Google made a lot of interesting changes in its Quick Settings and Notifications drawer in Android Lollipop. One of these is the addition of dynamic toggles that don't clutter the drawer for everyone, but only appear once a user activates the corresponding option from Settings. This applies for example to the Hostpot and Invert Colors toggles. The problem is that once these toggles attach to your Quick Settings, there doesn't seem to be a way to make them go away, even when you switch the action back off.
Not all new features are created equal, and this particular change has us kind of scratching our heads wondering why Google would consider it a good idea. In Lollipop, you can now access your quick settings straight from the lockscreen. This way you can toggle Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth without unlocking the device, even if it's secured behind a passphrase.
Part of the 5000 new APIs and many small enhancements to be introduced with Android L that were revealed in a heavily packed slide at Google I/O is rotation lock on phones. That nifty Quick Setting toggle is currently only available on tablets in KitKat. On our stock Android phones, we have had to suffer the annoyance of delving into settings or using some third-party widget to lock the screen's orientation.
A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.
Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.
The Chromecast is slowly worming its way into every part of the Google ecosystem, but there is at least one aspect you weren't supposed to see yet. There is incomplete screen casting support built into KitKat, but it has been surfacing in very odd ways for the last few months. Rest assured, you are not alone in spotting it. Update 7/9/14: It's live now
The various families of custom ROMs are in an arms race... in a really nice way. Each one is trying to one-up the others with new features and improvements on stock Android, with some genuinely spectacular results in some cases. The latest beta builds of Paranoid Android include some particularly useful features, most notably a revamped Quick Settings menu. The PA version of the drop-down icon grid allows for multiple functions for each square and on the fly rearranging.
Android 4.2.2 is out, and while an OCD-fueled 4.2.2 edition of Getting To Know Android is on the way, we figured it would be a good idea to highlight the big user facing changes that came with this release. We already covered the new ADB Whitelist and posted the raw developer changelog, so this should be the last of the important stuff.
New Download Notifications
First up is the new notification for in-progress app downloads, which now shows the percentage and an estimated time remaining for your app downloads while they are happening.