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[Updated: Here Are The Winners!] Book Giveaway #16: Take Your Developing Skills To The Next Level With One Of Ten Copies Of Pro Android 4

Let's be honest, there isn't exactly a shortage of Android apps. What there is a shortage of, though, is quality Android apps. You know, apps with great interfaces, support for new features (such as ActionBar), and formats (tablets, TV, etc.) Part of the problem could simply be that a lot of the people developing (cr)apps for Android aren't experienced developers... or if they are experienced devs, they don't know how to get the most from the OS.

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Sony Releases Open Source Archive For The Xperia S, Includes Handy Build Instructions

Sony released the Xperia S open source archive today, providing all the tools necessary to build a kernel and start cooking up ROMs for the Xperia S from Sony's source code. In a post to Sony Mobile's developer blog today, the company also noted that the opening of the Xperia S archive marks the first time Sony has published source code for a product built around Qualcomm's Snapdragon S3.

XperiaS

The post goes on to advise that in order to flash the software, users will need to complete a few extra steps and run a special script (which is linked, along with a proprietary firmware file, in the original post).

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[Updated: Here Are The Winners!] Book Giveaway #15: Win One Of Ten Copies Of "Android Apps With App Inventor," Easily Build Apps Like A Pro, Profit

Those of you from the early days of Android may remember App Inventor - a Google project that allowed people to create apps for Android by dragging and dropping bits of code - no programming experience required. More recently, Google transferred the App Inventor to MIT, where it was open sourced. But the App Inventor (AI) is still a bit tricky to just open and jump right in to - a proper guide through the AI would allow someone to utilize its full potential, and create more complex apps in less time.

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Mika Mobile's Decision To Stop Making Games For Android Raises Troubling Questions And Concerns About Developing For The Platform

If you've never heard of Mika Mobile, that's not a huge surprise - they're a small, but fairly successful mobile game developer that focuses primarily on iOS. Their number one title (in terms of recent sales) is Zombieville USA 2, which has over 68,000 ratings on the App Store, and the most recent version of the game has averaged 5 stars. So we're clear, that's no small feat.

Their first game, Zombieville USA, was released for Android last July.

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PSA: California's New App Privacy Policy Requirement Just Made Life Harder For Developers Everywhere, Here's What You Need To Know

Privacy is a good thing in the digital world - you'll get no argument from me. I don't like my data floating around in cyberspace without my consent, but I also realize that much of what makes the internet (and computing generally) so great is that I can use my own judgment to decide who I will and will not trust with my information.

Things like app permissions, which have been a part of the Android package installation process for quite some time, are nice, but let's face it: 95% of us don't read them.

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[Updated: Here Are The Winners!] AnDevCon III Is Happening May 14-17 In The SF Bay Area, Get Your Tickets Early (Or Score A Couple From Us)

The newest iteration of AnDevCon (Android Developer Conference) is creeping up on us, and if you want to save some serious cash, now is the time to register. While the event doesn't actually kick off until May 14, 2012, you can stick a solid $550 back in your pocket by picking up your tickets before March 2 - a pretty substantial savings. Unless you don't like saving money, of course.

This contest is now over.
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[Updated] Motorola Announces "Developer Edition" RAZR With Unlockable Bootloader Headed To Europe And Another Unlockable Device For The U.S. Soon

Motorola announced today through its official community blog that a RAZR "Developer Edition" (evidently based on the original Droid RAZR, not its newer MAXX counterpart) is in the works. The dev-friendly device will carry an unlockable bootloader and is poised to hit European markets relatively soon, with a (yet unspecified) unlockable device bound for the U.S. "in the coming months." Oddly enough, the blog post was pulled (perhaps it was published prematurely; Update: it's live once again), but luckily the text of the post has been retained:

wm_Screenshot_2012-01-29-18-54-16 (1)

New Motorola RAZR™ Developer Edition will feature unlocked bootloader in Europe

We have some news for the community of people interested in unlockable/relockable bootloaders.

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[Updated: Here Are The Winners!] Book Giveaway #13: Kick Your Developing Game Up A Notch: We're Giving Away 5 Copies Of "Application Security For The Android Platform"

Thanks to our two-dozen (or so) previous book giveaways, you probably now know how to develop for Android. If so, it's probably time to kick your game up to the next level by mastering application security. Luckily for you, O'Reilly Media recently published a new book on the topic, titled "Application Security for the Android Platform: Processes, Permissions, and Other Safeguards." Written by Jeff Six, the book is a concise (112 page) treatise on the subject.

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Google Requires OEMs To Include The Stock Set Of UI Widgets In All Ice Cream Sandwich Devices, Developers Can Stop Skins From Messing With Their Apps

We are going to need some restraint and careful explanation for this one.

Google is making life a little easier for developers. Today a post on the official Android Developers Blog announced a new rule for OEMs that insist on skinning Ice Cream Sandwich: You must also include the unmodified ICS "Holo" Theme files. Regular users still have to deal with a skinned OS, but developers can opt out of the skinned parts for their app.

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[Updated: Here Are The Winners!] InformIT Holiday Book Giveaway #4: Win One Of Ten Copies Of 'Building Applications With The Android SDK' Or 'Android For Programmers: An App-Driven Approach'

Who's ready for another developer book giveaway? This go around you'll have a chance to win one of two different books: The Android Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the Android SDK, or Android for Programmers: An App Driven Approach, both of which are coming from our friends at InformIT.

This contest is now over. Here are our winners, selected at random:

The Android Developer's Cookbook:

  • phill henry
  • Tristan
  • Frederic Müller
  • Ben Bw*
  • Siva
  • Kiran
  • Milind
  • Tori
  • Daev
  • Svinkall

Android For Programmers:

  • John Ex*
  • Schubatis1
  • Dennis F.
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