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Google Launches Android For Work DevHub, A Beta Program And Open Forum For Eager Companies And Developers

The workplace may be stuffy, but that doesn't mean there isn't space for a tech lover to geek out. You may be the IT guy responsible for managing user accounts and security policies, but just like on your personal phone, you like having access to the latest tools.

For you, dear corporate tech nerd, Google has introduced Android for Work DevHub.

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Hey Google, Please Deal With The Explosion Of Lock Screen Adware In The Play Store

The once beloved ES File Explorer was revealed recently to be little more than a Trojan Horse, used to get adware installed on thousands of devices with one update. This was apparently just the beginning. Users have started compiling a spreadsheet of apps that sneak the same adware-infused charging lock screen onto your device. There are already about 20 of them. Google, where are you?

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New Sessions Added To Google I/O 2016 Schedule

Google posted at least some of the events and sessions for developers to check out at the Google I/O trade conference already. It looks like the Big G wasn't quite finished ironing out the details, because several new sessions have been added to the official website as of today. Here are a few of them that are particularly relevant to Android:

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Updated May Platform Distribution Numbers Show Marshmallow As The Only Version Gaining, Now At 7.5%

It's the beginning of the month again, and that means it's time for Google to update the Android platform distribution numbers. We've been waiting ages for Froyo to die, but it lives on this month. However, Marshmallow continues to show strong performance as the only version gaining market share right now.

Here's the full breakdown of this month's numbers.

Android version stats, May 2016

Android versionPrevious data (%)Current data (%)Change (pp)
2.20.10.10
2.32.62.2-0.4
4.02.22.0-0.2
4.17.87.2-0.6
4.210.510.0-0.5
4.33.02.9-0.1
4.433.432.5-0.9
5.016.416.2-0.2
5.119.419.40
6.04.67.5+2.9

So, as you can see, Froyo is still sitting there at 0.1%, mocking us with its obsolescence.

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Android Studio v2.1 Released To Stable Channel With Support For Android N, Java 8 Language Features, And More

With last month's release of the Android N Preview, the Tools team launched a preview release of Android Studio 2.1. Not only did the new version add support for the N Preview SDK, but it also brought a few important important and welcomed additions, including adoption and support for many of the language features in Java 8, a semi-official switch to the Jack compiler, an updated New Project wizard, and further improvements to the new and faster Android Emulator. As of today, Android Studio 2.1 has been promoted to Stable and is available to all developers.

The biggest advantage of updating and switching to the Jack compiler, aside from playing with new Android N APIs like Launcher Shortcuts, is probably the addition of Lambda Expressions.

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Sony Offers A Build Of The Android N Developer Preview For The Xperia Z3

Normally only Nexus and other first-party Google devices get a taste of an upcoming Android version before it's released, barring custom ROMs and other end user activities. But Sony has been offering experimental AOSP builds for some of its phones for some time, and today the company has surprised and delighted owners of the former flagship Xperia Z3 with a custom Android N developer preview. This is more or less the same as the preview builds for Nexus phones and tablets, and it includes the Play Store and Google Services - everything one needs for a full Android experience.

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Google Open Sources WALT, A Tool For Measuring Touch And Audio Latency On Android And Chrome OS

From a user perspective, a phone is either snappy or it's not. If it isn't, the device is either old or garbage that a manufacturer should be ashamed of shipping.

Technically, things aren't quite so simple.

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The 25% Developer Discount On The Pixel C Is Now Active In Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland

Remember that sweet 25% discount on the Pixel C tablet for "developers?" (Don't worry, you don't actually have to be a developer.) Originally it was only available to buyers in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, but as of today it's been updated to apply to a handful of new counties. Customers in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland can now take 25% off of the local currency price.

Remember that the discount requires a code, which may take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two to hit your inbox once you request it.

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Sony Forms ForwardWorks, A First-Party Development Studio For Mobile Games

For all its flaws, mobile gaming is kind of a big deal. Even world-class gaming hardware and software companies like Sony would be ill-advised to ignore it. And they aren't: today Sony announced that it's forming a new first-party development company called ForwardWorks, which will work exclusively on game development for mobile. Presumably that means Android games (since Sony manufactures Android hardware and leverages it with its PlayStation brand) and iOS games (since it would be foolish to ignore that potential revenue).

ForwardWorks will be based out of Tokyo as a fully-owned Sony subsidiary. At the moment it isn't clear what the focus of the developer will be: mobile tie-ins to popular Sony franchises like Killzone, Infamous, Little Big Planet, and Uncharted are obvious picks, but there's plenty of money to be made in mobile-only franchises as well if developers can score a win with the first title.

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Google's New Accessibility Scanner Helps Developers Check Their Apps For Accessibility Issues

Developers, we know you work hard on your apps. So does Google. But they also know that sometimes it's hard to make apps easy to use when you're elbow deep in their design. To that end, the new Accessibility Scanner app allows you to check other apps for potential problems or possible improvements in terms of accessibility. It's a free download in the Play Store, but at the moment it looks like it's limited to Android 6.0 devices.

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