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. Read More
Remember back when the CyanogenMod team discovered the code for heads up notifications hidden deep in Android KitKat, and everyone wanted to play with them? Now that it's been standardized in Lollipop, apparently at least some people aren't so keen on them. We've featured HeadsOff before in our app roundup: it's a neat little app that disables heads up notifications in Android 5.0 or later, and does it even without root permissions.
But wait, as the showman says, there's more! The 2.0 update released today also enables ticker text in the notification bar with the $2 pro version upgrade. Read More
Fix for multi-column layouts
From a user-facing standpoint, the only directly relatable change came to multi-column layouts in Chrome. Read More
The app info screens in Android M have become a repository, of sorts, for many of the cool new features brought to the latest OS. In previous versions of Android, I rarely found myself in need of going to an individual app's info screen. When I did, the actions I might have executed there were very limited. I don't know that Google necessarily wants you spending more time there in M, but they certainly built quite a bit more function into this interface.
Left: Android 5.1 Right: Android M Preview 1
Starting at the root level of app info, you can see some of the minor changes. Read More
We already went over the gist of Android M's Do Not Disturb mode, but this isn't just a re-branding of priority interruptions. There are some cool new features in the settings that make DND on Android M quite appealing. It's easier to make DND work for your schedule without a ton of fiddling around.
Lollipop 5.0 introduced sliding heads-up notifications instead of the scrolling status bar ticker that had been used on all Android versions prior. They showed up on top of your current screen for a few seconds, then went back into the notification tray. However, the function still seemed quite unfinished, with notifications blocking everything underneath them unless you completely got rid of them or waited for them to disappear. Lollipop 5.1 made it possible to dismiss notifications with a swipe up, sending them back to the tray so you can check them later.
Android M makes this functionality optional, and that's one very welcome change. Each app's settings page has an "App notifications" screen where you can block all notifications from the selected app, treat them as priority, and "Allow peeking." The latter enables the heads-up sliding notifications on top of other apps. Read More
Most of the user interface additions to Android 5.0 and higher are welcome, but one of the more notable losses is the ability to embed widgets on the lockscreen. The new placement of notifications in that space has left no room for widgets. That's not a huge problem, but it does require some adjustment if you're used to getting at that information in a very specific way. Developer Udell Enterprises hopes to fix that with an app called, appropriately, Notifidgets.
Notifidgets creates a semi-permanent notification that contains the widget or widgets of your choice. This allows you to access said widget without unlocking your device. Read More
If you're looking forward to the next Terminator game, get in line – literally. The Play Store now allows customers to Pre-register for certain apps and games. The first title to receive this honor is Terminator Genisys: Revolution by Glu Mobile. No price or release date is listed on the app page, but the game will probably become available around the same time as the movie, which hits theaters on July 1st.
First seen in a teardown of the Play Store, Google is now allowing select publishers to put their apps and games for "pre-registration" before they are ready for sale. Read More
When Android 5.0 introduced the new
convoluted detailed notification and volume settings, it did one thing that annoyed a lot of users: it removed the option and the possibility of having a true silent mode, where the phone wouldn't ring or vibrate, but the notifications would still trigger the LED notification light, and the alarms would ring normally. You had your choice of "None," which didn't blink the LED nor sound the alarm, or "Priority," which still let some things through but required a tedious setup.
In Android 5.1, the 2 issues of the "None" mode are fixed: we already found out that you can set a deadline to your notification interruptions until the next alarm, and now a Reddit thread has confirmed that the LED light will blink for notifications even on that mode. Read More