Skip to main content

Android 12 features we love: Notifications keep getting better

Notifications are a big part of the Android experience, and Android 12 brings another big change.

I'll bet the "thing" on your phone you look at the most is the notification shade. No matter if you have one of the best budget Android phones or something more pricey, you want to know what's going on, when it's happening, and most importantly, who is chatting with you or at you. After all, it's the real reason the smartphone was invented — email, messaging, and apps can come to the same little gadget that makes phone calls.

Notifications have also always been Android's strong suit. With a little bit of what companies like BlackBerry used to deliver combined with the best of what Apple offers and a touch of Google's extra smart software magic thrown in for good measure, Android's notification system is pretty great. And it's about to get better with Android 12 and the Conversation Shortcut.

We've seen the mockups and even where people have hacked away at the Android 12 developer preview a bit to expose the new Conversations widget and the oddly spaced notification shade, but Conversations in Android 12 are bigger and more powerful than they are currently. Having a new widget to decorate your home screen is just the beginning.

Android's Conversation shortcut breaks a chat out of the app and turns it into something the whole OS can use.

Conversations are designed to live across the entire Android OS; a developer can build them into shortcuts, add them directly into the sharing menu, and use the powerful tools already in Android to create rich notifications for new messages or updates. When someone in your favorite Telegram group sends a funny picture, you'll know right away.

We've already seen the conversation shortcut with Android's chat bubbles. What first appeared to be little more than a rip-off of Facebook Messenger's UI for ongoing chat sessions has come full circle and is now just one part of the picture. That's because the same conversation shortcut a developer uses to build chat bubbles into an app has expanded.

For the full dirty details (and if you're an Android developer, this is definitely one to watch), you can see how everything works in Android 11 when it comes to conversations in this video. With Android 12, we see Google hasn't abandoned any ideas and instead expanded things to make conversations even better. No, not just the widget, but with the new people class.

Android 12's people class is a huge deal. Or will be.

The people class is used to create a record of one of your contacts and use it as part of Android's notifications. Inside that record is a way for an app (with your permissions) to keep track of personal details like how many days until someone's birthday, calendar events, if someone is online and which platform they are using, and other seemingly minor things. Think of it as a miniature contacts database used to hold tiny details that may frequently change. It takes a lot of work off a developer's shoulders when it comes to this sort of functionality, and that in and of itself is a really nice addition.

But once combined with Android's Conversation Shortcuts — a thing designed to be long-lived across the whole operating system and used for real-time conversations with your people — and you get what could become the ultimate universal inbox. That's the first thing I think of whenever I see the Android 12 Conversations widget; something that looks like a turbo-charged version of what BlackBerry tried to accomplish so many years ago.

Google isn't forcing app developers to use any of this, but it looks so good they will want to.

The difference is what can make notifications and conversations in Android 12 so much better. Google isn't flexing its muscles and forcing any developer to use any of this. Instead, it's working on making it so good that developers will want to use it. We've seen that with things like smart replies, a feature so good we probably want to see it everywhere.

A developer can use what Google has already built, and as long as Google doesn't break anything, notifications for that app just work as intended in all the ways. Have a group of colleagues in Slack and want to share a photo or link? You can do that through the share menu as long as Slack has used the tools. Maybe you want your favorite messenger app to remind you that a person you chat with a lot has a birthday coming up. You even see rich media previews for specific notifications marked as conversations without opening an app. And of course, you get a cool catch-all conversations widget to keep track of everything right from your home screen.

Like most of what Google adds to Android, this doesn't seem like a very big deal right now. And really, it's not — these are just some code changes and new developer tools that help make the things I described happen. It's up to developers to work some magic with them. But these tools are so powerful and so darn good, I'm betting those developers will start working on adopting them so apps can be ready once Android 12 makes its way to all of the best Android phones.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Genshin Impact: When does Update 2.0 release in my region?

Best answer: Server maintenance for Genshin Impact Update 2.0 will begin at 6 a.m. China Standard Time on July 21 (6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on July 20). Maintenance is expected to last around five hours and will occur simultaneously for everyone. Does Genshin Impact server maintenance vary by region? Regardless of what time the server maintenance occurs, it will happen simultaneously for everyone. Server maintenance generally lasts around 5 or 6 hours, but given that Update 2.0 is the biggest one yet, it could potentially take even longer. Update 2.0 will release worldwide on July 20 or 21 depending on your time zone. What does Genshin Impact Update 2.0 include? There's a whole lot of content coming with Genshin Impact Update 2.0 . One of the biggest additions is the Inazuma region, which will be the first major region to be added to the game since its launch. It consists of six major islands with ports, mountains, shrines, villages, and more. With Inazuma also comes a new A

How to watch Love Island 2021: Live stream the new series online

Are you ready for another summer of love? A new group of hopefuls is set to descend on the Balearic Island of Majorca for the UK's most talked-about TV dating show. Watch every match-making moment with our Love Island 2021 live stream guide below, and watch the show no matter where in the world you are. After a coronavirus-enforced break from the screens last year, the show returns with Laura Whitmore back to host the romantic action and comedian Iain Stirling once again providing his wise-crackingly sarcastic voiceovers. There's £50,000 up for grabs for the reality show's winner, but that's likely to be some way down the pecking order of what's on the mind of the twenty-something contestants taking part. Viewers in the UK have been given an early glimpse of this season's hopefuls who include a teacher who has never been on a date before and the show's first physically disabled contestant. The last series to be broadcast from Mallorca was won in 201

There are many ways to copy and paste things from your Chromebook

It should come as no surprise that as time has passed everyone by, the best Chromebooks have progressed and become true productivity machines. And while there are a lot of awesome Chromebook tips and tricks that you won't find elsewhere, you'll likely want to know how to do some of the more basic tasks. One such task performed a plethora of times per day is simply copying and pasting text or other items from one place to another. So here's how you can copy and paste on a Chromebook. How to copy and paste with the touchscreen Locate the text that you wish to copy and paste. Double-tap the screen on the text that you wish to copy. Drag the highlight handles to highlight all of the text you want to copy. From the pop-up menu, tap Copy . Navigate to the area where you wish to paste the text. Tap and hold in the space where you wish to paste. Tap Paste from the menu that appears. Using the touchscreen on your Chromebook can be a bit finicky from time

Unmaze for Android is a stunning adventure through a sinister labyrinth

In a world of light and shadow, guide your loved ones through the maze before monstrosity overtakes them. Your little brother and your boyfriend have been missing for two days. Search parties and authorities aren't turning up any leads, and there's been a string of unsolved missing person cases in your town recently. Looking for answers, you find a strange blue crystal and some ominous notes about a lost civilization in your brother's room. And when you look into the crystal, you can see and hear your boyfriend?! This fascinating horror mystery setup is how Unmaze kicks off, and the plot only thickens from there. You play as Ariadne, a young woman trying to help recover her boyfriend, Theseus, and her younger brother, Asterion, from a mystical maze that she can only see through the crystal she found in Asterion's room. This phenomenal, weird title is definitely going in with the best Android games . Mechanically speaking, the gameplay in Unmaze is very simple,