Parse updates Android Push API

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Facebook’s Parse on Tuesday updated its Android Push API, a couple weeks after updating for iOS 8. App developers using Parse will have easier setup on Android, as well as more reliability.

Parse Software Engineer Thomas Bouldin detailed the changes in a blog post:

We’re excited to announce today that the Android Push API is getting its biggest facelift since inception. We’ve rethought the API to bring Parse Push better in line with both other Parse APIs and traditional Android development. The new API simplifies developer setup, provides better reliability, and is much more easily extended or customized to override default push behavior.

With the new API, we’ve decoupled the concepts of registration and reaction; the icon and activity which you want push to use are no longer statically bound to a channel. You can replace all calls to

PushService.subscribe(myApplicationContext, “channel”, MyActivity.class, intIconID);

with

ParsePush.subscribeInBackground(“channel”);

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Facebook vs. Google: the battle for deep linking supremacy

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Facebook and Google are in an arms race, but this time not over active user counts. Both tech giants are making big moves in the deep linking world, allowing users to go straight from one app to another. For instance, when a user clicks on an ad from Hotels.com within their Facebook News Feed, they’re led into the Hotels.com app (if they’ve got it installed) instead of a mobile browser. This process is done through a platform Facebook announced earlier this year at f8, App Links.

For Facebook, this makes mobile advertising much more valuable, as app developers don’t have to worry about a sub-standard experience when a person is led to the mobile browser site. For Google, it’s a way to evolve to meet the growing demand on mobile and bring Android to the forefront.

URX, a deep linking search engine for developers, supports both Facebook’s App Links and Google’s deep linking. URX has been one of the early and major players in the deep linking community and recently announced that it is building the first mobile app search API. We talked with URX Head of Marketing Mike Fyall to learn how Facebook and Google are competing within this space.

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Why does Facebook Messenger require so much data?

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As Facebook is unbundling its Facebook Messenger capabilities, turning off messages within the main app, reaction from users has been swift and negative.

Much of the paranoia is fueled by a Huffington Post story from November 2013, as well as a post by a radio station in Houston — both written to stoke fear within Facebook users.

While Facebook Messenger on Android does ask for several permissions that seem privacy-invasive, these actions cannot happen without manual user action. Facebook Messenger will not call people on your behalf or alter your network for Mark Zuckerberg’s benefit.

So why does it all seem so invasive? Mashable has an amazing post breaking down every single permission the Messenger app asks for, explaining why the app needs them.

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Facebook for Android: now faster, smaller, less data-hungry

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To figure out how to improve its Facebook for Android app, Facebook engineers traveled to Africa to test the app on a low-bandwidth network.

They ate through their monthly data plan in 40 minutes.

So developers worked to make Facebook for Android less reliant on data and more logical for users in countries that don’t have major data plans. The company also made the app itself smaller, taking up less room on the phone.

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Facebook tests more iOS-like design of Android app

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Facebook appears to be testing a new design for the Android app that is somewhat similar to the iOS version.

This new version — first noticed by Blink Vice President of Planning and Media Eti Suruzon on AllFacebook — has the status update, photo & check-in buttons at the bottom of the screen with a new organization for News Feed, messages and notifications.

Click below to see the design Facebook is testing for Android.

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Facebook testing new design for Android app?

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It looks like Facebook may be testing a new design for its flagship Android app, bringing home some visual elements — namely, more white — present in its Messenger app.

Inside Facebook reader Thodoris Konsoulas of Greece noticed that the Facebook for Android design is markedly different, as seen above. He is not in the Facebook for Android beta testing group, he noted.

We’ve reached out to Facebook about this and will update the story if we hear back.

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Facebook tests faster, cleaner version of Messenger for Android

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Facebook on Tuesday launched a test of a drastic redesign to its Messenger for Android app, making it faster and less data-hungry. Previous versions of Messenger have integrated texting, but it is a major feature of this update.

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Facebook Home rents space to Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr

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Mark Zuckerberg has said that different kinds of content will be available on Facebook Home. That’s coming soon, as Facebook announced Thursday that beta testers of Android will see highly visual content from Instagram, as well as Pinterest, Tumblr and Flickr on the Facebook Home cover feed.

Users who are within the Android beta test group can swipe through Home to see content from these apps.

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Facebook for Android update has privacy walkthrough

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Facebook released a minor update to its Android app Wednesday, bringing the structured status updates to more users and giving Android users more access to privacy information.

Now, similar to its education on desktop, Android users can easily tap through to figure out how to control privacy settings on posts and figure out how to block or report harassing users.

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Android, web update allows Facebook users to edit posts

1376149_10100887627399617_1469113737_nOne of the most hotly-requested features is finally coming to Facebook: the ability to edit posts.

Previously, users could edit their own comments, but there was no way to go back to fix a typo or mistake in a post without deleting it.

An update for Facebook’s Android app now allows users a re-do. By tapping the carrot in the top-right corner of the post, mobile users can edit the text. This will soon be available for the web and for Facebook’s iOS app.

Facebook told Inside Facebook that this feature, “will be available on upcoming events on Pages & photo album creations.”

Users have had the ability to edit text on photo posts, but now they can do so on link posts and status updates.

Update the Android app here. Update the iOS app here.

Readers: How happy are you that this capability is available now?

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