Android owners cry ‘you can’t be serious’ as Google removes beloved phone button in latest shake-up

GOOGLE has quietly removed a useful Android feature and it hasn’t gone down well with users.

The option is relatively small but was so “helpful” that Android fans have vented online.

Users are not pleased at all


Users are not pleased at allCredit: Getty

People thought the move might be an error that needs fixing but it turns out the change was deliberate.

It’s not the first time Google has annoyed users with changes recently, after people complained about the new Google Maps colours.

There was also uproar about Fitbit’s refreshed app, so much so the tech giant brought some features back.

This latest outrage has been sparked by tweaks to Android’s icon notifications.

Before, people could long press on an app’s icon on the home screen to show the latest notification.

A handy counter in the corner would also tell users if the app had other notifications waiting to be opened.

Tapping the notification would open it directly in the app – or you could swipe to dismiss it.

But fans have noticed in the latest version of Android, Android 14, the handy tool is gone.

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“Just to add my disappointment, this feature was so helpful!” one person wrote online.

“The removal of this feature was a bad move,” another commented.

“It improved notification visibility, and it was extremely intuitive.”

A third person complained: “You can’t be serious?! You guys DELIBERATELY removed this feature?! Are you stupid?!”

Some said the small but significant feature was so useful that they switched from iPhone to Android for it.

“This features is partly why I switched to Android,” a user said.

“It is the wrong move to remove this functionality.”

Google responded to users saying: “Thank you for reporting this issue.

“We have looked into the issue you have reported

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Android Users Beware: Indian Government Cautions Google Pixel, Samsung, and OnePlus Owners

Android Users Beware Indian Government Cautions Google Pixel Samsung and OnePlus Owners

The Indian government has issued a crucial warning for Android users, encompassing popular smartphone brands like Google Pixel, Samsung, OnePlus, and more. The warning specifically targets users of Android OS versions 11, 12, 12L, and 13 due to the existence of multiple vulnerabilities that can potentially expose sensitive information to fraudsters.

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), operating under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has identified these vulnerabilities, emphasizing the critical need for users to update their Android operating systems promptly. While tech companies frequently release updates to address these issues, many users neglect to update their OS due to data limitations, storage constraints, or ease of use.

The Indian government’s warning underscores the gravity of the situation, pointing out that older OS versions are more susceptible to exploitation through these vulnerabilities.

CERT-In has outlined that these vulnerabilities stem from flaws within various Android OS components, including Framework, System, Google Play system updates, Arm components, MediaTek components, UNISOC components, Qualcomm components, and Qualcomm closed-source components.

The consequences of exploiting these vulnerabilities can be severe, enabling attackers to execute arbitrary code, gain elevated privileges, access sensitive information, and disrupt the targeted system’s functionality. This places users at risk of various cyber threats, including data breaches and fraud.

To protect themselves from these security risks, Android users, including those with devices from Google Pixel, Samsung, OnePlus, and other manufacturers, should promptly apply the appropriate security patches as provided by Google. Timely OS updates and patch installations are essential for maintaining the security and integrity of personal information stored and shared on Android devices.

In a world where smartphones have become central to everyday life, safeguarding personal information is paramount. By heeding this critical warning and taking the necessary precautions, Android users can help protect their data and minimize their

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Android apps continuously crashing for some Pixel owners

In what may be an emerging issue, some Pixel owners are reporting continuous Android app crashes with no straightforward fix.

The issue sees Android apps close immediately after they are opened. Both Google and third-party applications are seemingly impacted here.

I might have encountered the issue earlier this afternoon when Chrome Beta (version 115) kept closing. It was working fine all day until it just stopped. In my case, it was fixed by rebooting the impacted Pixel 7, which was running the latest Android 13 QPR3 stable release with the July security patch.

Restarting did not work for others, nor did entering safe mode by bringing up the Power menu and long-pressing until you get the “Reboot to safe mode” prompt. One user found a fix by resetting their device and restoring from backup, which is the extreme remedy.

In a hint at what the culprit could be, those affected report that the system update page is not properly loading, with only a white screen appearing. That UI is offered by Google Play services and, therefore, could be responsible for the issue. My Pixel 7 is running version 23.25.17 (190400-548553588).

There are a dozen or so reports on Reddit this afternoon from Pixel 6 and 7 owners, but it is not a widespread problem affecting all users at this point. Meanwhile, I’m not seeing reports from other OEMs either.

The last time app crashes occurred (in 2021), a bad Android System WebView update was to blame. That does not appear to be the problem today.


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Google rolls out ‘Home Panel’ to more Pixel owners

What you need to know

  • A new update is rolling out to the Google Home app, bringing the new “Home Panel.” 
  • Home Panel was announced as part of the June Feature Drop and makes it easier to control your smart home devices.
  • Instead of needing to open the app, Home Panel provides quick access from the Lock Screen or Quick Settings panel.

Over the past year, Google has been making a conscious and concerted effort to improve the experience when using the Google Home app. After the redesigned app was released in May 2023, Google is now bringing its “Home Panel” feature to owners of Pixel devices. 

This was announced as part of the June 2023 Feature Drop for owners of the best Pixel phones, and until now, has only been available on the Pixel Tablet. As noted by 9to5Google, Google Home’s latest update brings the Home Panel to more Pixel devices, including the Pixel Fold, Pixel 7a, and older Google phones.

The biggest benefit to using Home Panel is being able to quickly access and control your various smart home devices and accessories without opening the Google Home app. Instead, you can now control everything using either the Google Home Lock Screen shortcut or by taking advantage of the Home toggle in the Quick Settings panel. 

Home Panel controls on Pixel 7 Pro Lock Screen

(Image credit: Android Central)

After the update has rolled out, the Home Panel is broken into two different sections, with groups of devices at the top and your “Favorites” listed below. This might look rather familiar to many, as it’s the same interface you’ll see when accessing the Favorites tab within the Google Home app. 

In terms of actually controlling devices, you’ll be able to turn lights on and off without needing to unlock your device. But if you have any security

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Google Pixel, Samsung owners report missing contacts on Android

More than a few Google Pixel and Samsung owners today are reporting that their contacts are missing and have disappeared from their Android phone.

Update: Google this evening acknowledged that a “bug within Google Contacts resulted in contact data not appearing for some Android and Web users.” The problem is described as a “data access issue” and that “no contact data was directly affected.”

We have fully rolled out a bug fix for affected users.

Users can manually sync contacts to their Android device via Google Contacts sync (open your device’s Settings app > Google > Settings for Google apps > Google Contacts sync > Status > tap Sync arrow) or refresh in their web browser for the fix to take effect and see their contact data.

Those impacted opened the Google Contacts app on Android to find that there are “No contacts in this account.” This is a frightening thing to have happen, but fortunately all contacts still appear online at, which offers a passable mobile web experience.

Attempts to restore or re-sync contacts do not work, though some have had success: Settings app > Passwords & accounts > [ address] > Account sync > Contacts toggle.

As such, this missing contacts issue on Android appears to be a sync problem possibly related to Google Play services.

It’s unclear whether this is related, but Google recently (with version 23.20+ of Play services) made it so that “turning off sync with Google Contacts sync will now remove the previously synced contacts from your Android phone.” The problem users are now encountering could be due to that underlying change.

There are dozens of reports of this occurring over the past day alone, especially among Pixel owners of all generations. This should not be tied to OS version,

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