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CyanogenMod 14.1 (Android 7.1) will roll out soon to the Nexus 6P, OnePlus 3, LG G4, and others

There was a time some years ago that CyanogenMod was the surest way to get the latest build of Android on your phone. It's a little slower these days, but development continues to chug along. The CM team hopes to roll out the first nightly builds of CM14.1 later tonight, but not all devices will be supported right away.

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After years, Google to force Android device OEMs to support [some] standard headphone inline controls

The Android CDD is a tedious document to pick over, largely because very small changes in wording can have very big consequences. While I would hardly call this one "very big," it's still significant: Google has changed the support of standard impedance-based inline headphones controls from a suggestion to a hard requirement. Now, devices with 4-conductor 3.5mm audio jacks must recognize the impedance range and corresponding action it must produce when used on an inline controller.

MUST support the detection and mapping to the keycodes for the following 3 ranges of equivalent impedance between the microphone and ground conductors on the audio plug:

  • 70 ohm or less : KEYCODE_HEADSETHOOK
  • 210-290 Ohm : KEYCODE_VOLUME_UP
  • 360-680 Ohm : KEYCODE_VOLUME_DOWN

Inline headphone controls are a rather...

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Android 7.0 CDD says Google may soon require OEMs to stop screwing with USB-C charging standards

In its latest revision of the Android Compatibility Definition Document, Google has laid down some rather interesting rules not related to Android itself, but rather common device hardware. In the CDD, a new section has appeared that specifically relates to the USB Type C standard and charging - a subject that has become increasingly thorny with the proliferation of numerous proprietary fast charging standards.

While the section for now is labeled as "STRONGLY RECOMMENDED," Google is signaling clearly that it could become mandatory: "in future Android versions we might REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers."

The section essentially boils down to this.

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Sony’s Concept for Android Nougat firmware now available on Xperia X in Europe

Sony has been toying with a different take on Android for the last year. The company calls it the "Concept for Android" program, and it gives Sony a place to test out new features for its phones with a cleaner build of Android. It's only available on select phones in certain markets, but another one is being added to the list today. The Xperia X in Europe can now download the latest Concept for Android.

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Hands-on with Android Nougat's seamless update on the Pixel

One of the features buried in Android N while it was still a Developer Preview was seamless update. Just like Chromebooks, Android devices would be able to download new OTAs in the background, install them while they're still running, and only switch to the updated software after a reboot. We later learned that existing Nexus devices would not benefit from the option since they didn't have the partitioning necessary to manage the technical feat of having two firmwares installed at the same time, even if temporarily.

So in order to see seamless update in action — or not see them, that's the goal really — we had to wait until the Pixel shipped, since it's the first phone to support them out of the box, and until there was an OTA update for it.

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Open GApps launches its own app for quick and easy Google Apps package downloads [APK Download]

If you're involved in the world of custom ROMs, there's little chance you haven't heard of the Open GApps Project. As of late, Open GApps has been the go-to site for downloading Google Apps packages. It's not hard to understand why; the site is pretty and easy to use, and the packages, which come in nine sizes and variations, are always up to date. Now, the guys behind Open GApps have taken the stuff that makes their site so great and infused it into a new Android app.

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LG starts rolling out Android Nougat update for the G5 in South Korea, other markets to follow

Mark it down, everyone: LG is the second OEM to start the Nougat rollout to its early 2016 phone, the G5. Seeing as the V20 launched with 7.0, LG already had a head start on the update wars this year. The catch here for most of us reading this is that the update is starting in South Korea. The claim is that the rest of the world will see it in the "coming weeks."

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[Update: Official] Samsung's Galaxy Beta Program will allow the S7 and S7 edge to beta test Nougat, starting November 9th

Late last week, an eagle-eyed XDA user and Galaxy S7 edge owner noticed an app in the Galaxy Apps store entitled "Galaxy beta program." Not unexpectedly, many owners of Galaxy S7-series phones, myself included, got excited. Now, thanks to a major oversight on Samsung's part, we've got a ton of information about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Beta Program.

Starting November 9th, select Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge models in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, and China will be permitted to enroll in the Galaxy Beta Program. This program will allow participants to try out Android 7.0 Nougat, in hopes that they'll provide feedback helpful to engineers.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: A closer look at seamless updates, partition changes, and new fastboot commands

During the I/O 2016 Keynote presentation, and again at the October 4th Pixel announcement, Google made brief references to newly added support for seamless updates in Nougat. To make this work, many changes had to be made to the structure of Android and its assorted system partitions. As a result, there have also been some changes to the fastboot utility many of us use when new factory images become available. This post covers a few of the technical details and also demonstrates some of the ways to use the new features.

How it works

Seamless updates are accomplished by creating a second set of logical partitions in device storage.

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November's Nexus/Pixel factory images and OTA files are now available for download [Update]

Google's monthly Android patches are live, and it's a momentous occasion this time. This is the first cycle that the Pixel and Pixel XL are included in the lineup. In addition to the security patches, which can be read about in the security bulletin, this update should enable Daydream VR support on the Pixel phones. You can either wait for the update, or do it manually.

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