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As evidenced by our roundup earlier this year, there are a lot of apps and desktop software out there that allow the pairing of an Android smartphone to a Windows or a Mac computer. Most manufacturers (such as Samsung and HTC) even offer their own software, which ships with many of their devices or is downloadable from their website. But most of these are a bloated attempt at an all-in-one solution to syncing.

Certainly, none offer the finesse and reliability afforded by Chrome 28, Google’s newest version of the browser, along with a neat third-party App. Krome, developed by Damien Piwowarski allows all notifications to appear as a ‘rich notification’ in Chrome. But that’s not all. This beautiful app has a few more tricks up its sleeve.


It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.

Keeping yourself updated and notified is an essential part of maintaining a balanced workflow when working with your smartphone. The majority of smartphone users who like exploring unique applications undoubtedly rely on their smartphone for productivity. Missed It! will make this easier as it gives you control over notifications so you can tailor them to your specific preference. This aspect is crucial because customization is perhaps one of the most important features of Android and a main reason why some people choose this operating system over competitors.


I read a fascinating article on one of my favourite blogs, Rands In Repose, recently: The Anatomy of a Notification. Rands comes up with five defining features of a notification, of the kind we see on Android’s drag-down bar. I’ll quote:

  • Human Consumable: built for a human to assess, not for a machine.
  • Brief & Relevant: the content inside of a notification takes only a smidge of your attention in order to assess a next step.
  • Portable: a notification stands on its own; you need no additional external application to assess it. They stand outside of the data or application they might represent.
  • Disposable: if for some reason the notification doesn’t get to you, you have an obvious means of recourse to find the data.
  • Timely: the usefulness of a notification decays as a function of time. Late notification arrival incites nerd rage.

Text messages, phone rings, Tweets, and an alert to let you know that your photo was successfully uploaded to Facebook: these are all notifications, according to Rands’s definition, and they all fit nicely in the Notifications section of the pull-down bar at the top of any Android phone (or bottom of a Honeycomb tablet).

However, some developers are using the Notifications section for other things; the biggest example I’m aware of is AirPush, a service we covered earlier this week, which allows apps to show an advert in that area. It’s caused a lot of controversy because people feel like their Notifications area is sacred and shouldn’t be tampered with — I believe it’s because these ads are neither Relevant, Disposable, nor Timely, in Rands’s terms.

Is it a bad thing for developers to use the Notifications section for other purposes? I’m automatically against it, but perhaps I’m being too harsh. After all, one of the great things about Android is the openness of the platform, and the way that new ideas such as this can be explored. What do you think?

Commercial posters and messages were written on papyrus back in the days of Ancient Egypt, as were political campaigns in pre-eruption Pompeii. As the mobile world develops to a state where we all have a constant internet connection, advertisers have jumped on board the mobile bandwagon and brought new, interactive ways of advertising on these platforms.

Apple launched iAd last year – an initiative to make ads more featured and almost an app within an app – while Android has had its own fair share of new advertising methods. A recent, controversial approach was taking by Airpush, who placed ads inside the notifications bar of Android handsets. (more…)