Customizing Android: How to change notification sounds, ringtones, and set custom ringtones


Android is an exciting platform, allowing you to tailor every little bit of your device to your personality. Whether it be through custom ROMs, icon packs and launchers, and right down to the notification and ringtone sounds. With Android M, customization is only going to get better.

Every device is different, but for the most part changing the sounds are straightforward. Even customizing certain ringtones to certain contacts is a seamless process.

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Lucid Sleep function allows your Chromebook to stay up-to-date even whilst sleeping


If you are the proud owner of a new Chromebook Pixel, you’ll be glad to hear of a new, experimental feature called Lucid Sleep. Whilst it sounds like some sort of hush-hush project at Lockheed’s SkunkWorks facility, Lucid Sleep is actually a way of ensuring that your new Pixel Chromebook keeps up to date with push notifications while it is sleeping, much like your smartphone does.

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Having trouble reading notifications? Take a look at BIG Notifications


For most people, vision will deteriorate with age. Others just have naturally poor vision. That is why apps like BIG Notifications, while perhaps serving a smaller audience, are so important. BIG Notifications does exactly what the name suggests: magnifies items in the notification tray to make for increased legibility. An Enlarge notifications banner stays in the notification tray and tapping it switches over to the BIG Notifications view. Everything that was seen before is still present, only the font size was changed. Also, an option to clear all notifications is available rather than missing the dedication button. The paid version of BIG Notifications adds configurations and features such as TalkBack screen reader support and varying text sizes.

To use BIG Notifications, a device with at least Android 4.3 is required.

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.

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Google+ getting revamped notification system on desktop site

Google_Plus_BannerGoogle+ is getting some improvements on the desktop site to make keeping on top of your notifications a little easier. You’ll be able to check out updates and other alerts in a dedicated page, instead of being confined to the smaller area that we’re used.

In the normal notification tray, you’ll also be able to filter out unread notifications from what you’ve already cleared, which can be useful if you’ve got a ton of alerts popping up. Read more

Shhhh – Google removes silent mode from phones with Lollipop


When Google first announced Android L last summer with a developer’s preview edition and then in October made the official announcement sans a final version being available, it was clear Google had all hands on deck to try to wrap up all the details that go into a major operating system overhaul. So it should be no surprise that some things may have been overlooked. At least, we hope this one is an oversight and not something intentional on the part of Google. Android Lollipop users have discovered that silent mode has been removed when running on a smartphone and other volume and notification management choices are just not well thought out. Read more

Snowball tries to pack messaging platforms into single app


A new app called Snowball has been released to the Google Play Store with the intent of providing a one-stop source for a user’s messaging apps. Although still in beta, Snowball will let users connect to their Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, Hangouts, Twitter, Line, WeChat and Slack accounts. “Connect” is only used in the broadest terms though as all the app really does is watch for notifications from the different messaging platforms and then lets you know so you can check them in an inbox Snowball builds. Read more

Get an eye on new notifications style in Android L with Heads Up! app


One of the new features that Google showed off in Android L last week was a new way of displaying notifications in a floating window that will pop up over running apps. If you want to get an idea of how this may work without installing Android L and you have a device running Android 4.3 or 4.4, you may want to check out the new Heads Up! app fro XDA member Dr.Alexander_Breen. Read more