ADWNotifier: what and why

Update: ADWNotifier v0.3 and 0.4

Sorry guys, copypasting code left a stupid bug out there with the “select app” options… please report back if it’s now fixed for everyone.


Update: ADWNotifier v0.2

Ok, with this update you’ll be presented with a few options (i love options :P)

Gmail UNSEEN/UNREAD: show the total unread count (default) or just the last arrived emails since last time you opened the gmail app.

App Selector: Now you can select one of from your installed apps to show the notifications over its icon instead the default one.

Old Post

Ok, here i’m gonna try to explain how the new ADW.Launcher notifications system work and why i made ADWNotifier a separate app:

Android notifications system:

Each app can use the android notifications system to notify the user about “events” on their apps. But “other apps” cannot access those system notifications.

¿How other apps/widgets work to show “unread counts” and everything else?

They use different approaches depending the app they want notifications tracked. for example, there’s no way for a 3rd party app to intercept GMail notifications, but there’s a way for an app to read gmail data.
Each app can require a different approach, so i couldn’t create a “universal” notification system for every app, ADW.Launcher as an app cannot bypass android permissions, etc.

So, whats’s ADW.Launcher notification system?

It’s just a global receiver listening for other apps PUBLIC broadcasted intents about notifications. It DOES NOT track gmail, email, twitter, facebook, etc, on its own.

¿So why haven’t I made it to properly track gmail, facebook, twitter, etc notifications?

Because for that i would need to create a bunch of background running services, receivers an stuff inside ADW.Launcher, and i think it’s better to leave ADW.Launcher without background stuff.

ADW.Launcher is a big app and users consume a LOT of resources adding more and more widgets, more screens, more icons per screen, themes with hig-res pictures, etc… so i don’t want more resources being hogged by background services INSIDE ADW.Launcher process.

Also, a big issue is handling the 3rd party apps when they change their code and stuff stops working. I don’t want ADW.Launcher to #fail just cause google releases a new gmail app version…

The solution

Make ADW just wait for any other app wanting to show a notification inside an icon and show it. That’s all ADW.Launcher does, no so resource hog.

Take a look at Touiteur, it works flawslessly.


This is just a background service with some code to check certain data/events, the inform ADW.Launcher about changes in them.

Soon i’ll try to add more customization to ADWNotifier, such as mapping certain events to certain apps (for example, show SMS unread count over handcent or any other app icon instead the stock sms app), also I’ll try to support other apps notifications, like HTCSense SMS app, and maybe others.

This way, if there’s something wrong with the notifier, ADW.Launcher won’t be affected. Notifier can crash, FC, etc, but as a separate app, it won’t affect ADW.Launcher performance.

Yeah, ¿what else?

Mmmm, yeah, I’m still unemployed so any income is always appreciated.

I don’t think ADWNotifier is expensive, but…

I’m an android dev and i want to add ADW.Launcher notifications support

Easy one, just broadcast an intent with the “org.adw.launcher.counter.SEND” action, the COUNT integer extra and the PNAME string extra.

PNAME would be your app’s package name and COUNT…. the number you wannt to show.

Easy example:

Intent intent=new Intent();
 intent.putExtra("PNAME", "");
 intent.putExtra("COUNT", X);

That’s all, hope you all understand.

Thanks again.

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  • Comments (62)
    • steve h.
    • October 18th, 2010 7:37pm

    Have it loaded and enabled… but it appears to only update desktop icons and not the dock icons. Or did i miss a step somewhere?

      • AnderWeb
      • October 18th, 2010 10:43pm

      It should show on every icon as long as they belong to the notified app

    • olafBerserker
    • October 18th, 2010 7:39pm

    I used to help develop a similar app on the Mac, called Growl which is basically a distributed notification observer, and I applaud you for making an option available for android. Kudos!

      • bmcclure937
      • October 18th, 2010 8:37pm

      that is badass!! I love Growl for my Mac and am sure I will love this for my Android!

    • Alvaro
    • October 18th, 2010 9:02pm

    Hi, I’m from Brasil and I still using ADW Launcher in my Samsung Galaxy 5 (I5500). The app works perfect, the only negative point is that when I try to put one of the Samsung Widgets, they dont apear in the list. But its just a detail. Congratulations!

    • koveleski
    • October 18th, 2010 10:01pm

    Wow man, why did you make this app so cheap? Ends up being only $0.70 after conversion. Please increase price to $1.99 so I know you’ll have food on the table.

    • koveleski
    • October 18th, 2010 10:36pm

    If there’s anything I can do to help you with regards to Blur crap on the Droid X, let me know. My gtalk is if you want to get a hold of me.

      • AnderWeb
      • October 18th, 2010 10:42pm

      Sure, will contact you, thanks!

  1. One word, sweet.

      • AnderWeb
      • October 19th, 2010 12:23am

      Thankyou :p

    • jonathan
    • October 19th, 2010 12:10am

    hello, i love this launcher, better than the HTC sense layout, but is there no way i can use the HTC stock widgets, like messages, email, clocks, photos.. etc..?? thankss :)

      • AnderWeb
      • October 19th, 2010 12:23am

      No, cause they are coded inside the htc launcher instead of being standard widgets… Blame htc for it :(

    • JokeyRhyme
    • October 19th, 2010 12:29am

    Very nice. I would have paid more for it. <3

    What theming opportunities does this present now? The little red circle is cute but a little too iPhone for me. I'd love to make it green and a bit more square.

      • AnderWeb
      • October 19th, 2010 8:45am

      It’s planned but requires some time

    • lmarre
    • October 19th, 2010 2:19am

    Great app. Kicks Launcher Pro’s butt. I was excited about having the notifier on my Droid X so I downloaded it. My question is, how the heck do I get the missed calls’ notification icon? SMS and Gmail work flawlessly. Thanks. Keep up the good work. Will keep contributing…

      • AnderWeb
      • October 19th, 2010 8:47am

      As some phones use different apps theres no support for all of them yet, but wait for next update…

    • JokeyRhyme
    • October 19th, 2010 2:55am

    Can’t confirm this, but I have a hunch these new notifications do not appear over icons on the Froyo dock. This is probably intentional, given that there’s not a whole lot of room down there. Still, I wouldn’t mind having the option.

    • Coldy
    • October 19th, 2010 3:54am

    Great lil extension to your launcher. Working like a charm on my Desire with Leedroid 2.2b.

    • steve h.
    • October 19th, 2010 2:41pm

    Tested some more… stock shortcut icon on dock works, custom shortcut icon on dock doesn’t. Both work on desktop… also i assume since moto uses dialer instead of phone and text messaging instead of sms, that those wont work with this…

    • TechDroidX
    • October 19th, 2010 3:02pm

    Definitely need to add support for Handcent SMS. Who uses stock messaging anymore?

      • AnderWeb
      • October 19th, 2010 8:58pm

      I use it :-)

    • TechDroidX
    • October 19th, 2010 3:08pm

    Just tested on my Droid X, missed call notification does not work. Nor does handcent SMS. Only gmail notification works in the launcher.

    • epint
    • October 19th, 2010 5:03pm

    Any chance to buy this app other way than through Market (i.e. YAAM, direct payment through paypal,..)?

    • TechDroidX
    • October 19th, 2010 5:23pm

    Nice to see an update so fast! (V0.2) However, I am confused/having an issue where gmail, SMS and missed calls appear under the wrong wrong icon. Almost like the app is confused and sends notications to the wrong app. When I get a missed call or new gmail, it shows as a SMS notification! I am using a Droid X and selected Handcent = “SMS app” and dialer = “calls app” in the ADWNotifier Configuration.

      • jocaferlo
      • October 19th, 2010 5:39pm

      I have same issue, on a Nexus.
      I set “SMS app” = Hancent, “Gmail app” = Gmail, “Calls app” = Contacts.
      I received a call and the missed call appeared in Contacts, I received a mail and the notification appeared in Contacts.
      I set the applications another one and after I received a mail the notification appered in Hancent.

    • steve h.
    • October 19th, 2010 6:35pm

    Getting close… it seems all notifications go to the app icon that was selected last in settings. But this is a sweet service and will be even better when tweaked…. fyi im on a droid x as well

    • Tomadoggy
    • October 19th, 2010 6:48pm

    Perhaps I am missing a step, and can’t figure this out. Configured the “phone” application to be used for notifications in ADWnotifier, added a shortcut to the “phone” application to the ADW home page, initated a call to phone, = missed call, but there is no notification appearing on the “phone” shortcut. Yes there is an actual missed call (it shows in the notification bar) but ADWnotifier does not appear to be working.

    What am I missing here? Thanks for any assistance.

    • Michael Langenstein
    • October 19th, 2010 7:22pm


    does the ADWNotifier works with others launche too.
    Is it a stan alone?


      • Michael Langenstein
      • October 19th, 2010 7:22pm

      Michael Langenstein :
      does the ADWNotifier works with others launche too.
      Is it a stana alone?

    • YnotI
    • October 19th, 2010 7:30pm

    I have noticed that today my battery has seemed to run down lower than it normally does by midday, could this be because of ADWNotifier? Now I was also playing some Angry Birds this morning, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I am just wondering what the effect is on the battery and if the future will involve options to poll less often?

    Other than that, love the app thus far, very well done and helpful. Excellent job!

      • AnderWeb
      • October 19th, 2010 8:54pm

      If you check your battery stats in Settings you’ll see the apps with more demanding battery.

    • TechDroidX
    • October 19th, 2010 11:58pm

    New V0.4 version appears to have fixed the bugs. However, selecting “sms app” = handcent still does not show notifications when new SMS area received. I assume we will need the handcent developers to update handcent?

      • AnderWeb
      • October 20th, 2010 12:48am

      If you have handcent to open a popup it marks the sms as read… So no count

        • TechDroidX
        • October 20th, 2010 1:09am

        Yes! OK, handcent is working for me now. Great job!

    • TVisforme
    • October 20th, 2010 12:03am

    Great work – happy to support your efforts through this add-on. FYI, I’ve noticed the dual-display (dialer and contacts) as well. It seems to happen regardless of which one is targetted for missed calls. Another request, if possible – could we have the choice as to which Google account we want to poll? I’ve got two accounts on the phone, but I really only care about the unread count for the primary one. Some of the unread count apps allow this, such as SMS notifier.

      • AnderWeb
      • October 20th, 2010 12:49am

      Yeah, that will be an option soon, currently it displays all your accounts

        • TechDroidX
        • October 20th, 2010 1:09am

        Please also leave the ability to display all gmail accounts as that is how I prefer it :)

    • TVisforme
    • October 20th, 2010 12:56am

    One more note – the count appears to persist in the dock even when the icon it is modifying is not visible. In my case, I have Gmail as the right-most icon on the screen. The unread count works fine on the home screen, but when I open the apps menu the arrows for scrolling between groups replace the left and right-most icons (per design). However, the red unread count disc remains over top of the right arrow.

      • AnderWeb
      • October 20th, 2010 1:04am

      You’re right, another thing to fix! ;)

    • Peter
    • October 20th, 2010 12:59am

    Could you add support for the stock Froyo Email application?

    Thank you in advance!

      • AnderWeb
      • October 20th, 2010 1:04am

      Yeah, I’ll try

    • Jen
    • October 20th, 2010 5:20am

    Now I downloaded update it set htc as.default, how can I change it so thatadw is default?

    • Emmanuel
    • October 20th, 2010 9:33am

    Great update this lil’ notifier app for ADW! Just a thought: Will it be possible in future rev to add any LED notification with color customization?

  2. 1

    • Pep
    • October 20th, 2010 12:12pm

    It would be handy to mention that ADWNotifier is Android 2.x only… Was trying every search command in the Market, in vain ofcourse :-)

      • AnderWeb
      • October 20th, 2010 4:25pm

      Yeah, sorry, I’m trying to get it donut compatible, but progress is slow

        • Pep
        • October 21st, 2010 2:37pm

        No worries! Will be patient :-) Am finding all these updates impressive as they are already!

    • Matt
    • October 20th, 2010 12:36pm


    Just downloaded and started using this app – just what i’ve been waiting for and now there is no need to use LauncherPro :)

    One problem though: I received an email in Gmail and it correctly displayed 5 unread emails. I pressed Gmail icon to go to gmail but didn’t read any of the emails. When I go back to home screen, there is no longer any notification of 5 unread emails. Is this a bug?

      • AnderWeb
      • October 20th, 2010 4:25pm

      Check if you are using the “unseen” option

        • Matt
        • October 20th, 2010 5:47pm

        The unseen box is not checked… unless I have mis-understood its meaning, this is correct?

    • Emmanuel
    • October 20th, 2010 2:06pm

    I think there is still a bug for SMS: I’m using ADWNotifier 0.4 with chompSMS on a Milestone; if I select chompSMS as default SMS app to show the unread count, it still show the counter over any Stock SMS app shortcut, and not over any chompSMS shortcut (neither Stock or custom).
    GMail and missed calls work as espected.

      • AnderWeb
      • October 20th, 2010 4:27pm

      Once you change the app, click the old one’s icon to clear the counter.
      After that, next notifications should show on the correct one

    • Rumcajsz
    • October 20th, 2010 6:48pm

    Any chance to buy this app other way than through Market? In my country, the buying apps not visibble in Market. :(

    • Emmanuel
    • October 20th, 2010 8:49pm

    Yes, thanks a lot. Clearing the counter on the old shortcut app solves the issue.

    • JayJ
    • October 21st, 2010 9:10pm

    I have been using ADW Launcher for a while now and love it but ADWNotier does not appear in the UK market?

    • a_n_d_r_e_w
    • October 22nd, 2010 7:04pm

    I needed it badly since I got my android. And now I can’t buy it because of the crazy market regulations. Shame on you google.
    Is there any other legal way to pay for it and get it?


    • turki
    • October 23rd, 2010 1:41am

    Anderweb you are amazing !

    i loved the update so much but i have a questions

    Is it possible to work with android market ?? like the app store when u

    have updates it shows on the icon . that would be great

    • alok
    • October 25th, 2010 11:39pm

    Is there some way we can help? Like providing databases from various apps or other architecture details?

    I would really like to see market updates count and Google voice.

    • John B
    • October 26th, 2010 5:08am

    Is the some way that you Guys can make a theme that Allows us to have a different picture on every slide? thanks.

    • Alex Yang
    • October 26th, 2010 11:20am

    I wonder if you are interest to pick up a small Android project relate to ADW.Launder and other opportunity. Please contact me at My gtalk is always on as well!

    • BrandonG777
    • October 28th, 2010 11:05pm

    Tried to install ADWNotifier but it wouldn’t download after purchasing through Market. I’ve updated/installed other apps prior to and after trying to download it so something is wacked with Market or the download site.

    • lmarre
    • November 29th, 2010 11:23pm

    Is there a way to make ADW Notifier work with the universal inbox on the droid X and/or with the individual non-gmail accounts found there (e.g. corporate sync account)? Is there a way to make individual shortcuts for those accounts and get them to be picked up by Chuck mode? Thanks in advance – Sorry for posting this on the Launcher page.

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