Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

Android O adds Notification Dots to your app icons

A new way to find and manage your notifications.


If you have an Android phone, you probably live through the notification panel. The bite-size alerts become a to-do list of sorts, summarizing which apps and messages require your attention. With Android O, Google is giving the experience a bit of a revamp. "Notification Dots" are small, circular blobs that sit on top of your app icons. They'll only appear when you have an unread notification -- long-tap and you'll get a quick preview in the form of speech-like bubbles. You can either tap them to jump right in or drag down from the top of the screen (as normal) to get a better look.

On stage at Google I/O, Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android, showed how this might work with Instagram. A Notification Dot appeared on his home screen, indicating that he had received a new comment. In this instance, he dismissed the alert from the notification panel, removing the dot in the process. Hopefully this feature is optional -- while some will find it useful, we're betting it won't be for everyone.

For all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2017, follow along here.