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android o

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Android TV now recommends apps to install during setup

It has been a while since the last Android Oreo feature spotlight, but there are apparently still discoveries to be made. Oreo was a pretty substantial update for Android TV, with a new launcher in tow. The update has another change for Android TV - recommended apps during the setup process.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: 'Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep' option removed, as on the Pixel 2

If you have an incredibly detailed memory, you may recall as far back as around 24 hours ago, when we talked about how the "Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep" setting was apparently removed for the Pixel 2s. We felt that it was a confusing, unnecessary, and potentially unintentional change, but Google is doubling down. With the latest Android 8.1 developer preview images, the option is now missing on more than just the Pixel 2, likely confirming that the change was intended. 

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[Update: Not all devices] Android 8.1 feature spotlight: The sRGB toggle has been removed entirely from Developer options

Calibrated color has been a hot topic recently for both Android and the Pixel 2 phones, and the Android 8.1 developer previews indicate more changes on the horizon. As of the current preview images, the "Picture color mode" sRGB toggle in Developer options has been removed. This change makes devices like the OG Pixels and last-generation Nexuses match the new Pixel 2 and 2XL, which similarly lack the setting since a calibrated mode is the default. 

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[Update: Dimming is system-wide] Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Settings now has a colored navigation bar that dims

The Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview dropped today, and with it come some new features that we've been discovering. One of the more prominent changes we've spotted so far is to the navigation bar while it's in the Settings app. On both Pixel and Nexus devices, the soft keys get a few aesthetic tweaks that modernize the software's look just a little bit.

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Disabling Developer Options completely removes the menu from Settings

Developer Options is one of the two hidden settings menus in Android (beside System UI Tuner) and it gets enabled by tapping the Build Number in the About Phone section repeatedly. In previous versions of Android, Developer Options had one toggle up top that let you disable it and thus return all values to their default, but in Oreo, disabling the toggle also removes the menu entirely.

Up until Android 7.1.2, if you turn off the toggle at the top of Developer Options, all the different settings are restored, but if you back out, you'll still see the Developer Options menu item in your Settings, and you can still go in and enable it again.

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Android O feature spotlight: Default Wi-Fi hotspot SSIDs are now unique

There is a small problem you can run into when setting up a Wi-Fi hotspot in previous versions of Android. By default, the SSID is just AndroidAP, and a lot of people don't change that. So if your phone, tablet, or laptop connected to such an access point in the past, they'd try again every time they saw that Android AP SSID. But as of Android 8.0 Oreo, any devices that never ran a previous version of Android will get a unique hotspot SSID. 

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[Update: No longer works for YT] Tutorial: How to force Picture-in-Picture mode on Oreo for YouTube, Google Maps, Duo, and others

One of Android Oreo's best features is Picture-in-Picture mode for phones and tablets. When you press the home button while playing media (on an app that supports PiP), the video collapses to a floating window that you can move around the screen. YouTube is one of the few apps that support this feature already, but it's only enabled if you pay for YouTube Red. Thankfully, there is a way to force PiP mode for any app that supports it, including YouTube and Google Maps.

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Tutorial: How to enable Android Oreo's "Turn on WiFi Automatically" feature on Nexus 5X/6P

One of Android Oreo's new features is the ability to automatically turn Wi-Fi back on when you're near a saved network. Essentially, Android will keep track of where each network is located, and will use location services to only turn on Wi-Fi when you're in range. The feature was available for all devices on the Android O Developer Previews, but was disabled in the final release for the Nexus 5X and 6P:

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Google Maps v9.60 brings usable Picture-in-Picture mode, prepares for adding personal notes to locations, food reviews, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Friday saw the launch of video submissions by Local Guides, some of which are already popping up. But that wasn't the only thing to come with the v9.60 update, the Picture-in-Picture mode added in the last update has been fixed and now offers a useful window into your trip while you're using other apps. There are also several new topics for a teardown, including personal notes for locations, food reviews with photo submissions, and much more.

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Tasker can hide Android Oreo's 'App is running in the background' notifications, root not required

One of Android Oreo's many new features is a persistent notification for each app that runs in the background. While this is certainly helpful for the average person, it can get old quick for power users that frequently run applications like Tasker and LastPass. If the messages really get on your nerves, you can now use Tasker and the Notification Listener plugin to hide them.

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