Did you miss the release of the LiveKey SDK earlier this summer? No worries, it’s still around, and now we’ve updated it with an emulator. The LiveKey™ functionality was first introduced in the new LiveSound™ hi-fi headset, and using it gives you direct access to phone functions or applications with the click of a button. Maybe you want a simple speed dial to your mom, or the weather report to be read by text to voice? The only your limit is your imagination!
We met with Magnus Helgstrand from Sony Ericsson Smart Extras™ to find out more about LiveKey™ app extensions.
Magnus Helgstrand is one of the engineers at Sony Ericsson working with the LiveKey™ SDK, which enables you to create app extensions that can make use of the LiveKey™ functionality. This functionality was first introduced in our latest Android headphones, the LiveSound™ hi-fi headset.
Magnus, what makes the LiveKey™ functionality so interesting?
– With the LiveKey™ button on your headset, you can reach applications and functions in your phone without having to remove the phone from your pocket or bag. I have myself experimented with text to speech, and with a couple of “hacks,” I can now have my phone to read me the latest SMS, and time of day, when I press the LiveKey™. I strongly believe small simple use-cases on the go will be perfect for LiveKey™.
So what are your ambitions with the LiveKey™ SDK?
– Our ambition with the SDK is to make it as easy as possible for developers to make new applications supporting LiveKey™ or to add support for LiveKey™ in the next update of their already published applications. We have included an example implementation to kick start developers. This example code is free to use and published under the liberal BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license.
How does it work?
– The application called LiveWare™ manager is the hub of the LiveKey™ functionality. It is pre-installed on Sony Ericsson phones, and can be downloaded from Android™ market. As a user, you can find and select LiveKey™ enabled applications in LiveWare™ manager. This is the way you set what functionality to use in your LiveKey™ headset.
– When the user presses the LiveKey™ button, the selected apps will get intents with information about LiveKey™ presses and releases. This information will make it possible for the app to react with different functionality on for example long presses and double presses.
What’s new in the LiveKey™ SDK?
– In this version of the SDK, we have included a LiveKey™ emulator. The LiveKey™ emulator will emulate a key press from the LiveSound™ headset, allowing developers without access to a LiveSound™ headset to develop and test LiveKey™ functionality in their applications.
What are the benefits for a developer? Why should you try this SDK out?
– The benefits for developers are at least two-fold. The developers will get a new interaction model with their apps, making them relevant in new situations. The other advantage is visibility. Users with LiveKey™ headsets can search Android market for new LiveKey™ enabled applications, which will make LiveKey™ enabled applications stand out from the noise on Android market.
The new LiveKey SDK includes two code examples, documentation and a standalone emulator .apk file. You can learn more and download it from the LiveKey developer section of Developer World. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a question in the LiveKey SDK forum thread on Google Groups. We’ll come back with an answer as soon as possible!