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development

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Sony's KOOV wants to teach your kids programming through robotics... via an Indiegogo campaign

Yesterday Sony Global Education launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding project for its newest educational initiative. Meet KOOV a programming and robotics kit for children. Think Legos meets robots (which is already a thing) but with better software and simpler hardware. With these tools, your kids can pick up programming fundamentals at a much earlier age. Perhaps little Suzy might be the next Wozniak or Stallman. Probably with less facial hair, though. 

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Release notes for Play Services v11 have been posted with a new API for smooth SMS verification and several significant additions and deprecations

Now that Google is through with its biggest developer conference of the year, it's time to deliver a few updates and fulfill some of the promises made during the event. Some of that is happening through an update to Play services. Google posted the release notes for the update and it includes a lot of additions, both big and small, and a few deprecations.

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How Google plans to tackle power consumption even more aggressively in Android

Yesterday at I/O Google had an interesting talk called Background Check and Other Insights into the Android Operating System Framework. It's a long name, but really it's about improving battery life in Android. It went on at great length as to how, exactly, the team plans on doing that, and it's quite worth a watch. We have the video here, but if you don't have the half-hour to check it out, then you are welcome to read below.

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Google launches new vitals tools in the Play Console Dashboard to find and solve problems

In one more slice of I/O developer news, Google has launched another set of tools for developers using its Console Dashboard for apps on Google Play. The new tool automatically analyzes app reports to show developers pertinent info about app issues. This is the 2nd big feature about making app performance and bug fixing easier for developers after the new visual profiler tools in the latest preview of Android Studio.

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InBrief
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Facebook open-sources its Litho UI framework for Android

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Google releases Android Things Developer Preview 3

Fast on the heels of Developer Preview 2, Google has just pushed out their latest Developer Preview for Android Things, the IoT embedded platform based on Android.

Android Things was released at I/O in 2015 originally under the codename Brillo, and was meant to give existing Android developers a platform for embedded devices through the same tools and Android SDK they already know. At its most basic level Android Things is the same Android we all know and love applied to embedded devices like smart lights, doorbells, thermostats—that sort of thing—with some of the same APIs and tools that Android developers have used for years.

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Google is working on bringing Android Studio to Chrome OS

Chrome OS is often characterized (somewhat unfairly) as just a glorified web browser; and if your needs involve powerful photo editing tools like Photoshop, video editing packages like Adobe Premiere or Apple's Final Cut Pro X, modeling tools with complicated features like Blender or Solidworks, or an assortment of other powerful software tools, it's not hard to see how that perception came to be. Software development is another area where things aren't too rosy – unless you're a web developer. However, a clue has popped up that suggests Android Studio may be coming to Chrome OS.

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[Freebie, but hurry] Android Game Programming by Example is free from Packt

Packt Publishing has been doing something pretty crazy for a little over a year by giving away free developer-oriented eBooks from its collection every day. Well, almost every day – they took a few days off last month. All you have to do is create an account and drop in on the web page to claim each book before the timer runs out. If you've been thinking about developing a game for Android and want a book to guide you through some of the ins and outs, hurry over to Packt right now and claim Android Game Programming by Example before it's gone.

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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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[Deal Alert] Packt is offering all of its eBooks, including Android development-related ones, for $5

If you're looking to learn how to develop for a certain platform, chances are that Packt will have what you're looking for in either eBook or video form. As it does a few times per year, the publishing company is currently offering all of its material for just $5 a pop.

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