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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Android Now Has A Native Flashlight API, Hopefully Negating The Need For OEM-Specific Solutions

While Android Lollipop added a flashlight toggle into Quick Settings, circumventing most third-party torch apps, the function was only accessible in the notification drop-down and as an on/off switch. If you wanted to use the flashlight with morse code, for signaling, or other patterns, you still had to use a separate application and developers of said apps didn't have any clear API to build their software on. They had to hack together solutions for various phones, relying on whatever way the different OEMs had created to access the camera's flash.

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[I/O 2015] Google's Cardboard Now Works With Phablets And iOS, Pushes For 360 Degree Videos, And Brings Expeditions To Classrooms

What everyone thought was an innocent little experiment from Google during last year's I/O has turned into a full-on Virtual Reality venture from the company. Cardboard, a piece of actual cardboard that you fold and insert your phone in for a make-shift low-cost VR display, has been getting more focus and momentum over the past year with 500 compatible apps and over 1 million viewers sold or given away. That rise culminated with a few announcements at yesterday's I/O keynote.

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[I/O 2015] Brillo And Weave Are The Foundations Of Google's Internet Of Things Push

We're still weeding through the fantasmagoric dump of announcements, features, and all the new things that Google has gifted us with yesterday during its I/O keynote, and we now reach the company's push for a unified and improved Internet of Things ecosystem. It was only a week ago that we heard rumors of this new venture, which seems to be a rethought [email protected] initiative that is adapted for broader purposes, and it's now official.

There are two pillars to Google's new ecosystem: Brillo and Weave.

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[I/O 2015] Google Maps Is Getting Offline Search And Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Let's face it, Google Maps' current offline functionality sucks. Even saving an area for offline viewing is a relatively hidden option that you either stumble upon by mistake once or that you have to actively remember how to get to when you need it. But Google seems intent on making offline maps better.

It doesn't look like they're changing the way saving offline maps work, which is a shame because it's difficult to find and there's no option to easily download a state or city, but they are adding more functionality that will be accessible when you're offline.

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Smart Lock Now Acts As A Password Manager Using Your Google Account For Both Chrome And Android

Buried in the newly-located Google settings is a curious area called "Smart Lock Passwords." While it doesn't make its function very clear, once you try to sign in with one of the supported apps, it gets much more obvious. Take, for instance, Netflix, one of this feature's launch partners. After signing in as you would normally, Smart Lock will ask if you'd like to store your password for future use.

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Now, at this point, you haven't really seen the fun part. Storing passwords is one thing, but making them useful is another. To demonstrate, I uninstalled the Netflix app and then opened it for the first time.

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[Android M Feature Spotlight] Google Is Now A Top Level Item In System Settings Menu, Previously Only Accessible Via App Icon Shortcut

In the past few versions of Android, you could access your Google account-related settings via an app icon in your app drawer, like the one used in the featured image in this article. From there, you could opt out of ad tracking, look at apps connected to your account, and a variety of other things. In Android M, these have migrated to the system settings menu.

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The "old" method was never very intuitive, so this change makes sense. Given that Google services are so thoroughly integrated into the system, it isn't as if these settings are out of place in the system menus.

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Google Now Launcher Will Soon Allow You To Uninstall Apps From Home Screens Instead Of Just The App Drawer

One aspect of Google Now Launcher that never felt quite right was the way you removed apps. If you happened to be on a home screen, saw an app icon, and decided to uninstall that app, you had to go to the app drawer to do that. You could get rid of the shortcut from the home screen, but not uninstall it. The Android M version now takes care of that small annoyance.

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When you drag it over uninstall, it will turn red. When it is hovering on remove, which just gets rid of the shortcut, the icon becomes grayscaled.

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[I/O 2015] Dave Burke Wears Android Wear Watch With A Picture Of A Milkshake On It During I/O Presentation - Internet Freaks Out

With the Android M developer preview being made available to the public today, some of the secrets of Android's latest OS have been unwrapped and shown to the public. One secret that still remains is which dessert themed name beginning with M the next gen software will be known by.

Well, there is nothing that the internet does a better job of than spreading rumors, and the image on the face of Google's own David Burke's watch started a big one. There, on his shiny new Huawei Watch (Huatch), was the picture of a milkshake for all to see, a dessert that just happens to start with the letter M.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Now Available From NVIDIA And Amazon, SHIELD Pro Coming In June

So you've read our exhaustive review of the NVIDIA SHIELD and decided that it's the Android TV device for you. Whelp, it's available for purchase right now in the US, from both NVIDIA's own store and Amazon.com. The standard 16GB SHIELD is $199.99, but it looks like the SHIELD Pro ($299.99) with its 500GB internal hard drive won't be available until June. According to the NVIDIA Store it's coming on the 3rd, while Amazon says it won't be in stock till the 12th.

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SHIELD comes with $30 of free Google Play Store credit and 90 days of Google Play Music All Access.

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Inbox 1.8 Is Now Open To Everyone, Adds Swipe To Delete, Signatures, Trip Bundles, And More [APK Download]

Ever since its first release, Inbox by Gmail has been donning more and more features, all priming it for its graduation from an invite-only state to a public release. And that moment is now. Inbox no longer requires an invite for regular Gmail users and Work customers, and has gained a couple of interesting capabilities along the way.

First up, and Hallelujah, you should be able to switch the default action for swiping from marking an email as done to deleting it.

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