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Google is looking into Android 8.1 lockscreen swipe issues on Pixel devices

I'd wager that most owners of Pixel phones use the fingerprint sensors on the back to unlock their phones, but there are circumstances in which using the backup PIN, pattern, or password is necessary. Many Pixel owners, myself included, have noticed that it's become rather difficult to swipe the lockscreen up on Android 8.1 Oreo. Google is aware of the problem and is looking into it.

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Google posts Nexus/Pixel system images and OTA files for January 2018 patches

Google is getting an early start in 2018 by rolling out the monthly patches for Nexus and Pixel devices. The OTA files and full system images are available a few days earlier than usual, and devices should begin seeing updates in the not too distant future. It looks like several devices have two different builds available this month, so you'll have to grab the right one if you just can't wait.

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Google's AR Stickers are rolling out to Pixel devices [APK Download]

Google spent years working on the augmented reality hardware known as Tango. There have been two consumer phones with Tango so far, neither of which has been a great experience. However, the company recently showed off augmented reality content running on Pixel phones without Tango hardware. It didn't have a timeline for making AR stickers available, but today appears to be the day. An update to AR core has appeared in the Play Store and the AR Stickers app is live.

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Contacts sync is breaking on some devices running Android Oreo

One of the most basic and convenient features of life in Google's ecosystem is contacts sync. From email to phone numbers and Google+ profiles, you know that whatever platform you are on, you'll be able to reach out to the people you need to with a minimum of fuss. But for some this essential feature isn't working correctly, and contacts aren't being successfully synced to their Oreo-powered Android devices.

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Google's December 2017 security bulletin is up, system updates go live tomorrow (December 5th)

It's almost time for another round of updates to Google's Android devices. The currently supported Pixels and Nexus phones should begin seeing new builds tomorrow, but Google already has the latest security bulletin up to detail what's fixed in the new version. There don't appear to be any functional updates this month, though.

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Lens in Google Assistant is rolling out widely on Pixel phones today

Google announced a few weeks ago that Lens was coming to Google Assistant, but the deployment would take some time. It's showed up sporadically for users since then, but it appears to be rolling out widely on Pixel phones today (in select markets). Open Assistant, and you may very well have the Lens button down at the bottom.

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[Update: OTAs going out] Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 is now available for Pixel and Nexus devices

Google dropped the first developer preview for Android 8.1 last month, and now it's time for an update. The second dev preview build is now available for download via system images on the developer site. This is your chance to be on the bleeding edge of Android, but as usual, running beta software comes with some risks.

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[Deal Alert] Verizon Pixel XL is just $5/month ($120 total) at Best Buy

The Pixel 2 XL may be the new hottest thing on the block, but it's been privy to quite a few of issues, the latest of which concerns random reboots. So if you're a Verizon customer who'd like to distance yourself from the problems (and save a lot of cash), perhaps this Pixel XL deal is for you. For a stunningly low $120 in total, one of these can be yours.

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Google's November system images and OTA files for Nexus and Pixel devices are (mostly) live [Update: Pixel 2 XL OTA rolling out]

The month is getting underway, and that means it's time for Google to issue its monthly raft of Pixel and Nexus updates. The updates will filter down to phones in the next day or so, but the system images and OTA files for most devices are available now if you want to sideload. There's not a ton new here, but as this is a November patch level, you should have protection from the KRACK vulnerability.

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Google Photos v3.8 has a fancy new Lens animation [APK Download]

Google Lens is taking its sweet time getting ready for its full-fledged debut. The juiced-up version of Google Goggles is already available to those who use the first- and second-generation Pixel smartphones, but it's cooped up in the Photos app and has yet to appear in Assistant, as promised back in May at I/O. One of the reasons for this delay appears to be aesthetic, as Google Photos v3.8 shows off a new animation while Lens is analyzing a photo.

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