Android M Feature: Be Gone Terrible Lollipop Volume Controls!

You know how the volume/do-not-disturb combination of things in Lollipop drove almost all of you nuts? Google heard you loud and clear and have attempted to fix the volume situation with Android M. We now have simplified volume controls that actually make sense and work like they used to.

As you will see in the video below, you can once again press the volume down button on your phone to take you all the way to vibrate, but another tap then jumps into silent mode, which really is now Do Not Disturb mode (again). That mode makes everything quiet, outside of alarms, which is exactly how it should be and should have been.  (more…)

Android M Feature: Auto Backups of Apps to Google Drive, Plus Auto Restoring

If you happen to change phones a lot or wipe your device often enough, you probably know that the backup and setup process on Android has been pretty brutal for, well, ever. That should change a bit in Android M thanks to auto backups of all apps installed on your phone. Because Google wants to “ensure a good experience” for those who do setup phones more regularly than others, all of this behind-the-scenes magic will happen without any work from users or developers.  (more…)

Android M Feature: Notification Shade on Tablets Moves to Wherever You Swipe From

If you have used a tablet running stock Lollipop, then you probably know that the notification shade situation isn’t exactly ideal. Before Lollipop, Google was using two separate pulldowns for the notification shade on tablets, one that would show notifications and another that gave you access to quick toggles. Since those were combined into a multi-layered single notification shade in Android 5.0+, they decided to center it on tablets, no matter where you swiped from.   (more…)

Android M Developer Preview Tour!

We have now been running the Android M developer preview on a Nexus 6 and Nexus 5 for the better part of the last couple of hours and are now ready to share some of our findings. While there aren’t a lot of big, forward-facing UI changes, there are all sorts of little tweaks everywhere, some that we like, others that we may need to sleep on before we make any bold claims about.  (more…)

Android M Feature: Settings Now Have Dark, Light, and Automatic Themes

We have had the Android M developer previewed flashed on a Nexus 5 for all of five minutes, but we are already noticing fun little tweaks that Google has made since Lollipop. For one, the bright white settings menu on stock Android has been given a “dark” theme, for those not wanting to be blinded at night when doing some dirty work on their phones.  (more…)

Switching From Google Voice to Project Fi – How It Works

After looking through the Project Fi sign-up process that was posted to reddit earlier today, we came away feeling more knowledgable about a majority of the service’s features, but also left feeling a bit worried about how it would play with Google Voice. Because certain features were noted as being left out, we were wondering if Project Fi would even be an option for some of us long-time GV users. Thanks to a great find by one of our readers, we now think we know exactly how Google Voice will transfer over to Project Fi.

The biggest thing to understand here is that when you transfer over from Google Voice to Project Fi, you are essentially leaving your Google Voice life behind. Because of that, you get to keep some of the features and lose others.  (more…)