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mountain lion notification centerTweak the notification center in Mountain Lion to be somewhat useful, by adding notifications from the programs you care about to it. With a few tweaks you can add every Growl program to the notifications center, along with content from your favorite web sites and apps. You can even add all of your favorite TV show listings.

My friend and co-host James outlined 8 tips for making great use of the notification center 8 Tips For Making Great Use Of The OS X Notification Center 8 Tips For Making Great Use Of The OS X Notification Center With Mountain Lion came the introduction to the desktop of the familiar Notification Center, ported from its iOS origins. It’s brought even more unity between the desktop and mobile OS, and essentially replicates functionality that’s... Read More , and they’re all solid. I’d like to add a few ideas of my own, however, because I’ve just finished my first week of using Apple’s latest operating system and I’ve learned a few things along the way. So let’s start!

Add Growl In a Way That Doesn’t Suck With Bark

The obvious problem with the Mountain Lion notification center is that it doesn’t entirely replace Growl Get Notified About Everything with Growl [Mac] Get Notified About Everything with Growl [Mac] Read More , a notification system many Mac users don’t realize wasn’t made by Apple. Hundreds of apps depend on Growl for notifications, whereas the number of apps supported by the App Center is (still) tiny. Apple-made apps like Mail and iCal are covered but many others do not.

Stop-gap app HIss solved this problem, sort of: apps that would otherwise send notifications to Growl sent notifications to the Notification Center. It wasn’t perfect, though: every program would be listed in the Notification Center as coming from “Hiss”.

If you’ve paid for the latest version of Growl (or compiled Growl yourself for free) there’s a better solution: Bark.

mountain lion notification center


This theme for Growl re-directs Growl notifications to the Notification center, meaning Adium notifications show up under Adium and Spotify notifications show up under Spotify. Even better: you can use the Notification Center settings to determine how each individual program displays, meaning you don’t need to see banners for your email just because you want them for your instant messages.

It’s a huge improvement, so download Bark now. This only works with the version of Growl in the App store, which isn’t free. Once you install Bark you need to open the Growl settings, head to the “Display” tab and pick “Bark” under Actions:

mountain lion notification

Adding RSS Feeds

Do you want to know immediately when a very important RSS feed is updated? You can!

RSS Application is a very simple program that runs from the Mac menu bar. It doesn’t do much of anything, except send every new item from your chosen RSS feeds to the notification center.

mountain lion notification

It’s a very simple way to stay on top of every post from a particular site. It was rejected from the Mac App Store for being too simple, but you can download RSS Application now and hope Apple changes its mind later.

Add Remember The Milk (Sort Of)

The notification center isn’t the only new thing in Mountain Lion: there’s also the Reminders app, which syncs your to-do list with the iPhone using iCloud. It’s perfect for people who’ve bought into Apple’s devices completely, but not for those of us who like switching from Mac to Android to Linux to Windows.

For them Remember The Milk has always worked well, and while there’s no perfect way to add Remember The Milk to the Notification center there are a couple. You can set up Remember The Milk’s new browser notifications, or you can copy the “Events” calendar from Remember The Milk and subscribe to it in iCal. Make sure it’s the “Events” calendar (highlighted below); the other one will not work.

mountain lion notification

Niether solution is perfect: the first requires that you leave a browser open to Remember The Milk in order to see reminders while the other allows you to see notifications tied to specific days. Still, until Remember The Milk offers full CalDAV support, this is what we get – and it’s better than nothing.

Add TV listings

A while ago I pointed out that FollowShows allows you to track your favorite shows FollowShows Helps You Keep Track Of Your Favorite Shows, Offers RSS & iCal Feeds FollowShows Helps You Keep Track Of Your Favorite Shows, Offers RSS & iCal Feeds Find out when the TV shows you care about air. Whether you want to know when to tune in live or or know when your shows have aired so you can find them online, FollowShows... Read More . The service offers a great web interface as well as an iCal calendar and an RSS feed:

mountain lion notification center

If you want all of your favorite shows to show up in the Mountain Lion Notification Center, then, you have two choices: subscribe to the iCal calendar or add the RSS feed to RSS Application (explained above). Either way, you’ll never miss your favorite shows again.

Other Tweaks

Those are the main ideas I’ve come up with. Want more? You can use iTunification to get notifications from iTunes and Spotify in the Notification Center or post to Twitter or Facebook using the Notification Center How To Post To Facebook & Twitter From The Notification Center In Mountain Lion How To Post To Facebook & Twitter From The Notification Center In Mountain Lion Similar to its iOS counterpart, the Notification Center (which can be accessed using the right-most icon in your menu bar, or by using a hotkey) is designed to keep track of the multitude of information... Read More . You can also learn a whole lot more at our OS X Mountain Lion guide.

Or you can read the comments below, because I’m sure readers will chip in their ideas below. Over to you, then!

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  1. Robert Frost
    November 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    thx for TV listing part - life is better now :)

    • Justin Pot
      November 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Always happy to help. :)

  2. Roger
    November 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    The newest version of Growl supports a new feature that allows you to send all of the Growl notifications to the OS X notification center.

    • Justin Pot
      November 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      True. Bark improves on that, from what I understand, by putting all notifications under their own programs.

  3. Boni Oloff
    November 4, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Looks like people will go to Mac soon, because see the bad interface of Windows 8.. :D And Mac has many great feature.

    • Ahmed Khalil
      November 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      i do not think windows 8 interface is bad, and MAC still has the problem of high cost of the system

      • Anonymous
        November 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        But people still but apples because they have more money than sense. LOL (these words were posted in an image in MUO Geeky Fun section)

        • Anthony Monori
          November 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm

          Good one!

    • Jon Smith
      November 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      people actually might not use Windows nor Mac since they are going to be both pretty closed enviroments

      • Boni Oloff
        November 7, 2012 at 7:55 am

        Yeah, better or not.. It is based on the user itself.. But for me the new interface of Windows 8 just not usual, and i dont like it.

        • Gustavo Costa
          November 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm

          I don't like really Windows 8 appearance, but I accepted it, in spite, I continue using more Ubuntu and OS X.