The notifications are not good.
Our phones are constantly buzzing with little gray boxes that demand our attention, but trust me, you can live without them, and life on the other side is better.
On Android 10 or 11, managing notifications is really easy, so if you’re using a modern version of the operating system, now is the time to take control.
There are two ways to control notifications: a slow method and a faster method. The slow version is easier but takes a long time, and the fast method takes less time, but takes a little more work.
The slow way
On Android, you can press and hold a notification to reveal several basic options. There are two options: “Important” and “Other”.
If something is set as important, your phone will show the notification with the highest priority. This means that your phone will ring or vibrate when it arrives, and if your phone screen is on, notifications appear on your screen. Usually, things like messages and emails take priority.
Other notifications arrive silently to be less disruptive and won’t appear on your lock screen. Often these are notifications from apps like sales from Google Fit or Uber Eats.
Underneath, there’s a button that turns off notifications, and that’s the button you should press for just about everything. Personally, I try to turn off anything unrelated to the conversation. If you’re on Android 11, Google does a pretty good job of sorting conversations into a third category that can even be boiled down. It doesn’t matter much in the context of suppressing your low-level notifications, but you can find out more here.
When you press the Turn off notifications button, Android not only turns off all notifications for that app. Instead, it provides you with a few notification categories that you can turn on or off as you like. For example, with Google Maps, you probably still want detailed navigation notifications to show up, but you probably don’t need updates on nearby restaurants or the app constantly asking you to review things.
The slow method is basically turning off these types of notifications one by one as they come in over a few months. This means that if a notification comes in and you think it’s not important to your life, turn it off. I try to be very strict with these as most notifications are triggers to pull people to apps and really don’t offer much value.
The fast lane
The fastest way is to go to the notifications settings section and start turning things off manually. It’s a bit more difficult because you won’t know exactly what each toggle does, but it can be done with a little research.
You can use it on less important apps and use the slow method on apps like Maps, where you don’t want to get rid of stuff for fear of deleting something important.
To do this, open your settings app and scroll down to where it says “Apps & notifications”.
On the main page, you may have options like “ Hide silent notifications in status bar ” and “ Notifications on lock screen ”, and I suggest playing with those too for find something that suits you. Personally, I have hidden silent notifications and only important notifications on my lock screen.
To start working on your apps one by one, tap where it says “See all of the last 7 days”, then sort this list by “Most frequent”. From there you can go to town and start turning things off. For example, you probably don’t need Play Store notifications and do you really need Uber Eats to appear to entice you to order food?
This part really depends on user preferences, but like I said before, I recommend being strict because the less notifications you get, the less time you spend with your phone.