Mozilla is developing a push notification system for the company’s Firefox Web browser. The system will allow users to receive notifications from any website, even if the site is not open in a tab or window. The system will also be able to relay push notifications to mobile devices. Mozilla is seemingly looking to close the gap between desktop Web apps and native mobile apps, which utilize push notification systems on a number of mobile platforms. “Push notifications are a way for websites to send small messages to users when the user is not on the site,” said Mozilla developer Jeff Balogh on the company’s blog. “iOS and Android devices already support their own push notification services, but we want to make notifications available to the whole web.” The system is currently in early planning stages and there is no available time table for release. More →
If you haven’t seen the pattern before, well, you just haven’t been looking — Apple might not be the first with a feature all of the time, but the company almost always has the last laugh. Remember what happened with copy and paste? It’s almost unimaginable to think that the iPhone didn’t have this feature until almost three years into its existence, but when Apple introduced it, it worked like nothing before it — and by that, I mean it worked, and worked effortlessly. Notifications were arguably the biggest pain point for most iOS users, and Apple, as you know, has addressed them in a big way with Notification Center. How do you access Notification Center? You simply swipe down from the top of the device and a drawer-like panel slides down and displays your notifications. It sounds familiar, yes, but it’s really so much more than what we’ve seen in Android so far. Hit the jump to read on. More →
When Apple finally added cut, copy and paste support to iOS, it made the long and painful wait its customers endured completely worthwhile. Apple’s implementation was so much better than competing platforms, it really wasn’t even in the same league. The UI was fantastic and the operation was both intuitive and precise. This is what we have come to expect from Apple when it corrects its past mistakes and omissions. And yet with the introduction of a completely revamped notification system in iOS 5, the Cupertino-based technology giant took a different approach: it did not lead, it followed. I’ll elaborate… More →
Research In Motion has announced a new version of Twitter for BlackBerry that includes a number of noteworthy enhancements. Twitter for BlackBerry version 1.1 is officially out of beta and offers the ability to tweet your location using the “Add location to tweet” option. The app also includes push notifications for @mentions, and will auto-complete #topics as you type them out, along with several other minor enhancements. RIM also said the UI has been tweaked with updated graphics and includes a streamlined layout of the Add Photo and Add Location options. Lastly, the app has added language support for simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Polish, Czech, and Thai. Twitter for BlackBerry is available in BlackBerry App World now. Hit the jump for more info. 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 →
Samsung unveiled its new Wave 578 smartphone at Mobile World Congress on Monday, and the entry-level handset is the latest to feature the cell phone maker’s proprietary Bada mobile operating system. Beyond building smartphones that run Google’s Android OS and Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform, Samsung also maintains its own operating system called “Bada.” While Samsung has not given Bada much of a presence here in the U.S., devices carrying the OS have been quite popular in other markets. The Wave 578 looks to build on that success by including an NFC chip in the device alongside a 3.2-inch WQVGA touchscreen display, a 3.2-megapixel rear camera, a secondary front-facing camera for video chat, HSPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and push notification support. “With the Samsung Wave 578 handset, we will provide the latest innovation in mobile industry running on bada platform,” Samsung president J. K. Shin said in a statement. “The enhanced connectivity, design and social experiences enabled by this handset, represent Samsung’s commitment to democratizing the smart phone market and providing users around the world with access to rich experiences and content.” The Samsung Wave 578 will begin rolling out in May in Europe and other markets, and it is not expected to launch in the U.S. Hit the break for Samsung’s full press release and Wave 578 specs. More →
Samsung took some time at a developer day event in South Korea to note that it will have sold 5 million Bada-powered Wave phones when 2010 comes to an end. It also projects sales of more than 10 million Wave devices in the first half of 2011 alone. Most of the attention at the event, however, was focused on the host of features Samsung said it will introduce in version 2 of its in-house mobile operating system. Among the more notable additions making their way to Bada 2.0 are third-party multitasking support, push notification support, an updated UI that will include a “smart home-screen,” enhanced security, an integrated ad network, carrier billing support, HTML5, NFC and speech recognition. Needless to say, Bada 2.0 is set to be a huge update that could put Bada on par with most modern smartphone operating systems when it launches in the first half of 2011. Hit the break for a slide containing all of the noted enhancements we can look forward to in Bada 2.0. More →
Earlier this week, reports emerged surrounding an odd limitation recently discovered on Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform. Though interpretations varied, the gist was that Windows Phone 7 handset can only have 15 apps using push notifications at any given time. There was a bit of confusion surrounding the reports, however — does the limitation involve Live Tiles as well as toast notifications? Does it restrict app installations? Is this limitation being misinterpreted? Does it really only apply to simultaneous API calls? More →
Beezz, an emerging Twitter client for the Windows Phone 7 OS, will soon become the first Twitter app to support push notifications on Microsoft’s new mobile platform. In a major update, Beezz will add two highly anticipated new features: Live Tile support — the app’s home screen icon will display information that updates automatically in the background like a widget — and support for toast notifications, which are visual and audio alerts much like push notifications on Apple’s iPhone (only they’re not intrusive or disruptive). Both features will support Mentions and Direct Messages from users’ Twitter feeds. The current version of Beezz can be downloaded immediately from the Windows Marketplace. The updated version, which has been approved by Microsoft, will become available later today or early tomorrow. More →
Microsoft is making good progress in its efforts to woo developers to the new Windows Phone 7 platform, but we hope the company is equally devoted to keeping devs on board once they arrive. As the Redmond giant struggles to become a leader once again in the mobile space, developers and the apps they build are integral to Microsoft’s success. But in a blog post last week, developer Nicholas Yu made some troubling comments. Yu found that the number one feature users are requesting of his app — a Google Voice client called GoVoice — is the addition of push notification support. Yu notes in his blog post, however, that he is hesitant to add the functionality. 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 →
One of our reliable Apple connections (not Jason Burford) just let us know some pretty fantastic news. It’s been widely assumed that Apple will start to roll out their FaceTime real-time communication protocol to more and more of their mobile devices (and possibly their computers), but until now, we’ve been in the dark on how this will actually work. After all, there are no phone numbers to call on an iPod touch or iPad. Here is how we have been told FaceTime will work on non-iPhone devices: 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.