Android Police

Android O

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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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Android O feature spotlight: Accessibility has some new features, including better volume control and a new shortcut method

Over the years, Android has built up a decent array of accessibility options to help make devices easier to use for its diverse user base. Each new version of the OS attempts to add even more useful features, and Android O is no different. So far we've had 3 developer previews of Android 8.0 ahead of its launch later this summer, and at some point along the way Google added a couple of new accessibility features. Namely, separate volume controls and a new way to use the accessibility shortcut.

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Android O feature spotlight: System UI Tuner loses features in Developer Preview 3

It's not unusual for Google to add and remove elements during the preview program leading up to a new OS release. It happens all the time and is exactly what we've noticed with while checking out Developer Preview 3. The System UI Tuner is a place for experimental features anyway, so anything found there is always subject to change. The latest Android beta sees the removal of all 3 of the most recent additions to this menu.

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VLC Beta updated with support for Android O's picture-in-picture video [APK Download]

Android 8.0 is shaping up to be a cool update with features like notification dots, autofill apps, and of course, picture-in-picture video. There haven't been many apps that properly support Android O's PiP mode, but now you can count VLC among them. Well, as long as you've got the new beta app.

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Android O feature spotlight: Gboard gets an incognito mode for Chrome

Google Chrome's incognito mode is meant to make more suspicious (insert Lenny face here) browsing history invisible at your beck and call. However, Google hadn't previously made incognito mode on Android disable keyboard suggestions. To alleviate this, browsing in incognito on Chrome Dev with a device running Android 8.0 will now make the incognito fedora and glasses appear on your keyboard, and Gboard won't remember unique words that you type.

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Android Messages v2.3 from Developer Preview 3 adds "mark as read" to notifications, replaces settings with Notification Channels, and prepares to add smart replies [APK Download + Teardown]

The third developer preview of Android O came with a stack of new versions for Google's assorted apps. Many of them are essentially unchanged from the regular versions available through the Play Store, but there are a few offering up some excellent new features. Android Messages falls into that group as it adds the option to mark a message read from the notification shade and customization for contact notifications has been completely reorganized to take advantage of Android O's Notification Channels. A teardown also reveals that Android Messages is going to join the ranks of semi-intelligent chat apps that offers suggestions based on context.

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Android O feature spotlight: The Google Clock app gets a makeover in v5.1

With each new version of Android, Google tends to make small tweaks to some of its default apps. Such changes are often nothing more than superficial, a way of giving the new OS release a fresh feel. We're now on the third Android O Developer Preview, and the official clock app has been treated to a visual refresh, its first meaningful update since February.

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Android O feature spotlight: Pixel Launcher gets a new teardrop icon shape

Among a few of the other changes that appeared in yesterday's third Android O Developer Preview, a new icon shape has appeared. Joining its squircle, rounded square, square, and circular brethren, Pixel Launcher users have the option to make their icons teardrop-shaped.

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Android O feature spotlight: WiFi and cellular status bar icons switch positions again [order has been restored]

Sometimes it's the little things in life that bring the most joy. Google often uses Android developer previews to test small changes and gauge public opinion on them ahead of a final release. This may or may not be one such example. Dev Preview 3 has reversed a tiny change that was made in the last version, namely changing the order of the WiFi and cellular icons on the status bar.

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