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Next Billion Users

Ready, set… Files Go! A faster way to clean up, find and share files on your phone

Every day, millions of smartphones run out of space. While phones with 16GB or 32GB of storage are becoming more popular, many phones around the world have much less storage, often as low as 4GB. And with the barrage of images, videos, apps and documents that keep piling up, at some point it becomes a mess—it’s hard to find what you need when you need it, and your phone slows down and starts crashing. We all eventually reach that point where we have to choose what to keep or delete.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce Files Go, an app that takes a mobile-first approach to freeing up space, finding files faster and easily sharing them with others.

FilesGoScreen

Free up space on your phone and find files faster

Files Go helps you:

  • Free up space. Get personalized suggestions about which files to delete, whether it’s unused apps, large files, duplicate files or low-resolution videos and memes detected using Google’s latest mobile vision technology

  • Find files faster. No more navigating through a maze of folders. Find exactly the stuff you want with smart filters that automatically organize your images, videos, apps, documents and more.

  • Backup files to the cloud. If you want to keep a file forever, select it from the Files menu and back it up to Google Drive or any other cloud storage app.

  • Share files offline. Transfer directly from your phone to a nearby friend’s phone without using any data. The file transfers are encrypted, fast (up to 125 Mbps) and free.
FilesGoAnimation
Transfer files securely between two phones, fast and data-free

We’ve been testing Files Go for a month, and the average user is saving 1GB of space and has shared many files with others without using data. Starting today, we’re opening up Files Go globally on the Google Play Store for all phones running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and higher. Free up more space and share files faster—give Files Go a try!


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Develop

Tuning your apps and games for long screen devices

Posted by Fred Chung, Developer Advocate

In recent months, there’s a growing trend for handset makers to ship new devices
with long screen aspect ratio (stretching beyond 16:9), many of which also sport
rounded corners. This attests to the Android ecosystem’s breadth and choice.
Pixel 2 XL and Huawei Mate 10 Pro are just two of many examples. These screen
characteristics could bring a very immersive experience to users and they take
notice of apps and games that don’t take advantage of the long aspect ratio
screen on these new devices. Therefore it is important for developers to
optimize for these screen designs. Let’s have a look at related support
provided by the Android OS.

Optimize for long aspect ratio screens

Most apps using standard UI widgets will likely work out-of-the-box on these devices. Android
documentation
details techniques for flexibly working on multiple screen
sizes. However, some games and apps with custom UIs may run into issues due to
incorrect assumptions on certain aspect ratios. We’re sharing a few typical
issues faced by developers, so you can pay attention to those relevant to you:

  • Certain sides of the screen are cropped. This makes any
    graphic or UI elements in the affected regions look incomplete.
  • Touch targets are offset from UI elements (e.g. buttons).
    Users may be confused on UI elements that are seemingly interactive.
  • For full screen mode on rounded corners devices, any UI elements
    very close to the corners may be outside of the curved corner viewable
    area
    . Imagine if a commerce app’s “Purchase” button was partially
    obstructed? We recommend referencing Material
    Design guidelines
    by leaving 16dp side margins in layouts.

If responsive UI is really not suitable for your situation, as a last
resort
declare an explicit maximum supported aspect ratio as follows. On
devices with a wider aspect ratio, the app will be shown in a compatibility mode
padded with letterbox. Keep in mind that certain device models provide an
override for users to force the app into full-screen compatibility mode, so be
sure to test under these scenarios too!

Targets API level 26 or higher: Use android:maxAspectRatio
attributes.

Targets API level 25 or lower: Use android.max_aspect meta-data.
Note that maximum aspect ratio values will be respected only if your
activities don’t support resizableActivity.
See documentation
for detail.

System letterboxes an app when the declared maximum aspect ratio is smaller
than the device’s screen.

Consider using side-by-side activities

Long aspect ratio devices enable even more multi-window use cases that could
increase user productivity. Beginning in Android 7.0, the platform offers a
standard way for developers to implement multi-window on supported devices as
well as perform data drag and drop between activities. Refer to documentation
for details.

Testing is crucial. If you don’t have access to one of these long screen
devices, be sure to test on the emulator with adequate screen size and
resolution hardware properties, which are explained in the emulator
documentation
.

We know you want to delight your users with long screen devices. With a few
steps, you can ensure your apps and games taking full advantage of these
devices!

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Accessibility

Strides in Stewardship, Part 3: Applying Universal Design to Create Technology That Works for Everyone

Using a smartphone is an everyday task that comes easily to most. The typical user needs no instruction on how to send an email, request a taxi or stream a TV

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News

Why Quartz Launched its New Edition With a Facebook Group: A Q+A With Editor Khe Hy

By Julia Smekalina, News Partnerships In October, Quartz launched a new edition called Quartz At Work. It’s directed toward business professionals who are looking to be better managers, build a career, and stay up-to-date with the latest research and trends…

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Hard Questions

Hard Questions: So Your Kids Are Online, But Will They Be Alright?

Many of us at Facebook are parents and we’re thinking about technology’s role in the lives of children and families.

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Company News

Update on the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

At last year’s EU Internet Forum, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube declared our joint determination to curb the spread of terrorist content online.

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Product News

Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect

By Loren Cheng, Product Management Director Today, in the US, we’re rolling out a preview of Messenger Kids, a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person. After talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA, and […]

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1.7 Gbps

KDDI and Samsung Complete First Successful Demonstration of 5G on a Train Moving at 100km/hour

  KDDI and Samsung Electronics have successfully completed the first 5G demonstration on a moving train traveling at over 100 km/hour (over 60 mph). This

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AC

From Palm Fronds to Wind-Free™ Technology

The history of trying to keep cool in extreme temperatures is a long an interesting one – from slaves cooling royalty with palm fronds, to the latest digital

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Statements

Samsung Will Announce Renewable Energy Strategy and Target

At Samsung Electronics, we take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and know that reducing our impact on the environment is critical for all

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Best Enterprises for Employees

Samsung Electronics Recognized in Vietnam as One of the Best Enterprises for Employees

In operation since April 2009, Samsung Electronics in Vietnam has more than 100,000 employees working across its manufacturing facilities in the Yen Phong

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News

Spotlight on Local News: How Four Local Reporters Are Using Facebook Live

By Beth Loyd and Josh Mabry, News Partnerships Local journalists across the country use Facebook Live to break news, give people a behind-the-scenes look at the stories that matter most to their community, and deepen relationships with their audience. We…

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Accessibility

[Editorial] Arts for All: Choreographer Marc Brew on Inclusive Arts

Having secured funding from Creative Scotland to partner with the British Council in Korea to be part of the British Council’s UK/Korea 2017-18

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cadmium-free

Quantum Dot Artisan: Dr. Eunjoo Jang, Samsung Fellow

  Over the past few years, one of the breakthrough achievements of Samsung researchers has been the development of cadmium-free quantum dot technology,

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Android

Android Things Developer Preview 6

Posted by Wayne Piekarski,
Developer Advocate for IoT

The next release of Android Things Developer Preview 6 (DP6) is here with lots
of new features and bug fixes. Android Things is Google’s platform that enables
Android Developers to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices with support for
powerful applications such as video and audio processing and on-board machine
learning with TensorFlow. For the specifics on what is new, visit the release
notes
. Here are a few of the highlights of what is in DP6.

IoT launcher

DP6 includes a new IoT launcher that allows the user to see the current state of
the device and change settings using a touch screen or USB input devices.
Settings such as configuring the WiFi, finding the build ID, and checking for
updates is now something that can be done interactively, making it even easier
to get started. This launcher is visible when no other developer-provided IOT_LAUNCHER
Activity is present.

Graphics acceleration defaults

Android Things uses the open-source SwiftShader library, a
CPU-based implementation of the OpenGL ES APIs. This enables common OpenGL
support across all platforms, even those with no GPU hardware. However, many
simple 2D UIs render faster if the drawing is done directly to the framebuffer
and OpenGL emulation is not used. In DP6, OpenGL rendering is disabled by
default to ensure that most apps run with the fastest UI possible. If you need
OpenGL support for 3D rendering, WebView, or TextureView, then explicitly enable
it in your AndroidManifest.xml according to the documentation:

<activity

    ...
    android:hardwareAccelerated="true">

API 27 and Google Play Services

DP6 is now based on the latest Android 8.1 developer preview, with API level 27.
Most of the standard Android samples now work on DP6. For example, the Camera2Basic
sample using the Camera2 API and TextureView now works on both NXP and Raspberry
Pi based devices (with the hardwareAccelerated flag set to true). Google Play
Services has been updated to support SDK version 11.6, supporting all the latest
features
.

Command-line flashing tool

We heard from developers that flashing and configuring a board using fastboot
can be tedious, so the Android Things
Console
now brings a new and simpler way of flashing device images. Instead
of using fastboot and adb commands manually, a new interactive command-line
android-things-setup-utility
is now provided. This tool makes it much easier to get started with Android
Things, and automates the download and flashing process.

Android Things Console updates

DP6 introduces the new partition scheme that will be used for the upcoming
production release. Due to the new partition layout, the over-the-air update
(OTA) system cannot update existing DP5.1 or earlier devices. Developers will
need to go to the Android
Things Console
, and download and flash a new DP6 build. The Console UI has
also been changed for DP6 features, and will only allow you to create new builds
based on DP6. If you have any older existing builds, they are still available
for download but will not support OTA updates. Developers are encouraged to move
all work to DP6.

GPIO pin naming

The interactive IoT launcher shown at boot now includes an I/O pinout section
where you can discover the labels of all the pins. The pin naming used by the
i.MX7 has been changed, and you should update your code to use this new naming
convention. See the i.MX7
documentation
for the complete list of pin names.

Settings and Device Update APIs

New APIs have been added to Android Things that control the configuration
of the local device and device updates. UpdateManager
gives developers control over when updates and reboots can be performed,
ensuring the device is available for the user when needed. DeviceManager
controls factory reset, reboot, and device locales. APIs are also provided for
settings such as ScreenManager
to control the screen, and TimeManager
to control the clock and time zone.

Peripheral command-line tool

We now provide a command-line tool pio
that gives developers access to the Peripheral API via the adb shell. Developers
can interactively test GPIO, PWM, UART, I2C, SPI, and future interfaces from an
adb shell, which is useful for debugging and automated testing.

Feedback

DP6 includes significant changes and improvements to the platform. Please send
us your feedback by filing bug
reports
and feature
requests
, as well as asking any questions on Stack
Overflow
. To start using DP6, use the Android Things Console to
download system images and flash existing devices, or use the android-things-setup-utility.
More information about the changes are available in the release
notes
. You can also join Google’s IoT
Developers Community
on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss
ideas. Also, we have our new hackster.io
community
, where everyone can share the amazing projects they have built. We
look forward to seeing what you build with Android Things!

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