Android Police

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Android O feature spotlight: Get quick access to an app's widgets by long-pressing the icon

Google began introducing long-press actions for icons in Android 7.1—currently, a long-press in Pixel Launcher can display app shortcuts (previously known as launcher shortcuts). You get more in Android O DP2. We already knew about the previously reported notification dots, but there are also widget links.

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Google's new Visual Positioning Service will guide you through indoor locations

We are all familiar with GPS. It has been guiding us to our destinations for years. But what happens when you arrive and you need to find a specific store in the mall or a specific item in a grocery store? Google will have you covered with a new technology it announced today called "Visual Positioning Service" or VPS. This technology builds on the idea of augmented reality tightly coupled with real world information. It will look for distinct visual features in your environment to create a map of the location using only the camera on your phone.

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Google launches new vitals tools in the Play Console Dashboard to find and solve problems

In one more slice of I/O developer news, Google has launched another set of tools for developers using its Console Dashboard for apps on Google Play. The new tool automatically analyzes app reports to show developers pertinent info about app issues. This is the 2nd big feature about making app performance and bug fixing easier for developers after the new visual profiler tools in the latest preview of Android Studio.

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The Google Home app now features customizable user-defined shortcuts for Assistant

One of the draws of having a personal assistant is being able to control various things through it. Alexa is popular partially for this reason and Google Home/Assistant has been slowly catching up since its launch. Just a few weeks ago, our very own Cody noticed that Google was implementing direct support for IFTTT in the Google app for user-defined actions. Well, this has finally appeared in the Home app in a "Shortcuts" menu in the Assistant section.

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Android O feature spotlight: Quick settings are now grayscale, get some other small tweaks

We've had the same dark/teal color combo in the notification panel for years now with few complaints, but someone at Google decided it was time to change things up a bit. Android O's second developer preview has made the quick settings' theme grayscale, and rearranged/redesigned some smaller aspects of the notification panel in general.

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Everything that's been announced at Google I/O 2017 so far (continuously updated)

Google I/O 2017 is in full swing, and we're about halfway through the first day as I write this post. Even so, we've already had dozens of stories come out of Google's big developer conference, and we want to make sure you're able to find all of our coverage in one place. Google Home, Photos, Assistant, Android O, Daydream - all saw major announcements today, and we're just getting started. I'll break it down for you. I've bolded what I think are some of the more important stories out of I/O today.

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Android O feature spotlight: Pixel Launcher lets you select icon shapes [Update]

We've all gotten used to the consistent round icons on the Pixel Launcher, and a surprising number of developers have even gotten on board with round icons. Android O brings more choice to the icons, but keeps the consistency. There's a new icon shape selection in the launcher settings as of the second O developer preview.

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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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