Shunal DokeJul 03, 2013 13:10:50 IST
One of the biggest changes coming to Android 4.3 is a new under-the-hood feature that is bound to make some app developers happy. According to a teardown by AndroidPolice, Android 4.3 has some new notification-based services that might let third-party apps access them.
The build of Android 4.3 that was recently leaked for the Galaxy S4 has some changes that point to this. Namely, strings stating that there will be a new notification service where apps – referred to in the strings as Notification Listeners – can read notifications, dismiss them and activate action buttons on them.
What's also interesting in Android 4.3 is a new interface that shows the history of notifications. The interface shows currently active notifications being lit up and notifications that have been dismissed as being greyed out. Tapping on a notification from the interface brings up the App Info screen for that app.
An interesting interface that shows the history of notifications (Image credit: AndroidPolice)
There are two new permissions that power this, dubbed Access Notifications and Notification Listener Service. However, the protection levels for these permissions are too high for use by third-party apps. Access Notifications has a protection level of "system|signature", which means either Google or an OEM has to sign the app. Notification Listener Service has the "signature" protection level, which means it can be a system app, or it has to be signed by Google or an OEM.
This essentially proves that while a lot of information on this new service has been revealed, there are still some key bits of information missing.
This is a boon for apps like Light Flow, which currently access the notifications through hacks in the Accessibility APIs. With the change in notifications coming in Android 4.3, apps like Light Flow will be able to use proper methods to access notifications. Along with making the app work better overall, this will also means that many apps and devices, like the Pebble that need to access notifications, won't have to use the Accessibility API trick, which is essentially broken in some of Samsung's devices.
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