1. Home
  2. Mobile
  3. Customize notifications for calls sms gmail gtalk etc on android

Customize Notifications For Calls, SMS, Gmail, Gtalk & More On Android

WhoIsIt Lite is a free, comprehensive tool for contact and application-specific ringtone and notification management. The freeware allows users to assign separate ringtones and vibration patterns to incoming calls, SMS, MMS, Gmail, Google Talk, Google Voice and K-9 notifications collectively or for each contact. In addition, users can set the application to announce a notification with a default or user-defined (custom) announcement, complete with the name of the sender – a feature that you are bound to have fun with. And that’s not all! The application can backup and restore contact settings to and from your SD card when required. The paid version of the app has been around for a while. It’s about time a free version hit the shelves.

The application, like its paid version, has a simple, orthodox interface. The home screen displays a list of all your contacts. Tapping a contact displays the preferences menu, wherefrom application-specific ringtones, vibration patterns and announcements can be assigned to said contact. To edit global/collective notification preferences, press menu while on the app’s home screen and tap Preferences.


Scroll down to the bottom of the global Preferences menu and you’ll find the aforementioned Backup/Restore options along with a couple of other handy provisions. These include a Tap To Silence option that allows you to silence a notification by simply tapping the screen, provided it is unlocked, and Default On-Call Notification Preferences, that permit users to enable/disable notification sounds, vibration and/or announcements in between on-going calls. Remember, to avoid multiple notification sounds, you must disable notification sounds for each of the applications that you wish to manage using WhoIsIt.


When a notification is received, the selected notification sound is heard and after a short delay, the application announces the name of the sender, provided said feature is enabled. Unnamed senders will simply be announced as “unknown”.  If the notification sound of an application is disabled (set to Silent) from within the application itself  and WhoIsIt, announcements (if enabled) are heard without the mentioned delay.


You can grab WhoIsIt Lite for free from the Android Market via the link given below or by scanning the provided QR code. The full (paid) version of the application offers, at a price of $1.99, additional features including VIP contacts, custom profiles, profile scheduling and widgets. We tested the free version only and believe that its feature set should prove to be sufficient for most users.

Download WhoIsIt Lite For Android (Free)

Download WhoIsIt Full For Android (Paid)


  1. Okay, that may be the problem… You don’t want to set the notification ringtone for the entire phone to Silent. You should leave the default ringtone set the whatever you had it set to before. What you will need to do it go into the settings for each of your apps that WhoIsIt is managing ringtones for (Gmail, Handcent, GVoice, GTalk, etc.) and set the app’s ringtone to “Silent” and also disable the vibrations for these apps. Otherwise you will receive duplicate notifications. The announcement volume follows the volume of your ringer volume and notification volume too, so that could also be a problem if your volume is too low.

    Let me know if this helps or if you are still having issues and I’ll be sure to look into this.


    • Ah, yes. I was testing SMS notifications and had notification alerts set to Silent from within the phone settings while the Default SMS Ringtone in WhoIsIt was set to Default ringtone.
      I just tested the app again and found that setting Default SMS Ringtone to Silent or any other value fixes the problem (not really a problem at all, as it turns out). Setting a notification ringtone from the phone’s global settings does the same but then multiple notification sounds are heard for incoming SMS. Thanks, Andy. Post updated!

  2. Thanks for the great review! I appreciate it! Can you tell me what issue you are having with the notification announcement feature? I have tested and was under the assumption that everything is working, but if you have found an issue please let me know and I will fix it.

    Thanks again!

    -Andy (AppsByAndy)

    • My pleasure, Andy. I was testing the app on an HTC Desire running Cyanogenmod 7 and couldn’t get notification announcements to work for incoming messages/calls even though I had the notification ringtone set to Silent from within the device settings. Other than that, works like a charm!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.