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notifications

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Weekend poll: Android N's notifications, love 'em or hate 'em?

Android N has made some significant, nay, major changes to the notification cards compared to the outgoing L. For one, notifications now just look a lot more same-y: your Hangouts notifications don't look much different than your Inbox notifications which don't look much different from your Gmail notifications and so on and so forth. Small icons, little border separating individual cards, and a whole lot of white space can make Android N's notifications more difficult to visually parse, particularly if you're getting a huge number of notifications.

The collapsible notifications - aka bundling - are also something of a mess at the moment.

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Google Maps v9.31 Beta Part 2: multiple waypoints, notifications about indoor maps and transit disruptions, and more [APK Teardown]

The update to Google Maps v9.31 brought a couple of fixes for users on Android N developer previews, not to mention some other small changes for everybody. But the most interesting things about this version are still buried below the surface. Yesterday, I covered support for offline maps to be installed on an SD card, and now it's time to dig into the rest of the teardown. If SD card support weren't enough, there are a couple of other features here that have been hotly requested for some time, so it's pretty clearly the Maps team is working hard to fill out the feature set for users.

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YouTube Gaming v1.4.41 Adds Event Notifications, Not Interested Action For Recommended Videos, A New Easter Egg, And More [APK Teardown + Download]

The YouTube Gaming app is still young, but each version brings little bits of fine tuning. It's progressively catching up with the main YouTube app while also adding little features that are unique to its focus on gaming and live-streamed events. The latest update to v1.4.41 continues this forward motion with some more subtle adjustments to the interface and a couple of new features. The easter egg count has also gone up by one, and there's even a little bit for a teardown. As always, a link to the download is available at the end.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (things we found)

  • Recommended videos now have a 'Not interested' option in the overflow menu
  • "Go Live" has been removed from the main overflow menu
  • New "Event notifications" toggle in Settings –> General
  • Easter egg count went from 4 to 5

Not Interested

2016-06-09 21.30.132016-06-09 21.29.23

YouTube's recommendation engine isn't perfect, but once it has had time to learn our viewing habits, the results can be very good.

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Google Maps v9.27 Beta Adds More Notification Settings, A Mini-Splash Screen, And Possibly A Friendly Greeting [APK Teardown + Download]

Google Maps is now accepting beta testers through the Play Store, and it's probably no coincidence that there's already an update to v9.27 to go along with the news. The latest version doesn't appear to have any mind-blowing features, but it's not without a few changes to be found on the screen and buried in the apk. There are new notification settings, a new splash screen for Android Wear, and a few hints from a teardown. We're still looking around for more, so let us know if you stumble across any cool changes.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (stuff we found)

  • New Notification Settings: "Show pending contributions notification" and "Driving notifications"
  • Splash screen on Android Wear

More Notification Settings

2016-06-02 21.19.532016-06-02 21.20.10

Just a few days ago I commented on how the Notifications screen had grown quite a bit over the last few months, and with the brand new beta, two more settings join the list.

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Google Maps v9.26.1 Adds Search Along Route For Walking And Bicycling, Changes Driving Mode FABs, Adds New Settings, And More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google began rolling out an update to Maps v9.26.1 a few days ago, and it's sporting a handful of new features. Like so many versions of maps, there are quite a few well-hidden changes in this one, far more than the single item written in the official changelog. Most of the changes are subtle enough that you won't notice them if you're not comparing side-by-side, but they are improvements all the same. There are even a few things from the teardown that don't appear to have made this version, but should be things to watch out for in the future.

What's New

Official Changelog:

  • Search along the route in bicycling and walking navigation.
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Google Calendar On The Web Gains Sleek, Less Intrusive Event Reminders

When you create an event in Google Calendar, you have multiple options for how you want to be reminded. Google can shoot you an email or text, though if you know you will be at your desktop, a pop-up notification may be better. But those things can also be pretty intrusive.

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Google Maps v9.25.1 Adds Batch Photo Submission, Puts Contact Addresses In Your Places, And Gives Suggested Searches On Location Pages [APK Download]

Developers usually use version numbers to convey the amount of change an app has gone through from one release to the next. But what does it mean when Google Maps not only jumps over v9.24 entirely, but also skips forward a patch release to give us v9.25.1? Let's assume it's a sign that there are a lot of new features and not too many bugs. This version certainly doesn't disappoint on new features. There are a bunch of additions to be seen, so let's get right into it.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (there may be more)

  • Contact addresses appear in Your places screen and on maps.
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Android N Dev Preview 2 Adds A Sixth Full Importance Notification Setting Level

In the first Android N Dev Preview, we spotted a Full Importance setting in the System UI Tuner that allows you to granularly control each app's notifications and decide whether you want them to show up, play sound, peek on top of your screen, climb to the top of the notification list, and more.

In the second N preview, the 5 levels are getting slightly renamed and there's an sixth added level for very urgent notifications. First, you'll notice a new Min importance setting level, but it does what the previous Low importance setting used to. The new Low importance is for what used to be the Normal importance previously.

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Play Books v3.8 Brings A New Search Bar, New Book Notifications For Favorite Authors, Performance Improvements, And Much More [APK Download]

This is certainly a week for updates. Between the latest dev preview for Android N, the rest of the April security updates, and a decent stack of apps from Google, things have been really busy. Play Books joins the lineup, bringing with it a number of visual and functional changes. Of course there is a new icon to join the rebranding effort, but it also includes some updates to the search bar, the reading experience, and more. As always, we've got a link to the download at the bottom.

What's New

Many thanks to the Play Books team for providing a very thorough changelog!

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Floatify Version 10 Adds Android N-Themed Notifications And Swipe Actions

Android's notification system has gone through some pretty intense work since the start of the platform, but that doesn't mean that third-party developers can't improve it even more. Case in point: Floatify, a customization app that's been floating around (sorry) for the better part of two years. The latest version is number ten, and it adds a couple of features from the new Android N Developer Preview. If your device isn't invited to play with the Nexus crowd (or you just don't want to deal with the instability), you can back-port some of those neat touches.

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