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Google Play promo codes are now available in 8 more countries

If a developer wants to give some paid content away, usually the best way for them to do this is with a Google Play promo code. This has always been dependent on where you live, as they're supported in some regions but not others. Now, Google has added 8 further countries to the list of those that support the codes. They are as follows: Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, and South Africa.

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Google updates Play Store developer policies, provides additional information on malicious behavior, ratings manipulation, and more

Google's policy for developers on Google Play has been updated recently to include a few new changes. It's has revised both the Malicious Behavior policy and the Ratings Reviews, and Installs policy, as well as introduced additional policy requirements for Instant Apps distribution. To make things easy, Google also has some new tips on how developers can stay on the right side of its policies in the future.

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[Update: Nexus 4 is back after a short break] Lineage OS update re-adds Nextbit Robin support, says goodnight to the Nexus 4

Since LineageOS rose from the ashes of the ever popular CyanogenMod custom ROM at the beginning of the year, the community has been hard at work releasing incremental updates on a bi-weekly basis. Each one brings new features and support for more devices. The previous update to LineageOS 14.1 arrived with support for 9 further devices, including the Moto Z Play and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. The latest changelog includes additional support for just 1 extra device, the Nextbit Robin, which has been re-added. It also announces that the Nexus 4 will no longer be officially supported.

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Graphics drivers can be updated from the Play Store in Android O

A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming.

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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, they plan 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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Android Studio 3.0 brings Kotlin support and a ton of new debugging tools

Android Studio 3.0 seems to be living up to that major version change the 3.0 number implies. There are many useful new tools for developers, especially when it comes to improving and easing the burden of debugging. There are also some changes that will require advanced preparation to keep your apps and workflow functioning before things break. We have many things to cover, so let's dive in.

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Google Play App Signing can store your signing key in the cloud

Google has just introduced a service called Google Play App Signing that allows you to store your app signing keys on Google's servers. This means your keys cant be lost or maliciously destroyed, as sometimes happens. And you won't have to worry about multiple apps using the same key by accident (which also happens).

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Android O feature spotlight: Developer Preview 2 adds a Bluetooth AVRCP version selector

Bluetooth seems to be getting some improvements in Android O. When the first Developer Preview dropped, we saw that the OS will let you choose which Bluetooth codec, including aptX and aptX HD, to use when streaming audio wirelessly. In a similar vein, Developer Preview 2 now has an option for you to choose which AVRCP version to use, instead of just getting stuck with the default v1.4.

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Google will soon offer automatic APK size optimization to developers

Apps are probably one of the biggest uses of space on your device, and they might be slimming down in the future. Google is preparing to offer developers an automatic APK optimization service. The idea is to deliver smaller APKs to users that have all the extraneous bits stripped out.

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Devs can now autosize TextViews

Google has been smoothing Android's rougher edges over the last few revisions, but there's one thing you interact with constantly that still needs some work: text. Until now, developers had to specify a text size, and that's all the text would be without third-party workarounds—even if that meant it was super-tiny or so big it overflowed. Now, they can create "autosizing TextViews" with Google's tools.

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