"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.