if you know your code and your hardware.

Showcasing ways in which developers can use its tools isn’t a completely new idea from Google, the newly minted Alphabet subsidiary: Chrome Experiments started way back in 2009 and gave a taste of what was possible on the new interactive Web that was evolving at the end of the last decade.

Developers are invited to submit their own “experiments” too, so anyone with an eye-catching and out-of-the-ordinary app can get it up for the world to see. The 20 examples on the site at launch cover areas such as camera hacks, Android Wear, and OpenGL innovations.

“Each project challenges in small and big ways how we think of the devices we interact with every day,” explains Google’s blog post.

Like GitHub and Dribbble, the site may prove to be a place where developers catch the eye of people hunting for them—and land new jobs or assignments.

Chrome Experiments has been a small-scale success for Google. The company is likely hoping the Android version proves equally inspirational for coders playing around with its mobile platforms. 

As for submissions, Google is encouraging everyone to get involved, “whether you’re a student just starting out, or you’ve been at it for awhile.” Not all submissions will be posted, but they will be looked at.

Demo Time


Tilt is one of the demos.

Included in the opening batch of Android experiments we have Ytai Ben-Tsvi’s IOIO Plotter, originally built for Maker Faire. It converts digital photos snapped with an Android tablet into a physical picture plotted out with ink and canvas.

Then there’s the Landmarker app by Anthony Tripaldi of Google Creative Labs. It uses an augmented reality-style interface to display neighborhoods or areas as you point your smartphone at them—a tap on the screen then gives you more conventional directions to that place.

Tilt by MediaMonks is another project of interest already up on Android Experiments. It uses the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors in a phone to offer a new twist on the familiar marble-rolling game. We also like the look of the Time Mesh face for Android Wear, a flexible wired grid that reacts to the motion of your wrist courtesy of Coding For Love.

Time will tell if the new site ends up being a vibrant incubator of exciting Android apps or a neglected coding ghost town, but if Google can supply enough of its own creative projects then developers are likely to want to get involved too. You can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #AndroidExperiments.

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