tech2 News Staff Aug 28, 2017 19:57 PM IST
While Pixel owners rejoiced at the launch of the Google's latest operating system Android O, everyone else had to start marking their calendar to the days when they would actually see the update arrive on their smartphones. We are talking flagship or premium smartphone owners, who will now have to wait at least six months until Android Oreo and its features arrive officially on their smartphones via software updates.
But a developer who previously worked on bringing Pixel-like features to other smartphones, has now taken his skills a notch higher. Notification dots on Android Nougat anyone?
Feature comes to Nougat devices in the form of a downloadable .apk file that needs no root. We had a OnePlus 5 in the office so we downloaded the apk to try it out. To our surprise, the features actually worked!
The .apk file comes from developer Amir Zaidi who used a modified version of the Android Open Source Project's (AOSP) Launcher 3. The results are pretty cool as users on Android Nougat can now play around with Android Oreo-styled notifications with app shortcut menu now displaying widgets, App info and notifications as well.
Thanks to this app, you can not only see the per app notifications in their respective App Shortcut menus but also swipe to dismiss them, reducing the need to reach out to the notifications tray (which is also a swipe down in case you need it). Also added by the developer are notification dots that appear next to the icons on the homescreen. Turns out even apps like WhatsApp that do not support App Shortcuts yet will show notifications in the App Shortcut menu.
The .apk file is available at GitHub and you will need to download Rootless Pixel Launcher 2.1. To our surprise, tapping on the Google Pill icon opens lets you type in search queries while swiping on it brings the Google Now-like cards interface. Tapping on the weather icon tap takes to Google's Weather page as well. The app, however, is still a bit buggy when it comes to third-party apps that don't support App Shortcuts yet. For example, Our experience with WhatsApp was a hit or a miss.