January brought us the yearly madness that is CES, but that doesn't mean much in terms of software. The biggest news is probably Microsoft's continued expansion into multi-platform support for its biggest software sellers, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and now even Outlook. Google has been uncharacteristically quiet so far in 2015, aside from updating its current stable of apps.
Microsoft Outlook Preview
Android Police review: Microsoft Releases Outlook Preview For Android
It's been possible to use Microsoft Exchange mail accounts on Android for years, but never exactly in an ideal or intuitive way. Read More
Motorola has consistently impressed with its Moto Display feature, and the Nexus 6 has a similar Ambient Display mode. If you don't have either of those devices, AcDisplay is a good way to get similar functionality, and it's getting a big update today to v3.0. There may be some bugs with such a significant jump, so the new version is only going out to a small segment of users. Lucky for you we've got the APK below. Read More
Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.
Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch. Read More
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.