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The Android "L" Preview And Wear SDKs Are Now Live

Developers, ROMers, countrymen - lend me your ears, because the SDKs for both the Android "L" release preview and Android Wear have just landed. Just fire up the SDK manager (be sure to update your SDK tools!) and you should see both are ready for downloading immediately, so you can start digging around in the latest Android releases.

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The Wear SDK was actually released as a preview a few months back, but today is the real deal, with all the Wear resources you'll need to get developing great wearable experiences for the Gear Live, LG G Watch, and Moto 360.

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[I/O 2014] Google Announces The Gmail API - Promises Much Faster Performance Than IMAP

If you use a third-party app on any OS to manage your Gmail, you may be in for some very good news today: Google has announced the official Gmail API, and it's available immediately as a beta.

For developers of third-party email experiences, or apps that access email data, the Gmail API is huge. Previously, developers were left using IMAP as the typical way to interface with Gmail, and that standard is far from ideal for a great many reasons.

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[I/O 2014] The Official Android "L," Wear, Auto, And TV Preview Site Is Up

Google's just brought the official Android "L" preview site online, and while there's not much there yet, you know this is the place to check for info about the latest version of Android.

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The site gives a quick overview of what's new in "L" (with a focus on what's relevant for developers), Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto. Hit up the link below to check it out - you can probably expect more information to be added here as I/O goes on.

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[I/O 2014] Privacy Controls Are Coming In Android "L" As 'Universal Data Controls,' Though Details Are Scarce

Sundar Pichai let something of a bomb drop in regard to data privacy in apps on Android today at I/O, potentially addressing a long-standing complaint that the OS doesn't allow users enough control over what apps can do with their information, or if they can access it at all. Now, there's a tool to manage your privacy in Android, and it's called Universal Data Controls.

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No interface was demoed, no real details were provided, and we don't even know if this is actually just putting all the existing Google privacy settings in a dedicated area and giving them a fresh coat of paint.

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Android "L" Preview Builds For Nexus 5 / 7 (2013) Go Live Tomorrow - 5000 New APIs, Including USB Audio, BT 4.1, Burst Photo

Just a couple quick tidbits from the I/O keynote in case you missed them: Google will be publishing factory image previews of the "L" release of Android for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (presumably 2013 only) tomorrow morning, that being June 26th. We're guessing anyone can download them, so long as you're comfortable flashing an image to your device.

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You can see a few more features and APIs in the L here.

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Google I/O 2014 Live Blog

The Google I/O 2014 live coverage begins Wednesday, 9am Pacific.

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Changelog Posted For Android 4.4.3 (KTU84M) To 4.4.4 (KTU84P), Just Security Fixes

An unexpected treat came zooming out of Google HQ today as Android 4.4.4 OTAs and factory images have started rolling out for Nexus devices. The updates have already been posted to AOSP and Al Sutton quickly followed up with a list of the changes. Since 4.4.3 is only 2 weeks old, and I/O is merely a week away, we had a feeling this was just a security update, and it looks like that's all it is.

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Most of the significant changes are centered around fixing a recently discovered vulnerability in OpenSSL.

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Facebook Went To Africa To Make Its Android App Faster, Slimmer, And More Reliable

As one of the world's largest advocates for web access in emerging markets, Facebook obviously cares very much just how well its own platform works on mobile devices in those markets. As such, Facebook sent a team of product managers and engineers to various regions in Africa to learn more about just how people were using the service, on which devices, and what the major pain points for the app were.

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Updates To AOSP Confirm Dalvik Runtime Will Be Removed From Android, ART Officially Takes Its Place

It looks like Google is putting the last nail in Dalvik's coffin, and the new Android Runtime (ART) is about to take the throne. A pair of commits turned up last night in the master branch of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository that spell certain doom for the Android runtime we've known and loved for all these years. The first of the two changes completely wipes the /libdvm (Dalvik Virtual Machine) folder from AOSP, and the second takes care of changing all of the relevant configuration files and startup scripts to call on the ART runtime.

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Amazon Releases Fire Phone SDK To Developers, Includes Support For Firefly, Dynamic Perspective, Motion Gestures, Active Widgets, And More

Jeff Bezos took to the stage earlier today to announce Amazon's first entrant into the highly competitive smartphone industry, the Fire Phone. Not only was the presentation loaded with some of the shiny new features of the handset and Fire OS, all meant for the press to disseminate to potential buyers, but there were also a few unusually blunt efforts to attract developers. In the midst of demonstrating Firefly and Dynamic Perspective, portions of the presentation were focused on explaining that developers would be able to extend these platform features in their own apps.

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