Google has taken down the Assistant-integrated AutoVoice Action again, for the second time in a year. This time, the company claims the action "promotes content that advocates hate or violence or promotes discrimination," apparently because someone in Germany stringed together a clearly custom command that made the Assistant spout off some hate speech.
Android 11 introduced a nifty new interface for controlling media playback that lives among the quick settings tiles rather than the notifications. In it, there's also a button that allows you to choose the sound output (which has actually been around since Android 10). At the moment, it's only populated by your phone's speakers and bluetooth sources, even though it seems like adding Chromecast-enabled devices would be a no-brainer. It looks like Google thought the same, but it will have to be implemented by every single media app out there.
Fans of Google's so-called Material Design should take note of today's news. AP alum Liam Spradlin is resuscitating Google's Material blog as its new Editor. Today alone, eight new posts were published (more than went up in the last two years), covering subjects from color and typography to shape and transitions, written in terms both developers and design enthusiasts can appreciate and use — ideally, to help make better apps.
Qualcomm has just announced a slightly souped-up successor to the Snapdragon 730G. The new 732G sports a faster 2.3GHz maximum clock on its so-called "Prime" cores, and somewhat enhanced GPU performance. It might only be an incremental improvement (as its model number implies), but an as-yet-unnamed POCO phone will be "globally" powered by the upcoming chip.
Android Studio is the main SDK for developing Android applications and games, and it has a built-in device emulator for testing projects across a wide range of hardware setups. Google just released a massive update for the Android Emulator with improved support for foldable devices, performance enhancements, and a few bug fixes.
New Android releases always bring exciting new features to the table, but every once in a while, a beloved feature gets reworked or removed altogether. That's no different for Android 11, which made it more cumbersome to grant apps the permission to install APKs, requiring a restart of the application in question up until at least Developer Preview 4. While that requirement is still present on more recent builds, the situation is now slightly improved: when apps are programmed correctly, they'll restart the latest activity, making the experience as smooth as possible.
Platforms live or die on the backs of developers, without which we wouldn't have apps or services to run on them. Microsoft had that figured out years ago, and Google has learned all about it when it comes to Android. Now Google is stepping up its efforts when it comes to developing for (and on) Chrome OS, highlighting Chrome OS's new customizable Linux terminal, while also announcing support for the Android Emulator on select Chromebooks and a whole new website for ChromeOS developers, plus a handful of smaller changes.
Android has offered native autofill since Android 9 Pie, but despite that being an official method, actually filling out passwords and addresses is sometimes wonky, and phones often need a few seconds to recognize password entry fields. Google wants to improve that experience with Android 11 and has introduced a new autofill method that integrates with your keyboard, be it Gboard or a third-party app.
In our modern world where anyone could be a hacker (even a Florida teen), it's important to keep our data secure. Google has been pushing its 2-Step Verification program as a way to make sure it's really you logging into your account. Now, the company has announced that 2FA will be mandatory for new users of the Google Play Console soon and existing users with high-risk permissions late this year.
Amazon is working on something called "Alexa for Apps," a new feature that will better integrate the company's smart digital assistant with the apps on your phone via voice commands. And we don't just mean asking Alexa to start an app, we mean further passing details from your question or command to the app itself.