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Huawei's Android replacement HarmonyOS is reportedly far from finished

Huawei announced its Android replacement HarmonyOS with much fanfare and confidence last month. The company boasted it's on-par with Google's OS, if not better. Still, as a brand new OS, it has to solve the problem that defeated Windows Phone: app availability. This is why HarmonyOS can run ported Android apps through Huawei's so-called ARK Compiler, a program allowing developers to easily convert existing applications. Apparently, this software is far from ready, and many Chinese firms testing it report it can't even compile its own demo app properly at the moment.

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34

Google Play Games will shutter its multiplayer services next year, leaving some older games to die

Back in the not-quite-dark-ages of Android, new services and APIs were launching seemingly every other week as Google and Apple engaged in an aggressive land grab to acquire users and tempt developers. Gaming became a popular battleground, and Google was investing in new features for Play Games like an API that gave developers the infrastructure to run real-time and turn-based multiplayer games for free. However, like many other older Play Games APIs, Google will be shutting this one down in about six months and it may render some older games unplayable.

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20

Android 10 allows multiple apps to access your microphone at once

Android 10 is now available in its final form on a few phones, but some of its more interesting changes flew under the radar. One of those is a change to how audio inputs work, which allows multiple apps to access audio input at once — in some cases, anyway.

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12

[Update: Live in Canary] Chrome may soon add native clipboard sharing

One of Chrome's signature features is the option to sync your complete browsing experience across all devices you own. There are just a couple of notable exceptions from this synchronization though, including the option to access the same clipboard across multiple devices, which would allow you to copy and paste information from one computer to another (or to a phone). While some extensions can provide this ability, sharing everything you type with a browser add-on comes with inherent security risks. As such, Google appears to be working on native clipboard sharing capability, although we don't have a lot of details yet.

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30

Android 10 source code is now available on AOSP

While many people are enjoying — or lamenting — the upgrade to Android 10, there are some out there that are just as interested in the final source code. With each major release of Android, a huge code drop is made to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) with everything a developer needs to build the latest version of the OS. As of this morning, the code is now fully available and ready for consumption.

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50

[Update: Delays may exceed 7 days] Google Play Store silently extends app review to all submissions, fails to inform developers

The Play Store has often been compared to the wild west; which may be good or bad, depending on your perspective. Unlike Apple's App Store and the Amazon AppStore, developers have long been free to publish their apps without going through a lengthy curation stage, and only those that contained malware or used restricted APIs were blocked. However, it appears Google may have quietly instigated a more involved review process that impacts every app and update.

Back in April, an Android Developers blog post mentioned that Google would be taking more time to examine apps from devs that hadn't established a track record with the Play Store.

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5

Play Store bug bounty program expands to all apps with 100 million+ downloads

Google has a plethora of bug bounty programs that help it stay on top of black hat hackers. To keep incentives high, the company is constantly tweaking these programs' general frameworks and has recently increased Chrome's vulnerability rewards. Today, Google announced an expansion of its bug bounty system on Google Play to include all apps with 100 million downloads or more. It also introduced privacy-focused rewards for researchers identifying data abuse issues in apps.

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4

Android Studio 3.5 hits stable, bringing along better performance

After Google published a beta of Android Studio 3.5 during I/O this year, the product is now coming to developers as a stable release. However, this version doesn't bring any new features with it. Google halted regular development for eight months and focused on making the program faster and less resource-demanding, leading to a more usable IDE.

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16

[Update: Moto Z4 and One Vision] ARCore support comes to Pixel 3a, OnePlus 7, LG G8, and a bunch of Apple devices

Every few weeks, Google updates its ARCore support list with new devices. This time around, Google's added the two new LG flagship phones — the G8 and the V50 — as well as four iPad models and the iPhone XR.

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5

Google won’t suspend developers who fail to maintain unpublished apps, as previously feared

Play Store rules and policies have always been fluid and quick to change. Lately, Google has emphasized user security over usability. One instance is the crackdown on purported misuse of SMS and call permissions, making some developers rethink or remove basic functionality in their apps. A Reddit thread surfaced that suggested old, unpublished applications would also need to be updated, with emails and help documents seemingly implying that not addressing the issue could result in the suspension of developers' accounts. Thankfully this isn't the case, according to an Android Developer Relations spokesperson who joined the conversation.

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