October Talks at Google: a month of celebrity sightings

It was a star-studded month for Talks at Google, our very own speaker series. A few celebs stopped by to chat about what they’re up to on the screen and the stage. Check them out below: 

Reese Witherspoon, Jon Rudnitsky, and Hallie Meyers-Shyer visited Google NYC to talk about their new movie “Home Again.” The interview reveals the celebrity history behind the house where the movie was filmed, Reese’s mission to “show a girl she can be the center of her own story” as well as the story behind why Reese started her own production company.

DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis and Denis Villeneuve discuss his new film “Blade Runner 2049,” and how “cinema can evolve when we capture life in front of the camera.” Villeneuve explains that it’s important to give actors the space to create things that weren’t planned—he calls this the “chaos of life.” If you can’t get enough of Blade Runner, check out Harrison Ford’s talk, too.

Watch the cast of Broadway’s Miss Saigon perform a few songs, and discuss how the play—which takes place in the 1970s during the Vietnam War—is relevant today, and helps create an open dialogue about issues we’re facing nearly 50 years after the story takes place.  

Executive Producers Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary discuss CBS’s “Madam Secretary” as Season 4 kicks off, sharing their personal histories,why they created their powerhouse production company, Revelations Entertainment, and Lori’s amazing history as one of the first women to bring computer technology to the motion picture industry.

Stars of “A Bad Mom’s Christmas” Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn stopped by Google HQ to discuss their new movie, parenthood, and how they recharge.

Actress, singer and author Anna Kendrick chats about her book, “Scrappy Little Nobody,” and (naturally) brings the laughs with funny anecdotes from her life and career.

As always, to see more talks, subscribe to Talks at Google on YouTube, follow them on Twitter or browse their website.

The meeting room, by G Suite

With G Suite, we’re focused on building tools that help you bring great ideas to life. We know meetings are the main entry point for teams to share and shape ideas into action. That’s why we recently introduced Hangouts Meet, an evolution of Google Hangouts designed specifically for the workplace, and Jamboard, a way to bring creative brainstorming directly into meetings. Combined with Calendar and Drive, these tools extend collaboration beyond four walls and transform how we work—so every team member has a voice, no matter location.

But the transformative power of video meetings is wasted if it’s not affordable and accessible to all organizations. So today, we’re introducing Hangouts Meet hardware—a new way to bring high-quality video meetings to businesses of any size. We’re also announcing new software updates designed to make your meetings even more productive.

Introducing Hangouts Meet hardware

Hangouts Meet hardware is a cost-effective way to bring high-quality video meetings to your business. The hardware kit consists of four components: a touchscreen controller, speakermic, 4K sensor camera and ASUS Chromebox.

Hangouts Meet controller

The new controller provides a modern, intuitive touchscreen interface that allows people to easily join scheduled events from Calendar or view meeting details with a single tap. You can pin and mute team members, as well as control the camera, making managing meetings easy. You can also add participants with the dial-a-phone feature and present from a laptop via HDMI. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can record the meeting to Drive.

Designed by Google, the Hangouts Meet speakermic actively eliminates echo and background noise to provide crisp, clear audio. Up to five speakermics can be daisy-chained together with a single wire, providing coverage for larger rooms without tabletop clutter.

The 4K sensor camera with 120° field of view easily captures everyone at the table, even in small spaces that some cameras find challenging. Each camera component is fine-tuned to make meetings more personal and distraction-free. Built with machine learning, the camera can intelligently detect participants and automatically crop and zoom to frame them.

Powered by Chrome OS, the ASUS Chromebox makes deploying and managing Hangouts Meet hardware easier than ever. The Chromebox can automatically push updates to other components in the hardware kit, making it easier for large organizations to ensure security and reliability. Remote device monitoring and management make it easy for IT administrators to stay in control, too.

New Hangouts Meet enhancements greatly improve user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. It also creates new ways for our team to collaborate.

Bradley Rhodes

IT Analyst, Woolworths Limited, Australia

Says Bradley Rhodes, IT Analyst End User Computing at Woolworths Ltd Australia, “We are very excited about the new Hangouts Meet hardware, particularly the easy-to-use touchscreen. The enhancements greatly improve the user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. We have also seen it create new ways for our team to collaborate, like via the touch-to-record functionality which allows absent participants to catch up more effectively.”

More features, better meetings

We’re also announcing updates to Meet based on valuable feedback. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can:

Dial in image Hangouts Meet
  • Record meetings and save them to Drive. Can’t make the meeting? No problem. Record your meeting directly to Drive. Even without a Hangouts Meet hardware kit, Meet on web can save your team’s ideas with a couple of clicks.
  • Host meetings with up to 50 participants. Meet supports up to 50 participants in a meeting, especially useful for bringing global teams together from both inside and outside of your organization.
  • Dial in from around the globe. The dial-in feature in Meet is now available in more than a dozen markets. If you board a flight in one country and land in another, Meet will automatically update your meeting’s dial-in listing to a local phone number.

These new features are rolling out gradually. The hardware kit is priced at $1999 and is available in select markets around the globe beginning today.

Whether you’re collaborating in Jamboard, recording meetings and referencing discussions in Drive or scheduling your next team huddle in Calendar, Hangouts Meet hardware makes it even easier to bring the power of your favorite G Suite tools into team meetings. For more information, visit the G Suite website.

Announcing Fast Pair – effortless Bluetooth pairing for Android

Posted by Ritesh Nayak M and Ronald Ho, Product Managers

Today we’re announcing Fast Pair, a hassle-free process to pair your Bluetooth
devices on all supported Android devices running Google Play services 11.7+ with
compatibility back to Marshmallow (Android 6.0). Fast Pair makes discovery &
pairing of Bluetooth devices easy and is currently rolling out to Android 6.0+
devices. You can try this out with Google Pixel Buds
or Libratone’s
Q Adapt On-Ear
, Bose® QuietComfort 35 II, and soon on Plantronics Voyager 8200 series wireless headsets.

Ease of use, speed and security are the design principles driving the Fast Pair
specification. Fast Pair uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for advertising and
discovery and uses classic Bluetooth for pairing. Here’s what a Fast Pair flow
looks like:

  1. Turn on a Fast Pair-enabled device and put it in pairing mode.
    • Android scans for BLE broadcasts in close proximity of the user’s phone and
      discovers a Fast Pair packet (provided Bluetooth and Location is turned on).
    • This packet is sent to our servers to get back the device’s product image,
      product name and companion app (if there is one).
  2. The user receives a high priority notification asking them to “Tap to pair” to
    the device. The notification contains the product name and image.
  3. When the user taps on the notification, we use classic Bluetooth to
    establish a connection.
  4. A success notification is shown which contains a link to
    download the companion app (if there is one).

Imagine doing all of this without ever fumbling with Bluetooth settings. Users get a seamless and secure pairing
experience and confidence that they’re connecting to the right product.
Manufacturers get their brand, device name and companion app in front of the
users.

Thanks to a couple of our partners who have been instrumental in prototyping and
testing this spec, and whose feedback has been invaluable to the Fast Pair
effort. If you are a Bluetooth accessory manufacturer and want to adopt Fast
Pair for your device, please reach
out to us
.

Plantronics is an audio pioneer and a global leader in the communications
industry. From Unified Communications and customer service ecosystems, to data
analytics and Bluetooth headsets, Plantronics delivers high-quality
communications solutions that customers count on today, while relentlessly
innovating on behalf of their future. For more information visit plantronics.com


Libratone is on a mission to liberate sound and to expand peoples’
experiences with music in the era of streaming. Founded in 2009 in Denmark,
Libratone is one of the first audio companies to consider the aesthetics of
speakers – to move them out of the corner of the room and into the center and
onward, for the consumer on the move. For more information visit libratone.com

Reach more customers with Local Services by Google

When people need a plumber or a locksmith, they search online for a business nearby. With Local Services by Google, businesses like yours can show up at the top of Search, so that you can reach local clients right when they’re interested, and book more jobs.

Today we’re announcing that Local Services, previously in a pilot as Home Services, is running in 17 cities across the U.S., and will be available in 30 major metro areas by the end of 2017.

LocalServices_Query_HouseCleaning.png
Local Services unit with results for the search query “house cleaning in Menlo Park”

All Google Guaranteed businesses that appear in Local Services are background checked and display a badge of trust, which limits deceptive advertisers, elicits trust among users and highlights quality businesses. Once on the platform, you can make a personalized profile page that displays your reviews, contact info, and unique aspects about your business like being eco-friendly or family-owned. Potential clients can view your profile and make a decision and get in touch right away. You only pay for leads that are relevant to the services you offer, and it’s easy for you to turn your ads on and off so you get leads when you want them.

How Local Services became a “game changer” for one small business

RosesCC owner.jpg
Luis Gonzalez, owner of Roses Cleaning Corporation

Luis Gonzalez started his cleaning company in 2010, after being laid off in the wake of the financial crisis. At first, Luis vacuumed the hallways in his apartment building for $100 off his rent.

Realizing there was a demand for local cleaning services, Luis created a website and founded Roses House Cleaning Services, nicknamed after his wife.

In the beginning, Luis used online directories to advertise locally, but a year ago he started using Local Services and saw an immediate jump in calls.

While a $300 newspaper ad might yield three calls from potential customers, Luis says, “I get 3-5 calls every day through Local Services.” He calls the service a “game changer,” that has sustained and grown his business—now he doesn’t have to worry about getting enough jobs to fill his schedule each week.

LocalServices_Mobile App.png
The Local Services mobile app is available on Android and iOS

Booking appointments and tracking real results on-the-go

Luis uses the Local Services app to manage leads from his phone throughout the day, making it easy to integrate into his existing workflow. He can answer questions right away, giving customers the individual attention that keeps them coming back. Luis can track the number of leads he’s received and how they’re converting to jobs, right from the app.

He also uses the Local Services app to manage his budget and track calls on the go. Luis says, “If they’re not repeat customers, all the new calls are coming from Google.” When he’s too busy, it’s easy for Luis to turn the ads off so he only gets leads when he wants them.

With the consistent flow of business and the help of Google, Roses Cleaning has grown. They’ve recently hired two new employees to keep up with the demand.

RosesCC team.jpg
Luis has hired two new employees to keep up the calls from Local Services

Small businesses all over the U.S. are using Local Services to bring in more calls from new customers who are actively looking to book service providers through the platform. Iftah Sagi, the owner of IVS Security in Atlanta says he gets about eight calls a day from customers that found his business through Local Services. Dan Travers, the owner of 1-800-ANYTYME Plumbing, Heating and Air, says his booking rates are up by almost 70% since joining Local Services. Both owners have also hired additional employees to keep up with the increase in call volume, just like Luis.

We’re passionate about helping small businesses like Roses Cleaning, IVS Security, and 1-800-ANYTYME reach new customers directly and grow their business. You can sign up to be one of our service providers here.

Security and disinformation in the U.S. 2016 election

We’ve seen many types of efforts to abuse Google’s services over the years. And, like other internet platforms, we have found some evidence of efforts to misuse our platforms during the 2016 U.S. election by actors linked to the Internet Research Agency in Russia. 

Preventing the misuse of our platforms is something that we take very seriously; it’s a major focus for our teams. We’re committed to finding a way to stop this type of abuse, and to working closely with governments, law enforcement, other companies, and leading NGOs to promote electoral integrity and user security, and combat misinformation. 

We have been conducting a thorough investigation related to the U.S. election across our products drawing on the work of our information security team, research into misinformation campaigns from our teams, and leads provided by other companies. Today, we are sharing results from that investigation. While we have found only limited activity on our services, we will continue to work to prevent all of it, because there is no amount of interference that is acceptable.

We will be launching several new initiatives to provide more transparency and enhance security, which we also detail in these information sheets: what we found, steps against phishing and hacking, and our work going forward.

Our work doesn’t stop here, and we’ll continue to investigate as new information comes to light. Improving transparency is a good start, but we must also address new and evolving threat vectors for misinformation and attacks on future elections. We will continue to do our best to help people find valuable and useful information, an essential foundation for an informed citizenry and a robust democratic process.

GNSS Analysis Tools from Google

Posted by Frank van Diggelen, Software Engineer

Last year in Android Nougat, we introduced APIs for retrieving Global
Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Raw measurements from Android devices. This
past week, we publicly released GNSS
Analysis Tools
to process and analyze these measurements.

Android powers over 2 billion devices, and Android phones are made by many
different manufacturers. The primary intent of these tools is to enable device
manufacturers to see in detail how well the GNSS receivers are working in each
particular device design, and thus improve the design and GNSS performance in
their devices. However, with the tools publicly available, there is also
significant value to the research and app developer community.

How to use the tool

The GNSS Analysis Tool is a desktop application that takes in raw the GNSS
Measurements logged from your Android device as input.

This desktop application provides interactive plots, organized into three
columns showing the behavior of the RF, Clock, and Measurements. This data
allows you to see the behavior of the GNSS receiver in great detail, including
receiver clock offset and drift to the order of 1 nanosecond and 1 ppb and
measurement errors on a satellite-by-satellite basis. This allows you to do
sophisticated analysis at a level that, until now, was almost inaccessible to
anyone but the chip manufacturers themselves.

The tools support multi-constellation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS)
and multi-frequency. The image below shows the satellite locations for L1, L5,
E1 and E5 signals tracked by a dual frequency chip.

The tools provide an interactive control screen from which you can manipulate
the plots, shown below. From this control screen, you can change the background
color, enable the Menu Bars for printing or saving, and select specific
satellites for the plots.

Receiver test report

The tools also provide automatic test reports of receivers. Click “Make Report”
to automatically create the test report. The report evaluates the API
implementation, Received Signal, Clock behavior, and Measurement accuracy. In
each case it will report PASS or FAIL based on the performance against known
good benchmarks. This test report is primarily meant for the device
manufacturers to use as they iterate on the design and implementation of a new
device. A sample report is shown below.

Our goal with providing these Analysis Tools is to empower device manufacturers,
researchers, and developers with data and knowledge to make Android even better
for our customers. You can visit the GNSS
Measurement site
to learn more and download this application.

Swing into the World Series with Google Expeditions

Hey batter, batter, batter! It’s late October, and the World Series is shaping up for an amazing finish. Step up to the plate with five new Google Expeditions that we created in partnership with MLB.com.

These include virtual tours of Citi Field in New York and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, both of which are narrated by MLB Network’s Heidi Watney. You can also get behind-the-scenes access with career tours that showcase the lives of a baseball beat reporter and television broadcasters. We’re also bringing you a Statcast tour, so you can geek out Moneyball-style with the math and physics behind the game.

MLBEx

If you’re an educator, we’ve got all the bases covered. We worked with teachers to provide accompanying free lessons plans to go along with these tours. “MLB Statcast Exploration” and “Journalism, The Appeals, and MLB” can both be found at TES.com.

Check out these MLB tours and our catalogue of over 700 unique experiences on your own or in the classroom by downloading Expeditions on your iOS or Android devices.

Update on Our Advertising Transparency and Authenticity Efforts

by Rob Goldman, VP of Ads When it comes to advertising on Facebook, people should be able to tell who the advertiser is and see the ads they’re running, especially for political ads. That level of transparency is good for democracy and it’s good for the electoral process. Transparency helps everyone, especially political watchdog groups […]

The story behind Microsoft’s earnings: Our customers’ digital innovation in the cloud

Today, Microsoft announced its first quarter earnings. One big takeaway is that we exceeded our goal to meet a $20 billion in commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate. This exciting milestone represents our continued delivery of new cloud technologies and our customers’ digital innovation. Across major industries — from finance and energy sector to retail…

The post The story behind Microsoft’s earnings: Our customers’ digital innovation in the cloud appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

New Features for Groups to Build Communities

By Alex Deve In June, we hosted our first-ever Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago with hundreds of Facebook group admins. Since the Summit, we’ve been busy building tools and programs that will help them grow and manage their communities, and today we’re announcing several of them: New Tools for Admins and Members Welcome Posts: For […]

Marketplace Adds More Options For US Car Shoppers

By Deborah Liu, VP, Marketplace Millions of Americans are using Marketplace every day to look for cars. Since this is one of our most popular categories, we’re expanding our used car inventory by partnering with leaders in the auto industry. In the coming weeks, Marketplace will introduce features that will make it easier for car […]

Android 8.1 Developer Preview

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Today we’re giving you an early look at Android 8.1. This update to Android Oreo includes a set of targeted enhancements including optimizations for Android Go (for devices with 1GB or less of memory) and a new Neural Networks API to accelerate on-device machine intelligence. We’ve also included a few smaller enhancements to Oreo in response to user and developer feedback.

We’re bringing you this Developer Preview so you can get your apps ready; we’ve already been helping device makers prepare for this new version. We recommend starting soon — we’re expecting the final public version in December.

It’s easy to get Android 8.1 Developer Preview on your Pixel or Nexus device. Just enroll in the Android Beta Program — you’ll soon receive an over-the-air update to Android 8.1 beta. If you enrolled previously, you’re all set, there’s no need to re-enroll. The Developer Preview will be available for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices, as well as for Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and the Android emulator.

What’s in Android 8.1?

Android 8.1 includes select new features and developer APIs (API level 27), along with the latest optimizations, bug fixes, and security patches. Some of the new APIs include:

  • Android Go memory optimizations and targeting — Android 8.1 includes a set of memory optimizations for Android Go configurations (1GB or less of memory). We’ve added new hardware feature constants so you can now target the distribution of your apps and APK splits to normal or low-RAM devices running Android 8.1 and later.
  • Neural Networks API — as part of our efforts to bring machine intelligence to Android, we’ve added a Neural Networks API via the NDK. It enables hardware-accelerated inference operations on supported devices. We designed the Neural Networks API as a foundational layer for ML frameworks like TensorFlow Lite — Google’s upcoming cross-platform ML framework for mobile — as well as Caffe2 and others. Stay tuned for TensorFlow Lite announcements.
  • Autofill enhancements — we’ve made it easier for password managers and other Autofill services to use the Autofill framework. For example, we’ve added support for more UI customization of the Save dialog, as well as setAutofillOptions() for users to set credit card expiration using a spinner.
  • Shared memory API — this new API lets apps allocate shared memory for faster access to common data. Apps can map anonymous shared memory and manage protection controls using the SharedMemory API. The API is parcelable, AIDL friendly, and exposes useful features like removing write permissions.

Take a look at Android 8.1 site for more information, including the diff report and updated API reference docs.

Test your apps on Android 8.1

With the consumer launch coming in December, it’s important to test your current app now. This gives users a seamless transition to Android 8.1 when it arrives on their devices.

Just enroll your eligible device in Android Beta to get the latest update, then install your app from Google Play and test. If you don’t have a Pixel or Nexus device, you can set up an Android 8.1 emulator for testing instead. If you notice any issues, fix them and update your app in Google Play right away — without changing the app’s platform targeting.

Build with new features and APIs

When you’re ready, take advantage of the new features and APIs in Android 8.1, which we’ve already finalized as API Level 27. For an overview of what’s new, take a look at Android 8.1 for Developers. You can also extend your apps with established Android Oreo features as well, see the Android Oreo site for details.

If your app uses forms, make sure to test them with autofill so that users can take advantage of this convenient feature. Enable “Autofill with Google” or a similar service in Settings and test the form fills to make sure they work as expected. We strongly recommend providing explicit hints about your fields, and also associating your website and mobile app, so that logins can be shared between them.

Speed your development with Android Studio

To build with Android 8.1, we recommend updating to Android Studio 3.0, which is now available from the stable channel. On top of the new app performance profiling tools, support for the Kotlin programming language, and Gradle build optimizations, Android Studio 3.0 makes it easier to develop with Android Oreo features like Instant Apps, XML Fonts, downloadable fonts, and adaptive icons.

We also recommend updating to the Android Support Library 27.0.0, which is available from Google’s Maven repository. New in this version are: a ContentPager library for efficiently loading “paged” data on a background thread; ViewCompat wrappers for Autofill methods; an AmbientMode headless fragment that improves Wear ambient mode support, fullscreen Trusted Web Activities, and more. See the version notes for more information.

You can update your project’s compileSdkVersion to API 27 to compile against the official Android 8.1 APIs. We also recommend updating your app’s targetSdkVersion to API 27 to test with compatibility behaviors disabled. See the this guide for details on how to set up your environment to build with Android 8.1.

Publish your updates to Google Play

The Android 8.1 APIs are already final, so we’ve opened Google Play for apps compiled against or targeting API level 27. When you’re ready, you can publish your APK updates in your alpha, beta, or production channels. Make sure that your updated app runs well on Android 8.1 as well as older versions. We recommend using Google Play’s beta testing feature to run an alpha test on small group of users, then run a much larger open beta test. When you’re ready to launch your update, you can use a staged rollout. We’re looking forward to seeing your app updates!

Give us your feedback!

As always, your feedback is crucial, so please let us know what you think. We’ve set up different hotlists where you report Android platform and tools issues, app compatibility issues, and third-party SDKs and tools issues. We also have a new hotlist for Neural Networks API issues.

You can also give us feedback through the Android Developer community or Android Beta community as we work towards the consumer release in December.

Android Studio 3.0

Posted by Jamal Eason, Product
Manager, Android

Android Studio 3.0 is ready to download today. Announced at Google I/O 2017,
Android Studio 3.0 is a large update focused on accelerating your app
development on Android.

This release of Android Studio is packed with many new updates, but there are
three major feature areas you do not want to miss, including: a new suite of app
profiling tools to quickly diagnose performance issues, support for the Kotlin
programming language, and a new set of tools and wizards to accelerate your
development on the latest Android Oreo APIs.

We also invested time in improving stability and performance across many areas
of Android Studio. Thanks to your feedback during the preview versions of
Android Studio 3.0! If you are looking for high stability, want to build high
quality apps for Android Oreo, develop with the Kotlin language, or use the
latest in Android app performance tools, then you should download Android Studio
3.0 today.

Check out the the list of new features in Android Studio 3.0 below, organized by
key developer flows.


What’s new in Android Studio 3.0

Develop

  • Kotlin Programming Language As announced
    at Google I/O 2017
    , the Kotlin
    programming language is now officially supported for Android development. Kotlin
    is an expressive and concise language that is interoperable with existing
    Android languages and runtimes, which means you can use as little or as much of
    the language in your app as you want. Kotlin is a production-ready language
    used by many popular Android apps on Google Play today.

    This release of Android Studio is the first milestone of bundles the Kotlin
    language support inside the IDE. Many of your favorite features such as code
    completion and syntax highlighting work well this release and we will continue
    to improve the remaining editor features in upcoming release. You can choose to
    add Kotlin to your project using the built-in conversion tool found under
    CodeConvert Java File to Kotlin File, or
    create a Kotlin enabled project with the New Project Wizard. Lean more about
    Kotlin language support
    in Android Studio
    .

Kotlin Language Conversion in Android Studio

  • Java 8 Language features In Android
    Studio 3.0, we are continuing to improve the support for Java 8 language
    features. With the migration
    to a javac
    based toolchain, using Java 8 language features in your project
    is even easier. To update your project to support the new Java 8 Language
    toolchain, simply update your Source and Target compatibility
    levels to 1.8 in the Project Structure dialog. Learn
    more
    .
  • Layout Editor The component tree in the
    Layout Editor has better drag-and-drop view insertions, and a new error
    panel. Learn
    more
    .
  • Adaptive Icon Wizard The new wizard
    creates a set of launcher icon assets and provides previews of how your
    adaptive icon will look with different launcher screen icon masks. Support for
    VectorDrawable layers is new for this release. Learn
    more
    .
  • XML Fonts & Downloadable Fonts If you
    target Android Oreo (API Level 26 and higher) for your Android app, you can now
    add custom fonts & downloadable fonts using XML with Android Studio
    3.0.
  • Android Things Support Android Studio
    3.0 includes a new set of templates in the New Project wizard and the New Module
    wizard to develop for the Android Things platform. Learn more.
  • IntelliJ Platform Update: Android Studio 3.0 includes the
    IntelliJ 2017.1 release, which has features such as Java 8 language refactoring,
    parameter hints, semantic highlighting, draggable breakpoints, enhanced version
    control search, and more. Learn
    more
    .

Build

  • Build Speed Improvements To further
    improve the speed of Gradle for larger scale projects with many modules, we
    introduced a rare breaking API change in the Android Gradle Plugin to
    improve scalability and build times. This change is one of reasons we jumped
    version numbers from Android Studio 2.4 to 3.0. If you depend on APIs provided
    by the previous Gradle plugin you should validate compatibility with the new
    plugin and migrate to the new APIs. To test, update the plugin version in your
    build.gradle file. Learn
    more
    .
  • Google’s Maven Repository To facilitate
    smaller and faster updates, Android Studio 3.0 utilizes Google’s Maven
    Repository by default instead of using the Android SDK Manager to find updates
    to Android Support Library, Google Play Services, and Firebase Maven
    dependencies. Used in combination with the latest command line SDK
    Manager tool
    and Gradle,
    Continuous Integration builds should migrate to Google’s Maven Repository for
    future Maven repository updates. Learn
    more
    .

Test & Debug

  • Google Play System Images We also
    updated the emulator system images for Android Oreo to now include the Google
    Play Store. Bundling in the Google Play store allows you to do end-to-end
    testing of apps with Google Play, and provides a convenient way to keep Google
    Play services up-to-date in your Android Virtual Device (AVD). Just as Google
    Play services updates on physical devices, you can trigger the same updates on
    your AVDs.

    Google Play Store in Android Emulator

    To ensure app security and a consistent experience with physical devices, the
    emulator system images with the Google Play store included are signed with a
    release key. This means you will not be able to get elevated privileges. If you
    require elevated privileges (root) to aid with your app troubleshooting, you can
    use the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) emulator system images that do not
    include Google apps or services. Learn more.

  • OpenGL ES 3.0 Support in Android Emulator
    The latest version of the Android Emulator has OpenGL ES 3.0 support
    for Android Oreo system images along with significant improvements in OpenGL ES
    2.0 graphics performance for older emulator system images. Learn
    more
    .
  • App Bug Reporter in Android Emulator To
    help in documenting bugs in your app, we have added an easier way to generate a
    bug report with the Android Emulator with all the necessary configuration
    settings and space to capture your repro steps. Learn
    more
    .
  • Proxy Support in Android If you use a
    proxy to access the Internet, we have added a user interface to manage the HTTP
    proxy settings used by the emulator. Lean
    more
    .
  • Android Emulator Quick Boot (Canary) One
    of the most common pain points we hear is that the emulator takes too long to
    boot. To address this concern, we are excited to preview a new feature to solve
    this called Quick Boot, which significantly speeds up your emulator start time.
    Once enabled, the first time you start an AVD a cold boot will occur (just like
    powering on a device), but all subsequent starts are fast and the system is
    restored to the state at which you closed the emulator (similar to waking a
    device). If you want to try it out, ensure you are on the canary update release
    channel and then you will find v26.2.0 of the Android Emulator in the SDK
    Manager. Learn
    more
    .
  • APK Debugging Android Studio 3.0 allows
    you to debug an arbitrary APK. This functionally is especially helpful for those
    who develop your Android C++ code in another IDE, but want to debug and analyze
    the APK in the context of Android Studio. As long as you have a debuggable
    version of your APK, you can use the new APK Debugging features to analyze,
    profile & debug the APK. Moreover, if you have access to the sources of your
    APK, you can link the source to the APK debugging flow for a higher fidelity
    debugging process. Get started by simply selecting Profile or debug
    APK
    from the Android Studio Welcome Screen or File → Profile or
    debug APK
    . Learn
    More
    .

APK Debugging

  • Layout Inspector In this release we have
    added a few additional enhancements for the Layout Inspector including better
    grouping of properties into common categories, as well as search functionality
    in both the View Tree and Properties Panels. Learn
    more
    .
  • Device File Explorer The new Device File
    Explorer in Android Studio 3.0 allows you to view the file and directory
    structure of your Android device or emulator. As you are testing your app, you
    can now quickly preview and modify app data files directly in Android Studio.
    Learn
    more
    .
  • Android Test Orchestrator Support – When used with
    AndroidJUnitRunner 1.0 or higher, the Android Gradle plugin 3.0 supports the use
    of the Android Test Orchestrator. The Android Test Orchestrator allows each of
    your app’s tests to run within its own Instrumentation.
    Learn
    more
    .

Optimize

  • Android Profiler Android Studio 3.0
    includes a brand new suite of tools to help debug performance problems in your
    app. We completely rewrote the previous set of Android Monitor tools, and
    replaced them with the Android Profiler. Once you deploy your app to a running
    device or emulator, click on the Android Profiler tab and you
    will now have access to a real-time & unified view of the CPU, Memory, & Network
    activity for your app. Each of the performance events are mapped to the UI event
    timeline which highlights touch events, key presses, and activity changes so
    that you have more context on when and why a certain event happened. Click on
    each timeline to dig into each performance aspect of your app. Learn
    more
    .

Android Profiler – Combined timeline view.

CPU Profiler


Memory Profiler


Network Profiler

  • APK Analyzer Improvements We also
    updated APK Analyzer with additional enhancements to help you further optimize
    the size of your APK. Learn
    more
    .

To recap, Android Studio 3.0 includes these new major features:

If you are using a previous version of Android Studio, you can upgrade to
Android Studio 3.0 today or you can download the update from the official
Android Studio Preview download
page
. As mentioned in this blog, there are some breaking Gradle Plugin API
changes to support new features in the IDE. Therefore, you should also update
your Android Gradle plugin version to 3.0.0 in your current project to test and
validate your app project setup.

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like
to see. If you find a bug or issue, feel free to file an
issue
. Connect with us — the Android Studio development team ‐ on our Google+ page or on Twitter

Imagine Cup goes far beyond the imagination to change lives — and it’s time to register for 2018

My team at Microsoft has a guiding principle as the foundation of everything we do: Today’s students are tomorrow’s developers. As the head of cloud growth and ecosystems at Microsoft, working with students is one of the most fulfilling parts of my job because it gives me a lens into the future through the next…

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