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Android N Feature Spotlight: Android For Work Updated With Profile Security Challenge, Wallpaper Locking, Work Mode Toggle, And Much More


Google is really focused on making Android more work-friendly, and N adds a bunch of new features to improve Android for Work. For starters, there's now a toggle that'll completely disable a device's work profile, including apps, notifications, and background sync. While work mode is turned off, a persistent icon will be displayed in the status bar to remind users that work apps can't launch.

Screenshot_20160311-085845 Screenshot_20160311-085833Image credit to Andrew Quebe

Work profiles in N now also support an additional layer of protection by letting administrators specify a security challenge whenever a work app is launched. This challenge may be in the form of either a pin, a fingerprint, or a password, and the administrator can also specify things like the required minimum password length or the password's "quality."

Here's a quick overview of the many more new additions to Android for Work in N:

  • Always-on VPN lets the device automatically start up a work VPN at boot time, so that apps can only access the internet through a "secure" connection.
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[Deal Alert] Silver & Rose Gold Asus ZenWatch First Gen $99 At Amazon

The first gen Asus ZenWatch is $99.95 today on Amazon. It's been that price before, and it will likely be that price again. The silver & rose gold model with a tan strap is the only color option.

For someone still on the sidelines wondering what this whole Android Wear craze is all about, this is a solid entry into the world of wearables. The ZenWatch sports a 1.2 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM along with a square 1.63" 320 x 320 AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3. It's also dustproof and splashproof and has a heart rate sensor, which was oddly not included in the second gen watch (probably because people complained the one in the first gen watch isn't all that good).

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Multiple Device Locales Are Now Supported, Allowing Search Results In Multiple Languages And Other Goodies

Are you bilingual? And I mean bilingual in the real, fluent sense, not in the "one year of high school Spanish" sense. If so, you'll want to check out a new multi-lingual option in the Language & Input menu in Android N. This might seem counterintuitive, but consider the advantages of your phone knowing which languages you know: when taking advantage of new API settings, apps like Search can show you content in multiple languages that are relevant to you, or skip the "translate to English" message when it knows you don't need it.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Apps In The Share Menu Can Be Pinned To The Top Of The List

Sharing works pretty well in Android - the standard "share" command and its collection of APIs allows for easily getting content from one app to another. But if you're anything like most Android users, you have dozens of apps installed that include Share functions, and you're only used to actually using Share in a few of them. Android N has a little feature that makes that interaction much more user-friendly: Share apps can now be pinned to the top of the cross-app menu.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Scoped Directory Access Gives Apps An Easy Way To Ask Users For Access To Common Folders

File storage on Android has been a complicated subject over the years. It started very simply with private folders for each app and a pair of permissions for read and write access to just about everything else. The seeds of change were planted with Honeycomb when Google quietly closed off write access to secondary storage like SD cards, but most people didn't take notice until Google insisted OEMs enforce the same rules in KitKat.

Each year since, new APIs have been introduced to give developers new ways to work with the filesystem or even abstract it out of view while also improving security and maintaining privacy.

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[New Story: HELP] Google Releases New 360 Spotlight Story "On Ice," Teases Updates To The Android App

Spotlight Stories is one of the remnants of Motorola that Google kept after selling the company to Lenovo. It's a fun project that releases interesting movies every now and then that aren't like anything you've seen before. They're interactive, shot in 360-degree, and each time you watch them, you can unveil a different storyline and ending by simply moving and looking elsewhere.

Spotlight Stories used to be confined to their Android app, but Google brought them out to YouTube back in December as 360-degree videos that you can only watch on your phone in the YouTube app either on your screen or through Cardboard.

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Google Confirms You Can Get OTA Updates For The N Preview Even If You Manually Flash The System Image

Many of you were a little overexcited when the Android N developer preview appeared the other day and instantly flashed it on your device. If so, you may have been dismayed to learn that doing so apparently prevented you from getting OTA updates in the new beta program. At least, that's how things looked at the time—it said so right on the download page. We reached out to Google to confirm that, and it turns out that warning wasn't worded quite right. You can still get OTAs after flashing the system image.

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[Deal Alert] Midnight Black Jaybird X2 Wireless Headphones $125 On Amazon, $25 Off - Act Fast, These Price Drops Disappear Quick

There are two things you need to know about this deal. One, the Midnight Black model of the Jaybird X2's is on sale for $124.89 on Amazon, and two, that Artem loves the headphones this company makes. In fact, he loves them so much that if he saw you wearing them on a train, he would likely approach you and strike up a conversation about how much he loves Jaybird headphones.

In that conversation he would probably mention that he owns a website called Android Police, on which he reviewed the previous generation of said headphones in an extremely detailed 3,000 word article.

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Video: Apps Install (Much) Faster On Android N

If you're feeling fancy and you decided to flash the Android N developer preview, you'll notice that your optimization step didn't take very long at all. That's thanks to a new change in Android N that Ryan has already detailed. The Android Runtime, ART for short, is now using a JIT (just-in-time) compiler, which means that apps install update much faster so you can quickly get back to royally crushing whatever clash you're clanning against.

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[Deal Alert] Get A Customized Moto X Pure 16GB For $299, 32GB For $399 - $100 And $50 Off Respectively

Perhaps the deals we posted this morning on the 6P and 5X were a touch too Nexalicious for your taste. Are you of a more Mototastic persuasion? If you are, you'll be interested to know that the Moto X Pure is on sale today on Motorola's website. The 16GB model is a cool hundred bucks off, while the 32GB version is the recipient of a more modest $50 price cut.

These aren't just the basic black or white versions of the phone either, you can make any combination you would like with Moto Maker. There is still a premium charge of $25 for the wood and leather backs, but it's sweet to see the fully customized version of the phone for sale.

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