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Google can show you where to cast your ballot with helpful new Search and Maps features - Android Police
Searches for "how to vote" in the US are reportedly higher than they've ever been. If you're looking for your closest early voting location, where to drop
Searches for "how to vote" in the US are reportedly higher than they've ever been. If you're looking for your closest early voting location, where to drop your mail-in ballot, or just where to go on election day, Google can help. Today, it's launching new Search and Maps features to help you find the voting answers you're looking for. You can test the new features by searching terms like "early voting locations" or "ballot drop boxes near me." Google will then provide details on where you can vote in person or drop off your mail-in ballot. After that, you'll be able to click through to Google Maps, for info on how far the location is, directions, and voting hours. Google cites the Voting Information Project, a nonpartisan partnership between Democracy Works and state election officials, as the information source for this new Search functionality. Google also mentions that the updated functionality will soon come to Assistant, allowing you to ask for voting information on the go. With the election closing in fast, these features will surely be helpful for many — I wish they'd been in effect when I dropped off my ballot. Try out the new features and make your voice heard this election day.
OxygenOS 11 update starts rolling out, bringing Android 11 to the OnePlus 8 series - Android Police
OxygenOS 11 is OnePlus’ Android 11-based, totally revamped software skin, following in the design philosophy of Samsung’s One UI to allow for
OxygenOS 11 is OnePlus’ Android 11-based, totally revamped software skin, following in the design philosophy of Samsung’s One UI to allow for better one-handed use on big phones. After what was a relatively short beta cycle, OnePlus has decided to go ahead with releasing the stable version of Android 11 to its latest flagships ahead of next week's 8T event. The OxygenOS 11 update is now rolling out first to the 8 Pro and 8, while older models will have to wait a little longer for their turn. OxygenOS 11 brings some big changes to the OnePlus 8 series, including the much-awaited always-on display mode that gives you plenty of different layouts and designs to choose from. Besides that, the update also makes using the dark mode a little easier by finally bringing the much-requested, long-promised, dedicated quick settings dark mode toggle. Finally, this OxygenOS version marks a noticeable departure from OnePlus’ near-stock interface with something that looks a bit closer to Samsung's One UI with bifurcated viewing and interaction areas in first-party apps. Here are all the changes coming to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro with OxygenOS 11 according to the changelog published together with the update: Changelog
- Fresh new UI visual design brings you a more comfortable experience with various optimizations of details.
- Brand-new weather UI supports dynamic switches between sunrise and sunset. You can have day and night at your hand now.
- Optimized stability on some third-party applications and improved user experience.
- Game Space
- Newly added gaming tools box for convenient switches of Fnatic mode. You can now choose three ways of notifications: text-only, heads up and block, just for your immersive gaming experience.
- Newly added quick reply feature in a small window for Instagram and WhatsApp. (Enable it by swiping down from upper right/left corners of the screen in gaming mode)
- Newly added mis-touch prevention feature. Enable it, swipe down from the top of the screen, click and the notification bar will pop out.
- Ambient Displsy
- Added Always-on ambient Display function, custom Schedule/All day option included. (To set: Settings > Display > Ambient Display)
- Newly added Insight clock style, a joint creation with Parsons School of Design. It will change according to the phone usage data. (To set: Settings > Customization > Clock Style)
- Newly added 10 new clock styles. (To set: Settings > Customization > Clock Style)
- Dark Mode
- Added the shortcut key for Dark Mode, pull down the quick setting to enable.
- Supporting automatically turn on feature & customize time range. (To set: Settings > Display > Dark Mode > Turn on automatically > Automatically enable from sunset to sunrise/Custom time range.)
- Zen Mode
- Added 5 new themes (ocean, space, grassland, and so on), and more timing options.
- Included the Group feature in Zen Mode, now you can invite your friends and enable the Zen Mode together.
- Story function supported, automatically forming weekly videos with photos and video in storage.
- Loading speed optimized, and the image preview is now faster.
- The widget on the desktop might disappear. It can be set as followed: Long press on the desktop -"Widget" - "Settings" - Select the widget.
Apple fires back at Epic Games, seeks monetary damages for 'breach of contract' - Android Police
Ever since Epic updated its popular Fortnite title with a new payment flow that redirected customers toward its own website by promising discounted
Ever since Epic updated its popular Fortnite title with a new payment flow that redirected customers toward its own website by promising discounted prices, chaos has ensued. Epic dared Apple and Google to kick Fortnite off app stores, then sued the companies for anti-competitive practices when it happened. We just learned that Google is working on getting the case against it dismissed, and now Apple is going a step further, seeking monetary damages from Epic for breaching its contract. Today, Apple filed paperwork in court that shows it will seek damages for Epic Games' breach of contract. Before publishing on the App Store, developers must agree to certain terms regarding accepting payments, some of which Epic has clearly violated — though whether it's justified is another matter. It's not clear exactly how much money Apple is demanding, but it's another sign that the relationship between the two megacorporations will not be restored any time soon. In its response, Apple said that the idea of Epic as a "Robin Hood" fighting back against a tyrannical corporate overlord is not justified. The company notes that Epic has earned more than $600 million from app store revenue, despite Apple taking its standard 30% cut that Epic is protesting. As of now, the next episode hearing is scheduled for later in September.
Slide for Reddit pulled from Play Store again, now facing accusations of 'impersonation' - Android Police
The popular open-source Reddit client Slide for Reddit has disappeared (again) from the Play Store. The precise reason isn't known, but the project's
The popular open-source Reddit client Slide for Reddit has disappeared (again) from the Play Store. The precise reason isn't known, but the project's developer has been informed that the app violated Google's "impersonation" policy. However, he believes it should be a temporary issue as he works with Google's notoriously poor Play Store developer support to bring it back. This isn't the first time Slide for Reddit has run into issues on the Play Store. Although the app never actually did anything wrong, Google's (almosttotallackof) developersupportiswelldocumented. Last time, the ban apparently came down to the word "ISIS" in a single screenshot, in the context of a news item posted to Reddit. The slightest bit of oversight on Google's app-kicking process would probably have caught how inconsequential the objection was, but smaller developers sadly can't depend on the company to pay any attention, and most Play Store actions like these seem to be either automated or performed with minimal and seemingly incompetent oversight. This time, the issue comes down to the Play Store's intellectual property policy, with Google informing the developer that the app was pulled for "impersonation" — in all likelihood, this will probably come down to something as pointless as the word "Reddit" in a Reddit client. However, the developer notes that the app's name and Play Store description have been the same for four years. The developer also confirmed the removal in a post to the app's announcement and support subreddit. Slide missing from the Play Store? from slideforreddit "Google bots have struck again" — truer words were never spoken. We're in contact with the app's developer as they work through the issue with Google. In the meantime, folks hoping to download the Reddit client can thankfully get it elsewhere, including Android Police sister site APK Mirror and open source app repository F Droid.
OnePlus Nord leak points to quad-camera array with 48MP main sensor - Android Police
OnePlus is drumming up the marketing for its upcoming affordable Nord phone, publishing a documentary, some trailers, and Instagram posts full of hidden
OnePlus is drumming up the marketing for its upcoming affordable Nord phone, publishing a documentary, some trailers, and Instagram posts full of hidden details. Despite the official debut slated for July 21, we still don't know too much about the hardware, except for a confirmed Snapdragon 765G processor and rumored dual-front facing cameras. Now some more information regarding photography has leaked, as Android Central alleges that the phone will have a "flagship-level" camera array with four lenses and a 48MP main sensor. The publication says that "based on information from a OnePlus insider," the back will feature a 48MP primary camera, an 8MP wide-angle lens, a 5MP macro module, and a 2MP portrait shooter. In combination with the rumored 32MP + 8MP selfie hardware, the Nord could focus on making its photography and videography experience the standout feature compared to other phones in the sub-$500 price range. However, raw hardware isn't everything as proved by the Pixel lineup, so let's hope that OnePlus is also working on capable software accommodating the camera setup. Either way, we'll learn more on July 21, when the company wants to unveil the phone officially during a unique augmented reality launch event.
How to change your Android device's name on the Play Store, Google Assistant, and more - Android Police
Every phone, tablet, smartwatch, TV, and other Android-powered device has a model name assigned to it by the manufacturer. The name shows up in a few
Every phone, tablet, smartwatch, TV, and other Android-powered device has a model name assigned to it by the manufacturer. The name shows up in a few different places, including the desktop Play Store website, Google Assistant, and Google's Find My Device tool. Sometimes the model name is easily recognizable (e.g. "Google Pixel 3" or "Nokia 7.2"), but in other cases, it can be an incomprehensible string of characters and numbers. Some manufacturers are better than others when it comes to device names. Samsung is particularly bad, as most of its phones and tablets use names like "SM-A102U1" or "SM-G955F" instead of easily-recognizable product names. Chromebooks can also be difficult to identify in Google Play, since they are usually referred to by the hardware platform name (e.g. "coral" or "hatch") instead of the laptop name. These names aren't very helpful. Thankfully, Google makes it easy to rename your Android devices. Better yet, your changes are synchronized across all of Google's services, so you don't even have to set names in multiple places. Here's how to do it. If you're on a desktop browser, the easiest way to see your full list of devices (and change their names) is from the Google Play Settings. It displays every Android device registered to your Google account. To change a device's name, just click the 'Edit' button, type a new name, and click the 'Update' button when you're done. Super simple. Your changes will be instantly synced across Google Assistant, the Play Store site, Find My Device, and anywhere else Google displays your connected devices. The Play Store website doesn't work very well on phones, so if you're on a mobile device, it's probably easier to open the Find My Device web page. Your list of devices will be displayed at the top, and once you select the desired device, just tap the name to change it. Interestingly, the Find My Device app on the Play Store doesn't let you change device names, only the website.
The best Android power user features you may have forgotten about - Android Police
With over a decade under its belt, Android has built a long history as Google's mobile operating system. And in that history are dozens of little
This story was originally published 2020/01/24 9:48am PSTon Jan 24, 2020 and last updated 2020/07/04 7:53am PDTon Jul 4, 2020. With over a decade under its belt, Android has built a long history as Google's mobile operating system. And in that history are dozens of little features, changes, and updates that have added, removed, or modified aspects of that OS in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. But for every new option Google brings to Android, we're probably forgetting one that been in there for years that we've simply not bothered to use in a while. And in some cases, these are pretty genuinely useful things! Remember you can use two fingers to swipe down for quick settings? Screen pinning? Lock screen messages? Well, we've got those and a pretty good handful of others that may have fallen by the wayside on your phone. Replace apps with specific shortcuts Android app shortcuts are rarely utilized, likely because they aren't easily discoverable. If you have always visit the same screen in a certain app, replacing that app's icon on your home screen with a shortcut might help you out. Here's an example: if you're like me, most of the time you open the Play Store is to check for app updates. In that case, removing the Play Store icon from your home screen and adding the 'My Apps' shortcut can save you a few taps. Some other examples include replacing the Files app with a shortcut to internal storage, or replacing the the YouTube icon with the Subscriptions shortcut. If you've never used shortcuts before, just hold down on an app (in either the app drawer or home screen) to see which shortcuts it provides. The shortcuts API was added in Android 7.1, so if you have an older device, they might not be available for you. Connect USB devices Android's ability to connect to USB devices isn't anything new, but it's incredibly underrated. Do you need to transfer files to/from a flash drive, or backup pictures from your camera? Just plug it in, and a notification usually appears from your phone's file manager. Did your touchscreen break? You can still use your phone if you connect a USB mouse. Connecting a camera to an Android phone Android's support for external devices doesn't end there. You can plug in USB headsets (I do this when I'm expecting to be on a long call), Xbox controllers, SD card readers, hard drives, Ethernet adapters, and even floppy drives. In the past, using USB devices with Android usually required buying a microUSB OTG adapter. Now that we're in the age of USB Type-C, there are plenty of external drives and accessories that can connect to Android phones without an adapter. You can also use any regular USB Type-C adapter, even ones intended for use with desktops and laptops. Pull down to see Quick Settings As you probably know, swiping down on the status bar shows your notifications, and another swipe down is required to access all your Quick Settings toggles. To save time, you can actually swipe down with two fingers to instantly open the Quick Settings. This saves me seconds every day. Disable battery optimizations Android places limits what applications can do in the background. While most apps will still function normally under Android's battery micromanagement, there are a few that definitely work better with optimizations turned off. This is especially true for wearable companion apps, like Fitbit and Wear OS. Should the need arise, you can easily disable battery optimizations for a certain app. Just hold down on the desired application on your home screeen, tap the Info button/icon, and look for a Battery menu option. The exact wording and location varies by what kind of device you have, but you should see an option for 'Battery optimization' somewhere. Open the camera quickly This one might seem obvious, but it's worth mentioning anyway. On almost every Android phone, you can double-click the power button to open the camera. Some devices have other shortcuts to perform the same action, like twisting on most Motorola phones, but the power button one is nearly universal. Switch all audio to mono If you regularly listen to music with only one earbud in, Android has a handy feature that merges the left and right audio channels. That way, you can still hear the full range of music with only one earbud. The exact location of this setting varies by device, but if you search for "mono" in the Settings app, an option for Mono audio in the Accessibility menu should appear. End calls with the power button Another great Accessibility feature in Android is ending calls by pressing the power button. This allows you to hang up without looking for the End Call button on the phone app. This option can be found in the Accessibility section of the Settings app, or by searching for "Power button" in the Settings. Pin the screen Screen Pinning was added all the way back in Android 5.0 Lollipop, but many people still aren't aware of it. It allows you to lock a certain app, which means closing it or switching to another application will require your lock screen password. This is extremely useful when someone borrows your phone — they'll only have access to the app you opened for them. Screen pinning on the Pixel 3 To set it up, search for "screen pinning" in the Settings app (or on Google phones, go to Settings > Security & Location > Advanced). The exact method for pinning/unpinning an app depends on what version of Android you're running, but the Settings panel should explain how it works for your device. Clean up cached/backed up files Like most operating systems, Android keeps plenty of cached files stored on your device, to avoid downloading them again later. If you're running out of space on your phone, or a few apps are behaving strangely, you can try deleting these cached files using Files by Google (formerly Files Go). The app can erase multiple types of files, including junk/cached data, downloads, and media backed up to Google Photos. It can also send files to other nearby Android devices. Add a message to the lock screen Another little-known feature of Android is that you can add a short message to the lock screen. For example, you can leave the contact info of a friend or relative, in case someone discovers your lost phone. On most devices, just open the Settings app, navigate to Display > Lock screen display, and select 'Lock screen message'. You can also just search for "message" in the Settings app (Samsung calls it "contact information" on some of its phones). Reduce cellular battery drain On some Android devices, a mobile data connection is always on, even when you are connected to Wi-Fi. This makes switching from Wi-Fi to a cell connection much faster, but it also has a negative effect on battery life. This setting can be turned on or off from the Developer Options. If you don't already have the Developer Options menu visible in the Settings app, tap on 'About phone' (it should be near the bottom), and keep tapping on 'Build number' until you get the 'You are now a developer!' alert. This will make a new 'Developer options' menu appear on the main Settings screen. Once that's done, open Developer Options and find the toggle for 'Mobile data always active.' Here you can turn the feature on or off. Share Wi-Fi networks If you have an extremely long Wi-Fi password, Android 10 lets you share networks using QR codes. Some manufacturers have implemented this feature on earlier versions of Android too. Just head over to your Wi-Fi settings, select the desired network, and press Share (it might also say 'QR code' or something along those lines). Sharing and scanning Wi-Fi QR codes from the Settings app Your phone will then give you a QR code, which someone else can scan using their Camera app. The scanner is also accessible from the Wi-Fi settings. Of course, the other person will likely need Android 10 installed as well, unless their device maker added this functionality to earlier versions of Android. Change the animation scale One of the ways to make an older Android device seem faster is to speed up (or completely disable) all animations. This can cause some apps to behave strangely, but it can definitely help performance on old phones and tablets. If you don't already have the Developer Options menu visible in the Settings app, tap on 'About phone' (it should be near the bottom), find the 'Build number,' and keep tapping on it until you get the 'You are now a developer!' alert. This will make a new 'Developer options' menu appear on the main Settings screen. After that, open the new Developer Options menu and look for the 'Drawing' section. Here you can change the speed for window and transition animations. Changing these to 'off' will completely disable animations, and changing them to '.5' will make them twice as fast.
Google confirms the Pixel 3a has been discontinued - Android Police
In a statement provided to Android Police, Google has confirmed that its Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones are now discontinued. No more stock will be made
In a statement provided to Android Police, Google has confirmed that its Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones are now discontinued. No more stock will be made available on the Google store, and the phone will only remain available through a handful of 3rd party retailers as remaining units sell through. Google's full statement, via a Google spokesperson, follows below. Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 3a. For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 3a, the product is available from some partners while supplies last. The official US Google Store listing for the Pixel 3a showed the phones as "Unavailable" for purchase as of this afternoon. As late as yesterday, the phone was listed only as "Out of stock." The change in language generally denotes when a product has reached the end of its retail life. Launched last year at Google I/O to wide critical praise (including our own), Google's more affordable Pixel smartphone resonated with customers looking for an excellent camera, a clean version of Android, and access to the latest Google features in a sub-$400 package. The phone was generally much better received than the flagship Pixel 3 and 3 XL that preceded it because of the strong value it presented. The successor to the Pixel 3a, the Pixel 4a, is still nowhere to be found. Rumors about an impending release range from anywhere from as early as this month to as late as October. Clearly, though, the 3a being discontinued isn't coming at a convenient time. Google has no product on sale to replace it, and discounts on the premium Pixel 4 and 4 XL have been rare since the global coronavirus pandemic reached a flash point in March. At this point, there are growing calls for Google to simply consolidate all of its planned 2020 phones under a single launch, and rename the Pixel 4a to the 5a, and announce them together at a presumably-still-happening (and likely digital-only) event. Leaks to date have pegged the Pixel 4a's (or 5a's) price at $349 with 128GB of storage, available in a single size. The 3a was available in two sizes, including a larger 3a XL model. Earlier rumors said the 4a would launch at $399 with 64GB of storage, but Google likely decided to offer more storage at a lower price in the wake of Apple's highly-regarded iPhone SE reboot. A planned Pixel 4a XL was also apparently scrapped. Looking at other retailers, the 3a XL is shown as backordered at B&H, while the standard 3a is listed as "Discontinued." On Amazon, all remaining Pixel 3as are being offered by third party sellers as far as we can tell. While a few straggling units may yet make it to a few resellers, it's officially goodbye for the Pixel 3a.
Android Auto hits 500 million installs on the Play Store - Android Police
Android Auto is on a roll this year. Merely six months ago, the Play Store app listing hit 100 million downloads, and already the app has now crashed
Android Auto is on a roll this year. Merely six months ago, the Play Store app listing hit 100 million downloads, and already the app has now crashed through the half-billion barrier. Of course, most phones ship with the app pre-installed these days, easily inflating those numbers. Still, it's a milestone for Google's smart in-car infotainment system. If somehow you're unfamiliar, the Android Auto app is the required companion to connect your phone to your Android Auto-compatible head unit, and you don't even need a head unit to use it. With a mount, you can use the app in standalone mode on your phone. Google eventually planned to deprecate that in favor of a new Assistant driving mode, but that never happened, and at this point, we don't know if it will. According to a leak last year, the terms of Google's GMS agreement (read: the agreement which dictates which Google apps phone manufacturers have to install) require that all phones which launch with or upgrade to Android 10 include a "headless" instance of Android Auto pre-installed. We can't be sure, but we have to assume that this is inflating the download count on the Play Store — the timing is too perfect for it with Android 10 also rolling out widely in the last six months. Android Auto might be a bit buggysometimes, and this recent explosion in downloads probably isn't tied to a correspondingly huge increase in platform use, but Google has cause to celebrate. Next up: one billion downloads.