Mobility

Customize and better manage Android notifications with Nevolution

If you get a lot of notifications from Android, find out how Nevolution can help make this system more efficient.

nevolutionhero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

If you'd like more customizations with the Android notification system, you can give the Android N beta a try, wait for the official "N" release, or you can add a third-party app called Nevolution. This app (currently in beta, but available to install) allows you to improve on the already outstanding notification system with built-in plugins and community-created plugins.

With the built-in plugins, Nevolution can evolve your notifications with:

  • Bundles: Bundle separate notifications into a single, easy to split notification
  • Elastic List: Stretch single-lined notifications into smarter multi-lined notifications
  • Stack: Stack your recent notifications as a list
  • Multi-line Text: Expand shortened text into multi-lined text
  • No Heads-up: Disable the heads-up notification
  • Call Vibrato: Vibrate upon call answering

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There's even an extension pack already available that adds:
  • Better status-bar notification icon compatibility for pre-6.0 Android
  • Seamless experience without any notification loss during Nevolution upgrades
  • No notification loss should Nevolution crashes

Installing Nevolution

I highly recommend you install Nevolution (beta) and the Nevolution Extension Pack. To install Nevolution, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your device.
  2. Search for nevolution.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Oasis Feng.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. Read the permissions listing.
  6. If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept.
  7. Allow the installation to complete.

Go back to the Google Play Store and do the same thing to install the Nevolution Extension Pack. Once both are installed, go to either your home screen or your App Drawer and tap the Nevolution launcher.

Using Nevolution

The first thing you must is activate Nevolution. When you open the app initially, you'll be prompted to tap ACTIVATE. Do so and then tap to Grant Nevolution Access To Notifications (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Granting Nevolution access on a Verizon-branded LG G3.

Tap the check box and then tap OK when prompted. Nevolution now has access to your notifications, and you can start setting it up. Tap the device's Home button and then open Nevolution again — you'll see a listing of all your notifications (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen

The Nevolution main window.

Let's bundle some notifications together. To do that, follow these steps.

  1. Open Nevolution.
  2. Tap the notification to be bundled (e.g., all Gmail notifications).
  3. Tap the puzzle piece that appears at the bottom right.
  4. Tap the gear icon in the Bundle description.
  5. When prompted, tap New bundle (Figure C).
  6. Give the bundle a name.
  7. Tap OK.

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen

Bundling Gmail notifications together.

When you tap a notification that is part of a bundle, tap the puzzle icon again, and Nevolution will only display notifications within that bundle (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D
Image: Jack Wallen

Bundled notifications for easier viewing.

If you tap on a notification, you'll see an upward-pointing arrow at the bottom of the screen. Tap the arrow to open that notification so you can either reply to it or archive it (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E
Image: Jack Wallen

Acting on a notification within Nevolution.

If you tap the puzzle piece, you can slide the popup card to the left to enable the different types of notification listings. For example, if you want Nevolution to evolve how it displays notifications (giving more room to notifications that need it), select the Elastic List option, which will allow you to easily read the content of lengthier notifications (Figure F).

Figure F

Figure F
Image: Jack Wallen

Selecting the Elastic List option.

Three caveats

  • Nevolution is still in beta, so some of its features may or may not work
  • It does take a bit of effort to get the hang of using Nevolution, partially because the UI is still in need of refining.
  • Nevolution doesn't work with the existing notification system. Because of this, you do have to open the Nevolution app to view your "Nevolved" notifications. For those that receive a large number of notifications throughout the day (and would like to keep those notifications available for later review), it might be worth having to work with a third-party app.

Summary

If you're looking for a more efficient means of working with a vast array of notifications, you cannot go wrong with Nevolution. If, however, you don't receive a ton of notifications or you just dismiss them as they come in, Nevolution might not be for you.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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