If a speaker, vibration motor, and an on-device notification light aren't enough to grab your attention when a new message comes to your phone, you need a more extreme option. The developer of HueNotifier Beta has provided one: an impressive sync between any Android 4.0+ device and Philips' range of Hue connected LED lightbulbs. After installing the app and setting it up, new notifications from any app can be assigned to pulsate the light bulb or bulbs in any available color.
After some teasing, Paranoid Android has unveiled (in a lovely promo image) their plan for multi-window functionality on Android, which they promise to "get right," – Halo.
The premise is simple, yet extremely ambitious in scope – allow apps to give you notifications right on top of your screen, which allow you to pop into that app without leaving the one you're in (no matter what it is), take care of business, and resume your experience uninterrupted.
If you've tried as many apps and games as we have, you've probably come across one or two that were great... with the exception of annoying, vaguely spammy notification alerts. Starting with Jelly Bean 4.1, there's a simple and somewhat obscure solution: check the App Info menu to disable notifications. But that can get tedious, especially if you're setting up a new device. Developer Giorgi Dalakishvii has created a more elegant solution, which puts notification settings for all your apps in one handy place.
When it comes to getting various notifications while your device's display is off, a built-in LED is useful. However, it's far from perfect. Sure, you can customize each notification with something like Light Flow, but that doesn't let you know the message contents at a glance. And, of course, there are also devices that don't have an LED at all, like the Nexus 7 for example. If you're looking for more out of your notification experience, Knock²+ may be the answer.
Whether due to neglect or a topsy-turvy set of priorities, Android developers sometimes leave out basic features like lock screen or notification (I'm looking at you, Spotify) controls. Well, Pandora is fixing at least some of its problems with an update that brings the ability to pause or skip tracks from the lock screen. Unfortunately, notification controls still aren't available but, hey. One step at a time.
Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
- Lock screen controls for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and later
- Added elapsed and remaining timestamps to the track progress indicator
- Reduced startup time
- Bug fixes and enhancements
Aside from the lock screen controls, it's not a huge update, but it's always encouraging to see a prominent developer truly take advantage of what Android can do.
Pushover, a "simple push notification service" that essentially allows web services, scripts, and a lot more to send notifications to your mobile device, got an update recently to version 1.6 (and soon after, 1.6.1), which brought on a couple more nifty features.
Namely, the update brings support for DashClock, the popular clock/information widget that has gained immense support in its first few weeks of existence. Now DashClock can show you how many Pushover notifications are waiting for you.
Roman Nurik's DashClock Widget has seen remarkable adoption since its release earlier this month, with a handful of apps quickly adding their own DashClock extensions in a bid to populate your lock screen with useful information. Joining the list today is PushBullet which, in an update to version 9, added a DashClock extension that will let you know how many pushes await you before you unlock your device.
Besides the DashClock extension, PushBullet will now play your device's default notification tone when you receive a push, and has new localization for Italian and Dutch users, along with a couple of other tweaks.
Notifications have been one of the areas that Android has excelled in since day one. In Jelly Bean, that feature got a boost with the ability to expand a one-line entry, turning it into what is essentially a widget. Quickly happens to be one of the neatest uses we've seen of this new feature. This app creates a persistent notification in your shade that can be expanded to reveal an app launcher.
Last week we told you about Pebble Notifier, an app that allows Tasker to send updates to the Pebble smartwatch over Bluetooth. Developer Dattas Moonchaser has updated the plugin to a full, independent app: you no longer need Tasker to send updates to your watch. (You'll still need the official Pebble app.) As you probably know, while Tasker is an incredibly powerful piece of software, it's also very difficult to learn and master, so the update should make it useful for a larger percentage of Pebble owners.