Apple has brought the iOS 5 Notification Center to the Mac with OS X Mountain Lion. The new interface displays incoming notifications from different apps in one place, mimicking the functionality of the Mac app called Growl. You’ve most likely used Growl before whether you know it or not, as the tool integrates with many popular Mac apps for displaying notifications through popups.
With the birth of Notification Center on the Mac in Mountain Lion, one would assume that Growl has been sherlocked. According to the app’s developers, that is not the case. In fact, Grow will make Mountain Lion’s notification system even better.
Growl recently received a major overhaul for the Mac App Store that now includes a notification history window in addition to the disappearing bubbles most are familiar with. The app is currently a top-seller in the Mac App Store and is available for $1.99.
The developers of Growl state their plans for the future:
Growl is alive and kicking. We are still actively working on shipping two future versions of Growl. Our understanding from press reports at this point is that Notification Center is only available to apps from the Mac App Store, which effectively locks out the entire class of applications that aren’t or can’t be in the store.
We’re investigating options for integrating Growl with Notification Center. It’s pretty early on, but we expect to find some way to provide integration for both developers and users. We want the work that developers have to do to add notification support to their application running on 10.6-10.8 to be painless and seamless.
It looks like Growl will become the Notification Center alternative for the more adventurous Mac users, and the developers are working with other third-party app makers to get Growl support integrated into more Mac App Store titles.
Growl will continue to be the best tool for custom notifications on the Mac. Unlike Apple’s Notification Center, Growl lets you use different popup themes for specific apps and even customize the duration of a notification.
We’ve already told you about Hiss, a new Mountain Lion app that automatically forwards Growl notifications to Notification Center. Assuming that the Growl framework will be able to mesh with Notification Center, we should see even better options for custom notifications when Apple’s next desktop operating system ships.
(image via Beautiful Pixels).