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Google Updates Design Guidelines With Clarity On Nav Drawers, Launcher Icons, And More

In a rather exciting post to its Google Design Google+ page today, Google announced a big set of improvements to the material design guidelines. The design spec, which - since this summer - has been a "preview," has been updated with links to relevant Android developer documentation, a new section called "What is Material?" a "What's new" section (to stay up to date on any changes), and a couple of other exciting changes.

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PSA: OEM Unlock On The Nexus 6 And 9 Requires Checking A Box In Developer Options

Fastboot oem unlock is a command many Nexus owners know by heart. The command, which unlocks a Nexus device's bootloader, takes a special consideration in Android 5.0 Lollipop, though. The command will fail unless a certain box is checked in the device's "Developer Options" menu. This is a minor change, but one that isn't immediately obvious to the user.

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On my Nexus 6 review unit, the option was already checked after I opened Developer Options, but it appears that may not always be the case, as one tipster indicated the option on the Nexus 9 had to be checked manually.

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Nexus 9 Review: A Little Better On Paper Than In Practice

The Nexus 9. For many of us, it is the chosen Android tablet. It's setting out to change the landscape (literally, to portrait 4:3). It's Google's first big tablet since the Nexus 10, back in the landscape orientation days. It's built in cooperation with HTC, a company whose few tablets to date have been utter flops. It looks like a giant Nexus 5. No really, it looks like a giant Nexus 5 so much it's a little weird.

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AT&T Spills The Beans On Pricing For The LG G Watch R: $299, Available In Stores On November 7th

The LG G Watch R seems to be the best Android Wear device yet, at least in the opinion of our own David Ruddock. But that doesn't mean much if you can't actually buy one. LG has been silent on pricing thus far, but it looks like AT&T just spilled the beans by announcing its plans to carry the G Watch R in its retail stores. You can pick one up this Friday, November 7th...

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ASUS Releases ZenWatch Manager, Remote Camera, And Wellness Apps For Its Upcoming Android Wear Device

LG and Samsung got the Android Wear party started, releasing the G Watch and Gear Live, respectively. Those watches only need Google's Wear app to function, but Motorola changed the formula a bit with the Moto 360, tying the watch to the existing Motorola Connect app. For the upcoming ZenWatch, ASUS is beating them all (well, sort of) with three separate watch-focused apps.

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The first new ASUS app is simply titled "ZenWatch Manager," and it's essentially a remote setup function for your watch on your phone screen.

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Google's Copresence Looks Like A Contactless, Cross-Platform Version Of Android Beam

Several months ago, we discussed something called Nearby, a project that - at the time - seemed to be Google's effort to let "people, places, and things" know when a user is, well, nearby. It seems that Google is still hard at work on its effort to connect various devices to each other and their surroundings, but Copresence (an internal name for this functionality) may have a more specific scope in this effort than we first estimated, apparently including iOS devices in the fun.

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The Many Faces Of Google's Hamburger Navigation Drawer

It goes without saying for most Android enthusiasts that the side-navigation drawer is a hot point of contention right now. With the introduction of material design, Google emphasized information hierarchy heavily, giving advice in its design specifications on how to arrange just about everything, including side navigation. According to the specifications (and Googler Roman Nurik), the "correct" behavior for the side drawer is to slide in as a sheet of paper over the entire canvas, including the app bar or toolbar.

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[Update: Gone] New Moto 360 Colors Land On Amazon With Metal Bands, Including A Slimmer 18mm 'Champagne' Option

Update: As commenter JT3 points out, it looks like all the new color options introduced today aren't shipping for at least a month, despite being sold immediately. That includes the separate metal bands. Bummer.

Update 2: ...aaaaand they're gone. The new colors and band listings have been removed from Amazon, presumably to be added back at some point. At least you can drool at the photos below between now and then.

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Google Has A Six-Line Solution For Developers To Allow Search Queries To Interact With Apps

Months ago, we posted a rumor about "modular actions" set to come to Google's Search app (now just called Google) along with "Ok Google Everywhere" functionality that would allow users to activate search from anywhere on their device. The latter has already been implemented, but Google is still inching toward the former. With the technically unreleased Google app, the search interface can overlay apps from which it is called, but Google today announced another step forward - the ability to let apps hook into search by accepting voice queries from the user.

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A Brief Look At How Android's Notification Shade Could Learn From Google's Inbox

Google's Inbox implements a really smart management paradigm - specifically, users can swipe in one direction to "snooze" a message (designating a time at which the message will reappear in the inbox), or swipe the other way to mark the message "done," essentially archiving it. Steve Albright, in a post to Google+, recently opined that this paradigm might find a good home among all of Android's notifications, rather than being confined to Inbox messages.

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