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I just replaced my Verizon Galaxy S4 (Android 5) with a Pixel from the Google Store. On my old phone, Snapchat and Facebook, for example, had badge notifications on their home screen icons.

My Pixel doesn't have that though, it appears that no apps have badge notifications anymore and so if I clear out my notifications from the pull down bar I have to open each app to see if they have new items.

Is there a way to change this? I'm aware gmail never supported badge notifications with the default launcher, but what about the other apps? What happened?

Facebook's options just list vibrate, LED (which LED? On the back?), or sound. Snapchat has similar options.

Or is this just a Android 7 change?

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This is a because Pixel (and also Nexus) devices do not support app badges. More specifically the launcher does not. It is the launcher that must support them rather than the app itself. Your Galaxy S4 supported this because Samsung built support for them into their launcher.

You could install a new launcher (Nova launcher supports them via an additional app, and Action Launcher has recently added them).

Chris Lacy (the developer of Action Launcher) has some useful insight into why he resisted adding them for as long as he did:

Unlike iOS, Android does not have a system wide API to fetch unread badge counts for all apps. In short, unread badges are only ever going to work so well on Android. For example, unread badges can be reliably fetched for SMS messages, but there remains no bulletproof way to fetch the number of unread Hangouts, Allo or Facebook Messenger messages.

  • Thank you, exactly what I was looking for. I had no idea Samsung was using a custom launcher--now I realize most of my phones have been Samsungs, and so I was assuming it was the default behavior. – Nick Feb 7 '17 at 18:55

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