A couple of very useful features have started rolling out to a few lucky Google Maps users in the last couple of days. If you've been following along with our APK Teardowns, you might remember sections covering notifications for mass transit delays and an option to restrict data usage to Wi-Fi only. If you've been eager to see either of these, now might be a good time to open up Maps and poke around. But it looks like both features are launching as staged rollouts, so don't be too surprised if you're not in the opening group. Read More
For the designers in our audience, I'm back with another quick Sketch resource to download - this time, it's a sticker sheet for N-style notifications. There are eight variations, plus a simple frame to stick your sample notifications in.
Android N's notifications actually follow a very predictable style so far. There's a header line, which usually has an icon, app name, some secondary identifying info, time, and an expand/collapse toggle, and then there are two lines of text. The top line is primary messaging or identifying info (like a message-sender's name) and the second line is a secondary message, explanation, or text preview. Read More
Did you know that Chrome on Android can handle downloads in two different methods? Before we got this tip, I sure didn't and it took a little investigative work to get to the bottom of this difference. See, there are two ways you can trigger a download in Chrome. One is by clicking on a link that opens the bottom pop-up asking you if you want to save a file (think APK Mirror) and the other is by long tapping on any embedded content (usually media) and selecting save. The first triggers the Downloads app (or Download Manager) from Android, the second triggers Chrome's built-in download manager functionality. Read More
Fix for multi-column layouts
From a user-facing standpoint, the only directly relatable change came to multi-column layouts in Chrome. Read More
Considering how popular the various high-profile music services have become on Android, it's a little strange that none of them have offered something like NextSong built in. It's strange, that is, until you remember how slow most of them are to conform to new Android functions like heads up notifications. In any case, music fans should definitely check out this handy app from independent developer Reactiv Sudios, whom we've featured before on Android Police.
NextSong places a heads up notification on your screen for every new track, giving you info on what's playing without forcing you to lower the notification shade or dig into the Recents menu. Read More
Google Glass is inviting users to "stay connected to your favorite phone apps with notification sync on Glass." The new feature, as you might have guessed by now, grants Google's MyGlass app notification access, relaying all your Android notifications up to your eyeball for quick and easy viewing/interaction. Previously, only apps compatible with Glass (like Gmail and Hangouts) could send up notifications.
The Glass team says the new feature (which the team admits you "may have already seen" on Android Wear) will come in an update to the MyGlass app that will be available tomorrow (an already jam-packed day from the looks of it), and posted a quick tutorial video to show what the setup process is like. Read More
If you thought (like me) that Update Wednesday had concluded, you thought wrong. It appears Google's also started pushing an update to Google Play Games, bringing the app up to version 2.0 with Level-up notification controls, XP rankings, and a few UI changes.
Readers may remember Quests and Level-up notifications from one of our exclusives last month. The functionality, along with Snapshots, was confirmed in the official announcement of Google Play Services 5.0. Today, though, Level-up notification controls are live, along with a new card on the "Play Now" screen showing users their XP level and how much XP they'll need to level up. Read More
Google's general intent with Google Play Games is simple. Google wants to provide a solid backend with common game features to developers who want to make more compelling games. Once developers integrate these features, Google's user base offers a cohesive score/competition experience.
Providing features like leaderboards and achievements, Google has managed to catch the interest of many game developers already, but we have reason to believe that Google will be peppering a few new features into Google Play Games some time soon, with an update to Google Play Services and the Google Play Games app.
Quests & Level Up Notifications
First, quests. Read More