Android's notification shade is getting a lot more powerful in N, and two new APIs are the key to that: direct replies and bundling. On the surface, both of these things sound fairly unexciting, but in reality, they have the potential to make the notification shade a powerful multitasking tool that reduces the amount of time you spend doing quick tasks and entering apps when you don't actually need to.
First, let's hit the direct reply API. The wonderful ability to reply to messages in Google Messenger or Hangouts directly from the notification bar was, you may be surprised to learn, not a standard Android feature. Read More
Google changed the style of Android's notification shade and quick settings with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and based on an early version of Android N we've seen, it's changing things up again. The look of Android N's notification shade is being altered, but it's more than cosmetic. Notifications will include more info, and quick settings are finally creeping in. The full quick settings UI is getting a new paginated style, and editing tiles will be easier. Read More
It's that time of the week again, namely Update Wednesday. With that in mind, there's a new update to Google+ which should bring a smile to many a person's face.
This release contains a bunch of bug fixes, as well as a few small, but nevertheless very welcome, new features:
10 bugs fixed
4 accessibility issues addressed
Ability to filter your notifications by All, Unread & Other
Several Community moderation tools
Delete multiple items in Activity Log at once
Hide the top bar when scrolling Collections & Communities
Even faster Web browsing on WiFi
In addition, search autocomplete has been re-enabled in this release. Read More
Street View is a fun digital tool for exploring the huge world we live on. An update to version 22.214.171.124257855 began rolling out earlier this week, and in addition to bringing far too many digits, it also has a few new features, a few visual tweaks, and improved support for spherical cameras. It looks like this one is rolling out pretty fast, but if you're in need of a download link, it's at the bottom of the post. Read More
Depending on which apps you install, your notification shade can feel like a warzone. Check this email. Read this text. Water your crops in this game. Your tank is full, so switch to another game and race. Read More
Google Drive has been giving us notifications about new shared files and requests to access our files for several months, but the notification setting was only accessible from Drive on the web. If you were wondering how to turn it off after you saw it on your phone, you were probably stumped. That's why the Drive team is rolling out an update that adds a Notification pane in the app's settings, which allows you to toggle them on or off.
The settings also let you pick a sound, enable vibration, and choose whether you get notified only for new shared items, or for requests for access, or both. Read More
Since the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Gmail users have been reporting some syncing problems on their app that appeared simultaneously with their update to Android's latest flavor. (Very few users mentioned being affected on Lollipop, but it's worth pointing out.) The problems seemed to be divided in two categories: one that specifically stopped Hotmail accounts from being synced inside the Gmail app and another that caused a lot of delays in syncing and notifications regardless of the account type.
Gmail 5.10, which started being pushed to users on January 20, fixes the first issue. A Google employee explained on the corresponding Help Forums thread:
I can confirm that upgrading to the Gmail Android app 5.10 should fix this issue, however it's rolling out slowly so is only available for a small number of people right now.
If you've been experiencing some intermittent problems getting timely email alerts on your Nexus phone, you're not alone. According to lengthy threads on both Google's official Nexus Help Forum and the AOSP issue tracker, quite a few Android users running Android 6.0 and later builds on Nexus hardware are seeing similar issues. The problem seems to result in late or missing notifications for Gmail and Inbox, as well as less frequent alerts for other apps, and less definable errors with some Google services like Google Now.
The issue tracker entry has been starred by 140 people at the time of writing, indicating a fairly widespread problem, though it isn't universal. Read More
Tinkering takes many forms on Android, and you don't need to root your device or flash a custom ROM to get your hands dirty. Installing one of developer joaomgcd's Tasker plugins will provide plenty of ways to customize your software experience in very particular ways. Want a notification with a gazillion buttons that save you from having to open up different apps? You now have that option with the latest version of AutoNotification. Read More
Like many apps these days, Evernote has a beta program. An interesting new feature just popped up in the most recent beta version on this app. In v7.5 beta 2, there's a feature for making quick notes right from the notification shade. Evernote even pops up a splash screen to tell you about it after the new version is installed.