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developers

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Android Instant Apps, announced at Google I/O last year, starts initial testing

One of the more interesting features shown off at Google I/O last year was Instant Apps, a new way to run Android applications without any installation. For example, during the presentation it was shown how tapping a Buzzfeed video link would play the content in the Buzzfeed app, only downloading the parts required for video playback. Keep in mind that this is different from the streaming apps functionality Google introduced in 2015.

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Google acquires Fabric, a popular mobile developer platform for performance tracking and crash reporting

Ask all of the mobile app developers to name the SDKs and third-party services they're using and the answer you're likely to hear more than any other is Fabric, or possibly Crashlytics (a component of Fabric). Many apps rely on Fabric for crash reporting, performance metrics, and other services that are hard to build in-house, but prove very useful when supporting an app and making business decisions. Fabric announced earlier today that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Google, leaving behind its parent company Twitter.

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InBrief
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Motorola releases Nougat kernel source code for the Moto G4 and G4 Plus

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Google announces new subscription promo ability and refund identification API for developers

Google has brought Playtime, its developer education event, back to San Francisco with some news for those that help to make Android awesome. If you missed the event or the video highlights, there is a handy blog post with a summary of the information announced. The most interesting points from it are that Google is now giving developers the ability to run subscription promotional prices and to see which users have requested refunds. Fun stuff, right? 

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Motorola partners with Indiegogo to foster development of new Moto Mods

I don't want to say Moto Mods are a universally bad idea, but most of the Mods that have been released so far are mediocre at best, and the prices are crazy. It's been a while since Motorola released a new Mod, but there could be more ideas floating around soon. The company has partnered with crowdfunding site Indiegogo to get developers interested in making Moto Mods.

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Google rolling out improved fraud and spam detection in the Play Store

We've all seen it—an app with just a few too many suspicious five-star reviews or an unlikely high number of installs in a short period of time. Google cites these attempts to manipulate the Play Store as a hindrance to its recommendation system, and ultimately to the experience of end users. Today, it's implementing a new filtering system to spot these apps.

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Google's Project Tango gets an official gallery app on the Play Store

So far there are only two devices that officially support Google's neat-o Project Tango spatial detection technology: the original developer kit (no longer being sold) and the shiny new Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. The latter is set to release next month, so Google is preparing the way with a new first-party app, simply called "Tango." It's available as a free download in the Play Store right now, but without access to either the tablet or the phone, you won't be able to play around with it.

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System dumps for Pixel and Pixel XL are available for download

Google will be shipping the Pixel and Pixel XL in a few weeks, but you can download the system dumps from the phones right now. Developer and occasional leaker LlabTooFeR has posted the files online, but don't get excited thinking these dumps will let you install Android 7.1 on your device. This is still a chance to get a look at the Pixel's software a little early, though.

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Android Studio v2.2 released to stable channel with new layout designer and ConstraintLayout, test recorder, APK Analyzer, and much more

The Android Tools Team has been hard at work on version 2.2 of Android Studio, and it's finally ready to step up to a stable release. Demonstrated at Google I/O, the preview release of v2.2 introduced a plethora of great new features and improvements intended to make app development faster and easier. Over the last four months, Studio has been continually tested and refined to get it ready for all developers, regardless of which development channels they're normally following. For anybody that hasn't been following along with the canary or dev builds, the video below summarizes many of the new improvements in this release.

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Android apps can now easily access Google's harmful website database

Google's Safe Browsing feature has been around since 2007, and has protected millions of people from harmful threats on the internet. It's a blacklist of harmful websites, such as those distributing malware and phishing scams, that Google actively updates every day. The database is used by Chrome, Firefox, and even Safari to ensure users can be as safe as possible online.

Back at Google I/O, Google announced they would make an official API for applications to check a given website in the Safe Browsing database. Starting with Google Play Services 9.4, developers can finally use the API in their apps.

The Safe Browsing API uses the latest version of the Safe Browsing Network Protocol, meaning it's designed to be as quick (and use up as little cellular data) as possible.

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