Android’s New Notification Feature Is a Decade Overdue

Add these up and that is a lot of apps which have free reign to ship me notifications, till I get irritated sufficient to inform them no. Some of those I might (and may) uninstall, however others I have to carry on my telephone. I simply don’t need them spamming me to let me know that the developer has up to date their bizarre picture administration desktop app I’m by no means going to make use of.

Play Nice

To make issues worse, notification classes are solely as much as builders to create. But builders do not should play good. Amazon, for instance, solely makes use of three classes within the Android system (“notifications,” account authentication, and Alexa) however additional refines them within the app itself. If you attempt to silence or disable a push notification advert, then you definately may disable transport notifications by mistake. (And, at the least previously, Amazon has made charity donations contingent on receiving personalized ad notifications.)

Even when builders—together with Google—play by the foundations of the system, it is easy to create new notification classes to get across the ones a consumer has silenced. The core Google app on Android has 30 completely different notification classes, at present together with issues like “Tips & Tricks,” “Recommendations,” and “Miscellaneous.” Good luck determining what all of them imply. Oh, and they’re always changing.

Forcing apps to ask permission earlier than sending notifications will not repair all of this. People will nonetheless in all probability give Amazon permission to ship notifications, solely to be caught with some adverts getting by as a result of, effectively, they nonetheless need supply updates. However, having the ability to reduce off a number of the junk earlier than it arrives is healthier than looking it down after the very fact.

The bother is, due to the way in which Android updates work, even this minor however obligatory change will take years to have a lot of an impact. Android updates take fairly a while to roll out to most customers. As of May 2022, solely 28.3 % of Android gadgets were on version 11 or newer. Android 11 first got here out in 2020. In different phrases, it might be years earlier than your telephone helps this characteristic.

Even for those who’re one of many fortunate few who owns a telephone (in all probability a Samsung or Google Pixel) that may assist it quickly, builders will not be required to assist it simply but. It will probably be mid- to late 2023 earlier than apps might be required to focus on Android 13 and, in doing so, be compelled to ask permission earlier than sending notifications. It might be sooner for some apps, however others might maintain out so long as they will.

Given how lengthy it would take for the Android ecosystem to catch as much as this modification, how essential such a fundamental permission must be, and particularly given how a lot consideration Google has in any other case given to its notification system … it is surprising that is occurring so late.

When I first purchased the T-Mobile G1—each my and the very first Android telephone—notifications have been one of many issues I used to be most enthusiastic about. It was a useful little to-do listing of all of the issues I wanted to reply to sitting on the prime of my telephone, and over time I used to be even capable of care for a few of these duties with out ever leaving the shade. 

Today, notifications on Android have turn out to be a small nightmare. I’ve needed to uninstall apps I’d in any other case use solely as a result of it bought too tiresome to seek out all of the junk notifications. I not belief that if my telephone buzzes, it have to be one thing vital. And the time I have to spend simply to ensure that apps behave the way in which they need to has grown considerably. I’m glad Google’s lastly asking permission as a substitute of forgiveness. I simply want it had carried out so a lot sooner.

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