Earlier this week, Google updated its Android Compatability Definition Document, the ‘piece of paper’ that states every rule third-party OEMs must adhere to if they wish to ship an Android device with access to the Google Play Store.
For the most part, the majority of the changes are minor, though one does stand out.
Caught by Android Police‘s David Ruddock, the change relates to how Android handles notifications post 7.0.
According to the new rule, device OEMs cannot alter or deactivate Android’s native handling of notifications and the bundling of said notifications. The document also now states manufacturers cannot take away the user’s ability to access their phone’s settings menu directly from the notification shade, as well as their capacity to block, mute or reset notifications.
Here’s the relevant section:
Handheld device implementations MUST support the behaviors of updating, removing, replying to, and bundling notifications as described in this section.
Also, handheld device implementations MUST provide:
- The ability to control notifications directly in the notification shade.
- The visual affordance to trigger the control panel in the notification shade.
- The ability to BLOCK, MUTE and RESET notification preference from a package, both in the inline control panel as well as in the settings app.
With the exception of some manufacturers in China, it’s hard to find Android OEMs that sell through into Canada that don’t already leave Android’s notification functionality as is. Still, it’s a good sign that Google is working toward making its operating system even more consistent between different devices.