Clubhouse finally gets dark mode on Android and iOS

The exclusive audio-only social media platform is finally getting a dark mode on its Android and iOS apps.

Starting from April 14, those using an Android smartphone or an iPhone to access Clubhouse can at long last enter dark mode to turn the app’s UI black (or “velvety dark” as the blog post put it, *sigh*).

To turn this feature on you simply need to head to settings and select ‘Dark Mode’. From here you’ll have two options.

For those after the dark mode aesthetic 24/7, you’ll want to turn on ‘Always Dark Mode’. Meanwhile, those of you who use dark mode to reduce eye strain at night can turn on ‘User Device Settings’, causing the app to automatically shift between light and dark mode based on your phone’s settings.


Everyone's invited

The update should have already begun rolling out, though it can sometimes take a bit of time for it to reach everyone. You can check the Play Store or App Store on your phone to see if it’s updated or to force it to update for you a little sooner.

If this dark mode update has convinced you to finally give Clubhouse a try, then you’ll be glad to hear that the app is no longer invite-only. Anyone has been able to join Clubhouse since July 2021, but the reputation it built up from its invite-only beta has left some still thinking you can only join if you know someone who’s already on the inside.

To get started on the app simply download it from the Play Store or App Store and create an account.

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Proton launches a privacy-first alternative to Google Calendar for Android

Building on its VPN and secure email service, Proton has launched an encrypted calendar app for Android as part of its mission to create a better internet where privacy is the default.

Proton Calendar first launched on desktop back in 2020 and last year, the company released a beta version of its encrypted mobile calendar app.

Share your thoughts on Cybersecurity and get a free copy of the Hacker’s Manual 2022. Help us find how businesses are preparing for the post-Covid world and the implications of these activities on their cybersecurity plans. Enter your email at the end of this survey to get the bookazine, worth $ 10.99/£10.99.

While securing your calendar may not be the first thing that comes to mind in regard to protecting your privacy, it actually contains loads of personal data including who you meet and where you meet. As this information deserves the same level of protection as your email and files, Proton has stepped up to create the most secure calendar around.

Unlike other calendar apps, all of the event details including event names, participants, locations, notes and descriptions in Proton Calendar are fully encrypted to prevent others from gaining access to your schedule.

Proton Calendar for Android

Proton Calendar for Android includes a full set of advanced features and functionalities so it can easily replace Google Calendar or any other calendar app you may currently be using.

With Proton Calendar installed on your Android smartphone, you can easily switch between day, schedule and month view to see your calendar as you like and Proton has also created a widget which you can add to your home screen for a bird’s eye view of your upcoming events.

Proton has even included both a light and dark mode with the option to easily switch between the two as well as the ability to set multiple reminders on your phone and by email to ensure you’re always on time.

For those interested in switching to Proton Calendar, there are two ways to do so. First off, you can import your existing calendar by using Easy Switch from the settings menu of your ProtonMail account. However, you can also import a local calendar file with the .ics file extension directly into Proton Calendar.

Once your events arrive in Proton Calendar, they are automatically encrypted to help keep your data, plans and whereabouts private.

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Proton launches a privacy-first alternative to Google Calendar for Android

Building on its VPN and secure email service, Proton has launched an encrypted calendar app for Android as part of its mission to create a better internet where privacy is the default.

Proton Calendar first launched on desktop back in 2020 and last year, the company released a beta version of its encrypted mobile calendar app.

Share your thoughts on Cybersecurity and get a free copy of the Hacker’s Manual 2022. Help us find how businesses are preparing for the post-Covid world and the implications of these activities on their cybersecurity plans. Enter your email at the end of this survey to get the bookazine, worth $ 10.99/£10.99.

While securing your calendar may not be the first thing that comes to mind in regard to protecting your privacy, it actually contains loads of personal data including who you meet and where you meet. As this information deserves the same level of protection as your email and files, Proton has stepped up to create the most secure calendar around.

Unlike other calendar apps, all of the event details including event names, participants, locations, notes and descriptions in Proton Calendar are fully encrypted to prevent others from gaining access to your schedule.

Proton Calendar for Android

Proton Calendar for Android includes a full set of advanced features and functionalities so it can easily replace Google Calendar or any other calendar app you may currently be using.

With Proton Calendar installed on your Android smartphone, you can easily switch between day, schedule and month view to see your calendar as you like and Proton has also created a widget which you can add to your home screen for a bird’s eye view of your upcoming events.

Proton has even included both a light and dark mode with the option to easily switch between the two as well as the ability to set multiple reminders on your phone and by email to ensure you’re always on time.

For those interested in switching to Proton Calendar, there are two ways to do so. First off, you can import your existing calendar by using Easy Switch from the settings menu of your ProtonMail account. However, you can also import a local calendar file with the .ics file extension directly into Proton Calendar.

Once your events arrive in Proton Calendar, they are automatically encrypted to help keep your data, plans and whereabouts private.

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It looks like Android 13 might include an important Apple AirTag safety feature

Google might be working on its own Bluetooth tracker detection software for Android smartphones, according to the latest reports.

Bluetooth trackers like the Tile Mate and Apple AirTag have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, by using Bluetooth connections, and an army of phones hooked up to the Tile or Apple’s Find My network, these tags can help users find lost objects at home and out in the wider world.

Unfortunately, plenty of bad actors use these same devices to stalk unsuspecting individuals.

Tile and Apple have introduced various safety measures to reduce the risk their devices pose, but there are still issues with the current system. The main problem is that, for Android phone users, the free Tile and Apple Tracer Detect apps don’t offer automatic detection – you have to manually initiate searches on each individual app.

Now it looks like Google is taking matters into its own hands according to a 9To5Google report. The site details lines of code it found in a Google APK that was recently uploaded to the Play Store that references tag detection for devices named Tile tag and ATag (likely referencing AirTags).

The code is still fairly bare-bones right now, but it strongly suggests that Google is working on in-built tracker detection for Android. 

It’s not clear if this detection can be set to run automatically – though this should absolutely be an option – but this feature would at least give Android device users a pre-installed one-stop-shop to check if they're being stalked by unknown trackers.

We don't know when this feature will be available, but it could drop fairly soon. There’s a chance that this tracker detection will be available later this year when Android 13 launches, and it might even launch as part of the next Android 13 beta. We’ll have to wait and see what Google announces. 

Even though there are early signs that the feature is being developed, there’s no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day.

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It looks like Android 13 might include an important Apple AirTag safety feature

Google might be working on its own Bluetooth tracker detection software for Android smartphones, according to the latest reports.

Bluetooth trackers like the Tile Mate and Apple AirTag have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, by using Bluetooth connections, and an army of phones hooked up to the Tile or Apple’s Find My network, these tags can help users find lost objects at home and out in the wider world.

Unfortunately, plenty of bad actors use these same devices to stalk unsuspecting individuals.

Tile and Apple have introduced various safety measures to reduce the risk their devices pose, but there are still issues with the current system. The main problem is that, for Android phone users, the free Tile and Apple Tracer Detect apps don’t offer automatic detection – you have to manually initiate searches on each individual app.

Now it looks like Google is taking matters into its own hands according to a 9To5Google report. The site details lines of code it found in a Google APK that was recently uploaded to the Play Store that references tag detection for devices named Tile tag and ATag (likely referencing AirTags).

The code is still fairly bare-bones right now, but it strongly suggests that Google is working on in-built tracker detection for Android. 

It’s not clear if this detection can be set to run automatically – though this should absolutely be an option – but this feature would at least give Android device users a pre-installed one-stop-shop to check if they're being stalked by unknown trackers.

We don't know when this feature will be available, but it could drop fairly soon. There’s a chance that this tracker detection will be available later this year when Android 13 launches, and it might even launch as part of the next Android 13 beta. We’ll have to wait and see what Google announces. 

Even though there are early signs that the feature is being developed, there’s no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day.

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Gmail on Android notifications are getting a whole new look that might divide users

Android users will soon be able to quickly see whether they have a notification from Google Chat or Spaces right from the status bar as a new update is now rolling out to Gmail.

As Hangouts will soon be replaced by Google Chat for Google Workspace users, the search giant has added new status bar icons that make it easier to differentiate between Google Chat and Spaces notifications.

Up until now, Google's messaging app Chat and its Slack and Microsoft Teams competitor Spaces have both used a filled-in message bubble with another one behind it as their status bar icon. This made it difficult for users to determine whether they had a message from a single co-worker or if someone had said something in a group chat.

Thankfully, this will no longer be the case once Google's latest update for Gmail becomes widely available.

New status bar icons

As spotted by 9to5Google, Gmail for Android is currently in the process of rolling out separate icons for both Chat and Spaces notifications.

The new Chat icon is a single message bubble that's outlined and has an empty interior while the new Spaces icon depicts three people next to each other. If either of these new icons look familiar, that is because they're currently being used on Google's email client for desktop.

While the new Google Chat icon makes sense, some users might be confused by the new Spaces icon at first since it looks more like a social networking app than a workplace chat app.

According to 9to5Google, the publication has only seen these new status bar icons appear on a single Android smartphone running Gmail version 2022.02.20. However, Google will likely roll them out to more Android devices soon.

Via 9to5Google

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Gmail on Android notifications are getting a whole new look that might divide users

Android users will soon be able to quickly see whether they have a notification from Google Chat or Spaces right from the status bar as a new update is now rolling out to Gmail.

As Hangouts will soon be replaced by Google Chat for Google Workspace users, the search giant has added new status bar icons that make it easier to differentiate between Google Chat and Spaces notifications.

Up until now, Google's messaging app Chat and its Slack and Microsoft Teams competitor Spaces have both used a filled-in message bubble with another one behind it as their status bar icon. This made it difficult for users to determine whether they had a message from a single co-worker or if someone had said something in a group chat.

Thankfully, this will no longer be the case once Google's latest update for Gmail becomes widely available.

New status bar icons

As spotted by 9to5Google, Gmail for Android is currently in the process of rolling out separate icons for both Chat and Spaces notifications.

The new Chat icon is a single message bubble that's outlined and has an empty interior while the new Spaces icon depicts three people next to each other. If either of these new icons look familiar, that is because they're currently being used on Google's email client for desktop.

While the new Google Chat icon makes sense, some users might be confused by the new Spaces icon at first since it looks more like a social networking app than a workplace chat app.

According to 9to5Google, the publication has only seen these new status bar icons appear on a single Android smartphone running Gmail version 2022.02.20. However, Google will likely roll them out to more Android devices soon.

Via 9to5Google

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Finally, Android 13 will ask your permission to show notifications

As another developer preview of Android 13 is released, Google has announced that it's finally introducing a way to manage new notifications, with a prompt.

According to a blog post, whenever you open a new app for the first time, a message box will appear, asking you to approve or deny any future notifications from the app.

This is a feature that's appeared in Apple's devices since 2010 with iOS 4, so it's good to see Android catch up on a feature that's been requested for over a decade, though it's baffling that Google took this long.


Analysis: Lucky 13 for notifications

Android 13 prompt

(Image credit: Google)

Google likes to take its time when it comes to Android, and a notification prompt is the latest in a long line of features that users have been wishing for.

For years, users had been wanting the company to offer official themes, and a way to change their color scheme across Android while having them adapt to the apps that they would use each day.

While Android 12 brought this out with Material You, there's plenty of room for refinements, as buttons and menus seem bigger than necessary.

So when it comes to how notifications look with these new themes, they look huge and not easy on the eye, especially if you pick the lime green theme.

But thanks to Android 13, it looks like more improvements to the themes are coming. Combine this with the new option to hide notifications from new apps at the start, and it could be a release that could satisfy old and new users who have been holding off from updating their phones.

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Finally, Android 13 will ask your permission to show notifications

As another developer preview of Android 13 is released, Google has announced that it's finally introducing a way to manage new notifications, with a prompt.

According to a blog post, whenever you open a new app for the first time, a message box will appear, asking you to approve or deny any future notifications from the app.

This is a feature that's appeared in Apple's devices since 2010 with iOS 4, so it's good to see Android catch up on a feature that's been requested for over a decade, though it's baffling that Google took this long.


Analysis: Lucky 13 for notifications

Android 13 prompt

(Image credit: Google)

Google likes to take its time when it comes to Android, and a notification prompt is the latest in a long line of features that users have been wishing for.

For years, users had been wanting the company to offer official themes, and a way to change their color scheme across Android while having them adapt to the apps that they would use each day.

While Android 12 brought this out with Material You, there's plenty of room for refinements, as buttons and menus seem bigger than necessary.

So when it comes to how notifications look with these new themes, they look huge and not easy on the eye, especially if you pick the lime green theme.

But thanks to Android 13, it looks like more improvements to the themes are coming. Combine this with the new option to hide notifications from new apps at the start, and it could be a release that could satisfy old and new users who have been holding off from updating their phones.

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Android 13, Wear OS, Pixel 6a and more: what we expect from Google IO 2022

The annual Google IO event has been confirmed for 2022 – this year, it'll take place between May 11 and 12, with a big keynote conference kicking it off on that first date.

This was confirmed by the company's CEO Sundar Pichai, who posted on Twitter to confirm that the company's big yearly event would return on those dates – and at a physical location too, showing an interesting recommitment to physical events after the pandemic.

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Nw, before you roll your eyes and think 'this is too techy, I don't care' – well, there's a reason this might be interesting to you.

You see, while Google IO is mainly a developer event, in the same vein as Apple's WWDC, we also sometimes see tech from the company unveiled at the event. So here's a quick sizzle through the key things we're hoping for.

Android 13

Android Logo

(Image credit: Google)

Google almost always shows off its next Android update at IO – this year, that's Android 13.

We know a little bit about this update – a small beta brought lots of privacy features,  code pointed to the ability to toggle the brightness of the phone's flashlight (though you'll need a device with hardware that facilitates this) and Google has teased the ability to compress apps you don't use much, saving you from deleting them.

Those are cool features but they're not exactly flagship ones, so we're hoping Google has something big up its sleeve for its unluckily-numbered next update.

Wear OS

Google IO 2021

(Image credit: Google)

Google IO is typically a software-focused event, but it generally didn't talk about Wear OS, its smartwatch operating system…

… until 2021, when Wear OS 3 was unveiled, and it was the biggest shake-up to the company's smartwatch software in years. It was designed alongside Samsung, but more companies were set to use the software for their wearables too.

It's been a bit of a quieter year for Wear OS than we expected, as not as many companies adopted the new system as we (and likely Google) would have liked. But with the backing of Samsung, we don't think Google will forget about its software – hopefully, we'll see new features for it that make it more tempting for manufacturers.

Google Pixel 6a

There's an outside chance that we'll see the Google Pixel 6a – the company has previously unveiled its affordable A series of gadgets at Google IO before, though it hasn't for a few years.

This would be an inexpensive take on the Pixel 6, designed for people whose budgets don't have space for super-pricey Android phones.

If the Pixel 6a doesn't appear, we could still see other A-series devices like earbuds, as they've shown up recently at IO too.

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