Throughout October 2017, Samsung employees across the globe actively participated in the company’s annual Global Volunteer Festival. Now in its 23rd
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
Posted by Jamal Eason, Product
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
Check out the the list of new features in Android Studio 3.0 below, organized by
key developer flows.
- 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
Code → Convert 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.
- 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
- Layout Editor – The component tree in the
Layout Editor has better drag-and-drop view insertions, and a new error
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Instant App Support – With this release of
Android Studio, you can add Instant
Apps features to your project. Available for
full development earlier this year, Instant Apps are lightweight Android
apps that your users can immediately run without installation. Learn
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- APK Analyzer Improvements – We also
updated APK Analyzer with additional enhancements to help you further optimize
the size of your APK. Learn
To recap, Android Studio 3.0 includes these new major features:
- Kotlin Language
Fonts & Downloadable Fonts
- Android Things
- Intellij Platform
Check out the release
notes for more details.
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
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