Android didn’t invent notifications—we’ve had those for ages—but on mobile devices it did invent the way to do them right. Rather than bugging you and taking over your screen with the arrival of every new text or email message, Android relegates all of its notifications to a discreet notification shade hidden in the status bar. You can then check all of your notifications in one convenient place, instead of having to go from app to app to see which one keeps making your phone beep.
The Jelly Bean update made alerts even better by letting you take action on a notification directly from the notification shade. Now you can respond to or archive email messages, read full text messages, and return phone calls without first...