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Notifications read on PC don't clear notifications on the phone.


May 9, 2020

I recently changed my phone to Motorola g42 and there's one thing that irritates me a lot.
It's a general problem.

In the past, each time I was working on the computer and read i.e. messenger notifications/messages that had come on my PC, the LED on my phone laying next to my computer stopped blinking meaning that the notification has been read previously. Somehow Android 8 on that phone knew that I already read the message on some other device.
This is is not happening on my new phone. Notifications are still there on the apps' badges and every time I read them on the comuter, I have to read 'em on the phone too to clear the number of notifications.

Any clue what may cause it and how to solve this issue?

Swiping the notifications away on the phone will also clear the badges (at least if it's using the slightly shoddy notification badge system Google introduced a few years ago: older third-party solutions worked differently).

It's not the Android OS that will know that a message has been read, it's the particular app on your phone. If the app registers that and withdraws the notification then the badge should clear too. So if for example we are talking about emails then it will depend on what email app you use and possibly its settings. On my phone it works fine with FairEmail (on an IMAP account) and ProtonMail: in both when I read a mail using my computer it is flagged as read on the phone and the notification (and badge) disappears. But I can easily imagine other services that would fail to communicate this. I don't know what apps you are having problems with, but it's not that it doesn't work on more recent Android versions (I'm running Android 13, but don't recall it working differently with 12, 11, 10, etc).
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Actually it is the apps' fault. The fact that other apps and services can do it means that it's perfectly possible with current Android versions. Which means that if it doesn't work with these 2 apps it's not because it can't be done, it's because Facebook, who own both apps, have not done it.

Now whether that's a conscious choice (to push people to interact more with their apps), or just incompetence (not keeping up with the way Android notifications have worked for the last few years) I don't know - with Facebook both are sadly plausible. But if others can do this and Facebook apps don't then that it nobody's fault but Facebook's.
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When I did something similar with my Samsung and the Link to Windows service, It did similar but it really was just a sync delay. Unlike iOS, when you read a message or take a call on the PC it doesn't immediately clear the notification on the phone, likewise it won't do similar if you check the same apps on a tablet. Wait a couple of hours though and it eventually syncs up. Annoying, especially if you're used to the way Apple does it where checking notifications on an iPad or Mac instantly clears those notifications from the iPhone.

For example, I got three Walmart ONN tablets that run Android 11 and are connected to the same Google account. If I dismiss a Gmail message on one, it takes upwards of two hours before that same notification is cleared from the other two tablets.
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Actually I just received a couple of WhatsApp messages and went to get my laptop to read them there - and reading them on the computer cleared the notifications (and badge) on my phone. That's using the WhatsApp desktop app on the computer (MacOS rather than Windows) and Android 13 on my phone.

So we can rule out it not working with more modern Android versions, which suggests it's a problem with this specific phone or the way something is set up on it. So do badges clear for other services, e.g. if you read an email? If so then it's not a general problem with the phone but something to do with the way these 2 apps are behaving (my first thought was that maybe they were being put to sleep, but you'd expect that to interfere with message reception as well).
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Hmm, I don't use the GMail app so can't verify that, but it does work with other apps on my phone and a GMail account (using IMAP so that the status is updated promptly rather than on a periodic sync, but that should be the default).

Seems odd though, because apps on your phone must be able to clear notifications - otherwise they'd not clear when you read the messages on the phone. Maybe test that by opening the app directly rather than via the notification? And it's hard to see why they wouldn't be able to register the change in status of a message given that they can register when messages arrive: both are communications with the same server, even if the information transferred is a little different. So it's a bit of a puzzle that this doesn't work, and more so if it's the same with different types of message apps from different providers. Just out of curiosity, if you swipe a notification away without opening the app/message does the badge disappear? If the badges are working the "android default" way it should, so if they don't that would mean that whoever wrote your launcher (Moto, unless you are using a third party launcher) is doing something different - which would give us a clue as to the problem, and perhaps a way of solving it.
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Yes , if I swipe the notification it dissapears. But messenger i.e. acts strangely, as each time I receive a message, I get a notification on a badge, then I open MSG read it inside the app so the font of that message is no longer bold (meaning I've read it), I go back to main screen but the notification on the badge stays in its place as it was before. Only pulling down the notification bar and swiping it right clears the badge.
I made a separate thread on Motorola's forum too, I'm waiting for reply.
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