Monthly Archives: June 2014

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Android L

Android L

New Android Runtime (ART)

The 4.4 release introduced a new, experimental Android runtime, ART. Under 4.4, ART was optional, and the default runtime remained Dalvik. With the L Developer Preview, ART is now the default runtime.Most Android apps should just work without change under ART. However, some techniques that work on Dalvik do not work on ART.

If your app implements notifications...

Notifications are drawn with dark text atop white (or very light) backgrounds to match the new material design widgets. Make sure that all your notifications look right with the new color scheme:

  • Update or remove assets that involve color.
  • The system automatically inverts action icons in notifications. Use Builder.setColor() to set an accent color in a circle behind your icon image.
  • The system ignores all non-alpha channels in action icons and the main notification icon. You should assume that these icons are alpha-only.

If your app uses RemoteControlClient...

Instead, your app can provide media playback control from the lockscreen through a notification. This gives your app more control over the presentation of media buttons, while providing a consistent experience for users across the lockscreen and unlocked device.

User Interface

  • Material design support
  • Lockscreen notifications
  • Notifications metadata
  • Concurrent documents and activities in the Recents screen
  • WebView updates

Multiple network connections

The L Developer Preview provides new multi-networking APIs. These let your app dynamically scan for available networks with specific capabilities, and establish a connection to them. This is useful when your app requires a specialized network, such as an SUPL, MMS, or carrier-billing network, or if you want to send data using a particular type of transport protocol.

Bluetooth broadcasting

Android 4.3 introduced platform support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in the central role. In the L Developer Preview, an Android device can now act as a Bluetooth LE peripheral device. Apps can use this capability to make their presence known to nearby devices. For instance, you can build apps that allow a device to function as a pedometer or health monitor and communicate its data with another BLE device.

The new android.bluetooth.le APIs enable your apps to broadcast advertisements, scan for responses, and form connections with nearby BLE devices. You must add the android.permission.BLUETOOTH_ADMIN permission in your manifest in order for your app to use the new advertising and scanning features.

Developer tools for power measurement

The L Developer Preview provides several new developer tools and APIs to help you better measure and understand your app's power usage.

The dumpsys batterystats command allows you to generate interesting statistical data about battery usage on a device, organized by unique user ID (UID). The statistics generated by the tool include:

  • History of battery related events
  • Global statistics for the device
  • Approximated power use per UID and system component
  • Per-app mobile ms per packet
  • System UID aggregated statistics
  • App UID aggregated statistics


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Surface Pro 3 The tablet that can replace your laptop.

Surface Pro 3
The tablet that can replace your laptop

Microsoft recently unveiled the Surface Pro 3, a super-light tablet the company says will replace your laptop. The Surface Pro 3 features a 12-inch screen and is capable of running PC applications as well as acting like a traditional tablet, depending on the situation or project.

It’s impressive at merely 800 grams and 9.1 mm thick and an optional magnetically attachable keyboard for ease of use. The Surface Pro 3 starts at a $799 price tag.


Apple Swift

Apple Swift

Apple announced  that it has developed a successor to its venerable Objective C with a language it's calling Swift. Providing a new language with "none of the baggage of C," Swift code can still be mixed with standard C and Objective C code in the same project.

Swift seems to get rid of Objective C's reliance on defined pointers; instead, the compiler infers the variable type, just as many scripting languages do. At the same time, it provides modern features similar to those found in C++ and Java, like well-defined namespaces, generics, and operator overloading. From the few fragments of code shown during the demo, Swift appears to rely heavily on the dot-notation that Apple introduced in an earlier iteration of Objective C.

The new language will rely on the automatic reference counting that Apple introduced to replace its garbage-collected version of Objective C. It will also be able to leverage the compiler technologies developed in LLVM for current development, such as auto vectorization.

Apple showed off a couple of cases where implementing the same algorithm in Swift provided a speedup of about 1.3X compared to the same code implemented in Objective C. It also showed off a Swift "playground," where code is compiled as it's typed and the output is displayed in a separate pane of the editing window. The goal here is to allow developers to test code fragments without having to recompile an entire complex project.

Use of Swift will be supported as soon as the next version of Xcode is released—it's currently available in beta form to registered developers, and will presumably see more widespread release during OS X Yosemite's public beta later this year. Apple also promises to release a free iBook on the language's syntax later today.

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Tizen OS

Tizen OS

Samsung Electronics Co. said it will begin selling a smartphone that runs on its Tizen operating system in the third quarter of this year, advancing the company's plans to reduce dependence on Google's Android software.
Tizen is already used in a few Samsung products including a smartwatch but has not been deployed in a mass produced smartphone until now.
The Tizen phone will have preinstalled apps and users will have access to additional apps through Tizen Store.

Driverless car by google

Driverless car by google

Google will build a car without a steering wheel. It doesn’t need one because it drives itself.
Those cars have Google-employed “safety drivers” behind the wheel in case of emergency. The new cars would eliminate the driver from the task of driving. No steering wheel, no brake and gas pedals. Instead, buttons for go and stop.
The electric-powered car is compact and bubble-shaped something that might move people around a corporate campus or congested downtown. Google is unlikely to go deeply into auto manufacturing.