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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Toast messages are now white to better match the rest of the UI

Those of you who are fans of darker themes on software won't be happy with this change we've discovered in the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview: toast messages now have a lighter, inverted theme. This was likely done in order to match the rest of the much whiter user interface, which the gray toasts didn't really go with.

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Hands-on with Oreo on the Nokia 8: A mildly flavored Stock Android 8.0 version

I've had the Nokia 8 for a little over a week and have run Android 7.1.1 on it out of the box. Yesterday though, Nokia announced a beta labs program to test out Oreo on the Nokia 8 and I instantly jumped at the opportunity. After downloading and installing the update, the Nokia 8 booted into Android 8.0 and I started looking for the small changes that Nokia has implemented this time around.

Nokia uses stock Android and adds very few changes on top of it to customize the experience, and Oreo is no exception. The device feels like a Nexus/Pixel whether you're on the homescreen, diving deep into the settings, or checking out your notifications.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Apps can now only make one notification sound per second, and post-DND notification sound spam issue is fixed

Have you ever had the experience of turning your phone back on after running out of juice several hours prior, only to be bombarded with a barrage of delayed notifications, beeping and pinging as soon as it connects to the internet? Or maybe you're just in a particularly chatty WhatsApp group and someone decides to send everyone else 20 photos all at once, sending your phone's poor vibration motor into a frenzy? Yeah, that can get annoying.

Fortunately, a change in Android 8.1 aims to address this issue. According to documentation on the new features in the developer preview, apps can now only make a notification alert sound once per second, even if more notifications come in at the same time.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: 'Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep' option removed, as on the Pixel 2

If you have an incredibly detailed memory, you may recall as far back as around 24 hours ago, when we talked about how the "Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep" setting was apparently removed for the Pixel 2s. We felt that it was a confusing, unnecessary, and potentially unintentional change, but Google is doubling down. With the latest Android 8.1 developer preview images, the option is now missing on more than just the Pixel 2, likely confirming that the change was intended. 

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[Update: Not all devices] Android 8.1 feature spotlight: The sRGB toggle has been removed entirely from Developer options

Calibrated color has been a hot topic recently for both Android and the Pixel 2 phones, and the Android 8.1 developer previews indicate more changes on the horizon. As of the current preview images, the "Picture color mode" sRGB toggle in Developer options has been removed. This change makes devices like the OG Pixels and last-generation Nexuses match the new Pixel 2 and 2XL, which similarly lack the setting since a calibrated mode is the default. 

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Make colors on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL more vibrant with Oreo Colorizer [APK Download]

This is a guest post from developer Carlos Lopez, also known as ShortFuse. He’s the developer of SuperOneClick and Fusion.

As detailed in my recent color explainer, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have a default method of displaying colors in a limited color space. Google’s software doesn’t include an option to force a wide gamut, so I created an app that does it. You can download the new Oreo Colorizer right now, and you don’t even need to root your phone.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Automatic light and dark themes no longer exclusive to Pixel 2

The ability to change the appearance of the Android system has always been missing from stock Android, with the exception of the Overlay Manager Service, which is only configurable through the use of third-party tools like Substratum. This somewhat changed with the Pixel 2, where the quick settings dropdown and launcher would switch between light and dark themes based on the user's wallpaper.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Settings gets a search bar on top à la Pixel 2

In the past couple of years, many apps have traded small search icons for full-width search bars. The Google Play Store is a prime example of this, and it makes hitting the search button much easier. To my eye, it improves the appearance of the app as well, but that's subjective. The Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview has brought the top-mounted search bar to all devices, marking another Pixel 2-exclusive lost.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Bluetooth battery level comes to all devices, now shows battery bar in Quick Settings

Not all of us are huge fans of iOS, but there's one thing that Apple's mobile operating system gets very right: Bluetooth battery levels. This feature made its formal Android debut on the Pixel 2, and it's now coming to all Android devices with the Android 8.1 developer preview. It also brings the battery level to Quick Settings, which will definitely come in handy.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Android System notifications have a new Oreo icon

Android 8.1 has quite a few minor changes, ranging from a new easter egg to the new dimming navigation bar. Another small tweak is the icon for Android System notifications, which are used to display messages about updates, debugging, and other similar functions.

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