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Casio's new rugged Android Wear watch will launch in April with Wear 2.0

Most Android Wear watches can take a splash, but knock them around and they might not hold up very well. Casio's first Android Wear device was an exception with its MIL-STD-810G rating, and the second one will be much the same. The WSD-F20 will be built to last, and it'll be running Android Wear 2.0 when it comes out around April. It won't be cheap, though.

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Google posts January OTA and system image files along with new security bulletin

It's that time of month again—Google has posted updates for Nexus and Pixel devices, and there's a new security bulletin full of scary things. As usual, the OTAs are going to be rolling out to Google devices in the next few days, but you can grab the files right now and do the update manually.

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Fiat Chrysler and Google team up on a concept automotive infotainment system powered by Android

CES is upon us and the cool, new announcements are incoming. Showing itself to be an early bird, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a collaboration on a new concept for an automobile infotainment system powered by Android. Goody, another one.

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Screens lets you create shortcuts to launch apps in split-screen mode

Android finally added support for split-screen apps in 7.0 Nougat, but Google has been playing with the specifics of launching apps in split-screen. It removed the UI tuner's swipe gesture, and the home button behavior has been tweaked in 7.1. The whole system can be a little clumsy at times, but Screens makes split-screen mode a one-tap proposition. It's rather barebones, but it gets the job done.

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[Update] After Cyanogen collapse, Wileyfox is working on its own software updates for Nougat

Wileyfox is a tiny phone manufacturer based in Britain that focuses on solid budget and mid-range designs, with low profit margins partially enabled thanks to a partnership with Cyanogen Inc. for the phones' Android software. That partnership doesn't seem to be long for this world, after it was announced that Cyanogen is more or less shutting down its full Android development team. That leaves Wileyfox customers (among many others) in something of a lurch. According to a few Reddit posts, the company is actively looking into alternatives.

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The OnePlus 3 and 3T receive OxygenOS 4.0 (Nougat) today

I would like to take this opportunity to say that I was wrong. When I received nothing but another beta build a few days ago on my OnePlus 3, I was highly skeptical about OnePlus making its goal of getting Nougat out on the stable channel for its flagship devices by the end of 2016. Well, here we are in the final hours of the year and the notorious manufacturer has come through. Both the OnePlus 3 and 3T are receiving OxygenOS 4.0, i.e. Nougat, via a staged rollout starting today.

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Samsung is wrapping up Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Nougat beta test, official release scheduled for January

Back in November, Samsung started beta testing the Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Since then, it has rolled out several updates to squash bugs and answer feedback, but it looks like the beta test is now over. The team posted a notice to those who were participating in the beta program saying that it will end on December 30 at 24:00 (so December 31 at 00:00). 

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T-Mobile ZTE ZMAX gets November security updates... but it still runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat

I'm honestly conflicted. When I spotted this new software on T-Mobile's support pages, I had to do a double take. How come a phone that's still stuck on Android 4.4.2 KitKat is getting the November 2016 security updates? It's ridiculous and awesome to a point that I just couldn't pass up the news.

The ZTE ZMAX was announced and released in September of 2014 on T-Mobile. It had midrange specs with a 5.7" 720 display, Snapdragon 400, 8MP back camera and 1MP on the front. The major selling point was the 3400mAh battery and the $252 price point. At the time of release, it ran Android 4.4 KitKat and it has managed to stick to that version for two years, no version bumps whatsoever for ZMAX owners.

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[Android 7.1 Tip] Get rid of the Play Store on your home screen and use the 'My Apps' shortcut instead

Odds are you have the Play Store on your home screen for easy accessibility, but have you ever considered not having it? I don't mean you should dig into the app drawer every time you need to open the store, but perhaps the regular Play Store link isn't the most efficient. If you're on Android 7.1, maybe you ought to replace it with the My Apps shortcut.

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Official Android 7.1.1 update will come to the Nexus 6 in early January

The Nexus 6 is the oldest still-supported Nexus device, after the beloved Nexus 5 was denied an official update to Android 7.0. Although the N6 did receive 7.0, users have been not-so-patiently awaiting Android 7.1.1. Google has been relatively quiet about the reason for the delay, but in response to our query, issued the below statement:

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