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developers

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Actions on Google now supports Chinese (traditional) language

Google Assistant can do a lot of awesome things, but that list would be much shorter without developer support. That's what Actions on Google is all about—it helps developers integrate apps and services with Assistant. Thus, you can shout at your phone and smart speakers more often. Now, developers can start supporting the Chinese (traditional) language in their Actions.

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Android Studio 3.3 includes official Navigation Editor support and more than 200 bug fixes

If you're a developer of Android apps, there's a good chance you use Google's purpose-built Android Studio environment. The last update to version 3.2 came with one headline feature — App Bundles — plus a few incremental improvements, and now 3.3 has arrived.

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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 announces Flutter 1.0, the first stable release of its cross-platform mobile development toolkit

Yesterday, at a dev-focused event at the Science Museum in London, UK, Google announced the 1.0 release of its cross-platform portable UI toolkit. Flutter has been in development since in 2015 with several betas being going out in the last year and a preview release this summer. It will allow developers to build apps that seamlessly work on both Android and iOS without maintaining separate codebases.

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App developers must target Android 8.0 or higher starting today (November 1st)

Google rolls out new security features in every version of Android, but some changes only apply for apps that target newer API levels. Thus, Google announced late last year it was cracking down on apps built for older versions of Android. Today is the big day—developers can no longer upload anything to the Play Store without targeting at least API level 26 (Oreo 8.0).

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Google shuts down Nearby Notifications due to too much spam

Google's Nearby API has been available for years and had simplified a lot of close communication between devices, but you'll probably have forgotten about it unless you've ran across its notifications. In Lebanon, some malls and stores use beacons to broadcast notifications to passersby, and so far, the situation has been more or less tolerable. However, it seems some places were abusing the API to bombard users with spam, and so the Nearby Notifications feature is being shut down.

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Google Playtime 2018 event focuses on building better apps in smaller bundles

Google's yearly invitation-only event for app and game developers took place today in Berlin and San Francisco today, and the key message was about reducing the size of app bundles. This new way of dynamically delivering Android apps was introduced this summer and support was added to Android Studio 3.2. Here are the main takeaways from Playtime 2018.

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Google Assistant redesign is official: bigger visuals, fresh controls, and new tools for developers

As some of you may have noticed, the Google Assistant on phones started receiving some visual tweaks in recent weeks. The new look has been rolling out to select users, including fresh material design elements and much bolder cards. Google has now officially announced these Assistant updates and published two blog posts outlining the changes.

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[Update: Google Photos API generally available] Google launches Google Photos partner program

Google introduced a program today that will allow developers to integrate Google Photos into their services. The program includes an API that lets third-party services use some of the features Google Photos offers, such as the platform's powerful search functionality.

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