Earlier this month, we thought Boxcar had given on third-party push notifications for iOS. But it seems that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the service is about to get a new lease of life after being acquired by Kwaga, the company behind WriteThat.name.
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Before every iOS app in the App Store began sending you push notifications — whether you want them or not — the best way to stay on top of your alerts was with Boxcar, a free app that delivers push notifications on behalf of a huge catalog of apps. In its App Store description, Boxcar boasts about delivering over 1 billion notifications since its debut in July 2009. But it seems the service may have finally ended.
Sparrow for iPhone is great. And I mean hands-down, why-the-hell-isn’t-Apple’s-mail-app-this-good? kind of way. I like it so much, in fact, that I am even using it pixel-doubled on my iPad.
But there’s just one problem: no push, and no notifications. To enable local notifications, Sparrow would have to store your e-mail login details on its servers, and deal with all the responsibility that that brings.
The first version of Sparrow for iPhone included a clever workaround to let it poll for mail in the background, but Apple crashed its ban-hammer down on this wrongful use of the network event APIs.
But there’s a workaround, using the excellent BoxCar app and some simple setting up of your Gmail account.
Twitter for iPhone — née Tweetie — is a wonderful first-party client with almost any functionality you could care to name, but one area in which it loses to some of its competitors is in its lack of support for push notifications.
No worries, though, because along with yesterday’s triumphant debut of Twitter for iPad, the iOS team are also working on integrating push for iOS 4.1.
We’ve been testing push notifications internally. When we launched Twitter for iPad, there was a configuration error that caused us to offer push messages to a small set of users. We’ve stopped sending push messages, but users may see an option to turn on push until we release an updated version of the app. So, push isn’t ready yet but we look forward to rolling this out soon.
As Twitter notes, you may be able to turn push notification on under settings even if you aren’t on iOS 4.1 Gold Master, although we’ve heard reports that it may require uninstalling and reinstalling the app to get working.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, push notification service Boxcar — which does a healthy bit of business in the tweet pushing market — has just gone free for all Twitter notifications.