Taking a cue from iOS, Google is introducing native support for notification badges in Android O. While many Android launchers have been able to replicate this functionality for quite a while now, it was wonky at best.
Many Android OEMs have also included notifications/app badge support in their skin, but due to the lack of an official API, very few apps have actually supported it.
All this will change with Android O as Google is working on adding notification badges support to the OS. As of now, the first developer preview of Android O does not have the notification badges feature enabled. However, when you head over to the info panel of any application, you will see a ‘Show badge’ option.
Developers will have to explicitly update their app to take advantage of app badges, though. Nonetheless, with an official API now being available from Google, app/notification badges will work in a much more consistent manner in Android.
[Via Android Police]