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[Weekend Discussion] What Was Your Favorite Android (Or Non-Android) Announcement At Google I/O This Year?

Google I/O this year was absolutely packed full of exciting announcements not just for Android, but all sorts of stuff. From Project Soli and Jacquard to less exciting but much more practically relevant things like new Cast APIs, along with an absolutely slew of Android M features, there was a ton going on at this year's show.

So, what at this year's show got you most excited? There really was a lot, so much that we're still digging through it at all (especially in regard to Android M), so think carefully, and check out our feature spotlight series if you're not sure you're remembering everything.

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[Deal Alert] Grab A Second-Gen Automatic Adaptor For Your Car For $20 Off ($80) With This Coupon

Automatic is an interesting hardware-software combo that makes information from your vehicle accessible on your phone via an SDK and a series of apps. It's an interesting idea (even if the nondescript name makes it nearly impossible to Google for), and thanks to a standard OBD-Bluetooth setup and a relatively decentralized structure, it doesn't require any subscription fees. You do have to buy the adaptor, of course, and it's relatively pricey at $99.95. But right now you can grab a 20% discount.

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Head over to the Automatic online store, which for the moment is only shipping to the US. Enter the code ATP2014 before you check out to take twenty bones off the price.

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Amazon Echo Now Includes Voice Commands For Google Calendar Functions

Amazon's voice-controlled, web-connected life manager thing, the Echo, is about as close as you can get to a conceptual product while still asking people to pay for it. But to its credit, Amazon seems to be constantly improving Echo by expanding its functionality. The latest update makes Echo compatible with Google Calendar (one of the web services offered by Google that Amazon doesn't directly compete with) thanks to a selection of voice commands.

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According to an email sent to Echo owners, you can now ask Echo (or Alexa, if you've allowed your semi-sentient monolith to retail a sense of identity) "What's on my calendar" to get a quick overview of your upcoming events.

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[APK Download] The Clock App From Android M Allows Users To Start Their Week On Saturday, Sunday, Or Monday

The new APK for the clock app from the Android M Developer Preview doesn't look very different from the one you'll find in Lollipop - most of the functions (alarms, world clock, timer, and countdown) are in the same place and operate in the same way. But there's one tiny change that a small amount of users will be extremely happy to see. The Clock app can now "start" your week on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

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This is one of those little formatting questions that has never really been properly resolved by society. Most western calendars "start" the week on Sunday, but a majority of people with what you might call a normal job go to work on Monday and consider Sunday the "end" of their week.

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Android M Developer Preview AOSP Changelog Posted, Probably Not A Complete Platform Release

The Android M Developer Preview was released just yesterday and we're all very closely examining the changes. While there's still quite a bit to dig through, it looks like Google is getting some of the source code up right away. Before anybody gets too excited, it's likely that this code dump occurred to ensure GPL compliance. However, there are quite a few projects in the changelog that wouldn't normally require updates due to licensing, so there may be quite a bit more going live on this release.

The entire changelog totals about 29,000 commits and weighs in at about 4.7 MB. It's not entirely clear where the official starting point would be, but we generated the changelog from 5.1.1_r4, which is currently the latest release available.

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[Bonus Round] Hotline Miami, War Thunder, Portal Pinball, Sproggiwood, Always Sometimes Monsters, Nubs' Adventure, And IO

Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got several PC and console pilgrims including Hotline Miami, War Thunder, and Always Sometimes Monsters, a new Portal-inspired Zen Pinball table, a mashup of tactic, RPG, and city-building, and standard platformers and puzzlers.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Deep Linking Without Selector Prompts Can Be Changed Or Removed By Users On A Per-App Basis

We reported yesterday on Google's announcement that Android M would support deep links that skip the sometimes-annoying app selector prompt. Details were scarce at the time and many were worried that this would shut out third party apps or make it hard to view content with a browser when it might be more appropriate.

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If you go to an app from the list within the "apps" section of the system settings, you will see something like the first picture. You can set defaults and decide whether that app should open its own links without asking. If you go to the advanced area instead of selecting an app, you will see the second screenshot.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] The New Share Menu Is Simplified, Shows Many More Apps At Once Instead Of One Option Per Line

For many, this one falls into the category of "fixing problems you didn't know you had." If you have a lot of apps installed, though, you probably have already been frustrated by the share menus on previous Android versions. God forbid the app you want falls too low in the alphabet, because you will be scrolling like the dickens to share with it. Android developers clearly recognized that they were really wasting some space, so the Android M version is a lot more efficient.

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Left and middle: the old share menu Right: the new one

If you look closely, you'll notice that you can actually see more share options in the compact version of the new menu than you could in the fully expanded view of the old one.

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Qualcomm Just Announced A New Project Tango Phone Powered By The Snapdragon 810

Google recently dropped the price of the Project Tango developer tablet to $512, but there was no new hardware announced at I/O. Qualcomm just can't contain itself any longer, apparently. The chip maker has announced a new piece of Tango hardware is on the way, and it's powered by the Snapdragon 810 [insert overheating joke].

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[I/O 2015] The Official Gmail API Finally Gets Push Notification Support

Almost a year ago, Google announced the Gmail API. Today, they're adding push notification support, meaning you no longer have to poll Gmail constantly for new messages if you're a developer or service utilizing that API, which is going to make the 3rd party Gmail app experience much better.

If you want to know about implementation, you can read about it on the Google developers site here, and it sounds like it's going to be a pretty simple switch.

Gmail offers both IMAP and its own native API for use by third-party developers, but only the official Gmail API supports features like threaded replies, drafts, specific permissions, native search, and more.

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