Android’s notification system is arguably the best in the mobile arena, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
Case and point: Floatify.
This new app gives you handy pop-up notifications that work great if you’re in full screen mode and can’t see the notification bar, or if you just prefer notifications that jump out at you and grab your attention. For those unhappy with their current Android notifications, or just seeking a little something more, read on.
Download And Setup
Floatify is a free download from the Google Play Store, but the free version is limited in a few aspects. The Pro version costs $2.50 and is actually just an unlocking key — not a full app — so you’ll need the free version downloaded as well for it to work. Unsure if you’ll like Floatify? Then simply try the free version.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, open it up and the first thing you should do is enable it. It will prompt you to give it access to your notifications, and then have you set which apps you’d like for it to show notifications for (although these can always be customized under Notification Apps).
The free version only allows you to select up to 5 apps to show notifications for, but that can be enough to cover the main ones like Phone, Messaging, and Facebook. Still, if you’re planning on using this app for long, it’s probably best to pay the $2.50 and check all of the apps.
You’ll also want to have Autostart selected, otherwise a reboot of your phone could turn off the app. Auto Action After Unlocking, shown above in the screenshot, defines what your phone will do when you unlock it. This makes it easy to see your notifications the instant you unlock your phone without having to check the notification drawer every time.
You can also blacklist certain apps so that floating notifications won’t show up while you’re using those apps; instead, the notification will appear as soon as you leave the app. For instance, blacklisting YouTube and Netflix could allow you to watch your shows and videos distraction free, and then alert you to your notifications when you’re done.
The style can also be changed around quite a bit, which we’ll look at in the next section. Unfortunately, to change the icon packs at all you’ll need the Pro version. Icon packs, which can be used to customize the look of icons on your homescreen, don’t extend to the notification drawer. With the same icon pack applied to your launcher and to Floatify, you get a much more unified experience.
Customization And Look
The main aspects of customization here are the placement of the notifications and the color behind them. By default, they’re white and along the bottom, but you can give them a darker background or move them to the center or top of the screen. Having them pop down from the top gives a much more iOS-like feel, but since it is overlapping your screen, it all depends on where you find it the least intrusive.
You can also customize nearly every bit of the notification from the opacity to the speed at which it appears and how long it stays for.
With the Pro version, you can customize what you can do with the notifications — long press, double tap, swipe left, or swipe right actions can all be changed. In the free version, you can only tap to open the app or swipe to dismiss it like with regular notifications.
Given the range of options for dealing with the notification and the ability to pop up when you unlock your phone, this kind of notification system is also quite useful for creating simple reminders that stick with you.
If you so desired, you could even arrange the app just to show notifications from one or two apps. That way, most of your notifications could remain in the notification drawer, but the most important ones would flash up on your screen immediately.
With the Pro version, you can also add shortcuts to your homescreen that allow you to see your last notification, remove all your notifications, or make the pop-ups reappear. Creating a few of these shortcuts can help you much more easily manage your notifications.
It’s unfortunate that you have to pay for the Pro version to get this feature, but if you’re really trying to avoid the notification shade, Floatify and its homescreen shortcuts make a great replacement.
What Do You Think?
Floatify clearly isn’t for everyone — many Android users are already quite happy with their notifications. But for some, especially those who like to hide the notification bar and go into full screen mode a lot, Floatify could be extremely useful.
What do you think of Floatify? Any other apps for managing your notifications that you prefer? Let us know in the comments!
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