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Ian Lake
Android Developer Advocate and Runner
Android Developer Advocate and Runner

Ian's posts

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The overview screen of Android Auto certainly is useful when it works (contextual suggestions, yay!), but not so much when it is cluttered with...less helpful notifications. Hallelujah indeed!

For those that use Android Auto, how much do you stay on the overview screen? Or do you stay in the Maps/Music/Phone screen?

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No All Wheel Drive Tesla Model 3 until next year
Elon Musk confirmed today that there won't be an option for an AWD Model 3 at launch. Instead, it'll be added as an option "probably in 6 to 9 months."

Certainly a little disappointing for me personally as the dual motor configuration was on my must-have list of upgrades. On the bright side, Elon said that early reservation holders would be "first in line for dual motor as soon as we can make it".


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Personally, as long as this doesn't affect Project Fi messaging (the only thing that doesn't already have a much better home), I think this is the right move. More time to focus on the reliability of Hangouts messages is a good thing for Hangouts.

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Location Sharing returns to Google Maps with an emphasis on temporary sharing
Over the next few weeks, both Android and iOS users of Google Maps will get access to new location sharing tools. Besides being able to share your location for just a set amount of time with specific people you care about, I'm more interested in the 'Share trip progress' option, which integrates directly into Google Maps Navigation.

There's still the Latitude-style sharing your location forever with people if you want close friends or family to always know where you are, but you'll need to specifically enable that.

Check out more information in the +Engadget​ article:
And the official blog post:

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There's a lot of exciting features in Android O. I'm personally really looking forward to the Notification Channels feature: instead of having to block an entire app, users now get full control how each 'channel' of notifications buzzes your phone. Adaptive icons are a close second though.

While I wouldn't recommend putting O on your primary device (first release is a bit rough around the edges), you should really start to look at the behavior changes as the new background execution changes are really far reaching:
Here’s an early look at the next version of Android for testing, development, and feedback. Get your apps ready for Android O:

Watch out for the SDK coming later today! 

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Family Link: parent managed Google accounts for <13 year olds
As a parent, this is probably one of my favorite announcements of all time. Giving parents and kids the tools they need to use technology appropriately is a big deal and I'm really glad that Family Link doesn't try to dumb down the experience for kids.

Instead, it allows parents and kids to work together to figure out the rules that are right for them. Do you need to limit the screen on time per day? There's a control for that. Too much time playing games? There's a control for that. Hard to put the device down at bed time? There's a control for that. And it isn't some hidden control: kids can see exactly how much time they've spent or when bed time in their Family Link app, exactly as the parent sees it.

There are some caveats: you need to create a new child account (no migrating an existing account over) and the kids device needs to run Android 7.0 or higher. Of course, when the child account turns 13 years old, it gets 'upgraded' to a full account, so no managing your teenagers to the same degree of control.

Even with that said, I'm really happy that this is a thing and that Google is investing in this space.

Muzei 2.3.1 Beta 4 is available now with a Next Artwork Tasker Plugin
Muzei 2.3.1 Beta 4 is rolling out now. Like all Beta releases, it comes with a few more crash fixes, but it also includes a handy feature for you Tasker users: a Tasker plugin to trigger the 'Next Artwork' action

Hope you'll find it helpful to really control when your artwork changes. Of course, it requires an art source that supports the Next Artwork action.

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Always good to see another manufacturer come to their senses.

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Now if this was a waterproof shell that I could wear in bad weather but still control my music/get directions/etc, that I might be really interested in. It'll be interesting to know exactly what these kind of smart materials are capable of though.

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Good news for autonomous cars! I'm certainly looking forward to not driving around everywhere.
No more driver or steering wheel required. Coming soon Johnny cab so you can get your arse to Mars!
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