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Ricoh Plug-in Store for Theta V 360-degree camera is now live

For a while, Ricoh wasn't too well-known in the consumer electronics space as it mostly sold B2B office IT services, but over the last few years it has changed that by releasing impressively-specced 360-degree cameras and effectively dominating that market. It released the Theta V camera in September last year, offering spherical 4K recording plus "surround-sound" audio in a surprisingly compact device. Back in January, Ricoh announced a partner program to develop plug-ins for the Theta V, and that project is now bearing fruit.

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Play Store beats App Store in downloads for Q2 2018 by 160% but loses in spending by almost half according to App Annie

For a while now, App Annie has been offering its metrics to interested parties so developers can better understand their place in the app economy. Careful examination and integration of data like this, paired with the knowledge of a target audience, can influence where a developer's time can be best spent. And according to App Annie's latest report, Play Store downloads are up significantly, with a 20% rise year-over-year, and 160% higher than Apple's Play Store. On the other hand, consumer spending is still 80% higher on iOS. 

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The Android P engineering team will be having a reddit AMA on July 19

Are you an Android developer (or an aspiring one)? Do you have some burning questions you've been dying to ask Google's Android team? Well, there's good news for you; the Android P engineering team will be answering your questions in an r/androiddev AMA on July 19th, and you can get your questions in now.

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Android Studio device emulator now works with AMD processors and Hyper-V

Android Studio's device emulator used to be incredibly slow, even on capable hardware. Google has drastically improved the performance over the past two years, but a few issues remain. The Windows version of the Android Emulator uses HAXM, which only works on Intel processors. That means AMD-powered computers can only use non-accelerated ARM images.

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Google Pay is broken for many in Android P DP4, though a fix may be rolling out

Android P is shaping up to be a pretty sizable milestone for the platform, but although the beta releases have been surprisingly stable, they aren't without bugs. They are "previews" after all, and in the latest image, there is one small regression worth noting: SafetyNet tests are failing. As a result, services like Google Pay which check for device security using SafetyNet are also broken, though not every phone on the latest previews is affected. According to a few recent reports, a server-side fix for the issue may be rolling out. 

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Some Android developers see huge drops in app installs after Google 'enhances' Play Store algorithms

Last August, Google announced an enhancement to its Play Store search and discovery algorithms, all in the pursuit of a better consumer experience. This was a natural next step after the company said it began tuning its algorithms "to optimize for user engagement, not just downloads" at its Developer Day at the Game Developers Conference in February 2017. In part, these moves appeared to be shots across the bow aimed at getting developers in line. But in recent weeks, it seems we've approached a sort of endgame, and some smaller developers are losing — big time.

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Google's Flutter cross-platform app SDK hits Release Preview 1, leaving beta

Google's been teasing Flutter—its cross-platform iOS and Android app-development framework—since 2015. Earlier this year it hit beta at MWC, with a final third production-ready beta landing at this year's I/O developer conference. As of yesterday, Flutter has hit Release Preview 1, marking further increased confidence in the quality and stability of the framework. 

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[Update: More info for developers] Google Play Store adds tools for managing app subscriptions

The Play Store is home to all kinds of services you can subscribe to. Since January, Google's been testing a way to view all the apps you're paying a recurring fee for through Google Play. It's taken form as a convenient subscriptions center, accessible from the the left-hand menu in the Play Store on both mobile and desktop. Now, Google has announced several changes to the way subscriptions work on developers' end.

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Google adding 'distributed by Google Play' metadata to APKs

Google will soon start adding security metadata to APKs distributed by Google Play to identify their origin. The change is set to primarily affect users in areas where mobile data is at a premium, either due to price or availability, which leads to APKs being frequently shared peer-to-peer.

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Developers in Cambodia, Kenya, Uzbekistan, and Zambia can now distribute paid apps on Google Play

There are many countries around the world where you can register for a Google Play developer account but not a merchant account, meaning you can create as many apps as you want and distribute them, as long as you want them to be free. Four of these countries are getting proper merchant account registration support: Cambodia, Kenya, Uzbekistan, and Zambia. 

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