Android Police

Oreo 8.0/8.1

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Google uses World Emoji Day to talk about killing the blobmoji, tries to make up for it with Allo stickers

Google is preparing to kill the blob emoji in Android O, which will feature more conventional emoji faces. I just want to go on record saying I love the Android blob emoji, or blobmoji if you will. As if this injustice was not enough, Google is using World Emoji Day to talk about the death of the blobmoji. It's giving us some stickers to make up for it, but you have to use Allo to send them.

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Google confirms that aptX Bluetooth streaming won't work on the Nexus 6P or 5X

One of the many new features in Android O is support for aptX Bluetooth streaming. aptX is a series of streaming protocols owned by Qualcomm, that feature much lower latency compared to normal Bluetooth audio streaming. But it looks like Nexus 5X and 6P owners won't be able to use it.

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Play Games v5.2 adds several notification channels, adaptive icons, and support for app data backup [APK Download]

We don't hear too much about Play Games anymore, which may seem pretty obvious since the updates have been very slow lately and Google recently announced plans to shutter some of the features that weren't seeing much adoption. However, a new version began rolling out today, and it makes a surprisingly large jump straight from v3.9 to v5.2. Don't get too excited for big changes, though; this update appears to be focused on upkeep and incorporating some of the features added with Android Marshmallow and Nougat, not any major new additions.

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Notification importance controls won't work for most apps in Android O, and Google is fine with that

Android O is going to have a lot of neat stuff, including notification channels for more granular control over what apps can ping you about. However, developers need to get their apps ready by targeting Android O. Until that happens, notification controls will be hobbled in Android O, and Google won't be fixing this apparent problem.

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Enpass password manager adds Android O's Autofill in latest beta

One of the features that I'm most excited about in Android O is the official Autofill API support. Thanks to it, password manager apps wouldn't need to work as overlays or stay as constant notifications and they wouldn't require you use their keyboard or browser to simplify login details input in different apps. Instead, you choose whichever third-party app you use as your Autofill provider and Android will call it up each time it sees a username and password field, allowing for more seamless input.

1Password and LastPass both already showed us how the functionality would work in their apps, and it was only a matter of time until either of them or some other app implemented the feature in a beta run.

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Android O will introduce an animated Clock app icon in launchers

Chris Lacy, the developer behind the well-known Action Launcher, has uncovered something in the APK file of the Clock app that comes in Android O: the manifest.xml mentions hours, minutes, and seconds as layers with default values, and the icon has separate images for the background and different elements.

That logically lead him to deduce that starting with Android O, the Clock app's icon will be animated to show the current time. That will happen both when the Clock is placed as a shortcut on the homescreen and when it's inside the app drawer.

Chris also used that animation in his latest Action Launcher release, which we wrote about a couple of days ago.

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Google Chrome adds support for picture-in-picture video on Android O

One of the headline features of Android O is picture-in-picture video support across all devices. The feature has been part of Android TV since Nougat, but starting with O, it works on phones and tablets too. A handful of applications have already added support for the feature, including VLC, Duo, and Play Movies - now it's Chrome's turn.

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Android O feature spotlight: Accessibility has some new features, including better volume control and a new shortcut method

Over the years, Android has built up a decent array of accessibility options to help make devices easier to use for its diverse user base. Each new version of the OS attempts to add even more useful features, and Android O is no different. So far we've had 3 developer previews of Android 8.0 ahead of its launch later this summer, and at some point along the way Google added a couple of new accessibility features. Namely, separate volume controls and a new way to use the accessibility shortcut.

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Android O feature spotlight: System UI Tuner loses features in Developer Preview 3

It's not unusual for Google to add and remove elements during the preview program leading up to a new OS release. It happens all the time and is exactly what we've noticed with while checking out Developer Preview 3. The System UI Tuner is a place for experimental features anyway, so anything found there is always subject to change. The latest Android beta sees the removal of all 3 of the most recent additions to this menu.

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VLC Beta updated with support for Android O's picture-in-picture video [APK Download]

Android 8.0 is shaping up to be a cool update with features like notification dots, autofill apps, and of course, picture-in-picture video. There haven't been many apps that properly support Android O's PiP mode, but now you can count VLC among them. Well, as long as you've got the new beta app.

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