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Google releases first preview of Android Things Console

If you're not familiar with Android Things OS, it's a lightweight version of Android designed to run on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The first Developer Preview was released last year, and there have been a few updates since then. Now Google has released the first preview of Android Things Console, which makes managing a fleet of Android Things devices significantly easier.

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Sony Xperia Z5 range, Z4 Tablet, and Z3 Plus start getting Android Nougat 7.1.1 OTA

When it comes to software updates, Sony is on the job. The company is always one of the first to release updates for its recent flagship devices and is great at updating even relatively older-generation devices quickly too. Take the Xperia Z3 Plus, Z4 Tablet, and Z5 family which were announced sometime between May 2015 and September 2015, making them nearly 2 years old. They got the update to Android Nougat 7.0 back in February and they're now following the footsteps of the XZ and X Performance and getting upped to the more recent Android 7.1.1.

The update bumps the build number from 32.3.A.2.33 to 32.4.A.0.160 and doesn't seem to hide many noticeable changes according to the comments on the post, but it should technically have most of the official non-Pixel Android 7.1 things detailed in this changelog as well as a switch to API Level 25 which brings new capabilities for devs.

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Android O will introduce an animated Clock app icon in launchers

Chris Lacy, the developer behind the well-known Action Launcher, has uncovered something in the APK file of the Clock app that comes in Android O: the manifest.xml mentions hours, minutes, and seconds as layers with default values, and the icon has separate images for the background and different elements.

That logically lead him to deduce that starting with Android O, the Clock app's icon will be animated to show the current time. That will happen both when the Clock is placed as a shortcut on the homescreen and when it's inside the app drawer.

Chris also used that animation in his latest Action Launcher release, which we wrote about a couple of days ago.

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Google Chrome adds support for picture-in-picture video on Android O

One of the headline features of Android O is picture-in-picture video support across all devices. The feature has been part of Android TV since Nougat, but starting with O, it works on phones and tablets too. A handful of applications have already added support for the feature, including VLC, Duo, and Play Movies - now it's Chrome's turn.

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2016 AT&T LG K10 updated to Android 7.0 Nougat

Another day, another phone to get Android 7.0 Nougat. This time it's the 2016 AT&T LG K10's turn. This particular phone has been a bit ignored by AT&T. Their support page shows this is only the 2nd update the device has ever received. At least the jump to Nougat includes the April 1st security patches, so it should be reasonably secure for some time if AT&T doesn't keep it up to date. 

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[Update: Now $317 and $323] Deal Alert: Casio WSD-F10 outdoor Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch $330-$340 at Amazon ($60-70 off)

We've all been there. You're deep in the woods, maybe fist-fighting bears, maybe live-acting Minecraft, perhaps even escaping Shia LaBeouf. But, in the middle of things, your phone starts to buzz away in your pocket. Wouldn't it be way more convenient to just take a glance at the outdoor-optimized, 50m water-resistant, Android Wear 2.0 Casio WSD-F10 strapped to your wrist, rather than risk pulling your phone out of your pocket? Not only is that the better option, today you can pick one up at Amazon for just $330. 

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Android 7.1.1 rolls out to the Xperia X and X Compact

Until recently, it almost seemed like most phone manufacturers were skipping Android 7.1 in favor of the upcoming Android O release. Thankfully, we've seen several manufacturers start to push 7.1 updates to at least some of their devices, and Sony's Xperia X and X Compact phones are up next.

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Nova Launcher's Google Now integration works on Lollipop too

One of the main downsides to using a custom launcher was that you couldn't have an easily-accessible Google Now pane. While your feed is just a swipe away on the Google Now and Pixel Launchers, other applications were barred from using it due to API restrictions. That is, until the developer of Nova Launcher found a way around it by creating the 'Nova Google Companion.'

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[Deal Alert] Huawei Watch 2 on sale for $264.99 ($35 off) via eBay

We're still waiting to see if Android Wear 2.0 does any favors for the platform, but in the meantime it's tough to justify spending a lot on a new smartwatch. The Huawei Watch 2 starts at $300, but you can get one for $35 off today on eBay. That's more probably justifiable for Android nerds.

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ZTE Axon 7 Mini gets Android 7.1.1 Nougat, with support for T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling

The ZTE Axon 7 has had fairly speedy updates - it received Android 7.0 in February, and 7.1.1 in March. The Axon 7 Mini, on the other hand, has been stuck on 6.0.1 Marshmallow this whole time. ZTE started previewing the Mini's Nougat update in March, and it's finally being rolled out to the masses.

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