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Sony has added the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact to its Open Devices program

Sony has been a surprisingly developer-friendly Android phone maker, with its Open Devices program giving anyone the opportunity to build and flash custom versions of the OS firmware on its devices. A few days ago Sony published the relevant binaries for the latest AOSP version of Android 8.0 Oreo for a number of its phones, and now it's added two newer Xperia models.

The XZ1 and XZ1 Compact were launched at the end of August at IFA 2017 in Berlin. They're essentially the same as their predecessors, the XZ and X Compact, on the outside, with updated internals such as the Snapdragon 835.

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TWRP released for Exynos Galaxy Note8, Xiaomi Redmi 3S and 4A, ZUK Edge, and Elephone P9000

Forget about those damn Pixel 2 phones. Did you get a shiny new Galaxy Note8 and were you itching to install a custom recovery just so you can make your life easier with custom ROMs and flashing various things on it? Then you want TWRP and TWRP is delivering. Well, at least for the Exynos version. Qualcomm variants need not apply, yet.

You can grab TWRP for the Exynos Galaxy Note8 (greatlte), but it's not the only device that's added TWRP support recently. Also on the list are the Xiaomi Redmi 3S/Prime/3X (land), the Xiaomi Redmi 4A (rolex), the ZUK Edge (z2x), (update) and the Elephone P9000 (p9000).

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Google is working on a Chrome OS emulator for the Android SDK

As more and more Chromebooks support running Android apps, it's becoming more important than ever to make sure developers create Chromebook-friendly apps. Google offers extensive documentation to help developers, but there was no way to test these apps without buying a real Chromebook. Thankfully, that could change soon, as recent code commits indicate a Chrome OS emulator will be arriving soon in the Android SDK.

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Firebase is launching Cloud Firestore, a new document database featuring realtime sync, no-hassle scaling, and offline support

Ever since Google acquired Firebase in 2014, it has grown to be a formidable platform for mobile and web app developers. Earlier this year, Google used its I/O 2017 app to feature some of the advantages provided by the Firebase Realtime Database and Cloud Functions for Firebase. Now Firebase is launching a new product called Cloud Firestore, a fully-managed NoSQL document database, and it boasts a pretty compelling set of features for developers.

Like the Firebase Realtime Database, Cloud Firestore is built on top of Google Cloud Platform for high reliability and performance. Firebase also designed it to automatically scale based on user demand so it can handle spikes if an app suddenly becomes popular, and Cloud Firestore performs multi-regional replication so it has low latency and reliability in the event a node goes down.

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AOSP Android Oreo can now be compiled for Xperias through Sony's Open Devices program

Sony may not come to mind as one of the most developer-friendly mobile tech companies out there, but its Open Devices program proves otherwise. The latest fruits of this creation come in the form of AOSP Android 8.0 Oreo, which is now available for six Xperia smartphones.

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Android Wear beta program opens up for 8.0 Oreo, only available for LG Watch Sport

Now that Android 8.0 Oreo is out of beta and making its way onto devices in earnest, the Wear team is taking a turn with its own preliminary firmware update. Starting today, Google's Beta Program page is now distributing an early version of the next release of Android Wear. However, if you were looking forward to a lot of new features, you might be disappointed to hear that this is being referred to as a "technical upgrade to API 26" – mostly an update to the underlying infrastructure. On top of that, only one watch qualifies for betas at this time: The LG Watch Sport.

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Unofficial Google Camera port updated with RAW support and HDR+ customization

Perhaps the best aspect of last year's Google Pixel was the camera, partially thanks to Google's fantastic (but proprietary) HDR+ image processing technology. That feature was limited to Google's own devices, until a developer going by the name 'B-S-G' modified the app to run on most phones with a Snapdragon 820, 821, or 835 processor. For many devices, it was an upgrade over the included camera app, especially for the Essential phone.

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Motorola posts Moto X Force's Android 7.0 Nougat kernel source code

Motorola's been churning out a lot of source code lately, and the newest one is for the Moto X Force (kinzie) on Android 7.0 Nougat. Those of you in the US might know this phone as the Verizon DROID Turbo 2, but it's known internationally as the Force.

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Motorola releases kernel source for Moto Z2 Force

Motorola is on a roll recently with its kernel source releases and the latest is for the Moto Z2 Force. The device launched in the US in August and it seems that a few users were already antsy about grabbing the kernel code because they raised an issue on the Moto GitHub. Well, their wait is now over since the release is official.

The source is now available to download on GitHub for the Android 7.1.1 NCX26.122-59-8 build. If you don't know what most of these words mean, you needn't worry. As a user, you won't get anything out of the code, but developers can use it to build better and more stable ROMs based off the official kernel source.

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Motorola publishes Android 7.1.1 kernel source code for Moto Z Play

Motorola isn't the best at updating its devices these days. Custom ROMs can often be helpful for devices without speedy official updates, but the lack of a recent kernel source code can make ROMs less stable/functional. Thankfully Motorola has released the kernel code for the original Moto Z Play's Android 7.1.1 update.

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