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Articles Tagged:

api

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Future Chrome update may kill some ad-blocking extensions

Horror stories about Chrome extensions secretly copying user data, injecting ads into pages, or mining cryptocurrency in the background have become all too common. In October of last year, Google laid out its plans to make extensions safer, which included future changes to APIs. As it turns out, those changes may prevent most content blockers from working.

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Google's new SMS and call permission policy is crippling apps used by millions

Late last year, Google decided it was time to crack down on apps requesting SMS and call log permissions. Ostensibly, exceptions would be granted for categories including backups and automation, but as of now, there are still gaps which cover legitimate use cases. While some popular apps like Tasker have successfully secured exemptions, others like Cerberus have not. Instead, they've decided to strip out those permissions or risk facing the wrath of Google's upcoming January 9th banhammer, killing associated functionality and disappointing millions of long-time users to adhere to the Play Store's new policy.

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Google+ shutdown date moved to April 2019, following discovery of another API bug

Back in October, Google announced that it would shut down its Google+ social network, following the discovery of an API bug that could have led to user data being stolen. Even though there was no evidence that anyone took advantage of the API bug, Google decided it would be as good a time as ever to shut down the mostly-dead social network. Google+ was originally scheduled to shut down completely in August 2019, but now the timetable has moved up.

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Google to more closely monitor SMS and phone permissions of apps on Play Store

The Play Store may be packed with content, but there are some pretty strict rules in place when it comes to the things apps distributed by Google can do, and once in a while those rules are refreshed or tweaked. Starting this month, Google has refined its Developer Program Policies to include limits to call log and SMS permission access, explicit prohibitions against surveillance and "commercial spyware apps," and new Android Contacts API restrictions.

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[Update: Rolling out in Chrome 67 on desktop now] Web Authentication API aims to make passwords unnecessary

Passwords are kind of a pain. You probably have sign-in credentials for about a million services, and ideally, they're all different. Password managers can help, but they're often finicky. A new standard by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) called Web Authentication API could simplify your digital life by allowing for password-free sign-ins across a wide variety of websites.

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Fireside chat reflections: Android team discusses what it would have done differently

One of the more interesting events at Google I/O every year is the 'Fireside chat,' where members of the Android team answer questions from developers. While most of the topics were about best practices for app development, there was one question that received an interesting response.

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Google announces ML Kit, a machine learning API for Android and iOS

Machine learning has been one of Google's main focuses for years now. To help other companies and app developers take advantage of the technology, Google today announced an API called 'ML Kit.' It allows apps to use machine learning for text recognition, face detection, scanning barcodes, and even detecting landmarks (similar to Google Lens).

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Stay of execution: Twitter is indefinitely delaying its plans to break 3rd party apps

Twitter has become openly hostile to third-party apps over the past few years, to push users to its own applications. Many features have never been available to third-party apps, like group DMs, polls, and Moments. The company also introduced a token limit a few years ago, causing popular clients to suddenly stop working (like Flamingo).

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Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs was not fair use, appeals court finds

New developments in the longstanding legal feud between Oracle and Google: a federal appeals court has reversed the 2016 ruling that found Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs in Android was fair use. The dispute has been ongoing since 2010.

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Google opens Pixel 2's intelligent driving-detection API for developer use

The Pixel 2 has a handy feature that allows the phone to turn on Do Not Disturb when it detects its user is driving a car. The trick is enabled by a tool called the Transition API, which uses algorithms to recognize different types of real-world activity. Google announced Tuesday that the Transition API is now available for use by all Android developers.

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