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Android 8.0 Oreo, the newest tasty dessert for your phone
After months of speculation, Google has confirmed that Android 8.0 is Android Oreo. And for the lucky few who own the right devices, Android Oreo will be rolling out soon.

, brings some refreshing updates to Android’s notification system. In prior versions, thanks to third-party apps, you could snooze and group notifications.

Want a better way to handle notifications on your Android device? Echo works as a lockscreen replacement and can group your notifications into categories and mute them based on time or your location.

But Oreo packs that and more into Android without you having to install anything extra.

Let’s take a look at how notifications have changed and how you can take advantage of the new features.

Notification Channels Explained

The most important change comes with a new feature called notification channels. This doesn’t have anything to do with subscribing to TV channels

If you have canceled cable you may be wondering what to watch next. These streaming TV apps may be the answer, as they offer a traditional viewing experience.

. Instead, notification channels let you decide how important different types of notifications are. And with apps updated for Android Oreo, you can even change settings for different types of notifications within an app.

It’s pretty exciting, but easier to understand with an example. Let’s take a look.

First, open the Settings app on your device and tap the Apps & notifications category. On the resulting page, tap the Notifications entry, then again hit the Notifications option with a bell icon next to it. This will bring you to a list of all your apps.

android oreo notification menus

Next, you’ll need to find an app that supports the new Oreo notifications. If it doesn’t, you’ll see a few basic options. LastPass, shown below, is an example of an app that’s not updated for the new system.

android oreo app not updated for notifications

For apps like these, you can completely disable notifications

Getting annoying ad notifications on your Android device? Turn them off quickly and easily.

if you like. You also have the option to turn off the sound, let it override Do Not Disturb mode.

Volume controls changed a lot in Lollipop, so we're here to help you make sense of all of it.

, or change how it displays notification content on the lock screen. While you can also toggle these options for apps that support the new system, this isn’t terribly exciting.

Let’s take a look at an app that supports notification channels, like Twitter.

Tweaking Notification Channels

Notice how many more options Twitter provides than LastPass?

android oreo notification channels twitter

This page groups the notification types into categories, like Direct Messages and Tweets from people you follow. These will differ depending on the app you’re viewing; the Uncategorized option is a catch-all for other notifications. You can fine-tune each one just the way you like it, or even disable it. Tap a category to adjust settings.

The Importance setting changes the most about its behavior. You can choose from four levels:

android oreo notification category options

You can decide how important a notification is to you. For instance, you probably want direct messages to grab your attention so you don’t miss someone getting ahold of you, so set it to High. But you don’t really need Twitter to distract you.

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when you’ve gained a new follower. Set that to Medium, and you’ll see it later when you look at your notifications.

For each category in a given app, you can also change its sound, vibration, lock screen, and Do Not Disturb settings. Adding a unique notification sound

If you're still using the generic ringtone that came with your phone, it's time for a change. Why not use some classic video game music an awesome new ringtone?

to an important notification will let you know what’s up without even looking at your device.

Adjusting Live Notifications

If you get a notification that you want to tweak but aren’t sure which app it’s coming from, Oreo has you covered there. Next time you see such a notification, pull it slightly to the left or right and tap the gear icon that appears. Don’t swipe it too far, or you’ll dismiss it. Once you tap the gear, press All Categories to open that app’s notification settings.

android oreo live notification settings

Here, you can toggle the category that launched the annoying notification. In this example, I don’t need a notification in my tray every time I take a screenshot

This is how to take a screenshot on Android -- no matter what version you're running.

. So tap on Screenshots to change options for just that notification. Change the Importance from Medium to Low, and you won’t have to see an icon for a screenshot every time you take one.

Low priority notifications that are persistent, like the LastPass Fill Helper, live below the standard notifications. These take up less space, and you can swipe them away or pull down to expand if needed.

android oreo low priority notification

Snoozing Notifications

Aside from Notification Channels, Oreo has another notification-related tool for you. How many times have you left a notification sitting in your tray for half a day so that you didn’t forget about it.
Never miss a notification again by using one of these apps.

? Sometimes a notification comes in that you don’t want to dismiss, but don’t have time to deal with right away. Now, you can snooze these for later.

It’s easy to do. When a notification comes in, slide it slightly to the left or right to expose the clock icon under it. Don’t slide too far or you’ll swipe the notification away. Tap the clock icon, and you’ll snooze the notification for an hour. After that time, your phone will show you the notification again.

android oreo snooze notification

If an hour isn’t a good amount of time, tap the 1 hour text and you’ll see other options like 15 minutes and 2 hours. Select one of them to change how long before you see the notification again.

This saves you from having to dig through your notification history
We've all done it: a notification flashes up on your phone, but before you've had a chance to read it, you've accidentally swiped it away. It's gone forever. Or is it?

and reduces clutter in your bar.

Don’t Have Oreo Yet?

These new notification options are awesome and let power users tweak exactly how their phone can get ahold of them. But they’re only available for Android Oreo users, which many users won’t see for several months

If you own an Android phone, there's a good chance you rarely get Android security updates. And you can blame it on the Google Pixel.

.

If you’re using a Nexus or Pixel device, you can update to Android Oreo now

Want to upgrade your Pixel or Nexus device to Android Oreo right now? Here's how you can do so and skip the rollout wait.

. Check for updates by visiting Settings > About Phone > Software update to see if it’s ready to arrive over-the-air (OTA). If not, you can try using the beta workaround. Should both of those fail and you don’t mind getting a little technical, you can also manually flash Google’s OTA images to your phone.

Those without a Google device are out of luck for now. Your best bet is using a third-party app to mimic some of the new notification options in Oreo

The Android O Developer Preview is out for select devices! But you can get the best features on your phone or tablet without upgrading.

. It won’t be as expansive as the stock feature, but it’s something. Check out why Android phones take so long to get updates

The Android update process is long and complicated; let's examine it to find out exactly why your Android phone takes so long to update.

if you’re curious as to why this is a problem.

Notifications Galore

Now you know how notification channels give you more control over what notifies you on Android. They definitely take a bit of getting used to. But after you’ve got everything set up just the way you like it, you’ll know that you won’t miss an important notification, and that low-priority notifications won’t be grabbing your attention.

Want to get more out of notifications? You should set them up to sync with your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer

You can sync all of the notifications from your Android phone or tablet with your desktop!

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Chris Velazco
Chris is Engadget's senior mobile editor and moonlights as a professional moment ruiner. His early years were spent taking apart Sega consoles and writing awful fan fiction. That passion for electronics and words would eventually lead him to covering startups of all stripes at TechCrunch. The first phone he ever swooned over was the Nokia 7610, because man, those curves.

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