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development

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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Actions on Google opens to the public, developers now free to create custom voice actions for Google assistant

The Google assistant makes for a pretty awesome companion on the Pixel phones and Google Home, but it's still young and feels constrained by the very limited number of things it can do outside of Google's sandbox of supported services. During the October 4th announcement, Google declared plans to open up the platform in early December for developers to build their own services. Staying true to that schedule, the Actions on Google platform opened the door today, allowing developers to integrate their services. Google is also launching an early access program to begin testing new features and upcoming expansions.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: A closer look at seamless updates, partition changes, and new fastboot commands

During the I/O 2016 Keynote presentation, and again at the October 4th Pixel announcement, Google made brief references to newly added support for seamless updates in Nougat. To make this work, many changes had to be made to the structure of Android and its assorted system partitions. As a result, there have also been some changes to the fastboot utility many of us use when new factory images become available. This post covers a few of the technical details and also demonstrates some of the ways to use the new features.

How it works

Seamless updates are accomplished by creating a second set of logical partitions in device storage.

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InBrief
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Google Play services v9.8 update brings Goals API for Fit, auto-fill support for phone numbers, and more

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Google is creating an open developer platform called "Actions on Google" to integrate with assistant and an embedded SDK to add assistant to new hardware

Today's announcements by Google have certainly given us a lot to look at in terms of new hardware and features – and possibly a case of sticker shock. But while the show was mostly dominated by new gadgets and demos of Google assistant, there was a really important addition for developers (and ultimately users) at the tail end of the event. Google intends to turn assistant into a major ecosystem for apps and services by opening up the platform to developers.

The platform is called "Actions on Google" and it will allow developers to deliver custom experiences through Google assistant. Google assistant can already take advantage of many existing capabilities like app indexing, deep linking, and even the Voice Interaction API to provide helpful answers and services.

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