Android N can make notifications more interactive and meaningful — and they could be backward compatible.
Getting notices on your phone isn’t something totally new or something that started with Android. Whether we’re talking about annoying pop-up boxes or that addictive red flashing light, our phones have always been able to tell us it desires our attention.
But with Google android 7. 0, things are likely to get a lot better, mostly because developers now have a lot more control over the way notifications are usually displayed.
Let’s talk about the changes and new features.
- Direct Replies are something you might have already seen in your phone with some apps. The Hangouts app is an instance. If someone sends you a message in Hangouts, and you have most pending notifications, you get a single message view that you can answer right from the notifications tone. Since this has been possible since the original Nexus 6 launched, a good number of apps possess coded it in.
These kinds of workable notifications have been further processed in Android 7. zero, and the developers can choose to add more context to the notification (think a multi-line chat history in that Hangout’s notification, for example) and maintain the notification active once you reply if a return response is anticipated. You could have the running Hangouts chat, filled with history, right in your notice shade. And because it’s a native view of an app that is already active, it’s lighting on resources.
- Bundled Notifications are the improved version of the “stacks” we’ve seen since Lollipop — using Nougat’s new visual styling functions. This is why they may feel acquainted to you — app designers have been able to implement a type of them for well over annually.
Simply, when multiple notices for a single app are received, they can be bundled together into a single group. This team can be expanded to see the individual messages. Changes in Android N allow developers in order to “progressively” expand the notification stack so that they can add framework to the group or each notification. That means in our Hangouts example, you could expand a notification bundle showing several unread messages and see the chat history for one or all of them — and with the Direct Reply feature, you could take action on them.
Developers can use these brand new features in their apps and still be compatible with older versions of Android
These types of changes may feel familiar to anyone using an Google android with Lollipop or higher because the behavior is built on adjustments made in Android 5. 0 (API 21). They are also what we already use on Android Wear watches with a new visible style. Because of this, Bundled Notices and inline Direct Replies are backward compatible with any application built for Lollipop or higher. All the developer actually needs to do is check that they meet the new best practices. Even if they don’t bother, the existing API functions seamlessly call on the newer versions. This is very important because the reality is that many applications we use every day seldom get updated.
Even better news is that using existing assistance libraries, developers can carry out these changes and still come with an app that works as designed for versions of Android because old as Honeycomb (Android 3. 0). That’s 98. 2% of all Android devices still in use.
Notification Peeking brings back the old pop-up display for an incoming notice, but makes them smarter. The developer can use the peeking window to display the latest inbound notification of a bundled group. Our Hangouts notification is now collapsible and expandable to see content as we like, we can reply to each individual message line and we could (if implemented by the developer) set things up so a reply can “peek” on our screen for a time or two — and allow us to directly respond from the peeking window.
Custom Views and Information Styles allow a developer change how the notifications look for a particular app. This can be very important when you are generating bundles and peeking, and may help us as users get the correct information at a glance. Message Styles allow customization of a notification’s labels, and now our Hangouts notification includes a title — “Chat along with Dad” or “Bad Jokes” — and if there are multiple participants, each reply might be labeled or colored.
Wrap it all up, Custom Views allow a developer in order to define the artwork of the notification bundle (the icon) or define an symbol for an individual notification, then use everything else without creating their own user interface. A great app can have a unique notification style without worrying about how to handle responses, bundle multiple notifications in to a stack and define the individual labels for each view without having doing any of the heavy lifting themselves.
So far, these adjustments appear subtle, and that’s mainly because we’ve only seen Google’s take on their implementation. No one making Android phones has to keep things low-key plus mostly white, and developers now have some tools to make notifications for their apps be noticeable. We won’t like all of them, but the next great idea could be built using these tools.
Make notifications great again.
Google android Nougat is the 12th nicknamed version of Android and will be released to the public within the fall of 2016. Below is everything you need to know so far!
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