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New Year's Day Open Discussion: What Should 2016 Bring For Android (Software Or Hardware)?

It's new year's day! (Well, at least in most of the world, I know some of you have already flipped the calendar to the 2nd). And, as you might guess, news is just the littlest bit slow, especially with the first landing on a Friday. Everyone's out and about doing stuff, or whatever. As such, I felt it was a perfect time for a little chat.

2015 brought many new things to Android. Marshmallow is easily the most polished version of the OS yet. Android Auto has started to become available on vehicles. The Nexus 5X and 6P marked the first dual-release Nexus phones.

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Let's Talk: How's Marshmallow Treating You On Your Nexus Device? Also, Some Of Our Favorite Android 6.0 Features

 

The weeks post-Nexus announcement are always slow for Android news, but they're a time ripe for discussion about how the latest version of Android is holding up on your device, especially since it's arrived so much earlier than usual.

The Nexus 5, 6, 7 (2013), 9, and Player all have official builds of Android 6.0 Marshmallow available, so you've probably gone ahead and flashed them (or received an update via OTA).

Marshmallow does contain a lot of great new features, and we've highlighted a ton of them in our ongoing feature spotlight series (link to series). Here are a few of my favorites:

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Google's Official Android Wear Forum Is Now Open And Ready For Questions

In case you missed it, the official help forum for Android Wear has gone live. There are many places to go online to get help with using your new smartwatch, but this Google Group is the place the company would probably prefer you go. It's also a location where you have a reasonable chance of getting an answer. We try to answer many of the questions that you pitch to us in the comments, but we don't see everything.

Screenshot 2014-10-08 at 9.43.05 AM

This forum isn't just a place for newbies. If you're an expert or at least reasonably informed, you can take to the site to answer questions and help one another out. A forum is only as good as the people who frequent it, and we would love to see this turn into a valuable resource.

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[MWC 2014] Motorola Discusses Future Smartwatch, New Moto X, Fast Updates, And More At Q&A Event

Motorola Mobility held a Q&A session at Mobile World Congress today, and while there wasn't much in the way of spectacle to coincide with the event, there were quite a few substantive announcements. For starters, the company is working on a watch that will be available some time this year. This won't be the first thing Motorola's tried to strap onto our wrists, but the company says style and battery life are two things it intends to address, and it would prefer to create a piece of jewelry rather than ugly tech. There's a chance this prototype could be an early version of the watch, but by now the company may be pursing a new concept entirely.

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Facebook Messenger Updated To Version 1.8 – Add Friends Of Friends To Messages, Switch Conversations With In-App Notifications, And More

Facebook Messenger, an app the social giant says provides "a faster way to message," got a significant update today, bringing it up to version 1.8. The update, besides promising to speed up app loading, navigating (by way of some small UI tweaks), and message sending, contains several new features that are worth mentioning.

Among these new features is the ability to switch between conversations using handy (dismissible) in-app notification bars which appear any time a friend sends you a message in another conversation. Facebook has also added the option to bring friends of friends into your existing conversation, using the same interface you'd use to add any of your friends to the message.

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LG "Heavily In Discussions" With Google To Manufacture A Nexus Device

Bringing a taste of truth to age-old rumblings of an LG Nexus device, the head of LG's Smartphone division, Ramchan Woo, has stated (in an interview with Cnet) that the manufacturer is "heavily in discussions" over a possible Nexus device, adding "we're working on it." While this quote is compelling, Cnet rightly highlights a few sticking points in the deal.

On one hand, while there is no evidence that Google will give Motorola preferential treatment following its acquisition, concerns have manifested, and partnering with any manufacturer (why not LG?) would quash any rumblings.

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On the other hand, LG is decidedly pro-customization when it comes to Android's interface.

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