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Posts Tagged ‘api’

Future Chrome update may kill ad-blocking extensions

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Horror stories about Chrome extensions secretly copying user data, injecting ads into pages, or mining cryptocurrency in the background have become all too common. In October of last year, Google laid out its plans to make extensions safer, which included future changes to APIs. As it turns out, those changes may prevent most content blockers from working.

Chrome extensions use a certain manifest version that determines what APIs they can and cannot use — similar to how Android applications target a specific Android API level.

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Future Chrome update may kill ad-blocking extensions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google’s new SMS and call permission policy is crippling apps used by millions

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

Late last year, Google decided it was time to crack down on apps requesting SMS and call log permissions. Ostensibly, exceptions would be granted for categories including backups and automation, but as of now, there are still gaps which cover legitimate use cases. While some popular apps like Tasker have successfully secured exemptions, others like Cerberus have not. Instead, they've decided to strip out those permissions or risk facing the wrath of Google's upcoming January 9th banhammer, killing associated functionality and disappointing millions of long-time users to adhere to the Play Store's new policy.

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Google's new SMS and call permission policy is crippling apps used by millions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google+ shutdown date moved to April 2019, following discovery of another API bug

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Back in October, Google announced that it would shut down its Google+ social network, following the discovery of an API bug that could have led to user data being stolen. Even though there was no evidence that anyone took advantage of the API bug, Google decided it would be as good a time as ever to shut down the mostly-dead social network. Google+ was originally scheduled to shut down completely in August 2019, but now the timetable has moved up.

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Google+ shutdown date moved to April 2019, following discovery of another API bug was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google to more closely monitor SMS and phone permissions of apps on Play Store

Monday, October 8th, 2018

The Play Store may be packed with content, but there are some pretty strict rules in place when it comes to the things apps distributed by Google can do, and once in a while those rules are refreshed or tweaked. Starting this month, Google has refined its Developer Program Policies to include limits to call log and SMS permission access, explicit prohibitions against surveillance and "commercial spyware apps," and new Android Contacts API restrictions.

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Google to more closely monitor SMS and phone permissions of apps on Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

[Update: Rolling out in Chrome 67 on desktop now] Web Authentication API aims to make passwords unnecessary

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Passwords are kind of a pain. You probably have sign-in credentials for about a million services, and ideally, they're all different. Password managers can help, but they're often finicky. A new standard by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) called Web Authentication API could simplify your digital life by allowing for password-free sign-ins across a wide variety of websites.

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[Update: Rolling out in Chrome 67 on desktop now] Web Authentication API aims to make passwords unnecessary was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Fireside chat reflections: Android team discusses what it would have done differently

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

One of the more interesting events at Google I/O every year is the 'Fireside chat,' where members of the Android team answer questions from developers. While most of the topics were about best practices for app development, there was one question that received an interesting response.

Around 20 minutes into the session (linked above), one developer asked the team what should should have been done differently with Android 1.0, knowing what the team knows now.

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Fireside chat reflections: Android team discusses what it would have done differently was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google announces machine learning API for Android and iOS

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Machine learning has been one of Google's main focuses for years now. To help other companies and app developers take advantage of the technology, Google today announced an API called 'ML Kit.' It allows apps to use machine learning for text recognition, face detection, scanning barcodes, and even detecting landmarks (similar to Google Lens).

The new API uses Firebase, and is available on both Android and iOS. The new documentation page explains ML Kit in detail:

We want the entire device experience to be smarter, not just the OS, so we’re bringing the power of Google’s machine learning to app developers with the launch of ML Kit, a new set of cross-platform APIs available through Firebase.

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Google announces machine learning API for Android and iOS was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Web Authentication API aims to make passwords unnecessary

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Passwords are kind of a pain. You probably have sign-in credentials for about a million services, and ideally, they're all different. Password managers can help, but they're often finicky. A new standard by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) called Web Authentication API could simplify your digital life by allowing for password-free sign-ins across a wide variety of websites.

Instead of entering a password, users use their phone's registered unlock method, be it PIN, pattern, or fingerprint.

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Web Authentication API aims to make passwords unnecessary was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Stay of execution: Twitter is indefinitely delaying its plans to break 3rd party apps

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Twitter has become openly hostile to third-party apps over the past few years, to push users to its own applications. Many features have never been available to third-party apps, like group DMs, polls, and Moments. The company also introduced a token limit a few years ago, causing popular clients to suddenly stop working (like Flamingo).

Back in December, Twitter announced that existing streaming APIs would stop working in June 2018, as they would be replaced by a new Account Activity API.

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Stay of execution: Twitter is indefinitely delaying its plans to break 3rd party apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google’s use of Oracle’s Java APIs was not fair use, appeals court finds

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

New developments in the longstanding legal feud between Oracle and Google: a federal appeals court has reversed the 2016 ruling that found Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs in Android was fair use. The dispute has been ongoing since 2010.

“The fact that Android is free of charge does not make Google’s use of the Java API packages noncommercial,” this week's ruling said. In a statement, Google said it's "disappointed" in the new decision, adding that "This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users.”

The heart of the issue is whether utilizing Oracle's Java APIs in the way Android does—that is, unmodified and "for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform," according to the appeals court—is "fair use," or able to be used without permission or payment.

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Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs was not fair use, appeals court finds was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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