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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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Kotlin is now an officially Google-supported language for Android app development

The I/O news is starting to turn to developer-centric topics, and one of the more significant things to come out of the keynote is an official declaration that Google is now officially supporting Kotlin as a first-class language for developing Android apps. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin is included out-of-the-box, so there are no additional setup steps or add-ons to install.

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The emoji support library in Android O means your phone won't need OS updates for new emoji anymore

One of the more annoying aspects of owning a smartphone on a not fully-updated version of Android can be emoji. Not how they look, but which ones your device supports. If you're running an older OS version, you probably don't have the latest Unicode revision of the emoji character library, and that can lead to the infamous blank square issue.

With Android O, Google is going to solve this problem, even if in a less-than-ideal way.

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[Update: Factory images and OTA files] Android beta registration is back, O Dev Preview 2 rolling out now

The beta program is now live! Cruise on over here to check it out, if you'd like to register for the program. Only a few Nexus and Pixel devices are compatible with the service, but now you can whet your Android O whistle in a slightly more stable way.

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Google launches new vitals tools in the Play Console Dashboard to find and solve problems

In one more slice of I/O developer news, Google has launched another set of tools for developers using its Console Dashboard for apps on Google Play. The new tool automatically analyzes app reports to show developers pertinent info about app issues. This is the 2nd big feature about making app performance and bug fixing easier for developers after the new visual profiler tools in the latest preview of Android Studio.

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Google adds new Profilers to Android Studio for app performance visualization

Google is adding a new tool for developers in the form of the Android Studio Profilers, which allow for quick visual interpretation of an app's operations. Recently announced at I/O, the feature is already part of Studio 2.4 Preview as well as 3.0, and replaces the Android Monitor. The new tools allow you to visually monitor the network, CPU, and RAM use of an app on a timeline graph, along with pertinent info like interaction events. Android Developers everywhere will have a slightly easier time, now, finding and fixing weird stutters and slowdowns in their apps.

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Google's Android Go is a new Android variant that plugs the entry-level hardware gap

Android Go is a new version of Android that is meant to run on super low-end, incredibly cheap hardware. Think the Android One initiative, but applied to software only, as applied to really cheap devices. We're talking optimized at an OS and app level for sub 1GB, near-disposable phones. This should help Google bring Android to more people in more places.

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Five talks to watch at this year's Google I/O

There are over a hundred individual events going on at this year's I/O. If anything, with new announcements, that number is only going to increase. No one has enough time to attend them all, and the cumulative investment to watch all of the events would consume almost a full week, waking and sleeping. I might work here, but even I don't have the time for that.

In my attempts to prioritize I found there were a few events that, no matter the conflict or overlap with other potential interests, I just couldn't do without. Your interests might not align if you have any specific niches outside of the Android ordinary, but this might still be a good place to start if you haven't taken a look yet.

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Android O feature spotlight: SMS authentication process gets streamlined

With each new version of Android, we all look out for the big, front-facing changes that alter the way the OS looks or works in a big way. But for every major new feature, there are countless smaller ones behind the scenes that altogether add up to a better experience. One such change that seems to be heading our way with the upcoming release of Android O is an improved SMS authentication process for use by third party apps.

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