One of the most striking features of the much-discussed Moto X has been its notification system, which lets you see what’s new on your mail and social networks without your needing to unlock the device’s display. So if you get a new mail or a Facebook notification, the icon of the relevant service will just appear on your display against a jet black background. Classy very classy. Especially on the insanely rich blacks of the Moto X’s AMOLED display. Well, this being Android, you can now have the same facility on your Android device. Without paying a penny. Cool, eh?
Making the magic happen is a neat little app (it is just above a megabyte in download terms) called DynamicNotifications – yes, one word. Designed mainly to discreetly deliver notifications to your device, the app installs smoothly, and once activated, make your screen light up gently whenever you get a new mail, message or social media notification (you can tweak the services that you want notifications from), with the icon representing the service standing in magnificent isolation against a black background – and yes, it looks good on LCD displays (it certainly is a treat on our Nexus 4 unit).
To know more about the notification just press down on it to see a preview appear on the upper portion of the display, and if you want to access the service which served up the notification just drag the icon that appears in the center to unlock the phone and open the relevant service. Just for the record, the app does not replace your lockscreen app – if you unlock your display, you will get the lockscreen you have chosen for your device. DynamicNotifications swings into action only when it has notifications to show.
The screen stays lit up for the time you have set for the display to timeout by default, although you can change this, if you wish. Also, in a neat touch, the notifications do not light up when the display is facing a dark surface – say it is in your pocket or lying face down on your desk – thus avoiding accidental touches. And that pretty much is it. It might not seem like much on paper, but well, for us at least, the sight of an icon flashing on our phone displays does communicate a whole lot more than a blinking LED (which is pretty much the default mode for most devices).
If you want more, you can shell out 99 cents and get facilities like the option to hide additional notification details, the ability to switch off the screen every time you dismiss a notification, and best of all, the option to use the app as a lockscreen. We would have also liked the ability to see previews multiple notifications on the display – currently we can only see that of the latest one – but even without that detail, DynamicNotifications does enough to reserve a place for itself on our device. Notifications were never this unobtrusive and elegant. We actually are pondering paying up to use it as our lockscreen app!
Available from: Google Play