Android Nougat

First US apps based on Google and Apple Exposure Notification System expected in ‘coming weeks’

Posted by | Android, Android Nougat, api, Apple, Apps, Bluetooth, Canada, computing, coronavirus, COVID-19, dave burke, exposure notification, Google, Health, location services, mass surveillance, mobile applications, mobile software, operating systems, privacy, smartphones, TC, United States | No Comments

Google Vice President of Engineering Dave Burke provided an update about the Exposure Notifications System (ENS) that Google developed in partnership with Apple as a way to help public health authorities supplement contact-tracing efforts with a connected solution that preserves privacy while alerting people of potential exposure to confirmed cases of COVID-19. In the update, Burke notes that the company expects “to see the first set of these apps roll out in the coming weeks” in the U.S., which may be a tacit response to some critics who have pointed out that we haven’t seen much in the way of actual products being built on the technology that was launched in May.

Burke writes that 20 states and territories across the U.S. are currently “exploring” apps that make use of the ENS system, and that together those represent nearly half (45%) of the overall American populace. He also shared recent updates and improvements made to both the Exposure Notification API as well as to its surrounding documentation and information that the companies have shared in order to answer questions from state health agencies, and hopefully make its use and privacy implications more transparent.

The ENS API now supports exposure notifications between countries, which Burke says is a feature added based on nations that have already launched apps based on the tech (that includes Canada, as of today, as well as some European nations). It’s also now better at using Bluetooth values specific to a wider range of devices to improve nearby device detection accuracy. He also says they’ve improved the reliability for both apps and debugging tools for those working on development, which should help public health authorities and their developer partners more easily build apps that actually use ENS.

Burke continues that there’s been feedback from developers that they’d like more detail about how ENS works under the covers, and so they’ve published public-facing guides that direct health authorities about test verification server creation, code revealing its underlying workings and information about what data is actually collected (in a de-identified manner) to allow for much more transparent debugging and verification of proper app functioning.

Google also explains why it requires that an Android device’s location setting be turned on to use Exposure Notifications — even though apps built using the API are explicitly forbidden from also collecting location data. Basically, it’s a legacy requirement that Google is removing in Android 11, which is set to be released soon. In the meantime, however, Burke says that even with location services turned off, no app that uses the ENS will actually be able to see or receive any location data.

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You can now install the first beta of Android 11

Posted by | Android, Android Nougat, api, computing, Gadgets, Google, Mobile, mobile app, operating systems, password manager, smart home devices, smartphones | No Comments

After a series of developer previews, Google today released the first beta of Android 11, and with that, it is also making these pre-release versions available for over-the-air updates. This time around, the list of supported devices only includes the Pixel 2, 3, 3a and 4.

If you’re brave enough to try this early version (and I wouldn’t do so on your daily driver until a few more people have tested it), you can now enroll here. Like always, Google is also making OS images available for download and an updated emulator is available, too.

Google says the beta focuses on three key themes: people, controls and privacy.

Like in previous updates, Google once again worked on improving notifications — in this case, conversation notifications, which now appear in a dedicated section at the top of the pull-down shade. From there, you will be able to take actions right from inside the notification or ask the OS to remind you of this conversation at a later time. Also new is built-in support in the notification system for what are essentially chat bubbles, which messaging apps can now use to notify you even as you are working (or playing) in another app.

Another new feature is consolidated keyboard suggestions. With these, Autofill apps and Input Method Editors (think password managers and third-party keyboards), can now securely offer context-specific entries in the suggestion strip. Until now, enabling autofill for a password manager, for example, often involved delving into multiple settings and the whole experience often felt like a bit of a hack.

For those users who rely on voice to control their phones, Android now uses a new on-device system that aims to understand what is on the screen and then automatically generates labels and access points for voice commands.

As for controls, Google is now letting you long-press the power button to bring up controls for your smart home devices (though companies that want to appear in this new menu need to make use of Google’s new API for this). In one of the next beta releases, Google will also enable media controls that will make it easier to switch the output device for their audio and video content.

In terms of privacy, Google is adding one-time permissions so that an app only gets access to your microphone, camera or location once, as well as auto-resets for permissions when you haven’t used an app for a while.

A few months ago, Google said that developers would need to get a user’s approval to access background location. That caused a bit of a stir among developers and now Google will keep its current policies in place until 2021 to give developers more time to update their apps.

In addition to these user-facing features, Google is also launching a series of updates aimed at Android developers. You can read more about them here.

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Essential offers up an Android Oreo beta for the Essential Phone

Posted by | Android, Android Nougat, Android Oreo, computing, essential, Gadgets, Google, hardware, Mobile, oreo, PIXEL, samsung galaxy s8, smartphones, TC | No Comments

 Android smartphone maker Essential promised that it would be releasing an update to Android 8.0 Oreo for its devices soon, and now there’s a beta version of the update available through its developer portal. This is just a beta, as mentioned, but it’s broadly available for anyone interested enough in the Oreo update to try out pre-release software. Read More

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Google’s Android 7.1 Developer Preview will launch later this month

Posted by | Android, Android Nougat, nexus 5x, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, TC | No Comments

Various types of nougat strawberry and pistachio,Typical dessert of Italian cuisine, handmade and for sale in the days of celebration (Christmas, New Year, Carnival, Easter, etc.) in markets and shops of all cities. Here is Venice Google today announced that it will continue its Android Beta program with Android Nougat 7.1, the next minor update to the latest version of its mobile operating system. The company already showed off some of 7.1’s features when it announced its Pixel phones last week, but some of the Pixels’ best features, including system-wide support for the Google Assistant, will remain… Read More

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Pixel’s best features aren’t coming to the new version of Android

Posted by | Android, Android Nougat, Google Assistant, Mobile, PIXEL, TC | No Comments

pixel7 At Google’s hardware event this week, the new version of the Android operating system, Android 7.1 (Nougat 7.1), was barely mentioned. As it turns out, there was a reason for that: some of the new Pixel smartphones‘ best features won’t be arriving in the new OS. This includes features like Google Assistant, the built-in customer support service, unlimited and free backup… Read More

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Android Nougat comes out of beta

Posted by | Android, Android Nougat, google nexus, Mobile, nexus, nexus 5, Nexus 6P, nexus 7, Nexus 9, Portable Media Players, smartphones, tablet computers, TC | No Comments

Various types of nougat strawberry and pistachio,Typical dessert of Italian cuisine, handmade and for sale in the days of celebration (Christmas, New Year, Carnival, Easter, etc.) in markets and shops of all cities. Here is Venice Google surprised everyone when it launched a public beta of the Android Nougat back in March. Annual updates are nothing new for Android, but not only did this announcement come very early, it also offered users the option to easily install the beta with an over-the-air update. Now, half a year later, Nougat is out of beta and available for Google’s own Nexus devices (the Nexus… Read More

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Google launches final Android Nougat Developer Preview

Posted by | Android, Android Nougat, Google, Mobile, TC | No Comments

android-phone-shutterstock Google today released the fifth and last preview Android Nougat before the scheduled final release later this summer. According to the company, this preview includes the latest version of the Android Nougat emulator to do apps final testing, the final N APIs, the latest system behaviors and UI and the latest bug fixes and optimizations across the system and pre-installed apps. As far as… Read More

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