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Google reportedly testing Facebook Messenger-like ‘chat heads’ for notifications with Android Q

As a part of notification bubbles in Android Q, notifications will appear as small circles with the app logo.

  • Published: March 18, 2019 11:45 AM IST
Android Q Beta (1)

Image credit: Rehan Hooda


Google has launched the first beta of the upcoming Android OS, Android Q. This new release has resulted in developers all across the world combing through the new beta version to look for any hidden features that Google did not reveal in its official announcement. As part of the combing effort, a number of hidden features have been uncovered in the operating system including iPhone X-like navigation gestures and more. According to a new report, Google seems to be testing “chat heads” for notifications.

If you recall the word “chat heads” then you are right as this kind of functionality is already present in Facebook Messenger. As part of this new feature, it looks like Google may allow users to convert any traditional notification into a chat head so that they can directly access the notification without going to the notification drawer. Unlike how Facebook made chat heads from scratch with the help of a drawing layer on other apps, it looks like the support for this feature will be baked inside the operating system.

Watch: Android Q How to Install

According to a report on XDA Developers, this feature is hidden in the operating system and users can enable this with the help of an ADB command. It will turn the notifications in a stack of circular bubbles that can be moved around the screen. As part of notification bubbles in Android Q, notifications will appear as small circles with the app logo. An additional blue dot will appear to indicate that those notifications are new. The report also stated that once users expand a notification bubble, it will align itself horizontally at the top of the display and you can see the app name.

Image credit: XDA Developers

Along with the name of the app, users will also see a button to open the app and a setting shortcut to open the notification channel settings screen. Rest of the behavior of the notification is similar to what we currently see in the notifications along with quick replies and rich notifications for media players. According to the information, the notification bubbles “co-exist” along in the shade and if you remove the notification bubble then it is removed from the notification shade as well.

The feature is likely hidden because Google may still be working on the stability aspect of it or it may still be deciding whether to implement or not. To enable, users need to use these two commands, “adb shell settings put secure experiment_enable_bubbles 1” and “adb shell settings put secure experiment_autobubble_all 1”. To return to the default behavior, users need to enter “adb shell settings delete secure experiment_enable_bubbles” and “adb shell settings delete secure experiment_autobubble_all” ADB Commands.

  • Published Date: March 18, 2019 11:45 AM IST