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Google's new photo books are already live in the Photos app for some

Photo books were announced at Google I/O 2017 just three days ago, and could be ordered that same day - but on the web only. However, the feature was said to be rolling out to the Google Photos Android and iOS apps 'in the coming weeks.' It seems like that estimate was just a tad conservative, as it's already showing up in some people's Photos apps.

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Alarm.com releases its actions for Google Assistant, including locking doors and disarming security systems

Actions on Google, the platform that makes it possible for third-party developers and services to integrate with Google Assistant, has been seeing a lot of success lately with important companies jumping on board like LG, GE, Logitech, and more. The newest addition though might be one of the most interesting — at least if your name is Artem Russakovskii (all hail our geeky leader!) and you have dozens of lights, locks, sensors, and cameras all working within the Alarm.com system.

Alarm.com users will be able to add their system under Google Assistant's Assistant apps section or by saying, "OK Google, talk to Alarm.com." Once authenticated with their credentials, they have a lot of options at their disposal.

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Android Auto hits eight more Kia models, with another added to the 'coming soon' list

Kia's doing a decent job equipping its cars with Android Auto support, with popular models like the Soul and Forte already coming with it. Previously, eight Kias were already listed as being Android Auto-compatible. Today, though, the Android Auto site was updated to reflect that eight more Kias now support Google's in-car operating system, with an additional three on the way.

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Android O feature spotlight: VolumeShaper lets audio apps perform cross fades, fade-outs, and more

Android has a long and complicated history with audio output, but Google has been improving audio on Android with higher quality sound and lower latency. In Android O, developers will have a new tool to perform audio transitions and effects.

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Graphics drivers can be updated from the Play Store in Android O

A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming.

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Casting to NVIDIA SHIELD TV now supports 5.1 Surround Sound in some apps and 4K YouTube at 60fps

NVIDIA's SHIELD TV is one of the best Android TV set-top boxes on the market (though the competition isn't that heated threr), but it's also quickly becoming one of the best overall video set-top boxes, even with Roku, Amazon, and Apple in the game. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the SHIELD TV added 4K streaming from Google Play Movies, and now it's announcing a couple of other improvements to its casting feature.

A new Google Cast Receiver update has opened up new capabilities to the SHIELD TV and NVIDIA was quick to jump on board and verify they all work as intended.

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Google releases Daydream Elements, a new demo app for best VR practices

If you're considering building a new VR game or app experience, you may be facing new challenges in how to create realistic scenes, how to move your characters across space without dizzying the player, and how to choose between click and gesture controls depending on what's best for your setting.

Daydream Elements is a new open-source app by Google that provides tech demos for many scenarios regarding these 3 areas: locomotion, menus and virtual controls, and rendering and lighting. There's also a full documentation page with explanations and details on each aspect, plus the source code on GitHub, so you should have everything at your disposal.

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The current Google Pixel/Pixel XL will support Project Treble, possibly meaning longer support

There are a few reasons why your phone or tablet stops getting Android updates. One reason could be that the maker of your device's processor (e.g. Qualcomm or MediaTek) never updated the drivers for newer versions of Android. This is why no phones or tablets with the Snapdragon 800/801 chip ever officially received Android 7.0 Nougat, including the Nexus 5.

Google announced Project Treble a week ago, which aims to solve this particular problem by separating the Android OS from the 'Vendor interface' (the part with all the low-level drivers and binary blobs). The vendor interface under Project Treble is also designed to be forwards-compatible, meaning that it shouldn't have to be updated for every Android update, in theory.

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Android O feature spotlight: Apps can finally capture the mouse pointer

Android has never really been designed for use on desktop or laptop PCs, but various ports like Android x86 and Remix OS have appeared over the years. Now that Android apps can run on Chromebooks, perhaps Google thought it was finally time to implement pointer capture support in Android.

Starting with Android O, apps can capture a device's mouse pointer using the new requestPointerCapture method.

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Android O Developer Preview 2 gets a small bump to OPP2.170420.019, fixes Android Pay but isn't installing on many Nexus devices [Update]

Android O's second developer preview was only released yesterday, but Google has already released an update for it. We're getting bombarded with tips from readers with Nexus and Pixel devices alike. This update reportedly somewhat fixes Android Pay, which did not open at all on yesterday's version. However, it appears that Nexus devices are having trouble updating.

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