+ Wednesday December 11th, 2019


Innovation isn’t always a great thing, and that seems to be the trend of this morning’s news. When we first found out about heads up notifications that would be coming in Android 5.0 Lollipop, we were excited; they offered a way to get a little bit more information about a notification without having to draw down the notification slide. However, now that we’ve got heads up notifications in just about every app, sometimes we kind of wish we … didn’t.

Enter HeadsOff.

The app does precisely as it describes, turning off heads up notifications. The free version does this across the board, taking away notifications shown on the left, above, and replacing them with the old-style notification on the right. However, the free app isn’t all-powerful, and it does hide most of its functionality behind the purchase of a pro-key which costs a touch over $2 AUD. Equally, the free version offers an all-or-nothing switch, without fine-grained per-application control, and it does kind of nag you with a persistent notification.

This reminds me of the old shareware days with apps that went a bit too far … anyway, if you take the paid option, you can truly revert notifications to the pre-Lollipop days, enabling ticker text for those notifications which support it, and you can force it for those that don’t.

For those who receive many notifications during a day, heads up notifications can cover the top of your window preventing you from moving around in the app, and this gives me the … poops. I for one am quite happy to pay a couple of dollars to be able to turn this functionality off, even if it is only in some apps that are particularly noisy — heads up notifications, no matter how annoying, are quite useful for some higher priority notifications.

Anyhow, the app links are below, and we recommend you give it a try if you, like us, find heads up notifications are a little bit too much sometimes!

HeadsOff (Android 5.0)
HeadsOff (Android 5.0)
Developer: Jawomo
Price: Free
HeadsOff Pro Unlocker
HeadsOff Pro Unlocker
Developer: Jawomo
Price: $1.60

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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This seems to be a default feature in Android M … seems to be called peeking. I haven’t tested disabling them…really I would just like to have the option to swipe them away.

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