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Android 5.1 Includes New Carrier Provisioning API, Allows Carriers Easier Methods Of Setting Up Services On Devices They Don't Control

One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes additions in Android 5.1 is a new carrier provisioning API that provides functionality which likely benefits carriers and customers alike. Any time you join a carrier, you get services along with your account, whether it's Play Store billing, visual voicemail, premium subscription services billed to your account, or any number of other things. For as long as Android has existed, the methods used to provision these services on a customer's account have varied widely from carrier to carrier, and there was no standard way of doing it.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Android Beam Gets A Shiny New Share Icon

That new default Android icon in 5.1 we pointed out earlier appears to be showing up in more places than expected. It's the basis for an updated Android Beam icon, which you can see below.

Screenshot_2015-03-10-12-34-43 2015-03-10 19.38.55

Left: Old, Right: New

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Chainfire's New App 'Recently' Tells The Never-Ending List Of Recent Apps In Lollipop To Take A Hike [Root Only]

Android 5.1 made some major changes to the way recent apps are handled in Android. You can include Chrome tabs in the recent app list, and apps that are called up from another activity get their own card to keep things more consistent. However, Google also decided to never clear the list of recent app cards. It just goes on and on and on... it's kind of annoying. "Recently" from Chainfire fixes that, but you need root.

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Android 5.1 Lollipop SDK 22 Is Now Available For Download

Google is progressively rolling out the full array of releases for Android 5.1, and the SDK is now joining the ranks. If developers open up the SDK Manager today, they will find a brand new software development kit for API 22. The SDK package is there, along with the typical documentation, samples, source code, and an assortment of system images for each of the major hardware architectures. All is ready to start updating apps to take advantage of everything Android 5.1 has to offer.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] You Can Now Change The System Volume While Playing Audio

Android 5.1 seemed like a very minor update when it was announced, but there are actually a lot of cool little changes throughout the OS. For example, you can now (finally!) change the system volume while you have audio playing. Google added a new button to make this happen.

Screenshot_2015-03-10-09-32-23 Screenshot_2015-03-10-09-31-14 Screenshot_2015-03-10-09-31-18

Left: 5.0 volume, Middle: 5.1 with volume button, Right: 5.1 changing system volume

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Mention Of 'Multiwindows' Pops Up In Android Commit

Back in October, we posted a quick look at some of Google's very early plans for multi-window functionality on Android Lollipop, a feature that had apparently been in the works since at least KitKat. The system, in a nut shell, would allow users to have two apps open at a time, scaling the apps to take up more or less space on the screen, and interact with the overview or Google Search, passing text or other data back and forth.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] The Default Android Icon Has Finally Been Updated

You've probably seen that default icon an uncountable number of times. That little 3D Bugdroid with the cube on its chest—it's what Android assigns when something doesn't have its own icon. It's gone in Android 5.1, replaced with a new icon much more in keeping with the style of Lollipop.

large 2015-03-10 18.00.25

Left: Old, Right: New

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] You Can Now Change Alarm Volume From Inside The Clock App

Google has taken the lid off of Android 5.1, a minor update packed mostly with bug fixes, but that does little to remove the excitement that comes from seeing the 0 at the end of 5.0 turn into a 1. But some tweaks are included that edge over towards the new feature side of things.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Android Now Recognizes Wi-Fi Connections With No Internet Access And Won't Automatically Reconnect To Them

You're sitting in a bar, spending $30 on beer and nachos because you're too cheap to spend $100 on a month's worth of cable for Monday Night Football. Despite the fact that the place is tiny and the walls are so thin that you can hear drivers in the street swearing at each other, it's somehow also a black hole for cellular service.

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Original Moto E And Oppo N3 Get First CyanogenMod Nightly ROM Builds

Even while the more corporate side of CyanogenMod makes new deals with smartphone makers and OEMs, the original "CM Team" continues to expand the ROM's lineup of officially-supported phones and tablets. Today the original Moto E (from 2014) and the Oppo N3 both get their first nightly software builds, and yes, both of them are CyanogenMod 12  (based on Android 5.0 Lollipop AOSP code).

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