If you’re like me and treat your notification shade like a to-do list of things you’ll come back to later, you’ll know that sometimes the “newest” notification gets lost in a sea of recent ones with higher priority. Google has managed to solve this issue for Android Q in the simplest way possible, by adding a notification bell.
In recent versions of Android, notifications are arranged in your notification shade according to time and priority, with higher priority notifications always appearing first. This can lead to newer notifications being swamped by other “more important” ones.
That fact, combined with the smaller area for notifications in the status bar (to compensate for notched phones), it can sometimes be hard to even tell which notification alerted among the mess. Thankfully, Google has very simply and intuitively fixed the notification shade experience in Android Q Beta 1 with a new bell icon.
Now, for the first 30 seconds or so after a notification occurs, the notification shade will display a bell next to it, indicating which one “rang.” As you can see in the screenshots below, the bell doesn’t last long, as the new notification still says “Now” despite the bell disappearing.
Compared to the more fundamental change to the notification shade, which adds actions when you swipe left, the notification bell seems like an exclusively positive change.
I can honestly say this is my favorite quality of life change so far in Android Q, and shows that Google is taking pride in the small details with this release.