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7

tinyCam is one of the first third-party apps to use Android 11's new power menu

tinyCam is one of the first third-party apps to use Android 11's new power menu

Android 11 brings a whole new look to the power menu — not just for reboots and shutdowns anymore, users will be able to change their tap-to-pay card on the fly and even control their smart home devices, too. tinyCam, a third-party monitoring app for smart home cameras, is trying to take full advantage of that space as it beta tests live monitoring from right within the power menu.

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57

Google announces Wear OS update with performance and UI improvements

Google announces Wear OS update with performance and UI improvements

Google's Wear OS platform has been in a holding pattern for much of the past year, while the company waits for its acquisition of Fitbit to go through (or be shut down over antitrust lawsuits). Thankfully, Google hasn't completely forgotten about its existing wearable platform, as a new update is coming in the fall with some much-needed improvements.

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6

Google's making it easier for Android app developers to work from Chromebooks

Google's making it easier for Android app developers to work from Chromebooks

Platforms live or die on the backs of developers, without which we wouldn't have apps or services to run on them. Microsoft had that figured out years ago, and Google has learned all about it when it comes to Android. Now Google is stepping up its efforts when it comes to developing for (and on) Chrome OS, highlighting Chrome OS's new customizable Linux terminal, while also announcing support for the Android Emulator on select Chromebooks and a whole new website for ChromeOS developers, plus a handful of smaller changes.

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17

Android Auto is adding new categories for apps, including parking and electric vehicle charging

Android Auto is adding new categories for apps, including parking and electric vehicle charging

Even though people aren't driving as much these days, Google isn't tapping the brakes on the further development of Android Auto. The in-car interface got a new landscape map layout earlier this summer, and access to calendar appointments should be returning before too long. Now Google is announcing that new apps are coming to the platform in categories such as navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging.

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20

Android Auto is finally bringing back access to calendar appointments

Android Auto is finally bringing back access to calendar appointments

When you're running late to an appointment, or even just driving around town with several stops planned, the last thing you should do is reach for your phone to look up an address. When Android Auto was announced, this seemed to be the type of problem Google was trying to solve. An imperfect solution existed through Google Assistant, but it was removed without a good alternative to replace it. But things are looking up because Google is launching a calendar on Android Auto that gives you quick and easy access to your itinerary.

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47

Android 11 will make password autofill much better thanks to keyboard integration

Android 11 will make password autofill much better thanks to keyboard integration

Android has offered native autofill since Android 9 Pie, but despite that being an official method, actually filling out passwords and addresses is sometimes wonky, and phones often need a few seconds to recognize password entry fields. Google wants to improve that experience with Android 11 and has introduced a new autofill method that integrates with your keyboard, be it Gboard or a third-party app.

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50

Android TV is getting Instant Apps, Gboard updates, and PIN-based purchases

Android TV is getting Instant Apps, Gboard updates, and PIN-based purchases

Android TV doesn't always feel like it's getting much attention, but the user base has grown substantially in recent history. According to Google, the number of active devices has grown by 80% in the last year, owed largely to adoption by seven out of the top ten smart TV manufacturers and set-top boxes from 160 TV service providers. With so many new users and a continually growing assortment of apps, Google is highlighting changes to the platform that will improve the experience for users and developers.

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3

Sony 65" 4K Android TV is Amazon's Deal of the Day at $898 ($122 off)

Sony 65" 4K Android TV is Amazon's Deal of the Day at $898 ($122 off)

If you've been holding off on getting a new TV for your work-from-home headquarters or you're looking to get out of the house with a blast of your favorite music, Sony's got a bunch of products on Amazon's Deal of the Day catalogue right now. How does an 49" 4K Android TV for $499?

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11

Android 11's new media player controls can be swiped away in Beta 3

Android 11's new media player controls can be swiped away in Beta 3

The first Android 11 Beta release introduced a redesign for media controls that moved them into the quick settings panel. In Beta 2, that feature became enabled by default. Today's release of Beta 3 tweaks the new UI to allow the controls to be swiped away — even if the media is still playing.

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29

Google's updated emoji designs finally arrive in Android 11 Beta 3

Google's updated emoji designs finally arrive in Android 11 Beta 3

Android's emoji set has never been the consistent, culturally accepted staple that Apple's is. For a long time, users of stock Android enjoyed a fun, expressive collection of blobs. Google refined them to be more visually consistent in 2016's release of Android Nougat, only to completely get rid of the blobs the next year. Now, Google is giving its Noto Emoji their biggest visual change since the blobs melted.

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