Google has slowly expanded control over notifications in the last few major updates, culminating with notification channels in Android 8.0. In Android P, Google is testing a system to suggest blocking notifications from certain apps. Which apps? Any app whose notifications you frequently dismiss. Read More
With the release of Android Oreo, Google included an autofill API to allow for system-wide filling in of details such as account and credit card info. The framework manages communication between Google's autofill service and other apps, and it's great for both saving time and avoiding errors.
The first developer preview of Android P has just arrived and it brings a number of new APIs to the autofill framework, as well as some bugfixes. Specifically, there will be improvements to dataset filtering, input sanitization, and compatibility mode. Read More
Android is designed to be gentle with your mobile data, but all bets are off when you get on WiFi. Your phone will likely save large downloads until the instant you reconnect to WiFi, but not all networks should be treated the same. Some WiFi hotspots are metered, and Android P makes it quicker and easier to tell the device when that is the case. Read More
You probably get a lot of notifications on your phone. So many, in fact, it's easy to forget which apps were in that batch you just dismissed. Android P includes a handy menu that tracks recent notifications so you can disallow an app that's been pestering you in just a few taps. Read More
The latest Android developer preview is filled with lots of incremental changes, many of which are thoughtful and useful. It wouldn’t be possible for Google to get everything right in a beta release, though, and this alteration seems to be more of a backward step.
Previously in Oreo, if you’d set Ambient Display to wake with a notification or with a double tap, it would shut off if the proximity sensor was covered. This was useful for conserving battery as it would turn the screen off as soon as you put it in a pocket or a bag. It was also good if you’d already seen whatever it was notifying you about, as you could simply wave your hand over the sensor to sleep the screen. Read More
Over the course of the last few Android versions, Google has seemingly struggled to decide on exactly how some of the quick settings options should work. Some are simple toggles, some bring up extra details in the quick settings pane, and some take you through to the settings app. Several of them also have different behavior depending on whether you short or long-press them. Read More
Being able to run apps that draw on top of other apps is a powerful feature of Android. Apps like Twilight take advantage of that to add a filter to the display, but other apps just show a floating UI element. However, this can also be a security concern. Android O offers a handy alert when an app is showing an overlay with a link to turn it off. Read More
The Android beta program gives us a chance to see the latest features of Android, some of which don't actually work yet. That was the case when the first developer preview came out with an option to automatically switch WiFi on when you get near a trusted network. The toggle was non-functional in the first dev preview, but it works in DP2. Read More
Google began introducing long-press actions for icons in Android 7.1—currently, a long-press in Pixel Launcher can display app shortcuts (previously known as launcher shortcuts). You get more in Android O DP2. We already knew about the previously reported notification dots, but there are also widget links. Read More
Android has long allowed developers to draw on top of other apps and the system UI. This is how Twilight adjusts the color of the display, and there are other apps that overlay things on your status bar. A change to the way Android O handles overlays could break features of these apps, rendering some of them essentially useless. Read More