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Android Wear 2.0 should greatly increase the speed of voice commands and transcription

One of the major features announced as part of Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O last year was standalone apps. Similar to Apple's "native" apps introduced in WatchOS 2, Android Wear 2.0 can allow an application to run independently on the smartwatch itself - no tethered phone required. Not only that, but Google itself is utilizing the feature right out of the gate to the great benefit of one of the core experiences on Wear, Google Assistant, in the form of voice commands and transcription performance.

On 1.x versions of Android Wear, your smartwatch captured the audio of your voice query and then sent it back to the smartphone, which then sent it up to the cloud for processing and pulled back down the final result, which then was returned to the smartwatch.

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LG and Google's new smartwatches use crazy in-display ambient light sensors

Looking at LG's newest smartwatches, developed in collaboration with Google, you'll notice that both have round displays with no flat tires. This has typically meant the omission of one key feature in a smartwatch: an ambient light sensor. But LG has apparently cracked the code on this limitation, as both the Style and Sport have such sensors which allow them to adjust display brightness automatically.

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Android Pay for Android Wear is here, and this is how it works

Android Pay for Android Wear (which is a mouthful) is easily the most-requested feature in Google's wearable OS, and probably has been since Wear was first announced. It's taken a while - a long while, if you ask me - but it's finally here with the announcement of the LG Watch Sport. The Watch Sport is, for now, the only Android Wear smartwatch that supports Android Pay. No legacy devices are receiving the feature as far as we know.

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Here is the complete list of every watch getting Android Wear 2.0

Google has given us an official, updated list of every Android Wear smartwatch being upgraded to version 2.0 of the platform as part of its announcement of the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport today. The list of devices receiving the update follows.

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Google releases February platform distribution numbers, Nougat inches over 1%

Like clockwork, the February distribution numbers are out, and while it's not a milestone like last month when Froyo finally died, there are still some important things to take note of.

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ZTE Axon 7 to get Android 7.0 Nougat and Daydream compatibility starting today

The ZTE Axon 7 was announced in May of last year with plenty of hyperboles over its BMW Designworks-inspired look, renowned pianist Lang Lang endorsement, and Dolby Atmos surround sound. In reality, the phone was very good, bar its software as Ryan discovered in his review. But ZTE has been issuing updates to improve some of the shortcomings, like the signal reception and the weird notification bell. Today, another update will start rolling to the Axon 7, though this one is a lot more major.

This is Android Nougat we're talking about, and with it come a host of changes like multi-window support, customizable quick settings tiles, plenty of new emojis, and more.

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Update: Honor says the 6X will get Nougat in H1 2017, March not promised

We were contacted by Honor today in regard to this post. Honor's claim is that the March date is in reference to the review device we received for testing. March is not being promised as the timeline for the EMUI 5 / Android 7.0 update for owners of the Honor 6X. Instead, Honor defers to their original statement that it will receive the update in the first half of 2017.

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The New Balance RunIQ, powered by Android Wear, is now on sale for $299.99

There hasn't been many new Android Wear devices lately, likely due to the delayed AW 2.0 release and major OEMs like Motorola and HTC backing out of the platform. New Balance is taking its first shot at Android Wear, with the RunIQ now available for purchase - for a penny short of $300.

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Android 7.1.2 adds option to set where a live wallpaper will be applied

There's a new version of Android rolling out in beta, and it doesn't seem to change much. One thing we've spotted is an improvement to setting live wallpapers. A year ago it seemed like Google was going to let live wallpapers die, and now here we are. Now, you can pick where they'll be applied in Android 7.1.2.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Pro (2017) available for $299.99 at various retailers

NVIDIA's SHIELD gaming set-top box is the hottest news in Android TV this year. The console was announced at CES at the start of 2017 and the regular version with 16GB of storage started shipping in the middle of January. But if you were waiting for the Pro version and its expanded 500GB of storage, you'll be happy to know that it's now available for sale.

Beside the larger 500GB storage, the Pro version has a MicroSD slot and a MicroUSB port (both of which can't be found on the regular 2017 SHIELD) and ships with the new controller but the old remote in the box.

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