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.
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Have you ever been making a phone call and had an email notification chime in your ear? Or how bout a banner notification pop up during a game or video? Sometimes you may just want to get away from alerts and incoming messages. Instead of notification after notification endlessly causing vibrations in your pocket, why not tell your iPhone that you’re out for lunch?
It would be nice for Apple to implement a “Do Not Disturb” feature into the iOS Notification Center, but until that day comes, jailbreakers can tell Notification Center to shut up with a couple of handy Cydia tweaks.
Spotify updated its universal iOS app today with some new features, including push notifications. The app store description says it all:
What’s New in Version 0.5.1
• New: Push notifications. Receive notifications when your subscribed playlists are updated, you get new subscribers, and more. You can choose which notifications to receive in Settings.
• New: Intro guide for new users.
• Fixed: Missing retina graphics on log in screen (iPad).
• Fixed: Retina album art is now always synced when you offline sync playlists.
• Fixed: App could sometimes become unresponsive after scrolling and navigating at the same time.
• Other improvements to Facebook login, screen locking when offline syncing, performance and stability.
Spotify, last updated on May 2 and available in 15 different countries, allows access (for subscribers) to its Premium music service on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. There’s a two-day trial available for free, after which you’ll have to choose a Premium plan or cancel. You’ll still be able to listen to wirelessly sync songs from your Mac, edit playlists, and see Spotify’s catalog of music without a subscription, but you won’t be able to stream to your iOS device.
Sparrow is possibly the best iPhone app I’ve purchased so far this year; it has completely replaced the built-in Mail client on my device. But it does have a couple things missing: It doesn’t yet support push notifications, and of course, it’s impossible to make it your iPhone’s default mail client.
However, a new tweak for jailbroken devices called Sparrow+ fixes both of these things.
A new jailbreak tweak adds push notifications to the popular iPhone email app called Sparrow. We’ve already shown you a roundabout way to get push for Sparrow with the Boxcar app on a non-jailbroken iPhone, but you can now easily enable notifications with a Cydia tweak called Sparrow Push.
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.
If you went ahead and loaded the developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion onto your Mac, you likely already played around with the new Notification Center. Until you got bored and fired up Growl once again so you could enjoy notifications from all your apps, not just Mail and Calendar. Wouldn’t it be great, though, if all those Growl-capable apps could talk to Notification Center instead? With Hiss, they can.
The App Store is yet to offer any third-party email clients, but that’s all about to change thanks to Google. The company is reportedly “on the verge” of launching a “fantastic” Gmail app for the iPhone that may have already been submitted to Apple for approval.
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.