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Android Tools Team Releases New Emulator With Vastly Better Performance And User Interface Features

Now that Android Studio is faring quite well for its core necessities, the tools team is tackling some of the bigger challenges. A couple of weeks ago, they featured a new ability to deploy a limited set of changes to apps without fully restarting them. This week they're shooting to take on one of the longest and most requested items on the list: a faster and more useful emulator.

Performance

The biggest boost to speed can be seen while running Android 6.0 on the new emulator. This comes from newly added support for Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP), which allows the emulator to take full advantage of multiple processor cores on a computer.

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AOSP Changelogs Posted For Android 6.0.1 And December Security Updates

The factory images have landed and the OTAs are about to start rolling out shortly. As we already know, there are new emoji to fill out the Unicode 8.0 spec, band 12 support for T-Mobile, "until next alarm" for do not disturb mode, and a shortcut to launch the camera with a double-click of the power button. The December security updates are also an important part of the latest update. Of course, these aren't the only changes that take place, so we generate changelogs from the Android source code to find some of the other things going on with the OS.

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Android Studio 2.0 Preview Introduces Instant Run For Debugging And Brand New GPU Profiler

Every developer has gone through a long afternoon of making a bunch of tiny changes to their app, rebuilding and running it, then repeating the same steps just to get back to a point where they can test the changes they just made. Forget it, those days are done! Android Studio 2.0 just hit the Canary channel and its headlining feature allows you to push changes from your computer to an app while it's running and see results right away. Also joining the latest release is a brand new GPU Profiler tool that can make OpenGL ES development significantly easier.

Instant Run

The Instant Run feature has been mentioned previously during Google I/O 2015, but it has been under wraps until now.

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Chrome Dev 48 Rolls Out With Early Bluetooth Web API Support On Chrome OS Dev Channel And Android Marshmallow

Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.

These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction.

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Android Studio v1.5 Hits Stable Channel With Improved Leak Checking And Some Major Bug Fixes

Android Studio v1.5 just rolled out to the stable channel today and it's absolutely packed with a feature. Truth is this release was mostly focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and other fine tuning. Of course, for a tool used in professional software development, those certainly aren't bad things. Take a look as Reto Meier explains the changes and trolls teases Android developers with a mystery box that surely must include new language support, or a fully functional theme editor, or... something more likely.

The one notable addition can be found in the Memory Profiler. It's now capable of detecting leaked activities while testing.

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Google Is Rolling Out The API 23 SDK (Marshmallow) For Android Wear, No Sign Of Watch Updates Yet

Google has already talked about new features in the upcoming Android Wear 1.4 update, but so far the only place you can experience them is on the new LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE. Updates for other watches are pending, but in the meantime developers can get ready for the new version with the API 23 SDK, which Google is currently in the process of rolling out.

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PSA: Unlocking The Nexus 6P Bootloader Requires The New 'Flashing' Command, Likely To Become Common For Many Devices In The Future

By now most orders for the Nexus 6P have been delivered, or at least getting close. If you haven't tried unlocking the bootloader yet, it might come as a surprise that the 'fastboot oem unlock' command no longer works. Attempting to use it with the Nexus 6P fails with a message that it is an unknown instruction. Don't worry, this doesn't have anything to do with drivers, and it isn't a fluke. Google had Huawei replace the oem command in the Nexus 6P bootloader with the new flashing command. Here's what it will look like:

fastboot flashing unlock

fastboot flashing lock

fastboot flashing unlock_critical

fastboot flashing lock_critical

fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability

There are two levels of unlocking: normal and critical.

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Unreal Engine 4.10 Adds Marshmallow Support, Better Graphics Scaling, Refraction Effects, Web Browser Widgets, Support For Additional Gamepads, And More

The Unreal Engine serves as the core for any number of games across PCs, consoles, and mobile phones alike. When a new version comes out, the changelog is big. Really, really big. Not all of the changes introduced in version 4.10 affect Android, but a solid number of them do.

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Bluetooth Improvements Promise Four Times The Range, Twice The Speed, And Mesh Networking... At Some Point

Today, the Bluetooth SIG announced a series of improvements on the Bluetooth standard's "technology roadmap" in 2016 would offer enhanced range, speed, and mesh networking capability for the wireless communication protocol.

It's not clear if these changes will be part of a new standard (like Bluetooth 4.2 and beyond) or if there will be improvements applicable to older specs as well. In addition, we don't know if any of these improvements would require changes to the Bluetooth hardware itself, or whether both host and device must support the spec to see any kind of benefit. It's not even clear when we'll be able to expect devices with the improvements.

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Qualcomm Fully Unveils Snapdragon 820, Reiterates 2016 As Timeframe For First Device Launches

The Snapdragon 820 is far from a secret, but today marked the official "launch" of the upcoming chipset from Qualcomm in New York. The 820 is a huge bet for Qualcomm on the future of its high-end SoC business, marrying the latest technologies across the board for what it hopes will be the ultimate mobile processor.

The 820's full specification sheet, such as it is, is below.

specs

The 820 will be manufactured on a 14nm FinFet process, sporting four brand-new Kryo CPU cores designed by Qualcomm. This marks a departure from the ARM reference cores Qualcomm has used exclusively on its 2015 lineup and which have arguably been a source of woe for the company this year.

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