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Android O feature spotlight: Easily add custom ringtones, alarm sounds, and notification sounds

Oh Android... you have the most modern and complicated of features, yet every once in a while we're reminded of one basic, really really really really basic, feature that you're still missing. Did you know that you can't easily choose a custom ringtone in Android AOSP? I didn't. I have used LG and Samsung phones for years and it's been ages since I tried to change the default ringtone (my phone is always silent anyway), so all I knew was that I could choose a file manually on these phones. AOSP? Not so. Wh---at?!

See, on Android Nougat in AOSP, if you go to change the ringtone, alarm sound, or notification sound, you can pick one of the default options.

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Michael Kors announces the new members of the Access line, Grayson and Sofie, both will start at $350

In continuing with the cavalcade of smartwatch announcements, Michael Kors has unveiled two new Android Wear offerings in its Access line. Both the Grayson and Sofie are the next step in the luxury brand's attempts at blending design, personal style, and technology.

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Diesel announces the On, its first Android Wear smartwatch, will start at $325

The Fossil Group has just announced a ton of new Android Wear-based smartwatches at the Baselworld 2017 watch show, and the Diesel On is one of them. Although Diesel has made hybrid watches before, the On is Diesel's first Android Wear device. It's a pretty unique-looking one, too. Unfortunately, the press release is incredibly hollow, with little information, only one image, and nonsensical phrases. It's so bad that it's actually kinda hilarious.

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Nextbit Robin official Android Nougat update starts rolling out

Nextbit started testing out its Android Nougat update last November through a closed beta program that required users to sign up. Today, a few months later, the final Nougat build is starting to roll to everyone, no beta sign-up needed.

The build being sent OTA is number 88 and it's based on Android 7.0 with the January security patch level. It brings all of Nougat's goodness including multi-window, bundled notifications, customizable quick settings, and more to the phone.

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Misfit Vapor will run Android Wear 2.0, is one of the platform's best smartwatches yet at $199 [Updated]

The Misfit Vapor was announced in January at CES 2017 as the wearable company's first touchscreen smartwatch. But the specs left many of us scratching our heads: Snapdragon Wear 2100, 4GB of memory, heart rate sensor, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, microphone, 2-day battery life... those looked an awful lot like other Android Wear watches. But Misfit was mum. It didn't demo the watch a lot and the few hands-on we saw depicted an OS that didn't look like Wear. So we moved on.

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Android O feature spotlight: The time picker now has a manual text entry mode

One small change you will notice in Android O is the ability to manually type the date and time when selecting a time. When, several versions of Android ago, Google changed the date and time picker from text-based to a monthly calendar and rolling clock, things did indeed look better and more interactive. However, that made precise minute selection more tedious and annoyed people who prefer text entry to fancy graphics and animations.

In Android O, the time picker (in Calendar, Clock, etc) gets one small added icon at the bottom left: a keyboard. Tapping it switches to text-based entry where you can manually type in the exact time.

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[Hell Yeah!] Android O feature spotlight: Persistent notifications are more compact

I hate persistent notifications. I like dropping down my notification shade and seeing nothing there, otherwise I get very OCD and feel like there's something that requires my attention, but then I see there really isn't because it's just a persistent notification. Even if you don't mind these and even if these always get pushed to the bottom of the list, they can clutter up your notification drop-down and make it more difficult to manage. Have you tried checking out and clearing up a few Gmail notifications in Android Nougat? Unbundling and expanding/collapsing wreaks havoc on your eyes and fingers, and it's much worse when there's a persistent notification below them.

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The newest Android 7.1.2 beta brought a new battery usage alerts list to show any misbehaving apps

In light of all of the Android O news and highlights, let's take a step back and look at something new in the latest 7.1.2 beta build that landed a few days ago. The battery section of the Settings now includes a "Usage alerts" option in the overflow menu, which lists any apps that are consuming too much battery (if any).

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Android O feature spotlight: The Files app now shows up in the app drawer, has a few new features

Android has included a built-in file manager since 6.0 Marshmallow called Files, but it hasn't had an app drawer icon. Instead, Android shows a 'Downloads' app, which is technically just a shortcut to the Downloads folder in Files with some functionality removed. Starting with Android O, the Downloads shortcut has been replaced by the full Files application.

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How to add permanent left/right cursor buttons and other neat keys to nav bar in Android O

One of the many new features in Android O is a revamped UI tuner with control over the navigation bar. If the layout of the buttons isn't right, you can change it. Want more buttons? Oh, it's got that too. In fact, you can add some useful things there, like left and right cursor buttons. Here's how.

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