In the first Android N Dev Preview, we spotted a Full Importance setting in the System UI Tuner that allows you to granularly control each app's notifications and decide whether you want them to show up, play sound, peek on top of your screen, climb to the top of the notification list, and more.

In the second N preview, the 5 levels are getting slightly renamed and there's an sixth added level for very urgent notifications. First, you'll notice a new Min importance setting level, but it does what the previous Low importance setting used to. The new Low importance is for what used to be the Normal importance previously. Yeah, Google likes to challenge us like that.

The difference in functionality is in the three upper levels. You can now let a notification make a sound without having it show on top of the list with Normal importance (that wasn't possible in the old system), the new High importance is just the renamed Urgent importance from before, and the new Urgent importance does everything you need to notice the notification: peek, play sound, and climb to the top of the notifications.

Here are the 5 Full importance settings from the first Dev Preview:

  • Blocked - never show these notifications
  • Low importance - silently show at the bottom of the notification list
  • Normal importance - silently show these notifications
  • High importance - show at the top of the notifications list and make sound
  • Urgent importance - peek onto the screen and make sound.

And the new 6 Full importance settings from Dev Preview 2:

  • Blocked - never show these notifications
  • Min importance - silently show at the bottom of the notification list
  • Low importance - silently show these notifications
  • Normal importance - allow these notifications to make sounds
  • High importance - peek on to the screen and allow sound
  • Urgent importance - show at the top of the notifications list, peek onto the screen and allow sound.

Overall, even though these levels are getting more complicated, they make more sense in this new order, especially when it comes to the definition of a "Normal importance." How that level didn't play sound before is beyond me. It's also important to note that these will only surface if you've enabled them in the System UI Tuner, which you have to be nerdy enough to unlock in the first place. They're definitely not made for the average user.

  • Thanks:
  • Chuck Finely