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AutoNotification adds a much-needed ‘Mark as Read’ button to your Gmail alerts on Android

Here’s an app you hopefully won’t need for long: AutoNotification lets you mark Gmail messages as read – without archiving them – straight from the Android notifications panel.

That’s handy, because it’s often easy enough to scan an entire email right from an alert. Gmail’s Android app presently only lets you archive or reply to messages from the notification panel – neither of which may be useful to you for certain messages – so this app intercepts those alerts and displays a custom notification with the ‘read’ button on board. It works with multiple Gmail accounts, and you can add as many or as few of them as you like.

It’s worth noting that this feature isn’t free: you can try it as part of a seven-day trial at no cost, but after that, you’ll need to pony up for either just this standalone functionality, or the whole raft of AutoNotification capabilities. In India, the Gmail feature cost me Rs. 75 ($1.16).

AutoNotification also does lets you create custom notifications with additional buttons in other apps, add more Quick Settings Tiles on Android 7.0 and above, reply automatically to chats in various messaging apps (though you can also try Can’t Talk), and integrates with Tasker to automate some of these functions.

While I’m glad to have found an app to tackle my emails better, it’d be nice to see Google take a hint and bake this right into the next version of Gmail’s Android app. Doesn’t look that hard, does it?

Find AutoNotification over on Google Play.

Via Android Police

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Kill annoying alerts! Here’s how to turn off notifications on an iPhone

One of the most important reasons you have your iPhone with you at all times is so you can stay up-to-date with the things and people that are most important to you. This need to be connected is an important consideration when it comes to choosing our data plans, carriers, smartphones, and many other things.

But one of the downsides of being connected 24/7 is that you may be overwhelmed with the number of notifications coming in. They can be helpful, but sometimes notifications can get in the way of whatever you’re doing, or they can disturb you when you don’t want them to.

Managing notifications is an essential part of dealing with your iPhone on a daily basis and also a way to keep that long list of notifications in your Notification Center somewhat manageable. Here’s an easy walk-through on how to turn off notifications on an iPhone.

If you haven’t updated to Apple’s latest yet, here’s our iOS 11 review, all of its new features, and also its most common problems and how to fix them.

Turn off all notifications

If you want to turn off all notifications at once, the easiest way to do it is to turn on Do Not Disturb. To do this, swipe up from the bottom and tap the moon icon next to the screen rotation lock.

Do Not Disturb allows notifications to arrive, but it prevents them from making sounds or waking up the display.

You can go to Settings Do Not Disturb and access all the settings for Do Not Disturb. For instance, you could schedule it to turn on and off at specific times.

Maybe you turn on Do Not Disturb manually late at night because you don’t want to disturb someone else, and a text notification makes a sound anyway. In the settings, you have an option to silence always or only while iPhone is locked. You can also allow calls from your favorites and even have it turn on by itself while you’re driving.

We suggest going into the Do Not Disturb settings to set it up the way that works best for you.

Turn off notifications for specific apps

If you’re looking to turn off notifications for an app, go to Settings Notifications. You will see a list of all your apps here, and you can turn off the notifications, or make the notifications behave in a way that you find less annoying, in case you want to see the notification but the way it’s currently coming in is getting on your nerves somehow.

This screen may seem self-explanatory at first, but let’s dig into it a little deeper. Firstly, at the very top, you will see an option that says Show Previews. The Show Previews option is there for each app, but iOS 11 introduced this toggle where you can manage it for all apps at once. Show Previews is important for your privacy.

Below is an example of the way a notification will show up with Show Previews enabled.

And here is an example of the way a notification will show up with Show Previews disabled. You can set Show Previews to show always, when unlocked, or never.

Sometimes hiding the preview is the best way to go for your privacy. You can also do this on an individual app, so let’s take a look at the options you will find within the notification settings for each app.

  • Allow Notifications: Toggle this to turn the notifications on or off.
  • Sounds: Toggle this on or off if you want notification sounds for this app.
  • Badge App Icon: This option controls whether or not you want to display the small red circle on the top-right corner of the icon showing the notification counter.
  • (Alerts) Show on Lock Screen: This will let you control whether or not you want to show the notifications on the lock screen for this app.
  • (Alerts) Show in History: Controls whether or not you want to see the notifications for this app when you swipe down from the top to reveal notification center.
  • (Alerts) Show as Banners: Do you like notification banners? Use this to turn them off if you don’t. You can also set them to show temporarily or persist on the screen until you tap on them.

If you scroll down a little more, you will see Show Previews at the bottom. You can set it here for that particular app if you want the previews to show always, when unlocked, or never.

How to set up your iPhone for disaster alerts

This week I’ve been in Chicago for a conference, and people keep coming up to me to ask if I’ve been impacted by the horrible fires ravaging the Bay Area this month. Fortunately, beyond all the smoke in the air making it hard to breathe outside, my family has been unscathed. But just a couple dozen miles to the north, whole neighborhoods have burned and people have lost their lives.

One story that stuck with me last week was about the president of Sonoma State University and her husband, who narrowly escaped the fire when they were awakened by their home smoke alarm and discovered that their entire neighborhood was on fire.

As everyone gets smartphones and drops their land lines, it’s become increasingly complicated to get the word out when an emergency strikes. Emergency authorities have the ability to make mass calls to land lines in a geographic area, but it’s harder to collect information about cellphones.

All smartphones, including the iPhone, now support wireless emergency alerts, which can be pushed out by local agencies and result in a push notification with a surprising noise. (Make sure this setting is switched on—it is by default—by tapping on Notifications in the Settings app and scrolling all the way to the Government Alerts section at the very bottom.) In Santa Rosa, authorities were reluctant to send evacuation warnings over this channel because they couldn’t target specific neighborhoods and were concerned about causing a wide panic that might gridlock roads and interfere with evacuations and firefighting personnel.

It really got me thinking about what would happen if there was a fire or other disaster affecting my neighborhood, requiring me to be alerted—especially if it happened in the middle of the night, as it did in Santa Rosa. I don’t sleep with my iPhone anywhere near me and I’m a user of timed Do Not Disturb on both my iPhone and my iPad. I also generally leave the mute switch on my iPhone turned on and my iPad often has its volume set all the way down.

Is my clever attempt to not be disturbed by a wrong number, spam text, or pointless app notification in the middle of the night actually risking my life by making it easier to ignore emergency notifications? It’s possible. So here are a few modifications I’ve made to my devices in the aftermath of the fire disaster my neighbors to the north have experienced.

Expand your Favorites list

f11b1_ringtones-100739429-medium How to set up your iPhone for disaster alertsIDG

The Emergency Bypass setting when you edit a contact in the Phone app.

First off, I much more widely expanded my iPhone’s favorites list. I have Do Not Disturb set to pass through any calls from people in my Favorites list, but that list used to just include members of my family. I’ve since added more of my local friends to that list, so that if there’s something happening locally, it’s easier for those calls to break through.

Allow a contact to break through Do Not Disturb

An important note if you’re trying to reach an iPhone user in the event of an emergency: Do Not Disturb has an option to allow any number that calls twice in a three-minute period to ring the phone. If you call someone and don’t get through, try them right back just in case they’ve got Do Not Disturb and this setting turned on.

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