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Google plans to add image support to Chrome Shared Clipboard

One of Chrome's most powerful and convenient features is its ability to sync data like bookmarks, passwords, and browser extensions across multiple devices. Chrome's usefulness got a boost when it began integrating a native clipboard sharing capability aptly called Shared Clipboard back in September.  In its nascent state, the feature was only capable of sharing plain text, including URLs, between devices. Now, further updates to the Chromium Gerrit have revealed the inclusion of image sharing in future versions of Chrome.

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10

Google open-sources Cardboard SDK to keep it alive

Long before Google introduced Daydream and subsequently left it dead in the water, the company created the Cardboard platform. You can use the carton headsets as an ultra-low-budget entry to VR to this day, and they're compatible with almost any regularly shaped phone on the market. Google has now open-sourced the underlying VR SDK which will allow interested developers to create their own VR experiences on Cardboard viewers and improve and enhance the project as they see fit.

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30

Android 11 could give file and backup managers exemptions from Scoped Storage

Google wanted to add a new API for file management called Scoped Storage to Android 10 that fundamentally changes apps' access to files. After enough developer backlash, the company decided to introduce a legacy flag for the old file access API and leave Scoped Storage completely optional until the next major OS release, though the fundamental critique remained unaddressed. According to an Android Dev Summit 2019 talk circulating on Reddit, some changes are headed developers' way. Google is considering allowing certain apps like file and backup managers access to a wider range of data while others will be stuck using Scoped Storage.

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54

Google explains how much faster the Sharesheet is in Android 10

One of the worst features in Android for a few years now has been the Sharesheet, the UI that pops up when you hit the share button in an app. In trying to offer you the most convenient and contextual sharing options every time it loads, the menu became incredibly slow and would infuriatingly update as you were about to make a selection. Google made some changes in Android 10 that have resulted in a better, faster sharing experience.

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10

Google plans to add another way for developers to sideload Android apps on Chromebooks

Google recently has revealed that sideloading Android apps on Chromebooks might be a bit easier for Android developers in the future, though it still won't be as simple as it is on an Android phone. Based on the news, which was first spotted by About Chromebooks, the feature may land as soon as Chrome OS 80, but the details currently provided make it clear this is a developer-targeted feature. In other words, you probably won't be installing Fortnite on your Chromebook any time soon.

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59

Google hypocritically flags Fleksy keyboard for mature content over 🖕 emoji

The popular Android keyboard app Fleksy was recently forced by Google to bump its Play Store rating to PEGI 16/Teen for "mature content." The content in question is apparently the middle finger emoji. This decision by Google stinks of hypocrisy, given that its own Android software keyboard Gboard includes the same emoji, and manages to finagle a PEGI 3/E rating on the Play Store.

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1

Android Studio 4.0 and big Jetpack updates announced at Android Dev Summit 2019

Google I/O isn't the only event where new tools, toys, and APIs come out for developers targeting the largest mobile operating system in the world; the Android Dev Summit has also become a venue for an assortment of important software releases and announcements. Last year's event included a number of topics ranging from support for folding phones to the new Generic System Images, and much more. This year hits on just as many subjects, but some of the top announcements will center around Android Studio 4.0, new Jetpack APIs, and Jetpack Compose.

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1

Google Firebase announces Extensions, App Distribution for iOS and Android, and web app analytics

For many developers, apps aren't just about the platform they run on, but also integration with cloud services that transport notifications, data, crash reports, ads, and more. The breadth of services and features offered by Firebase ensured many developers would consider it a must-have in their apps, even if only for Crashlytics. With the fourth annual Firebase Summit in Madrid, several new announcements expand the product line even further with products and services that can make development even easier and more effective.

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86

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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33

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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