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Android L Features: Notification Manager Introduced in “Sound & Notifications”

In the past, if you didn’t want an app showing notifications on your Android device, you had to either long-press on a notification from the app, then head into the app’s specific info page, and disable notifications or take the longer route to unchecking its notifications powers through Settings>App manager. Either process wasn’t a bad one by any means, but Google appears to want to give you more specific notification control in Android L with the introduction of notification management through the Sound section in Settings which has been renamed “Sound & Notifications.” 

In this renamed section you will find the typical sound settings, including the new Do Not Disturb mode we highlighted last week, but you will also see an option for “Showing notifications.” In this section you have specific control over the notification light, along with control over what happens with notifications when your phone is in DND mode or locked. But maybe more importantly, you now have a dedicated area for toggling notifications on or off for apps.

By tapping the “App notifications” option, you will see a list of all apps. If you tap on a specific app, a menu pops up with a box that can be checked to allow that app to show notifications or unchecked to take that power away. If you choose to take notification power away, the app will show “Blocked” under its name.


Again, this isn’t exactly the speediest of controls when compared to the old solution (which still works by the way), but it does leave open the possibility for even more power over the way your device handles notifications.

  • Hang on, so you can turn on notifications for a specific app even if you’re on DND? That would be useful!

  • Mike Boodoo

    Any word on a privacy setting where the ENTIRE text message doesn’t show up in my notification bar? Loooooong overdue.

  • Tastor Croy

    Does the on-screen navigation buttons change in Android L

    • Carlos Lopez

      Yes they do

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  • James Briano

    Thank you. The lock screen has been giving me visual notifications I’m listening to music.

    I also turned off the Open Wi-Fi Network notifications. Distracting and unnecessary on the lock screen.

  • adbFreedom

    LED color customization like lightflow?? That would be a nice built in feature ..on a side note, I still can’t get myself to like the new nav buttons lol I cringe every time I see a post with a screenshot

    • Kiril Vatev

      It doesn’t look like it. There is only an on/off switch. Although, I did hope for something similar. Lightflow no longer works for me on Kit Kat — it always pulses the light as soon as I turn it on.

      • Gideon Waxfarb

        Some phones (like the HTC One) don’t have multi-color LEDs, so that is a problem 🙁

        • Kiril Vatev

          Just because not everyone has them doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t be able to have nice things. There are phones without front cameras, but Google didn’t all of a sudden stop developing Hangouts. All current gen Nexus devices have a multicolor LED; I think it’s about time they use it.

          • Gideon Waxfarb

            I agree, but unlike a front camera, is it even possible for software to detect whether a phone has a multi-color led or not?

          • Kiril Vatev

            I don’t see why not. As far as I know, the camera, and a bunch of other hardware, is part of a manifest, and you can put anything in that manifest as long as the OS knows how to look for it.

  • Dang this is getting more awesome with every article

  • Gokh

    Why not just a checkox in the list instead of a popup with just a checkbox inside?

    • PuzzleShot

      They probably intend either a) to add more options later (such as for Heads Up) or b) to prevent people from accidentally toggling notifications on or off with the slip of a finger.

      • Ryan N

        The future options could include which notifications to push to android wear devices.

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  • Owennus

    How’s this different from Paranoid Android’s HALO?

  • Kyle

    This is where the option for Heads Up notification YES or NO, or Only Notification Drawer, or No Notification at all should be.

    • MasterEthan

      Not a bad place but you do realize that “Heads Up” notifications are not ALL notification and are ONLY for ones marked as “high” priority. This is what everyone seems to be misunderstanding.

      • Kiril Vatev

        In that case, who decides what “high priority” notifications are? Is there a menu for that? Why is it not this menu?

        • Gideon Waxfarb

          ‘In that case, who decides what “high priority” notifications are?’

          Hopefully, not Google 😛

        • MasterEthan

          Well I guess that’s developers. So we have to hope that developers are properly assign the right notification levels. Important things like Messages, Calls, Alarms, Low Battery, etc. should only be in Heads Up. Also don’t forgot this is a preview release and the “App notifications” part seems incomplete as you have one option right now on apps.

          • Kiril Vatev

            I don’t think Google would shoot themselves int he foot so terribly to let developers decide what notifications are “high priority”. The L Preview looks extremely thought out, and a “the developer decides” tactic falls apart the moment you actually consider any real use cases.

          • Mickey A Valentine

            Be awesome if the end user could decide. In my weather app I can change priority but it’d be nice to do it here instead.