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Android Platform Version Distribution Numbers For June And July Now Up - Lollipop Up To 18.1% Of All Devices

The new Android platform version distribution numbers are up on Google's developer site, and given no data was published during the month of July, that means we've got two months of change. Lollipop continues to climb - it's up from 12.4% a full 5.7 points, now at 18.1% of all devices. KitKat actually hasn't lost much traction because of that, and actually grew a tenth of a point, now at 39.3% of all devices versus 39.2% two months ago.

Android version stats, August 2015

Android versionPrevious data (%)Current data (%)Change (pp)
2.20.30.30
2.35.64.6-1.0
4.05.14.1-1.0
4.114.713-1.7
4.217.515.9-1.6
4.35.24.7-0.5
4.439.239.3+0.1
5.011.615.5+3.9
5.10.82.6+1.8

The real loser is Jelly Bean, down 3.8 points, with Ice Cream Sandwich down 1, Gingerbread down 1, and Froyo hanging steady at 0.3% (diediedie).

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Android Studio v1.3 Released To Stable Channel, Includes Support For C/C++, NDK, Data Binding, And 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.

ndk_jni_editor

Support for C/C++ development is still considered an "Early Access Preview," so it's probably not quite ready for larger projects.

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Google Improves Play Store Beta Testing With Open Betas And Email Address Sign-Ups

Until now, the Play Store beta testing system was tied to Google+ communities or Google Groups, but that's changing now. Google is rolling out two new options for developers to run beta tests that don't rely on Google+.

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Microsoft Releases Standalone Android Emulator With Easy Instructions To Use It With Android Studio And Eclipse With ADT

Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT.

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Vast Majority Of Android Devices Are Vulnerable To 'Stagefright' Exploit That Can Be Executed Via Text Message, According To Researchers

In a blog post published today by the researchers at Zimperium Mobile Security, the group divulged an extremely widespread security vulnerability that can be exploited with nothing more than a targeted MMS message. The hole exists in the part of the Android operating system called Stagefright, which handles the processing of certain types of multimedia.

How it works

If targeted, the hypothetical hacker needs only to send an MMS message, which in many cases doesn't even need to be read before the attacker gains access to the victim's microphone and camera.

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InBrief
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Motorola Publishes Android 5.1 Kernel Source For The 2014 Moto X

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Pixate Joins Google And Makes Studio Free To Use, Form Updates To Version 1.3 With Material Design Patches, And More

Pixate is a tool that helps designers prototype native mobile applications without pulling their hair out. Now it's a part of Google.

PixateGoogle

The first immediate impact of this acquisition is that Pixate Studio is now free to use. You can go download the software to a Windows PC or Mac right away to create interfaces for your Android or iOS device. Then, if you want to share your prototypes with teammates online, Pixate's new cloud plan goes for $5 a month or $50 a year. The desktop software integrates seamlessly with cloud accounts.

Pixate has set up a FAQ page dedicated entirely to explaining how becoming a part of Google will affect things.

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Google Play Services v7.8.87 Begins Rolling Out With Support For Nearby API And New Account Management Links [APK Download]

Google finally let the curtain fall on the long-anticipated Nearby API that enables detection and easy connection with other devices in close proximity. The new API was announced with Play services v7.8, but the SDK won't be released until that version has gone into wide release, which will happen in about two weeks. This gives Google a chance to identify some of the bugs that may have slipped through during development, and collect feedback from a larger set of devices in the real world. Of course, we've also got links to download the apk if you don't feel like waiting.

What's New

2015-07-16 10.42.372015-07-16 10.44.15

2015-07-16 19.05.042015-07-16 19.05.132015-07-16 19.05.20

Like most updates to Play services, there's not all that much to see on the user-facing side.

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Author Of Surprisingly Well-Marketed Android Malware "Dendroid" Arrested In Multi-National Cybercrime Raid

Last year, there was a rather widely-covered story about a piece of Android malware (rather, an Android malware control suite) called Dendroid. That malware was published for sale on a cybercrime-aligned forum known as Darkode, and it just so happens that the FBI (with assistance from agencies in other nations) just arrested the guy who wrote Dendroid as part of a larger raid on Darkode's operators.

That guy is Morgan C. Culbertson, who has a pretty solid real name, but somehow the most tragically boring and uninventive criminal alias of all time: "Android." Come on, Morgan - you could have done better.

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Google Releases MDL To Help You Give Your Website That Material Design Feel

Recently Google has unveiled Material Design Lite, a way to easily give your website that material look and feel. It comes with low overhead (only 27kb gzipped) and few dependencies. MDL is powered by CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. It is a complementary implementation of the elements built with Polymer.

Google designed MDL to adjust to a number of device form factors, so sites should scale up to PCs and down to smartphones in the responsive manner we have come to expect. It should also degrade gracefully when users view sites in older browsers.

MDL

The material design specifications became available last year, with Google showing off how slick its styling could look on the web.

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