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developers

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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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Microsoft is bringing the Windows Dev Center to Android [APK Download]

If you're a Windows developer, you'll be familiar with the Dev Center, an invaluable tool for monitoring your apps. The personalized dashboard tracks key performance and health data so you can maintain any apps you have in the Windows Store. Microsoft is now getting ready to launch an Android app with the same functionality, so you can check in on your software on the move.

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HTC posts Android 7.0 kernel source code for the One A9, plus more models of the HTC 10

HTC published Android 7.0 Nougat kernel source code for the HTC 10 at the tail end of last year. It was only available for the unlocked version at the time, but now the company has updated the page with the code for the T-Mobile, Telstra, and Verizon versions of the phone, too. Furthermore, the HTC One A9 has had its code published for the first time, with a great deal more variants available.

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[Update: Officially live] Actions on Google will soon support British English

In a bid to make its Assistant more powerful, Actions on Google was launched in the US late last year. The service allows third-party developers to build their own voice actions for the Assistant, integrating it with their own apps. To encourage development, Google introduced a competition with cash prizes to anyone making compelling actions. Until now the service has only supported US English, but after support for more languages was previously promised, it seems the UK will be next to see Actions rolled out.

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Google introduces a beta program for Cast for Android TV

The Google Cast Receiver app is necessary if you want to cast to your Android TV as if it were a Chromecast. Unfortunately, it's had pretty poor reviews since its release and it's about time Google did something about it. In a bid to improve the experience for developers working with the Google Cast SDK, and in turn make the app less buggy, the company is opening up a beta program that will offer early access to the latest features.

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Android O Developer Preview 4 is rolling out, final release coming soon

We're getting very, very close to the release of Android O. Google has put out three developer previews for Android O, and today is the fourth and final dev release. The OTA for devices in the Android Beta Program is rolling out as we speak, and there are system images so you can flash the new preview manually. This one should be representative of the final build.

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Huawei releases kernel source code for Honor 6X

The Honor 6X began receiving the Nougat-based EMUI 5.0 update back in early May. It's been nearly three months since then, and Huawei has finally released this budget smartphone's kernel source code. You can now expect to see more development for the 6X in the near future.

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OnePlus already has the OnePlus 5 kernel source available for download

A lot of smartphone makers get around to releasing kernel sources whenever they feel like. It might be a month or two after a device is released or updated, but it happens. OnePlus, to its credit, is much faster. The OnePlus 5 has only just been announced, but the open source files are already available for download.

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