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.
Remember when Google's app verification and malware scanning service debuted with Android 4.2? No? Well, that's probably because statistically speaking, you're likely to be one of the 95% of Android users rocking 4.1 or earlier. To help address this, it looks like Google has moved the Verify Apps system to Google Play Services, which at this point should be installed on all Google Play Store-equipped Android devices running Gingerbread or higher.
Over the weekend, CyanogenMod teased something called Nemesis, and we honestly had no clue what it was. Even now, after spending some time with CM team members who are working on the various parts of Nemesis, it still isn't entirely clear. What we do know, however, is how it will start, which may indicate what it could be.
Nemesis is going to be a multi-phase endeavor for CyanogenMod, where the team presumably tackles the features that have provided a less-than-stellar user experience in the past – the project's nemeses, if you will.
YouTube is not the only source of online streaming video. In fact, there are certain vids you simply won't see on Google's streaming video site. For times like that, there's LiveLeak. The website doesn't work very well on a mobile device, but now there's an app. It's unattractive, and works in a somewhat bizarre way, but it's still an improvement.
The LiveLeak interface is just a long list of videos in various categories.
Do you have a spare 64 minutes and a burning desire to analyze every second of Google's latest press event? Alternately, did you miss the livestream and Sundar Pichai's dulcet tones because a faulty alternator stranded you at a truck stop for two hours? Then you're in luck, and so am I! The full version of Google's July 24th event has been posted to YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
If you'd like to dig deeper, check out our coverage of the new Nexus 7, the Chromecast TV dongle, the introduction of Android 4.3, and an in-depth look at the new additions to the third Jelly Bean release.
Good old T9 is still good for some stuff, as we recently learned from T9 App Dialer. Apparently this is becoming a thing now, because here comes LevelUp Studio (of Beautiful Widgets fame) with an alternative T9 app launcher. Quad Drawer lets you tap out app names, but it does a lot more.
You can launch Quad Drawer like any other app to get the keypad, but it also has swipable tabs with multiple ways of listing your apps – recent, install date, alphabetical, and most used.
Google Hangouts hasn't had any major changes since its debut earlier this summer, but the latest version of the app adds some interesting tweaks. Google's new, annoying habit of staged rollouts means that a lot of people don't' have access to the updated app, even though it started becoming available on the 23rd. The indefatigable Ron Amadeo had a look inside, and found it to be a housecleaning update, with a lot of tightened code and only a few new features.
Want to know how you're expected to connect your phones, tablets, and computers to that fancy Chromecast that's shipping in the mail? Simple, there's an app for that. Google has dropped dedicated software in the Play Store that configures all that Chromecast devices in your house, because I know there are a good number of you that have already ordered more than one.
The app will set up your Chromecast to work on your local network and give you an interface for managing its settings, such as changing the device's name or inputting a new WiFI password.