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Google Launches Android Experiments Website To Highlight Innovative Projects On Android

Android offers developers a great deal of freedom to experiment with apps and come up with (maybe) the next big thing. Now Google has launched a website where it plans to show off some of the most interesting projects on Android. It's called Android Experiments and there are already 20 apps and demos to check out.

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Qualcomm Announces New Adreno 530 And 510 GPUs, Says First Snapdragon 820 Devices Will Arrive In 2016

Qualcomm's new Adreno 530 GPU won't be something you'll find in any phone until next year, but nonetheless the newer, better, faster GPU powering the upcoming Snapdragon 820 chipset was detailed (well, lightly detailed) at SIGGRAPH 2015 this week. Qualcomm also confirmed that Snapdragon 820 devices will be available starting in the first half of 2016 - all but ruling out the chip in rumored Nexus devices launching this fall (unless, of course, they're not launching until next year).

While the rest of Snapdragon 820 is still largely under wraps, the new Adreno 530 was described to us in a short presentation, with the major figures to take away being a 40% increase in speed over the Adreno 430, along with a 40% decrease in power consumption under the same workload.

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AOSP Developer Changelog Posted For v5.1.1_r6 (LMY48G) To v5.1.1_r9 (LMY48I)

Earlier today, Google released updated factory images for all of its supported Nexus devices to patch up some reasonably serious vulnerabilities in a core Android library called Stagefright. While we await the stream of OTAs that are sure to follow, there's a fresh code drop to the Android Open Source Project containing security-related patches. Don't expect to see any new features or user-facing changes, this one is all about closing loopholes. Nevertheless, there are some interesting things to peek at.

A quick look at the changelog shows the highest concentration of fixes were made to frameworks/av (audio/visual), which is used extensively in the Stagefright library.

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Editorial: Snapdragon Sorrows - Has Qualcomm Begun A Long, Slow Fall From The Top?

Back in late July, the Qualcomm Corporation - employer of over 30,000 individuals at the time - began the process of telling about 15% of those people (eg, over 4,000 gainfully-employed human beings) they were no longer needed. This was after already cutting another 1500 jobs in late 2014.

The company's stock is currently trading near 2-year lows, and while obviously still a very robust company, Qualcomm can't keep putting in these kinds of numbers if it's going to maintain its position at the tippy-top of the smartphone chipset market.

qcstock

Qualcomm (QCOM - NASDAQ) stock is down over 10% year-to-date. It is down over 20% from its peak, reached in early 2014.

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Autodesk Announces Cross-Platform Stingray Game Engine With Extensive 3ds Max And Maya Integration

Game developers have a new player in the game engine market, and it's one most of them already know quite well: Autodesk. At GDC Europe, the software company behind some of the most popular 3D modeling tools in the industry – 3ds Max and Maya – has announced the Stingray game engine to compete with the likes of Unreal, Unity 3d, and others. Alongside Autodesk's other design tools, it offers a seamless solution for game developers and designers to rapidly prototype and build high performance, cross-platform games.

Stingray is based on the Bitsquid game engine acquired by Autodesk last year. It supports testing and deployment to Android, iOS, Windows 7 and 8, Oculus Rift DevKit 2, PS4, and Xbox One.

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[APK Download] Chrome Beta 45 Adds Custom Tabs Feature That Was Previewed At I/O 2015, Better Media Controls, And More

Google announced an upcoming Chrome feature called Custom Tabs at I/O back in May. Today, that feature is finally launching on the Chrome Beta channel, and we've got the APK.

Custom Tabs are basically a pop-out web-view that apps can utilize to show users web pages in Chrome (where your passwords and other items are saved!) without actually fully leaving the app. This can make apps that require web-based authorization for sign-in or simply have lots of external web links a lot more convenient to use, and avoids having to use a full-on built-in webview mode that lacks all your synced Chrome information.

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Android Platform Version Distribution Numbers For June And July Now Up - Lollipop Up To 18.1% Of All Devices

The new Android platform version distribution numbers are up on Google's developer site, and given no data was published during the month of July, that means we've got two months of change. Lollipop continues to climb - it's up from 12.4% a full 5.7 points, now at 18.1% of all devices. KitKat actually hasn't lost much traction because of that, and actually grew a tenth of a point, now at 39.3% of all devices versus 39.2% two months ago.

Android version stats, August 2015

Android versionPrevious data (%)Current data (%)Change (pp)
2.20.30.30
2.35.64.6-1.0
4.05.14.1-1.0
4.114.713-1.7
4.217.515.9-1.6
4.35.24.7-0.5
4.439.239.3+0.1
5.011.615.5+3.9
5.10.82.6+1.8

The real loser is Jelly Bean, down 3.8 points, with Ice Cream Sandwich down 1, Gingerbread down 1, and Froyo hanging steady at 0.3% (diediedie).

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Android Studio v1.3 Released To Stable Channel, Includes Support For C/C++, NDK, Data Binding, And More

A preview of Android Studio v1.3 made its first appearance at the Google I/O 2015 session What's New in Android Development Tools, which introduced a number of significant improvements and additions. The biggest announcement was about the integration of JetBrains Clion, enabling Android Studio to be used for C/C++ development, and ultimately support app development with the Native Development Kit (NDK). After a few months in development and about 3 weeks in the Canary channel, version 1.3 has been promoted to a Stable release.

ndk_jni_editor

Support for C/C++ development is still considered an "Early Access Preview," so it's probably not quite ready for larger projects.

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Google Improves Play Store Beta Testing With Open Betas And Email Address Sign-Ups

Until now, the Play Store beta testing system was tied to Google+ communities or Google Groups, but that's changing now. Google is rolling out two new options for developers to run beta tests that don't rely on Google+.

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Microsoft Releases Standalone Android Emulator With Easy Instructions To Use It With Android Studio And Eclipse With ADT

Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT.

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