Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 220.127.116.11 or newer.
If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short. All you need to do is change your build.prop file, reboot, and clear Google app cache. Either root (to manually edit the build.prop) or a custom recovery (if you want to flash the zip) is required. In our own testing on a Nexus 6P, switching to the Google Now Launcher might be required to trigger the Assistant setup.
Who says that Nexus owners get to have all the fun? Yesterday an innocuous XDA thread claimed to have a beta version of an Android 7.0 build, ready and waiting for Huawei's dual-camera phone, the P9. Usually that sort of post when we're still weeks or months away from a full AOSP release of a new Android version is, to put it bluntly, bunk. But in this case, users who have flashed the ROM say that it's functional and apparently legitimate - Huawei's proprietary EMUI skin, marked as version 5, is running on top of Nougat. It's working on the EVA-L09 model; others may not be compatible.
So Allo has some people in the Android world quite excited, even if it is Google's third chat standard in four years and leaves the future of Hangouts somewhat nebulous. It's going to be several months before the public gets access to Allo in all its Assistant-infused glory, but there are already APKs leaking out to the Internet for both the standard Allo and the new Duo video chat app. At least a few users were able to grab the apps off the Play Store despite them being in pre-registered mode, and both of them were posted to our sister siteAPK Mirror.
The community over at XDA-Developers is a little less voracious these days. There are a lot of reasons: an ever-expanding selection of Android phones means it's harder to make a modding nexus for each one, general improvements in hardware and software make rooting less necessary, et cetera. But those tinkerers can still get some fantastic results. Case in point: it turns out that it's totally possible to get the unlocked HTC 10, currently being sold free of contracts and carriers from the HTC web store, to operate on Verizon.
Screw Google On Tap and UI tuner, the best new feature in Android 6.0 is clearly Doze, the new portion of the OS dedicated to extending a phone's battery life when you're not using it. That said, this is Android, so of course people are going to start tweaking it just as soon as they can. There are already two apps that do just that. The bad news: they both require root permissions, so you'll need to have modified your farm-fresh Android 6.0 build already to use them. The good news: both of them might be worth the hassle of rooting all on their own.
It was only a little over a week ago that we heard that LG was planning a surprisingly quick update to Android 6.0 for its flagship G4 phone, beginning with Poland and expanding out to other territories. We haven't heard anything about an official rollout just yet, but someone's managed to get their hands on a Marshmallow build for the international unlocked version of the G4, model number H815. A KDZ file appeared on the forum yesterday, and it's been adapted into flashable files for users with the TWRP custom recovery already.
We haven't heard of any official over-the-air 6.0 updates for the G4, but the 20A build posted by "autoprime" appears to be a release version or very close to it.
The OnePlus 2 is set to be announced in just a few hours, but a last-minute leak confirms many of the details that have already propagated. A poster on XDA claims to be a beta tester in China and comes bearing gifts—a bunch of new photos that confirm the previously leaked TENAA images and some thoughts on the device.
Windows Phone, eat your heart out. Android is now capable of virtualizing a full and up-to-date Windows desktop operating system. Well, one phone is at least, and it's probably not one you would have guessed: the ASUS ZenFone 2. XDA-Developers forum member ycavan managed to get Windows 7 running on his phone using a variety of custom tools, some impressive technical skill, and quite a lot of patience. Check it out in the video below:
To be clear, this is Windows 7, virtualized, running on a local virtual machine client accessed via the aSPICE KVM client for control. Windows is not being emulated (it's been done with older versions).