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Wow! A lot of people still don't know about this seven year old Android feature.

It has been available on Android since 2017.

Published onMay 20, 2024

My colleague Calvin Wankhede recently wrote an opinion piece about why he’ll stick to Android forever unless iOS gets notification channels. In it, he narrated his experience using the iPhone 15 after years of being on the other side of the fence and using Android. His switch was exceptionally painful because of the lack of notification channels on iOS, a feature that’s been present on Android since Android 8.0. If you’re still wondering what exactly notification channels do, you’re not alone.

Turns out, more than half of our readers were unfamiliar with notification channels on Android. A poll about notification channels conducted on our website received over 5,300 votes. A surprising 43.6% of the respondents didn’t know what notification channels/categories are on their Android devices. Thankfully, the camps were almost evenly split. 40.2% of the voters said they use notification channels and agreed that iOS could do with a similar system.

“Notification channels are good and should absolutely be copied by Apple (and I miss notification history and, to a lesser extent, notification snoozing on iOS),” said one voter.

android notification channel screenshot
Android's universal notification channels

However, some voters felt iOS has a superior notification system compared to Android. One of them even pointed out that Android’s notification system was much better before than what it is now.

“If you’re comparing to the newest versions of Android, then yes, the gap is smaller simply because Google made notifications so much worse. With Android 11 and earlier, it’s not even funny how much better notifications are than modern Android and iOS. That’s why I’m so jaded with Android these days though: I can get a vastly superior notification experience by using a 6-10 year old phone. There’s something wrong with that.”

How to set up notification channels on Android?

For those of you who still don’t know what notification channels are on Android, maybe it’s time to try them out. Notification channels let you decide which app notifications can be intrusive or visible. They give you more granular control so you don’t end up with a long list of unnecessary alerts.

Simply go to an app’s notification settings and select the channels you wish to disable or enable. We have a handy video above that teaches you how to do this on a Samsung phone. You can also head to the following link to learn how to set up notification channels on Android and why they are so helpful.

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