SMS Quick Reply

Two new features that came with the latest update that fix frustrating issues

Google dropped Android 4.3 on us along with a whole bunch of other news last week, and while there were a few headline features of the release, nothing in particular caught our eye. Well we've had time to dig through a few of the new features that came along with Android 4.3 that weren't talked about in its introductory presentation and came up with some interesting finds.

Both improvements to the "Quick response" call rejecting feature and a new service called "Notification Listener" jumped out at us, and we'd like to tell you what's new in each.

Quick response for incoming calls

Starting with Android 4.0, Google included a new feature to reject incoming calls and automatically send an SMS to the caller right from the call screen. It was a simple and useful feature, that is if you were using the default Messaging app to handle SMS on your phone. Now in Android 4.3, a new service intent filter called "ACTION_RESPOND_VIA_MESSAGE" will let third-party SMS apps declare this new permission and be an option for sending the quick responses.

Now this won't really bear fruit until the popular SMS replacement apps add the new service and more phones are updated to Android 4.3, but it's great to see Google include the option for those who want it. Let's start the countdown to Google Voice being updated with this support now.

Notification Listener

While it is more of a power user type of feature, there are many apps in the Play Store that monitor system notifications and do some pretty cool things with that data stream. Prior to Android 4.3, these apps had to use a bit of a work-around with the "Accessibility" APIs to have access to the notification system. Now with a new service called "NotificationListenerService", apps can easier read notifications as they are posted by the system without needing the extra steps of using the Accessibility settings.

This should make it easier for apps like Light Flow to be installed and run with fewer hiccups, which is a big win for both developers and users alike.

For more information on these new features in 4.3 and in-depth explanations as to how they work, hit up the Android Developers page at the source link below.

Source: Android Developers


Reader comments

New Android 4.3 features: Third-party SMS apps for quick replies and 'Notification Listener'


I'm looking forward to LightFlow being updated. Andrew Moore commented on an Android Police article and also replied to a comment of mine about hopefully being able to clear the notification LED when Hangouts automatically clears it if read from another device. This is the only annoying thing with LightFLow for me so I look forward to the update and having my Hangouts LED clear itself.

That's the exact thing that came to my mind when I read about the notifiaction listener in 4.3. I'm really looking forward to that.

In fairness, when it inevitably doesn't get updated, we'll at least know that Voice is about to be Readered. Gives us a couple of months to find an alternative.

Why is nobody writing about the blocked root in 4.3?

Isn't that the biggest news of all?

Posted via Android Central App

No root on Android is blocked, maybe temporarily disabled, but not blocked. Besides a quick look on XDA show rooted 4.3 ROMs...

My Nexus-7 2013 has been Bootloader Unlocked, Rooted with a Custom Recovery for 2 days now.. and running Scott's deodexed ROM like a champ.. :-)

Wasn't quick response for incoming calls a feature that HTC introduced first as part of Sense a long time ago? I like the 3rd party capabilities though

Posted via Android Central App

Yes, quick response had been on HTC phones for a number of years.

Posted via Android Central App

So far:
-Floating Notifications (updated)
-NotifierPro (updated)
-NiLS (coming very soon)
-ReadItToMe Pro (coming soon)
-LockerPro Lockscreen (coming soon)
-LightFlow (being worked on)
-MissedIt (being worked on)

Andrew, what changes how Light Flow works (back end, or front end user feature) under 4.3? I've used it since Day 2 or 3 on my N4, great app.