Dear Apple: How Will You Handle Death-By-Push-Notification?
It's summer 2009 and iPhone OS 3.0 has just been made available via iTunes. You have it up and running along with next gen Twitter clients, instant massagers, RSS readers, and all manner of Push Notification-enabled apps ready to alert you the very instant anything new is piping hot and ready.
Then it happens. 20 new Twitter DMs. 3 co-workers IM you. Every tech blog you follow updates about iTunes not crashing this time. You calendar reminds you about that meeting coming up. And your entire FPS combat team all invite you to come join their game. Suddenly Push Notification is trying to pop up 30 text boxes all at once -- while you're in the middle of an urgent phone call.
How will you handle this, Apple?
Right now a single SMS pops up a message box that you either have to deal with right away, and if you dismiss it, it's gone. If you forget what it was for... well, that's tough. Imagine 30 of those, all at once. Will you even be able to hang up your phone call before canceling out all of them? And if you do cancel out of them, what chance to you have to really see and process alerts #1-29?
Both the Google Android with its top-down slider and the Palm Pre with their bottom loaded notification area provide a far less obtrusive and simultaneously more persistent -- and dare we say more elegant? -- notification solution.
Could you, Apple, have an improved system ready to drop on us in a future 3.0 beta? At WWDC? Or is that waiting on 4.0? And if you do have a way of handling it, what is it? What can you do given the current architecture, gesture library, and frameworks of the iPhone to better handle the onslaught of notifications you're about to drop on us?
Pull down the topmost menu bar a la Android? Create a dedicated Notification app on the Home Screen we can launch to see, like recent calls, what we may have missed?
Maybe our readers have some ideas that can help. They certainly proved smarter than us on the Bluetooth toggle question. What say you, readers, any ideas on how Apple can prevent the notification equivalent of "ping death" befalling us come iPhone 3.0 and Push Notification Service this summer?