It’s no secret that Apple’s system for notifications in iOS sucks. Many other mobile operating systems, like Google’s Android, use a more unobtrusive method for delivering new notifications.

Apple is definitely working on making the notification system in iOS better, but until then, we can only gawk at interesting concepts of what a complete iOS notification redesign would like like. The latest and greatest concept uses the iPad 2’s new Smart Cover

The current method of delivering notifications in iOS is not conducive to the modern mindset of multitasking. Especially in the mobile sphere, people want to be able to do as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the car next to you on the highway and see the woman talking on her iPhone while eating a burrito and driving with her knee.

If you want a notification system to be streamlined, you try to design it so that it gets the user’s attention, but also stays comfortably out of the way. Notifications in iOS don’t work that way. When a notification pops up, it demands immediate and total attention from the user (even if that “total attention” is tapping the cancel button).

What if notifications worked differently on the iPhone? What if Apple introduced a more customizable and discreet system?

Until they do, designers and develepors will continue to come up with ideas on how it could be done. Robin, from the popular App Store development team at Tapmates, has come up with a new idea for iOS notifications that incorporates the iPad 2’s new Smart Cover accessory.

If you didn’t understand what you just saw, make sure to watch it again and not blink. The concept is that subtly wonderful. When slightly pulled back, the Smart Cover reveals a line of apps that have unseen notifications. Pretty cool, huh?

While this concept looks great in a demo video, it doesn’t really seem that appropriate for the iPhone. Since Robin’s idea relies so heavily on the Smart Cover, it simply wouldn’t work on an iDevice that didn’t have a similar covering.

Apple would be hard pressed to design a functional Smart Cover for the next iPhone. A foldable screen protector on a bigger device like the iPad makes sense, but it doesn’t translate well to a handheld device like the iPhone.

If you jailbreak, you’ve got several replacement options for the current iOS notification system (like the newly released MobileNotifier).

What do you think about this iOS notification concept? If you have thoughts as to how a similar idea could be implemented on the iPhone, share it with us in the comments!

[via Macgasm]


  • PepeGuerr

    This is an advice to all those who want to give a try to MobileNotifier. Do it. Behold the almost perfect functioning, the ios notification system as it was meant to be. And then uninstall it. It can’t handle memory, I guess it will be fixed on next versions but for now you will see how your free RAM will go from, let´s say, 360 MB to 50 MB after 30 or 40 popups and various “clear pending”. The reason: you will have to respring your device to free the memory used for those popups, MobileNotifier wont.
    I wonder lost pointers or God knows, but I’d rather want a crappy notification system than a continous leak of memory and respringing that often.

    P.S. Sorry about my english, hope it can be understood.

    • Joe

      I used mobilenotifier for a while. It’s not really that great. The pop ups are just as bad as the ones you get now. I actually prefer the original notifications over it. Cause it pauses what your doing while in some apps with mobilenotifier, it slows them down when recieving a message. Also the bar talked up too much of the screen. Then with the list, it doesn’t clear it from the list if you go in to the app that has the notification by itself. There is still a lot of work to be done with that app.

  • ahmed al-khuzae

    im almost 100% certain the ios notification will be upgraded in ios 5 ,,
    its soo horrible

    and i did try mobile notifier , deleted it in the same day , the app is sooo bad
    on of the biggest problems was (the alarM) whenever it took of ( every time i wake up )
    there is no way to shut it of (the slide to stop) is not there
    ,,, and thats just the tip of the iceberg

    and i think this is nice but i dont see how it will work the smart cover make it unlock ,
    how will the app know if the smart cover is half pulled or full pulled ??

  • Truther

    Just a note, that this is difficult to implement.
    The iPad2 doesn’t have magnets along every point where the smart cover touches. Only the corners (or maybe even less as I have not seen the smart cover laid from right to left) So while it would know when the cover is opened, it couldn’t tell how much. You’d have to completely remove the cover (again assuming their are 4 sensors) for the iPad to know the difference.
    Someone with an idea who didn’t look at the basics.

  • Noms

    another option is grip, but its hardly worth the download unless you have an ipad. ive used it on my iphone, and it was not at all what i expected. on the other hand, it actually looks pretty decent on the ipad.

  • john

    People complaining about the bar that appears,.. remember that you can slide the bar off the screen.
    slide ur finger across the bar it will wipe away……. this may change your opinion on the app. i think its about time we have something like this,

    ios5 will bring in a new notifications system for sure in april, i also hope for a expose feature like on mac, and an android pattern lock-screen,…. they all copied the ipad, so apple should copy google’s ideas.