Notifications in iOS have always sucked. Let’s be honest, whether you’ve grown to actually like and/or tolerate Apple’s system for push notifications on the iPhone, you still have to look at other platforms like Android and Palm OS and scratch your head.
Apple got one thing right: making sure you see your notifications in iOS. The problem is that there is no method of queuing, collecting, or saving notifications. When something gets pushed from an app, you have to deal with it right away.
Luckily, we have the jailbreak community to thank for several wonderful alternatives to the stock system of notifications in iOS. My favorite is called MobileNotifier. Let’s take a closer look…
MobileNotifier is a different system of notifications designed by famed jailbreak developer, Peter Hajas. The tweak is a free download in Cydia from Peter’s repo (phajas.xen.prgmr.com/repo).
MobileNotifier Beta5 handles notifications in iOS very well. After using Beta3, I was unimpressed with the lack of polish, but Beta5 has proven to be a significant upgrade that makes MobileNotifier a very worthy contender for any jailbreaker’s notification system replacement.
By default, notifications on iOS are obtrusive and demanding. MobileNotifier gives you more control over when and how you view your notifications. Instead of a centered dialog box, MobileNotifier shows you notifications through a sleek bar that appears at the top of your iPhone’s screen, no matter what you’re doing in iOS.
If you’re reading email, no problem. If you’re reading your Twitter timeline, no problem. MobileNotifier will politely appear at the top of your screen with the app that’s sending the notification, including a preview of the message itself.
When you see the delightful notification bar, you have the option to either say “Later,” or “Open”, or “Dismiss” that specific notification. Opening will obviously take you to the desired app, tapping “Later” will send the notification to a handy list for later viewing and simply hit the “X” in the popup to dismiss them for good!
Perhaps the greatest design choice in MobileNotifier is the list view above the iPhone’s app switcher. When you double tap your home button, as though you were going to change apps in the app switcher, a new interface is placed above the switcher with a list of your pending notifications.
Other replacements handle lists for notifications in similar ways, but I find that MobileNotifier’s method is the simplest, most intuitive, and just plain clean. Notifications can be independently viewed and cleared, or the whole list can be cleared by the “Clear All” button.
So, that’s how MobileNotifier handles itself when you’re iPhone is unlocked. What about when you’re not using your iPhone?
You can even reply to text messages while within other applications! It works like magic!
As far as stability goes, I will say that Beta5 of MobileNotifier has been pretty rock solid for me. The extension hasn’t caused my iPhone to crash or hiccup once.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Are there certain features you’d like to see in future releases of MobileNotifier? Any bugs or incompatibility issues would be great information to share as well.