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Android Notifications - Tutorial

Lars Vogel

Version 2.4

12.06.2013

Revision History
Revision 0.1 17.07.2010 Lars
Vogel
Created
Revision 0.2 - 2.4 19.07.2010 - 12.06.2013 Lars
Vogel
bug fixes and enhancements

Using the Notification Manager in Android

This article describes how to use the Notification Manager in Android. It is based on Eclipse 4.2, Java 1.6 and Android 4.2.


Table of Contents

1. Prerequisites for this tutorial
2. Notification Manager
2.1. Notification Manager
2.2. Setting up Notifications
2.3. Canceling Notifications
3. Pending Intent
4. Example: NotificationManager
5. Support this website
5.1. Thank you
5.2. Questions and Discussion
6. Links and Literature
6.1. Source Code
6.2. Android Resources
6.3. vogella Resources

1. Prerequisites for this tutorial

The following assumes that you have already basic knowledge in Android development. Please check the Android development tutorial to learn the basics.

2. Notification Manager

2.1. Notification Manager

Android allows to put notification into the titlebar of your application. The user can expand the notification bar and by selecting the notification the user can trigger another activity.

2.2. Setting up Notifications

Notifications in Android are represented by the Notification class. To create notifications you use the NotificationManager class which can be received from the Context, e.g. an activity or a service, via the getSystemService() method.

NotificationManager notificationManager = (NotificationManager) 
  getSystemService(NOTIFICATION_SERVICE); 

The Notification.Builder provides an builder interface to create an Notification object. You use a PendingIntent to specify the action which should be performed once the user select the notification.

The Notification.Builder allows you to add up to three buttons with definable actions to the notification.

// prepare intent which is triggered if the
// notification is selected

Intent intent = new Intent(this, NotificationReceiver.class);
PendingIntent pIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(this, 0, intent, 0);

// build notification
// the addAction re-use the same intent to keep the example short
Notification n  = new Notification.Builder(this)
        .setContentTitle("New mail from " + "test@gmail.com")
        .setContentText("Subject")
        .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.icon)
        .setContentIntent(pIntent)
        .setAutoCancel(true)
        .addAction(R.drawable.icon, "Call", pIntent)
        .addAction(R.drawable.icon, "More", pIntent)
        .addAction(R.drawable.icon, "And more", pIntent).build();
    
  
NotificationManager notificationManager = 
  (NotificationManager) getSystemService(NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);

notificationManager.notify(0, n); 

Showing the Notification bar with the created notification

Android 4.1 supports expandable notifications. In addition to normal notification view it is possible to define a big view which gets shown when notification is expanded. There are three styles to be used with the big view: big picture style, big text style, Inbox style. The following code demonstrates the usage of the BigTextStyle() which allows to use up to 256 dp.

String longText = "...";

Notification noti = new Notification.Builder(this).
.....
.setStyle(new Notification.BigTextStyle().bigText(longText)) 

Showing the Notification bar with the created notification

2.3. Canceling Notifications

The user can dismiss all notification or if you set your notification to auto-cancel it is also removed once the user selects it.

You can also call the cancel() for a specific notification ID on the NotificationManager. The cancelAll() method call removes all of the notifications you previously issued.

3. Pending Intent

A pending intent is a token that you give to another application (e.g., notification manager, alarm manager or other 3rd party applications), which allows this other application to use the permissions of your application to execute a predefined piece of code.

To perform a broadcast via a pending intent, get a PendingIntent via the getBroadcast() method of the PendingIntent class. To perform an activity via a pending intent, you receive the activity via PendingIntent.getActivity().

4. Example: NotificationManager

Create a new project called de.vogella.android.notificationmanager with the activity class called CreateNotificationActivity. This activity should use the main.xml layout file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:orientation="vertical" >

    <Button
        android:id="@+id/button1"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="match_parent"
        android:onClick="createNotification"
        android:text="Create Notification" >
    </Button>

</LinearLayout> 

Create the following result.xml layout file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent" >

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/textView1"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="This is the result activity opened from the notification" >
    </TextView>

</LinearLayout> 

Create a new activity called NotificationReceiverActivity with the following coding. Don't forget to register the activity in the AndroidManfest.mf.

package de.vogella.android.notificationmanager;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.os.Bundle;

public class NotificationReceiverActivity extends Activity {
  @Override
  protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    setContentView(R.layout.result);
  }
} 

Change the CreateNotificationActivity class to the following coding.

package de.vogella.android.notificationmanager;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.app.Notification;
import android.app.NotificationManager;
import android.app.PendingIntent;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;

public class CreateNotificationActivity extends Activity {
  @Override
  public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    setContentView(R.layout.main);
  }

  public void createNotification(View view) {
    // Prepare intent which is triggered if the
    // notification is selected
    Intent intent = new Intent(this, NotificationReceiverActivity.class);
    PendingIntent pIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(this, 0, intent, 0);

    // Build notification
    // Actions are just fake
    Notification noti = new Notification.Builder(this)
        .setContentTitle("New mail from " + "test@gmail.com")
        .setContentText("Subject").setSmallIcon(R.drawable.icon)
        .setContentIntent(pIntent)
        .addAction(R.drawable.icon, "Call", pIntent)
        .addAction(R.drawable.icon, "More", pIntent)
        .addAction(R.drawable.icon, "And more", pIntent).build();
    NotificationManager notificationManager = (NotificationManager) getSystemService(NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
    // hide the notification after its selected
    noti.flags |= Notification.FLAG_AUTO_CANCEL;

    notificationManager.notify(0, noti);

  }
} 

Run your application and press the button. A new notification is created. If you select it your second activity will be displayed.

5. Support this website

This tutorial is Open Content under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE license. Source code in this tutorial is distributed under the Eclipse Public License. See the vogella License page for details on the terms of reuse.

Writing and updating these tutorials is a lot of work. If this free community service was helpful, you can support the cause by giving a tip as well as reporting typos and factual errors.

5.1. Thank you

Please consider a contribution if this article helped you.

Flattr this

5.2. Questions and Discussion

If you find errors in this tutorial, please notify me (see the top of the page). Please note that due to the high volume of feedback I receive, I cannot answer questions to your implementation. Ensure you have read the vogella FAQ as I don't respond to questions already answered there.

6. Links and Literature

6.1. Source Code

Source Code of Examples

6.3. vogella Resources

vogella Training Android and Eclipse Training from the vogella team

Android Tutorial Introduction to Android Programming

GWT Tutorial Program in Java, compile to JavaScript and HTML

Eclipse RCP Tutorial Create native applications in Java

JUnit Tutorial Test your application

Git Tutorial Put all your files in a distributed version control system