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Android

37

Hidden Android 11 feature adds double-tap gesture to the back of Pixel phonesSo cool, it'll make you want to slap your phone

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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0

28 temporarily free and 43 on-sale apps and games for Friday

Welcome to Friday, everyone. It's the end of the week, and so it's time again to pore through the latest app and game sales currently available on the Google Play Store. Not only are there a plethora of interactive Dr. Seuss books on sale today, the Twitter client Fenix 2 is on sale for half off, and Wahler Digital's fantastic puzzlers from the SiNKR series are also available today for half off. As always, I've highlighted the more interesting titles in bold to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 28 temporarily free and 43 on-sale apps and games for the end of the week.

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33

Pixel 4 car-crash detection can now be sideloaded onto older Pixels thanks to Android 11 PreviewWe did everything but wreck the company car, and it works

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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31

Hidden Android 11 feature splits notifications from Quick SettingsAndroid takes another touch gesture from Apple's iOS playbook

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

Android 11 reorganizes everything in the Do Not Disturb settings menuAn example of some spring cleaning in Android

It's quitting time and you want to be left alone to your own devices. Or, maybe just the one phone you've got in your hands, listen, I don't know what your life is like, okay? Anyways, if you're the type that likes to turn on Do Not Disturb mode every so often, you should know that each new version of Android tends to bring changes to that feature and Android 11 is no exception — we just wish it were more exciting.

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16

Bubble notifications are no longer hidden in Android 11Thanks, I hate it

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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58

Android electronic IDs will support driver's licenses first, passports later (Update: Android 11)

Smartphones already store tons of privileged information from credit cards and boarding passes, but they may soon replace our driver's licenses, our passports, and maybe even our keyfobs, too. We got a hint of this with the reveal of a new support library back in March, now, Google has laid out a roadmap for Android devices to store identity credentials in a future version of the OS. That roadmap, however, is highly dependent on how the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will implement its standards on electronic IDs.

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8

Android 11 will let apps mute disruptive notifications while you're recording videoFor those *buzz buzz* who vlog or rant *buzz buzz* on TikTok, this one's for you

One of the worst things your phone can do when you're taking a photo or video is vibrate and ruin your shot or, even worse, blast a notification tone and ruin the entire moment. Well, long-suffering mobile photogs, take a deep breath: Android 11 will include APIs for camera apps to mute those alerting notifications while you're using them.

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25

First-gen Pixel and Pixel XL will predictably not get Android 11Pixel 2 owners, enjoy your last year of software updates

We're officially on the road to Android 11, which means a whole round of developer preview builds are on the way to Pixel phones — as well as other non-Google phones likely to be announced at I/O in May that will go through their own beta stack. Unfortunately, for O.G. Pixel and Pixel XL owners, they won't be joining for the ride.

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17

First Android 11 Developer Preview lands today for Google Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and 4Our first taste of Android's latest release includes new notification tweaks, privacy and security enhancements, and more

Android 11 is now official, and Google is releasing the first Developer Preview for this new version starting today. The software changes this time sound ambitious, with Google essentially taking most of its work on Android 10 and (literally) turning it up to 11, featuring enhancements to privacy and security, improvements to Project Mainline, a new dedicated "conversations" section for notifications, and tweaks to better harness 5G — all among a much longer list of changes just too big to include here. You can check it out for yourself by manually flashing it onto supported Pixel phones (everything but the 2016 OGs).

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