Google to Introduce new Notification Service in Android 4.3?

July 1, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

In case you missed it, Android 4.3 got leaked for the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition last week. As usual, Android Police tore it down to see what they could find. But there was one small thing that they missed. But luckily Kevin at TeslaCoil Software found it. It appears that Google is working on implementing some new notification services in Android 4.3. It looks like it’ll be something involving third-party apps as well. There are all sorts of notification-related changes in the leaked Android 4.3 build we saw last week. Here’s some of the code:

<string name=”manage_notification_access”>Notification access</string>

<string name=”manage_notification_access_summary_zero”>Apps cannot read notifications</string>

<string name=”no_notification_listeners”>No notification listeners are installed.</string>

<string name=”notification_listener_security_warning_title”>Enable %1$s?</string>

<string name=”notification_listener_security_warning_summary”>%1$s will be able to read all notifications posted by the system or any installed app, which may include personal information such as contact names and the text of messages sent to you. It will also be able to dismiss these notifications or touch action buttons within them.</string>

That last string is by far the most important because it’s spelling out a new notification service where apps can read notifications, dismiss them, and activate action buttons in a notification. That pretty much sounds like everything the current notification drawer does. But it sounds like now third-party apps will be able to replicate the entire notification shade.

Of course, there’s some UI to go along with all of this. This “Notifications” screen is actually something rather cool. Have you ever swiped away a notification by mistake? Well this screen is a notifications history. So you can see all your past notifications.

This is all exposed in that Android 4.3 leak as a settings shortcut. So if you longpress on your homescreen and choose Shortcuts then Settings Shortcuts you’ll see a “notifications” listing. Once you tap that you’ll get a shortcut for this screen. There are also two new permissions that power the new notifications:

<permission android:label=”@string/permlab_accessNotifications” android:name=”android.permission.ACCESS_NOTIFICATIONS” android:protectionLevel=”system|signature” android:description=”@string/permdesc_accessNotifications” />

<permission android:label=”@string/permlab_bindNotificationListenerService” android:name=”android.permission.BIND_NOTIFICATION_LISTENER_SERVICE” android:protectionLevel=”signature” android:description=”@string/permdesc_bindNotificationListenerService” />

They are being called “Access Notifications” and “Notification Listener Service”. As noted, the protection level for these permissions are too high for any third-party apps. So there’s something missing here, but that’s normal for leaks. Since Android 4.3 still hasn’t been announced, we’ll have to wait to hear from Google when they finally announce Android 4.3 to see what’s up with the new Notification service and all the other new features.