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Google updates Wear OS developer preview to restore background jobs and alarms

We did not learn much about the future of Wear OS at Google I/O this year despite the company putting on a "what's new in Wear OS" session. One of the few truly new things discussed in that talk was the team's new focus on battery life in Android P. Now, Google is rolling back the battery-saving features in the developer preview following a flurry of developer feedback.

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Android P DP3 simplifies Do Not Disturb settings, includes notification/popup to warn you of changes

Do Not Disturb mode is an increasingly vital part of the Android OS as far as I'm concerned. Advanced "digital wellbeing" features are all well and good, but the simplicity of being able to tell my phone to shut up for a little while is something I'm using more and more. It seems that every new version of Android alters how DND works — sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. Google has made significant changes to DND in each Developer Preview of Android P, and the latest beta makes further alterations and includes a new notification to warn you of certain differences.

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Sony offers Android P Beta 2 for Xperia XZ2 devices

Just a few weeks after launching its Android P testing program for Xperia XZ2 devices, Sony has made the second beta available to download. It's available over-the-air for those already running Android P Beta 1, and it comes with a whole bunch of big fixes.

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[Update: Full downloads posted] Android P Beta 1 rolling out to Essential Phone

Essential may have run into a few recent issues, but the company remains committed to updating its devices. Case in point: Essential's latest Android P update is rolling out now, bringing the titanium and ceramic-framed notch the company's latest Android P Beta 1.

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Android P DP3 brings the home screen rotation toggle back

When Android P DP2 debuted, we posted about a new rotation icon that showed up when the phone is rotated with auto-rotate off, but neglected to mention that the 'Allow Home screen rotation' toggle in the Pixel Launcher had disappeared. If you were confused by that, you'll be pleased to know that DP3 has brought that toggle back.

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Android P DP3 slightly changes the position of the date in the notification panel

Android P's third developer preview landed yesterday, and we're still finding new changes. This one's pretty minor, but since we all love nitpicking over tiny details that the average consumer will never notice, here it is: the date has been moved from the right of the clock to below the clock. Huge news, we know.

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Android P DP3 makes app drawer and Google Feed backgrounds much darker

With the Pixel 2, Google introduced automatic dark/light themes dependent on your wallpaper. It was a short-lived exclusive, making its way to Android 8.1 just days later. It hasn't even been a year since then, but Google is already changing the themes' behavior slightly — for the better, in my opinion.

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Android P DP3's notification reply UI gets a new icon

Android P has received a ton of UI changes, and Google's still adding more even in its third developer preview. Our latest feature spotlight concerns the icon that shows up in the message reply notification interface, which has been swapped out for a more P-fitting one. Note that this has nothing to do with Google's Reply app; this is just a UI tweak as part of DP3.

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Google makes subtle improvements to gesture navigation and adds a tutorial in dev preview 3

Google showed off its vision for gesture navigation in Android with the second preview release at I/O, and it was... not great. With the new dev preview 3 release, Google has made a few tweaks to gesture nav functionality, plus there's a basic tutorial. 

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Improved logarithmic brightness slider introduced in Android P DP3

Android P has been making several changes to how it handles brightness, from a merely animated slider for adaptive changes, to the promise of machine learning-based improvements. And another new brightness-related tweak just trickled down in the recent Android P DP3/Beta 2 release yesterday: The slider now controls brightness on a logarithmic scale, rather than linear. 

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