Shhhh – Google removes silent mode from phones with Lollipop

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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.
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Snowball tries to pack messaging platforms into single app

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

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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.
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Motorola Active Display app gets buzzy with latest update

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Motorola has released a minor update to their Active Display app for Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx smartphones. The primary change included in this latest version sets the app to honor the system vibration settings you may have set for your device. Just go into Settings -> Sound -> Vibrate on touch to turn vibrations on or off. Motorola also included some bug fixes and other optimizations in the update which reportedly make everything work much smoother.

Owners of the impacted Motorola devices should be receiving a notification that the update is available, but if they can’t wait for that they can use the link below to grab the update from Google Play.

Google Play Download Link

Twitter updates Android app once again, this time bringing improved conversations, new notification settings, and more

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Twitter has been firing out some really nice updates to their native Android app at a pretty regular rate lately, and continued the trend with an update today which will bring improved conversations and new notification settings. The update makes it much easier to follow conversation threads, as each tweet is linked to the one above it, giving it a much more natural look and feel. It’s definitely a nice addition, because the app was certainly missing the feature. The update also applies to the Twitter site. Here are some more things provided in the update:

  • Optimization for entry-level Android smartphones
  • Report Tweets as abusive or spam
  • New notification settings
  • Bug fixes for direct messages, login verification and more

It’s a staged roll-out so you might not get it quite yet— but check the Google Play link after the break to see if its arrived for your device. There’s also a video by Twitter about the new conversations feature below.


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HTC Mini+ shows up on HTC’s site, essentially a phone for your phone

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HTC has certainly been unpredictable for basically the past year, with troubling sales figures, angry executives who ditched the manufacturer, rumors of a sale of the company, and more— now we’re seeing some really odd phone accessories.

Today, the HTC Mini+ showed up on HTC’s website, which is essentially a phone accessory that provides added functionality to your device— a “sidekick,” if you will. The Mini+, which comes with built-in NFC capabilities, a laser pointer, and an IR blaster, serves as a Bluetooth handset/remote control for your smartphone meant for taking calls and showing instant notifications for things such as emails, texts, events, etc.

The product is certainly aimed at a small niche market and is only compatible with select HTC devices including the One Mini, Butterfly S, Desire 200, Desire 500, and will eventually work with the international HTC One. Who knows, something like this may eventually catch on, especially with phones becoming bigger and bigger, and with multitasking becoming even more prominent than ever before. We’ll just have to wait and see…

Pricing and release date is still unknown for the HTC Mini+ in the US, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we find out.

Source: HTC

Google adding richer notifications to Chrome on ChromeOS, Windows

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With the popularity of Android on smartphones and tablets, Google has a big platform to help push their other products and services. One of those is the Chrome browser for Android. As users surf the net with Chrome, they are able to enjoy the benefits of having their sessions sync with installations of Chrome, say on their desktop and laptop computers. To help capitalize on this and make the use of Chrome and Google services even more attractive, Google announced today the introduction of richer notifications for the Beta channel version of the Chrome browser.

The user interface for notifications and the underlying framework have both been reworked and expanded to be available for developers of Chrome apps and extensions to capitalize on. From an interface perspective, the new notifications adopt a Google Now card-like look. Mimicking capabilities of the notifications available on Jelly Bean Android devices, the new notifications can include the ability to interact directly within the pop-up.

The notification center will display several notifications at once if a user is away from their computer for a while. Along with the usability improvements, notifications can now include formatted text and assets like images. Google provides a panel for users to select which notifications which display.

Google has new versions available for both Windows and ChromeOS. They indicate an OSX version for Macs is on the way. If you want to try out the Chrome Beta, hit the source link for more information.

source: Google Chrome Blog

How to disable annoying Android notifications

annoying_notificationSometimes, an app annoyingly doesn’t allow you to disable its notifications in the app’s settings. Sometimes, an app even gives advertisements through the notifications, which is even more annoying. If you have Jelly Bean 4.1 or higher, you can fortunately disable almost any app’s notifications straight from the device settings. After the break are instructions on how you can get rid of the pesky alerts.¬†
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Pinterest app for Android receives update

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Popular social media network Pinterest updated their Android app today adding some new features to help improve interactions between users. Mirroring a change made to their web based site, Pinterest will now alert you via a push notification whenever someone likes, comments, or repins your stuff. The app will also let you “mention” friends in comments, a feature that is popular with other social media networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. The app will also start to provide users with suggestions for search terms as they type in the search box. Hit the break for some screenshots of the new features and download links.

If you are interested in giving Pinterest a try, use the link below to grab it for your Android device.

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Google Play Download Link