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Friday, May 20, 2016

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LG G5 supports USB Power Delivery alongside Quick Charge 3.0

Posted: 20 May 2016 02:39 PM PDT

Benson Leung has done the community a big service by reviewing USB Type-C cables, letting us know which cables adhere to the USB-C spec and which are potentially dangerous. He even got Amazon to ban non-compliant cables entirely.

He had previously condemned both the LG G5 and the HTC 10 for not adhering to USB Type-C spec, as using Quick Charge 3.0 violated Type-C spec on charging voltage. However, GTrusted has found that the G5 also supports USB Power Delivery alongside Quick Charge 3.0, meaning it might be able to support a lot of Type-C features devices that the HTC 10 can't.

USB Power Delivery support means that DisplayPort via USB Type-C should work, as well as charge-through hubs. While the use of Quick Charge 3.0 still violates Type-C spec, this new revelation brings the device closer to spec.

This news might not sway most people's buying choices, but it's great that Benson Leung is putting this info out and educating people.


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Samsung shows off 6GB RAM chip that might make it into the Galaxy Note 6

Posted: 20 May 2016 02:09 PM PDT

The Samsung Galaxy Note 6 is due to launch soon, and rumors have been flying about for months. One of the main spec rumors is that the device will launch with 6GB of RAM, which isn't an unreasonable guess. Previous generations of the Note have debuted with a large (for their time) amount of RAM.

Samsung seems to want to confirm this rumor, as the company has just announced a new 6GB 10nm LPDDR4 RAM chip. It's ripe to go into a new device, though we don't know if it will show up in the Note 6. We'll find out during the announcement that's coming up though.

With more and more apps running in the background, 6GB of RAM isn't exactly ridiculous or over the top. It's always nice to have some overhead, though it's hard to believe 6GB of RAM is triple what my first gaming computer had in 2008. What's your opinion on this? Is 6GB of RAM a welcome addition or overkill? Leave a comment!


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Top 10 Android app updates this week: WeMo, SoundHound

Posted: 20 May 2016 01:30 PM PDT

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We've found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we're going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we'll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

Alarm.com - Version 3.6.0

AlarmCom

What's new in this version:

  • The new "Scenes" feature allows you to trigger a series of commands at once, with the touch of a button. Choose from default scenes like Home or Away, or create your own.
  • View current Light status (for up to 10 lights).
  • Other minor enhancements / fixes

 

Adobe Illustrator Draw - Version 2.0.0

Adobe Illustrator Draw

What's new in this version:

  • Long press on the Brush icon to change your brushes
  • TABLET SUPPORT - Draw now works on tablet configurations. We have now enabled this on the major tablets configurations.
  • STYLUS SUPPORT - SPen for Android devices are now supported on Draw.

 

Samsung Pay - Version 1.5.3

Samsung Pay

What's new in this version:

  •  Samsung Pay now accepts membership and loyalty cards for fast and easy checkout

 

Telegram - Version 3.9.0

Telegram

What's new in this version:

  • Edit your messages everywhere within 2 days after posting.
  • Mention people in groups by typing @ and selecting them from the list — even if they don't have a username.
  • Get to your friends faster with the new People list in Search.
  • Find inline bot shortcuts in the attachment menu.

 

Yahoo Mail - Version 5.5.3

Yahoo Mail

What's new in this version:

  • Sync Yahoo contacts to your device – Now you can access all of your Yahoo contacts from anywhere on your device
  • Easily edit contact information – Quickly add, delete, and modify information directly from the Mail app

 

Fenix for Twitter - Version 1.8.0

Fenix

What's new in this version:

  • From your timeline, you can now quickly peek user profiles, images, GIFs and Vine videos using a long press
  • Added small image preview in tweet replies
  • The app now correctly handles external Twitter search links (in the form of http://twitter.com/search?q=)

 

Opera Mini Beta - Version 17.0.2211

Opera Mini browser beta

What's new in this version:

  • UI themes
  • Extreme mode video player improvements

 

Cartwheel by Target - Version 2.2.0

Cartwheel by Target

What's new in this version:

  • New bottom nav unifies all the ways to find offers in one place
  • The app opens to For You, our personalized offer recommendations
  • Persistent access to Search & Scan
  • Your barcode easily accessible in Checkout
  • Easily sort and map your list of offers

 

WeMo - Version 1.15.0

WeMo

What's new in this version:

  • So we're REALLY excited to announce that, as of this update, Wemo works with Nest Learning Thermostat™. Woot!
  • Abbiamo localizzato l'applicazione per la lingua Italiana.
  • Fixed a few issues that may have caused occasional crashes.
  • Made slight improvements to the user interface.

 

SoundHound - Version 7.1.0

SoundHound

What's new in this version:

  • Now go Hands-Free with "OK Hound…" Use your voice to search, discover, and play!
  • Find that song you're trying to identify, hands-free, in the car, on the go, or at home, discover new information about an artist, play full tracks, or add it to a playlist.

 


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Project Ara phones begin shipping to devs in 2016, consumers in 2017

Posted: 20 May 2016 12:35 PM PDT

In August of last year, Project Ara not only got a new logo, but it was also revealed that there wouldn't be electropermanent magnets installed in the devices any longer.

Now, on the final day of Google I/O, a pretty important update has finally landed. Google has revealed that the first Developer Edition of Project Ara will begin shipping to developers beginning later in 2016. What's more, developers can register their interest in developing an Ara module with Google right now.

Google also has plans to launch a consumer-ready version of Project Ara in 2017.

Google included a video with its announcements that shows a variety of different modules for the project and the new features that those modules can bring. Swapping modules looks like it's going to be pretty quick and easy, too.

Are you excited for Project Ara?


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AT&T expands its Buy One, Get One Free deal to include more smartphones

Posted: 20 May 2016 10:19 AM PDT

If you're an AT&T customer or plan on being one soon, AT&T has expanded its Buy One, Get One Free deal to include even more smartphones that you might want to buy.

The company announced today that it is casting out its BOGO net a bit wider after initially launching the deal earlier this year. With it, AT&T is now offering the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Active, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note 5, LG V10, LG G5, Kyocera DuraForce, and the HTC One A9. The latest iPhones are also included in the deal, as is Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile-powered Lumia 950.

As is usual for this type of deal, there are some caveats. The first, and perhaps biggest, is that if you take advantage of this deal, you'll need to choose two devices from the same manufacturer. So no mix-and-matching companies. If you can work with that, then the first phone can be purchased through any one of AT&T's Next installment plan options, but the second device must be bought on the 30-month AT&T Next installment plan option. At least one of the lines has to be a new line, too.

AT&T added that once you get your new phones, the customer should see the first bill credit within the first three bill cycles for that device. The big blue carrier says that customers will be credited up to $695 over the course of 30 monthly bill cycles.

Is this a deal you plan on jumping on?


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Joaomgcd's AutoNotification And AutoInput Are Already Updated To Make Use Of N's Spiffy New APIs

Posted: 20 May 2016 09:37 AM PDT

joao-autonotification

Joaomgcd hates touching his phone. At least that's what I think the drive behind all of these apps he keeps developing and improving is. He's truly the man who wants to make automation as attainable of a goal as possible, and to that extent, he has built apps like AutoNotification and AutoInput that allow you to create plenty of new actions that the famous Tasker app can make use of in its automation profiles.

Read More

Joaomgcd's AutoNotification And AutoInput Are Already Updated To Make Use Of N's Spiffy New APIs was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Android N’s seamless update feature won’t be available on current Nexus devices

Posted: 20 May 2016 09:05 AM PDT

During its day ine keynote speech at the start of this year's I/O developer conference, Google officially debuted a new feature that would allow Android devices to automatically update to the latest version of the platform without any major input from the user thanks to tweaks in Android N.

For Google, this meant that once the company released an update out into the wild, they knew that their Nexus-branded handsets would automatically be upgraded with security patches and new features, hopefully making the process just a little bit easier for Nexus owners. It's a feature that the Android team borrowed from the Chrome OS team, and probably a welcomed one at that.

Unfortunately, with the work that Google had to do to make the seamless update feature a reality, it means it won't be available on current generation Nexus devices. For Google to make it work on current hardware, they would have to repartition the entire device and it wouldn't be possible for the end user to get the job done without plugging in their device to a computer. Basically, Google says it's too much of a hassle to make a reality for current devices out in the market.

That's a bit unfortunate, but it does at least make sense why it's a feature that won't make it to current devices. And for anyone that might be thinking about upgrading later this year to a new Nexus phone, that could be one big reason to make the jump.


Android Match

Samsung Pay availability grows in China with Alipay partnership

Posted: 20 May 2016 09:05 AM PDT

Samsung Pay, Samsung's mobile payment option, is expanding in a big way in China thanks to a partnership with Alipay.

Specifically, Samsung has announced that it is teaming up with Ant Financial Services, which is owned by Alipay, to expand Samsung Pay throughout the region. For those who might not know, Alipay is the third-largest payment processing service in China, serving over 450 million users. It also means that Samsung Pay can now be used at over 600,000 additional retail stores in the country.

Using Alipay with Samsung Pay is going to be a bit different. To make it work, users will need to add their Alipay account into Samsung Pay, which will then work as a wallet service of its own. Using Alipay means you'll need to select the option and then hold up your phone, which will show a QR code on the screen. The merchant will scan that code, and then the specific balance will be taken out of the Alipay account.

Samsung Pay officially launched in China back in March of this year thanks to another partnership with UnionPay. That launch saw Samsung Pay gain support for nine banks in the region, and with Alipay support, Samsung Pay's reach in China is growing by a large margin.

You'll need a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note 5, the Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7, or Galaxy A9 to use Samsung Pay with Alipay.


Android Match

YouTube Will Make A Full VR Video App For Daydream

Posted: 20 May 2016 09:00 AM PDT

YTVR-IO-Mock-Updated

Google's Daydram VR platform is coming this fall, and YouTube will be front and center when it launches. Google mentioned YouTube VR content in the keynote, but we didn't know if it would be VR content in the exiting app or a new one entirely. Now we know it'll be a full YouTube VR app.

The image above is a mockup of what the app will look like when it's complete.

Read More

YouTube Will Make A Full VR Video App For Daydream was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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And the winners of the Google Play Awards are…

Posted: 20 May 2016 07:20 AM PDT

Posted by Purnima Kochikar, Director, Apps and Games Business Development, Google Play

During a special ceremony tonight at Google I/O, we honored ten apps and games for their outstanding achievements as part of the inaugural Google Play Awards.

As we shared onstage, when you look at how Google Play has evolved over the years, it's pretty amazing. We're now reaching over 1 billion users every month and there's literally something for everyone. From real-time multiplayer to beautiful Indie games, industry changing startups to innovative uses of mobile technology, developers like you continue to push the boundaries of what apps can do.

Congrats to the following developers in each category!


Android Match

Enpass Password Manager Adds An Autofill Notification, No Longer Requires A Separate Keyboard

Posted: 20 May 2016 06:56 AM PDT

enpass-autofill-notification

By now, you should know that I love Enpass and use it as my password manager of choice. One of the latest additions to the app was the implementation of autofill to avoid the hassle of manually hopping back and forth between your apps or browser and Enpass to copy your login details. However, the first version of autofill required you use the Enpass Keyboard to benefit from it, which was far from an ideal or fast solution.

Read More

Enpass Password Manager Adds An Autofill Notification, No Longer Requires A Separate Keyboard was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Skype For Business App SDK Lets Developers Integrate Skype In Their Own Apps

Posted: 20 May 2016 05:47 AM PDT

skype-for-business

The Skype for Business App SDK was announced at Build 2016 a couple of months ago, but it's only now available for download. So developers of both Android and iOS apps can finally start working on integrating Skype's messaging, audio calling, and video calling into their own apps.

The first leg of this first SDK release is "remote advisor," a solution that lets app developers enable the "guest meeting join" capability to let guests start communicating with companies that already have a Skype for Business Server and an active Skype for Business Online service.

Read More

Skype For Business App SDK Lets Developers Integrate Skype In Their Own Apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Adobe Illustrator Draw 2.0 Adds Better Tablet Compatibility, S-Pen Support, More

Posted: 20 May 2016 05:13 AM PDT

adobe-illustrator-draw-2

I can't draw a stickman if my life depended on it, so I'm slightly jealous of anyone who can hold a pen and make beautiful images out of thin air. Or maybe hold a phone and launch Adobe Illustrator Draw to create digital drawings and graphics. Or, even better now that version 2.0 is out, an Android tablet. That sweet big screen estate!

With its latest update, Adobe Illustrator Draw is not only expanding its tablet compatibility to work better in landscape on different tablet sizes, it's also including a bunch of new features, like S-Pen support with pressure and palm rejection, brush selection to set your favorite ones in the toolbar, and a digital ruler to help you draw better geometric shapes.

Read More

Adobe Illustrator Draw 2.0 Adds Better Tablet Compatibility, S-Pen Support, More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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IFTTT Adds A Google Contacts Channel To Help You Save, Sync, And Automate Contact Creation

Posted: 20 May 2016 04:56 AM PDT

ifttt-google-contact

Whenever we meet new and interesting people, we always try to save their contact details so we can get in touch with them later and build bridges for a better relationship. However, it's also often the case that our address book becomes cluttered with random names with no context that we fail to remember or place or correctly. Seriously, who the heck is "Jim"?

I use Groups to keep things clear in my 900+ contact list, and parenthesis with a small description whenever necessary as well.

Read More

IFTTT Adds A Google Contacts Channel To Help You Save, Sync, And Automate Contact Creation was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Opera Mini Beta Adds Color Themes So You Can Dump That Red If You Don't Like It

Posted: 20 May 2016 03:31 AM PDT

opera-mini-beta-theme

Opera and all of its entities have always been red. That's part the company's logo and visual identity, so it's quite interesting that the latest update to Opera Mini's beta app has added colored themes, allowing you to change the tone and look of the app to suit your preference.

The theme pop-up will show the first time you launch the app, but it can also be found under Settings > Theme.

Read More

Opera Mini Beta Adds Color Themes So You Can Dump That Red If You Don't Like It was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google's New Science Journal App Is A Science Nerd's Dream, Be It Your Kid Or The Kid Within You

Posted: 20 May 2016 03:15 AM PDT

google-science-journal

I love science. That has to be pretty obvious from both of my work fields, but there's also more to my passion for science than medicine and technology. My physics professor used to call me "The Brain" because, well, I had a knack for solving the most complicated physics problems he could come up with. I want my kids to have this same love for science and this same curiosity, and I'm glad that the world we're in right now not only encourages this kind of enthusiasm, it also celebrates it and has developed more communities and tools and environments where kids can indulge in their scientific pursuits.

Read More

Google's New Science Journal App Is A Science Nerd's Dream, Be It Your Kid Or The Kid Within You was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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New ASUS ZenFone 3 Details Leaked

Posted: 19 May 2016 09:12 PM PDT

zenfone3_leak

We're less than two weeks away until ASUS unveils the successor to the ZenFone 2 during Computex 2016 and now we are finally getting some more leaks regarding the phone.

asus-zenfone-3

First off, there will be three models and each will have a distinct display size: 4.5, 5 and 5.5-inch displays respectively. There will also be up to five colours to choose from: White, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold and Black.

Other details include a 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 panel, 23MP rear camera, metal frame, dual SIM support, up to 4GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage + microSD card expandability and a non-removable battery.

asus-zenvolution-840x456

Although multiple rumours indicated the switch from Intel Atom to Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs, Intel is expected to be a part of the event on May 30th.

[GSMArena]

The post New ASUS ZenFone 3 Details Leaked appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Android apps will open automatically based on your surroundings and accessories

Posted: 19 May 2016 08:21 PM PDT

Depending on the Android smartphone you're using as your daily driver, plugging in headphones might have different results. Many of them out there will offer up suggestions for apps you've got installed, like Spotify. Some might not do anything.

In the future, apps might be getting a bit smarter, and a bit more pushy, too. Today, during the second day of Google I/O, the Mountain View company has published a post on the Google Developers blog that outlines how future Android apps will be contextually aware of what's around you, from the accessories you've got plugged in to whether or not you're working out. And depending on your surroundings and environment, Android apps might open automatically in hopes of offering up the best possible app for the situation.

Examples range from Spotify opening automatically when you plug in some headphones or switch over to a specific playlist, based on whether or not you're starting a workout.

TechCrunch outlines that another example could include your camera. If you're someone that takes a lot of photos when you get to the great outdoors, your future Android device might automatically open up the camera app when you get outside.

That contextual information could be used to give even more metadata to photos, too. You could soon use even more specific queries for wanting to find specific photos, like "sunny days with trees." The weather for the date you took the photo could be included, meaning you could ask Google Photos to find pictures where it was really cold and it was at night.

So, what do you think? Are suggestions better than automatically opening an app, or vice versa?


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Google Allo: Have your robot call my robot and we’ll do lunch

Posted: 19 May 2016 07:06 PM PDT

If you haven't been following all the news from Google I/O from yesterday, Google announced an all new messaging app named Allo. Allo is the French word for hello and the app is going to be in addition to messaging apps already available from Google; Hangouts and Messenger. What's different about Allo is that it's a smart messaging app. Google says Allo is "deeply integrated machine learning, [it] has smart features to keep your conversations flowing and help you get things done."

And I'm not sure how I feel about Allo. Allow me to continue to explain what this smart messaging app does and why I feel weird about it…

Google AlloSimilar to Google's newest email app, Inbox by Gmail, Allo will use machine learning to learn what you type and how you respond to your friend's messages. In turn, Allo will be learning what your friends are typing and how they're responding to you. Google provides this feature "so you can respond to messages without typing a single word". The more you use Allo, the better it will learn how you write and the better its predictions will be.

I'm not sure I actually have an issue with Allo, but I'm trying to work out how I feel about the future of mobile messaging. Theoretically, I could be writing a friend in Allo, and only be getting canned responses from their machine learning model. Maybe that's fine, but I'm probably writing my friend to talk to my friend, not their machine learning model. Theoretically, someday my machine learning model could just have a conversation with my friend's machine learning model and we wouldn't need to put any information into the messaging at all. And maybe that's okay?

I just can't help but feel like the future Google is creating with Allo could be so impersonal. Don't get me wrong. I use Google extensively and feel like it saves me so much time and effort in many different aspects of my life, but I don't feel *so* busy that I find myself wishing I could respond to my family and friends without typing a single word. I like to think my messages and responses have reason and thought, not just the quickest words I could find to respond with. Or not the things I apparently always say.

I'm not saying Google or Allo is going to force us to be impersonal and communicate only with predicted messages. Clearly one can type any message they want in Allo. But any time you type a message to a friend in Allo is your friend going to be writing their response? Or will it be a machine?

I appreciate the convenience that Google is trying to provide to our lives, but I don't know how I feel about having conversations with machine learning models.

What do you think?

Let us know your thoughts regarding Allo and the future by commenting below!


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Motorola releases teaser showing off the old RAZR with June 9 date

Posted: 19 May 2016 03:45 PM PDT

Motorola's latest teaser is for the date of June 9 2016, and it plays heavily on our nostalgia over the original RAZR. The video shows off a bunch of youngsters in school using their RAZRs, which brings us back to the day when RAZRs were the coolest device you ccould have, maybe other than the Sidekick.

A new device wasn't featured or even hinted at, but the fact that we've already seen some leaks of the Vector Thin points to the fact that Motorola may sell the device under the RAZR brand. At 5.2mm thick, the Vector Thin would be the most ideal candidate to take on the RAZR name, bringing it back to its roots.

We can't wait to see what Motorola unveils early next month, and the video is definitely an enjoyable watch if you were part of the generation that lusted after the original RAZR over a decade ago. Let us know what you think in the comments!


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Android Studio 2.2 Preview - New UI Designer & Constraint Layout

Posted: 19 May 2016 03:17 PM PDT

By Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

This week at Google I/O 2016 we launched Android Studio 2.2 Preview. This release is a large update that builds upon our focus to create a fast and productive integrated development environment (IDE) for Android. Developed in sync with the Android platform, Android Studio allows you to develop with the latest Android APIs and features. Since launching Android Studio at Google I/O just 3 years ago, we received great feedback from on you on what features you want the most. Today 92% of the top 125 apps & game developers on Google Play, plus millions of developer worldwide, use Android Studio. We want to continue to build features that will continue to make you more efficient when developing for Android and more productive.

Android Studio 2.2 Preview includes a portfolio of new features along the spectrum of developments, ranging from designing user interfaces to building and debugging your app in new ways. This preview includes the following new categories of features:

Design 
  • Layout Editor: A new user interface designer that helps you visually design the layouts in your app. Features like blueprint mode and the new properties panel allow you to quickly edit layouts and widgets faster.
  • Constraint Layout: A new powerful and flexible Android layout that allows you to express complex UIs without nesting multiple layouts. 
  • Layout Inspector: Debug a snapshot of your app layout running on the Android Emulator or device. Inspect the view hierarchy and corresponding attributes.

Develop
  • Firebase Plugin: Explore and integrate the suite of services offered by Firebase inside of Android Studio. Adding services like Analytics, Authentication, Notifications, and AdMob are just a few clicks away.
  • Enhanced Code Analysis: Android Studio checks the quality of your Android app code. In addition to 260 Android lint and code inspections, this release includes new code quality checks for Java 8 language usage and a new inspection infrastructure for more cross-file analysis.
  • Samples Browser: Referencing Android sample code is now even easier. Within the code editor window, find occurrences of your app code snippets in Google Android sample code to help jump start your app development.
  • Improved C++ Support: Android Studio 2.2 improves C++ development with the ability to edit, build, and debug pre-existing Android projects that use ndk-build or CMake rather than Gradle. Additionally, the existing lldb C++ debugger is now even better with project type auto-detection and a Java language aware C++ mode that lets you use a single debugger process to inspect both Java language and C++ runtimes.
  • IntelliJ 2016.1: Android Studio 2.2 includes all the latest updates from the underlying JetBrains product platforms IntelliJ.

Build
  • Jack Compiler Improvements: For those using the new Jack compiler, Android Studio 2.2 adds support for annotation processing, as well as incremental builds for reduced build times.
  • Merged Manifest Viewer: Diagnose how your AndroidManifest.xml merges with your app dependences across your project build variants. 

Test
  • Espresso Test Recorder: Record Espresso UI tests simply by using your app as a normal user. As you click through your app UI, reusable and editable test code is then generated for you. You can run the generated tests locally, in your Continuous Integration environment, or in Firebase Test lab
  • APK Analyzer: Drill into your APK to help you reduce your APK size, debug 64K method limit issues, view contents of Dex files and more.


Google I/O '16: What's New in Android Development Tools


Deeper Dive into the New Features 

Design
  • Layout Editor: Android Studio 2.2 features a new user interface designer. There are many enhancements but some of the highlights include: 
    • Drag-and-drop widgets from the palette to the design surface or the component tree view of your app.
    • Design surface has a blueprint mode to inspect the spacing and arrangement of your layout. 
    • Properties panel now shows a curated set of properties for quick widget edits with a full sheet of advanced properties one click away.
    • UI builder can edit menu and system preference files. 
The new Layout Editor in Android Studio 2.2 Preview
Edit Menus in the new Layout Editor

  • Constraint Layout: This new layout is a flexible layout manager for your app that allows you to create dynamic user interfaces without nesting multiple layouts. It is distributed as a support library that is tightly coupled with Android Studio and backwards compatible to API Level 9. 
At first glance, Constraint Layout is similar to RelativeLayout. However, the Constraint Layout was designed to be used in Studio and it can efficiently express your app design so that you rely on fewer layouts like LinearLayout, FrameLayout, TableLayout, or GridLayout. Lastly, with the built-in automatic constraints inference engine. You can freely design your UI to your liking and let Android Studio do the hard work.

To help you get started, the built-in templates in the New Project Wizard in Android Studio 2.2 Preview now generate  a Constraint Layout. Alternately, you can right click on any layout in the new Layout Editor and select the Convert to ConstraintLayout option.

This is an early preview of the UI designer and Constraint Layout, and we will rapidly add enchantments in upcoming releases. Learn more on the Android Studio tools site.


    Constraint Layout


    Start Layout Inspector
    • Layout Inspector: For new and existing layouts, many times you may want to debug your app UI to determine if your layout is rendering as expected. With the new Layout Inspector, you can drill into the view hierarchy of your app and analyze the attributes of each component of UI on the screen. 
    To use the tool, just click on Layout Inspector Icon in the Android Monitor Window, and then Android Studio creates a snapshot of the current view hierarchy of your app for you to inspect.
      Layout Inspector

      Develop
      • Firebase Plugin: Firebase is the new suite of developers services that can help you develop high-quality apps, grow your user base, and earn more money. Inside of Android Studio, you can add Firebase to a new or existing Android app with the new Assistant window. To access the Firebase features click on the Tools menu and then select Firebase. You will want to first setup the brand new Firebase Analytics as the foundation as you explore other Firebase services like Firebase Cloud Messaging or Firease Crash Reporting to add your application. Learn more about the Firebase integration inside Android Studio here.


        Firebase Plugin for Android Studio
        • Code Sample Browser: In addition to importing Android Samples, the Code Sample Browser is a menu option inside Android Studio 2.2 Preview that allows you to find high-quality, Google-provided Android code samples based on the currently highlighted symbol in your project. To use the feature, highlight a Variables, Types and Methods in your code then Right Click to show a context menu for Find Sample Code. The results are displayed in a bottom output box.   
        Code Sample Browser
        Build
        • CMake and NDK-Build: For those of you using the Android NDK, Android Studio now supports building CMake and NDK-Build Android app projects by pointing Gradle at your existing build files. Once you've added your cmake or ndk-build project to Gradle, Android Studio will automatically open your relevant Android code files for editing and debugging in Studio.

        For CMake users, just add the path to your CMList.txt file in the externalNativeBuild section of your Gradle file:
        CMake Build in Android Studio

        For NDK-Build Users, just add the path to your *.mk file in the section of your Gradle file:
        NDK-Build in Android Studio

        • Improved Jack Tools: The new Jack Toolchain compiles your Java language source into Android dex bytecode. The Jack compiler allows some Java 8 language features, like lambdas, to be used on all versions of Android. This release adds incremental build and full support for annotation processing, so you can explore using Java 8 language features in your existing projects.
        To use incremental build with Jack add the following to your build.gradle file:

          Enable Jack Incremental Compile Option
          Jack will automatically apply annotations processors in your classpath. To use an annotation processor at compile-time without bundling it in your apk, use the new annotationProcessor dependency scope:
            Enable Jack Annotation Processing
            • Merged Manifest Viewer: Figuring out how your AndroidManifest merges with your project dependencies based on build types, flavors and variants is now easier with Android Studio. Navigate to your AndroidManifest.xml and click on the new Merged Manifest bottom tab. Explore how each node of your AndroidManifest resolves with various project dependencies.  
            Merged Manifest Viewer
            Test

            • Espresso Test Recorder: Sometimes writing UI tests can be tedious. With the Record Espresso UI tests feature, creating tests is now as easy as just using your app. Android Studio will capture all your UI interactions  and convert them into a fully reusable Espresso Test that you can run locally or even on Firebase Test lab. To use the recorder, go to the Run menu and select Record Espresso Test.

            Espresso Test Recorder

            • APK Analyzer: The new APK Analyzer helps you understand the contents and the sizes of different components in your APK. You can also use it to avoid 64K referenced method limit issues with your Dex files, diagnose ProGuard configuration issues, view merged AndroidManifest.xml file, and inspect the compiled resources file (resources.arsc). This can help you reduce your APK size and ensure your APK contains exactly the things you expect.
            The APK Analyzer shows you both the raw file size as well as the download size of various components in your APK. The download size is the estimated size users need to download when the APK is served from Google Play. This information should help you prioritize where to focus in your size reduction efforts.

            To use this new feature, click on the Build menu and select Analyze APK… Then, select any APK that you want to analyze.

              APK Analyzer

              • Java-aware C++ Debugger:  When debugging C++ code on targets running N and above, you can now use a single, Java language aware lldb instance. This debugger continues to support great lldb features like fast steps and memory watchpoints while also allowing you to stop on Java language breakpoints and view your Java language memory contents.

                • Auto Debugger Selection: Android Studio apps can now use debugger type "Auto." This will automatically enable the appropriate debugger -- the Java language aware C++ debugger if enabled and otherwise the hybrid debugger for C++ projects.  Projects exclusively using the Java language will continue to use the Java language debugger.

                Enable Auto Debugger for C++

                What's Next 

                Download

                If you are using a previous version of Android Studio, you can check for updates on the Canary channel from the navigation menu (Help → Check for Update [Windows/Linux] , Android Studio → Check for Updates [OS X]). This update will download a new version, and not patch your existing copy of Android Studio. You can also download Android Studio 2.2 Preview from canary release site.

                For the Android Studio 2.2 Preview, we recommend you run a stable version alongside the new canary. Check out the tools site on how to run two versions at the same time.

                We appreciate any feedback on things you like, issues or features you would like to see. Connect with us -- the Android Studio development team -- on our Google+ page or on Twitter

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