Google is pulling notification dots over to its Chromebook platform from Android. That’s according to a recent report from Android Police, who spotted the change in the Chrome OS Dev Channel.
For clarity, notification dots are colored dots that appear on an app icon on Android. Google engineered the dots to show users which apps were throwing notifications at a glance. Those show up only when that application has a notification. The dots then disappear. But only once the users clears out or checks the notifications.
All of that makes it easier to see which apps have notifications. And to prioritize which apps get attention first. As of this writing, there are still a few missing features in Chrome OS, of course. But it does appear to be stable overall.
This is incomplete, so what’s still missing with these dots?
The missing features from this iteration of Android notification dots on the Chromebook platform is a significant one. Namely, Google hasn’t added in any shortcuts associated with the notification dots feature.
On Android, long-pressing a notification dot brings up a context menu. That contains the usual app shortcuts. So, on Android, it’s possible to jump directly to an interaction with apps without opening the app first. For instance, the mobile OS lets users long-press on the Gmail icon and select to start an email. That’s as opposed to opening the app and clicking a few more times to get started.
Those shortcuts are missing entirely from Chromebooks. And they likely will be for some time still. But there’s a secondary feature tied in with that. App notifications. On Android, long-pressing on app icons that show notification dots brings up a preview of the notification but not on the Chromebook platform. At least not in the current test iteration of the feature.
It’s possible and even likely that Google will add the feature later on. Especially since its still trying to strike a balance for consistency between its operating systems.
Android notification dots on your Chromebook won’t come soon
Now, this change was specifically spotted in the developer variant of Chrome OS. But it also doesn’t employ flag settings to activate. So Android notification dots appear to be a guaranteed stock Chromebook feature. But that doesn’t mean it will arrive soon.
Summarily, this appeared in Chrome OS version 87 in the developer channel and that version isn’t slated to arrive until December 1. Additionally, Google could push back development to a later version. That’s if progress is slow in terms of all of the features the company wants to add in.
Chrome OS 88 doesn’t land until January. So users are going to be stuck waiting for just a bit longer unless they’re willing to switch channels to one that’s much less stable for their Chromebook.