Notifications on your phone can be overwhelming. They can also be tedious, hidden as small rectangles at the top of your screen and resembling each other. Consider using one of Google’s fun alert features, chat bubbles, to spice up your notifications.
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How do chat bubbles work on Android?
Bubbles on Android allow you to set chat notifications as small circles on your phone’s screen. They’re small enough not to get in the way of your work, but they’re always there if you need to respond to a quick message. You can easily enter a conversation, which opens a separate window on-screen, and dismiss that window back into the bubble, allowing you to continue doing whatever you’re doing.
If you haven’t seen these bubbles on your phone yet, it’s because you have to manually activate them. Fortunately, as long as you’re running Android 11, it’s simple to do. Go to Settings > About phone > Android version to see if your phone is running Android 11.
How to enable chat bubbles on your Android
To start, make sure the feature is turned on. Head to Settings > Notification > Bubbles, then ensure the toggle next to “Allow apps to show bubbles” is enabled.
Swipe down from the top of the screen to access your notifications. Using a messaging app, locate an unread notification. If it supports bubbles (which not all chat apps do), you’ll see a small box with a dot in the notification window’s bottom right corner. When you tap that icon, the notification will come to life, bringing up a chat window with a bubble, or “chat head.”
When you’re finished with the conversation, simply tap outside the window to return it to the bubble. You can now go about your business until you want to join the conversation again because that bubble is now on your screen. Other recent bubbles can be viewed by tapping the “X” that appears when you tap the active chat bubble on-screen.
How to remove chat bubbles from your screen
There are a few options for getting rid of chat bubbles, some of which are temporary and others which are permanent. Let’s start with the adverbial: Tap and drag the bubble to the bottom of your screen, where a large “X” will appear. To dismiss the bubble, drag it over the “X” and let go.
Alternatively, tap the bubble, then go to the bottom of the screen and tap “Manage.” You can now tap “Dismiss bubble” to temporarily remove it from your screen. The bubble will reappear on your screen the next time you receive a message from that app.
It’s just as simple to remove chat bubbles from your display permanently. Tap the chat bubble once more, then select “Manage” and “Don’t bubble conversation.” This option disables chat bubbles for that conversation as well as dismissing the chat bubble. Other conversations in that app will still appear as bubbles if you’ve selected that option. You’ll need to go one step further to prevent an app from appearing as a bubble at all.
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How to turn off chat bubbles for an app
Head to Settings > Notifications > App settings, then choose the app in question. If the app supports bubbles, tap “Bubbles,” then choose “Nothing can bubble.” If that option doesn’t appear here, but you know that the app supports bubbles, scroll down and tap “Additional settings in the app,” as the option might be in the in-app settings instead.