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Google is finally cutting down on Android app notification overload

January 15th, 2020 at 10:10 PM
Google Play Store

For a few months now, Android users have been taking to Reddit and Google Support forums to question the seeming disappearance of Google Play Store notifications that should have notified them of the successful completion of an app update. “I’ve noticed recently that notifications that you have app updates available as well as the notifications saying that an app (was) auto-updated have gone missing,” one Reddit user noted. “I haven’t changed any settings within the play store or for its notifications … Is anyone else having this issue?”

Turns out, it wasn’t some sort of bug — Google has actually done this on purpose, presumably to help people better manage and deal with the flood of incoming notifications they get throughout the day.

A Google spokesman confirmed to Android Police, following a couple months of some users getting the notifications and then seeing them disappear again, that their absence is officially on purpose. You’ve actually always been able to mute the alerts letting you know an app has finished updating, but going forward Google wants this to actually be the status quo now.

Fewer app notifications to deal with is a good thing, if you ask me — and, in case you’re wondering, it will still be easy to check to see what apps have been updated. You’ll just have to open the Google Play Store and check manually. Or, you could refrain from automatic updates and remind yourself to update everything manually. Google didn’t actually provide any explanation for why it’s pursued this change, so we’re left to assume that the purpose is helping people cut down on notification overload. This also comes in the wake of Version 80 of Chrome for Android promising a quieter notification permission UI to keep users from being bombarded with notification requests. Helpfully, if you usually block these kinds of requests, the setting will be enabled automatically for you.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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