The Pixel 5’s beautifully slim and symmetrical bezels don’t leave much room for additional hardware like a notification LED. But with the Ambient Display feature and an inventive app, you can turn the display cutout for the front camera into an animated notification indicator.
Some people don’t like the perforated screen, and find it an eyesore. But why not show off what you have? Embrace the cutout by putting a ring around it, while adding functionality, with this handy little app I’ll outline below.
Step 1: Install Always On Edge
To get started, head to the Play Store and install Always on Edge (AOE) from developer Alrbea Ent. If you can̵
Step 2: Turn on the ambient display
This app works best when integrated directly into Google’s Ambient Display feature, a low-power feature that always displays relevant information even when the screen is turned off.
If you haven’t already enabled this feature, open the Settings app from your app drawer and select ‘View’ from the list. From there, tap on ‘Advanced’, scroll down and choose ‘Lock screen’. Finally, turn on the toggle next to ‘Always show time and info’.
Step 3: Enable Permissions
Tap “Agree” at the terms of service prompt when you first launch the app. Once you arrive at the main menu of the app, choose ‘Main Settings’. Then expand the ‘App Lighting Method’ header and choose ‘AOD’.
When you do this, you will be directed to a menu of system settings. Choose “Always On Edge – AOD Lighting Controller” from the list, then activate the toggle at the top of the next menu and press “Allow” in the popup window. Once you’re done there, do the back gesture twice to get back to the app.
Now tap the “App Lighting Method” heading again to collapse that menu. Below that, you’ll see another header titled “Required Permissions” – tap this to expand it.
Here you’ll see a list of all the additional permissions the app needs to fully function, and they all have a checkbox next to them. Tap the checkbox, then the process for enabling each permission will be almost identical to the first permission you enabled. So find the Always On Edge item in the system settings menu that appears, then turn on the toggle and confirm your choice. Repeat for each item under ‘Required Permissions’, then tap ‘Save’ at the bottom of this screen.
Step 4: Turn on the notification indicator
From the app’s main menu, tap ‘App Settings’. Here, tap the “When to turn on edge lighting” heading to expand more options. At the very least, you’ll want to check the box next to ‘When a notification is received’ and leave the radial selector underneath on ‘and screen is off’. When you’re done here, scroll down and tap “Save” at the bottom.
Step 5: Customize the theme of the indicator
From the main menu, tap “Lighting Settings”. Here, expand the heading “Edges Lighting” and choose an animation you like. When you select one, you will see a live preview at the top of your screen. Personally, I like “Follow” and “Sparkle” the most, but so do you.
Then expand the “Amount of Border Color” header and tap the white rectangle under “Border Color” to change the color of your notification indicator. It’s a full RGB menu, so you can select any color imaginable. You can also choose a “Rainbow” indicator or other styles, but for this you need the pro version for $ 2.99. If you like the look of your indicator, scroll down and tap ‘Save’.
Step 6: Choose which apps will trigger the indicator
Then select “Enabled Apps” from the main menu. Here, apps with bold, white text will cause the indicator to appear when posting notifications. The gray colors, on the other hand, are not. So go through the list and if an app you want to use this feature with is greyed out, tap the settings wheel next to it. There, check the box at the top of the screen to enable the app.
Step 7: Enjoy your new notification ‘LED’
You are all set at this point. Just wait until you get a notification, then you will see your colorful new indicator circling the camera crop with a smooth animation!
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