I am writing an Android application for a music festival. I want to enable my users to set an alarm to remind them that their favorite artists will be on stage soon. When this happens, I display a standard notification.

Android guidelines encourages developer to offer settings to completely disable notifications and customize notification sound and vibrate policy.

Given the fact that this kind of notification (reminders set by the users) are the only one present in my application, what should I do ?

  1. strictly conform with android guideline and offer a setting to completely disable notifications (and if yes display an alert explaining that they won't be able to see their reminders) in addition to customization settings
  2. Only offer customization settings, considering that if the user set a reminder, he does want to see a notification when time comes

Of course any different solution is welcome!

1 Answer 1


Guidelines are just that - guidelines! They should be followed when they fit - and override them when they don't fit. In your case of a notification app, the whole point of the application is to be notified. It’s a different kind of notification than a regular “Facebook notification”, which isn’t an alert where you need to do something. The Facebook notification is information only, which usually requires no action.

If I interpret your apps scope – it can be used in the context of boiling eggs, going to the bus, be at class or just wake up - all things, which requires actions from the user. The user of a “silent mode” on an Android device cannot override the alarm function. It’s because it may have consequences not stop boiling eggs, going to the bus, attending class or waking up.

I’d continue to develop the app as intended and if someone asks of the “guideline issue”, I’d explain the difference between “notification”, “Notification”, “NOTIFICATION” and “Alarm”.

  • 1
    It's not per se an alarm app (the alarm system isn't the only useful feature of the app). It's a companion app for a music festival. Users can display a map of the site, the festival line-up and set alarms for their favorite artists. But as all alarms require the user to set it, I think you're right and I'll just ignore that part of the guideline. Thank you!
    – nstCactus
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 2:30

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