Apple is working on a new notification system for iOS and will be buying a small company to build its technology into the operating system, according to sources. Apple's pop-up notification system for new text messages, voicemails and the like has often been criticized as one of the weakest parts of the iOS. Notifications are intrusive, modal and often cryptic. It's a mess.
HP/Palm's webOS banner notification system, on the other hand, has been widely praised for its utility and ease of use. And from this week's preview, it looks to be getting better.
Rich Dellinger, the chief architect of Palm's system and inventor of the webOS banner notification system was hired by Apple last year sparked rumours that plans of a re-design of the notification system was inevitable. However, the system still hasn't been fixed, and according to our source, Apple is now trying to buy a small app developer to fix it.
Rumors going around at the moment suggest that Boxcar from App Remix which provides push notifications for emails and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is the firm in question, though other sources are indicating that its highly unlikely. The CEO of App Remix was asked if Apple was planning to buy out the firm and replied with a Steve Jobs style response, "no comment....".
Cultofmac reports that Ben David Walker, a student from the U.K., has designed a new banner notification system for the iPhone that cleverly uses some empty space in the current iOS. Here's how it would work:
Walker's notification system uses the empty space on the Spotlight search screen, which is revealed when users swipe right on the Home screen.
Currently, the Spotlight search screen is pretty much empty. Except for the search box at the top, the screen contains a big black space where the search results are presented.
Walker proposes using that space to display banner notifications about incoming email, and messages from Twitter, Facebook and IM. It will also include push notifications from various apps. When the user taps on a notification, they are taken to the appropriate app.