Google’s I/O event is barely a day old and we have already seen a flurry of Android L’s features already available. For those of you who still don’t know ‘Android L’ is Google’s next version of Android which is expected to be released sometime late in the fall. Android L will be Android 5.0 and the next step up from the already released Android 4.4.
Yesterday we reported the release by xda of a string of L’s features released in apk format including L’s Keyboard, fonts, wallpapers and boot animation. If you missed our report than click here to read it and for download links.
It’s barely a day later and we are already seeing another release of one of L’s main features. As part of L’s new ‘Material Design’ interface Google had announced the use of a ‘Heads Up’ function. In short this is an update to the way in which notifications are received (and viewed) by a user. With Heads Up installed and once a user receives a notification (email, text, service update etc) the user will be able to see a brief image of the notification’s content.
Instead of simply being advised of the incoming message on the notification bar a small floating window will appear over the main screen. This means if a user is using the phone, playing a game or surfing the net and receives a message they will be able to see the notification and its contents briefly without having to stop the initial program (playing game or surfing the net). Instead the message will pop up over the main screen and disappear a few second later. If the message is not important than the user can simply forget about it. Using Heads Up there is no more need to close a program and check the message.
In spite of this feature only just being announced at I/O and due for inclusion in Android L one of the clever boys at xda has already managed to extract the software and make it available for all devices. It was originally expected this would firstly be available to Nexus owners however thanks to the developer you can now download the add-on and start using it. The app is available via the Play Store and costs $0.99. This is a small price to pay to test-run a feature which will almost certainly be available on the upcoming Android update.
The app includes various tweaks so you can choose which notifications are important enough to show over the main screen and which are not. In addition you can also adjust how long the message shows for before automatically disappearing. The only downside is that you do need to be already running at least Android 4.3 for the app to work.
If you are interested in giving this app a go than click the link to visit the Play listing.