Interactive notifications are now a thing; iOS 8 has already come out with interactive notifications and Android L has previewed them as well dubbing them ‘Heads Up notifications’. It’s only a matter of time before they become more functional. Unlike iOS 8 which rolls out to all devices indiscriminately, Android users are not going to get Android L at the same time as it is made available on devices like the Nexus 5. Some users might end up waiting considerably long so an app is the only way to bridge this gap. Meet HeadsUp, a free Android app that gives you interactive notifications, priority management, and a blacklist to block app notifications. Basically, it’s like Notific except it’s free.
When you first launch HeadsUp, you will have to enable it and grant the app permission to access your notifications. You have a choice between a dark and light theme. You can then manage which notifications will be filtered through to your home screen by selecting the priority level. Customize how long the notification will remain on your screen and enable an option to dismiss it if you tap anywhere outside the notification area. This is useful particularly if you’re playing a game though it may be a problem if you’re composing an email and tap somewhere on the screen before reading the alert.
With HeadsUp, you can also manage notifications on a per-app basis. Tap Apps on the main settings screen and then pick from the list of apps which one you want to manage. You can prevent notifications from appearing on top of a particular app (again good for when you’re playing a game), hide notifications from an app, and enable service notifications to appear over that app even if overlay for other notification types has been disabled.
To blacklist apps, tap the more button in the action bar and select the apps from the list that you don’t want to receive notifications for. Tap the more button on this screen and you will be able to block all notifications from system apps as well. HeadsUp works only when your screen is awake and at all other times, i.e. when your screen is asleep, notifications continue to appear through the default notification system.
HeadsUp covers all the bases with respect to managing notifications; it has a blacklist and you can manage how notifications appear in every single app on your device. There are only two themes but they should suffice for most apps and backgrounds. It’s well thought out and free.