One of the annoyances about notifications in today’s multi-platform world is the alert conundrum. We’ve all been there: an alert comes in, you act on it on one device and yet it doesn’t clear on the other. And with apps constantly producing all sorts of notifications, managing these things across our gadgets is tricky, to put it mildly.
Matter of fact, you’d be right to argue that notifications tend to get a little out of hand, up to the point where they turn your daily computing into a nightmare.
Apple feels your pain: that’s why it gave iOS 7 a new Notification Sync feature where reading a notification on your iPad automatically marks it as read on your iPhone, and vice versa, courtesy of iCloud. Google isn’t standing still either: today, the search monster started rolling Google+ notification sync across the web, Android and iOS…
This means reading a Google+ notification on your iPhone marks it as read on your Android smartphone and other devices, and vice versa. You don’t even have to actually read the notification: dismissing it with a swipe does so everywhere.
Google’s enginees have also freshened up the notifications tray by separating unread from previously-read items and using a new bell icon to denote alerts waiting for you.
Though the company hasn’t updated its Google+ iOS client yet, notification sync is coming soon – first on Android and the web, then on iOS.
This couldn’t have come sooner.
Google+ notifications are currently broken on iOS. Tapping any of these things on my iPhone often takes me to a totally unrelated post in the Google+ iOS app.
If you’re on Android, you may also want to check the Play store because Google just pushed a Google+ app update which contains a few enhancements related to photos. And just two weeks ago, the iOS build got updated with Auto Enhance for photos and a raft of new features from Google I/O 2013.
As for the notification mess, I’ve long learned to disable all but core alerts (i.e. messaging and phone notifications) across my entire device lineup.
In case you were worried, yes, the iPhone with iOS 7 still vibrates on your face when you’re on a call and notifications arrive. Whew.
— Zach Epstein (@zacharye) June 13, 2013
This goes for Facebook alerts, too: hearing all of my devices beep each time a friend sends a message on Facebook is enough to tick me off.
We’re all living in a multi-device, multi-platform world and it’s awesome that Google and Apple are finally doing something to fix the dreadful notification conundrum.
Feel free to share your horror stories with fellow readers down in the comments.