Over the last couple of years, Google has delivered a bunch of features for keeping your health, safety, and wellness in check as part of Digital Wellbeing. The tool originally designed to limit the time you spend on your phone is now picking up another capability that will warn you if you use your phone while walking.
Google's Digital Wellbeing mostly focuses on helping people get a healthier relationship with their phones, warning them when they're staring on their screen for too long or subtly hinting when it's time to wind down for the night. It looks like Google might soon expand that to ensure your physical wellbeing, too. XDA Developers' Mishaal Rahman discovered that the company is working on a feature that warns you to stop using your phone while you're walking.
Android P is packed with visual changes. Some of them are more popular than others, but Google has certainly been pushing out a ton of tweaks to the platform's design, especially when it comes to Android's animations. And the latest DP2 builds released just yesterday during I/O pack in a pretty slick new heads-up notification animation.
It's 2017, and we still don't have commercial flying cars, affordable jet-packs, or even automated package delivery. But thanks to HUDWAY, at least one sci-fi mainstay has made its way into the consumer market. Today the company launched a Kickstarter for its newest product, an affordable heads-up display called the HUDWAY Cast.
Floatify has been around for a little over a year now. It's an app that presents an alternate way to display notifications, specifically the Heads Up (AKA Peeking) notifications that were hidden in Android 4.4 and fleshed out in 5.0. The app has been continuously updated even as Lollipop has become public, and now it's a full-fledged alternative to most of Android's built-in notification systems. The latest update is something really special - we kind of wish Google would steal some of developer Jawomo's ideas.
Remember when WhatsApp turned on its Read Receipts feature last week and caused panic all over the world? Well, the company wants nothing to do with your lover quarrels or business disputes — "He ignored my WhatsApp messages!" isn't a court-accepted argument, it seems. So to avoid becoming the second largest cause of divorce, WhatsApp is preparing another update to its app that should make the new feature optional.
Version 2.11.444 (which is only available on WhatsApp's site for now) has a new menu under Settings, Privacy. A checkmark for Read Receipts lets you enable the option or turn it off. In that case, WhatsApp will no longer show other people when you read their messages, but it will also stop you from seeing the blue checkmarks for all of your conversations.
Once the CyanogenMod team found and implemented the hidden Heads Up notification mode, it was basically inevitable that all the other major custom ROMs would follow suit. The unicorn-powered Android Open Kang Project has done so with their first nightly based on Android 4.4.4. They've also thrown in the usual bug fixes, as well as settings for automatic Immersive mode, disabling the full-screen keyboard, lockscreen orientation, and a few other goodies.
But the best news, at least for owners of a few select devices, is expanded hardware support. Today's nightly build is being published for the first time for the LTE version of the Nexus 7 2013, the international Galaxy S4 Mini LTE (GT-I9195), and Oppo's high-powered Find 7a.
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.
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Last year we told you about GravityBox, easily one of the most complete and far-reaching Xposed modules for rooted Nexus and AOSP ROMs. The creator is still expanding the module, and has quickly incorporated the Heads Up notifications recently featured in CyanogenMod nightly builds. Heads Up notifications pop up for easy viewing and action while in full screen mode. The feature is hidden deep in Android 4.4 code, and easily enabled here.
The GravityBox implementation allows for deciding which notifications will appear as Heads Up windows and which will be ignored, and users can expand notifications (if supported) with a two-finger swipe.