Android 8.0 Oreo Feature Focus: Notification Dots

Posted on September 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 33 Comments

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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