Floating Notifications earned a place in our roundup of top apps from May even though it wasn't even in the Play Store yet. Well, now it is and it comes with a ton of improvements over the beta version from XDA.

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The basic premise of Floating Notifications is that it displays a subset of your notifications in a floating icon on the screen. It's a little bit like Facebook's Chat Heads feature. Floating Notifications has a plethora of settings for deep configuration, which is a definite improvement over the old version. There are a few known issues, some of which are simply Android restrictions. For example, you can't dismiss notifications from the status bar from within the Floating Notification UI. Accessibility services can also interfere with the app. Other issues are detailed in the listing.

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The first app below is a free 30 day trial. All the features are available, but you'll have to buy the $2 upgrade through an in-app purchase if you want to use Floating Notifications beyond those 30 days. Considering this is a new way to deal with notifications, it's nice of the dev to provide such a long window to try before you buy. The full version unlock can also be purchased as a separate app for $2.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Tay

    Installed on my Note 2, and now I get "this folder has been opened/closed" sound every time I open or close a folder on my home screen. Anyone know any workarounds besides disabling Google TTS?

    • mlj11

      From the app's Play Store page:

      Known issues (not caused by this app)
      - Some Samsung devices might start reading aloud, this is a known Samsung bug, it is not something I can fix however a number of possible fixes can be found here: https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=23105

    • IronBlood

      This is a bug not from the app but android or samsung with talkback

    • BRIM

      I have an S3 and I don't get this. Go into settings and disable "talk back" feature AKA Samsung crap

      • Matthew Fry

        I do too and I didn't until I rebooted.

    • Matthew Fry

      the thread mlj11 pointed out is very helpful but very long. The general consensus is that turning on *any* accessibility service will activate Talkback. There are a few suggestions to fix it:

      1) disable Samsung TTS AND Talkback
      2) turn on Talkback and uncheck everything, turn it back off (this worked for me)
      3) don't use the accessibility part (but then it only has access to some notifications)

  • The Friend One

    Great app for a non-rooted user.

    • BRIM

      This is why this is a welcoming app!

  • The Friend One

    Rooted users won't go away from HALO which is now open source. a little late done for this release I guess

    • mlj11

      That's only if you assume "Rooted User = Custom ROM User", which is not the case.

      Even if it was, I'm not sure HALO is a stand-alone app that any person can install on any rooted device. Is it?

      • The Friend One

        I do agree you brother but Generally users root use custom ROMs only. check the stats. and mostly prefer PA or any Hybrid ROMs like JellyBam or JellyBeer or PAC man and all will be having halo (all hybrid) as they made it open source

        • mlj11

          I get what you're saying, but I don't know where you got stats for how many rooted users are on custom ROMs, so I'm not sure about your opinion. Personally I have 3 rooted devices but only flashed a ROM on one, for example.

          • The Friend One

            I get what you are saying but it's common to have custom ROM if you are rooted. Generally people root it for this reason only.. (Generally not all). Don't wanna drag this discussion brother

          • Imparus

            I'm also rooted without a custom ROM, it really depends on the device whatever or not you use custom ROM

        • IamTheFij

          You got a source for these stats? I'd like to see them. Would be interesting for sure.

          • IamTheFij

            Just comparing download stats of PA (couldn't find active installs) to active installs on CM for Mako (Nexus 4), it looks like CM is well preferred to PA or any of the others.

            CM does not include Halo and most likely will not. This is for the same reason they did not merge Cornerstone.

            So I think it'd be useful for those users as well. (5,377,438 total CM users)

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            HALO and Cornerstone are VERY different implementations. I don't think HALO breaks app compatibility the way Cornerstone did. I think there might be a possibility of CM merging in the code for HALO, as they announced the might be/will be doing with PIE.

          • IamTheFij

            It does.

            Halo resizes apps to a boxed window floating on the screen. This spoofs a non-standard resolution to the app in question. This is exactly what the issue was with Cornerstone.

            This app in the Play Store just displays what is in the notification window along with the quick buttons. This is a far more stable implementation as it leverages existing expectations.

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            Apparently the reason they gave for stopping merging of Cornerstone was sloppy code - https://plus.google.com/+CyanogenMod/posts/bPKE7qtvwC9

          • IamTheFij

            That's interesting. Maybe it was just Cyanogen himself that I read this from.

            Either way, it would definitely be a concern for me as a developer.

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        I'm sure someone will find a way to hack HALO into Xposed so we can install it in our current ROMs. I'm a rooted user running stock as well, so I'm waiting for this. :)

    • suprkain

      I didn't realize you could use HALO without having the paranoid rom. Is there an app just for that?

      • The Friend One

        NO, HALO is a feature of PA ROM brother. This is the best alternative of HALO. that's why I said best for non-rooted, non custom ROM users

      • Nathaniel Webb

        They open sourced it on github, so any developer is free to implement it in their rom.

  • BRIM

    This is awesome because I don't root my phones and do not use Facebook. I also tried Ninja SMS and it just falls short at what it attempted. THIS is my answer to all my grips of above stated!

    Just hope they add the ability to have contact images rather than the icon pictures (Gmail, GO SMS, etc.).

    As well as an unread icon/bubble.

  • philnolan3d

    That sounds terrible.

  • admintweetsviewer

    Did you try Voice for notifications?

    It's an App to read notifications by voice.


  • firethorn

    Ah good, going to grab this now that it's not in an alpha state anymore. I have been playing around with paranoidandroid (and hence HALO) on my old GNex and it's great - but I'd very much like a couple more settings; HALO currently has only two (2).

    I can imagine, in time Floating Notifications will be more useful to me than HALO, just like LMT is now vs. PIE.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    It's probbly just me but i don't see the obsession with these chat head like features. They look annoying. Like ios pop up notifications annoying. I"ll just stick with the regular notification bar.

    • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

      I didn't get it at first either. When I saw Facebook Home I was like "this is stupid. No one is ever going to use it". But then I tried it out and after a while, I got to see how useful it is to not disrupt the flow of another app just to answer a quick message. I think you should give it a shot.

      • smeddy

        Ditto. FB Home sounded terrible, but ChatHeads has become very useful. This was too laggy two weeks ago, red stalling now! Great work dev

  • Akbar

    Looks like a good concept. But for me unfortunately it did not have much appeal and after trying it for one day I ended uninstalling.