Android OS

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[Guide] What Is Android 5.1's Anti-Theft "Device Protection" Feature And How Do I Use It?

With Android 5.1, Google revealed that it was releasing a new feature for handsets called Device Protection. This anti-theft feature makes it basically impossible for a thief to use your phone in the event it is stolen and wiped. First things first, though: how do you get this feature?

Right now (as in, at the time of this article), there is a single device with the feature currently enabled: the Nexus 6. The Nexus 9 will get device protection as well, but its Android 5.1 update has not yet rolled out. Nexus 4, 5, 7 (2012 and 2013), and 10 will not receive the factory reset Device Protection feature.

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One Month Later, Sony's Metal SmartWatch 3 Is Still MIA In The US

One month ago, Sony announced the stainless steel version of its SmartWatch 3 Wear device would be hitting stores within a week. Then it just didn't. Here we are a month later with nothing to show for it. What gives, Sony?

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Google Cooks Up Reference App To Guide Developers Toward Multi-Device Applications

It's no secret that Google advocates developing apps with multiple form factors in mind. While not all the apps in Google's own portfolio are quite up to speed on this front, apps like the ones in Google's Play suite have done a nice job so far in supporting phones and tablets alike.

But since I/O 2014, Google's been working on more than just phones and tablets. Last year saw the introduction of Android for TVs, watches, and even cars, so now is the time for developers to start thinking about how their experiences will look and feel on those new form factors.

To that end, Google has announced a new reference sample app - a music player - that's available for developers to play with.

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[Update: Android 5.1.1 For The Nexus 9 WiFi] Google Is Posting Android 5.1 Factory Images For Nexus Devices

Google has made Android 5.1 official and that means Nexus updates. Factory images are starting to pop up on the developer page, so you can easily get your device back to stock no matter what unspeakable things you've done to it. All the images we have so far are linked below.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] The Notification LED Now Blinks In All Notification Modes, Even "None"

When Android 5.0 introduced the new convoluted detailed notification and volume settings, it did one thing that annoyed a lot of users: it removed the option and the possibility of having a true silent mode, where the phone wouldn't ring or vibrate, but the notifications would still trigger the LED notification light, and the alarms would ring normally. You had your choice of "None," which didn't blink the LED nor sound the alarm, or "Priority," which still let some things through but required a tedious setup.

In Android 5.1, the 2 issues of the "None" mode are fixed: we already found out that you can set a deadline to your notification interruptions until the next alarm, and now a Reddit thread has confirmed that the LED light will blink for notifications even on that mode.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Dynamic Quick Settings Tiles For Color Inversion And WiFi Hotspot Can Be Easily Hidden Again [Update: Auto-Rotate Tile Too]

When Lollipop 5.0 first launched, it brought with it an interesting set of dynamic Quick Settings toggles. Drop down your notification shade and you could see the usual culprits like WiFi and Bluetooth, but a few toggles were hidden unless they were triggered once, like WiFi Hotspot or Invert Colors. The problem, however, was that once these showed up, they were there to stay ... at least for one month if you never touched them again. Then we found out that you could force them to disappear by setting your date forward a month, then back.

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Multiple Online Retailers Show Huawei Watch At 349 Euro Price Point

How much will Huawei's slick new Android Wear device cost? That seems to be the major decision factor for a lot of Android Police readers, impressive looks and features aside. When Huawei announced its round Wear watch at MWC, it unaccountably forgot to mention the price, only saying that it would be available in "more than 20 countries" whenever it launches. A week later we've got a slightly better idea of what it will cost, at least in Europe: somewhere around the €349 mark.

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That's the price that Austrian retailer Conrad.at is listing the standard steel version of the watch at.

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Asus ZenWatch Now Available From Google In France, Germany, Japan, And The United Kingdom

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Google Releases Street Art, Its First Android Wear Watch Face

For some reason, Google has only now released a watch face for Android Wear. It's called Street Art, and it features the work of more than a dozen artists from the Google Art Project. It's light on options, though.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Streamlined And Consolidated About / Status Screen

This is decidedly not the heart-fluttering OMaGad-I-must-have-it-now-or-else feature of Android 5.1, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Remember on Android 5.0 when you headed for the About > Status screen of your phone or tablet and were greeted by a long list of information fields that you had to scroll through and try to figure out the logic behind? No? Maybe? Oh... you have already erased all previous recollections of Android 5.0. I see. Here, let me refresh your memory.

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Old About > Status screen

Well, in Android 5.1, this long list has been consolidated into a smaller one with subsections dedicated to the IMEI and the SIM, the latter including all network, signal, and operator information.

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