"Android has always put you in control when it comes to staying notified and connected. Now you can take action directly from the notifications shade," says Android's updated "What's New" page. Indeed, today's Jelly Bean announcement saw a number of improvements to the already handy notification system we've come to know and love in previous iterations of Android. Not only can the new notifications system display larger, richer notifications, developers can create actionable notification with interactive controls for telephony, music, and more.

image jb-notif-ex

With a new and improved Notification Builder, apps can create notifications with a height of up to 256dp. The builder also features three template styles. From the Android Developer site:

  • BigTextStyle — a notification that includes a multiline TextView object.
  • BigInboxStyle — a notification the shows any kind of list such as messages, headlines, and so on.
  • BigPictureStyle — a notification that showcases visual content such as a bitmap.

In addition to these styles, developers can create their own styles with up to three actions in a single notification. In addition to all of this, users can long-press notifications for further options, including displaying information about the sender, and the ability to "optionally disable further notifications from the app." (Could this be a "goodbye" to AirPush?)

These enhancements allow users to see all the information they need about a notification, while potentially taking any action they could possibly want, all without leaving what they are working on elsewhere. While a revamped notification shade is just one of the improvements we'll see in Jelly Bean, it's a big one, majorly enhancing productivity.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Lien Wee Hoo

    From Official Google Blog:
    Starting in mid-July, we’ll start rolling out over-the-air updates to Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom and Nexus S, and we’ll also release Jelly Bean to open source.

    • eleazar

      Bummer, I was hoping maybe they'd release the source before the over-the-air updates.

      • ignitionnight

        As much as I wished that would happen as well I totally get why they wouldn't do it. You don't want Custom Roms rolling out before your Nexus 7 pre-orders get a hold of it.

    • Sven Enterlein

      They should call it July Bean! I hope ASUS
       (or Mike1986)  will port it to my TF101 sooner than later.

      • jeffrey evans

        I'm sure they will, the TF101 received ICS incredibly fast.  And now that Asus is making the Nexus 7, supporting the rest of their tablets isn't too far a stretch to believe.

  • alexcue

    Those are super slick. Can't wait to see it in person..

  • http://twitter.com/toofly504 Jahrid Pierre

    i just hope Verizon is on top of this -_-

    • Jays2Kings

      Haha good one, it saddens me that I'm about to pick up the Galaxy Nexus from them today. It shows how stingy Verizon is, like how they're the only major carrier to not allow you to pay for apps via carrier billing, ans with new ones added in they're still not on the list

  • Alan

    Makes the iOS notification centre look ancient by comparison, yes even the one in iOS 6 as well!!

    • hldc1

      Apple. Latin for "weak sauce".

    • Tyler Chappell

      The only time iOS wasn't ancient, was upon its initial release XD

      • adi19956

        Not true. It trumped Android on friendliness and usability until at least Éclair 

        • Alan

          True but at least Google did something about it while Apple just stuck with the same lame interface!!!

        • Tyler Chappell

          I don't think you had fully engaged your sarcasm detector when you read my post. But that is precisely what I meant, Android has seen far more evolution in the past 2 years than iOS has since its inception. Quite frankly, that really says alot about what the future holds for either OS.

        • http://twitter.com/DocFunkinstien Kid.Drunkadelic

          and RIM used to be a big player

    • r3drox

      First thing that occured to me. Everytime i use my ipods notification bar, it screams inferiority because i'm used to the ICS notification bar on my phone.....now its not even worthy of being called inferior.....

      Quite stone age!

    • NemaCystX

      They'll shove that in there now that they lured Google out with its newest android features, just watch... same goes for Robot girl SIRI.

      I think Google has done a great job with search using your voice and that Apple needs to play alot of catching up.  Being a company that has a huge database of information,  Google has the advantage.

      Google - 10
      Apple - 0

  • Jonathan

    i think the new notification area looks way too stuffed. 
    the ICS one is/was just right. nice and clean

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      To my understanding, since the notifications are expandable, they should start off near normal size, so those that want the compact, clean look can stick with it, expanding only when they want to take action.

    • Simon Belmont

      I thought that too when I watched the presentation. This makes it awfully busy.

      I'll have to try it out though. It might be something that's totally awesome in practice.

  • Jojo Grospe

    Everybody in attendance at Google I/O will get the Nexus 7 aside from the GNex and Nexus Q. So we will see Jelly Bean sooner than mid July. :D

  • Jojo Grospe

    Everybody in attendance at Google I/O will get the Nexus 7 aside from the GNex and Nexus Q. So we will see Jelly Bean sooner than mid July. :D

  • http://twitter.com/nickd53 Nick D

    Heck yeah, disabling further notifications FTW!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

    wow, this is certainly Android OWNING the notification page! love it love it love it

  • Ayendal

    Does that mean that when a text comes in, you can respond to it within the notification bar instead of having to switch to the app? Halelua!

  • http://bigstusexy.livejournal.com/ Stu

    Did anyone notice when they were doing the 4 and 4.1 Speed Comparison that the contact image seemed much more high resolution on the 4.1 version

    • Ravrahn

      JB brings 720x720 contact image support! One of the more overlooked features, but a really awesome one.

  • GazaIan

    That's fucking amazing. Let's see who steals this from Google.

  • NemaCystX

    Android 4.1 will also feature "Network Metered API" where the phone can poll your carrier to find out if your on a metered network, and if you are it will give you warnings about any downloads you do that might put you over your limit and let you save them for a later time when your on wifi etc.

    This somehow makes me anxious about why Verizon discontinued the My Verizon widget on the Galaxy Nexus, hmmm maybe this? Google did say that alot of partners have had Jellybean for a few weeks now. and this could hopefully be the beginning of timely updates finally since they are going to give the newest version months ahead of the announcement to carriers/OEMs


  • Hyestack

    I wish Ice Cream Sandwitch sucked so i wouldnt feel as bad for not having it.

  • Hyestack

    Its says "developers can create" meaning an app  has to specifically use this feature. In other words we wont see this being effectively used until 6 months after its released. By that time the next version of android will be talked about. Its a start i Guess.

  • Jasonc07

    Whats the new button on the top right to the right of the setting button in one of the pics?

  • Stephanie

    I have Jelly Bean on my GNex right now. I assume there will be more updates for apps in the future..but as of now...you cannot reply to texts right from the notification bar (tried stock sms and third party apps) and you cannot reply to emails directly from notification bar (gmail app). So, we will see.