A new report suggests Apple will unveil the next version of its mobile operating system at a media event early next month. German Apple enthusiast blog Macerkopf.de cites a trusted source in claiming that Apple will reveal iOS 5 and new MobileMe features in early April. The timing of the rumor is in line with Apple’s announcements in years past; Apple held its iOS 4 event last year on April 8th. Among the more anticipated changes expected in iOS 5 is a completely revamped notification system. We have discussed Apple’s notifications system several times on BGR, and we even said iOS notifications were “as disruptive as notifications on a mobile device can possibly be.” Apple is well aware of the problem, and the company hired Rich Dellinger last year — the man widely regarded as being responsible for the fantastic notification system found on HP’s webOS platform. Apple has not yet confirmed any details surrounding the next version of iOS or an event next month. More →
Simply put, Apple’s iOS notification system is horrible. Terrible. In fact, in our opinion it’s the worst smartphone notification system on the planet. We’ve written as much in the past on numerous occasions, and we’ll continue to harp on the issue until Apple fixes the problem. Of course many iOS users share our opinion, and some developers have even gone as far as offering up their own solutions. One such developer is Peter Hajas, who built MobileNotifier for iPhone and iPod touch users with jailbroken devices. MobileNotifier is a complete rewrite of Apple’s system, and it certainly represents a far superior solution compared to the current official implementation. Apple is expected by many to unveil a revamped notification system this summer when it reveals features from the next major revision of its mobile platform, iOS 5. The solution is expected to work in a similar fashion to MobileNotifier, though the UI will likely be more elegant and better integrated in the OS. Hit the break for a video demo and a pair of screen shots. More →
Late yesterday, Facebook released an update for its Android mobile application, bearing the version number 1.5. The new code adds support for Facebook chat — in both the foreground and background — as well as push notifications. Push notifications will only work on devices running Android 2.2 or higher, and the new build does, as always, include “various bug fixes.” The new hotness is in the Android Market, go get em’! More →
It has been a pretty good day for a couple marque iOS applications. This evening, Twitter released an update to its iOS client that adds push notifications for mentions and direct messages along with several other fixes. The press release reads:
Whenever an account that you follow mentions you, you’ll immediately receive a notification. You’ll know who is talking to or about you on Twitter, and you’ll be able to continue the conversation in real-time. Notifications for @mentions will initially be available on SMS and on the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, which you can download today from the App Store.
The post also notes that the company is “working hard to introduce this feature to Twitter for Android and Twitter for Windows Phone.” The official list of changes includes:
Hit the App Store for the new bits. More →
If you are an iPhone user, you definitely know how annoying iOS notifications can get. Android and BlackBerry users have the luxury of a more refined notification system. Software developers at the University of Glasgow, in the UK, have what they think is the next best thing, AudioFeeds. AudioFeeds is a new software that notifies smartphone users through earthly sounds such as water droplets, bubbles, bird-calls and so on. Users listening to music will be spatially aware of the sounds. The ‘3D’ sound effect is achieved by phasing the sounds and delivering them to your left and right ear. The developers are convinced that their software can be built into apps relatively easily, providing a relaxing, non-intrusive notification system. The developers are due to showcase their software at a multimedia conference next week. Couple this notification system with some futuristic haptics, and consider us sold! More →
In my line of work, cell phones come and go faster than mixed drinks on MTV’s Jersey Shore. They’re here, they’re gone and most of the time they’re quickly forgotten. I can’t even recall all of the mobile devices I’ve handled in the past month, let alone the past year. And though hundreds of handsets have crossed my path in the 1,211 days since June 29th, 2007, only one phone has managed to stay in my pocket day in and day out: Apple’s iPhone.
Say what you will about the device, the company, me, my mother, or anything else… the iPhone might be my go-to handset but I have no allegiance to any manufacturer or OS. In fact my iPhone 3GS was almost replaced last year by Sprint’s Palm Pre. I still love webOS but I need hardware that matches the fit and finish of Palm’s great operating system before a webOS device can fly solo in my pocket. And no, unfortunately, the Pre 2 likely won’t fit the bill.
So I continue to carry and use the iPhone because it just so happens to be the device that comes closest to suiting my needs. I almost always have a second phone on me — an Android phone, the Palm Pre or maybe a BlackBerry — but each is just a companion device that rarely gets any face time. Most common tasks are so much smoother on the iPhone than the competition, it just doesn’t make sense to bother with another device.
The iPhone is not a perfect device by any stretch of the imagination, but for me, right now, its the best we’ve got. It has the best build quality and is comprised of the best materials. It has the best display and the most responsive touchscreen. It has the best oil-resistant glass and countless amazing apps. It has the most fluid interface and the best customer service supporting it.
But for every best, there is also a worst. And because the iPhone’s bests are so great, expectations are high and the worsts become much more pronounced. Here, I go through my compilation of the iPhone’s worst worsts. More →
If you rely heavily on Google Voice, as we do, but don’t have an Android handset — preventing you from leveraging the superb Voice app — we have good news. Google has added the ability to send missed call notification emails directly to your email address of choice. As the Google Voice Blog explains: “Starting today, whenever you miss a call, you can see a notification in your Google Voice inbox, or receive an email notification, or both. This setting can be turned on and off from the Calls tab in the Settings menu.” The feature is live and ready to be used. Enjoy. More →
Today, Palm announced an update to its webOS Facebook application, version 1.3. The update brings with it selectable news feeds, revised photo tagging, support for landscape viewing, the ability to clear multiple notifications, and fan pages. We have more details on some of the changes after the bounce. webOS aficionados, let us know your thoughts. More →
Today, Google announced that their Google Mobile App for Apple’s iPhone will be push notification compliant. Google Mobile will be able to push Google Calendar and Gmail notifications to your device and offers a handy quiet-time feature; for when you would prefer not to see or hear notifications. Google also boasts that the new code allows you to “go get you information faster — when looking for flight info, weather, stock quotes or currency conversions.” The new application is in the App Store now. Check it out and let us know what you think. More →
Palm’s brain drain shows no signs of letting up, as it was revealed today that Rich Dellinger, the man responsible for many of the icons in webOS and the creation of the “non-intrusive banner notification system used in webOS”, has left the company after 3 years and 11 months. Now a senior UI designer at Apple, it appears that Dellinger left Palm immediately after it was announced that HP was purchasing Palm for $1.2 billion. Many are speculating that Dellinger was hired in an effort to help turn Apple’s obnoxiously obtrusive push notification system into something more in line with what is offered by webOS and Android.
It’s been nary a day since webOS 1.2 leaked and new features are being uncovered left and right. Yesterday, we saw a bunch of minor updates including a new “select all” option in the edit menu, support for paid applications, find-as-you-type support in email and improved browser functionality. Further dissection of the underlying webOS code reveals two new features, the first being the incorporation of LED notifications. The securityconfig-scene.html file contains the string, “The gesture area blinks when new notifications arrive.” Though commented out in the code and effectively disabled in 1.2, the feature can be activated by simply removing the commenting surrounding the line. The second interesting (though potentially troubling) discovery is the line, “Palm had to delete this application from the App Catalog and your device. If you paid for this app, your money will be refunded,” which was discovered in the apprevokedalert_scene.html file. From the looks of it, Palm is including remote application removal as one of the features of its upcoming paid application store debut. Before you get in a tirade and ruin an otherwise delightful Labor day weekend however, relax as a group of savvy webOS users should be able to figure out how to disable this feature pretty quickly.
Once again, iPhone developers have been let down as Apple neglects to make good on yet another promise to its development community. This time however, the missed deadline is with regards to the promised push notification system – perhaps the most highly anticipated improvement that developers and users alike have been waiting for. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Apple does not allow apps to run background processes on the iPhone. Apps like IM, Facebook, Last.fm and Pandora are fun and all, but their usefulness almost disappears when you consider they can’t be minimized to the background. In other words, users can’t leave IM running to await new messages or listen to Last.fm in the background while they browse the web. Yes, ridiculous. While the push notification system Apple promised back in June isn’t the answer to all of the issues brought about by lack of background processes, it will alleviate some issues by providing a mechanism to alert users when remote content has changed. Fast forward to just over a week ago, we broke the news that Apple had made version 2.2 beta 1 of the iPhone OS available to developers and the timing was perfect. End of September… Here come push notifications just as SVP of iPhone software Scott Forstal promised! Yeah, not so much. We’re now three days deep into October with a week-old beta OS in the hands of developers and there’s still no sign of notifications. Oh well, maybe IM will be usable some time next month.