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[APK Download] The Clock App From Android M Allows Users To Start Their Week On Saturday, Sunday, Or Monday

The new APK for the clock app from the Android M Developer Preview doesn't look very different from the one you'll find in Lollipop - most of the functions (alarms, world clock, timer, and countdown) are in the same place and operate in the same way. But there's one tiny change that a small amount of users will be extremely happy to see. The Clock app can now "start" your week on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

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Android M Developer Preview AOSP Changelog Posted, Probably Not A Complete Platform Release

The Android M Developer Preview was released just yesterday and we're all very closely examining the changes. While there's still quite a bit to dig through, it looks like Google is getting some of the source code up right away. Before anybody gets too excited, it's likely that this code dump occurred to ensure GPL compliance. However, there are quite a few projects in the changelog that wouldn't normally require updates due to licensing, so there may be quite a bit more going live on this release.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Deep Linking Without Selector Prompts Can Be Changed Or Removed By Users On A Per-App Basis

We reported yesterday on Google's announcement that Android M would support deep links that skip the sometimes-annoying app selector prompt. Details were scarce at the time and many were worried that this would shut out third party apps or make it hard to view content with a browser when it might be more appropriate.

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If you go to an app from the list within the "apps" section of the system settings, you will see something like the first picture. You can set defaults and decide whether that app should open its own links without asking. If you go to the advanced area instead of selecting an app, you will see the second screenshot.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] The New Share Menu Is Simplified, Shows Many More Apps At Once Instead Of One Option Per Line

For many, this one falls into the category of "fixing problems you didn't know you had." If you have a lot of apps installed, though, you probably have already been frustrated by the share menus on previous Android versions. God forbid the app you want falls too low in the alphabet, because you will be scrolling like the dickens to share with it. Android developers clearly recognized that they were really wasting some space, so the Android M version is a lot more efficient.

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Left and middle: the old share menu Right: the new one

If you look closely, you'll notice that you can actually see more share options in the compact version of the new menu than you could in the fully expanded view of the old one.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Native Bluetooth Stylus Support Is Here

Wireless styli have generally been relegated to the Windows and iOS world, but now that more and more connected accessories are using Bluetooth, there are fewer reasons than ever for tools like these not to be universal. With Android "M," Google is introducing native support for Bluetooth styluses. Developers are, of course, getting APIs to interact with these devices, and that's where we're getting our information - the API overview for M.

Pressure sensitivity and accuracy make connected styluses much better than their capacitive cousins, and for the creative types out there, full cross-platform compatibility should end up making the product ecosystem as a whole better.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] The Notification Shade Will Now Drop Down Closer To Where You Touch On Tablets

There was a lot of backlash when Google did away with the dual notification/quick settings trays on large screen devices (which happened with Lollipop). Now it looks like the company is taking a slightly different approach with the notification shade on tablets - in the M release it has three different positions (left, center, right) and will drop down closest to wherever you actually swipe.

Screenshot_20150528-164552 Screenshot_20150528-164602 Screenshot_20150528-164544

According to Liam, who installed M on his Nexus 9, this is actually kind of jarring since there's no visual indicator as to where the shade will actually show up. Sure, there are some rough guidelines here, but those are fairly extreme.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] The Stock Keyboard Now Has A Split-Screen Mode On Larger Devices

There are features both big and small found in Android M, and most still seem to be pretty useful all around. This one is a somewhat small feature found in M, but that doesn't take away from how massively helpful it actually is - especially for those who type on their tablet often.

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Thanks for the screenshot, Duncan Adkins.

The stock keyboard in the M build now features a split-screen mode that shifts the keys off to either side, at least when the device is in landscape mode. This instantly makes thumb typing a lot easier, and something that probably should've been included all along.

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Google Teases Hands Free, The Public Name For "Plaso," Yet Another Android-Based Mobile Payment System

Are you unexcited about Android Pay? Not liking your Wallet Card? Maybe you just want another Google payment platform... because? Then I've got great news: Google Hands Free will be a thing at some point later this year.

How's it work? I've got no idea, because Google doesn't actually tell us. Well, actually, we sort of do know, because Hands Free leaked as Plaso over three months ago.

The idea here is similar to that of the now-defunct Square Wallet, which used a combination of proximity detection and a picture of your face to allow you to buy stuff without ever having to pull out a credit card, phone, or even your ID.

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Smart Lock Passwords Is Now Going Live On Pre-Android M Devices, Web Interface Is Active Too

One of the relatively hidden treasures of yesterday's I/O announcements and Android M preview release was Smart Lock Passwords, which takes credentials you've signed in with on Chrome or for Android apps and automatically signs you in on those platforms in the future. At launch, there are not many app partners, but developers need only use a now-public API to add support. Today, Lollipop users with relatively recent Google Play Services are finding the new feature enabled on their devices as well.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] The New Do Not Disturb Includes Custom Rules And A Repeat Caller Exception

We already went over the gist of Android M's Do Not Disturb mode, but this isn't just a re-branding of priority interruptions. There are some cool new features in the settings that make DND on Android M quite appealing. It's easier to make DND work for your schedule without a ton of fiddling around.

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