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developers

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Play Store tests simultaneous downloads, internal app sharing, more

The Play Store is a breeding ground for Google's A/B tests. Every couple of days, the app shows different interfaces and options for some users, and it's tough to stay on top of them all. Recently, the Play Store started showing a dedicated Events tab for gaming, rolling out Pixel updates on Android Q, and we know it's working on a Material Design revamp. But there's much more in the works. In the past couple of days, app updates started behaving a little weirdly for some users, with the most important sign being the appearance of simultaneous downloads.

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On Android Q, your default Notification Assistant app can manage and adjust other apps' notifications

Diving into a new Android beta version's settings and sub-menus is fun. You often stumble on something that leaves you scratching your head, wondering whether it's new, and confused about what it's supposed to do. That's the case with the new Notification Assistant setting on Android Q, and upon closer inspection, this little menu may hide some very interesting changes to notification management that we didn't expect.

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Google announces Android Dev Summit 2019 for October 23-24

We're just a few weeks out from Google I/O, but Google is already planning its next developer party with the Android Dev Summit. While I/O is technically a developer-focused event, it's also become a major showcase for consumer-facing products. The Android Dev Summit will be all about Android without the glitz and glamor of I/O, and it's happening on October 23-24 this year.

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Android Q includes some ART-related performance gains, developers can expect faster app launches and improved garbage collection

Android Q won't just bring new features, it's also set to further improve on the performance of previous Android releases via some tweaks to its ART compiler. In addition to detailing some recent benefits made to app distribution — which current devices running Android P will benefit from — Google also detailed some more technical changes to how ART improves app performance in Android Q.

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Google Assistant can natively control smart blinds

Technically speaking, Google Assistant has had native support for smart blinds and shades for a while now, but it was limited. Some brands, like Lutron Caseta and NeoSmartBlinds have had it implemented, showing you a special icon in the Home app and letting you immediately ask Google to lower the blinds or open them. But for most developers and smart home makers, the APIs weren't documented. Now they are.

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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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