Regardless of if you like, don’t like, or vehemently hate sensor notches on smartphones, the reality is that they are coming into vogue. Google themselves are expected to have a notched device in the Pixel 3 XL and there are already notched devices out there from the likes of Essential and Huawei. That said, Android Oreo has never fully supported notches but that changes under Android P.
The Android team over at Google took to the Android Development blog yesterday to outline some key code elements that developers need to use in order to make sure their apps work with a notched device in Android P. They also laid down the law for manufactures too. No device will have more that two notches.
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After a three year hiatus, Google has announced that they will be hosting an Android Dev Summit November 7th and 8th in the Mountain View, California based Computer History Museum. The event, as the name suggests, is aimed for Android developers and will provide two days of breakout sessions, keynotes and time to chat with other developers and Googlers.
Registration details and session details have not been announced and readers are encouraged to follow the Android Dev Twitter account for more details (or the hashtag #AndroidDevSummit
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After some 17 months of testing in various shapes and forms, Android Things has finally been released. The 1.0 version of Android for IoT (Internet of Things) devices, brings all the benefits of Android but in a streamlined, power friendly package. Developers of Android should find Android Things familiar straight away.
The beauty of Things is that you have access to all the APIs, development tools and resources that are already used in Android development and can use them to develop hardware solutions on certified Android Things hardware for use in IoT projects.
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Google has announced the availability of Android Studio 3.1, the Android development app. It is available to download for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit), Mac and Linux. The release comes with a lot of new features as well as underlying performance improvements.
First, there is a new C++ performance profiler to help developers find bottlenecks in their app code. There are also improvements to the Kotlin Lint checks that add on to the support of Kotlin in the studio. Editing SQL/Room database code in projects are now easier too. Android Studio 3.1 has a SQL code completion in the @query declarations and better SQL statement refactoring.
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Two new commits in the Android AOSP (Android Open Source Project) code review suggest that native hiding of sensitive numbers is coming to the platform. Most often these numbers are to report domestic violence where the victim would not want their perpetrator to find a call to such a number in their call log.
The two commits hand two specific elements of sensitive numbers. First, the special numbers would not be logged at all by being masked. The second commit refers to a new XML file that is required to assure that these numbers are not logged and that they comply with local laws as well as dealing with roaming and multiple SIM devices. Essentially the two methods achieve the same goal, it is a matter of how AOSP wants to implement it into Android.
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In a somewhat unexpected move, Google has released the first Developer Preview of Android P, the next major version of the platform. While it was expected to be released this month, perhaps even on 3/14 (Pi… get it?), it seems that the wait for this alpha build was much shorter than expected.
Before going into the details of what is new in this build, let me first be very clear. This build is alpha. It is not going to be stable and, in fact, is not even supported in the Android beta program. In order to get it, you have to side-load it so it is really intended for app developers only. If you really, really, really want to download it, you can do so here but brace yourself. It is not going to be a smooth experience. Also, keep in mind that this alpha build is only available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
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An interesting new commit has been found in the Android code review Gerrit that could allow your phone to become a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse for your computer. There commit has two parts to it. The first enables the HID (Human Interface Device) Profile in the Bluetooth stack while the second adds Profile Proxy to the HID stack.
In theory, by enabling these features, your Android phone becomes another HID and allows it to perform functions of those devices. Any Bluetooth keyboard, mouse or trackpad that you connect to your computer or phone is a HID. This commit turns your phone into one.
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It is looking increasingly likely that we will see the first Developer Preview of Android P this month. That view comes from the ramp up in activity in the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) Git and code review but also thanks to a Tweet from the awesome Evan Blass.
If you are not following Evan on Twitter, take the time to do so. He is one of the best connected resources out there when it comes to leaks and rumors about Android. He is also deadly accurate on these leaks too so if he Tweets on it, chances are solid that it will actually happen. Like 99% solid.
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