The latest update from Android offers marketers and end users some delightful new capabilities that help further optimize user engagement and interactions.  But before you jump in with both feet, be aware that the adoption of new Android releases typically takes some time before achieving critical mass. It’s important to know and also prioritize accordingly to your audience.

Pie chart showing uptake of Android versions

Notification Channels

For app marketers, one of the biggest new features in Android Oreo is the introduction of Notification Channels. These enable you to create a user-customizable channel for each type of notification sent as well as reflect the user’s display settings. The flexibility to create an instance for each type of notification means the push notifications can be categorized by your customers for optimized consumption.  

For example, a mobile banking app may have notifications that range from promotions to account services to fraud detection.  Each of these notification types can be “registered” so that the customer may choose to opt-out or deprioritize promotion notifications but still receive the messages that matter about account services or fraud detection.  

For end users, Notification Channels deliver a flexible classification structure to better manage the delivery and receipt of push notifications.  Notifications that are categorized in the same channel will have the same behavior – for example, all promotionally labeled push notifications will be delivered to the promotions channel.  The following behaviors for each channel can also be modified:

  • Importance
  • Sound
  • Lights
  • Vibration
  • Show on lockscreen
  • Override do not disturb


Notification Dots

Notification Dots are also introduced in Android Oreo.  These let users know that they have new notifications that they have not yet taken action on.  The dots appear on top of the app launcher icons and are similar in purpose to badges.

Background Location Limits  

As with the introduction of any new OS, reducing power consumption is a key objective – Android Oreo is no exception.  With Oreo, apps running in the background are now limited to only a few location updates each hour.  For those who are running, or plan to run, location based campaigns, it will be important to understand these limitations if your app relies on real-time data while running in the background.  For the purpose of clarity, Android Oreo uses the following characteristics to define when an app is in the foreground:

  • It has a visible activity, whether the activity is started or paused.
  • It has a foreground service.
  • Another foreground app is connected to the app, either by binding to one of its services or by making use of one of its content providers. For example, if a foreground app binds to any of the following components within another app, that other app is considered to be in the foreground:
  • Input method editor (IME)
  • Wallpaper service
  • Notification listener
  • Voice or text service

If none of these conditions are true, then your app is considered to be in the background.

Learn more about Android Oreo here.