The addition of Chromecast network notifications probably seemed like a good idea at the time. They allow you to control media even if you aren't the one who started playback. However, you see those notifications on your device even if you're not watching or listening to the content, and you can end up with multiple cast notifications on a busy network. Google is finally making these notifications optional with a toggle that turns off all the network notifications for your Chromecast or Google Home. Read More
Android O is going to have a lot of neat stuff, including notification channels for more granular control over what apps can ping you about. However, developers need to get their apps ready by targeting Android O. Until that happens, notification controls will be hobbled in Android O, and Google won't be fixing this apparent problem. Read More
If you're on the Google Maps beta channel, you probably received an update to v9.55 in the last day or so. After hunting for a while, we haven't seen any notable changes on most devices; except if you're running Android O, in which case the latest version enables a full array of notification channels. The hunt for features also brought out a teardown with a hint that users may finally have the option to download offline maps for whole countries. Read More
Duo remains one of Google's most minimal apps, so it feels like even small changes were carefully considered before earning a place in an update. The latest version of Duo is rolling out now with one such tweak that allows the on-screen controls to disappear when they're not in use. A teardown also reveals plans to make audio calls even more resilient on low-bandwidth connections and to add a couple of notifications that might give users more reasons to open the app more often. Read More
In his teardown of the Play Store v7.7, Cody discovered that change was afoot with the app's notification settings. A dedicated Notifications section was going to be added and now that change is live.
There's a new Notifications section in the Play Store's settings and it includes two new toggles other than updates being available and auto-updates being completed. One is to be notified when there are games you might like that are available for pre-registration (read: it's different from getting notified when a game you pre-registered for is now live). The other is for deals and promotions on content you might appreciate. Read More
Android has handled notifications in pretty much the same way since its inception. Oh, there have been refinements over the years, but you go to the same place for notifications. That's changing in Android O with Notification Dots. You've probably seen something like this on custom launchers, but this is much more integrated with the OS. Read More
One of my main problems with 'smart' assistants is that they aren't great at delivering information. Yes, you can ask "will there be storms," but having your Echo or Google Home proactively inform you about dangerous weather would be far more useful.
Amazon today announced that it is working on notification support for Alexa, which will allow skills to send notifications to the user (if allowed). Read More
An update to Google Maps began rolling out over the weekend and this one appears to be focused on keeping people in the know on their commutes. This version brings back a toggle to control notifications about delays and interruptions at mass transit stations, and this time it might be here to stay. A teardown also shows we'll soon have traffic notifications for the commute between home and work and that more modes of travel will be respected besides just driving and mass transit. Read More