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16

Google releases first Android 11 Developer Preview for Android TV

Google has already released several Developer Previews of Android 11 for smartphones, but there has been no news on the update for smart TVs and streaming boxes. That changes today, as the first Android 11 Developer Preview for Android TV is now available — but only for one device.

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16

ARCore’s new Depth API is out of beta, bringing the next generation of hide-and-seek to phones

AR applications on Android have historically always had problems with proper depth sensing and distinguishing between foreground and background in the physical world. Whenever you'd add an AR object, it would just sit on top of the whole scenery in front of your viewfinder, regardless of whether or not something should realistically block the view. After an extensive preview phase introduced last year, Google is now launching its new Depth API to ARCore to all developers using Android and Unity.

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17

Google added a hidden trash can to Android 11 for deleted files

Scoped Storage was the most controversial addition to Android 10 when it debuted last year, as it blocked most applications from accessing your phone's entire internal storage to improve privacy and security. Google ended up pushing the deadline for supporting Scoped Storage to the release of Android 11 later this year, but there's additional functionality in the new Android version for apps to try out.

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12

Hands-on with the new Google Play Console: Easier publishing and a new Material Theme

This has been an exciting week for Android developers. The first Android 11 Beta rolled out, Android Studio received a significant update in the Beta/Canary channels, and a shiny new Play Console for publishing/managing applications is now available in beta. Thankfully, the new experimental Play Console addresses many common complaints with the current iteration, and it's definitely worth trying out if you're a Play Store developer.

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27

Google Play Store will make app bundles a requirement in 2021

Google introduced app bundles two years ago, which allows developers to split up the components of their apps, and only requires Play Store users to download the components their phone or tablet needs. The feature has drastically cut app download sizes, and now Google will make supporting app bundles a requirement for newly-published applications.

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4

Google unveils new tool designed to boost frame rates for Android games

Mobile gaming has become a big deal in recent years, thanks to an increase in both smartphone performance and user base. While developers only have to deal with a very limited amount of hardware targets when it comes to iOS, publishing games for Android requires optimizing for a wide range of devices with varying levels of power. Now a new library in the Android Game SDK will help developers improve the performance of their games on Android phones in a much more streamlined fashion.

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2

Google announces major updates to Android Studio and Google Play Console

The big news today is the official release of the first Android 11 beta, but that's not all that Google has been working on. Today, the company also revealed a few updates for developers to get excited, like features coming to the Android Studio IDE and an overhauled Play Console.

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116

Android 11 makes installing unknown apps more cumbersome

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, currently still stuck on Developer Preview 4. As filed on Google's issue tracker, the new version of Android makes it less convenient to grant apps the permission to install APKs and requires a restart of the application in question. The behavior is related to the new mandatory Scoped Storage system.

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11

Android Studio 4.0 released with Motion Editor, improved Java 8 support, and more

Android Studio is Google's official development environment for creating Android applications. The past few updates have been relatively minor, mostly focusing on quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes, but Google has also been cooking up a larger upgrade. Android Studio 4.0 leaves beta today, and it's full of changes that should make creating apps a lot easier.

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17

OnePlus 8 phones join the club supporting 3D objects and animals in Google Search

There are a lot of fun 3D objects like skeletons, cars, planets, and animals you can view in Google Search, which might be perfect to pass the time while you and your kids are stuck at home. The underlying technology enabling this is called Google Play Services for AR, formerly known as ARCore. It's an engine that powers most games and applications on Android that use augmented reality effects. However, since the framework has to be tuned for each device, Google has to periodically update Play Services to support new phones and tablets. Since the last time we covered the library, 42 more devices have been added to the roster.

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