Duo remains one of Google's most minimal apps, so it feels like even small changes were carefully considered before earning a place in an update. The latest version of Duo is rolling out now with one such tweak that allows the on-screen controls to disappear when they're not in use. A teardown also reveals plans to make audio calls even more resilient on low-bandwidth connections and to add a couple of notifications that might give users more reasons to open the app more often. Read More
In his teardown of the Play Store v7.7, Cody discovered that change was afoot with the app's notification settings. A dedicated Notifications section was going to be added and now that change is live.
There's a new Notifications section in the Play Store's settings and it includes two new toggles other than updates being available and auto-updates being completed. One is to be notified when there are games you might like that are available for pre-registration (read: it's different from getting notified when a game you pre-registered for is now live). The other is for deals and promotions on content you might appreciate. Read More
Android has handled notifications in pretty much the same way since its inception. Oh, there have been refinements over the years, but you go to the same place for notifications. That's changing in Android O with Notification Dots. You've probably seen something like this on custom launchers, but this is much more integrated with the OS. Read More
One of my main problems with 'smart' assistants is that they aren't great at delivering information. Yes, you can ask "will there be storms," but having your Echo or Google Home proactively inform you about dangerous weather would be far more useful.
Amazon today announced that it is working on notification support for Alexa, which will allow skills to send notifications to the user (if allowed). Read More
An update to Google Maps began rolling out over the weekend and this one appears to be focused on keeping people in the know on their commutes. This version brings back a toggle to control notifications about delays and interruptions at mass transit stations, and this time it might be here to stay. A teardown also shows we'll soon have traffic notifications for the commute between home and work and that more modes of travel will be respected besides just driving and mass transit. Read More
Inbox already does a great job of categorizing your email messages, but you still end up getting notifications for everything that comes in. In a recent teardown, we discovered that a new Inbox feature called 'High priority notifications' was in development. Now it seems to be going live - at least for some users. Read More
Google is pushing out a new version of the Play Store for Android users around the world. Like most updates to this version, there really aren't any notable changes showing up already, but there are a few interesting things hidden beneath the hood. There are some new features focused on improving security for apps that are updated from unexpected sources and making its security scanner more visible to users. There's also a plan to move notification settings to their own dedicated screen. Read More