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Summary:

Critics of Apple’s iPhone intrusive notification system have new hope for more efficient and less bone-jarring alerts — Rich Dellinger left Palm to rejoin Apple last month. Among other UI contributions, Dellinger invented the superbly elegant and highly effective notification system used by Palm’s webOS.

Critics of Apple’s iPhone notification system have new hope for less intrusive alerts now that Rich Dellinger is back with the Cupertino company, notes PreCentral. Dellinger left his User Interface Designer role at Apple to work on the webOS platform at Palm, where, according to his LinkedIn profile, he “invented the non-intrusive banner notification system used in webOS” — widely viewed as one of the most elegant and effective notification methods on smartphones today.

Apple’s notification service certainly grabs the attention of an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad user when required, perhaps too well. During my two and a half years of iPhone ownership, I remember all too well the bone-jarring pop-up notifications that would take my focus away from the task at hand, especially when Apple opened up the platform to third-party notifications. I’d be surfing the web to research a breaking news story on the run only to be pinged with a non-timely text message or a meeting reminder. The current notification system doesn’t just notify; it completely stops all other interaction and train of thought.

Thanks to Dellinger, notifications on webOS — now owned by HP , which agreed to purchased Palm in April — appear prominently underneath the currently active program card. So while any open application window makes room for the notification, it doesn’t take a back seat to it, and a simple swipe removes the notification message and restores the active application to full size. Alternately, a tap of the notification allows the user to take action on it — think Google Android notifications, but more refined and without having to pull down the Android “window shade.”

While there’s no guarantee that Dellinger will be working on notifications for the newly renamed iOS platform, he has the smarts and the experience to raise the bar for Apple devices.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Hey HP, the Smartphone Market is Calling

  1. Agreed. The notification system is very flawed. I hate, hate, hate being notified “Turn of notification services to determine your location” when it’s in something as benign as a soundboard app!!! Grrrrrr!!!! There has to be a better way!!

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  2. Google & Apple poaching Palms webOS talent only goes to prove how much Palm actually did right with webOS, its just ashame that the best platform doesnt alway sale the most.

    ask the videogame industry…

    luckily since Palm already set the bar in UI design then they can auto pilot it from here on, Google desperately needed a new UI guy while Apple needed a notifications guy.

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  3. The lack of an updated notifications system is what will keep me away from Iphone 4, that and At&t. For all my Pres faults, I still love its UI. They set the bar for notifications, something which seems minor, but in this text message-happy world, is worth its weight in gold. Now that Apple has this talent lined up, whats the likelihood of them coming up with a similar notification system without infringing on HP/Palms IP?

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  4. It seems I hit a an error in the commenting system, my comment failed to come up but won’t let me repost it as it’s a duplicate comment.

    my original comment follows-

    The lack of an updated notifications system is what will keep me away from Iphone 4, that and At&t. For all my Pres faults, I still love its UI. They set the bar for notifications, something which seems minor, but in this text message-happy world, is worth its weight in gold. Now that Apple has this talent lined up, whats the likelihood of them coming up with a similar notification system without infringing on HP/Palms IP?

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    1. aaaaand spoke too soon…
      sorry for the double post.

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  5. [...] View Source [Translate] var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="Are Apple iPhone Notifications About to Improve?"; a2a_config.linkurl="http://www.gogadgetnews.com/2010/06/09/are-apple-iphone-notifications-about-to-improve/"; Tags: Apple, GIGAOM, iPhone, Notifications, Smartphones blog comments powered by Disqus var disqus_url = 'http://www.gogadgetnews.com/2010/06/09/are-apple-iphone-notifications-about-to-improve/ '; var disqus_container_id = 'disqus_thread'; var facebookXdReceiverPath = 'http://www.gogadgetnews.com/wp-content/plugins/disqus-comment-system/xd_receiver.htm'; var DsqLocal = { 'trackbacks': [ ], 'trackback_url': 'http://www.gogadgetnews.com/2010/06/09/are-apple-iphone-notifications-about-to-improve/trackback/' }; (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = "http://my3g.disqus.com/disqus.js?v=2.0&slug=are_apple_iphone_notifications_about_to_improve&pname=wordpress&pver=2.33"; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); // Clock Script Generated By Maxx Blade's Clock v2.0 // http://www.maxxblade.co.uk/clock function tS(){ x=new Date(tN().getUTCFullYear(),tN().getUTCMonth(),tN().getUTCDate(),tN().getUTCHours(),tN().getUTCMinutes(),tN().getUTCSeconds()); x.setTime(x.getTime()+dS()+0); return x; } function tN(){ return new Date(); } function dS(){ return ((tN().getTime()>fD(0,2,1,-1).getTime())&&(tN().getTime() [...]

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  6. Maybe only a small detail, but I think it’s worth pointing out that HP does not yet own WebOS. They have agreed to buy Palm, and it’s very likely to go through, but at this time HP owns WebOS just about as much as I own an iPhone 4.

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  7. It’s not like it’s lack of technical know-how that’s stopping Apple from fixing their notification system.

    Clearly, if Apple thought it was an issue, they have the talent to have been able to fix it already.

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  8. Hey i just read this article about an Apple Fan Boy who decided to give Android a try. He has given his iPhone 3G up for thirty days and decided to spend it with the HTC EVO 4G.

    If there are any Android haters who has an iPhone, I think you owe to your selves to read the article. Its pretty fair and im an advent Android user.

    You can view the article here: http://getyourgadgetsgoing.com

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  9. Steve: I agree so much with you!

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