Android P only shows four notification icons in the status bar

There are plenty of controversial UI decisions in the Android P developer preview, many of which appear to be geared toward phones with screen notches. One interesting oddity is a definite lack of icons in the status bar. Android P only shows four notification icons, but Oreo shows a lot more.

As we saw in the first developer preview, Google has moved the clock to the left side of the status bar. It takes a while to adjust to this, but it gets weirder when you add notifications. Even on current Pixels with their non-notched screens, you only get four notification icons in the status bar. After that, the phone displays dots. If you want to see more notifications, you will need to open the full notification panel. On Oreo, phones will show you around seven notification icons in the status bar before they run out of space.


The number of dots in the status bar won’t tell you which apps have notifications, but they could tell you how many there are. After hitting four, you can get anywhere from one to three points. With five items in total you have four icons and a single dot, with six you have two dots, and with seven or more there are three dots. The result is that the upper central part of the screen is unused, leaving room for a notch.

It’s unclear if this feature will be the default for Android P when it is released. it might just be that way in the developer preview so people can get used to how things will appear on phones with screen notches.

Source: Reddit 1, Reddit 2

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