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