Android L Features: Notification Manager Introduced in “Sound & Notifications”

In the past, if you didn’t want an app showing notifications on your Android device, you had to either long-press on a notification from the app, then head into the app’s specific info page, and disable notifications or take the longer route to unchecking its notifications powers through Settings>App manager. Either process wasn’t a bad one by any means, but Google appears to want to give you more specific notification control in Android L with the introduction of notification management through the Sound section in Settings which has been renamed “Sound & Notifications.”  (more…)

Google Aims for Consistent UX With Android Wear, TV, and Auto

Last week at Google I/O in San Francisco, Google laid out plans for three new and separate platforms; Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto. What differentiates these platforms from past iterations we have seen, such as Google TV or any smartwatch currently available on the market powered by Android, is pretty major though.

From what we have seen in the past from Android-powered smartwatches, the company that creates the watch, creates the overall experience. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear ran Android, but the company limited its use to only Samsung devices, plus had entire control over the way consumers interacted with the watch, which essentially hindered most basic functionality.  (more…)

Google Makes “Ok Google” System-wide Hotword Detection Official

Yesterday, after downloading the newest version of Google Search (3.5.14), we discovered that a new setting for system-wide “Ok Google” hotword detection had been placed inside of the application.

Previously, users would need to be on the home screen of their compatible Android device to use the hotword, but with this new feature enabled, users can say “Ok Google” within any app to initiate a Google search, and even on the lockscreen.  (more…)

Hands-on With the Moto 360 Smartwatch

To say the Moto 360 is in a league of its own, with regard to just smartwatches, is an understatement. Pictures don’t do Motorola’s hardware justice, and after finally spending time with the device at this year’s Google I/O, it’s safe to say that this is the smartwatch we have all been waiting for.

Powered by Google’s Android Wear, which was showcased heavily at Google I/O in yesterday’s keynote, the Moto 360 is the first of its kind with a completely circular display. All other Android Wear-powered devices, like the G Watch and Gear Live, feature your typical rectangular and square displays.  (more…)

Android L Features: Interacting With the New Lock Screen

Up next in our tour of new features in Android L is a detailed, on-video look at the revamped lock screen experience.

If you have used Android at all over the years, a lot of the new concepts will make sense once you see them in action. There are quick swipes to launch into the camera or dialer, ways to expand out notifications, and access to your settings toggles should you need to adjust brightness or get on a WiFi network.  (more…)

Android L Features: Do Not Disturb Mode

Our series on new Android L features kicked off moments ago with Battery Predictor, but now it’s time to move on to an addition that probably should have been built into Android long ago. This is Do Not Disturb mode.

For those not familiar with a feature like DND, think of it as a way to shut off phone calls and notifications during the night or other times where you would rather not have a “ding” or buzz go off. We are talking during meetings, funerals (whoa!), or anything else in life that would require some quiet time.  (more…)