Android 8.0 Oreo Feature Focus: Notification Dots

Android 8.0 Oreo Feature Focus: Notification Dots

After making major changes to how notifications work in the previous Android release, Google is offering some nice refinements in Android 8.0 Oreo. Among them is notification dots, which are cute icon overlays that help you visually understand which apps have updates for you.

Notification dots appear as colored overlays or badges over an app icon when that app has a pending notification. These dots are colored-coded to the app icon, too, so a notification dot for, say, Instagram will use a different color than a notification dot for Google Play Store. You’ll have to trust me on that one, sadly, as my apps wouldn’t cooperate this morning:

Yes, these are all blue. But they can be different colors.

Note: Notification dots appear on icons on both the Home and Apps screens.

Notification dots do not replace the notifications that apps place in the notification shade at the top of the screen. Which makes sense, since you’d normally only see notification dots on those apps you’ve pinned to the home screen. Instead, they’re designed as an at-a-glance reminder that something has happened.

You can dismiss a notification dot in a variety of ways: By launching the app, by dismissing the notification(s) (or all notifications) in the notification shade, or by displaying the app’s notification preview and swiping the notification away. Because notification previews are also new to Android 8.0 Oreo, I will be discussing that feature separately soon.

Note: Notification dots can appear on a Home screen folder too. This indicates that one or more apps in the folder are displaying their own notification dots.

Notification dots are enabled by default. If you don’t like this feature for some reason, you can disable them globally: Navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications and set “Allow notification dots” to Off. You can also configure whether any individual app displays this overlay. Just navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications > App info, find the app in question, and choose “App notifications.” Then, set “Allow notification dots” to Off.

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Conversation 33 comments

  • ben55124

    Premium Member
    18 September, 2017 - 12:00 pm

    <p>So android P will enhance the dot to an optional number??? I use nova launcher which shows badges with numbers through some unofficial means of divination (Tesla Unread). Having some official badge API is good, but limiting it to just on/off seems short sighted — but that's my windows phone perspective.</p>

    • Allen

      19 September, 2017 - 1:19 pm

      <p>Action Launcher allows you to choose numbers or dots</p>

  • nicolaio

    18 September, 2017 - 12:20 pm

    <p>nice iOS 11 wallpaper! </p>

  • ilovemissy85

    18 September, 2017 - 12:27 pm

    <p>So you mean that Android will start doing what BlackBerry has done since 2004 , with notification dots. </p>

  • ym73

    18 September, 2017 - 1:14 pm

    <p>Did I miss something? Current android has a red dot and a number to indicate how many notifications each app has. How is this different? Just different colors to indicate if the notification is coming from the app or the app store? </p><p><br></p><p>Maybe it's just the launcher I have. Does standard android not have this feature?</p>

    • kevinbouwman

      Premium Member
      18 September, 2017 - 2:06 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177456"><em>In reply to ym73:</em></a></blockquote><p>My stock S8 edge has done this as long as I can remember. Red dot with the number of notifications. It is very useful. I would hate to be without it.</p>

      • SvenJ

        Premium Member
        18 September, 2017 - 9:23 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#177472"><em>In reply to kevinbouwman:</em></a> No such thing as a stock Samsung OS.</blockquote><p><br></p>

        • kevinbouwman

          Premium Member
          19 September, 2017 - 2:47 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#177571"><em>In reply to SvenJ:</em></a></blockquote><p>When I said "stock S8 edge" I meant my phone, as I bought it, did this out of the box; I did not install any software to make it show the notification dots with numbers. I made no claim about a Samsung OS or other phones.</p>

      • Thisisausername

        23 September, 2017 - 11:34 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#177472"><em>In reply to kevinbouwman:</em></a></blockquote><p>That's because that's exactly how iOS has done it for a very long time if not since the beginning, and Samsung has copied iOS since the beginning.</p>

    • Nicholas Kathrein

      Premium Member
      18 September, 2017 - 4:57 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177456"><em>In reply to ym73:</em></a></blockquote><p>Different skins have different things. Some people hate having the numbers as with email the number is so high "they" say it stress them out to see numbers. The dot informs you without stressing you out. That's the idea anyway.</p>

  • obarthelemy

    18 September, 2017 - 2:22 pm

    <p>That's were I disagree about the widespread hate towards OEM customizations: I've had that feature for years, courtesy of Huawei, Xiaomi….</p>

  • Michael Rivers

    18 September, 2017 - 3:00 pm

    <p>Maybe Android Z will have bigger boxes <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">that display useful real-time information for each app </span>instead of whack-a-mole icons.</p><p><br></p><p>I just can't bring myself to be excited by this, having used Windows phone with live tiles. Even iOS has a number in the colored dot telling you how many notifications the app has. I guess this is better than nothing, but it's still sad.</p>

    • mmcpher

      Premium Member
      18 September, 2017 - 3:23 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177496"><em>In reply to Michael Rivers:</em></a><em> FFS Android, never mind the colors and get with the numbers! I try to arrange this with homescreen widgets but it just doesn't work consistently. The widget is either too large or doesn't update activity or doesn't refresh so that the number I get is like a running toll of new items from the day the app was installed, rather than since the last time I accessed it. Blackberry and Windows Mobile were both much better at this years ago. </em></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • glenn8878

    18 September, 2017 - 4:20 pm

    <p>iPhone already have this. </p>

    • wocowboy

      Premium Member
      19 September, 2017 - 6:30 am

      <blockquote><a href="#177513"><em>In reply to glenn8878:</em></a></blockquote><p>Yes, the iPhone has had this for years, but Paul doesn't like the fact that they are red and that they show the number of updates or notifications each app has available for you. He has ranted against those dots since they were introduced. This is silly, of course. In Oreo, these are just dots, you have to actually go to each app to find out what is going on, take the time to do that so that they will reset. And they are color-coded to each app icon, Ooooooo! God forbid these notification dots stand out as a noticeable color or actually give you any information, like the number of unread emails you have waiting for you or the number of unread text messages, or some sort of indication of the important information the app has for you. That would be bad! </p>

  • Stooks

    18 September, 2017 - 4:21 pm

    <p>Thurrot.com All Google…All the time.</p>

    • Nicholas Kathrein

      Premium Member
      18 September, 2017 - 4:55 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177514"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>The tiniest harp is playing for you right now.</p><p><br></p><p>Seriously is this Thurrot's fault or MS fault for not having anything mobile going on? </p>

      • Stooks

        18 September, 2017 - 9:15 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#177519"><em>In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:</em></a></blockquote><p>Nicholas you are total Google fan…just look at your post history it is crystal clear. I have no problem with that. I do wonder why you come to this supposedly Microsoft news site???</p><p><br></p><p>To that point if it were only about Smartphones (his coverage of Google) but it is not. Recently I would say 50% of the content here is about Google products or how Microsoft software is on Android. His use and conversion to them. At the same time his bashing of Microsoft products gets more and more frequent. Which I am not totally against when it is warranted but it is getting a little too much IMHO.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

        • Tony Barrett

          19 September, 2017 - 6:15 am

          <blockquote><a href="#177570"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>If there's no MS news to report worth squat, then you might as well concentrate on where the action is, and no matter what you think (or hope), that action isn't with Microsoft. Mobile is where it's at, not desktop, and MS and mobile are world's apart.</p>

          • James Wilson

            19 September, 2017 - 6:41 am

            <blockquote><a href="#177615"><em>In reply to ghostrider:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Exactly and discussing the nuances of dots is an exciting development in the mobile space – worthy of a whole article. Oh- I thought we were being sarcastic… sorry.</p>

    • Pedro Vieira

      18 September, 2017 - 5:27 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177514"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>It's not exactly his fault.</p><p>The mobile consumer market belongs to Apple and Google.</p><p>Zero exciting stuff happening over at Microsoft. It's slowly morphing into the boring, enterprise dedicated company we fully expect it to be by the end of the decade.</p>

  • markbyrn

    Premium Member
    19 September, 2017 - 8:26 am

    <p>Nice but most of the Android user base won't be using Android O anytime soon.</p>

  • john

    Premium Member
    20 September, 2017 - 11:38 am

    <p>A welcome addition to Android. I miss the Windows Mobile Live Tiles too but that's a dead issue. Stop complaining about what the dots aren't.</p>

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