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Oreo 8.0/8.1


[Update: Google says it's fixed] Adaptive icon bug causes system crashes on Oreo devices, Google is on the case

If there's one thing sure to ruin your day, it's a crashing smartphone. Even worse if the bug proves so bad that your phone eventually insists you do a factory reset, losing data in the process. This is exactly the situation that has befallen a number of Nexus and Pixel owners in recent days, and it's all to do with an adaptive icon bug that was discovered by the developer of third-party Facebook wrapper called Swipe.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Android will highlight battery draining apps and what they're doing

Battery life is always the weak link in our smartphone-centric world, and you often find yourself baffled by the reasons why your battery drains way too fast one day and then seems to last forever the second day. Android has been trying to remedy that for many and many versions, and the latest Android 8.1 Developer Preview adds one more weapon to your arsenal in the fight against battery drainage. It won't help you win the war, but it will more easily answer the question of which app has been misbehaving and how.

On Android 8.1, if you check the Battery settings, you may see one app highlighted at the top with a red warning battery icon.

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Google's November system images and OTA files for Nexus and Pixel devices are (mostly) live [Update: Pixel 2 XL OTA rolling out]

The month is getting underway, and that means it's time for Google to issue its monthly raft of Pixel and Nexus updates. The updates will filter down to phones in the next day or so, but the system images and OTA files for most devices are available now if you want to sideload. There's not a ton new here, but as this is a November patch level, you should have protection from the KRACK vulnerability.

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LG begins beta testing Android 8.0 update for V30 in South Korea

The LG V30 was released in South Korea a month ago, and it arrived in the United States soon after. The phone shipped with Android 7.1.2, and LG sadly didn't give a timeframe for an Oreo update. However, it looks like the company has been hard at work on an Oreo update, and South Korean residents can try it today.

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Dashlane 5.0 adds Oreo autofill support, two factor code generation, and more

Password manager Dashlane has been beta testing support for Oreo's autofill feature, and now the testing is over. Dashlane 5 is rolling out with support for autofill in Android 8.0, but that's not all. The new app can also act as a mobile authenticator and there are more languages.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Supported devices could offload tethering to the hardware

One of the new toggles you'll see in Android 8.1's developer preview is hidden in Developer options, under the Networking category and is called: Tethering hardware acceleration. The description, "Use tethering hardware acceleration if available," doesn't do a lot to clarify the ambiguity of the new option, and the speculation from AP alumni Ron Amadeo and a few users has been that it would use a more efficient method for tethering that relies on hardware. We've been looking into it to try to understand what it does and there are hints here and there that favor that explanation.

First, there's new code in Android that's related to this new "tetheroffload.control" and I also found a few APIs in the Android HIDL related to it with explanations of the different control types.

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Google hasn't actually enabled Pixel Visual Core in 8.1 Oreo DP1, updates docs to say it'll come in DP2

The Pixel Visual Core is Google's first in-house chip, and it was supposed to have been enabled in Android 8.1 Developer Preview 1. However, developers looking to try it out were unable to do so, eventually realizing that Google had neglected to enable it for the public preview. Now, the company has updated its documents to say that Visual Core will be able to be tried out in 8.1 Developer Preview 2.

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Android 8.1 fixes invisible Do Not Disturb toggle issue from 8.0 Oreo

Believe it or not, Android 8.0 Oreo actually debuted with an invisible Do Not Disturb toggle in the volume popup. This DND toggle is enabled through the System UI Tuner, so not everyone saw it. If you knew where the toggle was, it still worked, but this was a bit of a stupid mistake for Google to make in the first place. The Android 8.1 developer preview fixes this problem and adds a DND toggle that we can actually see.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Covering the proximity sensor no longer turns off Ambient Display

The latest Android developer preview is filled with lots of incremental changes, many of which are thoughtful and useful. It wouldn’t be possible for Google to get everything right in a beta release, though, and this alteration seems to be more of a backward step.

Previously in Oreo, if you’d set Ambient Display to wake with a notification or with a double tap, it would shut off if the proximity sensor was covered. This was useful for conserving battery as it would turn the screen off as soon as you put it in a pocket or a bag. It was also good if you’d already seen whatever it was notifying you about, as you could simply wave your hand over the sensor to sleep the screen.

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Problems installing the 8.1 Android Beta Program OTA should be resolved

In our post about Google pulling the Android 8.1 developer preview OTAs, many of you mentioned that you were also having trouble downloading the OTA from the Android Beta Program. Since the OTA downloads for sideloading had been pulled, that was the only way to move to 8.1 without an unlocked bootloader. Well, those problems should now be resolved.

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