Nova Launcher is getting a new feature that you're going to love

Some people can't live or work without knowing how many hundreds of emails they are away from Inbox Zero. Some people just like having the badge to remind them of notifications and messages they may have ignored. Some people just can't stand the look of 'em. Whatever camp you may be in, there's a new kind of unread badge to try in the latest Nova Launcher beta update: Dynamic Badges.

In the notification badges section of Nova Launcher, you can now choose between Dynamic Badges, which will give little icons based on the notification it's pulling the badges from for each app, or old-fashioned Numeric Badges.

If you choose the Dynamic Badges, your options are blessedly simple: what corner do you want them in and what size would you prefer for them. It may take restarting Nova Launcher for the badges to start populating on your home screen, but once they begin populating, you'll see little badges in the corners of your apps and folders when you have notifications.

If the dynamic notification is on an app in a folder, rather than showing that app's dynamic notification in the folder icon, it'll show a tiny version of the app's icon instead. Dynamic badges are based on notifications, and pull images from the notifications, meaning you'll see album art if you're playing music or a person's face if they pester you on Slack.

They're early, but it's going to be an interesting experiment. This is also the first time Nova Launcher has offered notification badges without making you download a plugin for it.

If you're interested in trying Dynamic Notifications, you can opt into the Nova Launcher beta over on Google+.

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Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

  • Started using them yesterday and they work great
  • This is awesome!
  • Isn't this just Tesla Unread? I've had custom notifications bubbles on Nova for awhile now.
  • I see you get it, but for those who might not, it looks similar, but now seems you won't need Tesla Unread in addition to Nova to get the badges, which is nice.
  • Ok, I see the difference now. Disregard 🔝
  • I...actually don't get this. What are they, exactly? How are they different from the badges from Tesla Unread? Can I uninstall Tesla Unread now?
  • Yes you can. It's now built into it. It's pretty neat. While I was using Spotify there was a little notification bubble that showed the album art on the icon
  • Can someone tell me what music widget that is in the photo?
  • It looks like the normal Google Play Music 4x1 widget, resized to 4x4 or so.
  • Nope, that is not the Google Play Music widget. That is a custom-tinted Material Music Komponent for KWGT. More specifically, it's the Belle Music Widget I made for my Beauty and the Beast themes.
  • This is potentially good news. Tesla Unread has been a little unreliable of late, especially with respect to Hangouts, which is where I need it most. Having said that, their update earlier this month may have actually fixed the long standing Hangouts issue.
  • It's a pretty little icon, but I'm thinking the numerical classic red notifications stand out better and are easier to see.
  • Visibility is definitely an issue with some of these, but Nova has to work with what its given by notifications.
  • This doesn't seem to work for me. I have selected dynamic badges and I have a number of notifications up, like the Google music one, but I don't see any badges at all on any of my icons.
  • Try restarting Nova if you haven't already.
  • Yeah tried that several times. But what DID work was that Nova updated itself again from the Play store. So there must have been a late breaking fix.
  • Same here. Beta installed. Setting changed. Phone restarted. No notifications. Switch back to traditional badges, and all is well. Could this be something with Nougat?
  • I had to restart Nova before it would show up for me. Again, folks, BETA.
  • I had to make sure Tesla unread was uninstalled for mine to work
  • Thanks for that penetrating insight. As I said, already tried that. I've been a beta tester for Nova Launcher for a year, so um yeah, could you explain beta software for me, slowly and with visual aids?
  • Beta, as in things may be kinda broken. Dynamic badges uses at least some code from Android O, which may not play well on older systems. Hence why these aren't showing up for some instantly or at all. BETA: broken, elusive, troublesome, annoying
  • I'd choose errant over elusive.
  • I like the counts with Tesla unread better. Not turning this on when it comes out of beta.
  • I've never used a launcher before. Maybe I should check it out. Also... I noticed the Slack icon. Are people actually using this? Not actually as in surprising, but as in a question. I tried it and didn't care for it.
  • Slack is what we use at work. We like it.
  • For work & groups. Not really for regular messaging.
  • This is awesome
  • Nice!
  • This is cool. I could never find a way to change the color to red on Tesla, like the way it is on TouchWiz. So I just hope Nova can give you the option to fully customize this new feature.
  • You've been able to change the badges in tesla for a while shape, size and color.
  • I'll have to check it out again thanks for the update 👍
  • Not sure how this is better. Most of my badges are just a colored circle now. I have a circle badge on the play store icon now. I assume telling me that one of my apps needs to be updated. I don't want to update this particular app. I never had this with the old way. Anyway, what more info is this new badge telling me that a number didn't?
  • Good that badges are going to come standard. Love Nova, but that is definitely a missing piece, even if the problem is easily solved.