Android Notification Categories

Following on our initial support for Android O, today we added support for Android notification categories in the Airship 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 (:notes: As simple as do-re-mi, A-B-C, 1-2-3, baby, you and me, girl… :notes:):

  1. Create the Android notification category in your app.

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

  3. Select the category when composing a message.

See Manage Android Notification Categories to get started.

Terminology: Channels vs. Categories

In an effort to improve user notification experience, Google released  notification channels, starting with apps targeting Android O. Notification channels group certain types of notifications together so that users can manage their notification settings on the channel, i.e., grouping, of similar notifications.


Notification channels is an Android development term. See the Android Developer docs and the 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 our Goat test app:

  1. Notifications, the default category, and
  2. BLEAT! :goat:, our custom category.

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