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Android O feature spotlight: Text-to-speech has an experimental always-on language detection option

Google's Text-to-speech (TTS) is an accessibility feature that's long been a part of Android. It's a screen reader that can read aloud anything currently on display, a vital utility for users who are blind or partially-sighted. TTS isn't updated very often, but when it is it's usually to add something meaningful. The last update added support for new languages, as well as pronunciation and intonation improvements. We've now been made aware that there's also an experimental always-on language detection switch, available to those using Android O.

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Android O feature spotlight: System apps (and apps without icons) get a new icon

Icons can either make an operating system look very modern or very dated. You could have the most state-of-the-art OS, but the wrong icon will make that OS seem like it's straight out of 1995. Google knows this, and so it's updated all of its system apps and iconless apps to show a new, contemporary-looking icon.

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Android O feature spotlight: Notifications for apps displaying over other apps can once again be disabled

Android O's first developer preview brought us screen overlay notifications. These are sometimes helpful, but they're also rather annoying for apps like Facebook Messenger that use chat heads. Today's release of the fourth and last O developer preview allows users to hide that notification, although there are still some other annoying ones that can't be hidden.

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InBrief
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Gboard for Android TV is now available on the Play Store, so far only for Android O [APK Download]

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Android O feature spotlight: Lockscreen and notification panel get a few visual tweaks

Android O's fourth developer preview was released today, and you know what that means: more feature spotlights. We already covered the new octopus Easter egg, but there are still a few other changes, even in the final developer preview. The lockscreen and notification panel have both seen a few minor visual tweaks.

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Android O feature spotlight: DP4's Easter egg features an octopus floating around

Since its inception, Android has featured little Easter eggs in its settings based on whatever dessert name was in that version. For instance, Android 4.2 and 4.3 Jellybean's Easter egg involved a ton of jellybeans scattered on your screen that you could move around. For Android O's fourth developer preview, the jokesters at Google threw in a little octopus that floats around your screen.

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Android O Developer Preview 4 is rolling out, final release coming soon

We're getting very, very close to the release of Android O. Google has put out three developer previews for Android O, and today is the fourth and final dev release. The OTA for devices in the Android Beta Program is rolling out as we speak, and there are system images so you can flash the new preview manually. This one should be representative of the final build.

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Google fixes Android Auto issue that left users unable to read or reply to messages

Android Auto seems to have had a lot of issues as of late, which isn't great considering you don't want to be fiddling with a screen on your dash while barreling down the freeway in a two-ton mass of metal and glass. In keeping with that theme, a recent issue left users unable to read or reply to messages on their Android Auto head units. Fortunately, though, Google was able to fix this via a server-side update.

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Android Wear 2.0 update is now available for the smaller 1.45" ASUS ZenWatch 2 as well

Two days after hitting its larger 1.63" sibling, the Android Wear 2.0 update has made its way to the smaller (and surprisingly, more expensive) 1.45" ASUS ZenWatch 2. This is the last ZenWatch that had still been waiting to receive the update, as it's been confirmed that the first ASUS ZenWatch will not be updated to Wear 2.0.

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