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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Clearer Instructions And Less Hassle In The Screen Pinning Interface And Settings

We're back — and by we, I mean our best bro in the world, Ramit Suri — with another Android 5.1 interface change. This one is all about the screen pinning feature that was introduced with Android 5.0, which receives a small but useful facelift and an interesting change to its settings.

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Screen pinning in Android 5.0

First of all, the above screenshots show how pinning works right now in Android 5.0. The settings screen only has one toggle to enable the feature with a detailed explanation of what it is and how to trigger it. When you pin an app, you get a dialogue explaining what you've done and how to unpin it later.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Super Subtle: Swipe Once To Close The Quick Settings Panel And Unlock Your Device From The Lockscreen

In case you haven't noticed, we love tiny details that make our everyday lives as Android users better. (And really, in case you didn't notice that, I'll show you the door — it's that X button next to the tab title up there in your browser.) Our friendly Android 5.1 tipster Ramit Suri loves them too, so much in fact that he noticed a teeny tiny detail on the lockscreen.

In Android 5.0, if you open the Quick Settings panel (henceforth referred to as QS) from the lockscreen, you would have to swipe the QS closed, then swipe again to unlock.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] You Can Now Swipe Up To Dismiss Heads Up Notifications Instead Of Getting Rid Of Them Permanently

This might be the best new Android 5.1 feature yet. Lollipop brought with it so-called heads up notifications, where the entire notification appears at the top of your screen momentarily when it first arrives. The problem was that you had only three options:

  • Wait until it goes away
  • Tap on it to open up the app notifying you
  • Swipe it away, making the notification disappear permanently

With this feature addition to Android 5.1, you can swipe up to get it out of your way without losing it entirely.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Auto-Rotate Quick Settings Animation Makes Its Return

Despite its appearance on Android One devices, we've had complete radio silence from Google about Android 5.1. Still, as long as it is in the wild, we're going to keep hearing about it. In this case, we have found out that the animation associated with toggling the auto-rotate feature has come back in 5.1 after disappearing in 5.0. Take a look.

This might not exactly change the way you use your Android phone or tablet, but it's nice.

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Google Beats Lawsuit Alleging Anti-Competitive Practices Over Android Default Apps

Google has come out unscathed from a lawsuit in which consumers accused the company of anti-competitive practices. The basic allegation was that Google requires manufacturers to use a Google version of Android and that the way they place their own apps at the forefront has increased prices and prevented potential rivals from emerging. The main issue is the stipulation that Google's search be default in order to preload Play Services on Android devices.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Look At These Cool New Clock Animations

Android 5.1 is in the wild on Android One devices, but it's still not totally official yet. Google has yet to announce it and there's no changelog available. As more people get their hands on 5.1, though, we're bound to learn some things about it. Like, for example, the quick settings changes and these neat little animations in the 5.1 clock app.

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PSA: Toggling WiFi, Bluetooth, And The Flashlight Works Flawlessly With Voice Commands In Google Search In Lollipop

Back in 2014, one of the changes spotted in Google Search was support for settings toggles through voice commands. At the time, the feature wasn't complete — it merely gave you a shortcut to open the corresponding settings panel. That wasn't helpful at all, since you had to use your fingers to make the change, which would have been done much faster through the drop-down quick settings. In Lollipop, starting with 5.0, some of these toggles work as they are supposed to, through voice commands alone and without the need for some third-party hack like Commandr.

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Android Studio v1.1 Promoted To Stable Channel, v1.2 Will Bring Big New Features From IntelliJ 14

December brought us many gifts, not least of which was the official release of Android Studio v1.0. While things have been fairly quiet for developers sticking to Stable releases, the Android Tools team has been busy with a steady stream of updates for those of us on the Canary builds. After two months in development, v1.1 is finally ready to roll out to the masses.

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Android Wear 5.0.2 Update Starts Rolling Out With Some Google Fit Fixes In Tow

Owners of several Android Wear watches (Sony Smartwatch 3, LG G Watch, and Moto 360 so far) have reported seeing an update hit their devices to bring it up to Android 5.0.2. The corresponding build number is LWX49K for the G Watch and Smartwatch 3, LWX49L for the Moto 360.

But before you get excited about a host of new features rolling up to your favorite wearable, this one seems to be all about the bug fixes and stability improvements.

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InBrief
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HTC Posts Full Lollipop RUUs For Sprint's One M8 And M8 Harman Kardon Edition

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