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Get the new Pixel 2 live wallpapers on any Android device [APK Download]

If anyone saw our hands-on with the Pixel 2 XL at Google's October 4th event, you may have noticed the phones are rocking some intriguing new live wallpapers. They are obviously intended to be Pixel 2 exclusives, but if there's one thing that you can rely on in the Android developer community, it's that someone out there will be on hand to mod an interesting new app and get it working on more devices.

The new Pixel 2 launcher thankfully works on other phones without modification, although if you want the swipe-for-Google-Feed functionality on phones other than the first generation Pixels and Nexus devices, you'll need to install it as a system app.

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Google partners with Udacity to offer 50,000 new scholarships for aspiring developers

Grow with Google is the company's educational initiative offering free training and tools to help kickstart the careers of budding developers across the United States. The platform has several partners with which Google works to create learning programs and provide support. One such partner is Udacity, which offers free and paid online courses for a range of different technical disciplines.

Together, Google and Udacity are offering 50,000 new scholarships in the US. They will specifically target Android and mobile web developers with a view to training them up and getting them into work. The courses are intended to prepare students for Google's Associate Android Developer and Mobile Web Specialist developer certifications.

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New Android Wear 2.0 features can now be delivered through the Play Store, no OTA required

Android Wear is entering a potentially critical time. Wear 2.0 hasn't been received nearly as well as might have been expected, with many observers understandably worrying for its future. Watches were conspicuously absent from Google's big hardware event last week, and the Google Store site refresh has removed all non-Google products, including LG's recently released Android Wear watches.

Wear fans could use some more good news to add to the recent announcement of the Oreo beta program for the LG Watch Sport, and it looks as though we have exactly that. Googler Hoi Lam took to Google+ yesterday to share some new information about future updates to Android Wear 2.0.

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Chainfire launches firmware.mobi, a database of stock boot, recovery images, and firmware links

Finding stock firmware for phones can be a pain, but Chainfire is here to help. He's launched a new website at firmware.mobi, where you can find official firmware for a variety of devices. It also simplifies the process of using CF-Auto-Root, if that's your goal.

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Feedly reader has a crash bug issue, but the latest update should fix it

Everyone's favorite reader app, Feedly, seems to be having some problems on Android right now. For some users, version 37.3.0 (which was released back in June) has started crashing every time it's opened. I can confirm the issue on my Pixel XL, and it looks a little something like this...

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Actions on Google is now available for the Australian Google Assistant

Third party apps and services have been able to connect with the Google Assistant in the States since late last year, through the Actions on Google platform. Compatibility with more languages and regions was promised, and a couple of months ago we got support for it here in the UK, too. Australia is next up. Starting today, developers and businesses down under can integrate their apps with the Google Assistant.

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Google I/O 2017 app's source code released on GitHub to demonstrate the newest, best practices for Android devs

Every year for the past few years, Google releases an app for I/O attendees. Then, a few months afterwards, the company uploads the app's source code to GitHub. This year's I/O app was aptly named "Google I/O 2017," and now, if you're an Android developer, you can go through its source code to see what new techniques you can implement into your own app(s).

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Google's next-gen D8 dex compiler is now in preview, improves compilation times and file sizes

If you've ever watched HBO's Silicon Valley, you'll know that making files as small as possible without quality degradation is a big deal these days. Google knows this, and has just introduced the D8 dex compiler in preview as part of Android Studio 3.0 Beta's release. It improves upon the existing DX compiler in virtually every way.

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[More Room For Spam] Google Play raises the app title limit from 30 to 50 characters

I'm sure there's a legit reason why Google has changed one of its developer policies on the Play Store, but I can't think of any right now. Back in mid-July, it announced in a newsletter to developers that the character limit for app titles has been raised from 30 characters to 50. The change, however, seems to have been in effect even before because Waze changed to a much longer name between June 13 and 14.

Witness the tragedy:

  • "Waze - GPS, Maps & Traffic" => 26 characters, pre-June 14.
  • "Waze - GPS, Maps, Traffic Alerts & Live Navigation" => 50 characters, June 14 and onward.
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Google announces Nearby Connections API v2.0 with full offline functionality, more bandwidth, and less latency

Some of you might remember the Contextual App Experiences talk at I/O this year. The seemingly convoluted name actually held some pretty big news, as it was during that talk that Google revealed its plans to refresh the Nearby Connections API. That set of APIs is used to provide communication between your phone and other things in physical proximity to you, further expanding your ability to share info and data locally. Well, as of today version 2.0 of that API is now available, bringing new features for developers. 

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