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android o


Android O will introduce an animated Clock app icon in launchers

Chris Lacy, the developer behind the well-known Action Launcher, has uncovered something in the APK file of the Clock app that comes in Android O: the manifest.xml mentions hours, minutes, and seconds as layers with default values, and the icon has separate images for the background and different elements.

That logically lead him to deduce that starting with Android O, the Clock app's icon will be animated to show the current time. That will happen both when the Clock is placed as a shortcut on the homescreen and when it's inside the app drawer.

Chris also used that animation in his latest Action Launcher release, which we wrote about a couple of days ago.

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Google Chrome adds support for picture-in-picture video on Android O

One of the headline features of Android O is picture-in-picture video support across all devices. The feature has been part of Android TV since Nougat, but starting with O, it works on phones and tablets too. A handful of applications have already added support for the feature, including VLC, Duo, and Play Movies - now it's Chrome's turn.

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Android O feature spotlight: Accessibility has some new features, including better volume control and a new shortcut method

Over the years, Android has built up a decent array of accessibility options to help make devices easier to use for its diverse user base. Each new version of the OS attempts to add even more useful features, and Android O is no different. So far we've had 3 developer previews of Android 8.0 ahead of its launch later this summer, and at some point along the way Google added a couple of new accessibility features. Namely, separate volume controls and a new way to use the accessibility shortcut.

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Here's a thing: now you can tap to hear selected text on Android via TalkBack

Did you know that you can set your Android device to read selected text back to you with a simple tap? This isn't a new feature, it hit a while back with the TalkBack 5.2 update in April. And though we knew it was there, we didn't really know how cool it would end up being. Now that we've had the chance to try it out for ourselves, there's a good chance some of you might want to turn this particular feature on, whether you have a visual disability or not. And, on Android O it has a small twist. 

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Android O feature spotlight: System UI Tuner loses features in Developer Preview 3

It's not unusual for Google to add and remove elements during the preview program leading up to a new OS release. It happens all the time and is exactly what we've noticed with while checking out Developer Preview 3. The System UI Tuner is a place for experimental features anyway, so anything found there is always subject to change. The latest Android beta sees the removal of all 3 of the most recent additions to this menu.

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VLC Beta updated with support for Android O's picture-in-picture video [APK Download]

Android 8.0 is shaping up to be a cool update with features like notification dots, autofill apps, and of course, picture-in-picture video. There haven't been many apps that properly support Android O's PiP mode, but now you can count VLC among them. Well, as long as you've got the new beta app.

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Android O feature spotlight: Gboard gets an incognito mode for Chrome

Google Chrome's incognito mode is meant to make more suspicious (insert Lenny face here) browsing history invisible at your beck and call. However, Google hadn't previously made incognito mode on Android disable keyboard suggestions. To alleviate this, browsing in incognito on Chrome Dev with a device running Android 8.0 will now make the incognito fedora and glasses appear on your keyboard, and Gboard won't remember unique words that you type.

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Android O feature spotlight: WiFi and cellular status bar icons switch positions again [order has been restored]

Sometimes it's the little things in life that bring the most joy. Google often uses Android developer previews to test small changes and gauge public opinion on them ahead of a final release. This may or may not be one such example. Dev Preview 3 has reversed a tiny change that was made in the last version, namely changing the order of the WiFi and cellular icons on the status bar.

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Android O feature spotlight: Camera app updated to v4.4, with small UI tweaks [APK Download]

After the surprise early release of the 3rd Android O developer preview yesterday, everyone is busy searching for any subtle little changes here and there. The stock Android camera app was last updated back in February with new zoom and exposure controls. The new dev preview brings the camera up to version 4.4 and includes some minor UI tweaks.

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Android O feature spotlight: Ongoing media notifications are now colored based on album art / thumbnails

Android O's third developer preview has just landed, and we're already spotting some pretty cool changes. Among the first we spotted is color-coding for rich media notifications, meaning that these notifications will be themed based on album art / video thumbnails.

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