Google now requires OEMs to leave Android’s notification bundling features alone

android notifications oems n developer 0009 1500x1000
Google is tightening its grip on original equipment manufacturers that use Android on their phones. The company has released a new version of the Compatibility Definition Document for Android, changing one minor thing that could have a major impact on device makers.

So what changed? Well, often manufacturers develop their own Android overlay to use, which sometimes changes how notifications work in the operating system. Google now forbids manufacturers from removing or obstructing features like Android’s notifications actions, replies, settings, and bundling.

“Handheld device implementations MUST support the behaviors of updating, removing, replying to, and bundling notifications as described in this section,” says the document.

In other words, manufacturers have to allow a few features: the ability to control notifications directly from the notification shade and the ability to block, mute, and reset notification preferences from a package, both inline and in the settings app.

Of course, not many manufacturers change how notifications work on Android, but it is still worth mentioning for Google. That is because it will help ensure a much more consistent experience across all Android devices, but it will also help app developers, who might build notifications into how their apps work. Without ensuring notifications work the same across all Android devices, Android can’t progress, as developers will be more hesitant in making use of new notifications features.

Notifications got a pretty significant overhaul in Android 7.0 Nougat. For example, notifications are now full-width and they use a lot less space to convey information. Not only that but notifications can be bundled and stock Android now allows for Quick Reply — where users can reply to a message straight from the notifications menu itself. These features in general help Android’s notifications system do exactly what it should — give users a quick glance at information while taking up as little time as possible.

Mobile

Google flags preinstalled malware as hidden threat on millions of Android phones

Google flagged preinstalled malware on Android smartphones as a hidden threat. The team discovered that the Chamois malware was preloaded in 7.4 million Android devices, while the attention was on malware that people downloaded themselves.
Mobile

Best alternatives to Google’s preinstalled Android apps

Want to get away from Google's preinstalled Android apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Maps? These are the best alternatives to the apps that come with your phone, which are pretty great, but not for everybody.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited to a different occasion.
Mobile

Critical Bluetooth security bug discovered. Protect yourself with a quick update

Researchers have discovered a major new security flaw in Bluetooth, which could leave millions of devices at risk of a malicious hack. The attack allows a hacker to “break” Bluetooth security without anyone knowing.
Deals

Best smartwatch deals for August 2019: Samsung, Fitbit, and Apple Watch sales

Smartwatches make life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. If you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, here are the best smartwatch deals for August 2019.
Mobile

These fraudulent Android apps were downloaded 8 million times

According to a new report from security research firm Trend Micro, a hefty 85 Android apps have been caught serving fraudulent ads that take over the user's screen -- and those apps have been downloaded 8 million times.
Mobile

Learn how to make your iPhone play local radio in iOS 13

Find out exactly how to use the Live Radio in iOS 13: Our guide will explain how iOS 13 connects to live radio, what commands to give, and how to revisit past stations. Enjoy your favorite live radio right from your iPhone.
Deals

Looking for a good cheap phone? Get the Samsung Galaxy A10 for $145 on Amazon

Samsung's A-Series lineup features phone models from the low-end to the mid-tier. One of its cheaper ones, the Galaxy A10, is perhaps watered-down specs-wise but still boasts enough workable features that make it recommendable.
Deals

Score this Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus with a huge $101 discount at Amazon

If you're thinking about upgrading your phone and not willing to expend over $800 on the S10, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a great option. It's discounted by $101 at Amazon, dropping its price from $700 to only $599.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Deals

Grab the terrific Samsung Galaxy A50 phone for $126 less on Amazon

Samsung is mostly known for its premium Galaxy S and Note Series phones, but it also manufactures cheaper phones through the A-Series. An example is the Samsung Galaxy A50 which not only looks great but also boasts a lot of features.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what do you do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether via an email client or Windows 10.
Mobile

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.