Alright, follow me on this one. Pushover is an app for Android that allows web apps, scripts, and a ton of other fancy developer things to plug in to your notification shade on your phone or tablet. Ifttt (short for 'If This, Then That') is a web app that lets you script actions that will be performed when predetermined conditions like new emails, new dropbox files, new RSS feed posts, etc., are met. Ifttt now supports Pushover notifications. The internet is officially subject to your whims. Now you can be notified of virtually anything that Ifttt is aware of, directly in the most convenient notification system you have.
Hello and welcome to round 2 of Getting To Know Android 4.1. If you missed the inaugural episode (about the lock screen, software buttons, and icons) you can catch a rerun right here. And if you did see it, I suggest you go look at it again, because I updated it with a crazy menu button bug. Seriously, go look. I'll wait.
Today we're getting into something a little more meaty: The revamped notifications system! And we aren't doing some wimpy overview, we're sticking everything I can find under the GTKA microscope. First up, the fresh, new design:
Just look at that, everything is different.
Over at Google I/O, the news about Android 4.1 - a.k.a. Jelly Bean, if you haven't heard - just broke.
Update: check out the Jelly Bean video:
The first announcement was Project Butter, a new processing framework for Android that should make it run much, much faster - up to 60fps, in fact. The CPU and graphics will now work together in harmony, with the latter being triple-buffered, meaning things like scrolling and transitions should be noticeably faster.
There's also going to be improved voice input, including support for offline voice-to-text, which should be exciting. Speaking of input, there's now going to be 18 more input languages, from Hebrew to improved Arabic support.
We've got a two-fer for you gamers today. While Android has always excelled at managing notifications, the one area that's always been a little bit troublesome is when you're using full-screen apps, like games. When receiving a message, your phone might vibrate, but you'll get no info on what kind of message you just received. NotifierPro and SMS Flash are two apps that are designed to help with this.
The first app, NotifierPro, provides a notification overlay that appears above whatever you're running. This includes full screen apps like games, as well as the notification shade itself. If you're looking for customizability, this is it.
The Amazon Appstore is a great alternative to the Android Market. It's not perfect, however, and today the Appstore fixes a few of the most nagging problems. Not the least of which is those blasted app installation notifications. For those unaware, if you install an app on one device with the Amazon Appstore installed, you'll get a notification that you have a new app waiting on any others with the Appstore installed on. Annoying.
Now, however, you can dive into the Appstore's settings and select which notifications you receive, if any. In addition, the update brings some improvements to messages about payment options and improved app compatibility checks.
From what I can tell, most of them aren't unique until we get to the alarms - a few of them are brand new based on my Google searches:
- Fermium.ogg [Audio clip: view full post to listen]
- Hassium.ogg [Audio clip: view full post to listen]
- Neptunium.ogg [Audio clip: view full post to listen]
- Nobelium.ogg [Audio clip: view full post to listen]
The alarm sounds are quite futuristic and magical, instantly reminding me of Tron. Considering Honeycomb already started in this direction and ICS' theme is also Tron-like blue, I think we'll be hearing and seeing a lot more audio and visuals in a similar style.
There's no doubt that we're all waiting with anticipation for the HTC Vigor, which is rumored to be coming out as the Droid Incredible HD, to hit the market. It's reportedly going to be the first full HD phone, sporting a 720p display, 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, Sense 3.5, and Android 2.3.4 -- in other words, it's going to be a beast.
For those who want to get a little taste of what the Vigor has to offer before this upcoming HTC monster is officially released, we have gotten our hands on all of the multimedia goodies from the device.
If you've ever received a notification and thought to yourself, "I really wish my phone would play some colorful and fun animation every time I get a message," then there's no doubt that Pops is the app for you.
Calling itself the "ringtone for the smartphone generation," Pops is an app that lets you customize notifications for certain apps, namely Gmail, SMS, Facebook, and Twitter, with full-screen animations. To get a better idea of what it's all about, here is a video showcasing most of its features:
As you can see, Pops is an... interesting idea. It allows you to be more aware of specific events on your phone and adds a certain amount of flare and personality to the activity.
Gmail for Android hasn't received much love lately, but Google definitely hasn't forgotten about it. The new version 2.3.5 (curiously, it matches the latest Gingerbread release version), which showed up tonight, brings a host of new features, including one that I was *just* thinking of yesterday after clicking the "Show Pictures" button for the 1800th time.
The new features are:
- Save bandwidth and battery by only syncing priority mail
- Use label notifications to mash up filters, labels, and ringtones
- Remember ‘Show Pictures’ for senders
- Turn off sticky message actions in landscape or all orientations
- Better TalkBalk support for accessibility
- Performance improvements
As I mentioned, my favorite is definitely the sticky "Show Pictures" setting, which means I won't have to click the annoying button in every email that I receive from all the deals sites on a daily basis.
Update: As promised, this update is rolling out now. Here is the official changelog, per Sprint's forums.
- Corrects voicemail notification issue (from 4.22.651.2)
- Corrects issue with hearing aid compatibility menu disappearing (from 4.22.651.2)
- Netflix compatibility (from 4.22.651.2)
You heard it here first, folks - the EVO 4G is receiving an update in just 5 short days to address two of the major problems that users have experienced after the jump to Gingerbread. Specifically, non-working Netflix (boooo), and odd Visual Voicemail notification behavior. The turnaround time in getting this update out is pretty impressive, considering the Gingerbread OTA landed just a little over 2 weeks ago.