Android Police

Articles Tagged:

feature spotlight

39

Android O feature spotlight: The navigation keys go dark when pulling up the Pixel launcher's app drawer

Android O feature spotlight: The navigation keys go dark when pulling up the Pixel launcher's app drawer

As far as features go, this one is a pretty teeny tiny change, but we know you, dear Android Police reader, like to check out the nitty gritty of every Android release, and that's what we're here for.

On Android O, when you pull up the app drawer in the Pixel Launcher, you may notice one change: the navigation buttons no longer float still float on top of the drawer in a translucent overlay, but they switch to dark icons and ditch the translucent bar beneath them when scrolled to the very bottom.

Left: Android O on a Pixel. Right: Android N 7.1.2 on a Nexus 5X.

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33

Android O feature spotlight: Official autofill API will save you from typing the same thing over and over

Android O feature spotlight: Official autofill API will save you from typing the same thing over and over

We all know the pain of typing in the same block of text the zillionth time on Android. The keyboards are better these days, but it's still an unnecessary annoyance. On desktops, there are any number of text-expanders and autofill helpers, but those sorts of apps are essentially hacks on Android... at least they have been until now. Android O will support a new API for autofill apps.

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62

Android O Feature Spotlight: New background limits help save battery life

Android O Feature Spotlight: New background limits help save battery life

Just about every new version of Android has reportedly improved battery life for end users... with a range of successes and failures over the years. In the upcoming Android O, Google is banking on a new feature called background limits to extend battery longevity. The basic idea is that the system will automatically limit the active capabilities of background apps, in a way that won't be detrimental to users while reducing overall resource use.

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28

Android O Feature Spotlight: Adaptive icons give devs and OEMs easy shape masks, extra effects

Android O Feature Spotlight: Adaptive icons give devs and OEMs easy shape masks, extra effects

Each version of Android improves the tools that developers have at their disposal, and that certainly includes visual tools. Starting with version N and the Pixel Launcher, Google seems to be increasingly pushing circular icons. One of the new features in Android O, available in its first Developer Preview today, is the ability to automatically change the shape of any given icon with the new adaptive icon toolset.

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52

Android O Developer Preview Supports Nexus 5X and 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel and Pixel XL, and Pixel C

Android O Developer Preview Supports Nexus 5X and 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel and Pixel XL, and Pixel C

As the world turns, so too does the cycle of Android updates. The first part of 2017's version bump, known only as Android O for the time being, was just announced. And just like the last two years, developer preview versions will be available for some of the latest officially supported Google hardware. This year that list includes the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel, and Pixel XL phones, the Pixel C tablet, and the Nexus Player Android TV set-top box. You can download the new images here.

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56

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Smart Storage helps you make space by deleting old stuff

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Smart Storage helps you make space by deleting old stuff

Even though most devices some with at least 32GB of space these days, there are still plenty of times you run low and need to clear out some junk. In the Android 7.1 dev preview, there's a new storage cleaner that makes it easy to find the old stuff without all that tedious digging around in file managers. It can even automate the process.

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108

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: App shortcuts are supported in the Google Now Launcher

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: App shortcuts are supported in the Google Now Launcher

There were some interesting features announced as part of the launch of Google's Pixel phones. While some are exclusives to the new handsets, others are a part of the new Android 7.1 Nougat. One of the headlining features for the new OS version is the App Shortcuts API, a way for apps to offer fast access to select screens and functions. If you've been looking forward to trying it out, the Google Now Launcher in combination with today's developer preview fully supports app shortcuts and there's already plenty of examples to try out.

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64

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: The notification panel now has room for an extra Quick Settings tile and easier access to Settings

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: The notification panel now has room for an extra Quick Settings tile and easier access to Settings

The Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview 1 just came out for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Pixel C, and we're already seeing quite a few improvements over 7.0 Nougat. Some of the most noticeable changes are in the notification panel; not only are there now six mini Quick Settings toggles, but Settings is easier to get to.

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46

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Nexus devices and Pixel C get a restart option in the power menu

Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Nexus devices and Pixel C get a restart option in the power menu

People have been asking Google for years to put a restart button into the power menu of Nexus devices. It's a feature most OEMs have been putting on their phones and tablets since the beginning. After first getting a good hint the restart option would appear on the Pixel phones, and actually seeing it appear in a shipping version, many people were left wondering if it would make the transition to older Nexus devices (at least those receiving Android 7.1). The answer appears to be an emphatic yes.

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111

Android N Feature Spotlight: Updated ART Compiler Means No More Obnoxiously Long 'Optimizing Apps' Step And Much Faster App Installs

Android N Feature Spotlight: Updated ART Compiler Means No More Obnoxiously Long 'Optimizing Apps' Step And Much Faster App Installs

If you did the Android N beta OTA, you might have noticed something is missing—there's no more painfully tedious optimizing apps pop up after the update. This step is over almost instantly following the update to Android N. An improved version of the ART (Android Runtime) is fast enough that Android doesn't need to hold you up anymore. Fantastic.

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