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Three notification options for Androids without LEDs

Wish your Android had an LED to let you know when you've missed a message? Try these alternatives to stay informed.

Many of the newer Android phones on the market are missing a notification light. This isn't a huge deal if you check your phone every 5 minutes, but what if you're in a meeting or listening to something when the alert goes off? For these situations and others, here's a selection of three awesome notification apps that help you notice every message or missed call.


NoLED will allow you to set custom notifications, like icons or dots that appear on a black screen. The whole screen is considered "on," but only the icon is illuminated. The app supports a lot of different functions like texts, missed calls, calendar notices, e-mail or Gmail, and all other third-party apps. Yes, all. NoLED will take the icon for the app and use it as your notification! There's tons of ways to customize this app, from vibration patterns that apply to all alerts, to timed reminders for the notifications you've received so you won't miss anything. Check out my previous post about How to add LED-style alerts to your Android for the steps to setup NoLED.


Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

ViBe is one of the more discreet alert methods you can use for a phone without an LED. The app is actually centered around the individuals who are contacting you, instead of the type of app alerting you. You can choose from twelve vibration patterns for friends, family, and co-workers with just a few touches on the screen. This is great for when you're in a quiet movie theater or in a loud location where you can't hear your phone ringing. The developer has even added the ability to create a custom vibration pattern by drawing on the screen. If you're interested in learning more, check out Rob Lightner's How to assign unique vibration patterns in Android.

Popup Notifier

This app works very similar to iPhone alerts, where a small window pops up with the alert type, message and options to close it or respond. The developer has even created a few themes that will give the pop-ups the ICS, HTC Sense, or even iPhone styles. The free version can definitely provide the notifications, but exclusive themes, the ability to set the timeout for the pop-outs, reminders, and even quiet hours are just a few of the extra bells and whistles of the Pro version. Calls, texts, and e-mail all prompted a pop-up, but some more obscure apps like kik did not -- though it seems to be a work in progress and is still worth checking out.