Google Maps received a fairly minor update last night, bumping it up to v9.15. There aren't any big visible changes, and even the teardown was pretty light, but there is one addition to the Settings screen that's worth mentioning. Under the Notifications section is a new checkbox titled "Traffic information." Obviously, it lets you shut off traffic notifications, which might be fairly handy if you already know they're coming or there tend to be a lot of false positives reported in your area. It's not the most exciting feature, but it will certainly matter to a few users.
This is the only noticeable change to the interface we've seen so far, but there may be some others lurking in a corner we haven't checked yet.
Nexus launch day is a cutthroat time when mere moments can make the difference between a speedy shipment and weeks of waiting. While quickly comparing the Nexus 5X and 6P to decide which one to order, many have noticed that the 6P lists an RGB notification LED, but the 5X doesn't. Well, we've confirmed there's an LED on the 5X too. How? We bothered Google VP of Engineering Dave Burke via email. He was kind enough to explain what's going on.
In case you aren't getting enough Google Now inside the normal interface, it looks like the Google app is bumping out into some users' notification trays with new, richer, higher priority notifications.
While it's hard to say when the rollout began, some users on version 220.127.116.11 of the Google app (myself included) have begun noticing new notification settings in the Google app, toggling notifications for "substantial changes in weather condition," sports, places, and "stories and videos." Other users' settings lists still stop at "priority notifications."
So far we've only seen weather notifications - which offer temperature changes or other condition changes expected for the next day - and sports notifications in person.
Floatify has been around for a little over a year now. It's an app that presents an alternate way to display notifications, specifically the Heads Up (AKA Peeking) notifications that were hidden in Android 4.4 and fleshed out in 5.0. The app has been continuously updated even as Lollipop has become public, and now it's a full-fledged alternative to most of Android's built-in notification systems. The latest update is something really special - we kind of wish Google would steal some of developer Jawomo's ideas.
Back in October of 2014, a new beta app called Snowball was released. Back then it was a chat head-style multi-messaging client of sorts, which was useful enough in its own right. Snowball 2.0 is out now, and the app has apparently gotten a full overhaul - it's essentially a completely different thing now. Instead of being a messaging client, Snowball is now a full-featured (and damn good-looking) notification center. Check it out:
If I said this didn't look pretty useful, I'd be lying. Don't get me wrong - Android's notification panel has come a long way and is already pretty great, but there's always room for improvement, right?
Version 4.9 of the Google app began rolling out late yesterday, but it's not sporting a lot of obvious additions. The only immediately visible changes appear under Settings -> Now cards, where a new toggle has been added to enable or disable lock screen notifications based on cards. Some updated text also appears below the new toggle, if you care about that sort of thing.
Left: old version. Right: new version.
The existing Notifications toggle gave users the option to determine whether cards from Google Now could occupy space in the notification shade. The new toggle brings a little more control by allowing notifications to appear in the shade without being shown on the lock screen where they could potentially overwhelm more important notifications.
Ever since Android added support for native screenshots way back in Ice Cream Sandwich, there's been a handy notification after the screenshot has been saved. In the new M preview the share button on that notification is joined by something else—a delete button. Fantastic.
I'm going to assume that most of our readers have used Pushbullet, or at least have a general idea how it works. Hooks is a new app that offers a more configurable version of Pushbullet channels so you can get notifications when any number of things happens on the internet. So take Pushbullet, add a dash of IFTTT, and you've got Hooks.
After the launch of Music Key in November, we've had good reason to expect quite a bit from YouTube. We've seen things like 60 fps live streaming, 360-degree videos with cardboard support, and big updates to the Kids and Creator Studio apps – and that's just some of the stuff from the last two months. We also know there's plenty still to come, particularly an ad-free subscription model. The latest update doesn't seem to deliver any new features, not unless Google is planning to flip a switch server-side, but it gives a few hints about what to expect in the future.
Before bits and pieces of Google+ departed from Google's web toolbar earlier this month, the bar's notification panel began labeling notifications according to their origin. G+ notifications for example got a Google+ icon, while notifications about a user's photo library got the Google Photos badge.
Tonight it looks like Google is rolling out another change to the panel, adding a settings button which allows users to filter out G+, Photos, or YouTube notifications individually.
Interestingly, not all sources appear for all users - it's unclear exactly how the panel knows which options to show, but it appears that the presence of Photos or YouTube options partially depends on whether you've opted to receive those notifications in the Google+ settings.