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Android O feature spotlight: The status bar in the notification shade gets a bit more information-dense

If you pull down the status bar on your Google Pixel running Android 7.1, you'll see the time, day, date, and a settings quick access button in the status bar area. In the new Android O preview, things have been changed a bit. For one, we have a much cleaner font for the time and date information. But we also still see our connectivity statuses for Wi-Fi and mobile data, the current battery percentage (plugged in or unplugged), and the individual battery icon is gone (it now just toggles battery saver). Compare below - current Nougat on top, new O version on the bottom.

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Android O feature spotlight: Custom shortcuts can now be added to the lockscreen via System UI Tuner

Google's version of Android has historically been relatively light on features, but the Mountain View-based company has been rapidly closing that gap. Other implementations of Android have had multi-window for a while now, but that took until 7.0 Nougat to make its way onto stock Android. Now, we're getting another feature that we've seen on other skins: custom lockscreen shortcuts.

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[Update: Maybe not] Android O feature spotlight: Ambient display gets a downgrade

Sometimes updates to Google products are two steps forward, one step back. Ambient display originally showed up in stock Android with the launch of the Nexus 6, which turns on the display for a few seconds when notifications arrive. It has remained a popular feature, but Android O changes it quite a bit.

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Android O feature spotlight: The settings app has been completely overhauled

While Android 7.0 already offered a pretty extensive rethink on Android's stock settings app, it appears Android O will go a step even further than that, overhauling the interface and navigation model extensively.

The first thing you'll notice is that Google is moving to an organizational approach much more like a smartphone manufacturer, organizing categories of settings at higher levels, resulting in a much shorter top-level settings list. It's half or less the size of the settings menu on the Pixel on the current Nougat beta - which should tell you how extensive a change this is.

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Android O feature spotlight: It looks like Android may be getting native support for themes

I cannot fault people for loving the theme support present in certain OEM and custom ROMs. The fact that Google has never implemented them in any sort of official way has been a frustration to many, but we did find something very interesting in the Android O preview. In the display settings, there is a section for "Device theme," which has two options. Hm...

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Android O feature spotlight: System UI Tuner gets a new navigation bar customizer

If you haven't noticed, today is a big day for Android fans. Android O has been made official, at least in an initial Developer Preview form. We here at Android Police are working hard to bring you relevant information and we figured this one might be of interest to some of you out there: the System UI Tuner is getting a new navigation bar customizer.

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Android O feature spotlight: You can snooze individual notifications for 15m, 30m, or 1hr

Android's notification system is great for letting you know when something happens, but what if you don't want that particular notification in your face right now? You can dismiss it, but then you might forget to deal with it. Android O introduces snoozed notifications, and it's super-easy to do.

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Android O feature spotlight: Home screen notification badges are now supported

Several mobile operating systems support some kind of notification indicator for applications on the home screen. iOS has had notification badges for years now, and one of Windows Phone's most recognizable features are live tiles. Starting with today's O Developer Preview, Android will now officially support notification badges on home screen icons.

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Android O developer preview will include 4 releases, final version coming in Q3 2017

Google has released details of the Android O developer preview timeline, and it'll be familiar to those of you who participated last time around. The Android O DP will include four releases in advance of the final build. That is currently scheduled for Q3 of this year. So, probably another late fall launch for Android.

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Android O feature spotlight: Android will support wide color gamut profiles in apps

Color profiles aren't exactly a sexy topic, but in the worlds of professional photography and video, knowing what colors your display can accurately reproduce is hugely important, and equally important is knowing exactly which color profiles it's capable of representing. To date, supporting color profiles in Android has largely been incumbent upon device manufacturers and chip vendors, meaning there was no one solution for figuring out which profiles a device could display. With Android O, Google will offer a native way for developers to specify a way to display their apps in wide color gamut modes if a device marks them as supported.

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