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Android N Feature Spotlight: Updated ART Compiler Means No More Obnoxiously Long 'Optimizing Apps' Step And Much Faster App Installs

If you did the Android N beta OTA, you might have noticed something is missing—there's no more painfully tedious optimizing apps pop up after the update. This step is over almost instantly following the update to Android N. An improved version of the ART (Android Runtime) is fast enough that Android doesn't need to hold you up anymore. Fantastic.

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[Updated] The Nexus 6P Is Getting An Update (MHC19I) With Performance Improvements, A Do-Not-Disturb Fix, And More

Earlier today (before the Android N deluge), we reported on the Nexus 5X update, which included a few important bug fixes. Now there's a new build for the Nexus 6P that apparently offers the same improvements. It's build MHC19I, and it seems to have some noticeable performance improvements.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: System UI Tuner Expands Status Bar Options With Auto-Rotate Status Symbol, Clock, Battery, And Others

System UI Tuner made its debut in the Android M developer preview, and a little less than a year later it's getting some interesting new additions in version N. It's still activated in the same way: lower the Quick Settings shade and hold the "settings" gear icon for a few seconds. After that, the System UI tuner option will appear in the main Settings menu. We've already examined the new color balance calibration tool and the return of Night Mode, plus the new Quick Settings options, which are now exposed to the user by default. Let's take a look at the new Statusbar options, some of which are new and some of which are carried over from Android M:

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Google+ v7.4 Brings Back Pinning For Regular Profile Posts And Makes Circles Streams A Little Easier To Use [APK Download]

We're deep in the woods with Android N news, but that doesn't mean everything else has stopped. This is still Update Wednesday and there are apks to be investigated. Earlier this morning a new version of Google+ turned up and it has at least a couple of changes worth looking at. The post pinning feature is back after a long hiatus, and the Circle Streams feature might be getting a few improvements of its own. If you're just looking for the update, a link is at the bottom of the post.

What's New

Pin to profile returns

2016-03-09 23.25.51

The one definite feature of this release is the return of 'Pin to profile' for non-collection, non-community posts.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Color Balance Calibration Now Available In System UI Tuner

Two different phones might have screens that share all the same specs, but in practice they may display colors differently. If you've ever wished you could easily tweak the way those colors are shown, Android N might give it to you. The system UI tuner includes a color calibration menu with sliders for the red, green, and blue channels.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: The Overview Button Gets Awesome Alt-Tab-Style Features For Fast App Switching (Video)

You already saw a few things the overview button can do in our split-screen video demo, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Google is taking app switching seriously in Android N by turbocharging the overview button. You can now switch between open apps without touching anything but that one button. Check out the video below for a demo.

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PSA: Don't Flash The Android N System Image If You Want To Receive OTA Updates [Update: Google Confirms You Can Get OTAs]

Patience is a virtue, and it's one that Google seems to value greatly. Just a few hours ago, Google released the preview images for Android N with the promise that future updates would come over-the-air through its new Android Beta program, but they forgot to mention that it didn't apply to anyone who manually flashed the images.

Tucked away in the Android Beta page, Google notes that "if you manually flashed Android N on your device by downloading the image from developer.android.com you won't receive OTA updates automatically." I'm sure that everyone who already flashed the update in the last three hours would really have appreciated knowing that before updating to Android N.

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[Video] A Quick Look At Split-Screen Multitasking On Android N

Android N is finally making multi-window a reality in stock Android, and the way it works is already more slick than what Samsung has been doing. Since not everyone has a spare device on which to install the developer preview, here's a quick look at how split-screen mode works.

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[Update: Codes Going Out] Google Is Offering 25% Off Discount On Pixel C For Developers To Encourage Tablet Development

Google is celebrating the launch of the Android N developer preview today with... a deal? Well, a deal for developers, specifically on the Pixel C. Google is shaving 25% off the MSRP of the device for developers who request a discount code through this URL. However, it appears it's just for the 64GB variant - meaning you'll still pay $450. We're reaching out to Google to see if it applies to the 32GB version as well, but it doesn't look like it at this time.

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Android N Feature Spotlight: Number Blocking Is Now System-Level, Will Persist Across Resets And Devices

In Android N, blocking numbers is becoming significantly more effective. That's because Google is making this a feature baked into the platform. Going forward, certain apps will be able to create a list of blocked numbers, and other ones will be able to view this information.

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