When it comes to the software on smartphones with folding displays (or, at least, a display field that can close in on itself), manufacturers are still out there trying to figure out the usability picture. Microsoft is faced with that very challenge right now as it continues developing its Android-powered dual-screen mobile device, the Surface Duo — and we might have just gotten a peek at a trick up its sleeve. Read More
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. Read More
Heads up or "peeking" notifications, the little miniature pop-ups that appear in Android Lollipop if a notification comes in when you happen to be actually using your device, aren't for everyone. That's why Google will include the option to disable them on a per-app basis in the upcoming Android M release. (See Settings>Sound & Notification>App notifications in the Developer Preview.) It's also why apps like HeadsOff have sprung up to cater to those who want them to go away even sooner.
Unfortunately, it looks like Google isn't all that interested in bringing back the pre-Lollipop equivalent, Ticker Text. Ticker Text is that scrolling text you see across the notation bar when a new alert pops up while you're using your phone, but it's gone as of Android 5.0. Read More
Lollipop 5.0 introduced sliding heads-up notifications instead of the scrolling status bar ticker that had been used on all Android versions prior. They showed up on top of your current screen for a few seconds, then went back into the notification tray. However, the function still seemed quite unfinished, with notifications blocking everything underneath them unless you completely got rid of them or waited for them to disappear. Lollipop 5.1 made it possible to dismiss notifications with a swipe up, sending them back to the tray so you can check them later.
Android M makes this functionality optional, and that's one very welcome change. Each app's settings page has an "App notifications" screen where you can block all notifications from the selected app, treat them as priority, and "Allow peeking." Read More