Chrome 84 entered beta just a few weeks ago, but it's already rolling out on the stable channel across all platforms. This is one of the most significant Chrome updates we've seen in a while, with a few removed features and new functionality for both regular people and developers. Let's dive right in!
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The Sounds application, which comes pre-installed on Google's Pixel devices, is stock-full of ringtones, alarms, and notification sounds for you to choose from. The app works on non-Pixel phones too, like the Galaxy S10, but not all. That's why we've decided to share with you all the sound files included in it, so you can use them on any device (including your desktops if you like that).
Douglas Adams wrote in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." The same is true for notification prompts in web browsers — what was once used sparingly for email clients and other web applications turned into yet another thing to close when attempting to read almost any site on the internet. While Google has already taken steps to reduce the number of notification popups you see while browsing the web, the company is now cracking down on sites that actively trick people into enabling them.
Google Assistant isn't only good at answering your questions and orders. It also proactively sends you notifications on flights, public transport updates, packages, upcoming events, and more. To personalize which of these you receive, you usually have to head to the Google app's App info -> Notifications section. That's not very intuitive, and the amount of Assistant options there is limited. In a change that's already rolling out to first people, Google has moved the notification controls to a more prominent place right inside the Assistant's settings and has added many more granular toggles.
Another tweak to notifications in Android 11 was spotted in the latest developer preview: A tweak to a hidden "Notification log" activity, and a new, only partially functional "Notification history" activity that shows you a list of items you've recently dismissed.
TuneIn is one of the most-recognized apps for listening to online radio stations and podcasts, especially since it has been available on Android for nearly a decade. A minor update is now going out on the Play Store that updates the playback notification with rewind/fast forward buttons, though there's still no support for Android 10's seek bar.
Chrome has finally reached the 80s. The browser sadly doesn't have a neon theme or play The Power of Love at startup, but maybe Google is saving that for v85. Regardless, this version has plenty of changes to go into, so let's dive in.
Google's Chrome OS usually sees a "major" Stable Channel update about every six weeks, but if you don't follow the news at places like our site, you might have trouble knowing what is new or changed in the latest version when it hits. That gives new features in Chrome OS like the upcoming Virtual Desks a bit of a discoverability problem, but according to a recently spotted commit on the Chromium Gerrit, new "Release Notes" may appear following future updates to Chrome OS, illuminating the changes delivered with new versions.
One of the most popular tweaks offered by many third-party Android launchers/home screen replacements looks like it might be coming to Google's Pixels. According to a report by the folks at XDA Developers, the Pixel Launcher in a future Android Q release (originally pegged to be Beta 5) may include a gesture that allows swiping down to expand the notification shade from anywhere on the homescreen.
About an hour ago, OnePlus 7 Pro users got pinged with two weird notifications on their devices, emanating from OnePlus's own Push service. One of them had a string of gibberish latin consonants and the other what appears to be Korean or Chinese characters. Users were obviously confused and thought this was spam or the servers were hacked, but OnePlus has just cleared things up saying it was an error originating from a test.