Android Notification Categories

Following on our initial support for Android O, today we added support for Android notification categories in the Urban Airship Engage dashboard. Notification categories allow your users to manage notification settings for each category that you have defined for your app, e.g., "promotions" or "breaking news". Categories represent the Android notification channels that you implement in your app. It's as easy as 1-2-3 (šŸŽ¶ As simple as do-re-mi, A-B-C, 1-2-3, baby, you and me, girl... šŸŽ¶):

  1. Create the Android notification category in your app.

  2. Add the category in your Urban Airship project's dashboard configuration.Note that our API uses "notification_channel" for the same feature.

  3. Select the category when composing a message.

Take a look at the Configuration documentation to get started.

Terminology: Channels vs. Categories

In an effort to improve user notification experience, Google releasedĀ  notification channels,Ā startingā€Ø with apps targeting Android O. Notification channels group certain types of notifications togetherā€Ø so that users can manage their notification settings on theĀ channel, i.e., grouping, of similar notifications.


Notification channels is an Android development term. See the Android Developer docs and the Urban Airship SDK docs for details about implementing notification channels in your Android app.

Once you have implemented notification channels in your app, your end users will experience them as categories in the app UI. Notification categories are available via the app settings, providing controls for importance, sound, etc., within your different notification categories.

In the screen shots below, we have two categories in ourĀ GoatĀ test app:

  1. Notifications, the default category, and
  2. BLEAT!Ā šŸ, our custom category.

Users can toggle individual controls by category, according to their preferences.