Android Police

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Android Auto hits eight more Kia models, with another added to the 'coming soon' list

Kia's doing a decent job equipping its cars with Android Auto support, with popular models like the Soul and Forte already coming with it. Previously, eight Kias were already listed as being Android Auto-compatible. Today, though, the Android Auto site was updated to reflect that eight more Kias now support Google's in-car operating system, with an additional three on the way.

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[Deal Alert] Here are 12 temporarily free and 6 on-sale apps for your post-I/O weekend

It's finally Friday and Google I/O is starting to wrap up. The weekend is ahead of us, so what better way to celebrate than with this week's final round of app sales? In case you missed it in all of the I/O craziness, here's Wednesday's post. Some of the goodies there could be still had if you're quick enough.

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Android O feature spotlight: VolumeShaper lets audio apps perform cross fades, fade-outs, and more

Android has a long and complicated history with audio output, but Google has been improving audio on Android with higher quality sound and lower latency. In Android O, developers will have a new tool to perform audio transitions and effects.

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Google's Dave Burke: The first rule of Fuchsia is you don't talk about Fuchsia

People have been buzzing about Google's Fuchsia project, an open source operating system that popped up on GitHub a few months ago. Some have even speculated that Fuchsia could be a replacement for Android down the road. Someone brought this up at the Android Fireside Chat, and VP of engineering for Android Dave Burke replied by basically not talking about Fuchsia.

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Graphics drivers can be updated from the Play Store in Android O

A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming.

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Angry Birds Evolution is coming to the US in June, pre-registration available now

Rovio's ever popular Angry Birds has become something of a phenomenon, with multiple games spanning different genres and billions of downloads. The franchise shows no signs of slowing down either. With movie tie-ins and spin-offs aplenty, the Finnish company continues to find new ways to push the series. It's been a long time coming, but the next evolution (ahem) of the game on Android is almost ready for primetime. Angry Birds Evolution will be released in the US next month and you can now pre-register for it, with a free starter pack worth $7.99 up for grabs for anyone who does so today.

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Square Enix releases classic games mash-up Arkanoid vs Space Invaders

What happens when you take an iconic Breakout-style block-breaker and collide it with a classic alien shooter? Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is what, and Square Enix has just released the game on the Play Store. Both retro games were arcade champions of their time, with Space Invaders hitting machines in the late 1970s and Arkanoid coming later in the mid-1980s. Both are sure to have a great deal of loyal, nostalgic fans who may find this mashup of interest.

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Casting to NVIDIA SHIELD TV now supports 5.1 Surround Sound in some apps and 4K YouTube at 60fps

NVIDIA's SHIELD TV is one of the best Android TV set-top boxes on the market (though the competition isn't that heated threr), but it's also quickly becoming one of the best overall video set-top boxes, even with Roku, Amazon, and Apple in the game. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the SHIELD TV added 4K streaming from Google Play Movies, and now it's announcing a couple of other improvements to its casting feature.

A new Google Cast Receiver update has opened up new capabilities to the SHIELD TV and NVIDIA was quick to jump on board and verify they all work as intended.

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Google releases Daydream Elements, a new demo app for best VR practices

If you're considering building a new VR game or app experience, you may be facing new challenges in how to create realistic scenes, how to move your characters across space without dizzying the player, and how to choose between click and gesture controls depending on what's best for your setting.

Daydream Elements is a new open-source app by Google that provides tech demos for many scenarios regarding these 3 areas: locomotion, menus and virtual controls, and rendering and lighting. There's also a full documentation page with explanations and details on each aspect, plus the source code on GitHub, so you should have everything at your disposal.

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[Funny But True] Video shows what an honest smartwatch commercial should be like

Smartwatches have been available for a few years, but I'm not sure we have yet found a really legitimate and indispensable use for them. I have been wearing one for nearly three years, but I rarely interact with it and I forget it's there most days. Yet, it has become a necessity for me as I keep my phone silent to avoid the deluge of WhatsApp, Slack, Gmail, and more notifications while working in the serious and quiet environment of a pharmacy. Nothing is more distracting than continuous beeps and boops while you're trying to counsel a patient, so the watch helps me know what is crucial to attend to and what can wait until the patient has left.

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