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android o developer preview


[Update: more details] Android O feature spotlight: Notification Channels give more controls over notifications to users

Android has allowed blocking notifications from selected apps for a while now, but it was all-or-nothing. Android O aims to give users more control over what notifications they want to see, through the new Notification Channels API.

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Android O feature spotlight: The install source permission is now limited to only user-authorized apps

Installing apps from outside of the Play Store can be a good thing (I mean, it's the whole basis for APKMirror), but it can also lead to trouble. For some time now, a user would have to go into the Security settings and toggle "Install from unknown sources." One of the many changes in Android O is to how this model works — that old option is gone and each app now must be granted the install source permission for APK installation.

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Android O feature spotlight: Custom shortcuts can now be added to the lockscreen via System UI Tuner

Google's version of Android has historically been relatively light on features, but the Mountain View-based company has been rapidly closing that gap. Other implementations of Android have had multi-window for a while now, but that took until 7.0 Nougat to make its way onto stock Android. Now, we're getting another feature that we've seen on other skins: custom lockscreen shortcuts.

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Android O feature spotlight: It looks like Android may be getting native support for themes

I cannot fault people for loving the theme support present in certain OEM and custom ROMs. The fact that Google has never implemented them in any sort of official way has been a frustration to many, but we did find something very interesting in the Android O preview. In the display settings, there is a section for "Device theme," which has two options. Hm...

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Android O developer preview images are up, no beta program / OTAs being made available

Android O is launching in preview state today, but you'll have to manually flash the OS to your test device to get a taste. The images and flashing instructions can be found here.

As a reminder, the Nexus 5X, 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, Pixel, and Pixel XL are the supported devices at this time. Google is not offering the O preview as part of the Android Beta Program for now (that will come later, of course), probably to discourage those who would try to daily drive an unfinished OS.

Google has said rather clearly that this early release is intended explicitly for developers and "not intended for daily or consumer use." If you remember the first Android N developer previews from last year, you'll know that's probably not an exaggeration, as many, many things were broken in the earliest builds.

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