Android 8.0 Oreo added a number of enhancements to the way we interact with notifications. Two of the more exciting feature additions to notifications include notification snoozing and notification channels. The former allows the user to temporarily dismiss a notification for sometime in the future, while the latter allows applications to categorize their notifications so users can have more fine grained control over what they see. Implementing notification channels is required for any applications that target Android Oreo devices, but when an app doesn’t target Android 8.0, that’s where the trouble begins.
Source: Ron Amadeo
The graphic above explains the issue quite succinctly. If an application does not implement notification channels (ie. doesn’t target Android 8.0), then the user will not have access to notification importance controls. Many people were upset by this loss of functionality and filed a bug report on Google’s Issue Tracker, but their hopes were dashed when a Googler closed the issue stating that this was “intended behavior.”
“Intended behavior” or not, some of us didn’t accept that the only way to solve this issue is to convince developers to target Android 8.0 in an application update. After all, if even Google’s own Hangouts doesn’t implement notification channels, why should we expect every other developer to care about this issue?
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for developers to update their applications, because all it takes is one developer to update his application to resolve this issue entirely. João Dias, developer of the AutoApps series of Tasker plugins, has released a new update to his AutoNotification which adds the ability to manually set notification importance controls on any application even if it doesn’t support notification channels.
Normally, you can access an app’s notification importance controls by going into Settings -> Apps & Notifications -> App Info -> App -> App Notifications. That’s if the app targets Android 8.0 and implements notification channels, of course. If an app does not target Android 8.0, then you’ll have to rely on AutoNotification to provide the interface for controlling notification channels.
Within the latest update to AutoNotification is a new “Notification Categories” option under “Standalone Features.” Now, AutoNotification is best known as a plugin for the Tasker app, but the developer decided to make this feature standalone (ie. you don’t need Tasker installed) so more people can enjoy it.
Tapping on the new Notification Categories option will bring up two dialogs: the first to have you make the app a Notification Listener, and the second to allow the app to manage other app’s notification categories. Once you’ve done both, you can quickly get started setting up your notifications.
All you have to do is pick an app in your list of installed apps. If the app you pick is one that doesn’t support notification channels, then when you tap on “let app decide” to let AutoNotification handle its notifications you will see a warning that AutoNotification will completely handle how the notification will be shown to the user. It warns that the only way to restore the default notification behavior is to uninstall and then re-install the app. But that’s not a big deal because that’s exactly what we came here for, right?
Once you’ve enabled AutoNotification to modify the app’s notification categories, that’s where the fun begins. You have access to a plethora of options:
There’s even a bonus if you use AutoNotification to control notifications for apps that already implement notification channels: setting custom vibration patterns works for those apps as well!
If all the above sounds really enticing to you, then be ready to pay up, because this feature will require an in-app purchase for AutoNotification, which will cost you $0.99. If not having notification importance controls for all apps really bothers you, then the money will feel well spent.
We will also be giving out 5 promotional codes that will unlock the pro version of AutoNotification. We will drop the codes in the comments below. These promo codes must be redeemed through the AutoApps application itself, and not through the Google Play Store.
P.S. Annoyed by that persistent “app is running in the background” notification in Android Oreo? We’ve got that figured out as well.