The slow and low adoption of new versions of Android is indeed a pity, because each version brings refinements and enhancements to the platform. One such feature introduced in Android Nougat 7.1 is ‘App Shortcuts’. Long pressing icon of a supported app in launcher pops a menu of actions, which lead directly to a specific task. Rather similar to “quick actions” in iOS – but in iOS it is only for devices with ‘3D touch’ (pressure sensitive screens).
The Nougat implementation is simpler and has an additional cool feature: a shortcut can be picked up from the menu and placed independently on the home screen. Implementing app shortcuts is easy, but given the very low adoption of Nougat, in reality only users with the latest Pixel or Nexus phones are likely to experience this feature in the near future.
Below are a couple of screenshots from development version of Indian Train Status app, showing both the long-press menu, and the shortcuts picked and placed on the home screen:
The Indian Train Status app is featured in Google Play Store highlights this week, and is now the #1 trending app on Play Store in India, #1 in Travel & Local category, #18 overall – later rising up to #9!
TravelKhana: a place where you can order your food during your train journey. TravelKhana is the largest food delivery provider in train, through out more than 2O0 Indian railway junctions. You can visit www.travelkhana.com from your desktop, mobile to book your khana online, TravelKhana delivery boy will be right your train seat to deliver your order.
TravelKhana understands the need of Indian railway passengers, and that’s why it has introduced some utilities too to make your rail journey better!
With this app you can book food anywhere in India while traveling in a train. Offers choice of food from Veg, Non Veg, Thalis, Wraps, Pizza. TravelKhana spot your running train status and gets the order delivered fresh near your seat while you are in a train. Use TravelKhana to order food at more than 200 locations across India while traveling in a train.
The next update of Train Alarm for iOS comes with new features for iOS 8: A Today View Widget that shows up-to-date distance to latest alarm station, and ‘Show in Map’ action for alarm notifications.
With iOS 8 round the corner, and Apple gently nudging to update apps with shiny new versions in time for the big release on 17th, the past week has been busy, and the rewards, well, shall soon be ‘available on the App Store’.
Managing the different screen sizes with larger iPhones turned out to be quite easy, the only thing extra that was really required was a new 3x res app icon for the high pixel density of the 6 Plus screen. A few other issues regarding access to system services like notifications, location services and background tasks were sorted out.
The interesting part was trying to implement some of the new features in the latest iOS. As mentioned in the last WWDC, iOS 8 is a big release for developers and opens up a lot of the system to developers.
Notification actions – which are small optional buttons that can be added to notifications to provide faster and meaningful interaction with the information. This was relevant for the Train Alarm app, so that a new option has been added, “View in Map” for the alarm notifications.
Widgets – yes, iOS finally has widgets, but they are implemented in a unique way that is both unobtrusive yet seems quite powerful. They live in the “Today” view. This also was relevant for Train Alarm, to have a widget that would update the location to the latest alarm station, this has also been added in the update.
So look out for these exiting new features in the next release!