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Notification importance controls won't work for most apps in Android O, and Google is fine with that

Android O is going to have a lot of neat stuff, including notification channels for more granular control over what apps can ping you about. However, developers need to get their apps ready by targeting Android O. Until that happens, notification controls will be hobbled in Android O, and Google won't be fixing this apparent problem.

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ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 (Z500M) gets Android 7.0 Nougat OTA

When Corbin reviewed the ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 — whoa, that's a mouthful — at the end of 2016, he called it the iPad Air running Android. The display and speed impressed him, but one of his major complaints was the software: both the added ASUS customizations and the fact that it ran Marshmallow gave him pause before recommending it. At the time, ASUS said that Nougat would come to the tablet, but wasn't sure when.

Well, it's now 6 months later and the ZenPad 3S 10 is finally getting Android 7.0 Nougat. Not 7.1 mind you, but it's Nougat nonetheless.

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Timecraft is a cool Minecraft-inspired Android Wear watch face by Tha PHLASH

What's time but a series of building blocks of infinitesimally small moments? You change one block and the whole structure could be modified, you add and add and add more blocks, hoping the final result is beautiful and meaningful, and you look around at others' structures learning from them and sometimes envying or criticizing them. That's one philosophical way of introducing this new watch face by Tha PHLASH, Timecraft.

Like its name and all of the screenshots here suggest, Timecraft is inspired by Minecraft. The signature blocky design is there, the green and grey/brown colors are present as well, and although I've never actively played the game or got lost in its world, I can easily spot the similarities based on what little I've seen from it.

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Enpass password manager adds Android O's Autofill in latest beta

One of the features that I'm most excited about in Android O is the official Autofill API support. Thanks to it, password manager apps wouldn't need to work as overlays or stay as constant notifications and they wouldn't require you use their keyboard or browser to simplify login details input in different apps. Instead, you choose whichever third-party app you use as your Autofill provider and Android will call it up each time it sees a username and password field, allowing for more seamless input.

1Password and LastPass both already showed us how the functionality would work in their apps, and it was only a matter of time until either of them or some other app implemented the feature in a beta run.

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Google releases first preview of Android Things Console

If you're not familiar with Android Things OS, it's a lightweight version of Android designed to run on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The first Developer Preview was released last year, and there have been a few updates since then. Now Google has released the first preview of Android Things Console, which makes managing a fleet of Android Things devices significantly easier.

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Sony Xperia Z5 range, Z4 Tablet, and Z3 Plus start getting Android Nougat 7.1.1 OTA

When it comes to software updates, Sony is on the job. The company is always one of the first to release updates for its recent flagship devices and is great at updating even relatively older-generation devices quickly too. Take the Xperia Z3 Plus, Z4 Tablet, and Z5 family which were announced sometime between May 2015 and September 2015, making them nearly 2 years old. They got the update to Android Nougat 7.0 back in February and they're now following the footsteps of the XZ and X Performance and getting upped to the more recent Android 7.1.1.

The update bumps the build number from 32.3.A.2.33 to 32.4.A.0.160 and doesn't seem to hide many noticeable changes according to the comments on the post, but it should technically have most of the official non-Pixel Android 7.1 things detailed in this changelog as well as a switch to API Level 25 which brings new capabilities for devs.

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Android O will introduce an animated Clock app icon in launchers

Chris Lacy, the developer behind the well-known Action Launcher, has uncovered something in the APK file of the Clock app that comes in Android O: the manifest.xml mentions hours, minutes, and seconds as layers with default values, and the icon has separate images for the background and different elements.

That logically lead him to deduce that starting with Android O, the Clock app's icon will be animated to show the current time. That will happen both when the Clock is placed as a shortcut on the homescreen and when it's inside the app drawer.

Chris also used that animation in his latest Action Launcher release, which we wrote about a couple of days ago.

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Google Chrome adds support for picture-in-picture video on Android O

One of the headline features of Android O is picture-in-picture video support across all devices. The feature has been part of Android TV since Nougat, but starting with O, it works on phones and tablets too. A handful of applications have already added support for the feature, including VLC, Duo, and Play Movies - now it's Chrome's turn.

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2016 AT&T LG K10 updated to Android 7.0 Nougat

Another day, another phone to get Android 7.0 Nougat. This time it's the 2016 AT&T LG K10's turn. This particular phone has been a bit ignored by AT&T. Their support page shows this is only the 2nd update the device has ever received. At least the jump to Nougat includes the April 1st security patches, so it should be reasonably secure for some time if AT&T doesn't keep it up to date. 

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[Update: Now $317 and $323] Deal Alert: Casio WSD-F10 outdoor Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch $330-$340 at Amazon ($60-70 off)

We've all been there. You're deep in the woods, maybe fist-fighting bears, maybe live-acting Minecraft, perhaps even escaping Shia LaBeouf. But, in the middle of things, your phone starts to buzz away in your pocket. Wouldn't it be way more convenient to just take a glance at the outdoor-optimized, 50m water-resistant, Android Wear 2.0 Casio WSD-F10 strapped to your wrist, rather than risk pulling your phone out of your pocket? Not only is that the better option, today you can pick one up at Amazon for just $330. 

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