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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

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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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Android Studio v1.3 RC1 Enters Canary Release Channel, Adds Full Preview Support For C/C++ And NDK

A large part of the What's New in Android Development Tools session at Google I/O 2015 focused on one particular feature, or rather, group of features coming to Android Studio: upcoming support for C/C++ and the Android NDK. Version 1.3 RC1 of the IDE hit the canary channel late yesterday, finally enabling developers of native apps and games to begin transitioning from Eclipse (or another IDE) to Android Studio, if they choose to. Functionality is described as "preview quality," so there are still some known issues and probably quite a few bugs.

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 3.06.13 AM

With the addition of NDK support, this release brings a number of internal and organizational changes, some of which will affect all developers.

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Amazon Announces The AWS Device Farm For Testing Android Apps, No Word If Devices Are Free-Roaming Or Case-Free

Testing an Android app can be a real headache with the ginormous number of different devices out there, and there are services that can help you do that kind of stuff remotely - for a fee. But when Amazon gets in a business, you generally can assume the price is going to be competitive and the entry level benefits strong. Whether that's true, well, I am far from an expert on the cloud-based hardware testing business, so I really had no earthly idea until a few minutes ago. But in my brief research, it does look like the AWS Device Farm has a much simpler (and less restrictive) pricing and service model than its competitors.

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Motorola Releases Android 5.1.1 Kernel Source For 1st Gen Moto G LTE (Peregrine)

Motorola released its first Android 5.1-based kernel today, for the 1st generation Moto G LTE, codename Peregrine.

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You can get the kernel source here.

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Google Officially Ends Support For ADT With Eclipse, Urges Android Developers To Migrate Projects To Android Studio

It's been a long and winding road, but the days of Eclipse with ADT are over. In a post on the Android development blog, Google has announced that development and official support for the Android Development Tools plugin for Eclipse will be shut down at the end of this year. Google intends to focus all of its effort on improving Android Studio and advises developers move their active projects to Android Studio using the included migration tool.

This news comes about six months after Google declared the ADT plugin was no longer in active development. The change in status meant the tools would only receive bug fixes and updates necessary to remain functional, but there would be no more improvements or new features.

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Amazon Releases Alexa SDK Preview For Developers And Opens Up Echo's Voice Service To More Hardware, Starts $100 Million Fund To Invest In Folks Who Think This Is Cool

Amazon probably isn't the first company that comes to mind when you think of innovative gadgets. Not anymore, anyway. Hearing a company is producing a ho-hum smartphone based on Android isn't nearly as exciting as hearing about the Kindle for the first time. But with the Echo, the online retailer does have a cool piece of tech on its hands.

AmazonEcho

The Echo, which recently became available for general purchase in the US, is essentially what you get when you stick Google Now or Siri into a plastic tube. While that may not sound all that creative, delivery is everything. Saying OK Alexa (the name of the persona inside the device) out in the middle of the kitchen and having the product pick up from another room is rather impressive, especially when you just want to fire up some background music or search for a recipe.

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AOSP Developer Changelog Posted For v5.1.1_r4 (LMY47Z) To v5.1.1_r5 (LYZ28E), And It's Actually Quite Long

It seems like the only thing anybody can talk about is Android M, but we should remember that we've got about 4 more months with Lollipop v5.1.1 as the current version until Mango Mojito (probably not) is officially released in October. This is no more apparent than when an update appears on AOSP and brings with it thousands of changes. In fact, this update is large enough it probably deserved more than a barely noticeable revision bump.

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The code drop for LYZ28E comes a bit later than expected, since the build number was first seen in a Nexus 6 update that began rolling out a month ago.

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