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Android platform distribution for October 2017 includes the first hint of Oreo at 0.2%

Another month, another update to the Google Developer dashboards. This time there's something new in the Android version stats, although it's a very, very small something. After the unsurprising no-show last month, Android 8.0 Oreo has made its first appearance this time with a grand total of 0.2% device share.

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Google's October OTAs should fix some Pixel spontaneous reboots

The Oreo update has gone smoothly for most Pixel owners, but it hasn't gone perfectly for everyone. Some Pixel owners have been plagued by reboot issues since that update, and the cause has been difficult to pin down. According to Google, the OTAs rolling out today on Pixel devices will stop the reboots, which have a few distinct causes.

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Google releases Android's October security bulletin, OTAs and factory images available for Nexus/Pixel devices

The month of October has just begun, which means Pumpkin Spice lattes, leaves falling off trees, and marathons of The Nightmare Before Christmas on TV. It also means Google has released another Android security bulletin, just like the company does at the start of every month. As usual, OTA zips and factory images with the fixes are already available for Pixel and Nexus devices.

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Linux kernel's long-term support releases now last for 6 years, and that's good for Android

In a recent presentation at Linaro Connect, it was revealed that the Linux kernel would be moving to a six-year LTS. Right now LTS kernels are only supported for two years, which can be a problem when a hardware design pipeline can take more than 12-18 months for a device to make it into a consumer's hands, and that's not even taking into account SoC development. This new change, combined with Google's Project Treble, could further extend device support for Android updates and might spell good news for consumers.

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Guide: The best phones and tablets for LineageOS

The following post was written by Ryne Hager and Corbin Davenport.

The vast majority of Android device buyers don't know or care what a custom ROM is. And that's completely fine - a phone or tablet's stock ROM will be enough for 99.9% of potential users. But for the 0.1% that like to tinker, the development community surrounding a given device can drastically impact the value. Your purchase can become a much better deal if there is a wealth of custom ROM options available, extending its lifespan for possibly years (and nearly a decade for the HD2).

There are quite a few popular custom ROMs in the wild, but LineageOS is probably one of the best overall.

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Amazon quietly announces Fire OS 6, based on Android Nougat

Amazon's fork of Android is known as Fire OS, and it ships on all of the company's tablets and TV devices. The current version, Fire OS 5, is getting a bit long in the tooth; it's based on either Lollipop or Marshmallow, depending on the device. Amazon revealed quite a few new products recently, but one announcement flew under the radar - Fire OS 6.0.

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Google's Family Link parental control app is now available to everyone (in the US)

Back in March, Google announced an interesting new app allowing parents to set up accounts on Android devices for kids under 13. Unlike setting them up with a standard account, Family Link gives you power over what they can do with their phone or tablet. The app was available as part of an invitation-only test in the US, but now it's getting a widespread public launch.

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iHeartRadio releases standalone app for Android Wear 2.0 [APK Download]

Internet radio app iHeartRadio is pretty popular with Android users and with good reason. It's built up an impressive feature set to go along with its attractive interface and is frequently updated with useful additions, such as Google Home support earlier in the year. The latest version brings with it a dedicated Android Wear 2.0 app, and you don't need your phone for it to work.

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NVIDIA posts SHIELD Experience 6.0 release notes—SmartThings, Assistant, YouTube 360, and more

A new update is rolling out to NVIDIA SHIELD devices today, and it brings some major improvements. It's not an Oreo update, but that's not exactly vital for Android TV. What you do get is Google Assistant, YouTube 360, and a lot more.

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Assistant has finally come to the SHIELD TV and it looks great

After waiting and waiting (and waiting), Google is finally starting the rollout of Assistant to Android TV. Announced at CES back in January, this functions like a combination of a Google Home and a Chromecast in one thing... and that's awesome. This will be coming first to Nvidia's SHIELD TV starting today.

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