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Android 5.1 Includes New Carrier Provisioning API, Allows Carriers Easier Methods Of Setting Up Services On Devices They Don't Control

One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes additions in Android 5.1 is a new carrier provisioning API that provides functionality which likely benefits carriers and customers alike. Any time you join a carrier, you get services along with your account, whether it's Play Store billing, visual voicemail, premium subscription services billed to your account, or any number of other things. For as long as Android has existed, the methods used to provision these services on a customer's account have varied widely from carrier to carrier, and there was no standard way of doing it.

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Google Play Services 7.0 Adds APIs For Detecting Places And Connecting To Nearby Devices, Improves On Mobile Ads, Fitness Data, Location Settings, And More

The Android ecosystem –as most of us think of it– is built on more than just an operating system and a marketplace for independent apps. It's largely shaped by dozens of services that have been built by Google, allowing developers to add rich features to their apps without building out expensive infrastructures. The Google Play services package is the core element in this equation, and it's getting a pretty major update to version 7.0 over the next couple of weeks.

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Critical Vulnerability In Verizon FiOS Mobile API Allowed Easy Access To Any User's Email Info

Verizon isn't making many friends when it comes to keeping private information private. Just two days after news broke that Verizon Wireless is collecting and in some cases selling web browsing info, its parent company has been given a black eye for insecure practices associated with the FiOS Internet service. Security researcher Randy Westergren discovered a way to access any FiOS user's Verizon email account by using the mobile API.

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Logitech's New Harmony API Allows Smart Home Devices To Better Communicate With One Another And Their Owners Alike

With Logitech Harmony, people can control a large number of devices spread throughout their houses from a single remote or Android device. These various electronics, ranging from home entertainment systems to smart light bulbs, all communicate to a single hub.

Now Logitech is launching the Harmony API for third-party developers, so products that communicate with its system can then go on to interact with other ones.

To paint a picture of how this works, imagine the lights dimming automatically when you start a movie, having music start playing when you enter the room, or turning on the TV with a simple command.

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Sony Introduces Its Lifelog API To 'Boost Your App With Lifestyle Data'

 

Sony, with the release of its Lifelog API today, is giving developers one more way to build apps and services around your quantified daily activities.

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Google Play Games Introduces New Publishing API And Leaderboard Tamper Protection, Improves Unity Plugin And C++ SDK

Game developers integrating with Google Play Games have seen a lot of improvements since the service was launched a year and a half ago at Google I/O 2013. There have been a lot of refinements to the experience for both players and developers, and new tools have made many of the tedious and time consuming chores much easier. Google has just launched a new Play Games Publishing API inspired by a similar interface that was added to the Play Store earlier this year.

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Google Plans To Remove All Watch Faces From The Play Store That Do Not Update To The New API By January 31st, 2015 [Update]

The new version of Android Wear is rolling out, and with it comes the official watch face API. Developers have been making custom watch faces for months using a workaround, but now the party is over. All watch faces need to be updated with the official API by January 31st, 2015 or they will be removed from the Play Store.

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Camera FV-5 Becomes One Of The First Camera Apps In The Play Store With Support For Android 5.0's New APIs [Update]

There's been much talk about how Android 5.0 will finally do some good for mediocre Android cameras. The new camera APIs allow apps to get RAW images off the sensor and process them into JPEGs, but where are all the apps to take advantage of it? There's L Camera, which is still in testing on GitHub, but Camera FV-5 has become the first app in the Play Store to support the new Lollipop camera features.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Apps Can Now Capture Screen Recordings Without Root

You might recall that Android 4.4 added support for native screen recording, but it was a very developer-oriented tool that required you to plug the device into a computer and use ADB to control the capture. Some root-only apps came about that made use of that system sans USB cable, but Android 5.0 adds an API for screen recording that doesn't require root. We're still in the early days, but it looks like there's one less reason to root now.

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[Update: Newer APK 6.1.11] Google Play Services 6.1 Begins Rollout With Refreshed Google Fit Preview, UI Tweaks, Other Small Changes [APK Download]

Update 9/18/14: An updated version 6.1.07 (previous was 6.1.05) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.

Update 10/2/14: An updated version 6.1.11 (previous were 6.1.05, 6.1.07, and 6.1.09) started rolling out. We've updated the APK below to this version.

At Google I/O this year, we learned that Google Play Services is generally updated on a six-week cycle. As expected, the mighty puzzle piece behind Google's Android services is getting an update starting today that introduces a number of small changes that most users probably won't notice but which may make developers' lives a little bit easier.

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