Android Police

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[Update: Any notification can be compacted] Android O feature spotlight: Persistent notifications are more compact

I hate persistent notifications. I like dropping down my notification shade and seeing nothing there, otherwise I get very OCD and feel like there's something that requires my attention, but then I see there really isn't because it's just a persistent notification. Even if you don't mind these and even if these always get pushed to the bottom of the list, they can clutter up your notification drop-down and make it more difficult to manage.

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You can now make polls in Allo, but only for yes/no questions

Allo has steadily added more functionality since launch, including more chatbots. The first was Lucky, a bot that can search for GIFs from a given word or phrase. Another one has now appeared in Allo, allowing users to create polls.

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Google posts 7.1.2 changelog, adds battery usage alerts and fixes serious bugs on Pixel and Nexus devices

Android 7.1.2 was officially released today, and the rollout has started for Nexus and Pixel devices (unless you have a Nexus 6 or 9). Besides the minor new features, the release also fixes several long-known problems.

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Google posts changelogs for Daydream and Daydream Keyboard v1.4

Google's Daydream VR has been available for a few months now, but there have only been a handful of updates. A new version of Daydream and the Daydream Keyboard started rolling out the other day, but as usual, Google didn't update the changelogs right away. Now, Google has been so gracious as to update said changelogs.

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29 new and notable (and 1 WTF) Android games from the last 2 weeks (3/21/17 - 4/3/17)

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Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Games

Super Mario Run

Android Police coverage: Super Mario Run is out on the Play Store [APK Download]

If you were not aware, yes, Super Mario Run has finally released on Android. Months after it was available for iOS, Android users get to see what all the fuss was about.

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Google Maps will now remember your route preferences when searching for directions

Most of us rely on Google Maps to find directions when we don't know the way ourselves. Maps defaults to showing you the fastest route based on the data it has at its disposal. Although, maybe that's not the way you want to go. There's some good news if you always have to set preferences for routes like avoiding highways or tolls. Maps now remembers them.

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YouTube is testing video previews when you adjust your position on the seek bar

Lately, YouTube has been pushing a ton of server-side changes to users. In just the span of a few weeks, the comments section has been tweaked, the bottom nav bar test returned, and expanded replies were improved upon. The video-sharing service isn't stopping there; today, it seems that YouTube has begun displaying to a few users little snapshots of the video you're watching when you seek through it.

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Google announces PAX, a cross-licensing program to stop patent litigation among Android OEMs

Google announced the existence of a new program known as PAX today, which apparently stands for Android Networked Cross-License Agreement (someone should tell Google how acronyms work). PAX is intended to reduce litigation between Android device makers by granting royalty-free licenses to any Android-related patents held by its members to all other members.

Google, Samsung, LG, HTC, Foxconn, HMD Global, Coolpad, BQ, and Allview are the founding members, which Google claims collectively control over 230,000 patents globally. Membership in PAX is free and open to any company in the business of making Android stuff. There's no obligation for Android OEMs to join, either.

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Wells Fargo app updated with fingerprint login support

Google added support for fingerprint readers back in Android 6.0. It has taken developers a while to get on board with that feature, and some are still playing catch up. Enter: Wells Fargo. The Android app has been updated with fingerprint support. Better late than never, I guess.

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[Deal Alert] Costco is offering $50 Google Play gift cards as low as $39.49 ($7.50) and $100 cards for $82.99 ($10 off)

If you're looking to save a few bucks here and there, discounted gift cards are a pretty reliable method to spend a little less in the long run if you don't mind shelling out some cash up front. Some people adamantly refuse to spend money on apps and subscriptions, but many of us expect to buy things from the Play Store, so a good deal on store credit is hard to pass up. Costco is currently offering $100 gift codes for $82.99 (online) and $50 cards for $41.99, or even $39.49 in some cases (online and in-store).

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