Android 15 will make it easier to deal with notification clutter

Android 15 logo on smartphone stock photo (3)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Android 15 will hide unused notification channels by default.
  • Apps can group their notifications by category by putting them into channels, allowing users to block the notification channels they don’t like selectively.
  • Some apps create a lot of notification channels, making them hard to sort through, but this unreleased feature will address that problem.

When people compare iOS to Android, one aspect of Android that receives nearly universal praise is how it handles app notifications. Thanks to the meticulous work Google has put into the feature over the years, Android notifications are easy to read, interact with, and manage. Android offers granular, per-app, and per-category-level control over notifications, and with every new OS release, Google has introduced new features to make managing them even easier. The upcoming Android 15 update will be no different.

With the release of Android 8.0 in 2017, Google introduced the ability for apps to create notification channels. Notification channels are essentially categories to which apps must assign notifications. For example, a shopping app might have a notification channel for order updates and another channel for promoting sales.

This benefits both users and developers. Users get to pick and choose which channels to allow as well as customize how their notifications are shown. Developers, meanwhile, don’t need to worry as much about users disabling notifications for their app entirely if users have the option to disable specific channels instead.

While notification channels provide both users and developers more control over app notifications, developers ultimately decide when and how many are created. There’s no obligation for developers to create more than one notification channel, but they’re incentivized to do so because it means users will be less likely to disable notifications entirely. On the other end of the spectrum, some developers

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A secret Google deal let Spotify completely bypass Android’s app store fees

Music streaming service Spotify struck a seemingly unique and highly generous deal with Google for Android-based payments, according to new testimony in the Epic v. Google trial. On the stand, Google head of global partnerships Don Harrison confirmed Spotify paid a 0 percent commission when users chose to buy subscriptions through Spotify’s own system. If the users picked Google as their payment processor, Spotify handed over 4 percent — dramatically less than Google’s more common 15 percent fee.

Google fought to keep the Spotify numbers private during its antitrust fight with Epic, saying they could damage negotiations with other app developers who might want more generous rates. Google’s User Choice Billing program, launched in 2022, is typically described as shaving about 4 percent off Google’s Play Store commission if developers use their own payment system, bringing down Google’s 15 percent subscription service fee to more like 11 percent. That often ends up saving developers little or no money since they must foot the cost of payment processing themselves. And in court, Google has focused on benefits like greater flexibility rather than cost savings.

But Harrison says Spotify’s “unprecedented” popularity was great enough to justify a “bespoke” deal. “If we don’t have Spotify working properly across Play services and core services, people will not buy Android phones,” Harrison testified. As part of the deal, both parties also agreed to commit $50 million apiece to a “success fund.”

Google acknowledged Harrison’s testimony in a statement to The Verge. “A small number of developers that invest more directly in Android and Play may have different service fees as part of a broader partnership that includes substantial financial investments and product integrations across different form factors,” says spokesperson Dan Jackson. “These key investment partnerships allow us to bring more users to Android and Play

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Google offered $147m in deal to get Fortnite in Play Store

The saga of Fortnite on Android has had a lot of ups and downs as Epic Games tried to avoid paying the Play Store’s cut of in-app purchases, but things could have been very different if Epic Games had accepted a deal offered by Google which would have paid $147 million just to get the game on the Play Store.

Fortnite launched to Android in 2018 by direct install as well as through Samsung’s Galaxy App Store. The game was an immediate hit, but also immediately plagued by problems due to the nature of its installation, which was via sideloading.

Prior to that somewhat messy debut, though, Google offered Epic Games a deal to get Fortnite in the Play Store. The deal was revealed this week during the ongoing Google vs Epic Games trial. Google’s VP of Play partnerships Purnima Kochikar confirmed that the deal was approved by Google, but Epic Games never accepted it. If it had been accepted, the $147 million payout would have been delivered incrementally over the course of three years, ending in 2021.

As noted by The Verge, the goal behind this was to keep Fortnite in the Play Store and to avoid a “contagion” of Android games being distributed via sideloading. Google was concerned that all top game developers would depart the Play Store and distribute on their own, which would have costed Google billions in lost revenue.

In 2020, Epic Games briefly did put Fortnite in the Play Store, only to introduce direct payments a few months later, resulting in Google (and Apple) removing the game, and Epic immediately filing a lawsuit just hours later. Epic filed the same lawsuit against Apple, which went to court over the past few months and resulted in an overall loss for Epic.

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This $300 Pixel 6a deal is back just in time for your summer vacation

Google Pixel 6a

Source: Google

Google Pixel 6a

$299 $349 Save $50

The Google Pixel 6a is down to its best price ever once more, and we love to see it go this low. At $299, the 6a is a great choice when looking for a cost-effective smartphone with a great camera, good battery, and a long list of useful software features.

Back in May during Google I/O 2023, the company announced that the Pixel 6a would stick around even though the Pixel 7a was becoming available for purchase, but with a reduced price tag. Now with an MSRP of $349, the Pixel 6a continues to be one of our favorite Android smartphones, but it’s even more attractive when the price drops below $300 like it has now.


Why you’ll love the Google Pixel 6a

At $349, the Pixel 6a is a great choice in smartphones, but at $299, it’s a fantastic one. Featuring a 6.1-inch display, the Pixel 6a is an ideal choice for anyone who’s gotten tired of handling huge phones and getting annoyed that they don’t fit into their pocket.

ANDROID POLICE VIDEO OF THE DAYSCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

The device comes with a 4,400 mAh battery that will last you through most of the day, but on the downside, the 6a doesn’t support wireless charging, so you’ll be stuck using annoying cables. Another drawback to be aware of is that the phone was released just under a year ago, so you’ll have to subtract 11 months from its promised 36 months of Android OS upgrades and 60 months of security patches, set to end in July 2025 and July 2027, respectively.

But what sets the Pixel 6a apart from other smartphones is its custom-built Tensor chip, which was designed by Google specifically for Pixels. The Tensor G1

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