Android Police

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Google is looking into Android 8.1 lockscreen swipe issues on Pixel devices

I'd wager that most owners of Pixel phones use the fingerprint sensors on the back to unlock their phones, but there are circumstances in which using the backup PIN, pattern, or password is necessary. Many Pixel owners, myself included, have noticed that it's become rather difficult to swipe the lockscreen up on Android 8.1 Oreo. Google is aware of the problem and is looking into it.

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Google posts Nexus/Pixel system images and OTA files for January 2018 patches

Google is getting an early start in 2018 by rolling out the monthly patches for Nexus and Pixel devices. The OTA files and full system images are available a few days earlier than usual, and devices should begin seeing updates in the not too distant future. It looks like several devices have two different builds available this month, so you'll have to grab the right one if you just can't wait.

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The most (and least) popular devices used to browse Android Police in 2017

Last August, I published a list of the most and least popular smartphones and tablets used on Android Police. That post was surprisingly popular - and I've had repeated requests for a follow-up. Now that well over a year has passed, I think the time is right for a new installment, and one spanning a far greater time period than the month-long data set I used to compile the last version.

This time, I'll be showing you which devices were the most popular across the whole of 2017. And, of course, I'll show you some of the outliers, to give you a sense of how some devices have fallen (or never grown) from the ranks.

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Google has added text to the Pixel Launcher search box for some, and nobody wants it

Google is no stranger to testing both warranted and unwarranted design changes in its apps on normal users, so this comes as no surprise. This time Google is testing a small change to the Pixel Launcher, but it's one that nobody asked for, and seemingly nobody wants it either.

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Google seems to have locked the Pixel Launcher's install count to '1-5' in the Play Store [Update]

The Pixel Launcher comes pre-installed on Pixel phones, but it's also listed in the Play Store for easy updates. However, Google appears to have made an unusual change to the app listing there. It no longer shows the actual number of installs. Instead, it's locked to the smallest "1-5" group.

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Google's AR Stickers are rolling out to Pixel devices [APK Download]

Google spent years working on the augmented reality hardware known as Tango. There have been two consumer phones with Tango so far, neither of which has been a great experience. However, the company recently showed off augmented reality content running on Pixel phones without Tango hardware. It didn't have a timeline for making AR stickers available, but today appears to be the day. An update to AR core has appeared in the Play Store and the AR Stickers app is live.

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Android 8.1 OTA files and factory images are now live

Anxiously waiting for 8.1 to land? It would appear that today is the day. Google has just released both the OTA files for sideloading 8.1 and the requisite factory images. Intrepid Android enthusiasts can flash the update, though it is worth noting that the OTA files aren't currently working when sideloading from DP2 on at least one device. 

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Google's December 2017 security bulletin is up, system updates go live tomorrow (December 5th)

It's almost time for another round of updates to Google's Android devices. The currently supported Pixels and Nexus phones should begin seeing new builds tomorrow, but Google already has the latest security bulletin up to detail what's fixed in the new version. There don't appear to be any functional updates this month, though.

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Latest Gmail and Maps versions have white/inverted nav bars on Android 8.1

White navigation bars are nothing new, with LG phones having had them as options for many years and Samsung recently making them the default to reduce burn-in on its Galaxy phones. Now they're becoming abundant in Google phones with the introduction of Android 8.1 Oreo, both for aesthetic effect and in an attempt to minimize burn-in. Their latest appearances on 8.1 are in Gmail and Maps, where they've found new homes.

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Lens in Google Assistant is rolling out widely on Pixel phones today

Google announced a few weeks ago that Lens was coming to Google Assistant, but the deployment would take some time. It's showed up sporadically for users since then, but it appears to be rolling out widely on Pixel phones today (in select markets). Open Assistant, and you may very well have the Lens button down at the bottom.

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