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Sony announces Android Auto car audio system with "astonishingly flat" touchscreen


Sony announced a new in-car audio head unit at CES today that integrates with Android Auto, the XAV-AX5000, the centerpiece of which is a bezel-less and flush 6.95" touch display.

How bezel-less and how flush? Sony dares characterize it as "astonishingly flat." Oh my.

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January 2018 platform distribution numbers show Oreo still at less than 1%

The time has come again for Google to provide an overview of what versions of Android are out there in the wild. Last month saw some big (proportional) gains for Oreo as most other versions of Android continued to slide. This time, we have the first appearance of Android 8.1, but Oreo's adoption is still in lock-step with Nougat last year.

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Haier, owner of GE Appliances, announces Android TVs at CES 2018

If you don't follow the thrilling and fast-paced world of home appliances, you might be forgiven for never having heard of a company called Haier. The China-based consumer electronics and home appliance manufacturer made headlines in 2016 when it announced it would be buying General Electric's appliance division for $5.4 billion. Aside from making kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwave ovens, Haier's product line also includes washers, air conditioners, televisions, and even computers, smartphones, and Chromebooks.

One year ago, at CES 2017, Haier announced their first TV sets that came with Chromecast built in. Of course, Chromecast support allows users to stream or mirror content from their smartphones, but it isn't always as convenient as a full-fledged smart TV system with something like Android TV built in — which is precisely what Haier is showcasing at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

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[$$$] NVIDIA announces 65" 4K 120Hz gaming displays with Android TV built in

Have you been holding off on your next high-end gaming monitor purchase because you're unable find one that's 65 inches across and has built-in smart TV features? Me either. But, if you're a serious living room desktop PC gamer, today's announcement from NVIDIA and its partners Acer, Asus, and HP could have you reconsidering your next big TV investment.

Essentially, NVIDIA has developed a reference platform for these manufacturers to produce displays that combine an NVIDIA Shield (i.e., Android TV), NVIDIA's G-Sync technology, and a 4K 120Hz HDR screen more than five feet in diameter. It calls these "BFGDs," or Big Format Gaming Displays, which is what NVIDIA says this acronym stands for even though we all know that is absolutely not what it stands for.

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Android's Security Director moves to Nest, replaced by Dave Kleidermacher

It's no easy task to keep an operating system secure, especially one as widespread as Android. Adrian Ludwig has served as the Director of Android Security since 2011, but now he's jumping to another part of the Google mothership - Nest.

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The Stream+ is an Android TV box with integrated TV tuners, and it's available for pre-order

The Android TV ecosystem currently consists of the SHIELD and some other things no one buys. There may soon be another Android TV device worth picking up. The Stream+ from Channel Master is up for pre-order, and it ships later this month. This is an Android TV box, but it also has built-in dual TV tuners and DVR functionality.

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[Update: Murano too] Android Auto officially lists Nissan's four 2018 compatible models

More and more vehicles and car manufacturers are adding Android Auto (and Apple CarPlay) compatibility to their onboard systems, which is a good thing by everyone's book since the default systems often suck. Nissan has been an Android Auto partner for a while, but until now it didn't have any cars listed as compatible with it (it had two 2017 Apple CarPlay models only).

That changed recently when 4 of Nissan's upcoming 2018 models were announced with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. These cars were made official around September/October, but since we don't follow car news but Android news, we only spotted them now that they've been added to the official Android Auto website.

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Google posts Nexus/Pixel system images and OTA files for January 2018 patches

Google is getting an early start in 2018 by rolling out the monthly patches for Nexus and Pixel devices. The OTA files and full system images are available a few days earlier than usual, and devices should begin seeing updates in the not too distant future. It looks like several devices have two different builds available this month, so you'll have to grab the right one if you just can't wait.

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JVCKENWOOD will have a pair of wireless Android Auto-capable head units on display at CES

Android Auto makes the in-car experience a lot nicer (at least when it's not bugging out), but it's tedious to have to plug your phone in every time you get in the car just to use it. We've been hoping for a wireless solution for some time now, and it seems like it's finally becoming a reality. JVCKENWOOD will have two receivers capable of wireless Android Auto on display at CES 2018.

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[Deal Alert] Misfit Vapor is €139.99/£129.50 (30% off) with promo code in the UK, Germany, Italy, and France

We know how much of a tease many of our Deal Alert posts can be for our readers outside the US and Canada, so let's end the year on a more inclusive note, shall we? Misfit is giving folks in the UK, Germany, Italy, and France 30% off of its Vapor smartwatch and other products via a promo code. If you live elsewhere, there's a separate promo code to get the same discount on a more limited set of products.

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