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Android O

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Android O feature spotlight: Apps can finally capture the mouse pointer

Android has never really been designed for use on desktop or laptop PCs, but various ports like Android x86 and Remix OS have appeared over the years. Now that Android apps can run on Chromebooks, perhaps Google thought it was finally time to implement pointer capture support in Android.

Starting with Android O, apps can capture a device's mouse pointer using the new requestPointerCapture method.

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Android O Developer Preview 2 gets a small bump to OPP2.170420.019, fixes Android Pay but isn't installing on many Nexus devices [Update]

Android O's second developer preview was only released yesterday, but Google has already released an update for it. We're getting bombarded with tips from readers with Nexus and Pixel devices alike. This update reportedly somewhat fixes Android Pay, which did not open at all on yesterday's version. However, it appears that Nexus devices are having trouble updating.

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Android O Dev Preview 2 swaps around WiFi and cellular status icons for some reason

Google is always making little tweaks to the UI during the developer previews, but there's usually a reason. The new Android O preview inexplicably swaps the cellular and WiFi indicators around in the status bar. It's very weird to see.

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Android Studio 3.0 brings Kotlin support and a ton of new debugging tools

Android Studio 3.0 seems to be living up to that major version change the 3.0 number implies. There are many useful new tools for developers, especially when it comes to improving and easing the burden of debugging. There are also some changes that will require advanced preparation to keep your apps and workflow functioning before things break. We have many things to cover, so let's dive in.

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Of course there is already a Change.org petition for Google to bring back the old cat emoji in Android O

As you may know, Android O changes the entire set of system emojis, turning the famous 'blob' faces into more generic circles. However, a lesser known casualty of this change was the cat emoji - which has also been radically changed. Someone has started a petition on Change.org to bring back the old cat, which is currently sitting at 153 signatures.

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Android O feature spotlight: Downloadable fonts will make APKs smaller, and fonts can now be XML resources

Google has definitely been focusing on space-saving and performance improvements with Android O, such as faster boot times and the leaner Android Go operating system. Fonts aren't quite as exciting, unless you like to spice up your reports and presentations with obscure typefaces. Regardless, Android O has a few improvements in store for developers wanting to use custom fonts in their applications.

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Android O feature spotlight: Google explains the new actionable battery menu

Google is focusing on battery life in Android O by clamping down on what apps can do in the background. At the same time, Android O includes a new battery settings menu that attempts to present your usage in a more understandable way. Instead of simply showing how much juice an app used, it puts battery use in the context of how you use the phone.

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Android O feature spotlight: Developer Preview 2 adds a Bluetooth AVRCP version selector

Bluetooth seems to be getting some improvements in Android O. When the first Developer Preview dropped, we saw that the OS will let you choose which Bluetooth codec, including aptX and aptX HD, to use when streaming audio wirelessly. In a similar vein, Developer Preview 2 now has an option for you to choose which AVRCP version to use, instead of just getting stuck with the default v1.4.

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Redesigned Pixel Launcher makes early appearance at Google I/O

A brand new Pixel Launcher UI has been spotted at Google I/O during a sandbox session on Instant Apps. We've not seen anything official about it yet, so it's either going to be debuted soon, or somebody messed up and it's not even a fully tested product. It seems the unreleased launcher was being used to demo new functionality relating to the now more widely available Instant Apps, which it can show in search results alongside those on the Play Store. Previously, the launcher could only display apps already installed on your device.

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Android O feature spotlight: More natural movement with physics-based animations

Animations in apps can often be jerky or unrealistic, but in Android O Google plans to give developers tools to make animations buttery smooth and natural with the power of physics. It should also be much simpler to make animations with this system.

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