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.
Google has finally added the feature that we've been wanting since Google first started adding functionality to notifications back in Ice Cream Sandwich: the ability to archive email directly from the notification shade. Now, when you get a new email, you can choose what to do with it immediately. This is extremely handy for the chronic email checkers who would like to be able to dismiss the clutter as it comes in, rather than let it pile up later
This is something that seems so obvious that when Ron reviewed Jelly Bean, the lack of buttons was a disappointment in an otherwise fantastic update.
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.
Handy volume control app Silence got a nice update today to version 2.0. The update, besides introducing a new (holo) interface, adds a ton of new functionality. So much, in fact, that the app's functionality now overshadows its simple name.
For starters, the update adds Google Calendar integration (for Android 4.0+), and support for recurring events, each with their own volume profile. Users can configure the events to repeat until a given date, and the app can control notification, media, and alarm volumes with individual levels for each.
PushBullet, the dynamic, practical push notification app we included in our top five roundup yesterday got a nice update today. The update brings the app to version 8 and introduces a feature that makes it even more awesome – the ability to push to others' devices or have them push to your own.
You might be wondering why this is such an awesome feature. Well, today's post to the PushBullet blog explains that with a few examples: users can push each other the address to a new restaurant, a quick grocery list update, a cheerful image, or use sharing to "Rickroll your friends in a new and exciting way."
Sharing devices with other PushBullet users is easy – just head to your online dashboard at PushBullet.com and hit the "Share" button next to a device.
January, like most months, had plenty in the way of new apps and games. We've already published our list of the top five games from last month, so it only seems right that we follow up with the month's best apps.
From backup utilities to social/RPG/motivational fitness apps, January 2013 had something for everyone. In the interest of saving our readers time, energy, and perhaps some money, we've rounded up the six very best apps every Android user should know about from the past month.
Back in early October while we were knee-deep in a pre-release Android 4.2 system dump, Ron found an interesting tidbit of info on a "quick settings" menu. Back then, it was a double pull down notification area that housed absolutely nothing of value. Thanks to today's Nexus/Android 4.2 announcements, however, we know not only what options the Quick Settings area will feature, but also how to really access it.
There are actually two ways to get into the QS menu, as highlighted by Hugo Barra in an incredible behind-the-scenes video put together by The Verge (see the full video here):
As you can see in the above clip, there will be a small toggle in the notification area directly beside the current Settings button, which, when pressed, will cause the notification area to do a neat little flip, revealing the Quick Setting area.