I think the majority of people are in agreement that one of the key features that the iPhone has lacked over the years, and continues to lack, is a competent notification system.

Sure we have push notifications, but those can be incredibly disrupting and intrusive. Then there’s the app icon badges, which serve their purpose, but can quickly litter your homescreen with a mess of little red icons.

What’s a guy to do to get some good notifications around these parts? Jailbreak, of course.

OpenNotifier is a customizable status bar notification system built from the ground up for iOS4. One of the key features that the developer touts is the fact that the app is customizable, courtesy of add-ons which can be downloaded from Cydia.

These add-ons consist of nothing more than status bar icons, but right off the bat there are quite a few of those to chose from. Perusing Cydia, you’ll find everything from ESPN icons, to Facebook icons, and Google Voice icons.

OpenNotifier works by recognizing when an app receives an alert, and pushes the user-assigned icon for that app to your status bar. For instance, I setup Google Voice with a specially designed Google Voice icon, and when I received a badge alert for a text message, the custom icon immediately appeared in my status bar. Nice.

One nice feature about OpenNotifier is that it supports any app that receives push notifications, even if that app does not receive badges. In your settings.app, there is a provision for “pseudo-badges” to handle this scenario. I have to say that’s a pretty thoughtful feature for the developers to include.

It would be nice if the app included an option to hide the app’s icon badges so that you could solely rely on the status bar notifications that it provides. It would also be interesting if there was a way to invoke an app directly via the status bar notifications. With those two additions, OpenNotifier would be infinitely more useful.

As it stands, though, OpenNotifier has covered a lot of ground for a 1.0 release, and the developer promises many more features down the line. The best part about all of this is that if you’re jailbroken, the app is free on Cydia, along with all of the add-ons.

What are your thoughts on the iPhone’s lacking notification system? Is there anything you’re doing now jailbreak-wise to deal with the lack of an adequate system, or are you content with what Apple has given us? Let us know in the comments.

  • Tony

    Interesting. I’ll try it. Is this a notification system android has?

  • Burge

    Y .. The phone does this anyway .I just do not see the point in having icons in the status bar , just like other phones ,,,,

    • Z

      Agree with @Burge
      There is a limit as to how many icons one can place on the status bar. When the number of icons reaches the limit, some may disappear.
      On top of that, any of the past experiences with modifying the status bar has drastically dropped the speed of the device, caused some delays and so on.

  • Eric

    One of the things I love about the iPhone is no rediculous symbols on the status bar. People who want this shit should get a feature phone. Lockinfo is cool though. Use Activator to set up a drop down menu of notifications on lock or homescreen. Or in app. This is just more clutter than an elegantly designed device does not need.

    • mplsboywonder

      Agreed! If you really want an unobtrusive notification system Install Notified Pro, then install Notification GriP. It’s as close to perfect as you can get.

      Make sure you install Popup Blocker so you never have to see the big blue apple notification ever again.

      Less is more if you ask me……

  • Burge

    Sorry but I just got this from my Bro … Made me giggle………….
    Do u want an Apple i-Phone4G 32GB inc unlimited texts & 1000 free mins a month? Just been on internet got myself 1, U get a free 42″ LCD HD TV, free Apple i-Pod Nano and free Stella Artois mini fridge !! Its a 6 month min contract @ £12.50 per month.
    Simply logon to:


    • Z

      Lol @ iPhone 4G

  • jimhun

    Does not work for me. No OpenNotifier menu in the Settings. 🙁

  • jok3r

    Great little app, best thing about it, its free! with so many other apps that can be added to the statusbar

    Someone needed to do this since “status notifier” which was never made to support iOS 4 and only fixes and workarounds to get it working, plus it didnt have any retina support.

    And the mention of Notified Pro…that app isnt free. so this wins hands down imo 🙂

  • tasha

    i noticed that on the screenshot that i saw for the app there is a symbol that looks like the icon for a voicemail. I am trying to figure out how to get it. Any suggestions?

  • Juan

    feh. not even worth the download.

  • Tasha

    I also noticed that both opennotifier and notified pro causes the mail app to freeze up a little when performing certain functions ( moving emails or deleting them). Notifier+ does not. Does anyone know why?

  • Tiffany

    How do I get it to work? I enabled it but it won’t put the icons in the status bar

  • khan adil

    Is there any tweak/app so that i can chat privately with someone and when i recieve sms from that person, it is not shown instead it is replaced by a custom thing as “”” check network setting””” or memory low