Tuesday, May 15, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Why Apple Should Copy the Android P Notification Shade

Michael Simon:

Even before the public beta of version 9.0 landed this week, Android’s system of notifications was far superior to Apple’s. As someone who regularly bounces between the two platforms, I actively ignore the iOS Notification Center, but on Android, I use it regularly to catch up on things I might have missed. The Android notification shade isn’t just for messages and alerts; it’s an information center for your entire digital life.

As it stands, I have far fewer complaints about notifications on Android Oreo than I do on iOS 11, but the system has its kinks and annoyances just like it did on previous Android version, Nougat and Marshmallow. But in Android P, notifications are nearly perfect. Google hasn’t overhauled the notification system in Android P, but it has implemented a series of meaningful tweaks that work to make notifications useful, whether you want to interact with them, control what you see, or just keep them at bay.

Update (2018-06-02): Nick Heer:

Apple has apparently intended for the notification system to be seen as less of a todo list of items of interest, and more of an advisory area — something that you look at occasionally, and never really worry about clearing fully. I think that it feels too heavy-handed to be something so passive. Either Apple ought to be more prescriptive about how push notifications are to be used, or the design of the system needs to be pragmatic and take into account the notifications that people actually get. The latter is more challenging because it would need to compensate for all kinds of edge cases, but I think that would ultimately result in a better product.

[…]

I don’t think apps should require users to figure out a granular array of notification types; apps should set appropriate priorities for different kinds of alerts they may push, and the system ought to have a way to enforce that. The same goes for prioritizing notifications across multiple apps — no matter how much I miss grouping notifications by app instead of sorting chronologically, I don’t think that’s something users should be required to manage. As with multitasking and Bluetooth connectivity, above, an iPhone should be able to figure this stuff out.

2 Comments

I still think the limitation on iOS stems from the whole initial "Here's ~10 built in apps and that's all you get." The assumptions for task switching, app management, notifications, and having some app preferences under system preferences all stems from that limitation in my opinion, but I'm not a system architect/engineer, just a slightly above average end user.

I’m happy to turn off all bar the most important notifications, so iOS limitations suit me quite well, but I get where people come from with this. I wish Apple would add task switching to the swipe up control centre panel for my non X iPhone, that could work well - certainly better than double tapping home.

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