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.
Buried deep within the changelog of Android 4.1.2 that arrived today is a very welcomed change to the way expandable notifications are handled by the OS. Introduced in Jelly Bean, expanding and collapsing notifications originally required two fingers to operate. Not anymore! A handy gesture now allows easy expansion and collapsing with just one finger, making it easier to perform this task while holding a device in one hand.
Collapsing is a little tricky at first and requires first pulling down and then up.
CyanogenMod's recent improvements to CM10's messaging app – Quick Message pop-ups and "Quick Reply" functionality in the notification shade – are now available for download in apk form.
If you missed our initial coverage of CM10's latest enhancements to the messaging app (thanks to David von Tonder), here's the short version: the default messaging app in recent CM10 builds includes a feature called Quick Message that, upon receipt of a new SMS message, triggers a handy popup notification that allows users to quickly type up a reply, swipe to other new messages, view the message in the messaging app, or simply dismiss the notification.
A couple of days ago, the CyanogenMod team announced via Google+ a new feature merged to CM's Jelly Bean code branch – Quick Message. In case you missed it, Quick Message is a feature (built by David van Tonder) that displays a pop-up notification upon receipt of a new SMS message, offering the ability to reply from within the pop-up, view the message in Android's Messaging app, swipe to another new message, or close the notification.
In an e-mail sent out to Play Store developers earlier, Google announced several updates to its developer program policy. The e-mail mentioned changes in policy including clarification to payment policy regarding subscription billing, the restriction of the "use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps" (a statement that brings back memories of Facebook's "Messenger" gaffe), clarification regarding dangerous products, and practices that violate the Play Store's spam policy, all in addition to a stringent new Ad Policy.