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Android N Preview 3 Finally, Finally, Finally Introduces A Modern Android System Icon

After Lollipop 5.1's groundbreaking introduction of a new Android Beam icon and default Android Bugdroid icon, and Marshmallow's unforgettable contribution of a new Bluetooth icon, N is ready to carry the torch forward by making a significant change of its own to our favorite operating system: in the latest Developer Preview 3, the Android System icon is brand spanking new.

As a refresher, here is what that icon has looked like since the Gingerbread (and maybe earlier) days in the battery usage screen: a metallic knob with a smaller knob below it, and some green border for it all. You're not alone, I don't get it either.

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Android N Developer Preview 3 Fixes Double Tap To Open Camera, Doesn't Lock Device Anymore

Since 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Android has had a cool feature whereby you tap the power button twice in quick succession and the camera app will open. It's a handy feature, and one I use reasonably regularly to quickly snap a photo.

However, ever since it was introduced, there's been an issue: if the phone or tablet is unlocked and the power button is double tapped, the device will first lock and then open the camera app, rather than just opening the camera. This behaviour is definitely present in Marshmallow, and we're reasonably certain it was the same for N Developer Preview 2 (DP2), although we can't actually find a device to test on (if you have DP2 and find this isn't the case, let us know in the comments).

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Google's New Science Journal App Is A Science Nerd's Dream, Be It Your Kid Or The Kid Within You

I love science. That has to be pretty obvious from both of my work fields, but there's also more to my passion for science than medicine and technology. My physics professor used to call me "The Brain" because, well, I had a knack for solving the most complicated physics problems he could come up with. I want my kids to have this same love for science and this same curiosity, and I'm glad that the world we're in right now not only encourages this kind of enthusiasm, it also celebrates it and has developed more communities and tools and environments where kids can indulge in their scientific pursuits.

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Samsung Pay And Alipay Partner Up For Mobile Payments In China

Samsung Pay is on a heck of a ride lately. The company's mobile payment solution is a little more than half a year old by now, but it has already expanded to a couple of different countries, added loyalty and membership cards, brought support for more banks, and is on track to maybe add online payments later this year. It helps that Samsung Pay has the backing of Samsung's behemoth marketing and the wide potential base of its fleet of smartphones.

This latest announcement though is probably going to be one of the most profitable and impactful: Samsung Pay is teaming up with Alipay in China.

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Android N Developer Preview 3 Has Two New Dev-Focused Quick Settings, And The Missing Night Mode Is Still (Sort Of) Accessible

Quick settings is the site of major improvements in Android N—there's a new row of five toggles along the top of the notification shade, the quick settings can be rearranged, and you can even add new tiles. The latest Android N Dev Preview 3 brings more improvements and tweaks to quick settings.

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Current Nexus Devices Will Not Get The New Seamless Update Feature From Android N

Speaking to Google at the Android team's office hours event, we learned that Android N's new seamless update feature, borrowed from Chrome OS, will not be introduced on any current Nexus devices. While the benefits of seamless updates' usage of dual system partitions to allow OS updates to proceed in the background are substantial, they're also a bit of a technical bear to put on existing smartphones. Implementing seamless updates on the Nexus 5X or 6P, for example, would require repartitioning the entire phone, and wouldn't be possible for an end user to complete without hooking the phone up to a computer, allegedly - it would just be a pain, in short.

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The New Awareness API Will Let Apps Better Understand Your Environment

Android has always made use of location services in various ways, including recent innovations like location-based smart lock. What if your phone could truly understand what's going on in the world around it with a simple API? That's Google's new Awareness API, which was just announced at I/O.

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Google's Allo Uses The Signal Protocol From Open Whisper Systems For End-To-End Encryption

Google will be launching its new Allo chat application in the coming weeks, and with it comes true end-to-end encryption. Open Whisper Systems has announced that its own Signal Protocol is powering the encryption in Allo. It's not on by default, which has sent some privacy purists into a fit, but this is still a very good thing.

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Google Rolls Out Enhanced Android Pay APIs To Developers

You might be seeing a lot more of Android Pay in the coming months. Google has deployed a new set of APIs for developers to build Pay into mobile web sites, instant apps, and even your email. The goal is to make the payment process faster and easier on mobile devices, but only in countries where Android Pay is accepted.

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[Gaming, Streaming] Android Is Getting A 'Sustained Performance Mode' For Consistent App Performance Over Long Periods Of Time

You know how when you use your phone or tablet for long periods of time, it gets a little warm? Sometimes it even goes toasty — hi, Snapdragon 810! — and app performance suffers: you start seeing lags and stutters and things don't work as smoothly or as reliably as they should. That's because the system throttles the SoC when it risks reaching its limit temperature. This is the kind of performance issues that the new Sustained Performance Mode aims to solve.

There's a new 'Sustained Performance API' in the latest Android N Developer Preview 3. It works based on feedback provided by OEMs regarding each device and its performance for long-running apps.

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