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LG's bootloader unlock tool supports the LG V20 for the "US open market"

Few LG devices are lucky enough to get an official bootloader unlock method, so it's always worthy of a mention when a new phone gets supported on LG's bootloader unlock tool. We've seen the G4 and G5 for the EU open market, the V10 for Europe except France, and this is the first time a device from North America makes it onto the list.

The LG V20 "for the US open market" codenamed US996.USA is now listed on LG's bootloader unlock page. That page also has a detailed set of instructions to follow to unlock the bootloader. It also explains that the LG warranty is voided when you're done and that the process can't be undone.

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Android 7.1 Developer Preview 2 seems imminent, according to Beta Program Google+ page [Update: It's live]

A post by the manager of the Android Beta Program's Google+ page seems to indicate that Developer Preview 2 of Android 7.1 is slated to go live shortly. Orrin Hancock, owner of the page, says that DP2 actually began rolling out today, but we've not received any tips suggesting that's the case. No one who has replied to the thread seems to have gotten it, either, so perhaps the rollout has been slightly delayed or extremely, incredibly, strangely limited (I would hedge on the former).

Anyway, Android 7.1.1 DP2 will apparently be available for the Nexus 6P, 5X, Nexus 9, Android One, and Pixel C.

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Gingerdead: Google Play Services 10.0.x will be the last version to support Android 2.3

Android 2.3 Gingerbread, according to Google, still runs on approximately 1.3% of devices hitting the Play Store every month. But with Google Play Services 10.0.x, Google is placing an end-marker for the OS's support of the Play Services package going forward, which signals what is essentially the final death of the platform as far as Google is concerned. When Play Services 10.2 arrives, it will leave behind Android's crunchiest iteration.

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CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies make it to the Nexus 6, OnePlus One and 2, Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi), and more

CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies have been rolling out for more than a week now and bringing Android 7.1 to several devices including Nexuses and other phones and tablets that don't have the official update yet and likely won't for many more months.

After Steve Kondik's announcement of the 14.1 nightlies rollout, several more devices have joined the fold in the past days. Some have already received a couple of nightly revisions, others are on the list but don't have any 14.1 nightly up yet. Here is the full list:

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[SuperWIN] SuperSU and TWRP play nice together on the Pixels

The Pixel smartphones' new partition system and boot images have been a hot mess for developers and tinkerers who like to push their devices beyond the specs written on the shipping box. But even though this has slowed down the release of custom recoveries and other mods, it hasn't completely stopped our beloved enterprising developers who probably thought of the whole situation as a nice challenge instead of an unsurmountable obstacle.

Just yesterday, Ethan Yonker (Dees Troy) released an early alpha of custom recovery TWRP for the Pixel devices, but that created a problem for those who were using the boot-to-root images made by Chainfire for the Pixels.

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Early alpha version of TWRP for Pixels released after work done to combat file-based encryption

It's just under a month after the brand new Pixel devices came out, so naturally developers and custom ROM makers have been hard at work building their wares for the new phones. Included in this is TWRP, the most popular custom recovery for Android (RIP ClockworkMod).

TWRP for the Pixel and Pixel XL is still in alpha format, meaning it is still buggy and should not be used if you're not aware of what you're doing. Specifically, restoring data is not working correctly, because of the new file-based encryption (which enables Direct Boot) that the Pixels employ. TWRP's lead developer Ethan Yonker says in a Google+ post that, "If a restore doesn't work correctly, it can trigger an automatic wipe of your data," which doesn't sound like fun at all.

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Open GApps launches its own app for quick and easy Google Apps package downloads [APK Download]

If you're involved in the world of custom ROMs, there's little chance you haven't heard of the Open GApps Project. As of late, Open GApps has been the go-to site for downloading Google Apps packages. It's not hard to understand why; the site is pretty and easy to use, and the packages, which come in nine sizes and variations, are always up to date. Now, the guys behind Open GApps have taken the stuff that makes their site so great and infused it into a new Android app.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: A closer look at seamless updates, partition changes, and new fastboot commands

During the I/O 2016 Keynote presentation, and again at the October 4th Pixel announcement, Google made brief references to newly added support for seamless updates in Nougat. To make this work, many changes had to be made to the structure of Android and its assorted system partitions. As a result, there have also been some changes to the fastboot utility many of us use when new factory images become available. This post covers a few of the technical details and also demonstrates some of the ways to use the new features.

How it works

Seamless updates are accomplished by creating a second set of logical partitions in device storage.

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Android platform distribution, November 2016: Nougat shows up, Marshmallow surges to 24%

Android platform distributions for the first week of November are up, and Nougat has appeared... with 0.3% of the pie. But it's there! The only other really noteworthy change came from Marshmallow, which surged 5.3 points to 24% of total devices. As such, it seems likely that Marshmallow will unseat KitKat as the most common version of the Android platform next month, at least if we're counting by API level. If you're counting by whole-digit version, Lollipop is in the lead, and has been for some time.

But KitKat has held this position of dominance for, well, a really long time (probably around two years).

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Google announces new subscription promo ability and refund identification API for developers

Google has brought Playtime, its developer education event, back to San Francisco with some news for those that help to make Android awesome. If you missed the event or the video highlights, there is a handy blog post with a summary of the information announced. The most interesting points from it are that Google is now giving developers the ability to run subscription promotional prices and to see which users have requested refunds. Fun stuff, right? 

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