We rarely talk about apps losing features, but that's what has happened to Google+ today, but it's not such a bad thing. The latest update to v6.1 has started rolling out to users and it finally removes access to the Google+ Photos functionality that remained after the introduction of Google Photos at I/O 2015. A previous update warned users that the Google+ Photos functionality wasn't long for this world back in June, and about a month later Google officially announced it would be shut down on August 1st.
It may be a little behind schedule, but we all knew this update would be coming soon. Read More
A preview of Android Studio v1.3 made its first appearance at the Google I/O 2015 session What's New in Android Development Tools, which introduced a number of significant improvements and additions. The biggest announcement was about the integration of JetBrains Clion, enabling Android Studio to be used for C/C++ development, and ultimately support app development with the Native Development Kit (NDK). After a few months in development and about 3 weeks in the Canary channel, version 1.3 has been promoted to a Stable release.
Support for C/C++ development is still considered an "Early Access Preview," so it's probably not quite ready for larger projects. Read More
The M preview changes the way Android deals with permissions. Rather than viewing a bulky list and approving all of the things an app wants access to right from the beginning, M lets you grant permission as the need arises.
Starting with the second preview, apps now need permission to access storage outside of their own personal space. This was something they could do out-of-the-box in the first preview build of Android M. Now attempting to read or write to any area that is also accessible to other apps has been designated as dangerous behavior, and you will have to allow apps to do so. Read More
Google's initiative to put privacy and security back into the hands of users through a revised permission system has received generally positive responses. It's no secret that this approach closely matches the way iOS prompts users for access to things like the contacts or location. Aside from the possibility that permission requests could become annoying with too much frequency, this has proven to be a pretty effective approach. However, since the announcement, one sticking point seems to have emerged around access to the Internet. As it turns out, users will never be asked to grant access to the outside world, and it's not even possible to revoke it, even if they wanted to. Read More
As we expected, Android M will have a revamped permission system. No longer will apps ask for a bunch of permissions at installation time. Instead, apps will ask for important permissions the first time they need them. You can also change permission settings via an AppOps-like interface.
A new report from Bloomberg claims Google is about to revamp the way privacy is handled in Android apps. The changes would allow users to approve permissions individually for things like the camera, location, or the contact list. With Android M expected at I/O later this month, it seems like a perfect time to make this happen. It's long overdue.
If the rollout of an updated Play Store yesterday with some tweaked interface elements and an order history page was exciting, just wait until you see what else was hidden inside the latest version. I don't think there's any point in teasing, this might be the one we've all been waiting for. The Play Store is finally going to enable a method to offer discounted purchases. There are still a lot of unknowns, but it's real, and it's probably coming very soon.
: Teardowns are speculative and based on incomplete evidence. There is always a chance that details may change, or entire features may be cancelled.
The latest version of the Play Store hit the scene a little over a week ago and introduced a tweak to the way permissions are displayed at install time, and it left some people feeling a little...uncertain. Gone is the ugly wall of poorly spaced, semi-specific permissions. The replacement is a short set of simplified categories, each with crisp-looking icons and buttons that reveal a brief description when tapped. Google filtered through roughly 145 permissions and narrowed them down to a dozen groups, plus one bucket for anything that remains. The list can be found here.
Left: old Play Store. Read More
Remember the most recent Google Play Android client update? One of the features in that one was a new way of viewing permissions. As of that version there's a link to open the list instead of only being able to see it from the installation dialog. Well, now the web Play Store has pretty much the same thing. It's called consistency.
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
New Permissions And Features
The first thing many of our readers noticed before installing the apk manually is that it requires a stack of new permissions. Read More