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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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Supreme Court Denies Patent Holder Ho Keung Tse's Last-Ditch Petition

Back in December, we published a story about a patent (6665797) belonging to Ho Keung Tse. The patent supposedly covered a DRM method by which users could download paid digital content to multiple devices without going through another payment process.

During a previous suit against a handful of tech companies, most of Tse's patent was invalidated. After amending the patent's language, Tse went after Google, Samsung, HTC, and Blockbuster, but a summary judgment stopped his case in its tracks.

Tse was planning to appeal his case to the US Supreme Court, but in the meantime he went after independent developers. In a notice distributed to developers, Tse said Google's Play Store (and by extension any dev with apps on the store), was violating his patent.

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Big Android BBQ Team Expands Into Events For Developer Education, Kicks Off With A Code Challenge And Meat & Greet On April 4th In Washington DC

We can attribute Android's eternal connection with sugary snacks to Google's whimsical use of desserts as codenames; but for many, Android is indelibly linked with grilled meat, thanks to the team behind the the Big Android BBQ. The huge gathering in Texas for Android fans first began in 2009 and continues to grow. Last year, the BABBQ organizers launched a new event in San Francisco to coincide with Google I/O 2014, called the Big Android Meat & Greet. The success of these gatherings sparked a new endeavor called the International Developer Education & Advocacy Alliance (IDEAA), aimed at bringing together, educating, and inspiring developers of all skill levels.

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Popular Xposed Module GravityBox Has Been Released For Android 5.0 Lollipop

Just about a week after the public release of the Xposed Framework for Lollipop devices, we are now privy to one of the best and most popular modules, GravityBox. And, like the framework, the developer of GravityBox is calling this version an alpha release. Still, those of you with Nexus devices are going to be very excited about this one.

For the unfamiliar, GravityBox is an Xposed module that offers a wide variety of tweaks for AOSP-ish ROMs. The idea is to make custom ROMs, like CyanogenMod, unnecessary. Even better, the user can have more control over the modifications. You might like one feature of OmniRom but not another.

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Developers: Look Out For This '3-Day Notification Of Google Play Developer Term Violation' Email, Because It Is A Phishing Scam

See that email in the featured image of this post? It's junk. Several developers have received this and rightfully felt very nervous, but it is simply a scheme to get you to turn over your Google credentials to scammers. It isn't the cleverest phishing expedition we've ever seen, but it certainly is better than most. First of all, it is not filled with the kind of typographical and grammatical errors you often see. Also, the biggest giveaway of what is going on is obscured when viewing from Gmail.

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Android Studio v1.1 Promoted To Stable Channel, v1.2 Will Bring Big New Features From IntelliJ 14

December brought us many gifts, not least of which was the official release of Android Studio v1.0. While things have been fairly quiet for developers sticking to Stable releases, the Android Tools team has been busy with a steady stream of updates for those of us on the Canary builds. After two months in development, v1.1 is finally ready to roll out to the masses. This version is mostly dedicated to bug fixes, but there are a few features added in test builds that will feel new to users that are just now receiving the update.

Changelog: (from the Android Studio 1.1 Beta post)

  • Support for version 1.1 of the Android Gradle plugin (now available as a release candidate)
  • Improved support for unit testing.
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[For Developers] Facebook Open Sources Stetho, An Android Debugging Platform Running On Top Of The Chrome Developer Tools

At some point or another, most Android developers will eventually open up the profiling tools to track down bugs and performance issues in a misbehaving application. Let's be honest, the tools included with the Android SDK do leave something to be desired. Facebook has just released one of its internally-developed tools which provides network inspection, database inspection and interaction, and a support for access to the dumpapp output with the use of customizable plugins. The most interesting feature about Stetho is that it runs entirely through the Chrome Developer Tools – the same interface used by web developers everywhere.

inspector-network

Network Inspector

Keep in mind, Stetho is not a total debugger replacement.

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HTTP/2 And HPACK Protocol Specs Formally Approved By The IETF

Just last week, Google announced plans to remove SPDY support from its open source Chromium project early next year, and it would be replaced by the not-yet-official HTTP/2 protocol. Today, the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the managing component of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), announced that the HTTP/2 and HPACK specs have been formally approved and are on the way to becoming official standards.

For those who may not already know, HTTP/2 (spec) is a network protocol generally used by web browsers for transferring the HTML, images, and other resources that make up web pages – but it is frequently used by countless other types of apps for communication, as well.

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Developers From Bolivia, Jamaica, Panama, And 9 More Countries Can Now Sell Paid Apps On The Play Store

Developers can be found all over the world, toiling away for hours on a computer as they build cool apps and games for our gadgets. Most of them would like to earn a few duckets for their work, but that's not always possible with certain types of apps and games. Today, the doors are open for developers from 12 additional countries to register for merchant accounts and begin selling paid apps to the world.

Support for merchant accounts has been added for:

  • Bahrain
  • Bolivia
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Dominican Republic
  • Estonia
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Panama

Just to clarify, it was already possible for customers in these countries to buy paid apps and make in-app purchases, but developers registered in these countries were limited to submitting only free apps without IAPs – until now.

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Google's Updated Branding Guidelines Clarify How To Name Third-Party Apps

Google doesn't want developers naming their apps in ways that could imply association with or endorsement from Android, so instead of the Android Music Player, it prefers Music Player for Android. The idea is that this distinction makes it clearer to users that the folks who make Android had nothing to do with the creation of this particular app.

Now the Big G has expanded this guideline to all other brands. Android developers who visit the company's support page on the topic will see a new section dedicated entirely to this.

guidelines

This change especially affects developers who create apps that integrate with a social network.

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