Exploring Android L: What’s up with notifications?

Notifications in Android LI’ve been playing around with the latest version of Android that was announced yesterday at I/O – Android L – and my very first thought is: What the heck is going on with the notifications?

Don’t get me wrong, Google is doing some awesome stuff here. For example, I love the new “do not disturb” function that lets you snooze your notifications for 15, 30, or 45 minutes; or 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 hours; or until you turn the snooze off. That’s going to be really handy, especially when I’m working on my Chromebook and so many of my notifications are duplicated there (i.e. notifications for email, text messages, Google Now, etc.).

I also like the fact that Google now displays notifications on the lockscreen, too, without having to swipe down. That could come in really handy.

However, there are some things I really, really don’t like about notifications in Android L. First of all, there seems to be no way to dismiss all notifications at once. That’s a really handy feature that I use all the time – seriously, like at least twenty times a day. Instead, we are back to the early days of Android in which all notifications must be dismissed one by one. Yuck.

Second, two-finger swiping to go straight to my Quick Settings doesn’t seem to work anymore. Instead, I have to swipe down with one finger twice in order to get to my Quick Settings. Granted, this will only add half a second to my routine, but come on – why make it harder to get to something that so many people use? Why break something that just worked?

Finally, Google has completely removed the battery percentage from the Quick Settings. In order to find out how much battery you have left, you need to swipe down twice, press the settings button, scroll all the way down to Battery, and then see where you’re at. Ugh.

Granted, this is still a developer preview, so Google probably isn’t done with everything quite yet. Hopefully these will all get added back in before the public release in the fall. On the other hand, Google hasn’t left me with a lot of confidence lately, as it’s always trying to fix things that just aren’t broken. We’ll see.

What do you think about notifications in Android L?

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.