Android Police

Android O

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The emoji support library in Android O means your phone won't need OS updates for new emoji anymore

One of the more annoying aspects of owning a smartphone on a not fully-updated version of Android can be emoji. Not how they look, but which ones your device supports. If you're running an older OS version, you probably don't have the latest Unicode revision of the emoji character library, and that can lead to the infamous blank square issue.

With Android O, Google is going to solve this problem, even if in a less-than-ideal way.

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Android O feature spotlight: Night Light gets a slider to control how intense you want it to be

Night Light made its formal debut on Android 7.1 Nougat not long ago, but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon. The second Android O developer preview has added a slider that allows you to control the intensity of Night Light, just in case you found the default to be too yellow.

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[Update: Factory images and OTA files] Android beta registration is back, O Dev Preview 2 rolling out now

The beta program is now live! Cruise on over here to check it out, if you'd like to register for the program. Only a few Nexus and Pixel devices are compatible with the service, but now you can whet your Android O whistle in a slightly more stable way.

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Android O feature spotlight: Get quick access to an app's widgets by long-pressing the icon

Google began introducing long-press actions for icons in Android 7.1—currently, a long-press in Pixel Launcher can display app shortcuts (previously known as launcher shortcuts). You get more in Android O DP2. We already knew about the previously reported notification dots, but there are also widget links.

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Android O feature spotlight: Quick settings are now grayscale, get some other small tweaks

We've had the same dark/teal color combo in the notification panel for years now with few complaints, but someone at Google decided it was time to change things up a bit. Android O's second developer preview has made the quick settings' theme grayscale, and rearranged/redesigned some smaller aspects of the notification panel in general.

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Everything that's been announced at Google I/O 2017 so far (continuously updated)

Google I/O 2017 is in full swing, and we're about halfway through the first day as I write this post. Even so, we've already had dozens of stories come out of Google's big developer conference, and we want to make sure you're able to find all of our coverage in one place. Google Home, Photos, Assistant, Android O, Daydream - all saw major announcements today, and we're just getting started. I'll break it down for you. I've bolded what I think are some of the more important stories out of I/O today.

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Android O feature spotlight: Pixel Launcher lets you select icon shapes [Update]

We've all gotten used to the consistent round icons on the Pixel Launcher, and a surprising number of developers have even gotten on board with round icons. Android O brings more choice to the icons, but keeps the consistency. There's a new icon shape selection in the launcher settings as of the second O developer preview.

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Android TV is getting a new launcher with Android O

Android TV hasn't had much attention from Google in the past few months. The first Android O Developer Preview had no noticeable differences on the platform, and YouTube TV still doesn't have an Android TV application. I suppose good things come to those who wait, because Android TV is getting a brand new launcher with Android O.

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Google says Android O could make your phone reboot twice as fast - apps could see doubled speeds, too

During today's keynote at Google I/O, Google revealed a couple of interesting figures about the upcoming Android O release. Namely, it should be a lot faster in certain regards. Google says that the Pixel, for example, will reboot up to twice as fast on Android O (it does take a while at the moment). It wasn't immediately clear what optimizations allowed for this boosted performance.

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Android O feature spotlight: Smart Text Selection automatically highlights the right words at a double tap

One of the new features in Android O that was recently announced at I/O is Smart Text Selection. Selecting the right text can be hard on a small screen, but Google's data shows that most of the time when we are selecting information it's something like an address or phone number. Now in Android O you can double tap text, and the selection automatically expands as needed. It even shows a convenient predictive shortcut so we can use it in another context, or save it. Of course, we can use the Assistant to do all those things if we remember, but it's good to have multiple ways of solving the same problem.

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