Android Notifications (BigTextStyle, BigPictureStyle, InboxStyle)

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  Keywords : Android notifications to keep users up-to-date about events happenings in our app, Android notifications can be implemented by using notificationcombat or notificationmanger

Here we will learn notifications in android with examples, create notifications in android, define an action to the notifications in android, show images in android notification, show notification with buttons in android, different types of android notifications (bigtextstyle, bigpicturestyle, inboxstyle) with examples.

Android Notifications

In android, Notification is a message which is used to alert the users about some events that happening in our app.

 

Generally, the android Notifications will be displayed outside of our app’s normal UI and alert the users without interrupting their current activities.

 

In android, we can alert the users about our app notifications in different forms like flash the LED or make a sounds or display an icon in status bar, etc.

 

When we tell the system to issue a notification, first it will display an icon in notification bar like as shown below.

 

Android Notifications Example Diagram

 

To see the details of our android app notification, we need to open the notification drawer like as shown below.

 

Android Notifications in Notification Drawer Example Diagram

 

Now we will see how to create and issue a notifications in android applications with examples.

 

Here we are going to use NotificationCompat class to implement a notification in our android application. The NotificationCompat class supports a different type of notification views, such as normal view, big view and it provides a best support for a wide range of platforms. 

Create a Notification in Android

To create a notification, we need to specify the UI content and required actions with a NotificationCompat.Builder object. To display an icon, title and detailed text of notification we need to set following properties in Builder object.

 

  • setSmallIcon() - It is used to set the small icon for our notification.
  • setContentTitle() - It is used to set the title of our notification.
  • setContentText() - It is used to set the detailed text to display in notification.

The above mentioned properties are necessary to display a notification and we can set a different type of properties to our notification like setStyle, setSound, setLights, setLargeIcon, etc. based on our requirements using Builder object.

 

Following is the example of creating a notification using NotificationCompat.Build object and setting the notification properties.

 

NotificationCompat.Builder nBuilder =  new NotificationCompat.Builder(this)
                .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.notification_icon)
                .setContentTitle(
"Sample notification")
                .setContentText(
"Hi, Welcome to Tutlane.com");

Define the Android Notification Actions

If we assign an action to the notification, it will allow users to go directly from the notification to an activity of our app. We can also add buttons to the notification to perform an additional actions such as hang up the call or responding immediately to a text message; this feature is available as of Android 4.1.

 

In android, we can define an action inside of notification by using PendingIntent object which contains an Intent that starts an Activity of our app.

 

Following is the example of defining an action inside of notification using PendingIntent object.

 

NotificationCompat.Builder nBuilder =  new NotificationCompat.Builder(this)
…...
Intent resultIntent =
new Intent(this, MainActivity.class);
PendingIntent pendingIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(
this, 0, resultIntent, 0);
nBuilder.setContentIntent(pendingIntent);

Issue the Android Notification

Once we are done with creation of notification, we need to pass a notification to the system by using NotificationManager.notify() method and we need to specify a ID in the notification to use this ID to update a notification later if required.

 

Following is the example of sending a notification to the system using Notificationmanager.notify method.

 

NotificationCompat.Builder nBuilder =  new NotificationCompat.Builder(this);
....
int mNotificationId = 999;
NotificationManager mNotifyMgr = (NotificationManager)getSystemService(
NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
// Builds the notification and issues it.
mNotifyMgr.notify(mNotificationId, nBuilder.build());

Now we will see how to create and show the notification in android application with example.

Android Notification Example

Following is the example of implementing a Notifications in android application.

 

Create a new android application using android studio and give names as NotificationExample. In case if you are not aware of creating an app in android studio check this article Android Hello World App.

 

Now open an activity_main.xml file from \res\layout path and write the code like as shown below

activity_main.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
   
android:layout_width="match_parent"
   
android:layout_height="match_parent"
   
android:orientation="vertical" >

    <
Button
       
android:id="@+id/btnShow"
       
android:layout_width="wrap_content"
       
android:layout_height="wrap_content"
       
android:text="Show Notification"
       
android:layout_marginTop="200dp" android:layout_marginLeft="100dp"/>
</
LinearLayout>

If you observe above code we created a one Button control in XML Layout file to show the notification in notification bar when we click on Button

 

Once we are done with creation of layout with required controls, we need to load the XML layout resource from our activity onCreate() callback method, for that open main activity file MainActivity.java from \java\com.tutlane.notificationexample path and write the code like as shown below.

MainActivity.java

package com.tutlane.notificationexample;
import android.app.NotificationManager;
import android.app.PendingIntent;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.support.v4.app.NotificationCompat;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

   
@Override
   
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
       
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.
activity_main);
        Button btnNotify = (Button)findViewById(R.id.
btnShow);
        btnNotify.setOnClickListener(
new View.OnClickListener() {
           
@Override
           
public void onClick(View v) {
                NotificationCompat.Builder mBuilder = 
new NotificationCompat.Builder(MainActivity.this)
                                .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.
ic_notification)
                                .setContentTitle(
"Tutlane Send New Message")
                                .setContentText(
"Hi, Welcome to tutlane tutorial site");
               
// Set the intent to fire when the user taps on notification.
               
Intent resultIntent = new Intent(MainActivity.this, MainActivity.class);
                PendingIntent pendingIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(MainActivity.
this, 0, resultIntent, 0);
                mBuilder.setContentIntent(pendingIntent);
               
// Sets an ID for the notification
               
int mNotificationId = 001;
                NotificationManager notificationManager = (NotificationManager) getSystemService(
NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
               
// It will display the notification in notification bar
               
notificationManager.notify(mNotificationId, mBuilder.build());
            }
        });
    }
}

If you observe above code we are creating a notification, adding action inside of notification using intent object to open the activity in our app and showing notification on Button click using NotificationManager.

 

Here we added a ic_notification image in drawable folder to show it as a notification icon so please add a required image in your drawable folder and use it in your application.

 

Generally, during the launch of our activity, onCreate() callback method will be called by android framework to get the required layout for an activity.

Output of Android Notification Example

When we run above example using android virtual device (AVD) we will get a result like as shown below.

 

Android Notifications Example Result

 

 If you observe above result we created a notification and shown it on Button click using NotificationCompat.Builder based on our requirements.

Android Big Text Style Notification Example

We learned how to show the android notification in normal view, in case if we want to show the large icon and large text in notification, then that can be achieved using NotificationCompat.BigTextStyle.

 

We need to modify our main activity file MainActivity.java like as shown below.

MainActivity.java

package com.tutlane.notificationexample;
import android.app.NotificationManager;
import android.app.PendingIntent;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.graphics.Bitmap;
import android.graphics.BitmapFactory;
import android.support.v4.app.NotificationCompat;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
   
@Override
   
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
       
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.
activity_main);
        Button btnNotify = (Button)findViewById(R.id.
btnShow);
        btnNotify.setOnClickListener(
new View.OnClickListener() {
           
@Override
           
public void onClick(View v) {
               
//To set large icon in notification
               
Bitmap licon = BitmapFactory.decodeResource(getResources(), R.drawable.notification_icon);
               
//Assign BigText style notification
               
NotificationCompat.BigTextStyle bigText = new NotificationCompat.BigTextStyle();
                bigText.bigText(
"Welcome to tutlane, it provides a tutorials related to all technologies in software industry. Here we covered complete tutorials from basic to adavanced topics from all technologies");
                bigText.setSummaryText(
"By: Tutlane");

                NotificationCompat.Builder mBuilder = 
new NotificationCompat.Builder(MainActivity.this)
                                .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.
ic_notification)
                                .setContentTitle(
"Big Text Notification Example")
                                .setLargeIcon(licon)
                                .setStyle(bigText);
               
// Set the intent to fire when the user taps on notification.
               
Intent resultIntent = new Intent(MainActivity.this, MainActivity.class);
                PendingIntent pendingIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(MainActivity.
this, 0, resultIntent, 0);
                mBuilder.setContentIntent(pendingIntent);
               
// Sets an ID for the notification
               
int mNotificationId = 001;
                NotificationManager notificationManager = (NotificationManager) getSystemService(
NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
               
// It will display the notification in notification bar
               
notificationManager.notify(mNotificationId, mBuilder.build());
            }
        });
    }
}

If you observe above code we are creating a big text style notification using NotificationCompat.BigTextStyle and appended to notification using setStyle() property.

 

Here we added a ic_notification, notification_icon (bmp) images in drawable folder to show it in notification icon so please add a required images in your drawable folder and use it in your application.

Output of Android Big Text Style Notification Example

When we run above example using android virtual device (AVD) we will get a result like as shown below.

 

Android BigText Style Notifications Example Result

 

 If you observe above result we created a big text style notification with large image and shown it on Button click based on our requirements.

Android Inbox Style Notification Example

By using NotificationCompat.InboxStyle object we can implement inbox style notification.

 

We need to modify our main activity file MainActivity.java like as shown below.

MainActivity.java

package com.tutlane.notificationexample;
import android.app.NotificationManager;
import android.app.PendingIntent;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.support.v4.app.NotificationCompat;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

   
@Override
   
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
       
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.
activity_main);
        Button btnNotify = (Button)findViewById(R.id.
btnShow);
        btnNotify.setOnClickListener(
new View.OnClickListener() {
           
@Override
           
public void onClick(View v) {
               
//Implement inbox style notification
                
NotificationCompat.InboxStyle iStyle =  new NotificationCompat.InboxStyle();
                iStyle.addLine(
"Message 1.");
                iStyle.addLine(
"Message 2.");
                iStyle.addLine(
"Message 3.");
                iStyle.addLine(
"Message 4.");
                iStyle.addLine(
"Message 5.");
                iStyle.setSummaryText(
"+2 more");

                NotificationCompat.Builder mBuilder = 
new NotificationCompat.Builder(MainActivity.this)
                                .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.
ic_notification)
                                .setContentTitle(
"Inbox Style Notification Example")
                                .setStyle(iStyle);
               
// Set the intent to fire when the user taps on notification.
               
Intent resultIntent = new Intent(MainActivity.this, MainActivity.class);
                PendingIntent pendingIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(MainActivity.
this, 0, resultIntent, 0);
                mBuilder.setContentIntent(pendingIntent);
               
// Sets an ID for the notification
               
int mNotificationId = 001;
                NotificationManager notificationManager = (NotificationManager) getSystemService(
NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
               
// It will display the notification in notification bar
               
notificationManager.notify(mNotificationId, mBuilder.build());
            }
        });
    }
}

If you observe above code we are creating a inbox style notification using NotificationCompat.InboxStyle and appended to notification using setStyle() property.

 

Here we added a ic_notification in drawable folder to show it in notification icon so please add a required images in your drawable folder and use it in your application.

Output of Android Inbox Style Notification Example

When we run above example using android virtual device (AVD) we will get a result like as shown below.

 

Android Inbox Style Notification Example Result

 

If you observe above result we created an inbox style notification and shown it on Button click based on our requirements.

Android Big Picture Notification Example

By using NotificationCompat.BigPictureStyle object we can implement inbox style notification.

 

We need to modify our main activity file MainActivity.java like as shown below.

MainActivity.java

package com.tutlane.notificationexample;
import android.app.NotificationManager;
import android.app.PendingIntent;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.graphics.BitmapFactory;
import android.net.Uri;
import android.support.v4.app.NotificationCompat;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    
@Override
   
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
       
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.
activity_main);
        Button btnNotify = (Button)findViewById(R.id.
btnShow);
        btnNotify.setOnClickListener(
new View.OnClickListener() {
           
@Override
           
public void onClick(View v) {
               
// Assign big picture notification
               
NotificationCompat.BigPictureStyle bpStyle = new NotificationCompat.BigPictureStyle();
                bpStyle.bigPicture(BitmapFactory.decodeResource(getResources(), R.drawable.
big_img)).build();
               
// Set the intent to fire when the user taps on notification.
               
Intent rIntent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW, Uri.parse("http://tutlane.com/"));
                PendingIntent pendingIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(MainActivity.
this, 0, rIntent, 0);
                NotificationCompat.Builder mBuilder = 
new NotificationCompat.Builder(MainActivity.this)
                                .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.
ic_notification)
                                .setContentTitle(
"Big Picture Notification Example")
                                .addAction(R.drawable.
ic_share, "Share", pendingIntent)
                                .setStyle(bpStyle);

                mBuilder.setContentIntent(pendingIntent);
               
// Sets an ID for the notification
               
int mNotificationId = 001;
                NotificationManager notificationManager = (NotificationManager) getSystemService(
NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
               
// It will display the notification in notification bar
               
notificationManager.notify(mNotificationId, mBuilder.build());
            }
        });
    }
}

If you observe above code we are creating a inbox style notification using NotificationCompat.BigPicture and appended to notification using setStyle() property.

 

Here we added a ic_share, big_img images in drawable folder to show it in notification so please add a required images in your drawable folder and use it in your application.

Output of Android Big Pictire Style Notification Example

When we run above example using android virtual device (AVD) we will get a result like as shown below.

 

Android Big Picture Style Notifications Example Result

 

If you observe above result we created a big picture style notification and shown it on Button click based on our requirements.

 

This is how we can create and show the notifications in android applications based on our requirements.

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