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Android's notification dots are coming to Chrome OS

Oreo wasn't the biggest Android update ever released, but one of the features it did add was notification dots. Notification dots are those colorful circles that appear next to your app icons, and long-pressing on an app with one of these reveals the notification(s) for that app above your app shortcuts.

A new commit was recently discovered by Chrome Story, and it suggests that these notification dots will soon make their way to Chrome OS. The commit itself is fairly long, but one of the highlights that leads us to believe notification dots are coming to Chrome OS includes "ShelfView::OnShelfItemChanged handles update the icons indicator."

There are also a few comments regarding the commit, including "Add a notification for the app", "Pin the app after the notification posts", and "Draws an indicator in the top right corner of the image to represent an active notification."

It's unclear when exactly notification dots will make their way to Chrome OS, but it's possible they'll be added within the coming months.

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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Does anyone actually like the notification dots on Android? To me they are superfluous and make my home screen looked cluttered. They are useful on ios only because ios notifications suck but on Android notifications are pretty much perfect and these dots just get in the way.
  • I do like them, but I fee that their usefulness is limited until they figure out how to put a number in there. A notification dot telling me I have new emails is much less useful that one telling me I have 15 new emails.
  • Agreed! Unless there's a number in there, a notification dot will just become visual noise users will learn to ignore.
  • But what's the point of the dot (even with a number) when you have every notification (that have numbers for grouped notifications) in the notification pane. Seems to me that dots were added simply for feature parity with ios and to help ios converts feel more comfortable when switching to Android. Not that that is a bad thing necessarily but they definitely feel pointless to a long time Android user.
  • I can think of a couple examples: 1. I have notifications blocked for a lot of applications. A dot instead of constant notifications could be useful for chatty apps. 2. In a desktop charger, a dot is persistent, and visible to the occasional glance (assuming the device is set not to shut off when charging). A notification requires you to be looking at the device when the notification comes in, or a physical swipe to pull down the notification shade. In short, I think they're complementary features, not competitive or mutually exclusive.
  • #1 makes sense. Although I don't have that use case. If I care about the notification then I want it in the notification bar. If I don't care about it then I don't care about it.
    #2 I don't understand. You could see icons in the notification bar at a glance just as easily as a dot on an app icon. In fact, it would be easier because you are always glancing in the same place vs. having to have the icons on your home screen and then looking at the different icons. I don't have this use case either tbh. I don't think they are competitive or mutually exclusive. I think one is superfluous. But that is my use case and I'm glad users have the option. ninja edit: grammer
  • Coming from iOS the thing I missed the most, after a unified message service like iMessages, was the lack of a notification dot. I'm not a fan of notifications and turn most of them off, I see them as an extra step. I never allow notifications on my lock screen so I have to then pull down the notification bar to see them. What I used to find really annoying was my phone beeping then having no idea why and then having to hunt around to find out which app wanted my attention. If you like notifications I'm sure this is not an issue but for me they are a distraction and I want to be able to go to my home screen and at a glance see which app wants my attention. Since Oreo I've been using my Pixel 2 XL far more than my iPhone and I can now only hope that they sort out the messaging app mess to compete with iOS on that level too.
  • They're useless. If you need them, you're using your phone wrong.
  • People get excited by the simplest things.
  • I hate them & wish you could change colour of them
  • It's not quite user definable, but have you considered trying Nova Launcher's Dynamic Badges? They pull colors or images from your notification for the badge, not necessarily the color of the app icon.
  • Isn't this the same as the red BlackBerry splat? I agree that a number would be more useful but then again that would be too crApple like.
  • I thought the article was about notification dots on Chromebooks NOT ANDROID PHONES!! GEZZZ.... *This one little bell in the bottom right corner ain't enough.
  • TeslaUnread anyone?
  • Dynamic Badges, anyone?