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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Storage Access Framework Enables Batch Operations With Full Directory Access

Android 4.4 contained a number of interesting and very powerful features for developers, many of which went unused or misunderstood for quite a long time. Since it was introduced in KitKat, The Storage Access Framework (SAF) may be one of the best examples of an API that has been underutilized, despite offering a great method to provide cleaner and more informative interfaces. I even theorized that it may ultimately take the place of file system access.

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[I/O 2014] Google Fit Platform Promises More Accessible Fitness Data, Multiple Partners Have Already Signed On

The new Google Fit Platform is a set of cross-platform APIs that developers can use to provide consumers with the means to better keep track of their fitness goals. The product intends to blend together data from multiple sources, so users can get a better overall picture of their performance and health. It empowers apps by providing them with access to a user's entire stream of fitness activity, letting software tap into data that it didn't capture itself and provide better recommendations.

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Updates To AOSP Confirm Dalvik Runtime Will Be Removed From Android, ART Officially Takes Its Place

It looks like Google is putting the last nail in Dalvik's coffin, and the new Android Runtime (ART) is about to take the throne. A pair of commits turned up last night in the master branch of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository that spell certain doom for the Android runtime we've known and loved for all these years. The first of the two changes completely wipes the /libdvm (Dalvik Virtual Machine) folder from AOSP, and the second takes care of changing all of the relevant configuration files and startup scripts to call on the ART runtime.

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Amazon Releases Fire Phone SDK To Developers, Includes Support For Firefly, Dynamic Perspective, Motion Gestures, Active Widgets, And More

Jeff Bezos took to the stage earlier today to announce Amazon's first entrant into the highly competitive smartphone industry, the Fire Phone. Not only was the presentation loaded with some of the shiny new features of the handset and Fire OS, all meant for the press to disseminate to potential buyers, but there were also a few unusually blunt efforts to attract developers. In the midst of demonstrating Firefly and Dynamic Perspective, portions of the presentation were focused on explaining that developers would be able to extend these platform features in their own apps.

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[For Developers] New Website "The Android Arsenal" Links To Hundreds Of Great Libraries And Tools For App Development

Hunting down good libraries can be a pretty tedious chore for developers. Sometimes we know what we want, but can't find the right keywords for a search. Other times we're already familiar with one option but want to find alternatives that might work better for our project. And sometimes, we just need a little inspiration. Take a look at The Android Arsenal, a large categorized directory of Android-oriented projects that can go a long way toward speeding up your development.

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Blackberry OS 10.3 SDK Beta Released With Android 4.3 Runtime Support, Bluetooth Low-Energy, NFC, And More

Blackberry may be having a rough time of it with flagging sales performance and complications with a certain carrier partner, but that hasn't stopped the company from courting app developers. In an effort to bring in more talent from the much larger and flourishing Android ecosystem, the Blackberry 10.3 SDK has bumped the Android runtime support up from API Level 17 to API level 18 (a.k.a. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean).

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Google Announces Expanded Design Focus For I/O 2014, Introduces New Design Minutes Series

In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.

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External Blues Redux: Apps Still Have A Loophole For Writing To The SD Card On KitKat, But For How Long?

"Because the history of computing has taught us is that data will not be contained. Data breaks free. It expands to new media, crashes through barriers; painfully, maybe even dangerously. But, uh, there it is… Data finds a way." - Jeff Goldblum as Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Gift Shop)

When we last left our favorite removable storage device, OEMs had begun adopting Google’s policy for restricting write access to SD cards.

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Google Play Listings Now Support Distinct "What's New" Text For Alpha, Beta, And Production Channels

Developers have certainly made great use of the Alpha and Beta distribution channels in the Play Store since they became available last summer. There was one glaring oversight: developers could only write a single block of text for the "What's New" section. This often led to changelogs that left beta testers in the dark about changes or confusing regular users with promises of new features and fixes that hadn't yet materialized in the stable channel.

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[GDC 2014] Google Releases Version 1.0 Of Cross-Platform 'LiquidFun' Physics Engine

Last December, Google announced LiquidFun, a cross-platform physics engine developers could use to create realistic gaming experiences. Now, as a part of Google Developer Day at this year's Game Developers Conference, the company has released version 1.0 out into the wild. It's also provided no shortage of videos demoing what the project is capable of.

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