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Google Assistant's Home control now directly supports over 65 partners

It feels like only yesterday that Google Home launched with support for a few select services. If memory serves me well, those were Nest, Hue, SmartThings, and IFTTT. It took a while for Home to add its next batch of services (Wink, WeMo, Honeywell), but oh how they grow up so fast! Suddenly, it was an onslaught of new partners and services and we could barely keep up.

Neither could Google, apparently, because its support page for partners and services on Google Home only lists 32 companies in the "Smart Home" category. But there are twice as many if you head over to the Home control section of your Google Home app.

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Logitech Circle cameras now support Google Assistant and Chromecast streaming

Logitech's Circle cameras have a few new tricks today, but they're tricks we've seen before. Alphabet subsidiary Nest took the stage at the recent Google hardware event to show off some new features that plug into the Google ecosystem. It demoed the ability to stream camera feeds to a Chromecast device, and now Logitech can do the same with Circle. That certainly didn't take long.

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Android Studio 3.0 arrives in stable channel, with support for Kotlin, improves device emulators, and more

For the past few years, the primary way to build Android applications has been through Google's Android Studio. The first stable release arrived in 2014, with version 2.0 appearing last year. The third major update was announced at Google I/O 2017, and now it is finally ready for prime time.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: 'Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep' option removed, as on the Pixel 2

If you have an incredibly detailed memory, you may recall as far back as around 24 hours ago, when we talked about how the "Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep" setting was apparently removed for the Pixel 2s. We felt that it was a confusing, unnecessary, and potentially unintentional change, but Google is doubling down. With the latest Android 8.1 developer preview images, the option is now missing on more than just the Pixel 2, likely confirming that the change was intended. 

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Canceled Pixel 2 'muskie' by HTC appears in AOSP, had 3830mAh battery and Pixel Visual Core on board

It's been a while since this news was relevant, but the Pixel XL's successor was initially codenamed 'muskie.' However, we learned that muskie was shelved in favor of 'taimen,'  which is the Pixel 2 XL we have today. But XDA has done some digging and discovered some interesting specs that muskie would have had. Among these is a massive 3830mAh battery, which is pretty interesting.

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[Update: Not all devices] Android 8.1 feature spotlight: The sRGB toggle has been removed entirely from Developer options

Calibrated color has been a hot topic recently for both Android and the Pixel 2 phones, and the Android 8.1 developer previews indicate more changes on the horizon. As of the current preview images, the "Picture color mode" sRGB toggle in Developer options has been removed. This change makes devices like the OG Pixels and last-generation Nexuses match the new Pixel 2 and 2XL, which similarly lack the setting since a calibrated mode is the default. 

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Make colors on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL more vibrant with Oreo Colorizer [APK Download]

This is a guest post from developer Carlos Lopez, also known as ShortFuse. He’s the developer of SuperOneClick and Fusion.

As detailed in my recent color explainer, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have a default method of displaying colors in a limited color space. Google’s software doesn’t include an option to force a wide gamut, so I created an app that does it. You can download the new Oreo Colorizer right now, and you don’t even need to root your phone.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Settings gets a search bar on top à la Pixel 2

In the past couple of years, many apps have traded small search icons for full-width search bars. The Google Play Store is a prime example of this, and it makes hitting the search button much easier. To my eye, it improves the appearance of the app as well, but that's subjective. The Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview has brought the top-mounted search bar to all devices, marking another Pixel 2-exclusive lost.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Bluetooth battery level comes to all devices, now shows battery bar in Quick Settings

Not all of us are huge fans of iOS, but there's one thing that Apple's mobile operating system gets very right: Bluetooth battery levels. This feature made its formal Android debut on the Pixel 2, and it's now coming to all Android devices with the Android 8.1 developer preview. It also brings the battery level to Quick Settings, which will definitely come in handy.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Android System notifications have a new Oreo icon

Android 8.1 has quite a few minor changes, ranging from a new easter egg to the new dimming navigation bar. Another small tweak is the icon for Android System notifications, which are used to display messages about updates, debugging, and other similar functions.

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