The Android Studio team has been kicking out preview builds at a fevered pace since the first 2.0 preview hit the scene near the end of November, and it's finally paying off as the first real Beta is now rolling out. (The first beta has an issue, so this is actually labeled Beta 2). The jump from v1.5 to v2.0 is enough to suggest that this could be the most ambitious update to the IDE since it was launched, but the feature list confirms it. We've already covered some of the biggest features: instant run, GPU profiling, and a massively faster and more functional emulator. Read More
February's batch of factory images started turning up earlier today and Google followed up with a push to AOSP a few hours later. As usual, we've got some changelogs to look over. The focus this month appears to be entirely on sealing any holes that could be used by bad people to do bad things.
Google posted a security bulletin with a list of fixes found in this release, and there are a few pretty big ones this month. Five items have been tagged Critical, including two that allowed for remote code execution without any user interaction, and the remaining three could have been used for privilege escalation. Read More
Parse is a service provider that has offered backend tools to mobile app developers who needed help storing data online and pushing information through the web, such as user login information and notifications. Now it's moving on. In a blog post, Parse declared a need to move resources elsewhere and its plan to wind down the service by January 28th, 2017. Read More
If you're an avid gamer on Android, get ready to see quite a bit fewer of those pesky Google+ sign-in prompts. Google is rearranging things a bit in the Games API to cut back on permission dialogs and authorization requests so users have an easier time getting straight into the action. The changes should also allow game developers to take advantage of Google's Games API and services like cloud sync without asking users to trust them with account details and potentially sensitive information.
With the new model, users will only be asked to sign in once per account—just to set it up—and every subsequent new game that runs can sign in automatically. Read More
The monthly security update for January is starting to roll out to Nexus devices. Factory images turned up yesterday morning and now we've got some changelogs from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) if you're interested in taking a deeper look at exactly how things have been tweaked.
Unlike the 6.0.1 release in December, this month's adjustments appear to be entirely focused on security fixes. Google has a bulletin describing the relevant security issues addressed with this release. There are also a couple of builds specific to the Pixel C, including one that appears quite large. Like some of the previous changelogs, this is merely because it technically starts from a base version (i.e. Read More
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.
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. Read More
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. Read More