Shazam is getting a new function that should make it easier to manually initiate sound searches. Reader Samarth reports that he now has the option to enable a Shazam notification that, when tapped, brings up a persistent chat head-like bubble that acts as a shortcut to sound searches. Read More
There's a new update to the Google Phone app rolling out to Google-supported devices (e.g. Pixel, Android One, etc.), and this one brings a long-awaited feature: Chat heads. More specifically, this is the floating widget with the contact photo of the person you're talking to. Also coming in the future, or possibly already live for some, is support for the new Real-Time Text protocol. Read More
Facebook Messenger's Chat Heads changed how we interact with notifications and messages, spawning several similar apps such as Brave Browser (né LinkBubble) or Floating Touch, among others. However, Chat Heads have always had one disadvantage in that you cannot paste things into the text entry field. Not anymore, as Facebook has now fixed this.
It might seem like a very simple thing, but that's kind of why it's so interesting: it's so simple that it seems unbelievable that up until now chat heads haven't had the ability to paste. Chat Heads have been around for about 3 years, so either it's not been a priority for the Messenger team, or it's just found how to enable it. Read More
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.
This isn't all that's introduced in version 1.5. Read More
Facebook must've known what it was doing with the launch of Chat Heads, but that feature has been duplicated in everything from custom ROMs to apps attempting to clone the feature. The newest app to take note of Facebook's chat application is Floating Touch (not, it's not that floating touch), an app that makes basically any toggle, navigation shortcut, or app just a tap away.
The concept behind Floating Touch is simple: a small, customizable floating toggle resides wherever you place it on the screen. Tapping that toggle launches a dial chock-full of useful shortcuts – it's sort of like Acer's "Ring," but far more customizable. Read More
After some teasing, Paranoid Android has unveiled (in a lovely promo image) their plan for multi-window functionality on Android, which they promise to "get right," – Halo.
The premise is simple, yet extremely ambitious in scope – allow apps to give you notifications right on top of your screen, which allow you to pop into that app without leaving the one you're in (no matter what it is), take care of business, and resume your experience uninterrupted. The general concept, which rejects the notion of a distracting notification shade, and shuns implementations like "whacky s-multiwindow," is no doubt inspired by Facebook's admittedly awesome Chat Heads functionality, perhaps the most compelling feature of its new Home app. Read More
Facebook has been making numerous changes to its Android apps as of late, thanks to the arrival of Facebook Home. Sometimes, new features also bring "hidden" options – things that may not be quite ready for prime time but can be accessed within the app. Facebook Messenger has one such "feature" tucked away in its emoticon menu: stickers. Big ol' images with goofy faces and cats and other stuff. I'm not entirely sure why this is a thing that anyone wants, but it's there, and you can use these oversized emoticons now. Fun.
That's right, Internet – I don't really like cats. Read More
Today, both of Facebook's current apps have been updated to prepare for the arrival of Facebook Home. The main app merely added an extra permission that Home will eventually use. However, the real fun came to Messenger, which now has the ability to pop out Chat Heads, regardless of if you're using the replacement launcher.
As you may recall from the Facebook Home launch event, chat heads are little bubbles that float over whatever you're doing and allow you to jump straight into a conversation no matter where you are in the OS. Just tap your friend's face and an IM window appears. Read More