You might never miss a notification again with Android 14's flashy new alerts

Accessibility setting lets you flash your screen or camera LED with new alerts

Google just dropped the second developer preview of Android 14, and it seems like there are lots more user-facing facing features this time around. A new photo picker that lets you manually select which images an app can see is now mandatory, and for the first time, ongoing notifications can be dismissed with a simple swipe. But Google didn’t stop there with the notification improvements — there’s at least one other shiny new change on this front.

Android expert Mishaal Rahman spotted a new feature in Android 14 DP2’s Accessibility menu called Flash notifications that gives you two new ways to see when an alert comes in. With Screen flash notification is enabled, you’ll get to pick a color that will flash on your phone’s screen when a new notification arrives. Even if you’re actively using your phone when a notification comes in, the color appears as a translucent overlay on top of the foreground app.

The new Flash notifications menu (left); Screen flash color settings (middle); and yellow screen flash overlay (right)

A second setting in this same menu called Camera flash notifications brings back the notification LED from classic Android phones in a way. Once enabled, new notifications will cause your rear camera LED to flash twice. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to flash intermittently until you dismiss the notification — only the two brief pulses — so it’s not a perfect replacement for the old notification LED system, but it’s at least something.

Google warns that if you have a sensitivity to light, you might not want to enable either of these options. The camera flash is definitely brighter than the screen flash, so if you’re only mildly photosensitive, you would probably be fine using the latter.

Android 14 DP2 is available for all of Google’s phone models from the Pixel 4a 5G and up. If you’d like to try it out, you’ll need to grab either the OTA files or the factory images for your device, then just follow our guide on how to install the Android 14 developer preview.

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