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Android O feature spotlight: There's now a progress bar for sideloading APKs

When installing apps from the Play Store, you can see a progress bar for the download. The actual installing part doesn't have any indicator at all in the Play Store app, and when installing from an APK, all you get is a pulsing progress bar. Android O has fixed this annoying problem, at least when installing from APKs.

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Android O feature spotlight: Text selection dialog now has icons and contextual actions

As we continue to fiddle around with Android O, more interesting little things pop up. For example, the text selection dialog is more useful. It shows icons next to actions, and certain types of content will give you handy shortcut buttons. This might not be high on the Android O changelog, but you're going to see it plenty.

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[Update: more details] Android O feature spotlight: Notification Channels give more controls over notifications to users

Android has allowed blocking notifications from selected apps for a while now, but it was all-or-nothing. Android O aims to give users more control over what notifications they want to see, through the new Notification Channels API.

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All the Android O features we've found so far [Continuously Updated]

The past week has been the Big-O week for all of us involved in Google's ecosystem and the Android world. The follow-up to Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat was announced as Android O — full name still unknown — and the developer preview images were made available for those who want to test it out and check all the new features.

That caused our inboxes to overflow with tips of all the major and minor and super minor changes in Android O coming from our readers, and it got our team to work overtime to verify and report them. We still have many O feature spotlights on our to-do list, some of which we're still investigating, but in the meantime, we thought we'd put together one list of all the Android O features we've covered so far.

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Android O feature spotlight: Multi-window apps now stay on the screen when you go to your homescreen, can be peeked into or maximized

Multi-window was one of the biggest and most useful additions to Android 7.0 Nougat. It made its debut on Android with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 all the way back in 2012, but it took a full four years to make its way into stock Android. It's since become a staple for many people; the convenience of watching a YouTube video while simultaneously scrolling through a Twitter or Facebook feed just can't be beat. With the O Developer Preview, Google has improved multi-window by enabling users to maintain a view of the app they've minimized when they head into the launcher, as well as expand or maximize it.

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Android O feature spotlight: Easily add custom ringtones, alarm sounds, and notification sounds

Oh Android... you have the most modern and complicated of features, yet every once in a while we're reminded of one basic, really really really really basic, feature that you're still missing. Did you know that you can't easily choose a custom ringtone in Android AOSP? I didn't. I have used LG and Samsung phones for years and it's been ages since I tried to change the default ringtone (my phone is always silent anyway), so all I knew was that I could choose a file manually on these phones. AOSP? Not so. Wh---at?!

See, on Android Nougat in AOSP, if you go to change the ringtone, alarm sound, or notification sound, you can pick one of the default options.

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Android O feature spotlight: The time picker now has a manual text entry mode

One small change you will notice in Android O is the ability to manually type the date and time when selecting a time. When, several versions of Android ago, Google changed the date and time picker from text-based to a monthly calendar and rolling clock, things did indeed look better and more interactive. However, that made precise minute selection more tedious and annoyed people who prefer text entry to fancy graphics and animations.

In Android O, the time picker (in Calendar, Clock, etc) gets one small added icon at the bottom left: a keyboard. Tapping it switches to text-based entry where you can manually type in the exact time.

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Android O feature spotlight: The Files app now shows up in the app drawer, has a few new features

Android has included a built-in file manager since 6.0 Marshmallow called Files, but it hasn't had an app drawer icon. Instead, Android shows a 'Downloads' app, which is technically just a shortcut to the Downloads folder in Files with some functionality removed. Starting with Android O, the Downloads shortcut has been replaced by the full Files application.

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How to add permanent left/right cursor buttons and other neat keys to nav bar in Android O

One of the many new features in Android O is a revamped UI tuner with control over the navigation bar. If the layout of the buttons isn't right, you can change it. Want more buttons? Oh, it's got that too. In fact, you can add some useful things there, like left and right cursor buttons. Here's how.

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Android O feature spotlight: Granular battery usage for system-level items and services is gone

What's the opposite of a feature spotlight? I think we should call this an "Android O feature regression" post, because that's what we're looking at here. If you've installed the first Android O dev preview and you've been monitoring battery usage to see if all that fuss about the improved battery management and new background limits is true, then you may have noticed one thing missing: you can't see granular usage anymore for system-level items.

Previously, on Nougat, when you went to Settings>Battery, you could tap on any item in the list below the graph to see its usage details since the last full charge.

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