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How to use Android's Notification Bar

The Notification bar is sometimes called the Status bar. In fact it is both! It is located at the top of all your home screens for phones and at the bottom-right for tablets. Let's look at the phone layout first.

Notification Bar for Phones

Notification Status

The left-hand side is where your applications and message services can drop you a note that there's something new to look at. The right-hand section is where Android gives you the basic status information for your device.

Most common Status Icons

The status icons indicate the status of the phone. e.g. about the time, your phone's battery, signal strength etc. Network status icons turn green if you have a Google Account added to your phone and the phone is connected to Google services, for syncing your Gmail, Calendar events, contacts, for backing up your settings etc. The network icons turn white if you don’t have a Google Account or you’re connected to a WiFi network that is not connected to the Internet.

Status Icons Common

Most common Notification Icons

The left-hand side is where your applications and message services can drop you a note that there's something new to look at, e.g. new emails or missed calls. The following icons indicate that you’ve received a notification. In addition these icons, applications you install on your phone may use their own notification icons.

Status Icons Common

How to open/close the Notifications

Pull Notification In order to see the details about any notifications you can pull down the notification bar like a drop down curtain, just slide your finger from the top of the screen down-wards. You can then see the details about a notification by pushing the item, e.g. if you have a notification for an SMS or email, you can see the SMS or email text by pushing that its notification. To dismiss all notifications you push the Clear button.

With Android 4 and newer you can also access the notifications from the lock-screen. Furthermore you can dismiss each notification by sweeping it left or right.

Notification Panel for Tablets

On a tablet you tap the area around the clock at the bottom-right, then the Notification Panel will pop-up:

You can tap a single notification, e.g.for emails, then you'll see the details. You can dismiss any notification by sweeping it to the left or right.