According to a report yesterday by Bloomberg, some Android apps may be using silent push notifications to track if and when you uninstall them, which is alleged to be a violation of both Apple and Google's policies. Ostensibly this is being done to target such users with advertisements designed to win the back, although the tracking providers claim this functionality is designed to gauge response to app updates and changes. Read More
If you use Instagram's mobile web app, then you've likely been waiting patiently for the addition of notifications since it launched in the first half of 2017. That wait is finally over. Now, Instagram users who log in from Chome can turn on notifications for when they get new followers, likes, or comments. The change also applies to Instagram Lite, which is still in testing, and more or less a wrapper of the mobile site. Read More
Several major websites have offered push notifications with Chrome (and other supported browsers) for some time, including sites like Facebook and eBay. Today Google+ is now supporting this feature, enabling users to receive notifications even when the site is not open. Read More
Fix for multi-column layouts
From a user-facing standpoint, the only directly relatable change came to multi-column layouts in Chrome. Read More
Twitter can be intimidating to new users. The same can be said for experienced users. A timeline is only as good as the content you follow, and even then, you may miss the good bits over the course of a day unless you commit to scrolling through every single tweet.
So the company is introducing Highlights, push notifications that put what's hopefully interesting content directly into your notification shade.
To determine what to send you, Twitter looks at what is popular among the people you follow, events trending in your area, and tweets from people you're close with. Read More
Flashier Twitter apps have come and gone, but I'm still pretty enamored with Plume. One reason is that the developer (LevelUp, of Beautiful Widgets fame) is constantly rolling out new features, and today's update adds a doozie: push notifications. You should get notifications for new tweets, replies, mentions, and messages more or less instantly, and the widget and main feed can now use a "Live Stream" mode.
The service experimented with push background notifications before, but the developer wasn't satisfied with the battery-hungry feature. The new implementation shouldn't have a negative impact on your battery. The feature is off by default in Plume 5.4: to enable push notifications and "live streaming" in the main app view and widget, go to Settings, General, Live Stream Mode, and set it to Always. Read More
Lets face it, email just isn't sexy. The Gmail app has done a lot to pretty things up, adding in fancy swiping gestures and associating pictures with each contact, but the experience is still somewhat clunky. There are alternatives, such as the stock Android app (pretty basic), K-9 Mail (the kitchen-sink approach) and Dextr (innovative, but very limited) - but all have their drawbacks. Evomail is the latest kid on the block, and it hopes to make managing email a task you actually want to do.
Evomail began as a Gmail client for iPad, and it grew to support both the iPhone and services other than Gmail. Read More
Despite its name, Pushover is no, well, pushover. This easy-to-use push notification service allows web services, scripts, and a bunch of other apps to send alerts to your mobile device, and when combined with a site like IFTTT, it can bend the internet to your will. Now, a year and a half after the app's debut, the Pushover team has updated the app to version 2.0, giving the app a new look and filling it up with new functionality.
Pushover 2.0 comes with a new slide-out menu that makes it easier to manage the many different services that are hitting your device with notifications. Read More
Google has made a small change to the Google Calendar API that nonetheless could make a huge difference for developers and users. The Calendar API now supports push notifications - alerts sent directly to devices and apps instead of waiting for a client-side sync, a la Gmail - for updates that are practically instantaneous. The official app has had this for a while, but now third-party developers have access to this functionality, meaning that push notifications for subscribed Google Calendars can be sent to any app that supports the general Gcal API.
According to the Google Developers Blog, the change is surprisingly simple: here's an eight-line segment of code that illustrates how a subscribed calendar notifies an app, which then makes an API call to receive the update. Read More
While the GetJar Appstore has its advantages, like GetJar Gold for example, it has been lacking one important feature that both the Android Market and Amazon Appstore have: push notification for app updates. In the past, when you downloaded an app from GetJar, the only way of knowing if the app had been updated was by going directly to that apps listing in GetJar.
This put the GetJar App Store at a clear disadvantage over other app markets, as most users aren't willing to manually check the listing for every single installed app. Fortunately, the GetJar team has recognized this issue and are now beta testing push notifications in the latest version of the GetJar store (v 3.5). Read More