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Google announces Android O: Focus on power management, notifications, and more

 

As some had expected based on the timing of last year's Android N announcement, Android O was due sooner or later, and today's the big day: Meet Android O. Which, obviously, doesn't have a full name yet, and probably won't for a long time. So for now, just make up conspiracy theories about those concentric circles up there.

What does Android O do? When can you get it? We'll aim to answer all that in posts to come, and I'll give you the brief summary here.

First, when can you get it? Well, Google says Android O developer preview images should be available for flashing soon (they'll be here), but it's not clear when "soon" is, but we'd tend to assume based on last year that means today.

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First Jeep to support Android Auto will be the 2017 Compass

Android Auto has been getting onto more and more car manufacturers and the latest to join the fold is Jeep. An update to the Android Auto site has changed Jeep's state from "Coming Soon" to "Launched."

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[Update: RUU] T-Mobile variant of the HTC One M9 starts receiving Nougat

HTC hasn't been doing the best in recent years, even squandering an attempt to revitalize itself with the U Ultra. Still, the former Android king is trying to keep its phones updated, even some of its older ones. Previously, several international versions of the One M9 started to receive Nougat. The U.S. is quite a bit behind, it seems, but it looks like the T-Mobile variant is the first to get the update.

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Android 7.1.2 beta 2 adds fingerprint scanner gesture to the Nexus 6P

According to a tip we just received, the latest Android Nougat beta for the Nexus 6P finally adds the much-demanded fingerprint swipe gesture for accessing the notification tray. The toggle can be found under the "Moves" area in the settings app.

To say the fingerprint scanner gesture drama has been a thing would be an understatement. First it wasn't happening, then it was possibly happening. Then, silence. After a while waiting, last month the Nexus 5X did get the feature as part of the initial 7.1.2 beta, but the Nexus 6P was left out. It appears the wait is over, at least if you're in the beta program.

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The new GUESS Connect smartwatches run Android Wear 2.0, will launch later this year

The time has come for another fashion company to get into Android Wear, and this time it's GUESS. The new watches are part of the Connect product line, but they're not the first smartwatches GUESS has sold. The last Connect was a mechanical watch with a dot-matrix ticker display. The new ones will be more what you expect from a smartwatch.

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Android Nougat 7.1.2 beta 2 (build NPG47I) is rolling out now

Android Beta Program testers with the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Nexus Player will all soon be receiving a new Android 7.1.2 update to build NPG47I. Orrin Hancock announced the update on Google+ just a few minutes ago, but we're already receiving tips that the update is rolling out to devices. Full factory images don't appear to be live yet.

It's not clear what changes the update brings at this time, but we'll let you know if we find anything, obviously. Have you received the update yet? Noticing anything new? Feel free to chime in.

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[Deal Alert] Three styles of the Moto 360 2nd gen on sale for $169.99-199.99 at B&H Photo and Video ($120-210 off)

If you are rocking an Android Wear device that won't be getting the 2.0 update, then chances are that you're in the market for a new smartwatch (that is, if you still are digging Android Wear). One of the sharpest looking options in the current crop of devices is the second gen Moto 360. If you can forgive the flat-tire, there is a lot to like in this watch, including its price today. Right now, over at B&H, there are three different styles of the 360 on sale at some of the lowest prices we have ever seen. 

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Google Maps v9.49 beta adds a manual parking location tracker, weather indicator for mass transit navigation, and more [APK Download + Teardown]

It's always good to see useful new features in the apps we use often, and Google Maps rarely fails to bring something new with every update. The latest bump to v9.49 is no different. This release adds a few new toys for users to enjoy. There's a new capability to manually save your parking location so it's easier to get back to your car, weather predictions for your destinations while setting up navigation, and more. There's even a quick teardown that shows search results will soon support sorting.

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Huawei DE hints that Android Wear 2.0 could be rolling at the end of March

The wait for OTA updates seems to be our "favorite" past-time these days. Android 7.0 or 7.1.1 for our phones, Play Store support for our Chromebooks, Wear 2.0 for our watches, we're almost always waiting for some new firmware to hit our devices. But one of these could be coming to an end soon: according to @HuaweiServiceDE, Android Wear 2.0 might be rolling to the Huawei Watch at the end of March.

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Android O rumor points to revamped notifications, picture-in-picture mode, and more

Google will most likely take the wraps off Android O at I/O this year, possibly with a developer preview for us to test. What's going to happen in Android O? No one is sure yet, but 9to5Google has posted a few rumors. These are all unconfirmed, but we may see changes to notifications, icon tweaks, picture-in-picture, and more. Or it might have none of these things. That's the thing about rumors.

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