The Nova Launcher 5.2 update started rolling out on the Google Play Store on Tuesday and should soon be available for download worldwide. The latest revision of the popular Android launcher was in beta for around two weeks, with its developers testing a new style of Notification Badges called Notification Dots. Just like their name suggests, Notification Dots are dynamic additions to Android app icons that were designed to notify users when a particular app is updated with new content. Those elements will appear on messaging app icons when you receive a new message and RSS readers when they list new articles for you to go through.
Notification Dots were inspired by a similar feature present in the second developer preview of Android O, the upcoming update to Google's ubiquitous operating system that's set to hit the stable channel later this year. Unlike Google's offering, the new feature of Nova Launcher is less flexible and can only denote which apps have new content waiting for you. The Dots themselves aren't interactive and their only dynamic element is their ability to change color based on the main hue of the system app icon that they're attached to. That particular functionality was somewhat inconsistent in the latest beta build of Nova Launcher, though the stable version of the app seemingly does a better job of matching the color of a Notification Dot to that of its "host" icon. Notification Dots can be enabled in the Notification Badges section of Nova Launcher's main settings app.
Other additions shipping with the 5.2 update include a rounded search bar style and a number of tweaks and optimizations that are meant to improve the overall performance of Nova Launcher. The app's changelog also mentions some "minor fixes for Android O" but it doesn't clarify on the matter, though TeslaCoil software will presumably introduce more similar changes in the coming months, as Android O gets closer to hitting the stable channel. The latest version of Nova Launcher can be downloaded by following the Google Play Store link below and the app itself is likely to receive new useful additions and customization options in the near future.