One of the Moto X's defining features is Active Display, which lights up the phones screen to display notifications such as messages, missed calls, and the like. That functionality is now the latest Motorola feature to enter the Play Store, where it's easier for the Google-owned company to distribute timely updates and fixes. Speaking of which, the version to land in the Play Store should remove the 1 - 2 second delay some users started encountering when swiping to unlock following the KitKat update.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
The Galaxy Gear is twice the price of the Pebble and pricier than both iterations of Sony's SmartWatch, but it isn't necessarily a more complete product. A particular sore spot is how the watch handles notifications, limiting not only which apps can send them, but not actually displaying the contents for most apps. The latest update to the Galaxy Gear Manager app alleviates this somewhat. Now users can pick which apps send messages to the Gear and even read the contents on the watch itself.
Now that KitKat is finally out in the world, we're finding all sorts of little tweaks that make the new OS nicer to use. Google didn't give this particular feature a big headline on the Android site, but maybe it should have. Android 4.4 now lets you access your notifications from any full-screen app. This is a feature Samsung has included in TouchWiz for a while, so it's not entirely new to the world of Android.
If your device runs a fairly stock version of Android, there's a good chance you've got DashClock set up front-and-center as a lockscreen widget or somewhere on your home screen. While we receive seemingly endless notifications throughout the day, relatively few applications provide support for DashClock to display that information. This is where DashNotifier comes in. It leverages the NotificationListener service added in Android 4.3 to read and display notifications from selected applications as if they had provided extensions of their own.
Despite its name, Pushover is no, well, pushover. This easy-to-use push notification service allows web services, scripts, and a bunch of other apps to send alerts to your mobile device, and when combined with a site like IFTTT, it can bend the internet to your will. Now, a year and a half after the app's debut, the Pushover team has updated the app to version 2.0, giving the app a new look and filling it up with new functionality.
The developers behind ParanoidAndroid have been busy building incremental updates to the popular ROM. It's usually a few bug fixes and a couple new features, but the newest version of ParanoidAndroid contains something super-cool. Halo 2.0 has been demoed on video as part of PA 3.97.
Halo is ParanoidAndroid's custom multitasking system that works on the same premise as Facebook Chat Heads. A tiny floating icon can be used to retrieve notifications and background apps without leaving the current application.
Floating Notifications brings the usefulness of Facebook chat heads to every Android app that shoots out a notification. Get an email - receive a floating Gmail icon on the side of the screen begging for attention. Tapping that icon reveals the contents of the message. Double tapping dismisses the notification, but there's a catch - before now, removing the floating notification hasn't also removed it from the status bar. Thanks to the latest update, devices running Android 4.3 will sync these actions due to integration with the new Notification Listener Service.
I totally missed this in my Android 4.3 teardown, but luckily there are some fellow tinkerers out there, namely Kevin of TeslaCoil Software (maker of fine products such as Nova Launcher and WidgetLocker), picking up my slack. It looks like Google is planning some cool notification services for 4.3, possibly something that gets third party apps into the mix!
Contained in the leaked S4 Android 4.3 build are all sorts of notification-related changes.