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Android OS

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Google to smartphone screens: Get bent

Samsung (and others) have been teasing the concept of foldable phones for a short while, and that flexible dream has been a science fiction-level goal for years. But up until today, it was anyone's guess exactly how that might have worked when it came to software implementations in Android. But fret not, Google has just revealed at the Android Dev Summit that our favorite operating system will have native support for folding form factors.

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Apps on Android P will no longer be able to monitor your network activity

Unbeknownst to most users (myself included until recently), Android apps on current and previous versions of the OS get unrestricted access to your network activity. There's no permission for you to accidentally say okay to, it's just allowed for all. This means that any app can detect when another app is connecting to an external server, and while the content is not visible, even just the source of the connection could be used for a nefarious purpose.

With a renewed focus on privacy and data collection, not least in the wake of the recent Facebook scandals, this type of potential security flaw clearly needs to be addressed.

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Weekend poll: In light of Android's 10th birthday, which version first got you started?

The original beta for Google's Android operating system was released on November 5th, 2007, making today ten years since the first public version of the software. It's tough to pin a specific date on Android's origins—people usually reference either today or September 23rd, as that's the date in 2008 was when 1.0-r1 was released—but November 5th is generally regarded as one of Android's birthdays.

That means, as of today, Android is ten years old. Looking back at all the earlier releases made us curious, what version of Android first got you started?

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AOSP site gets updated with Material Design, a better mobile view, and clearer navigation

Google has given its Android Open Source Project (AOSP) website a considerable makeover, making it much easier on the eye and much more user-friendly too. The update brings it in line with Google's own Material Design guidelines, improves the mobile view, and introduces new top-level tabs to improve navigation.

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Android 7.0 Nougat is being uploaded to AOSP right now

The OTAs have been rolling out since yesterday and as of today we can get some Nexus Factory Images fresh out of the oven. It's now time for AOSP to get caught up. Google is in the process of uploading Android 7.0 Nougat and its first official build NRD90M to the Android Open Source Project.

This is obviously a major version release, so there's quite a bit of code to transfer and that always takes quite a while.

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It's Time To Let The Phrase "Stock Android" Die (Opinion)

Sundar Pichai made a series of statements at recode's Code Conference yesterday that seem to have the internet aflutter. Pichai claimed that Google would be adding more software features to future Nexus devices, specifically: "You’ll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones... There’s a lot of software innovation to be had."

Some have taken this to mean that "stock Android" on Nexus phones is no more. That Google will begin to differentiate just like its partners, with proprietary features and software, and that this marks a move away from a "purer" interpretation of Android. This makes sense until you actually think about it, because Nexus phones haven't run "stock" Android in years, and it's time for us to have a conversation about what that word even means, let alone the idea that Google's interpretation of Android is somehow "purer."

For starters, all of the following applications that ship on Nexus phones today are closed-source.

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Yes, Please: Google Allegedly Tracks Stats For Manufacturers' OS Update Speeds, May Publish Them

According to a Bloomberg article published this morning, Google has been actively tracking the time it takes Android device manufacturers to update their handsets to a new version of the Android OS. Better yet? There are supposedly discussions happening inside Google as to whether or not to make the stats public, as a sort of "name and shame" directive to encourage manufacturers and carriers alike to update their handsets more quickly. To which I respond: oh god yes please, do this, Google.

The report also mentions a few other tidbits that are interesting, and we'll get to those, but let's focus on what I will now call The Android Update Wall Of Shame, which should very much be what it is called if Google does, in fact, publish it.

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InBrief
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[Update: And It's Done] Android 6.0 Marshmallow Is Being Uploaded To AOSP Right Now

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[I/O 2015] Dave Burke Wears Android Wear Watch With A Picture Of A Milkshake On It During I/O Presentation - Internet Freaks Out

With the Android M developer preview being made available to the public today, some of the secrets of Android's latest OS have been unwrapped and shown to the public. One secret that still remains is which dessert themed name beginning with M the next gen software will be known by.

Well, there is nothing that the internet does a better job of than spreading rumors, and the image on the face of Google's own David Burke's watch started a big one. There, on his shiny new Huawei Watch (Huatch), was the picture of a milkshake for all to see, a dessert that just happens to start with the letter M.

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Android 5.1 Lollipop SDK 22 Is Now Available For Download

Google is progressively rolling out the full array of releases for Android 5.1, and the SDK is now joining the ranks. If developers open up the SDK Manager today, they will find a brand new software development kit for API 22. The SDK package is there, along with the typical documentation, samples, source code, and an assortment of system images for each of the major hardware architectures. All is ready to start updating apps to take advantage of everything Android 5.1 has to offer.

sdkmanager

To download the latest version, first launch the Android SDK Manager. This can be done from the command line by navigating to the root folder of the SDK, then to the /tools folder, where you can then run the 'android' executable.

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