Android 12 LogoSource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Android 12 will give users granular control over apps that can get notification access.
  • The revamped Device & app notifications page on Android 12 Developer Preview 3 separates them into four groups: real-time, conversations, default, and silent.
  • There is still no guarantee that the feature will be present in the final Android 12 release.

When Google released the first Android 12 developer preview in February, it revealed that it is working on refreshing notification designs to make them more functional and even easier to use. As reported by the folks at Android Police, however, Google is also making some big changes to Android's notification listener service.

Android 12 Device App NotificationsSource: Android Police

Currently, users can only toggle notification access on or off for helper apps such as Android Wear, Fitbit, or Android Auto. This means they can either access all your notification data, or none at all. In Android 12, however, you'll have much greater control over all the apps that can access the notification listener service.

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Android 12 Developer Preview 3 introduces a refreshed Device & app notifications page, which separates notifications into four groups: real-time, conversations, default, and silent. Real-time notifications, as the name clearly suggests, are for events that are ongoing, such as music playback controls. Conversations are for text messages, emails, and other communications. Default is for notifications that may ring or vibrate depending on settings, while Silent is pretty much self-explanatory.

The change will give users the choice of allowing access to only some of these notification categories, which can help avoid useless notifications from being sent to your Wear OS smartwatch. As we have seen numerous times in the past however, not all features that are part of the developer or public beta make it to the final release.

Google is expected to release the first Android 12 publc beta next month, which will likely be limited to the best Android phones from a few popular OEMs.

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