My app, Help Me L8ter uses notifications to remind the user that the application timer is running. Remember, this app sends a "Help Me!" message to people if that timer expires, so it's kind of important that the users see that the app is running.
Great, right? Well no..
Firstly, the icons are scaled badly, not following android's design guidelines for notifications. Secondly, the image could maybe represent the person you are going to notify? Maybe a cool idea. Thirdly, the inbuilt countdown timer is actually a countup timer, so I've got some funky numbers going on there.
Ok, let's fix the icons. So I had a look at the official Google documentation for the status bar icons and it says 32x32 and I had a look and automatically assumed 32x32pixels, instead it's android's device pixels.
So, if you use those standards and populate the mdpi, hdpi xhdpi and xxhdpi folders with the correct sized icons, you start to get nice scaled icons. My icons are straight from the android icon pack, so there's no work for me asides from putting them in the right folders, but if you are doing your own icons, you'll need to scale and save different sized images yourself.
Adding an image was quite straightfoward, I went a little bit more fancy and rounded the image for effect.
As for the countdown timer, well that's a bit tricker. Android provides a built in library for music players and other apps that need a notification that shows how long the notification has been running for.. I want the opposite. I want the app to show me how long is left before an alarm triggers.
Looking at Stackoverflow and other technical sites did not really help that much, so I figured I'd roll my own.

The end result for now. I've got the timer as the message text, the number of people that will be notified in the right text area, and the first person's image in the big icon area.

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