The developers at Pushbullet seem to have some kind of strange compulsion that forces them to add cool new stuff to their Android-desktop syncing and notification app on a regular basis. Not that we're complaining - PushBullet is a personal favorite of many of us here at Android Police. Today it gets a little better still: the latest update to the Android app and various browser extensions adds the action buttons from Rich Notifications to the mirrored alerts on the desktop. Read More
The Nexus 6 is a confounding beast. This big phone doesn't have tap to wake functionality, but it does have ambient screen mode. This way of displaying notifications as they come in might be the reason there's no LED notification functionality built in. There is, however, a physical LED.
The Pebble folks have announced a big update to the smartwatch that many wearers have been waiting a long time for. With version 2.1 of the Android companion app, users can receive notifications from any app they have on their device, rather than a few preset options, without having to turn to a third-party solution. People will have the ability to receive all notifications or select specific apps.
The update is only available to 10% of users today, but it will gradually roll out to more people running Android 4.3 or higher. Read More
Android Wear is based on the idea of cards with all of your data and notification content on them. However, it's still Android and that means developers can play around with that model. Circa is an attempt to make notifications more attractive with a cool animation and configurable colors.
Most of what Google has done in lollipop is great—better design, thoughtful features, and better developer support. However, there are few wonky things going on in this first release, and it's hard to know if they're intentional or not. Case in point, the lack of silent mode on phones. Lowering the volume only offers vibrate mode, and the new priority notification system isn't going to help you.
Before Android 5.0, notifications would display the first few lines of text in the status bar (the ticker), assuming you didn't already have the notification shade open. Lollipop introduces the idea of heads-up notifications, and Google is so smitten with it that you can't even get the ticker anymore. It's heads up, or just the icon in the status bar.
Google's Inbox implements a really smart management paradigm - specifically, users can swipe in one direction to "snooze" a message (designating a time at which the message will reappear in the inbox), or swipe the other way to mark the message "done," essentially archiving it. Steve Albright, in a post to Google+, recently opined that this paradigm might find a good home among all of Android's notifications, rather than being confined to Inbox messages. Read More
Priority notifications are going to be a thing in Android 5.0, but how the heck are you supposed to set something as a priority? There's actually a whole new menu for that, as well as a shortcut in the notification shade. By messing with these settings you can control what apps can bug you and when. Priority mode itself can be activated from the volume slider, so only your most important apps can get through. Read More
Previously, long-pressing a notification would offer a link to the app info page of any app that produced it. With Android 5.0 Lollipop Google is improving this functionality. Simply long-press and you get the app name and icon, as well as a link to the app notification settings. Look at how wonderfully hypnotic the animation is.
Android 5.0 brings with it a big redesign of the notification and Quick Settings area, but there was a seemingly odd quirk in the first developer preview. You could see the notifications when Quick Settings was open, but you couldn't interact. Now you can.