Google recently released new design guidelines for the upcoming Android L.

In those guidelines, they say multiple similar notifications should be summarized.

Does anyone know if this applies to ongoing notifications too? For example, when uploading files, should it say "Uploading 2 files" with a combined progress bar? Or should the notifications appear separately for each file?

If they are large files you are sharing (sending to someone else, not just uploading to your own cloud storage), it seems like you care when each file is uploaded more than caring about the whole set. But maybe I'm wrong.

The two things I'm curious about: Does Google have an official stance on summarizing ongoing notifications? And from a design standpoint what would be better?

If it matters, there won't be many uploads at once, but it's possible there could be more than one, and they are generally quite large files.

Here's Google's design document: http://developer.android.com/preview/notifications.html

1 Answer 1


These guidelines existed even before Android L.

Yes, it applies to all notifications, including ongoing (in progress).

If you have two notifications of the same type, you should summarize them into one. Optionally, you can provide an expanded view that provides individual details.

If you are only uploading one at a time you can consider the following which I used in the past:

=========> (progress bar for the current file upload)
Uploaded 2 of 5 files

When complete, the notification can be changed to

Uploaded 4 files (1 file skipped)

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