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[Update: Officially live] Actions on Google will soon support British English

In a bid to make its Assistant more powerful, Actions on Google was launched in the US late last year. The service allows third-party developers to build their own voice actions for the Assistant, integrating it with their own apps. To encourage development, Google introduced a competition with cash prizes to anyone making compelling actions. Until now the service has only supported US English, but after support for more languages was previously promised, it seems the UK will be next to see Actions rolled out.

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Android O feature spotlight: Google's "grinning face with smiling eyes" emoji no longer looks constipated

Different types of emoji, trivial as they may seem, can manufacture lots of controversy. Just look at how many votes and comments our blobmoji vs O-moji poll generated, or the fact that it caused a Change.org petition to be created. However, I think we can all agree that the "grinning face with smiling eyes" emoji that Google used in the first three Android O developer previews looked pretty stupid; it didn't so much look like a grin as it did constipated. Thankfully, Android O DP4 has fixed this terrible issue.

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[Deal Alert] Some Udacity Android Nanodegrees are 50% off for the next two days

Most of our famed Deal Alerts tend to be for commercial products, but this one is a bit unique. Udacity, a provider of so-called "Nanodegree" certificates in computer science subjects, is offering discounts for certificates in Android development in the next two days. So if you've always wanted to work in application development, and if you think you can handle the workload that such an education will provide, you can get 50% off your first two monthly tuition payments if you sign up by tomorrow. 

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Google introduces a beta program for Cast for Android TV

The Google Cast Receiver app is necessary if you want to cast to your Android TV as if it were a Chromecast. Unfortunately, it's had pretty poor reviews since its release and it's about time Google did something about it. In a bid to improve the experience for developers working with the Google Cast SDK, and in turn make the app less buggy, the company is opening up a beta program that will offer early access to the latest features.

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Google announces official release of Android Testing Support Library v1.0, Espresso v3.0, and more to make writing automated tests easier

Proper testing procedures are a huge part of software development best practices, particularly automated tests. As many Android developers would point out, the story on Android was far behind the curve for many years, and it was only recently that the tools had caught up with the needs of the ecosystem. Today, Google announced a major leap forward for these tools with an official v1.0 release of the Android Testing Support Library (ATSL).

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Android O feature spotlight: System apps (and apps without icons) get a new icon

Icons can either make an operating system look very modern or very dated. You could have the most state-of-the-art OS, but the wrong icon will make that OS seem like it's straight out of 1995. Google knows this, and so it's updated all of its system apps and iconless apps to show a new, contemporary-looking icon.

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Android O feature spotlight: Notifications for apps displaying over other apps can once again be disabled

Android O's first developer preview brought us screen overlay notifications. These are sometimes helpful, but they're also rather annoying for apps like Facebook Messenger that use chat heads. Today's release of the fourth and last O developer preview allows users to hide that notification, although there are still some other annoying ones that can't be hidden.

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Android O feature spotlight: Lockscreen and notification panel get a few visual tweaks

Android O's fourth developer preview was released today, and you know what that means: more feature spotlights. We already covered the new octopus Easter egg, but there are still a few other changes, even in the final developer preview. The lockscreen and notification panel have both seen a few minor visual tweaks.

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Android O feature spotlight: DP4's Easter egg features an octopus floating around

Since its inception, Android has featured little Easter eggs in its settings based on whatever dessert name was in that version. For instance, Android 4.2 and 4.3 Jellybean's Easter egg involved a ton of jellybeans scattered on your screen that you could move around. For Android O's fourth developer preview, the jokesters at Google threw in a little octopus that floats around your screen.

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Huawei releases kernel source code for Honor 6X

The Honor 6X began receiving the Nougat-based EMUI 5.0 update back in early May. It's been nearly three months since then, and Huawei has finally released this budget smartphone's kernel source code. You can now expect to see more development for the 6X in the near future.

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