Notifications tell users about app events, such as a new email or a meeting reminder. You can trigger a notification when a new event occurs, or new information is available that users might care about. The more important and time-critical the notification, the more intrusive it should be.

Use the following information to decide how best to notify users without overwhelming them or interrupting them too often.

Splat indicator

Device showing an splat indicator on an Active Frame..

The simplest and most subtle way to tell users about a new event is to add a splat indicator to the application icon. This notification shows users that new information is available without interrupting them or forcing them to act.

Use for

New podcasts or game levels available to download.

Don't use for

Alarms, which are too time-critical, or new posts in a social network, which are too frequent.

Message in the BlackBerry Hub

If your app sends a message (such as an email or a text message), you can add the message to the BlackBerry Hub. When a new message arrives, a splat indicator is added to your app's icon.

Use for

Email, text, and Facebook messages.

Don't use for

Reminders or new podcasts.

Device showing messages in an inbox.

Item in the notification list

Device showing an item in the notification list.

If you want to tell users something important, but your app doesn't send messages, you can add your item to the notification list in the BlackBerry Hub. When the item is no longer relevant, remove it from the list (for example, a low battery notification is removed when a user connects a BlackBerry smartphone to a charger).

If users get multiple notifications from the same app, the notifications are grouped together. Once the notification is read, you should delete it automatically from the list.

When a new item appears in the notification list, a splat notification is added to your app's icon.

Use for

Travel updates and accessible Wi-Fi networks.

Don't use for

Messages, which should appear in the BlackBerry Hub, and Facebook comments or likes, which are too frequent.

Dialog box

If you have a critical event or information that is time-sensitive, you can display a dialog box. Use this approach judiciously, since it interrupts your users and forces them to act.

Use for

Incoming calls, alarms, and calendar reminders.

Don't use for


Device showing an example of a dialog box.


Device showing an example of a basic toast.

A toast is a simple, non-modal, pop-up message that allows an application to give short feedback. A basic toast can contain text, an icon, or a combination of the two (for example, volume level display or progress feedback). Toasts are very short-lived; they should appear on the screen closest to where an action was performed and disappear in just three seconds, giving the user enough time to read but not be annoyed by the message.

Special intrusive toasts reserved for undoing a delete command can also be used. This toast includes an Undo button.

A toast with an undo button.

Use for

Short, one-line messages that users can read in under 3 seconds.

Don't use for

Long messages that take more than 3 seconds to read. Intrusive toasts must only be used to undo deletions.


The LED is an important notification on BlackBerry devices. When it flashes, it tells users that something happened.

Use when

Adding messages to the BlackBerry Hub, adding items to the notification list, or displaying a dialog box.

Don't use when

Adding a splat indicator to your app icon.

Device showing a flashing LED.

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