Nova Launcher Beta adds Android O style notification dots, but Dynamic Badges are better

Notification badges have made huge strides on Nova Launcher in the last few months. We got Dynamic Badges to replace the hum-drum numeric badges back in March, and now, Nova is letting us downsize our badges and try out the more simplistic Android O-style dots in its latest beta update. And while I'm all for bringing the latest Android goodies to older versions, this is one bit of O-ey goodness I will be skipping.

Android O dots are, well... they're boring. They're uninformative. If you're using a white or black icon pack, they're also these ugly, bland gray dots. I understand everyone wanting to try out something from Android O, I really do, and I commend the Nova Launcher team on getting this cranked out so quickly, but... Dynamic Badges are just better. They can add pops of color from the notification images they pull in, and if they can't get one of those, at least they use the app's colors instead of pulling a color to match your icon pack, thus making the dots blend in with your app icons, especially in the app drawer.

Of course, in Android O, notification dots are more than just badges, but shortcuts to actioning notifications from the icon itself with a long press. This won't be possible in Nova Launcher until Android O is released later this summer, but it's a nice preview of what's to come.

If you're excited to try the dots in Nova Launcher beta, feel free to opt-in and try them out. After you do, I only ask that you try Dynamic and see if the Nova way is better for your home screen. It's most certainly better for mine.

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.