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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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Android P feature spotlight: Google improves neural network API for machine learning and AI developers

Last year, Google introduced a new neural networks API in Android 8.1 Oreo that provided developers with hardware-backed tools for machine learning. Now, with Android P, Google is expanding the API to support nine new operations. Pixel 2 devices will also have support for Qualcomm's Hexagon HVX driver, giving developers further improvements in performance on those devices. 

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Android P feature spotlight: New multi-camera API and other improvements are on board

The latest as yet unnamed flavor of Android is now circulating for your unstable curiosity, and with it come a pile of new features, including a bunch of camera additions. The new multi-camera API available in Android P is an especially exciting enhancement because of its flexibility. Although there are obvious use cases, not even Google knows what novel applications developers might find for it.

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