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Android O feature spotlight: VolumeShaper lets audio apps perform cross fades, fade-outs, and more

Android has a long and complicated history with audio output, but Google has been improving audio on Android with higher quality sound and lower latency. In Android O, developers will have a new tool to perform audio transitions and effects.

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Android O feature spotlight: Apps can finally capture the mouse pointer

Android has never really been designed for use on desktop or laptop PCs, but various ports like Android x86 and Remix OS have appeared over the years. Now that Android apps can run on Chromebooks, perhaps Google thought it was finally time to implement pointer capture support in Android.

Starting with Android O, apps can capture a device's mouse pointer using the new requestPointerCapture method.

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Android O feature spotlight: Downloadable fonts will make APKs smaller, and fonts can now be XML resources

Google has definitely been focusing on space-saving and performance improvements with Android O, such as faster boot times and the leaner Android Go operating system. Fonts aren't quite as exciting, unless you like to spice up your reports and presentations with obscure typefaces. Regardless, Android O has a few improvements in store for developers wanting to use custom fonts in their applications.

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Android O feature spotlight: Google explains the new actionable battery menu

Google is focusing on battery life in Android O by clamping down on what apps can do in the background. At the same time, Android O includes a new battery settings menu that attempts to present your usage in a more understandable way. Instead of simply showing how much juice an app used, it puts battery use in the context of how you use the phone.

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Android O feature spotlight: Developer Preview 2 adds a Bluetooth AVRCP version selector

Bluetooth seems to be getting some improvements in Android O. When the first Developer Preview dropped, we saw that the OS will let you choose which Bluetooth codec, including aptX and aptX HD, to use when streaming audio wirelessly. In a similar vein, Developer Preview 2 now has an option for you to choose which AVRCP version to use, instead of just getting stuck with the default v1.4.

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Android O feature spotlight: More natural movement with physics-based animations

Animations in apps can often be jerky or unrealistic, but in Android O Google plans to give developers tools to make animations buttery smooth and natural with the power of physics. It should also be much simpler to make animations with this system.

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Android O feature spotlight: Night Light gets a slider to control how intense you want it to be

Night Light made its formal debut on Android 7.1 Nougat not long ago, but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon. The second Android O developer preview has added a slider that allows you to control the intensity of Night Light, just in case you found the default to be too yellow.

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Android O feature spotlight: Get quick access to an app's widgets by long-pressing the icon

Google began introducing long-press actions for icons in Android 7.1—currently, a long-press in Pixel Launcher can display app shortcuts (previously known as launcher shortcuts). You get more in Android O DP2. We already knew about the previously reported notification dots, but there are also widget links.

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Android O feature spotlight: Quick settings are now grayscale, get some other small tweaks

We've had the same dark/teal color combo in the notification panel for years now with few complaints, but someone at Google decided it was time to change things up a bit. Android O's second developer preview has made the quick settings' theme grayscale, and rearranged/redesigned some smaller aspects of the notification panel in general.

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Android O feature spotlight: Pixel Launcher lets you select icon shapes [Update]

We've all gotten used to the consistent round icons on the Pixel Launcher, and a surprising number of developers have even gotten on board with round icons. Android O brings more choice to the icons, but keeps the consistency. There's a new icon shape selection in the launcher settings as of the second O developer preview.

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