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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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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: A new Oreo Easter egg appears (in Double Stuf form?), but the octopus remains

Android Oreo marks the second time that Google's struck a brand deal with a candy company to name the newest version of Android, and Google isn't going to let that go to waste. 8.1 Oreo brings a new Easter egg of - you guessed it - an Oreo, but it retains the freaky movable octopus as well.

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[Update: Dimming is system-wide] Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Settings now has a colored navigation bar that dims

The Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview dropped today, and with it come some new features that we've been discovering. One of the more prominent changes we've spotted so far is to the navigation bar while it's in the Settings app. On both Pixel and Nexus devices, the soft keys get a few aesthetic tweaks that modernize the software's look just a little bit.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: The new power menu design comes to all, complete with weird bug report button

Google is rolling out a dev preview for Android 8.1 today, and already we're noticing some tweaks from the Pixel 2 appearing in the new build for everyone to enjoy. Case in point, the Pixel 2's unusual power menu redesign is in the developer preview, indicating it'll come to all devices with Android 8.1. Google even kept the somewhat busted bug report button.

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How Oreo's color profiles work on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL

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

With the Pixel 2's release, it seems many Android fans have their pitchforks in hand, and it's the display that's the target of their criticism. Owners of the 2 XL have noticed color shifting at an angle or laggy pixel response, which causes a "jelly-like" effect. Another complaint, which will be the focus of this article, is what some have called "muted colors." At first glance, it seems like the Pixel 2 isn’t capable of showing as many colors as other OLED devices, but this isn’t true—the colors are intentionally “muted” and locked via software.

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Google announces Android 8.1 developer preview, final release planned for December

Google launched the new Pixel phones with Android 8.0, which is what last year's Pixel's have been running since the update. A new version of Oreo is on the way, though, and you can try it right now. Google has launched a developer preview for Android 8.1. As usual, it's supported on recent Google devices and can be installed in two ways.

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Nokia opens up Android 8.0 Oreo beta test for the Nokia 8

Nokia and HMD are keeping up their promise of releasing fast updates to the collection of Android devices they announced this year. After the rather timely monthly security fixes, now's the time to get a more substantial update in the form of Android 8.0 Oreo but you'll need to have a Nokia 8 to get your first taste.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer at HMD, just announced that the Oreo beta test is available through Nokia phones beta labs for owners of the flagship Nokia 8. If you head over to that page, you'll be asked to sign in (fortunately, a Google login is accepted) then to validate your phone's IMEI number and operator.

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T-Mobile Galaxy J7 gets updated to Android 7.1.1 Nougat, despite support notes claiming otherwise

When we think of Samsung phones, our minds instantly go to the Galaxy S8 and Note8. But Samsung makes a ton of different phones, and the Galaxy J7 is on the upper end of them. The T-Mobile variant of the J7 is now receiving its Android 7.1.1 Nougat update, even though the people behind the phone's support page don't seem to have any idea what's going on.

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Following months of delays, Misfit Vapor smartwatch will be available October 31

It's been a long road for Misfit's Vapor smartwatch. After being announced at CES in January, it was revealed that it would run Android Wear 2.0 in March, which instantly made it one of the most attractive sub-$200 watches on the platform, then we discovered that the GPS would only be "connected GPS". Meanwhile the shipping date was pushed from late summer to October and that's where we're at now. Misfit just announced that the Vapor will be available on October 31st, honoring its own deadline by a hair.

In case you don't know the specs, the Vapor is a 44mm watch with a 1.39" AMOLED display plus ambient light sensor.

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Disabling Developer Options completely removes the menu from Settings

Developer Options is one of the two hidden settings menus in Android (beside System UI Tuner) and it gets enabled by tapping the Build Number in the About Phone section repeatedly. In previous versions of Android, Developer Options had one toggle up top that let you disable it and thus return all values to their default, but in Oreo, disabling the toggle also removes the menu entirely.

Up until Android 7.1.2, if you turn off the toggle at the top of Developer Options, all the different settings are restored, but if you back out, you'll still see the Developer Options menu item in your Settings, and you can still go in and enable it again.

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