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North Focals can now show native actions from Android notifications

North has released frequent updates for its Focals smart glasses since launching earlier this year. The latest makes native Android notification actions available in addition to smart replies and voice dictation.

When messages come in on Focals, clicking the Loop D-pad ring lets you choose between responding with smart replies or voice-to-text. The first features on-topic responses based on the contents of an incoming alert with multiple phrases and emoji offered. Dictation uses the built-in microphone and shows a transcription to confirm before sending.

With the new “Android Notification Actions” feature, Focals will also display whatever shortcuts app developers have included. For example, Gmail offers delete or archive, while Twitter lets you retweet, and a news notification might feature a save button.

Whatever actions you have in your Android phone’s notification center are now available on your Focals display so you can use Loop to archive items, send smart replies, or use your voice to say what’s on your mind — no touchscreen or keyboard required!

This feature is Android-only and currently available as an “Experiment” in the Focals app. It can be helpful for quickly triaging email, with North hoping that this will make you less likely to take out your phone.

  1. Make sure you enable Android Notification Actions in the Focals app from > Experiments.
  2. When you receive Android app notifications on Focals, click a notification to expand it.
  3. Click the notification again to use your Android actions.

Google had a similar hope for Glass and helping people live less distracting lives by being able to take seamless actions throughout the day. The feature North introduced today was available on Glass, given Google’s closer OS integration.

Focals start at $599, but can be customized with prescription lenses and other styles up to $999. To purchase, a fitting appointment at a showroom in Brooklyn, Toronto, or pop-up shop is required.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: