As the number of apps you keep on your phone increases, your notification shade increasingly gets cluttered. This essentially renders the notification feature utterly useless. While it’s tempting to hit the clear all button, you just have to restrain yourself since not all notifications are to be discarded.
So, how do you manage your phones notification panel or notifications in general? The good news is that Android Oreo adds granular Notification control in the form of Notification channels. You can even use Notification channels to assign a different priority to types of notifications coming from one single app. Here is all you need to know about Notification Channels on Android Oreo and how to use them
Note: Notification channels have to be enabled by developers for their apps. Adoption across applications will gradually increase.
Assign notification priority to Apps
You can determine app behavior when a notification comes in. Just go to Settings>>Apps and notifications and select the particular app for which you need to change the priority. You can directly jump to app info page by other means like long pressing an app icon or by long pressing a notification from a specific app.
You can opt between 4 priority levels: Urgent, High, Medium, and Low
If there are particular apps you don’t wish to interrupt you at all or not interrupt you while watching videos, listening to music, etc. – you can simply set their priority to low or Medium.
Practical use case:
For instance, you can set priority for Food delivery apps to low and can later check incoming notifications in your own time without missing out much, while the app that you need for professional reasons can enjoy urgent priority.
If you feel you get too many messages through your day that you rarely read, and are constantly irked by the interruption, you can simply turn the priority of messaging app to low.
Manage different type of notifications from within one App:
This qualifies as the biggest advantage of Notification Channels in Android Oreo.
You finally get some control over the different type of notifications originating from a single App. In fact, all options that are available for managing app notifications are also available for individual notification categories.
As of now, there are only a few apps that make use of this future but moving forward more and more apps shall implement it.
Go to App info page (Settings>>Apps and notifications>>’select app’). Or long press a notification in the notification panel and tap on More Settings. If you are checking for supported apps, you will notice different app services listed separately. Select any one to manage notification for a particular app feature.
Practical use case:
For instance, if the app you have selected is WhatsApp. Here you will find notifications segregated in different categories.
To avoid interruptions, you can assign lower priority to notifications from a group chat as against individual chats.
Or you can also choose low priority for messages that have only media to avoid distraction from frivolous WhatsApp forwards. You could choose to hide any particular type of notification (say group chat notification) from lock screen individually.
Turn off notifications completely for select apps
Some apps are just not meant to bug you with notifications. And at times, you will come across apps that push too many notifications. One of the viable options you have is to completely turn off notifications for these apps. Just go to the App Info page and turn off the toggle next to ‘ON’.
You can also selectively turn off notifications for individual app services.
Practical use case:
This is a handy option for apps that you rarely use, those that push regular notifications. For example, if you use some particular recharge app only when there is an important offer, or if you use a travel manager app only when you are planning a travel twice or thrice a year, you could turn off notifications for the same.
Allow important Notification to override ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode
Contrary to apps that we have discussed above, there will be apps on the other end of the spectrum that you just can’t afford to ignore. If you want certain apps to always notify you, you can set them to override Do Not Disturb mode.
Particular use case:
This is an option you could use for apps that you use professionally. For instance, if you don’t want to miss out on any incoming mail notification, you can set the app to override DND mode.
Hide content on Lock Screen
You can also hide content on Lock screen from any one particular app or a set of apps. The option for the same is available on the App info page in Android Oreo. You can also choose to hide one type of Notification from an app and choose to reveal others on the lock screen.
Practical use case:
It’s convenient to check incoming notification on the lock screen itself without powering on the phone, but its also insecure. With this option, you can choose to selectively hide notifications. For instance, you can hide notifications from a particular banking app. Or you could hide lock screen notifications for WhatsApp groups that are prone to spew inappropriate content.
Manage notifications using Notification Channels
Using these methods, you can have some control over your notification panel and use it as an effective tool. Otherwise, unmanaged notifications poring in from myriad apps will eventually make it useless.
Instead of hunting for rogue apps in your app drawer, simply look for shady notifications in your notification panel. Long press them to reveal the culprit apps and tap on ‘more settings’ to manage notifications for that particular app. Apart from the options mentioned above, you might also see other options like choice of notification sound, to turn vibration on/off, etc. depending on the customized ROM running on your phone.