Android Police

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Android Q Beta 5 brings more control over lockscreen notifications

Every major Android update changes the way notifications work in several ways, but those of us who follow Beta revisions to the OS know Google experiments with even more temporary modifications before settling on a final version. We've already covered the new naming, grouping, and snoozing features for notifications in Android Q Beta 5, but another aspect has been tweaked as well: lockscreen notifications.

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[Update: Deal is live again] Grab one of Fossil's latest Wear OS smartwatches for $200 ($75 off)

Fossil is one of the most active brands when it comes to developing Wear OS smartwatches. Its products are stylish and discreet but still feature advanced hardware, including heart rate sensors and GPS chips on the latest models. The Sport series features the newer Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, which makes it one of the snappiest watches around. If you'd rather boast a more traditional-looking timepiece, the Gen 4 Q Explorist and Q Venture are what you need, but may be slightly behind when it comes to performance as they're based on the older Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset. Regardless of your preference, the two variants are currently on sale at $199, which is $75 off their regular price.

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[Update: Back in Beta 5] Android Q Beta 3 adds developer option that forces dark mode on all apps

Google has officially announced dark mode for Android Q at I/O and has updated the Material Guidelines telling developers how to properly implement the theme in their apps. But of course, there's always going to be some apps that simply won't receive a gray look, be it because it's abandoned or just not a priority to the developer. To test how the OS could circumvent these, Q Beta 3 introduces a brute method that forces all apps into dark mode.

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How to disable battery optimization for Google Photos and other system apps on OnePlus devices

With the introduction of Doze in Marshmallow, app developers and users had to find the perfect balance between battery life and background activity. Granular options for battery optimization exist on most Android devices, allowing you to single out apps you'd like to give free rein to. This can be crucial for backup apps (Google Photos), companion apps for wearables (Fitbit, Wear), and smart home security apps that require your location to arm or disarm (Nest, SmartThings).

However, some phones like the ones from OnePlus limit your access to battery optimization settings for system apps, specifically, meaning you can't give Google Photos the freedom to run whenever it needs to, which usually results in stalled backups.

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[Update: Works in Beta 5] You can't disable app suggestions in the Pixel Launcher in Android Q Beta 4

One of the changes introduced with Android Pie was a list of suggested apps and App Actions in the drawer and the Overview screen when you were switching between apps. However, that was a customizable setting that you could disable if you wanted. With Q's latest Beta 4, the setting is gone, meaning you can't get rid of those icons if you don't want to see them.

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Get a Nest Thermostat, a Home Mini, and 2 temperature sensors for just $190 ($102 off) from Home Depot

The third-generation Nest Thermostat has been out for several years now, but as the old saying goes, don't fix what ain't broke. This smart thermostat is still among the best of the best, and it's currently being bundled with a Home Mini and two temperature sensors for just $190.15 — a not-insignificant $102 off current prices elsewhere.

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Google has a fun Wimbledon Easter egg you can play - if you know where to click

Remember when Google used to make its Android Easter eggs fun? My personal favorite is the Flappy Bird knockoff that was in Lollipop. If you, too, are a fan of Google's simple little Easter egg games, you may want to take a look at what it's drawn up for Wimbledon — a pixelated little tennis game.

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A bunch of NBCUniversal channels, including Syfy, launched Android TV apps today

Earlier today we posted about USA Network getting an Android TV app. It turns out that isn't the only NBCUniversal channel getting one today — in fact, four more have joined the roster. Those four are Bravo, E!, Syfy, and Oxygen.

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Oh no, not again: Google's Area 120 is building a hyperlocal social networking app

Google's history with social networking has been tumultuous, to say the least. The most successful attempt has been Google+, which gave competitors Facebook and Twitter reason to be concerned, but ultimately went into disrepair and finally shut down back in April. Few will remember another long lost attempt that went by the name Schemer, a hyperlocal social network designed to help people discover and plan things to do in their area. Things also went poorly for Schemer and it was retired after just 2 years. Now it looks like Google's experimental Area 120 group is taking a run at resurrecting this style of app with a new service called Shoelace.

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21 temporarily free and 20 on-sale apps and games for Wednesday

We're halfway through another week, so here's some app sales for you. Today's list is pretty small, but you might find a game you'll like.

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