Android Police

Articles Tagged:

feature spotlight

22

[Update: Not new] Android P feature spotlight: Bug reports can now be accessed in the Files app

[Update: Not new] Android P feature spotlight: Bug reports can now be accessed in the Files app

Tons of interesting little morsels have been uncovered in the first developer preview of Android P, and there are probably a few more surprises waiting to be found. Bug reporting can now be added to the list of improved areas. As before, you can report a bug from the developer options settings menu or with the power button shortcut if you enable it. Now, you should be able to view reports you've made via the Files app on your Pixel phone.

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50

Android P feature spotlight: Adaptive brightness animates the quick settings slider as it changes

Android P feature spotlight: Adaptive brightness animates the quick settings slider as it changes

Adaptive brightness has long been a feature of Android smartphones. It uses an ambient light sensor, usually placed above the display, to measure the amount of light in the environment and change the brightness of the screen to best suit the conditions. It's often noticeable when changes occur, particularly right after you unlock your device, but now the quick settings brightness slider moves in tandem to further demonstrate this.

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76

Android P feature spotlight: Location accuracy is now a binary setting, battery saving mode is gone

Android P feature spotlight: Location accuracy is now a binary setting, battery saving mode is gone

Android P keeps on unveiling more and more of its hidden enhancements, and most of these have been relatively positive so far. This one, however, leaves me with my eyebrows raised a little. The location accuracy setting is now a binary choice of on/off, and it essentially removed the "battery saving" mode.

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53

Android P feature spotlight: Google introduces support for display cutouts and notches [sigh]

Android P feature spotlight: Google introduces support for display cutouts and notches [sigh]

If the design of the iPhone X is notcha cup of tea (sorry), a slew of incoming copy-cat designs from Android OEMs is sure to get your blood boiling. Google's opinion on this is unknown, but it knows Android devices with notches are on their way and appreciates the need to accommodate such hardware designs with its next OS version.

Android P will support screen cutouts natively, with APIs to manage how content is displayed on panels with various bites taken out of them. The system will manage status bar height so that it matches any notch, allowing app content to be separated out easily.

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73

Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Android will highlight battery draining apps and what they're doing

Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Android will highlight battery draining apps and what they're doing

Battery life is always the weak link in our smartphone-centric world, and you often find yourself baffled by the reasons why your battery drains way too fast one day and then seems to last forever the second day. Android has been trying to remedy that for many and many versions, and the latest Android 8.1 Developer Preview adds one more weapon to your arsenal in the fight against battery drainage. It won't help you win the war, but it will more easily answer the question of which app has been misbehaving and how.

On Android 8.1, if you check the Battery settings, you may see one app highlighted at the top with a red warning battery icon.

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26

Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Recent apps now show in 'Apps & notifications' settings menu

Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Recent apps now show in 'Apps & notifications' settings menu

So far, the changes we've uncovered in the Android Oreo 8.1 developer preview have mostly been superficial and/or relatively minor. This one's no different, even if it is rather useful. The 'Apps & notifications' section in settings is the place to get app info, choose which apps show notifications, or change permissions and defaults, among other similar functions. In the 8.1 dev preview, this menu has been updated to include recent apps.

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88

Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Wallpaper-based themes include tinted notification and power menu shadows, just like the Pixel 2 [Update: Lock screen, too]

Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Wallpaper-based themes include tinted notification and power menu shadows, just like the Pixel 2 [Update: Lock screen, too]

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL include a number of small tweaks that other 8.0 devices, even the OG Pixels, don't have. For example, the home screen's theme changes based on your wallpaper. We already knew that was coming to more phones in 8.1, and there's another theme feature from the Pixel 2 that's in 8.1 as well. Accent colors are pulled from your wallpaper for the notification and power menu shadows.

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59

Android Oreo feature spotlight: Disabling Developer Options completely removes the menu from Settings

Android Oreo feature spotlight: Disabling Developer Options completely removes the menu from Settings

Developer Options is one of the two hidden settings menus in Android (beside System UI Tuner) and it gets enabled by tapping the Build Number in the About Phone section repeatedly. In previous versions of Android, Developer Options had one toggle up top that let you disable it and thus return all values to their default, but in Oreo, disabling the toggle also removes the menu entirely.

Up until Android 7.1.2, if you turn off the toggle at the top of Developer Options, all the different settings are restored, but if you back out, you'll still see the Developer Options menu item in your Settings, and you can still go in and enable it again.

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96

Android O feature spotlight: Enabling developer options requires your device's passcode

Android O feature spotlight: Enabling developer options requires your device's passcode

Turning on the developer options menu has been the same for who knows how long. You always open settings, go to 'About phone,' and tap on the build number for a certain number of times (though most of us simply tap on it furiously). However, the second Android O developer preview has added another step: entering your device's PIN, password, or pattern.

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59

Android O feature spotlight: The proximity sensor can turn off ambient display

Android O feature spotlight: The proximity sensor can turn off ambient display

Ambient display on the Android O developer preview is doing some odd things right now. It's showing a minimal and less useful UI for some people, while others see something more akin to the old version. Whatever is going on there, we do know of one small (but useful) change to ambient display in O—covering the proximity sensor now puts the phone back to sleep.

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