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Searching "Bubble Level" In Google On Your Phone Gives You An Interactive Bubble Indicator

Of the many cool goodies in Google Search, this must be one of the most interesting and useful ones. Simply open Google Now or Google Search in Chrome and look for "bubble level," and you'll get a, well, bubble level. Quite expectedly.

The level appears as the top search card and is interactive. It adapts to whether you're holding your phone in portrait or landscape, or laying it flat on a table. While you may not use this for some very precise work, it is super cool and could come handy if you want to hang a poster or painting and just need an average way to know it's not completely crooked without installing a third-party app.

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Android 6.0.1 Fixes The Annoying "Jumping" Behavior Of The Share Menu Caused By Direct Share Contacts

If you're on Android 6.0 and use the share menu regularly, you may have encountered a rather annoying issue with Android's Direct Share feature. The issue arises when the share dialog pops open and the direct share contacts don't load immediately. Instead, the UI loads, you go to tap what you want, and suddenly the direct share contacts appear and all the app share links get pushed down out of view. See the animations below for the Android 6.0 and 6.0.1 behaviors side by side - the broken version is on the left.

 

Left: Android 6.0 behavior. Right: Android 6.0.1 behavior.

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[Huge Pictures] Here Is Every Single Emoji In Android As Of The New 6.0.1 Marshmallow Update

With Android 6.0.1, which began rolling out today, comes support for over 200 new unicode emoji and accompanying graphics. No, I do not have a chart of all the new emoji. Sorry. What I do have is the now-current picture of every single emoji on Android. There are a lot. I'm sorry not all of these are perfectly spaced and aligned to the pixel, but I did what I could in an hour or so. Sixty-five screenshots later, here they are.

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Android 6.0.1 Brings Back The "Until Next Alarm" Option For Do Not Disturb Mode

When Google released the first Android M preview images shortly after Google I/O, one of the bigger changes was a reworking of the priority interruptions system that was part of Lollipop. It went back to being called Do Not Disturb mode again in M, but one of the handier features of the system was tossed: the ability to mute notifications until your next scheduled alarm.

This feature is, obviously, convenient for a variety of reasons. Many of us are forgetful (e.g., me) and don't always want to rely on Android's downtime rules to determine when we do or don't want to hear notifications.

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Video: The Huawei Watch's New Customizable Watch Face Is Surprisingly Awesome

In the most recent update to the Huawei Watch, the company added a brand-new customizable face to the device. While you may note that there are plenty of watch face creation apps out there for Android Wear, Huawei's is a bit different. All of the customization happens on the watch itself, and the UI is dead simple - just pick and choose the elements you want, and you're off with a personalized layout.

While it's not the most robust customization we've seen for Android Wear, the simplicity and functionality of Huawei's tool is what really makes it shine. Anybody can figure this out, and it allows you to add just a touch of personal flare to your smartwatch if you find the built-in faces don't really suit you.

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Some Things To Know Regarding SIM Cards When Activating An Unlocked Device On Sprint

Ever since the Nexus 5, Sprint seems to be ever more accepting of unlocked devices designed to work on its network. As of right now, there are nine unlocked, SIM-free phones that Sprint allows, and that number will likely grow with each passing year. While this is a great thing, there are definitely some obstacles with getting a SIM card which, in turn, can make activating one of these devices a less-than-pleasurable experience.

Background

Sprint still runs its network with an iron grip as far as the devices allowed on it. In order to be permitted on the network, your device's IMEI must be white listed in the carrier's activation system.

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PSA: You Can Enable Google Maps Traffic View In Countries And Regions Where It's Not Available

No matter how much we use our Android devices, there are tips and tricks that we don't discover until someone shares them with us and we hit ourselves on the head and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" One example is how to enable traffic view in Google Maps in countries and areas where the app says it isn't available.

Live traffic is officially enabled in about 50 countries in the world, and the rest of us often have to just start driving and then discover that the route we picked was jam packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some countries have a local solution in terms of a standalone app or traffic provider, but that isn't as universal and integrated of a solution as Google Maps.

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PSA: Unlocking The Nexus 6P Bootloader Requires The New 'Flashing' Command, Likely To Become Common For Many Devices In The Future

By now most orders for the Nexus 6P have been delivered, or at least getting close. If you haven't tried unlocking the bootloader yet, it might come as a surprise that the 'fastboot oem unlock' command no longer works. Attempting to use it with the Nexus 6P fails with a message that it is an unknown instruction. Don't worry, this doesn't have anything to do with drivers, and it isn't a fluke. Google had Huawei replace the oem command in the Nexus 6P bootloader with the new flashing command. Here's what it will look like:

fastboot flashing unlock

fastboot flashing lock

fastboot flashing unlock_critical

fastboot flashing lock_critical

fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability

There are two levels of unlocking: normal and critical.

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Why Does My Android Phone Have eFuses And Why Should I Care About Them?

This is a guest post by Ricardo "arcee" Cerqueira who takes things apart for sport, on a quest to understand how they work. He currently works on Android devices at Cyanogen.

As people started receiving their Nexus 6Ps, some began freaking out over a new message that comes up on the screen when booting into fastboot mode: “QFUSE: ENABLED,” with wild speculative theories coming up regarding what it does and doesn’t do, what kind of limitations it’s imposing, and wondering if and how it can be “disabled.” So... what’s this qFuse thing, anyway?

Think of an eFuse as the mind’s eye representation of a bit that only flips one way, or something that can only be done once on a piece of writeable flash.

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Reminder: Your New Chromecast Came With A Free Play Movies Rental, Use It!

Did you buy the new-and-improved 2015 Chromecast? If so, you may have forgotten that your purchase includes a free movie rental on Google Play Movies, even if you'd already purchased a Chromecast previously (offers are per device, not account - so you get one for each CC you purchased up to a maximum of five). The movie rental offer doesn't apply to Chromecast Audio purchases, in case you were wondering.

eCrtVdv

The current offer runs until the end of the year (12/31/15), so there's no rush to redeem it. As always, in order to redeem the offer, you'll need to open the Chromecast app on your device or head to cast.google.com/chromecast/offers while on the same network as or nearby your Chromecast device.

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