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Netflix picture-in-picture makes its way to Android 8.1 Oreo with latest app version [APK Download]

The picture-in-picture feature was first introduced to Android with the O developer previews, but it didn't get off to a great start, namely because crucial apps like YouTube didn't support it properly. Netflix was one of those apps, but Android 8.1 has added official support for Netflix PiP.

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Google will update Pixel 2 and 2 XL with more saturated color mode, says XL burn-in is not an issue

The Pixel 2 XL was the source of some drama over the last few days, with people calling the display out for being substandard in terms of color and possibly prone to burn-in. Google pledged to investigate these claims, and it has posted its findings. On the topic of color, some changes are coming. However, Google says burn-in isn't really an issue.

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Android 8.1 OTAs rolling out to beta users while manual OTA files temporarily on hold due to flashing errors

The images for the Android 8.1 developer preview may have gone live yesterday, but it took a full day for the OTA update to start rolling out. If you signed up for the Android Beta Program on a compatible device, you should see the 8.1 developer preview update hit your device soon.

On that note, Google also seems to have pulled the manual OTA file downloads for the 8.1 developer preview, so right now your only options for migrating to the developer preview are registering for the Android Beta Program and waiting for the update, or flashing from the full factory images onto an unlocked bootloader. 

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Acer Chromebook 15, HP Chromebook 11 G5, and 15 others now fully support the Play Store

Earlier this year, Google announced that all Chromebooks shipped in 2017 and beyond would support the Play Store. Some models have shipped with the feature already enabled, while others took a few months after launch to get everything working. At the same time, Google has been working to backport the Play Store to older Chromebooks.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: You can hide the 'running in the background' notification without a third-party app

Android 8.0 introduced some big changes to notifications, but not all of them have been well received. The "running in the background" notification could be annoying if you always have something like a VPN active. We covered a way to get rid of that notification with a third-party app, but the Android 8.1 dev preview makes it possible to hide it without installing anything else.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Pixel 2's Visual Core chip now enabled, and developers can use it

One of the new features in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is the 'Visual Core.' As we covered before, this is a custom chip developed by Google to improve photo processing. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL shipped with this chip disabled, with Google promising that it would be activated "in the coming months."

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Status bar icons are now rounded and have padding on the left and right

Google had rounded status bar icons in its phones' marketing materials for the Pixel, though the devices came with regular, squared-off icons in reality. But with the introduction of 8.1, we're finally getting legitimately rounded icons in the status bar, even if the change is extremely hard to notice. There's also now padding on the left and right sides of the status bar icons, regardless of whether it's necessary for your particular device.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Toast messages are now white to better match the rest of the UI

Those of you who are fans of darker themes on software won't be happy with this change we've discovered in the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview: toast messages now have a lighter, inverted theme. This was likely done in order to match the rest of the much whiter user interface, which the gray toasts didn't really go with.

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Add history to the Pixel 2 'Now Playing' song identification feature with this app

Just before Google's Pixel 2 launch event, we learned of a great new always-on feature that listens for music and displays the song name and artist on the lock screen without even being asked to do so. Now Playing even works without an internet connection, as it keeps a local file containing identification data for nearly 20,000 songs. It won't be able to name everything you hear out and about, but anything vaguely popular should be picked up.

What if you hear a song you like, but you aren't able to look at your phone before it's finished and a new song is playing?

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Canary camera integrates with Assistant, but only to provide environment info as a start

Canary has seen one pretty steep low this month after the big change in features for free users including the reduction of video recordings to a short measly 10-sec preview. But now the smart camera company is hoping to gain back some love with the introduction of its Google Assistant integration.

Starting today, you can head over to your Assistant's "Explore" section and look for Canary, or use this direct link, and connect your Canary account to Assistant. When that's done, you'll be able to ask Assistant to talk to Canary or immediately say things like, "ask Canary what's the temperature at home," or "ask Canary for the humidity in my apartment." You can also inquire about the battery life of the wireless Flex camera.

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