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Chromebook split-screening for Android apps now available in Canary channel

Google recently added split-screen snapping to Chrome OS so you could easily put two windows or web apps side-by-side. This was a welcome improvement, particularly on convertible machines with a tablet mode. Unfortunately, it didn't apply to Android apps before, but that functionality has now been added to the Chrome OS Canary channel.

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Project Treble compatibility unofficially ported to Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, more devices likely to follow

One of Android's biggest criticisms over the years has been how fragmented its version distribution is at any given time. At Google I/O in May last year, Google unveiled a plan to modularize the OS and make it easier to update. Project Treble, in short, separates out the base-level Android framework from the vendor implementation so OEMs are able to release OS updates without having to wait for chipmakers to update drivers.

Faster updates should increase the distribution numbers for the latest version of Android, but Treble could also be useful for custom ROM developers, allowing generic AOSP builds ("Treble ROMs") to be installed on more phones.

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Android KTX is an extension library for writing shorter and cleaner Android code in Kotlin

As developers, it's almost always desirable to be able to write shorter and more readable code without sacrificing performance, stability, or control. Many Android devs have adopted Kotlin to replace Java because it delivers on those points and many others. Even though Kotlin's syntax and language features make it well-suited to Android, it's still not designed specifically for Android, so there are plenty of platform-specific patterns that require a lot of boilerplate code. To that end, a new extension library called Android KTX was released in preview form today with a focus on wrapping a lot of that boilerplate code.

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Honor providing View10 devices to prominent custom ROM and kernel developers

Now that Huawei's plans of selling phones on US carriers have fallen apart, the company appears to be trying something different - appealing to hardcore Android enthusiasts looking for inexpensive phones. OnePlus is easily the leader in that niche, after Google stopped selling its budget-friendly Nexus phones. The Honor View10 (Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei) is already targeting OnePlus, and now the company is helping community developers create ROMs, recoveries, and kernels.

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Unofficial Google Camera port now works on LG phones with wide angle lenses

Many of us love the simplicity of the Google Camera app that comes pre-installed on Pixel phones, but it's the HDR+ capabilities that really set it apart. Thankfully the Android community is full of willing modders, and an unofficial port has been available for some time now. It hasn't played nice with phones that have dual rear lenses, as no Google device has such a setup. A new update looks to have added support for some LG devices with two cameras.

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The Pixelbook is being used to test Google's Fuchsia OS

For over a year, Google has been developing an operating system named 'Fuchsia,' designed to run across a wide array of devices. The company hasn't said anything publicly about it, but it is entirely open-source, so development on the project has been transparent. Simply put, we can see what Google is working on, but we don't know what it will actually be used for.

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Play Store to require new and updated apps to target recent API levels and distribute native apps with 64-bit support

The Play Store created some controversy last month after announcing plans to remove apps that used Accessibility Services for any purpose that didn't directly relate to disabled users. While Google is reconsidering the best implementation for the Accessibility Services policy, a separate announcement introduces additional policies intended to help make apps distributed through the Play Store more secure and possibly improve performance. Over the next two years, developers will be required to target a recent SDK version in their app updates and provide 64-bit versions of native apps if they aren't already. The Play Store will also begin adding some new metadata to APKs for verification purposes, but most developers shouldn't need to worry about this.

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Android Studio's Emulator reaches stable channel with Quick Boot for 6-second startup times, Play Store support, and an assortment of other improvements

Back in October, Android Studio 3.0 was set loose to the stable channel with improved support for the Kotlin language, platform technologies like Android Things, and many other new and improved features. At the same time, a major upgrade to the Android Emulator also went out to developers on Android Studio's canary channel. It came with quite a few enhancements, but the the headliner was Quick Boot, which can reportedly achieve startup times of less than 6 seconds. Today, this version of the emulator reaches the stable channel and the Android Tools team posted about many of the other valuable improvements this update brings.

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Google is working on Fuchsia OS support for Apple's Swift programming language

Google's in-development operating system, named 'Fuchsia,' first appeared over a year ago. It's quite different from Android and Chrome OS, as it runs on top of the real-time 'Zircon' kernel instead of Linux. According to recent code commits, Google is working on Fuchsia OS support for the Swift programming language.

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Firebase announces major redesign of console with Crashlytics integration, A/B testing framework, Predictions engine, and more

Google's Firebase team has been hard at work lately. Earlier this month, Firebase added a whole new storage product called Cloud Firestore, but that was just the beginning. Several major additions and improvements were just announced during the keynote at the second annual Firebase Dev Summit taking place in Amsterdam.

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