Every beta version of any software brings on a slew of bugs and issues, but Android Q's most recent Beta 3 has been even more frustrating than usual. We've covered several issues with it, but there are also some changes that we don't know how to categorize. Bugs? New features? Half-baked transitions? One of them is the disappearance of notification snoozing and now we've noticed another baffling change: you can't silence or control priority for notifications from Messages.

In Android O, P, and Q Beta 2, Messages offered various notification channels for conversations in general and per-contact chats. (The latter only showed up when you opened a specific chat's Details -> Notifications from the Messages app, but that's all beside the point.) Those let you assign a specific behavior for each channel, change the sound, toggle vibration, and override DND.

In Q Beta 3 on the Pixels, all those toggles are greyed out, be it for individual chats or other notification channels in Messages. You only get the Alert level for the notification, and none of the new Block or Show Silently options. So you can't do anything about notifications coming from the app except accept them as is. They will always pop up on the screen and ring, unless your phone is on Do Not Disturb.


Left: Conversation channel notifications in Android Q Beta 2. Right: Android Q Beta 3.

You also still get the greyed out checkboxes in the overall Notifications settings for Messages, so you can't completely disable any channel. And any time you get a message, trying to control it shows this text, "These notifications can't be turned off."

You can't disable a notification channel for Messages from anywhere else.

We've verified this on an original Pixel, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixel 3 XL. However, the options are still available on an Essential Phone PH-1 and OnePlus 6T. So we don't know what to make of this. Is it a case of the Pixels having a newer beta firmware that disables notification controls or a bug only affecting first-party hardware?

I really hope it's not the case that Messages is going to completely take away any control we have over notifications, otherwise a switch to a third-party app might be necessary for many users. For now, all we can do is wait and see if things change with an update to the Messages app or with upcoming Q betas.

Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Tristian Hill