One of the most requested improvements is to the notification system for iOS. The current notification system is designed to make sure that users get all the incoming messages – at all costs. But this arrangement is annoying because it interrupts any activity that is currently in progress. To be cut off in the middle of a game is not something that any gamer would tolerate. On the other hand, if users choose to ignore the notification, it will just disappear. Users then have to go through piles of apps to find out which ones sent the notifications. It’s very easy to accidentally leave some notifications unnoticed.
Right Here, Right Now, For Free
Getting a better notification system is something that iOS users will look forward to, and Apple has made the right step by trying to improve the current system. The bad news is, it’s still unclear when exactly the next iOS will be released. But the good news is, there’s already a better notification system available for iOS. If you have a jailbroken iOS device running iOS 4, you can install the system right now, for free.
The system is called Mobile Notifier by Peter Hajas, and it’s available from Cydia. But before you can install it in your iOS device, you have to add Peter Hajas’ repo first.
- To do that, open Cydia and go straight to “Manage” and choose “Sources“.
- Within the “Sources” area, tap “Edit” on the top left of the screen, and then tap “Add” at the next screen to be able to enter Peter Hajas’ repository address.
- The “Enter Cydia/APT URL” window will pop up. You should fill in the field with this address:
- Then click “Add Source“. Cydia will download some packages and update its repository with the new source.
- Now that you’ve added the repository, you should go to the “Search” area and search for “MobileNotifier“. Tap on it to see more details and tap the “Install” button. The app will be downloaded and installed into your iOS devices. After that your device will be restarted automatically.
The New Notification In Action
If you want to do some adjustments, you can find some options within the “Settings” area. You can enable or disable the features here. Since I wanted to know what Mobile Notifier does (and how it’s different from the default notification system), I turned all the features on.
Here are some of my findings.
First, if you have some incoming notifications while you’re not using your device, they will appear at the lock screen. Mobile Notifier will tell you how many notifications you’ve missed, and if you touch the notification bar, you can view them there on the lock screen. Unfortunately, the version of Mobile Notifier that I’m trying out (version beta4r1) doesn’t allow users to act on the notifications right away. I hope future versions will do.
To act on the notifications, you have to unlock your device. You can see the list on the unused area above the multitasking bar. By default, you can open the multitasking bar by clicking the home button twice.
Tap on one of the notifications to open it in its default application. You can dismiss all the notifications by tapping on the “Clear pending” link and confirm by tapping the red “Clear pending” button.
But if you are in the middle of something, the notification will appear as a single small bar above the screen. You can ignore it if you want. Or you can tap the small arrow button on the right to save the notification for “Later” or “Open” it right away.
After trying out the app for a while, I also found that the current version is not really suitable for the iPad yet as the notification window got messed up when you change the device’s orientation.
The developer’s blog revealed that the new version (beta5) is already out with some new features like the ability to reply a message directly from Mobile Notifier’s window. But at the time of writing I couldn’t update my Mobile Notifier to the latest version.
I don’t know what kind of renewed notification system Apple will come up with inside iOS 5, but at the moment, I think Mobile Notifier is so much better than iOS 4′s notification system.
Have you tried Mobile Notifier? Do you use another iOS notification system? Please share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.
Image credit: Apple
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