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Google Releases Android Auto Desktop Head Unit, A Fully Operational Emulator For Auto App Development

One of the biggest challenges to creating good apps for Android Auto has been actually testing the experience. Many independent developers can't afford to purchase brand new cars with Auto built-in, and aftermarket head units won't fit in most recently manufactured cars without heavy modification, and most of those units aren't very good anyway. When the Auto SDK came out, it included simulators that could be used for basic testing of just the messaging and media browser interfaces, but even these weren't good substitutes for the real thing. Today, Google released the Android Auto Desktop Head Unit, a functioning implementation of the Android Auto platform that runs right on a desktop or laptop.

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Google Sending Out Applications For Small Batch Of Project Soli Alpha Dev Kits

It's been a while since we last heard anything about Project Soli - Google's radical post-touch experiment unveiled at I/O - but it looks like the project is still rolling right along. According to a tipster, Google has begun notifying interested parties of an impending "Soli Alpha DevKit," asking that those notified fill out an application for the chance to receive one.

Google says it's looking for pretty much everything when it comes to possible applications - health, art, interactive installations, robotics, HCI, VR, and more are all specifically called out as fair game in Google's email.

The email says that those selected to receive a DevKit will get a development board and SDK, along with the opportunity to participate in a Soli Alpha developer workshop at some point in the future.

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Amazon Releases Alexa SDK Preview For Developers And Opens Up Echo's Voice Service To More Hardware, Starts $100 Million Fund To Invest In Folks Who Think This Is Cool

Amazon probably isn't the first company that comes to mind when you think of innovative gadgets. Not anymore, anyway. Hearing a company is producing a ho-hum smartphone based on Android isn't nearly as exciting as hearing about the Kindle for the first time. But with the Echo, the online retailer does have a cool piece of tech on its hands.

AmazonEcho

The Echo, which recently became available for general purchase in the US, is essentially what you get when you stick Google Now or Siri into a plastic tube. While that may not sound all that creative, delivery is everything. Saying OK Alexa (the name of the persona inside the device) out in the middle of the kitchen and having the product pick up from another room is rather impressive, especially when you just want to fire up some background music or search for a recipe.

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Amazon Releases Cloud Drive SDKs For Android And iOS So Developers Can Integrate Their Apps

Amazon Cloud Drive is like other cloud storage options, only it provides unlimited storage space. That's nothing to sniff at, but it's still not all that big a deal if your favorite apps can't smoothly tap into the service.

To address this issue, Amazon has now released an SDK so that developers can start baking the platform into their apps. The additions serve as part of the company's existing Mobile App SDK.

Screenshot 2015-06-17 at 5.15.53 PM

In the source link below, Amazon highlights four Android apps that have already taken advantage of the SDK. The list consists of A+ Gallery, TextMaker HD Basic, PlanMaker HD Basic, and Presentations HD Basic.

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[Breakfast Meat] Google's M-Preview Developer Docs Are Packed With A Bit Of Bacon-y Goodness

There was a time when we thought bacon could make almost anything better. We were wrong... It can make everything better! Things started simple with bacon appearing on breakfast plates, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Society eventually aimed higher with more creative endeavors like bacon ice cream, bacon-wrapped pizza, and of course, bacon-wrapped bacon. We couldn't even stop there because cocktail culture simply wasn't complete without bacon-flavored vodka. Why am I talking so much about bacon? Because this tasty meat has been sprinkled on top the API Overview page in the M-Preview SDK developer documentation. Take a look:

SoooooooMeaty

What you're seeing above is "bacon ipsum," a delicious alternative to the lorem ipsum commonly used in graphic design and publishing as filler until a final copy is written.

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[Update: Winners] Win One Of Five Tickets To LG's 3rd Annual Developer Event At Google I/O

 

This contest is now over.

The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future. Congratulations!

Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements. You can follow AP on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and RSS.

  1. Andy Tu
  2. Damir Sabirov
  3. Colby Simpson
  4. Denis Sobolev
  5. Yudhistira Erlandinata

Google I/O attracts thousands of developers from around the world to San Francisco, California for a few days each year. Combined with the already dense population of tech companies, it's an opportunity to hold parties and events to build relationships with developers.

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Automatic Opens Up An App Store For Automobiles, Brings A New Developer SDK And 2nd Gen Adapter Along For The Ride

Automatic wants to make your drive smarter. Or it wants to make you a smarter driver. Or it's only for smart drivers. Moving on, the company that makes its own proprietary Bluetooth dongle to offer real-time feedback and log your trips has announced a new phase for its car-centric project—it's opening an app store.

The Automatic App Gallery is a place for developers to drop apps that integrate with the Automatic adapter. Right now there are over twenty apps available, including software from the likes of Expensify, IFTTT, Jawbone UP, Nest, and Pebble.

To put content in an app store, developers need tools.

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Google Play Services 7.3 Finishes Rollout, SDK Updated With Additional Features For Android Wear, Google Fit, And Location Services

Google Play services 7.3 started rolling out to Android devices a little less than 2 weeks ago, making some small, but much needed changes in the process. It turns out that wasn't the only purpose for that release, as it also brings some cool new capabilities developers can use in their apps. Now that the rollout is finished, Google has released an updated Play Services SDK with new capabilities for Android Wear, Google Fit, and Location Services. There's also an improvement to the GoogleApiClient class to handle situations when APIs aren't available on a given device.

Magnus is back!

Android Wear

We learned last week from an update to the Android Wear app that support for connecting multiple watches – and possibly other devices – had become reality.

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Android 5.1.1 Spotted In SDK Manager, Suggests New Lollipop Update Is Right Around The Corner

It should come as no surprise that Android is due for a v5.1.1 release at some point, even if only to fix a particularly well-known memory leak. Now, thanks to an SDK update, we've got good reason to anticipate the new version is probably due out in the very near future. If developers check the SDK Manager for updates, they should see a new revision to the Platform SDK with a product description that reads "Android SDK Platform 5.1.1."

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 8.40.38 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 10.10.57 AM

Now that the 5.1.1 version number is out there, it stands to reason Google has finalized the code and is either running some final tests or preparing for a release.

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Google Play Services 7.0 SDK Is Now Available With New Places API, Nearby Connections API, and More

Early this month, Google announced a major update to its Play services framework, which brings the version number up to 7.0 and adds several great new APIs. The SDK for this update was held back until the corresponding apk had time to make its way out to Android devices everywhere. The wait is now over, and the SDK is live. Developers are now free to incorporate all of the new APIs into their apps. For a quick summary of the new features in Play services 7.0, check out the DevBytes video below. Fair warning, the video is hosted by Magnus Hyttsen, so make sure you've had your morning coffee.

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