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Android 7.1(.1) feature spotlight: System UI Tuner's Overview swipe-up split-screen gesture has disappeared

Split-screen multitasking on Nougat is great - I use it quite a lot when taking notes on my Nexus 6P in lectures or other talks that I may want to revisit later. However, one of the original multi-window features introduced back in the first N developer preview has disappeared in the 7.1.1 Beta; the swipe up split-screen gesture, found in System UI Tuner.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Camera no longer freezes when screen is rotated

If you have used Google Camera before, you have probably noticed the lag when rotating your device. When auto-rotation is enabled on your phone, your entire display flips around - causing the Camera app to freeze for a second. This behavior has been fixed with the Google Camera application on Android 7.1.

Rotating the device from portrait to landscape results in the controls rotating, not the entire app UI. Flipping the phone 180 degrees in landscape causes a slight black screen, but only for a split second. I'm testing this on my Nexus 5X, so performance could vary from phone to phone.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Storage now separates System into an entry all of its own

Android's storage management has steadily improved over the last few years, with a storage manager added in Marshmallow and adoptable SD cards as well. The next small, iterative improvement arrives in Android 7.1 Nougat, with System now separated out into its own entry in the storage management screen.

This means that, when viewing the storage that has been used, it will now show System storage and how much has been taken up by the System - on my 6P running 7.1, System takes up 4.57GB. On my Wileyfox Spark, which runs Marshmallow (albeit Cyanogen OS, but still) ... I can't tell because there's no System entry.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Google implements hundreds of new emojis for professions, gender equality, more

Android 7.0 marked the first time that Android had more emojis than iOS and although that gap was closed with the release of iOS 10, Nougat 7.1 is here to take the lead again. We're not talking about a couple of new emojis, but dozens of new ones and hundreds of variations on them and on existing ones. Without further ado, let's see what's new with Android 7.1's emoji situation.

Profession emojis with a focus on women

Several months ago, Google made a proposal to the Unicode's emoji subcommittee (PDF link) to add 13 female professions to the emojis in a bid to encourage gender equality and move beyond the traditional roles that women were depicted in in the existing emoji list (dancer, queen, getting a haircut, and so on).

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Verizon visual voicemail works in the stock phone app

It's the year 2016, so you really shouldn't have to dial in to listen to your voicemail like some kind of caveman. What's next? A telescoping antenna on top of your phone? As of Android 7.1, Verizon customers with Nexus (and Pixel) devices have access to visual voicemail in the stock phone app.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Phone app switches to Do Not Disturb while on a call, new call notification, and more

If you think Chrome's rapid updates are annoying, Google's Phone application might send you over the edge. The last 4.0 update came in August, then 5.1 was included with Pixel devices, then another 4.1 update for non-Android 7.0 users, and now we are at 6.0. So what warrants a major version bump? Not much.

Google Phone 5.1 actually added most of the UI changes you might notice (check out our post about it). The first noticeable change here is when receiving a call, the notification now has larger Answer and Decline buttons. This is also on the Phone 4.1 APK, but it is worth mentioning here.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Apps marked as Device Administrator can be easily uninstalled (Hallelujah!)

"Hey Rita, you know phones, right?"

Internal answer: "Here goes another silly question. Brace yourself." External answer: "Uh... yes?!"

"So I'm not sure if my phone has a virus or something. There's this app and I can't uninstall it."

Internal answer: "F%#$$#^@ it's Device Administrator again." External answer: "Nah, don't worry, it's just not letting you uninstall because the app has some feature that needs to be disabled first. (Low mumbling: F^$%ing Device Administrator, WHY?!) Gimme... There, uninstalled."

"Oh, thanks!"

I can't tell you how many times this has happened over the past couple of years. The first time someone told me they couldn't uninstall an app from their phone, I had to Google it because I'd never encountered something like that before, and that's when I learned that apps that set themselves as Device Administrator (most often, these are apps that can lock the screen) can't be uninstalled unless you deactivated that capability first.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Send GIFs directly from the keyboard

Sometimes a few words just don't get across the depth and range of your emotions. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what's a GIF worth? I think it's either like a million words or negative words—whatever the case, you can send GIFs directly from the keyboard in Android 7.1.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: "Android is upgrading" optimization step is now a background task, doesn't block startup anymore

For many a year, Android users have been seeing a familiar dialog saying 'Android is upgrading' when the operating system updates or in the event a new ROM is flashed, stopping them from using the device until it has finished optimizing apps. Those days are over: with Android 7.1, the 'Android is upgrading' process is now carried out in the background.

In 7.0, this dialog was sped up considerably - as Ryan says, it's almost instant. However, the Android team has gone one step further and removed it completely in 7.1, allowing the process to be carried out mostly silently, apart from a notification in the shade telling you it's doing this, and a progress bar indicating how far it is from complete.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Google Camera actually takes a photo on voice command

Trying to set a timer on cameras, both on smartphones and dedicated units, can be a pain. Google Camera 4.2, which currently can only be installed on Android 7.1 or higher, allows you to take photos with the "OK google, take a picture" voice command.

Once you say the magic words, the Camera app will open (if it isn't already) and start a 3-second timer. After the time is up, the photo will be taken. Previously, using that command would only open the camera - not actually take a photo. You can also say "OK google, take a selfie" to take a picture with your device's front camera. This

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