MalaKa MalaKa - 5 months ago 155
Android Question

Create Custom Big Notifications

I wanted to create a Notification including some controls. Since text and controls are small with default notification size (64dp), i wanted have it larger than default size.

It is possible to create larger notifications, and I think it is possible to have a custom layout, too, but I don't know how.

To be more specific, the following screenshot shows the notification from spotify (image take from here): Spotify notification

As you can see, the size is bigger than default. Further, it has some kind of ImageButtons without text - if you use Notification.Builder.addAction(), you may provide an icon but also need to provide a CharSequence as a description - if you leave the description empty, there will still be space reserved for the text and if you pass null, it will crash.

Can anybody tell me how to create a big notification with a custom layout?



Update due to API changes:

From API 24 on, the Notification.Builder contains a setCustomBigContentView(RemoteViews)-method. Also the NotificationCompat.Builder (which is part of the support.v4 package) contains this method.
Please note, that the documentation for the NotificationCompat.Builder.setCustomBigContentView states:

Supply custom RemoteViews to use instead of the platform template in the expanded form. This will override the expanded layout that would otherwise be constructed by this Builder object. No-op on versions prior to JELLY_BEAN.

Therefore, this will also only work for API >= 16 (JELLY_BEAN).

Original Answer

So after excessive google usage, I found this tutorial explaining how to use custom big layouts. The trick is not to use setStyle() but manually set the bigContentView field of the Notification after building it. Seems a bit hacky, but this is what I finally came up with:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
    android:layout_height="100dp" <!-- This is where I manually define the height -->
    android:orientation="horizontal" >

    <!-- some more elements.. --> 

Building Notification in code:

Notification foregroundNote;

RemoteViews bigView = new RemoteViews(getApplicationContext().getPackageName(),

// bigView.setOnClickPendingIntent() etc..

Notification.Builder mNotifyBuilder = new Notification.Builder(this);
foregroundNote = mNotifyBuilder.setContentTitle("some string")
        .setContentText("Slide down on note to expand")

foregroundNote.bigContentView = bigView;

// now show notification..
NotificationManager mNotifyManager = (NotificationManager) getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
mNotifyManager.notify(1, foregroundNote);

As noted by chx101, this only works for API >= 16. I did not mention it in this answer, yet it was mentioned in the given linked tutorial above:

Expanded notifications were first introduced in Android 4.1 JellyBean [API 16].