Google Releases Source Code for Its Google I/O 2014 App

The open-source Google I/O app was built to help attendees navigate the event. Now its code is being released to help developers use the code for other projects.

Google I/O

Google has released the open source code for the Android app that was built for its Google I/O 2014 event so developers can use the code to inspire and launch other projects and apps.

The availability of the code for the app was announced by Bruno Oliveira, tech lead of the I/O app project, in a July 30 post on the Android Developers Blog.

"We are excited to share this source code with the developer community today, and we hope it will serve as a learning tool, a source of reusable snippets and a useful example of Android app development in general, wrote Oliveira. "In the coming weeks we will post a few technical articles with more detailed information about the IOSched source code to help bring some insight into the app development process."

Google unveiled the I/O 2014 app in June to help conference attendees and remote participants navigate the company's major developer conference, which was held for two days in San Francisco. The app allowed attendees and remote participants to explore the full conference agenda, add events to their personalized schedules and find interesting sessions to attend.

"Since its first release on Google Play a few weeks before the conference, the I/O app was downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people, including on-site attendees, I/O Extended event participants and users tuning in from home," wrote Oliveira. "If one of the goals of the app is to be useful to conference attendees, the other primary goal is to serve as a practical example of best practices for Android app design and development. In addition to showing how to implement a wide variety of features that are useful for most Android apps, such as Fragments, Loaders, Services, Broadcast Receivers, alarms, notifications, SQLite databases, Content Providers, Action Bar and the Navigation Drawer, the I/O app source code also shows how to integrate with several Google products and services, from the Google Drive API to Google Cloud Messaging."

In addition, the app uses the material design approach, the Android L Preview APIs and full Android Wear integration with a packaged wearable app for sending session feedback, he wrote.

"To simplify the process of reusing and customizing the source code to build apps for other conferences, we rewrote the entire sync adapter to work with plain JSON files instead of requiring a server with a specific API," he wrote. "These files can be hosted on any web server of the developer's choice, and their format is fully documented."

A crucial part of the app includes the ability to store and sync the user's self-created event schedule data, wrote Oliveira. "The source code shows how user data can be stored in the Application Data folder of the user's own Google Drive account and kept in sync across multiple devices, and how to use Google Cloud Messaging to trigger syncs when necessary to ensure the data is always fresh."

This gives developers many options for new projects, he added. "The project includes the source code to the App Engine app that can be reused to send GCM messages to devices to trigger syncs, as well as a module (called Updater) that can be adapted to read conference data from other backends to produce the JSON files that are consumed by the I/O app."

The code for the app will continue to be updated in the coming months so that developers can continue to use it and expand the app, he wrote.

The app code is designed to take advantage of a multitude of screen sizes, depending on whatever types of devices are being used by participants.

The theme for this year's Google I/O 2014 developer conference was all about helping developers "design, develop and distribute" their applications and innovations using Google tools and resources, according to an earlier eWEEK report.