Update, May 5: After a brief beta stint, dynamic badges are now coming to the stable version of Nova Launcher. This is a Prime feature, so you will need to be signed up for the premium tier in order to enjoy. Along the new badges, the update to version 5.1 improves Nova’s compatibility with Huawei and Samsung system level themes and solves some bug fixes for the Galaxy S8. Get it from the Play Store below!

Original post, March 24: A new update for the beta version of the popular Nova Launcher has been released, which adds an interesting and very useful feature called dynamic badges. These replace the standard notification badges that show up on the right side of each app icon and provide you with the number of missed calls, unread messages on different apps, and more.

According to the developer of Nova Launcher, these numbers can often be misleading because of API restrictions and the fact that every app counts things a bit differently. Dynamic badges have a different approach, as they focus on images instead of numbers. For example, they can pull contact images from messaging apps, so that you actually see who send you a message on Messenger, Gmail, or any other app.

If you have a bunch of different apps in a folder, the new feature will show you the icons of the apps with notifications instead of just the numeric count, which doesn’t really tell you much in a case like this. Dynamic badges do offer a lot more relevant information when compared with the standard notification count and will surely be welcomed with open arms by the majority of Nova Launcher users.

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However, if you don’t find them that interesting and don’t want to use them, you don’t have to. You can turn them on or off in the Nova Settings menu. The feature is already available for the beta version of Nova Launcher. To try it out, just update the launcher on your device and you’re good to go.