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AT&T's LG Phoenix 2 has received Android 7.0 Nougat

Considering many high-end phones never get major Android updates, it's always nice to see budget phones continue to be supported. This time around, AT&T's sub-$100 LG Phoenix 2 phone is getting Android 7.0 Nougat.

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Editorial: Assistant is the key to Google's Android Automotive project

Google spent much of the I/O 2017 keynote talking about machine learning. In fact, we heard the phrase "AI first" as a description of Google's current plans. You probably have a little sliver of Google's AI capabilities in your pocket right now—Google Assistant. There's one place in particular Google really wants Assistant to live, and that's in your car.

Voice commands in general are extremely well-suited to the car, so it should come as no surprise that Google had two Assistant-infused "Android Automotive" demos on-hand at I/O—one from Volvo (above) and another from Audi. It's more clear now than ever that Google wants to be the smart interface for your car, and it plans to do it with Assistant.

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The 'Swipe for notifications' gesture now matches device orientation for Nexuses running Android O

Since the release of the Pixel last year it's been possible to swipe down on the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor to pull down the notification shade. It took a while, but the feature eventually came to the Nexus 5X, and finally the 6P. Ever since it came to the Nexuses, there was a bug wherein the axis wouldn't change along with the orientation. The release of the second developer preview for Android O (DP2) fixes this, and you can now logically swipe down from whichever side of the device is currently the top, depending on how you're holding it.

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Chrome now uses Android O's adaptive icons for home screen shortcuts

As you might know, Chrome for Android allows you to save websites on your home screen for easy access. The first Android O Developer Preview added support for a new 'Adaptive icons' feature, and Chrome now appears to be taking advantage of it for home screen shortcuts.

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[Update: O DP2 broke notification channels] Android O feature spotlight: Android tells you if an app is displaying a screen overlay

Being able to run apps that draw on top of other apps is a powerful feature of Android. Apps like Twilight take advantage of that to add a filter to the display, but other apps just show a floating UI element. However, this can also be a security concern. Android O offers a handy alert when an app is showing an overlay with a link to turn it off.

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Android O feature spotlight: The settings search now shows installed apps, results now have subtext

Google added a search function to the Android settings app back in Android 5.0, making it far easier for new users to find exactly what they need. Starting with Android O, the search results not only contain subtext to better explain the results, but apps are now included as well.

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Android O feature spotlight: Downloads of system updates can now be paused

Downloading massive files isn't always convenient, especially if you don't have great Internet. And unless you've still got an unlimited data plan, letting the download continue while you're on the move without WiFi is just a bad idea. Google seems to agree, as Android O's second developer preview now features a 'pause download' button.

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Android O feature spotlight: You can automatically enable WiFi near trusted networks, and it now works in DP2

The Android beta program gives us a chance to see the latest features of Android, some of which don't actually work yet. That was the case when the first developer preview came out with an option to automatically switch WiFi on when you get near a trusted network. The toggle was non-functional in the first dev preview, but it works in DP2.

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Android Auto hits eight more Kia models, with another added to the 'coming soon' list

Kia's doing a decent job equipping its cars with Android Auto support, with popular models like the Soul and Forte already coming with it. Previously, eight Kias were already listed as being Android Auto-compatible. Today, though, the Android Auto site was updated to reflect that eight more Kias now support Google's in-car operating system, with an additional three on the way.

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Android O feature spotlight: VolumeShaper lets audio apps perform cross fades, fade-outs, and more

Android has a long and complicated history with audio output, but Google has been improving audio on Android with higher quality sound and lower latency. In Android O, developers will have a new tool to perform audio transitions and effects.

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