Google's I/O conference, in usual form, kicked off with an explosive start. The day's news saw the revelation of things we've been waiting to see for months. Things we've heard rumor of, wished for, and even (quite accurately) predicted. With all the things we saw, it only seems right to round up all the day's news in one place. Grab a snack, because we've got a lot to talk about.
"Android has always put you in control when it comes to staying notified and connected. Now you can take action directly from the notifications shade," says Android's updated "What's New" page. Indeed, today's Jelly Bean announcement saw a number of improvements to the already handy notification system we've come to know and love in previous iterations of Android. Not only can the new notifications system display larger, richer notifications, developers can create actionable notification with interactive controls for telephony, music, and more.
Appbrain, which we here at AP use to this day thanks to a few handful features that the Play Store still hasn't implemented, analyzed 140,000 Android apps and came up with a list of the top 10 ad networks.
While they don't openly state the source of this data, I am willing to bet that it comes from analytics reported by their Ad Detector app which hit the Play Store a few months back.
In a tweet earlier today, Instagram linked to a new signup page which promises to put interested Android users at the front of the line when the popular photo app becomes available (which should be relatively soon).
— Instagram (@instagram) March 24, 2012
The page asks users only to enter a valid email address, and spits out a promising "Thanks for signing up!
Last week, a "report" by InFlexWeTrust showed a screencap of a popup that invited users to download a "featured" app - Instagram for Android.
With all the crapware pushing AirPush ads to your notification bar that we've seen last week (including the fake Pinterest, Temple Run, and - drumroll - Instagram) and all the clues regarding this so obviously fake Instagram app, one would have thought a bit of caution by the blogosphere would have been a good idea.
Today, Lookout, a mobile security company, released a new Android application that can help figure out just where those pesky notification ads are suddenly coming from and offer you ways to opt out of them or get rid of the culprits altogether.
Their creation, called Push Ad Detector, currently detects apps that use the following ad networks:
- Moolah Media
There are other detectors of notification ads on the Market, but none are as comprehensive and polished as Push Ad Detector.
Delta Airlines customers with Android or iOS devices now have one more awesome feature to use with the airline's Fly Delta app – the ability to track their checked luggage as if it were a package, a feature previously only available online or at Delta customer service desks.
The app's latest update includes a rather sophisticated tracking system, which will scan your claim tag and automatically update with the location of your bags, ensuring that you always know where your bags are, and can be sure that they are traveling along without issue.
One thing I have gotten used to as a CyanogenMod user is the notification power widget. It's so convenient that I have rejected the use of alternative ROMs over the last several months because it's something that they lacked. For those of you that want this feature, but would prefer not to root your phone, you're in luck: XDA-Developers member 'j4velin' has created an app that does just that.
Notification Toggle, as the name implies, allows you to put various toggle switches in your notification pulldown for quick access.
Take a look around Google and you can see that people are seriously peeved by the lack of notification LED in the Samsung Galaxy S line of devices (excluding the Epic 4G). Developer and i9000 owner Michael R. - better known as neldar on the XDA forums - was annoyed enough by the glaring omission that he decided to come up with a solution. The result: BLN (BackLight Notification).
The basic idea behind the app is quite simple: as there's no LED on the devices, the logical decision is to light up the soft-touch keys.
Have you ever wanted to make custom ringtones, alarms, or notification sounds in Android but had no clue how to do it, even if you already put a media file onto your device? I can't blame you - Android is absolutely terrible about letting you do anything but pick one of the existing system sounds and offers no way of adding your own.
Enter Ringdroid. Ringdroid's sole purpose is to let you take an existing music file, crop it exactly how you want it, and then save it as either a ringtone, an alarm, or a notification.