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Android OS

53

Android 11’s hidden double-tap gesture lets you take screenshots (Updated)

Before face unlocking technology became the security metric of choice for OEMs, Pixel phones boasted a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that also supported swipe gestures. When the Pixel 4 opted to remove that sensor, rear-mounted gesture support went with it. Luckily, the Android team has a new way to make the back of your phone great again with a double-tap gesture in Android 11 Developer Preview 1.

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40

Pixel 4 car-crash detection can now be sideloaded onto older Pixels thanks to Android 11 Preview

The first Developer Preview of Android 11 didn't just reveal a barrage of new system features and tweaks to pore through. It also ushered in a dogfood version of the Personal Safety app that can enable crash detection on Pixel phones outside of the 4 and 4 XL. Here's how to sideload the app and get it running:

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36

Hidden Android 11 feature splits notifications from Quick Settings

Android's notification shade has been getting a lot of attention in the first Android 11 Developer Preview. In addition to some cool new updates like conversation grouping and enhanced long-press options, a hidden feature uncovered by XDA Developers separates quick settings from app notifications into their own distinct menus.

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17

Bubble notifications are no longer hidden in Android 11

Last year, the Android team introduced bubble notifications as a native option as it was developing Android Q. However, as Android Q progressed through various betas, the feature became hidden away within developer settings where it has remained as an experimental feature ever since. Now bubble notifications finally look ready for prime time, as they're being integrated into the core Android 11 experience.

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29

Android 10 source code is now available on AOSP

While many people are enjoying — or lamenting — the upgrade to Android 10, there are some out there that are just as interested in the final source code. With each major release of Android, a huge code drop is made to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) with everything a developer needs to build the latest version of the OS. As of this morning, the code is now fully available and ready for consumption.

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49

Android Q's notification swipe direction will be customizable eventually

Those of you who usually swipe your notifications away to the right (like me) may have taken some time to notice that expelling them to the left is no longer an option in Android Q. As is this case on some Chinese phones, swiping left gives you only snooze and alert settings. Thankfully, it looks like this is going to be customizable by the time the final Q release comes around.

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32

Google to smartphone screens: Get bent

Samsung (and others) have been teasing the concept of foldable phones for a short while, and that flexible dream has been a science fiction-level goal for years. But up until today, it was anyone's guess exactly how that might have worked when it came to software implementations in Android. But fret not, Google has just revealed at the Android Dev Summit that our favorite operating system will have native support for folding form factors.

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64

Apps on Android P will no longer be able to monitor your network activity

Unbeknownst to most users (myself included until recently), Android apps on current and previous versions of the OS get unrestricted access to your network activity. There's no permission for you to accidentally say okay to, it's just allowed for all. This means that any app can detect when another app is connecting to an external server, and while the content is not visible, even just the source of the connection could be used for a nefarious purpose.

With a renewed focus on privacy and data collection, not least in the wake of the recent Facebook scandals, this type of potential security flaw clearly needs to be addressed.

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387

Weekend poll: In light of Android's 10th birthday, which version first got you started?

The original beta for Google's Android operating system was released on November 5th, 2007, making today ten years since the first public version of the software. It's tough to pin a specific date on Android's origins—people usually reference either today or September 23rd, as that's the date in 2008 was when 1.0-r1 was released—but November 5th is generally regarded as one of Android's birthdays.

That means, as of today, Android is ten years old. Looking back at all the earlier releases made us curious, what version of Android first got you started?

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28

AOSP site gets updated with Material Design, a better mobile view, and clearer navigation

Google has given its Android Open Source Project (AOSP) website a considerable makeover, making it much easier on the eye and much more user-friendly too. The update brings it in line with Google's own Material Design guidelines, improves the mobile view, and introduces new top-level tabs to improve navigation.

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