The above was pulled from the documentation for Android long past, but truer words were never spoken. Notifications can make or break a platform, and Google came up with a winning plan in their notification shade. After a few hours with Jelly Bean, I'm here to tell you things just got better. A lot better.

Notifications in Android 4.1 are now dynamic, feature more information displayed in a delightfully tactful way, are customizable for creative developers, and worth having a second look at. Phil and Alex will tell you, I've become enamored with the new notification system. The information I want need is there for me to see, and if I choose to interact I can take things a step further. To me, the new notifications are by far the best part of the update!

Miss a call? Google Voice can give you a notification to tell you who it was, and a quick way to get back in touch  -- either via the telephone or with a message. Want to see more than a sender's name for a Gmail notification? The two-finger magic will expand it and you can preview the message, without marking it as read. Developers also have plenty of options, a quick look through the gallery after the break shows you what companies like Spotify or Pulse can do in the notification bar now. This is progress. 

Of course, eventually a developer will abuse this and get creative with the spam in your notification bar. Google has you covered. Long press on any notification and you'll see exactly which app posted it, and a simple tap takes you the app management screen where you can uninstall the offender. 

We said that Jelly Bean would probably prove to add a bit of polish and character to ICS versus be a new UI overhaul, and things like the new notifications are a wonderful example of how a mature operating system can be fleshed out and improved. We only hope OEM's don't take it all away. Hit the break to see a gallery of the presentation slides showing it all off.


Reader comments

Jelly Bean's new notifications take center stage at Google I/O


You put Jelly Ben instead of Jelly Bean and i do agree, expanded notifications are by the best new jelly bean feature.

Does this mean you can just silence notifications on a per app basis? Thats what that slide makes it sound like.

Wow. This facebook notifications looks pretty awesone, add a friend/comment/like directly from the notification seems like the beginning of something huge.

HA! I just saw that.. Good eye!.

I've said it many times before and I'll say it again. I absolutely love Google's sense of humor.

You know, I never thought Jelly Bean would be this much of an improvement. I'm digging the notifications. Everything you need is there when you pull down the notification bar. Plus, I think I'm really going to like the Google Now cards.

No other notification system comes close to this, this really is awesome and I look forward to it on the Nexus 7 and beyond, brilliant stuff Google. Other mobile OS have a lot to catch up on in this area alone :)

The LED notification light was one of the few things RIM did right on their phones. I still like the custom led light better than the pull down notification bar on android and it's been ages since I've touched a BB.

webOS is in a coma on its death bed but to the world it been dead a year ago...somebody had to put the features to use since no one brought webOS.

Palm and HP dropped the ball on webOS, even with the open webOS coming out there is no hardware, I moved on a few weeks ago and since I got my SG3 I hardly use my TouchPad anymore and my Pre 2 is back in its box. Don't forget this is the work of Matias Duarte, this is what he would have done on webOS if anyone from HP or Palm had backed up what they said they were going to do and not make stupid errors.

Just shows.. some features of webOS were 3 years ahead of their time. Welcome to the party, Android. Flipping cards off the screen was actually kind of fun.

Jerry you are absolutely right, these notifications are mind blowing and I cannot wait to see this everyday! Really, really cool stuff from el goog yet again!

I have the official Jelly Bean update on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus and I can not get any expansions to work. The only thing that shows up are the call back or text buttons on a missed call notification. I've tried the gestures on all types of notifications and get nothing. Is there some sort of setting I need to toggle in order to get the expansions to work?