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Android O feature spotlight: Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) mode for WiFi

Android O will include big, obvious changes like picture-in-picture and new icons, but some of the low-level stuff could be just as impactful down the road. For instance, the addition of Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) support for WiFi. It could allow devices to find each other and communicate over WiFi without an access point.

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Android O Feature Spotlight: Adaptive icons give devs and OEMs easy shape masks, extra effects

Each version of Android improves the tools that developers have at their disposal, and that certainly includes visual tools. Starting with version N and the Pixel Launcher, Google seems to be increasingly pushing circular icons. One of the new features in Android O, available in its first Developer Preview today, is the ability to automatically change the shape of any given icon with the new adaptive icon toolset.

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Android O feature spotlight: Support for aptX Bluetooth streaming (update: confirmed)

Google announced Android O today (have you heard?), and one feature on the list that caught my eye was a reference to "high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs" now being supported by the OS. While Google doesn't specifically reference aptX, there really isn't much else they could be referring to. aptX is a proprietary streaming protocol owned by CSR, who are now owned by Qualcomm.

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Android O Developer Preview Supports Nexus 5X and 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel and Pixel XL, and Pixel C

As the world turns, so too does the cycle of Android updates. The first part of 2017's version bump, known only as Android O for the time being, was just announced. And just like the last two years, developer preview versions will be available for some of the latest officially supported Google hardware. This year that list includes the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, and Pixel XL phones, the Pixel C tablet, and the Nexus Player Android TV set-top box. You can download the new images here.

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Android O developer preview images are up, no beta program / OTAs being made available

Android O is launching in preview state today, but you'll have to manually flash the OS to your test device to get a taste. The images and flashing instructions can be found here.

As a reminder, the Nexus 5X, 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, Pixel, and Pixel XL are the supported devices at this time. Google is not offering the O preview as part of the Android Beta Program for now (that will come later, of course), probably to discourage those who would try to daily drive an unfinished OS.

Google has said rather clearly that this early release is intended explicitly for developers and "not intended for daily or consumer use." If you remember the first Android N developer previews from last year, you'll know that's probably not an exaggeration, as many, many things were broken in the earliest builds.

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Google announces Android O: Focus on power management, notifications, and more

 

As some had expected based on the timing of last year's Android N announcement, Android O was due sooner or later, and today's the big day: Meet Android O. Which, obviously, doesn't have a full name yet, and probably won't for a long time. So for now, just make up conspiracy theories about those concentric circles up there.

What does Android O do? When can you get it? We'll aim to answer all that in posts to come, and I'll give you the brief summary here.

First, when can you get it? Well, Google says Android O developer preview images should be available for flashing soon (they'll be here), but it's not clear when "soon" is, but we'd tend to assume based on last year that means today.

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First Jeep to support Android Auto will be the 2017 Compass

Android Auto has been getting onto more and more car manufacturers and the latest to join the fold is Jeep. An update to the Android Auto site has changed Jeep's state from "Coming Soon" to "Launched."

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[Update: RUU] T-Mobile variant of the HTC One M9 starts receiving Nougat

HTC hasn't been doing the best in recent years, even squandering an attempt to revitalize itself with the U Ultra. Still, the former Android king is trying to keep its phones updated, even some of its older ones. Previously, several international versions of the One M9 started to receive Nougat. The U.S. is quite a bit behind, it seems, but it looks like the T-Mobile variant is the first to get the update.

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Android 7.1.2 beta 2 adds fingerprint scanner gesture to the Nexus 6P

According to a tip we just received, the latest Android Nougat beta for the Nexus 6P finally adds the much-demanded fingerprint swipe gesture for accessing the notification tray. The toggle can be found under the "Moves" area in the settings app.

To say the fingerprint scanner gesture drama has been a thing would be an understatement. First it wasn't happening, then it was possibly happening. Then, silence. After a while waiting, last month the Nexus 5X did get the feature as part of the initial 7.1.2 beta, but the Nexus 6P was left out. It appears the wait is over, at least if you're in the beta program.

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The new GUESS Connect smartwatches run Android Wear 2.0, will launch later this year

The time has come for another fashion company to get into Android Wear, and this time it's GUESS. The new watches are part of the Connect product line, but they're not the first smartwatches GUESS has sold. The last Connect was a mechanical watch with a dot-matrix ticker display. The new ones will be more what you expect from a smartwatch.

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