Android App Tip: Notification Center

Notification-Center-on-Nexus4As I mentioned during the pre-roll before last week’s VUC call I’m surprised and a little dismayed at the lack of control of notifications in Android. This bubbled to the surface one day last week when my Nexus 7 started to repeatedly make noises at around 3am one morning. My wife further commented that my cell phone & tablet occasionally issue notices without actually managing to stir me from my slumber.

It’s not too hard to figure out why this happened; 3am CDT is around 8am GMT so folks in Europe & the UK were starting their working day with some Hangout chatter. It just so happens that the group in question had one or two people, like myself, in must more western time zones. Thinking about this a bit, it’s surprising that such consideration have not been added to the core of the OS. The “Snooze” function in the Hangouts app is far too crude to be considered useful. Surely other people have felt the need for more fine grained control of notifications?

In fact, others have felt that need. The excellent Android mail app K-9 Mail, recommended to me by Karl “one-last-question” Fife, has a Quiet Time function that disables all “ringing, buzzing & flashing” during a user-defined portion of the day. Since it’s a function of the app, that setting applies only to incoming email notifications.

A quick search of the Play Store turned up a solution in the form of Notification Center by Nicolas Chaix. This $1.99 app delivers flexible control of what kind of notification are allowed and when.

The app allows the user to create multiple profiles that define different notification settings. For example, if listening to music on a wired headset the presence of the wired headset can automatically silence audible alerts from messaging. The fact that the phone is sitting on a Qi charger, presumably on my night stand, can automatically silence all alerts. It even allows for profiles based upon connection to a certain Wifi network or Bluetooth device.

While I’ve only had the software installed for a few days, thus far it has proven to be exactly what I needed. Highly recommended!