We all know one of the biggest gripes about the iPhone is the inefficient notification system, and this frustration is doubled in regards to email because you don’t even get a pop-up message for incoming emails. You hear a ding, the badge number increases and that’s it. Opening the mail app is the only way to see whether you just received another spam message, an email from mom, or an important business email.

What a waste of time, right? Thankfully there’s Elert, a jailbreak app available in the Cydia store for $1.99 plus a short trial period. Elert pops up a small notification window in the lower right hand corner detailing the email’s sender, subject, and a snippet of the first line. It also allows you to expand the window to view the entire email and reply, all without leaving the app you’re in.

So if it’s another mass-email from your chain-letter obsessed coworker, you can hit the X and dismiss it for later. If it’s an urgent email from the boss demanding an immediate reply, tap the window and it expands to this:

Here it functions almost like the full-fledged mail app. You can delete, mark as read, compose a reply, or just launch the mail app. Now you might notice this is showing up on the lockscreen. Currently there is no way to disable it from showing up on the lockscreen, so if that’s a concern keep that in mind.

You can turn the app off and on easily by opening the Elert app after it’s been installed. You can also adjust the display time the preview window appears, from 5 seconds to 100 seconds. There’s also the option to adjust font color, but a bug is causing that to open a blank FAQ’s page. And unfortunately the actual FAQs link also opens a blank page.

So while it isn’t a perfect app, it’s been incredibly useful for me. I usually don’t like paying for apps, jailbreak or not, so I tried to forget about this one after the trial, but I found myself missing it so I gave in and bought it. Hopefully future updates will make the investment completely worthwhile.

I am running this app on an iPhone 4, iOS 4.1, but I’m not sure if it’s compatible with all versions. Let us know in the comments if it doesn’t work for you.

Will you make use of this app, or did you already have it installed? What features do you wish it had? Sound off in the comments below!

  • @Roc_starr

    This app has been out on the rockstore I bought it but now that cydia rock merged how do I get my registration to transfer??

  • I have used this app for almost 3 years. Its awesome and saves me from looking at an Android phone. Why Apple has not addressed their notification system is beyond understanding.

    I am on 4.1 with my iPhone 4. However, it has always worked for me on my 3G with 2.0 and 3GS with 3.0.

  • @Roc_starr

    The app is now available in Cydia. When you select the app, it gives you an option to link the purchase/license to your Rock Store license. Once you do that, it allows you to install for free. It was really easy and straightforward.

  • Thomas G.

    I remember looking at this app and thought it was amazing. After installation, I noticed it didn’t pop up any notifications, and wouldn’t let me open the Mail.app after install. (ip4 on ios4.1)

    There may be another version out so Ill suppose I’ll give it another shot, looks like an awesome app!

    • six4seven

      I’m having the same issue. It wont let me open the mail app!! Weak

  • Anthony DM

    I’ve just installed this app, it’s great but which I try to fix the font colour it just goes to the FAQ’s instead of showin the colour wheel….any fixes?

  • Gorgonphone

    I will pass on this cause Lockinfo works just fine for me with its pull down info shade option

    • Turbo

      Yes I use lockinfo also

  • AppleBits

    Lockinfo for me, as well.

  • Alfonze4

    If we could have something like this for IM Clients like eBuddy, it would be awesome:D

    • Brademcee

      You should try notified pro in cydia. Besides having drop down notifications it has a plug in for notifications that is pretty sweet.

  • Z


  • I installed Elert on my 3GS. My Mail app wouldn’t open so I had to uninstall it. 🙁

  • Looks like a better version of GriP! I loved the idea of GriP (Growl for iPhone) but it was very buggy and crashed all time. I’m definitely going to grab the Elert trial until Notified’s devs fix the home button error, since Notified Pro can do this and more with one of their extensions.

  • I take it back. Notified can’t ‘mark read’ or preview the email the way that Elert’s QuickView does. This is an awesome tweak.

  • Matthew

    I had some issue with Elert. I had some force reboots, I had times where the apps notification would get stuck (nothing could get rid of it except a reboot), and times where certain keyboard keys wouldn’t work. I’m sure it was the app interacting negatively with another app, but I had no idea which one so I uninstalled it and all of the problems went away.

  • K

    I’ve got Lockinfo as well… For those of you who want an IM client check out Trillian…..

    Looks very cool!

  • Anonymous

    It has not be discontinued. 🙁