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Android OS

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Google posts 7.1.2 changelog, adds battery usage alerts and fixes serious bugs on Pixel and Nexus devices

Android 7.1.2 was officially released today, and the rollout has started for Nexus and Pixel devices (unless you have a Nexus 6 or 9). Besides the minor new features, the release also fixes several long-known problems.

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Google announces PAX, a cross-licensing program to stop patent litigation among Android OEMs

Google announced the existence of a new program known as PAX today, which apparently stands for Android Networked Cross-License Agreement (someone should tell Google how acronyms work). PAX is intended to reduce litigation between Android device makers by granting royalty-free licenses to any Android-related patents held by its members to all other members.

Google, Samsung, LG, HTC, Foxconn, HMD Global, Coolpad, BQ, and Allview are the founding members, which Google claims collectively control over 230,000 patents globally. Membership in PAX is free and open to any company in the business of making Android stuff. There's no obligation for Android OEMs to join, either.

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Invites are going out to the Waze Beta Community to begin testing on Android Auto

Android Auto doesn't boast new features all that often, which is part of the reason many people became excited when a roadmap including some of the most requested improvements was announced at last year's Google I/O event. One particular item, Waze integration, had fans of the navigation app ready to sing. However, the months wore on and news about the pairing dried up. That is until today. Members of the Waze Beta Community have been receiving emails asking if they would like to participate in testing out the new capabilities.

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Android 7.1.2 images and OTA files are now live for Pixel and Nexus devices

After just posting the April security patch builds based on Android 7.1.1 moments ago, Google has now published Android 7.1.2 builds for Pixel and Nexus devices. You can find the images here and the OTAs here. The Nexus Player and Pixel C started to receive 7.1.2 just days ago.

OTAs for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus Player are live.

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Android O feature spotlight: Android System is already using notification channels

There are some cool things you can play around with in the Android O preview, but some of the most useful features won't be available until developers start implementing them. For instance, the new notification channel feature. As it turns out, Google has already implemented notification channels in the Android System. That means you can get a feel for how it'll work.

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Android 7.1.2 appears to be rolling out now to Nexus Player and Pixel C

Android O is expected later this year, but there's still (at least) one more update to Android 7.1. Google released the first 7.1.2 Beta back in January, followed by a second beta in March. We've now received multiple reports of 7.1.2 being pushed to users outside the beta program.

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Here's how to enable Picture-in-Picture mode in Android O right now


Last year, Android 7.0 introduced picture-in-picture (PiP) mode, making it possible to shrink a playing video down to a floating window that appears above all other content, allowing users to continue watching a video while taking care of another task. Unfortunately, at the time PiP mode was only available for Android TVs, so very few people ever got to take advantage of it.

That changed with Android O, which has brought PiP mode to Android devices with screens much smaller than a television's, including phones and tablets. However, since Android O is so new and few developers have had the time and resources to update their apps, it's hard to find any app that actually supports PiP for now.

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Android Wear 2.0 update is arriving on six more watches, but still no mainstream ones

Yesterday, Google finally gave a reason on why most Android Wear watches still haven't received the long-awaited 2.0 update: "a bug found in final testing." Some commenters speculated that this might have something to do with Snapdragon chipsets, given how the first few watches that received the update used chipsets from other manufacturers. That being said, five of the six watches on today's list sport the Snapdragon 2100.

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Android O feature spotlight: There's a cool new animation when opening or closing notifications

Android O was revealed last week, and Google talked about the neat stuff it can do via blog posts and videos. We didn't get all the little details—those nice touches that make you smile, realizing Google takes design seriously these days. Case in point, there's a rad new animation when you open and close the notification shade. Let's watch, shall we?

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Android Wear 2.0 update rolling out to the Polar M600 starting today

Android Wear 2.0 has been put on hold for many watches due to a bug, but apparently the Polar M600 watch isn't affected. The official Twitter account for Polar has confirmed that the update is now rolling out to the M600, and will take up to a week for all devices to get it.

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