Android Police

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: "Android is upgrading" optimization step is now a background task, doesn't block startup anymore

For many a year, Android users have been seeing a familiar dialog saying 'Android is upgrading' when the operating system updates or in the event a new ROM is flashed, stopping them from using the device until it has finished optimizing apps. Those days are over: with Android 7.1, the 'Android is upgrading' process is now carried out in the background.

In 7.0, this dialog was sped up considerably - as Ryan says, it's almost instant. However, the Android team has gone one step further and removed it completely in 7.1, allowing the process to be carried out mostly silently, apart from a notification in the shade telling you it's doing this, and a progress bar indicating how far it is from complete.

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[Update: B&O H3 headphones too] LG V20 will cost $799 unlocked from Newegg and B&H, include free G Pad tablet

Now that the Galaxy Note7's chance to be this year's best phablet has gone up in flames (sorry, I couldn't resist), LG may have a real shot with the V20. The phone launched a few weeks ago in South Korea, but it still isn't available for purchase here in the US. However, the pricing details for the unlocked model are now out.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Google Camera actually takes a photo on voice command

Trying to set a timer on cameras, both on smartphones and dedicated units, can be a pain. Google Camera 4.2, which currently can only be installed on Android 7.1 or higher, allows you to take photos with the "OK google, take a picture" voice command.

Once you say the magic words, the Camera app will open (if it isn't already) and start a 3-second timer. After the time is up, the photo will be taken. Previously, using that command would only open the camera - not actually take a photo. You can also say "OK google, take a selfie" to take a picture with your device's front camera. This should make using a selfie stick much easier.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: When rotating the screen, the navigation bar doesn't move

Software navigation keys have always worked pretty much identical to physical ones, with one exception. Rotating the device would always cause the navigation bar to move to the right side of the screen. This might not seem like a problem, but if you are flipping your phone clockwise, the nav bar essentially jumps from one side of the phone to the other.

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Google posts initial factory images, OTAs, and driver binaries for Pixel and Pixel XL

Google has posted the first set of factory images for the Pixel (sailfish) and Pixel XL (marlin) on its developer site, along with driver binaries for the devices. Three image versions are available: NDE63H, NDE63L, and NDE63P. The third one began rolling out to Verizon devices today as an OTA update. The full OTA images are available here, as well.

That NDE63P update supposedly brings Wi-Fi fixes, so if you're on an earlier build and having trouble, this OTA may resolve it (I personally am still having 2.4/5GHz switching issues even on the 63P build).

You can download the factory images and the driver binaries at the links below which, yes, still contain 'Nexus' in the page title.

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The 5 best things about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are great smartphones - there's no doubt. But what makes them so great, exactly? Well, here are five things that I think help make that case with conviction.

#1: The camera

This is my favorite smartphone camera, full stop. No other smartphone camera captures images as quickly and reliably as this one - because the Pixel's camera starts capturing images the moment you launch it, and continuously does so in order to all but eliminate any shutter lag. It really does make the camera's shutter button feel completely instant, no matter the light level or if the phone's been sitting idle in your pocket for an hour.

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The unlocked Moto Z Play launches today for $449.99

There are three members of the Motorola Moto Z family, and the cheapest one is undeniably the best overall device. The Moto Z Play launched first as a Verizon exclusive, and now it's available as an unlocked phone with full support for AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM networks.

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Googler confirms neither night light nor fingerprint reader swipe gestures are coming to Nexus devices

The Android 7.1 developer preview is rolling out, so Nexus phones are getting their first taste of the software shipping on the Pixel. Since it's a dev preview, it can be hard to know if missing features are missing because they're not done, or if they just aren't going to be included at all. Googler Ian lake has clarified that two features not listed as Pixel-exclusive still won't be coming to existing Nexus phones—night light and fingerprint reader gestures.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Tapping the security patch date loads the security bulletin in your browser

Google started including the security patch version in the About Phone menu last year in the wake of the Stagefright vulnerability. This is simply a date that tells you which patch level a device runs. As of Android 7.1, that line in the settings is more than just a date. It's also a link to the security bulletins.

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Verizon launches the Pixel and LG V20 today

It's a big day for Nougat-powered Android on Verizon. Starting today, you can mosey into your local Verizon store and buy a Pixel or a V20. The V20 is available through a few channels, but this is the only place you can go in the real world to get a Pixel.

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