Android 11 is here for a couple of months and more and more OEMs are slowly but steadily transitioning to it from Android 10. Chances are not all of them will implement Google’s approach to certain features, but what we definitely want to see is the way stock Android 11 handles notifications. Today, we decided to guide you on how to manage notifications on Android 11. Learn all you need to know below.
Notification changes on Android 11
Android 11 brought a lot of small but important changes to notifications. The first thing one notices when moving from Android 10 is Conversations. Now, all conversations (SMS and instant messages) are grouped at the top of the notification shade.
Under the Conversations section, you’ll see standard Notifications and, under that, Silent notifications. With the introduction of Silent notifications, users won’t be notified by a sound every time something unimportant pops up. This is, by far, the best and the most clutter-free notification experience in years.
By tapping and holding on a Conversation in the notification shade, you can set it to Priority or move it to the Silent section. Additionally, there are some interactions like suggestions to open links while previewing messages in the Notification shade.
Other important additions are Bubbles which bring Facebook Messenger-like chat heads to more messaging apps and better-organized Notification history.
What’s Notification history
Notification history was a thing even on older iterations of Android. However, it looks like it only now looks better, both aesthetically and practically. With it, you can access all closed and snoozed notifications and see details. That way, you can get back to any dismissed notification in the last 24 hours.
On Pixel devices, you can even access it by tapping on the top left corner (clock) of the home screen. It can be really useful for quick access to recent notifications history. Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Apps & notifications and access the Notification history there.
Chat Bubbles and how to enable them
On Android 10, Facebook Messenger was the only messaging app that comes with Chat bubbles (chat heads). For those of you who are not familiar, we are referring to small overlays that float on the home screen and draw over other apps. That way, you can get back to the conversation and continue chatting for a glimpse.
Now, with Android 11, there’s an API that allows developers to include Chat bubbles in their instant messengers and bring Chat bubbles to more apps. At this moment, Bubbles is supported by Google Messages and Telegram, but we can expect more apps to join the party. Slack and Skype are on the way, based on some reports.
You can dismiss bubbles by drawing them to the bottom, switching between conversations, or opening recent conversations with ease (tap the Plus icon). It also combines all available apps so all chat bubbles will stick together.
If you are unsure how to enable chat heads (Chat Bubbles), here’s how to do it:
- Open Settings.
- Choose Apps & notifications.
- Open Notifications.
- Tap Bubbles.
- Enable the Allow apps to show bubbles option.
- Alternatively, you can open All apps and the app, say, Telegram.
- Then, open Notifications and then Bubbles.
- There you can select all conversations or just select conversations to bubble.
Tweak individual notifications for each app
To manage notifications on Android 11 is, more or less, the same as on Android 10. But, the mere introduction of separate sections, like Conversations, Notifications, and Silent notifications, allows for better notification management.
You won’t get the cluttered wall of notifications as they will group under one tile until you expand them. If you tap and hold on a notification in the Conversations section, you can either set them as Priority (this will keep them at the top) or tap Silent.
You can also switch to Bubbles by selecting the icon at the bottom, mute notifications, set a reminder for later, or reply without opening the message, which is quite handy.
Genuinely great job by Google and we can only hope many OEMs use this as a base in their Android 11 development.