Notifications and unread badge counts

Needkeys

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Dec 1, 2015
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I long for the day when a device upgrade, or major software update, doesn’t leave me wondering what the F people were thinking when they decided on this or that.

Picked up the S9 yesterday. Came with Nougat. Upgraded to Oreo. Everything is fine...except for one iddy bitty MAJOR ISSUE.

On the S7 (Nougat), there were notifications in the pull down shade, and there were also unread badge counts (for email and texts). If you swiped away the notification banner, the unread badge count remained and you would continue to see your number of unread emails or texts. This was useful. If I’m in the car, for example, and I get an email on the S7, I would see the banner (on a wake screen) telling me who it was from, and typically swipe it away. The unread badge count would remain until I actually went into the app and selected the unread email/message. If there were 3 unread emails and I read one, the unread badge count would continue to indicate 2. It was reliable and a very useful way to monitor what you still needed to read/respond to. (You could even mark something unread and that by itself would create/add to in unread badge).

The S9 does away with all of that. There are notification banners and unread badge counts. But if you swipe away even a single notification banner, then the unread badge disappears entirely even though you haven’t read a single email. If you have 10 unread emails, dismissing the notification banner when the 11th e-mail comes in will wipe the badge out completely for all 11 emails. Also, if you don’t touch the notification banner but just go into your email app and open a single email among 10 unreads, that single opening will wipe out the unread badge count completely even though you leave the 9 other emails unread.

Why would they do this? What could possibly be the logic behind Samsung abandoning the old way for this new way?

And most importantly, is there a RELIABLE workaround to reclaim the old functionality, whether via Samsung’s native apps or a 3rd party solution?

Thanks.
 

ABOSWORTH007

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Yeah that is kind of annoying. I don't know why they would change that either. I have that issue for my text messages but not my emails. If I swipe away the notifications in my tray for my emails, the badge counts persist. I am using Aqua Mail, not the stock email app though. I've been using Aqua Mail for years now.

Since it's not a problem with Aqua Mail, I tried swiping away the notification in the tray in a third party messaging app (Yaata) and it removes the badges just like stock.

So to answer your question, you can try a third party email app as a reliable way to avoid this. Not sure on text messages though. You could try a few third party apps to see if any of them act differently from stock.
 

lindajm22

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I use Outlook for email and it doesn't do this. As I open each email the badge count reduces by one, or I can select all and hit "mark unread" to get rid of the badge counts altogether.

BUT, I also use TeslaUnread with Nova Prime launcher so that may treat things differently too, not sure. I've never used the stock Email app so I can't compare.
 

Needkeys

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After reading about this some more, the problem is well documented all over the web for the S9. It only became an issue with the Update to Oreo. If you’re still on Marshmallow, then I believe you’re unaffected by this new, bizarre behavior.

There does not seem to be a solution, and while some have had success with Nova and Tesla, that has been limited to 3rd party sms apps. like Textra.

Samsung screwed up Samsung Experience with Oreo. When trying to introduce more badge count functionality along with more robust notification controls, they were seemingly blind to real world use. I don’t see how this can be fully addressed short of an update. It’s too big of an issue for me, a heavy business user who relies on accurate badge counts at all times, to just look past. I’ll return the S9 within my 30 day window if they can’t push something out to resolve this.
 

Needkeys

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Thanks for posting the video. Unfortunately that doesn’t really address this situation. The solution in the video is probably spot on for someone who is not getting badge counts in the first place. I’m receiving them just fine. For me, the problem is that those badge counts disappear COMPLETELY if you swipe away a single notification in the notification shade, or if you read a single message but leave others unread. Basically, the badge counts disappear even when you continue to have unread messages or emails. They tied the badges to the notification shade improperly.
 

Needkeys

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Here’s a link to a long thread about this over at Samsung support:

https://us.community.samsung.com/t5...board-id/GalaxySNineQandA/thread-id/10/page/1

Bottom line is this is not a big. It’s intended as the new design in Oreo. Anyone who uses badge counters from Nougat is in for quite a surprise when they get Oreo.

I urge someone here at android central to write an article about this. Again, the unread badge count in Oreo has NOTHING to do with unread messages, emails, etc.
 

Rukbat

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Google has to eat the blame for this one (if it's something to blame them for, and not just that someone decided to change something and no one using an Android phone likes it).

Notification badges in Oreo are notifications that there are notifications that you haven't seen yet, not badges showing how many messages, phone calls, etc., you have. So once you pull the notifications screen down, you've seen all the notifications, and that's that.

It's not what we expect, it's not what we want, but it's what we got. It's notification badges, not message badges or phone call badges. But most of us want those, and not just "you have some unlooked-at notifications about texts". Which is why, even with pure Android (a Pixel 2), I'm running Nova. It shows the number of unread texts, the number of unread emails, the number of unlistened-to voicemails, etc. And if I have 3 unread emails and read one, it shows that I have 2 unread emails. Just what it's always done and just what I want.

The "not showing badges" problem is strictly a TouchWiz problem. Non-Samsung phones don't have it and Samsung phones running other launchers don't have it.
 

Needkeys

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Thanks Rukbat. You are exactly right - the badge is a notification notifier. Not sure why they have the option for dots vs. numbers, as the numbers will invariably be inaccurate given that they reset to zero after swiping a notification without actually opening or reading anything that’s unread.

I reached out to Nova support about this, and whether their launcher with Tesla unread can get around this mess. Their response:

“Hello,

That's not something we can control. Google is pushing for all unread counts to be notification based, which is how their Dots work and how our Dots and Dynamic Badges work as well. Samsung has changed a lot of their stuff to be notification based due to the changes that Google is making to slowly kill off the old way of doing things like we've done for years with TeslaUnread.

Going forward in Android P, there's less and less we can do to make the old way work as those API's and such are being removed, forcing everyone to go the notification based route. It's completely out of our hands how we can control it as it's always been up to Android itself or up to each individual app developer if they chose to use our TeslaUnread API or go with the notification based aspect of it. Unfortunately, that TeslaUnread API will eventually not be able to function correctly and we, just like everyone else, will be forced to stick with notification based unread badges.

The good thing about that is, they are much more accurate than the old way of doing things. Unfortunately users don't like change, but that's not something we can work around.“

I suppose I can switch to a pixel, or keep the s9 and try a different launcher, although from the sounds of the above response it’s just a matter of time before this functionality change is what we’re all stuck with. Oddly enough, iOS does this one right...just like Samsung did with Nougat.

What I’m trying to play with now is how I can most effectively work with the limitation as it exists, given my LED use (light manager Pro) and the notifications and badges. For example, if I do not show any notifications on the lock screen, then the unread badge count should be accurate as long as I don’t pull down and swipe away notifications from the shade. Seems like it forces a choice on the user...you either prefer to rely on the unread badge counts, or you prefer to view and swipe away notification banners from the shade.

It’s a mess, and it doesn’t seem like it’s something that’s going to get fixed. It’s an intentional design step....backwards...
 

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