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Android O feature spotlight: The navigation keys go dark when pulling up the Pixel launcher's app drawer

As far as features go, this one is a pretty teeny tiny change, but we know you, dear Android Police reader, like to check out the nitty gritty of every Android release, and that's what we're here for.

On Android O, when you pull up the app drawer in the Pixel Launcher, you may notice one change: the navigation buttons no longer float still float on top of the drawer in a translucent overlay, but they switch to dark icons and ditch the translucent bar beneath them when scrolled to the very bottom.

Left: Android O on a Pixel. Right: Android N 7.1.2 on a Nexus 5X.

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LG Pay should go live in Korea in June, first supported device is the LG G6

Sometimes it's hard to defend LG and its "me-too" strategy of always trying to launch the exact same thing Samsung does, but several months or years later. This case is another example, although the details do appear a little encouraging in LG's favor.

The company has officially announced today that it made an agreement with Dynamics Inc., a US-based company that has developed a Wireless Magnetic Communication technology that's similar to Samsung's MST but with a different algorithm, to start using said tech in LG Pay. The service is supposed to launch in South Korea in June, with the first official phone being the G6 since it already has all the necessary hardware. A firmware update may bring LG Pay to other devices later in the year as well.

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Samsung officially launches Samsung Pay for everyone in India

After weeks of teasing Samsung Pay in India, the service was made available to testers earlier this month, but today it's been officially announced for everyone.

Owners of supported Galaxy devices in India will be able to install the Samsung Pay app today and add VISA, Mastercard, and American Express cards issued by Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, and Standard Chartered Bank, with Citibank India to follow shortly. Digital wallet Paytm is also supported, as well the Indian government's new Unified Payments Interface.

Then, users will be able to tap to pay at various retailers using either NFC or Samsung's Magnetic Secure Transmission technology, which is the most prevalent across POS machines in India. The announcement doesn't say which Galaxy devices are supported, but your best bet based on previous countries' Pay launches are flagships from the last year or two and high midrange devices from the last year.

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The visual Recent search interface in the Google app appears to be on a wider rollout

If you're feeling left out of the Android O party, there's one new thing you may be able to check out that doesn't require flashing a new firmware or having a specific device. The "Recents" search screen that lists all of your previous Google searches on a specific device appears to be going live for everyone - or at least almost everyone on the Google app beta release.

The "Recents" interface first made its appearance last December when we noticed plenty of server-side tests in the Google app including Offline Searches (which are now live) and Lite Mode (which doesn't appear to be live for everyone yet).

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Google makes Search shortcuts official, helps you find information quicker

Right before the avalanche of Android O news yesterday, Google made one small announcement that we had our eyes on but never really got around to writing: Search shortcuts are now official.

You may remember we first spotted them last September when they had a very distinct circular look, then we saw a newer iteration in November when the circle was ditched but the icons began opening up to more actions, and finally this most recent look started popping up in our tips inbox over the past few weeks. So some of you may already have seen the new Search shortcuts over the last weeks, others will probably start seeing them now.

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Android O feature spotlight: The install source permission is now limited to only user-authorized apps

Installing apps from outside of the Play Store can be a good thing (I mean, it's the whole basis for APKMirror), but it can also lead to trouble. For some time now, a user would have to go into the Security settings and toggle "Install from unknown sources." One of the many changes in Android O is to how this model works — that old option is gone and each app now must be granted the install source permission for APK installation.

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Android O feature spotlight: Notification Channels give more controls over notifications to users

Android has allowed blocking notifications from selected apps for a while now, but it was all-or-nothing. Android O aims to give users more control over what notifications they want to see, through the new Notification Channels API.

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Android O feature spotlight: Custom shortcuts can now be added to the lockscreen via System UI Tuner

Google's version of Android has historically been relatively light on features, but the Mountain View-based company has been rapidly closing that gap. Other implementations of Android have had multi-window for a while now, but that took until 7.0 Nougat to make its way onto stock Android. Now, we're getting another feature that we've seen on other skins: custom lockscreen shortcuts.

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[Update: Maybe not] Android O feature spotlight: Ambient display gets a downgrade

Sometimes updates to Google products are two steps forward, one step back. Ambient display originally showed up in stock Android with the launch of the Nexus 6, which turns on the display for a few seconds when notifications arrive. It has remained a popular feature, but Android O changes it quite a bit.

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Android O feature spotlight: It looks like Android may be getting native support for themes

I cannot fault people for loving the theme support present in certain OEM and custom ROMs. The fact that Google has never implemented them in any sort of official way has been a frustration to many, but we did find something very interesting in the Android O preview. In the display settings, there is a section for "Device theme," which has two options. Hm...

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