Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Notifications on Android P vs. iOS 11

Michael Simon, Macworld:

Even before the public beta of version 9.0 landed this week, Android’s system of notifications was far superior to Apple’s. As someone who regularly bounces between the two platforms, I actively ignore the iOS Notification Center, but on Android, I use it regularly to catch up on things I might have missed. The Android notification shade isn’t just for messages and alerts; it’s an information center for your entire digital life.

As it stands, I have far fewer complaints about notifications on Android Oreo than I do on iOS 11, but the system has its kinks and annoyances just like it did on previous Android version, Nougat and Marshmallow. But in Android P, notifications are nearly perfect. Google hasn’t overhauled the notification system in Android P, but it has implemented a series of meaningful tweaks that work to make notifications useful, whether you want to interact with them, control what you see, or just keep them at bay.

And I hope someone on Apple’s iOS team is taking notes.

Making notifications the centre of my phone sounds like my idea of hell, but I certainly hope iOS 12 includes significant refinements to the notification system. It’s messy, it’s astonishingly interruptive, notifications cover app controls and a mis-tap can send you to a completely different app, and there isn’t always something you can do from the notification so you end up having to launch the app anyway. Notifications may necessarily be an interruption, but they shouldn’t be quite so intrusive.