Android Police

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Android TV is getting a new launcher with Android O

Android TV hasn't had much attention from Google in the past few months. The first Android O Developer Preview had no noticeable differences on the platform, and YouTube TV still doesn't have an Android TV application. I suppose good things come to those who wait, because Android TV is getting a brand new launcher with Android O.

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Google adds new Profilers to Android Studio for app performance visualization

Google is adding a new tool for developers in the form of the Android Studio Profilers, which allow for quick visual interpretation of an app's operations. Recently announced at I/O, the feature is already part of Studio 2.4 Preview as well as 3.0, and replaces the Android Monitor. The new tools allow you to visually monitor the network, CPU, and RAM use of an app on a timeline graph, along with pertinent info like interaction events. Android Developers everywhere will have a slightly easier time, now, finding and fixing weird stutters and slowdowns in their apps.

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Google's education app Expeditions is getting a new AR mode

2 years ago at I/O, Google introduced Expeditions, an educational tool allowing teachers to take their classes on virtual reality field trips, and it's since been experienced by more than 2 million students around the world. It could be used with an inexpensive viewer such as Google Cardboard to tour a variety of virtual spaces, such as Antarctica or the International Space Station. During this year's I/O keynote, Google's VP of Virtual Reality Clay Bavor announced a new feature for the app — it now includes an AR mode.

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Daydream comes to the Galaxy S8 this summer, a future LG phone later this year

Samsung launched the Galaxy S8 with support for the Gear VR (obviously), but Google's VR platform got the cold shoulder. The GS8 could have had both if Samsung wanted, and Samsung and Google have apparently come to an understanding. Yes, Daydream is coming to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

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Google says Android O could make your phone reboot twice as fast - apps could see doubled speeds, too

During today's keynote at Google I/O, Google revealed a couple of interesting figures about the upcoming Android O release. Namely, it should be a lot faster in certain regards. Google says that the Pixel, for example, will reboot up to twice as fast on Android O (it does take a while at the moment). It wasn't immediately clear what optimizations allowed for this boosted performance.

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Android O feature spotlight: Smart Text Selection automatically highlights the right words at a double tap

One of the new features in Android O that was recently announced at I/O is Smart Text Selection. Selecting the right text can be hard on a small screen, but Google's data shows that most of the time when we are selecting information it's something like an address or phone number. Now in Android O you can double tap text, and the selection automatically expands as needed. It even shows a convenient predictive shortcut so we can use it in another context, or save it. Of course, we can use the Assistant to do all those things if we remember, but it's good to have multiple ways of solving the same problem.

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Google announces Daydream standalone VR headsets with beacon-free position tracking, HTC Vive and Lenovo onboard

VR has slowed in both improvements and public excitement recently. But that hasn't stopped Google from bettering its Daydream platform, its take on so-called "smartphone VR." Like Samsung's version, Daydream requires a phone to operate. As cool as this was, it led to some issues, notably battery life and heat. During this year's I/O keynote, Google announced the Standalone VR headsets that were rumored yesterday. As the name suggests, these devices won't require a phone to operate.

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Google Photos is also getting Google Lens integration

Google has announced at I/O that Google Photos will also be seeing Google Lens integration. Now we'll be able to get contextual information about the images we have previously taken as well, not just whatever we can snap right now. From looking up the details and name of that plant or piece of artwork you liked, to checking to see what that cool old building you saw was, now you can apply those same Google Lens tools to the past as well as the present.

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Blobs be gone: With Android O, Google completely redesigns its emoji again

Android O is going to bring a lot of changes to our favorite mobile platform, and one of the most visible for those of us using Nexus and Pixel products will be the emoji: Google is completely redesigning them. Again.

The new emoji are teased over at Emojipedia, who got an exclusive look at the redesigned characters. If you want the tl;dr - they're more circular now.

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YouTube in the living room now supports 360-degree video

I can't say I watch 360-degree videos much on YouTube... or at all. But I'm sure some people do, and if you are one of those people, you'll be happy to know that you can now easily view 360-degree content on your living room TV.

Google says the new functionality should work on any YouTube television apps, be it on your Xbox One or Android TV. I assume it will work on the Chromecast as well, but that was not explicitly mentioned. When viewing 360-degree content, you can use your remote's directional keys to move the viewfinder.

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