Android Q Beta 1 Delivers Subtle Notification Improvements

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Along with a veritable plethora of exciting and predictably buggy features arriving with the first Beta of Android Q, Google has included at least one less obvious feature that should make life easier for those who receive a lot of notifications. Spotted by 9to5Google, the notification cards contained on the pull-down shade in Android Q Beta 1 now shows users a small bell icon next to their most recent notification.

The purpose of the tiny new alert icon seems to be fairly obvious. For users whose phones are frequently being pinged by text messages, email alerts, and other notifications, it can quickly become difficult to determine at a glance which arrived last. The bell, placed just to the right of the notification title text in the current Android Q Beta release, makes the most recent notification much more obvious.

Temporary and not disruptive

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Google appears to have kept things simple not only in terms of design and readability with its new bell — which is actually very small but should be intuitive. It has also placed a focus on resource management and ease of use. The icon only remains in place for approximately 30 seconds before vanishing again too. That means it won't be on screen and bouncing all over the place, moving from notification card to notification card as those roll in.

Timestamps appear intact on notifications as well, ensuring users can still see exactly when they arrived and that's accented by a continuance of the prioritization of notifications added in previous Android releases. In effect, that means that users will still see top-prioritized notifications at the top with an easy way to tell what time they arrived. They'll then be able to scroll through to see which notification went off most recently.

Another useful shade UI change arriving with Q Beta 1

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The addition of a subtle, short-lived notification bell is a comparatively small change but should prove useful when stacked on top of a few other alterations to the system UI in Android Q Beta 1. Not least among those is the addition of a much more detailed battery status indicator in the notification shade since both features seem primarily aimed at increasing productivity and promoting Google's Digital Wellbeing.

With the new Beta 1 update, Android Q now shows how much battery is remaining at the top right-hand side of the interface when the notification shade is pulled down. That is represented as either an exact time or a time remaining format. For instance, it might show as "12:00 AM" or "1 Day, 4 Hours" depending on the remaining battery time the system has been able to calculate based on recent usage.

As with the bell icon, that won't necessarily give users an exact time for when their phone will die and definitely shouldn't be depended on for that. What it will do, at a glance, is provide an approximate indication of how long they can probably wait to plug their handset in, making it easier for users to spend less time looking at their screen in the first place.

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