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InBrief
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Changelog Posted For Android 5.1.0_r1 (LMY47D) To 5.1.0_r3 (LMY47I), Mostly Small Fixes For SIM Cards

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Microsoft Rolls Out The Azure App Service, A Cloud-Based Platform For Mobile App Development

Azure is Microsoft's answer to cloud computing, a back-end platform that powers services with general computer users knowing nothing of its role (or existence). Now the company is taking its offering mobile by announcing the Azure App Service.

This mobile-geared expansion of Microsoft's cloud platform lets developers create web apps using a framework of their choice, including .NET, Java, PHP, and Python. It supports the creation of native apps on mobile platforms, including Android.

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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.

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InBrief
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[Update: Improved Changelog Available] Developer Changelog Posted For Every Code Commit From Android 5.0.2_r1 (LRX22G) To Android 5.1.0_r1 (LMY47D)

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Google Cooks Up Reference App To Guide Developers Toward Multi-Device Applications

It's no secret that Google advocates developing apps with multiple form factors in mind. While not all the apps in Google's own portfolio are quite up to speed on this front, apps like the ones in Google's Play suite have done a nice job so far in supporting phones and tablets alike.

But since I/O 2014, Google's been working on more than just phones and tablets. Last year saw the introduction of Android for TVs, watches, and even cars, so now is the time for developers to start thinking about how their experiences will look and feel on those new form factors.

To that end, Google has announced a new reference sample app - a music player - that's available for developers to play with.

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Android 5.1 Lollipop SDK 22 Is Now Available For Download

Google is progressively rolling out the full array of releases for Android 5.1, and the SDK is now joining the ranks. If developers open up the SDK Manager today, they will find a brand new software development kit for API 22. The SDK package is there, along with the typical documentation, samples, source code, and an assortment of system images for each of the major hardware architectures. All is ready to start updating apps to take advantage of everything Android 5.1 has to offer.

sdkmanager

To download the latest version, first launch the Android SDK Manager. This can be done from the command line by navigating to the root folder of the SDK, then to the /tools folder, where you can then run the 'android' executable.

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Google Is Uploading Android 5.1 Lollipop Source Code To AOSP Right Now [Update: Upload Complete]

As if it wasn't already news, Apple announ... Android 5.1 is officially launching today. While the latest version already made its debut on a few Android One phones, the rest of us have been (impatiently) waiting for our chance to check it out on some Nexus hardware. We're still looking for OTA packages and factory images, but it looks like Google is already busy uploading the source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

2015-03-09_16h30_13

At the time of this post, the code push is only just getting started. Branches with the name lollipop-mr1-release are starting to appear under an assortment of different projects, but there are still no tags and most of the main repositories have gone untouched.

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Google Play Services 7.0 Adds APIs For Detecting Places And Connecting To Nearby Devices, Improves On Mobile Ads, Fitness Data, Location Settings, And More

The Android ecosystem –as most of us think of it– is built on more than just an operating system and a marketplace for independent apps. It's largely shaped by dozens of services that have been built by Google, allowing developers to add rich features to their apps without building out expensive infrastructures. The Google Play services package is the core element in this equation, and it's getting a pretty major update to version 7.0 over the next couple of weeks. Google just announced that it's about to give developers access to important new features including a Places API to get surrounding businesses and landmarks, and a new Nearby Connections API to make it easier for phones and tablets to act as a second screen to your Android TV.

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Google Cancels Pwnium, The Competition For Finding Vulnerabilities In Chrome, In An Effort To Improve Security [You Read That Correctly]

Google is cancelling the upcoming iteration of Pwnium, the competition they have sponsored regularly over the past several years. Pwnium has been very useful for Google in protecting Chrome and Chrome OS, because the entire event is about finding holes in the Chromium project. Why did they cancel it, then? For the sake of security!

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Ars Technica: Google Is Preparing To Launch Android Pay, An API For Seamless Tap-And-Pay Transactions

Google has had a fairly rough time convincing consumers to use Wallet for in-store purchases. However, with the recent acquisition of Softcard's "technology" alongside plans to preload Wallet on Android phones from most major US carriers, Google is putting its weight behind a renewed effort to be a major player at brick-and-mortar locations. Amidst rumors that Google still has something else to announce at I/O, Ars Technica received a tip that a brand new payment platform called Android Pay will be announced at the conference.

According to the source, Android Pay is specifically geared for mobile devices and allows 3rd-party apps to drive both virtual and real-world purchases through a single interface.

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