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WebVR is now 'WebXR Device API', supports augmented reality

The first version of WebVR was announced in early 2016, with both Firefox and Chrome being early supporters. The idea was to bring virtual reality content to the web, with support for all headsets, from Google Cardboard to the high-end Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The standard continued to evolve for about a year, and Google loved to show if off. But in September of last year in an AMA, the Chrome team said the WebVR API was being reworked to, "support a wider variety of devices."

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HMD Global still hasn't released the kernel sources for the Nokia 8

HMD Global, the exclusive manufacturer of Nokia-branded phones, has done a pretty good job of keeping their devices up-to-date. Late last month, for instance, the company opened up the Android 8.1 beta for the Nokia 8. But this doesn't change the fact that it's been 136 days since HMD's Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas, tweeted that the kernel source code for the Nokia 8 would be shared with the open-source community — and it still hasn't happened.

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Honor providing View10 devices to prominent custom ROM and kernel developers

Now that Huawei's plans of selling phones on US carriers have fallen apart, the company appears to be trying something different - appealing to hardcore Android enthusiasts looking for inexpensive phones. OnePlus is easily the leader in that niche, after Google stopped selling its budget-friendly Nexus phones. The Honor View10 (Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei) is already targeting OnePlus, and now the company is helping community developers create ROMs, recoveries, and kernels.

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Essential announces plans to skip 8.0 Oreo release in favor of 8.1, citing stability concerns

Essential—the phone company led by Android co-founder Andy Rubin—has had some difficulty in getting a stable 8.0 Oreo update released. After three beta releases, the company is not quite satisfied that the update is ready for general release. Because of these protracted issues, Essential has announced plans to skip the 8.0 release entirely in favor of 8.1, which will "push the public release back a couple weeks," according to the company.

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Google Assistant now understands Hindi, Actions on Google can be developed in Russian (ru-RU)

Google Assistant's language support is beyond confusing. I've been covering it for over 6 months now and I still don't understand why a language could work in one version of Assistant but not another. Take Hindi for example. It works in Allo, but not in other instances of Assistant like the main one on your phone. That's changing though now.

If you have your phone's language set to English - India, you'll be able to activate Assistant by tapping and holding on the Home button on any Android 5.0 and above phone (tablets probably won't work as they only support US English for now).

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Xiaomi releases the kernel source code for the Mi A1

Earlier in January, the online chatter about Xiaomi's delay/unwillingness to release kernel source codes for its Mi A1 phone reached a peak. Given how popular this little gem of a phone has become (read my take or Corbin's review) and all that it could do for a measly $220 price tag, as well as the fact that it runs Android One, Google's own official software for third-parties, it was quite unbecoming of Xiaomi to not release the source or take such a long time to do so.

Now the wait is over. Developers and tinkerers alike can head over to GitHub to check the full source code (for Nougat, not Oreo unfortunately) and do what developers and tinkerers do.

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Unofficial Google Camera port now works on LG phones with wide angle lenses

Many of us love the simplicity of the Google Camera app that comes pre-installed on Pixel phones, but it's the HDR+ capabilities that really set it apart. Thankfully the Android community is full of willing modders, and an unofficial port has been available for some time now. It hasn't played nice with phones that have dual rear lenses, as no Google device has such a setup. A new update looks to have added support for some LG devices with two cameras.

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Motorola releases Oreo kernel source code for Moto X4

Those of you familiar with the GPL will know that manufacturers are required to post any modifications they make to the Android kernel. Motorola does this with all of their phones, including the Nougat-powered Moto X4, but now that Oreo is out for the phone (well, at least the Android One version), the source code for that needs to be posted as well. Lo and behold, it has.

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Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo shows off Fuchsia OS running on a Pixelbook

Fuchsia OS, Google's operating system that's neither Android nor Chrome OS, is gradually becoming more and more functional. The open-source OS which Google really doesn't want to talk about has recently added support for the Pixelbook as a test device, and now AP alumnus and Ars Technica editor Ron Amadeo has managed to get it working on one.

Work on Fuchsia first began in the first half of 2016 and has progressed at a steady pace. We had a first glimpse of the OS in action a few months back, and while it was still very rough around the edges, it was enough to get a general feel of the new 'Armadillo' UI.

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Google could block access to hidden and undocumented APIs in Android P

We're probably just a few months away from the first developer preview release of Android P, but there are some hints of what Google's cooking in AOSP. According to a report at XDA, Google might be planning a move that'll upset some developers. New commits suggest Google will remove access to unofficial APIs in the next big Android release.

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