Galaxy S8 Oreo Update: Notification Channels Bring Granular Controls for Alerts

Notification Channels Bring Granular Controls for Alerts

This week, Samsung officially kicked off the Oreo Beta Program for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in North America and several other markets. The full list of changes is quite substantial, so we'll be running through them in a series of posts detailing what's new. First up, the Galaxy phones inherit notification channels from Android 8.0.

With the announcement of Android Oreo, Google detailed a new method for taking granular control of your notifications. Complex messaging and social media apps often have different types of notifications they push to you on a daily basis. One key example is Twitter, where you may receive notifications for direct messages, mentions, quotes, new feed activity, likes, and more. Many people want to receive a notification in the panel for each of these categories, but often want to alter the type of alert they receive. This is where notification channels can help.

My favorite Twitter client on Android is Flamingo, and I get a lot of notifications from the app every day. I am very interested in receiving notifications for mentions and direct messages, but don't care as much about likes or new tweets in my feed. On Oreo, you can adjust the importance (Urgent, High, Medium, Low) of your notifications for each category within Settings. In addition, you can choose the notification sound, turn vibrate on or off, and disable the app icon badge if you like.

Currently, notification channels are only supported by certain apps, but the list of useful ones is substantial. Many Google productivity apps like Gmail and Inbox offer support, as do popular third-party Twitter clients like Flamingo, Talon, and Fenix 2. Of the Android messaging apps, Allo has the most robust set of notification channel categories. On the other hand, Allo isn't really all that popular.

Do you think Notification Channels will make your life easier? Do you plan to use the feature at all? Let us know in the comments! If you haven't grabbed the Oreo Beta yet, check out our full guide below!

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Cover image and screenshots by Jeff Springer/Gadget Hacks


Before the update you use to be able to give each contact a different notification sound. Can't seem to do that now. Is there a way around? Thanks.

DO NOT UPDATE to Oreo if you rely on Gmail Label Notifications. In the updated software, you can not differentiate between your various label notification sounds. They are all set to the same sound. (You can change the alert sound, but it is applied to ALL label alerts.) I relied heavily on being able to hear a different ringtone/sound for each label. It allowed me to know without looking at the phone, weather the email was something urgent from a client, for example, verses a friend who I could call later.

There is no fix as of yet (April 12, 2018) so, the only work around was to factory reset my phone to Nougat (Android 7). Of course, that meant 3 days of RE setting up all my apps, permissions, and settings. But, compared to not being able to know who was emailing me by sound... it was the only thing that I could do.

Google please fix this. I relied on each label having a different notification sound. Now they all have the same sound. I have no choice in going back to previous version of android because my new phone cam with Oreo. Why do Google take away features that have been there for years?

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