Facebook’s chat head functionality was pretty revolutionary for its time, allowing you to reply to messages without leaving your app. Even now it’s very useful and it’s a shame that more chat apps don’t offer similar features (though Google Dialer and a few other apps have a somewhat similar functionality).
Now it seems like Google is playing with the idea of turning all notifications into chat heads in Android Q. This feature is hidden inside the Android Q beta but can be enabled with just a few ADB commands. Here is how to enable them:
adb shell settings put secure experiment_enable_bubbles 1
adb shell settings put secure experiment_autobubble_all 1
Your notifications will now be transformed into bubbles, behaving extremely similarly to Facebook’s implementation. You can swipe them all down to clear them, swipe them individually once they’re open, and reply to messages over other apps. The notifications look identical to what you’d find in your notification shade once they’re open, so functionality is limited.
If you do want to try it for yourself, keep in mind that this feature is far from ready for prime time. In fact, it’s quite broken. Clearing one notification clears all of them, they cover the status bar, you’re limited to only five bubbles at once, and clearing these bubbles won’t clear the actual notification from the notification shade.
It’s an interesting experiment Google is running, but it seems clunkier and less intuitive than what we already have. However, the utility of this feature can’t be ignored and future iterations could surpass the tried and true notification shade. It doesn’t seem likely that this feature will be included in the final Android Q build by default (or at all) so give it a shot while it’s still around! And when you’re done, use these ADB commands and a reboot to disable it:
adb shell settings delete secure experiment_enable_bubbles
adb shell settings delete secure experiment_autobubble_all