Back in 2014, one of the changes spotted in Google Search was support for settings toggles through voice commands. At the time, the feature wasn't complete — it merely gave you a shortcut to open the corresponding settings panel. That wasn't helpful at all, since you had to use your fingers to make the change, which would have been done much faster through the drop-down quick settings. In Lollipop, starting with 5.0, some of these toggles work as they are supposed to, through voice commands alone and without the need for some third-party hack like Commandr. Read More
From a recent teardown of Google+ 4.8, it seemed like Google was preparing to offer bandwidth optimizations in the app, with the option to switch on a data conservation option. It looks like that feature has cropped up (thanks David) now, along with a new gender identity setting brought over from the web.
A few days ago, the Google+ team announced that the service would now accommodate those of any gender, not just male or female, by opening up a "custom" option, as well as a method of indicating one's preferred pronoun (the selection includes male, female, and other). Read More
Feedly has really thrived in the wake of Google Reader's demise, but its developers haven't exactly made the app the best that it could be. For far too long now, the settings menu has held onto the Gingerbread era, even while the rest of the experience gradually modernized. With Feedly version 25, the team has finally put this issue to bed. Now when you start tinkering around with the various options, it will actually look like you're using something designed in 2014. Read More
Android L is overflowing with new features and clever little tweaks, but none of that will be official until later this year. Not wanting to wait around, the CM folks have already borrowed (or "kanged" if you must) a feature from Android L. In the 0701 nightly builds, there is now a handy universal settings search button.
There are a few noteworthy changes in the latest Google Search update, but we've spotted one more that deserves some exploration. Ever since Google rolled out its new voice interactions as part of Google Now, settings control has been strangely absent. With v3.4 it's kind of there.
Update 6/30/14: Search v3.5 seems to have added Bluetooth support, but it still doesn't do what you really want it to.
In the new Google Search, you can say things like "turn WiFi off," and the device will automatically open the correct settings menu. Read More
Have a KitKat device? If so, you've made the leap to the latest version of Android faster than most other people. That's the fun part. You've also jumped to Android 4.4 before most apps. That's the not so fun part. While older apps are generally stable and compatible, sometimes an update is in order to iron out the kinks. Thus a new version of Light Flow is now available that makes the app more compatible with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5. Read More
In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.
Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.
"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."
The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code. Read More
In addition to the Connect Chrome extension, yet another of Motorola's specially-built pieces of software has gone live before today's Moto X press event. This time it's an Android app, apparently designed to easily sync between an old phone and a new one. It's called Motorola Migrate, and it's available now for all phones running Android 2.2 or higher.
The idea is pretty simple: log into the Motorola service on your old phone, select among call history, text messages, SIM card contacts, media, and some very basic settings, open Migrate on your new phone, scan a QR code, and get going. Read More
It's pretty common for Android apps to playfully emulate hot new features from the iOS platform, but rarely have the done so as completely as Control Panel. This app apes the iOS 7 Control Panel feature, a swipe up settings toggle and shortcut screen. It even lacks substantial configuration options, thus completing the iOS illusion.