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series_android_n_feature_spotlights

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Android Nougat feature spotlight: Improved bug report capture process

Capturing and sending a bug report on Android used to be an inelegant process. Bugs are annoying and bug reports are one of the least exciting parts of a platform, but they are essential to help it and its apps move forward. So it's nice to see the Android team putting some thoughts behind improving the bug report interface and interaction, especially for those of us who tend to actually use the feature.

Previously, on Android 6.0 and below, if you decided to save and send a bug report, the device would vibrate once and nothing happened for a minute or two. Then you get the notification for the captured bug report and the only thing you can do is share it along with the screenshot that was taken when you tapped the bug report icon.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Long press Select to Uninstall in Android TV, long press Home for Recents

The Android TV interface is easy to navigate. Browse the tiles using the d-pad and enter apps with the Select button. A play/pause button does what it says, and the Home button takes you back to the homescreen. Simple.

But things can still be simpler, so Android N is providing a few more navigation options.

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Google Camera v4.1 from Nougat dev preview 5 includes UI tweaks, new animations, and more

Google rolled out the fifth and final Nougat developer preview yesterday, and it includes a new version of the Google Camera app. It's v4.1, a significant jump over the current Play Store version. There are a fair number of changes to the UI, some new animations, and better control over buttons.

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[Update: Fixed in Dev Preview 5] Google has already fixed the weird notification toggle behavior from the last Android N dev preview

Most of the intrepid users who tried the most recent Android N developer preview were none too pleased with the new notification toggle behavior. Google changed the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons from simple toggles to connection list triggers. After more than 1,500 issue tracker stars in just a few days, Google has relented.

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Android 7.0 now shows if an APK was installed from the Play Store or another source

Android 7.0 Nougat developer preview will now show an application's install source in the app info interface. The new list item comes at the bottom, under the subheader "Store." This field is populated by a string obtained through getInstallerPackageName method, previously only accessible via a manual query. This string can be filled by a third party app store (such as Amazon, whose Appstore currently does this), or left blank in the case of an application that has been sideloaded.

As you can see in the hero image above, the Pokemon GO APK I sideloaded shows as having been installed by the package installer.

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[Gotta CATch 'em all] The Android 7.0 Easter Egg is a quick settings kitty collector

The fifth and final Android Nougat developer preview has arrived, and with it is the new Android Easter Egg. In Lollipop and Marshmallow we were treated to a version of Flappy Bird, and this time we get a built-in version of Neko Atsume—a kitty collector. Can you entice all the cats to visit your phone?

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[Update: Fixed in Dev Preview 5] WiFi and Bluetooth notification toggles in dev preview 4 now open the connection list, and no one is happy about it

Android N is making some changes to the notification shade, not least among them the addition of settings toggles at the top of the screen without opening quick settings. In previous preview builds these were toggles as you'd expect, but DP4 changes it up. Now, the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons open the full modal connection list screen. The response from users has not been positive.

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Android N gets support for custom mouse pointers via new API

Android is mainly a touch environment, but it has had rudimentary support for mice and keyboards for years. Mice will be getting more useful in Android N with the addition of a new mouse cursor API, which is available in its final form as of dev preview 4. The cursor can actually change to indicate actions just like on a desktop OS.

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Android N Dev Preview 3: Demo Mode Is Back, Now In Developer Settings

If you think back to when Marshmallow was unveiled, and then even further back to when it was still known as 'M', you may remember a feature in the System UI Tuner, known as 'Demo Mode.' It was a useful setting, especially for developers or others needing to take screenshots (ahem), since it replaced the notification bar with a generic, preset one which did not show any existing notifications or low battery warnings.

It disappeared in Developer Preview 2, though, seemingly gone without a trace. As with everything in the System UI Tuner, things are liable to disappear, break, or be removed at any time, so this wasn't entirely a surprise (see David's comment from a few days ago for more info).

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Visual Changes To Battery Notification Dropdown Experience Make Battery Saver Quicker To Access

Checking remaining battery life is a task many of us have to do far more often than we like. In Android N, the experience is a tad different from what you may be accustomed to in Marshmallow.

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