SMS Quick Reply

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.

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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