Rumor: Apple looking to buy developer for new iOS notification system

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple may buy a third-party App Store iPhone developer to help it create a new notification system for a future version of iOS, according to a new rumor.



An anonymous source reportedly informed Cult of Mac that Apple is "trying to buy a small app developer" in order to update is iOS notification system. The individual apparently did not know the name of the company, but said it has already created an iPhone application that is available in the App Store.



Author Leander Kahney suggested that one potential acquisition could be Boxcar, a free application (iTunes link) from developer appremix. The software controls push notifications for applications such as Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, RSS feeds and more.



The notification system in iOS has been criticized by many for being too intrusive, forcing users to immediately view or close an update from an application or service, rather than giving the ability to revisit it later.



Last June, it was discovered that Rich Dellinger, former user interface design architect at Palm and creator of the non-intrusive webOS notification system, was hired by Apple. That led to speculation that the iPhone maker was looking to improve its push messaging and notification system for iOS, but thus far the functionality has remained largely unchanged.







Apple typically releases a major update for iOS, its mobile operating system, once a year in June. Last year, Apple showed off features of iOS 4, including multitasking support, to developers, and the software eventually shipped alongside the launch of the iPhone 4 in June.



Cult of Mac's recent track predictions have missed the mark, as the site incorrectly reported last October that the new MacBook Air would have user-upgradeable RAM, processor speeds up to 2.4GHz, and a battery life of between 8 and 10 hours. The site did corroborate AppleInsider's own, accurate report that the new MacBook Air would come in two screen sizes: 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches.



The site also claimed in November that Apple plans to include a near-field communications RFID chip in the next-generation "iPhone 5." It was said the hardware would not only allow "e-wallet" transactions, but also grant ability to securely turn a nearby Mac into your own computer, complete with custom settings and personal passwords.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    They could hire the monkeys from the Career builder adds and not do any worse than the current system.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    Maybe just me, but the cultofmac comments seem a bit catty. I think the predictions were close enough to be in the running.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Can they hurry up about it, notifications are a laughing stock in iOS. Did you see the HP TouchPad notifications? it looked like Growl, very slick.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    Might want to add that Boxcar is one of Gruber's top apps, it was in Giz or Engadget, one of the tech blogs this week.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    If true, this really sucks. Was hoping this Dellinger character would have had some impact by now. The current notification systems is an absolute joke when compared with ANY other major mobile OS, including Symbian that has just been tossed aside.



    In two months are we going to read that Apple had started to look for speech recognition specialists?



    Anyway, hope it's all just a lousy rumor.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    With the huge slap to the face HP threw at its phone customers (after PROMISING their customers updates to the new WebOS, decided to not ever support the current phones), and the fact they just started selling the Pre2 when they announced its successor the day before, my guess is that there will be a bunch of WebOS dev people looking for jobs soon when their platform, as awesome as it may be, falls flat due to mis-handling of the whole project.



    Apple should snatch them up. I have both an iPod Touch and a Palm Pre + Hands down, the WebOS notification system is so much better!
  • Reply 7 of 39
    That "9 squares icon" in the nav bar button is a rip-off from the facebook app!
  • Reply 8 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hogan View Post


    If true, this really sucks. Was hoping this Dellinger character would have had some impact by now. The current notification systems is an absolute joke when compared with ANY other major mobile OS, including Symbian that has just been tossed aside.



    In two months are we going to read that Apple had started to look for speech recognition specialists?



    Anyway, hope it's all just a lousy rumor.



    You realize the current notification system sucks and yet you hope they don't fix it?
  • Reply 9 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hogan View Post


    In two months are we going to read that Apple had started to look for speech recognition specialists?



    I can see it now in June 2012....



    Steve: Oh and one more thing, the new iPhone 6 can actually understand you when you talk. This is really magic folks. You say words and they just appear on the phone without typing.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    You realize the current notification system sucks and yet you hope they don't fix it?



    I think he meant to say that he hopes it's a rumor that they are looking into it this late. As mentioned above, they already hired the guy who developed webOS's notification system, so let's hope it's just a rumor that they have to resort to looking elsewhere. That would only slow down the overhaul of the current system.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    You realize the current notification system sucks and yet you hope they don't fix it?



    I think he is hoping they already made major progress and would not need to hire/buy a new team and start over a couple months before iOS 5 should hit beta.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    So, if they just recently acquired these companies, does that mean improved notifications won't show up until iOS 8.2.1?
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    You realize the current notification system sucks and yet you hope they don't fix it?



    Err.. no. Read again. If the rumor is true, it sucks because it means that Apple has made little headway on notifications, and it a much improved and badly needed notification system is a long way down the road. I, for one, had expected something with iPhone5 for example.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    So, if they just recently acquired these companies, does that mean improved notifications won't show up until iOS 8.2.1?



    I like your optomism
  • Reply 15 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post


    I can see it now in June 2012....



    Steve: Oh and one more thing, the new iPhone 6 can actually understand you when you talk. This is really magic folks. You say words and they just appear on the phone without typing.



    Separate topic, but given that Nuance tech is licensed by Siri (which Apple bought), does this mean there may be restrictions in how Apple deploys Siri's expertise? Really would like to see voice mnore widely deployed but wondering if this is going to be years in the making as well.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hogan View Post


    If true, this really sucks. Was hoping this Dellinger character would have had some impact by now. The current notification systems is an absolute joke when compared with ANY other major mobile OS, including Symbian that has just been tossed aside.



    In two months are we going to read that Apple had started to look for speech recognition specialists?



    Anyway, hope it's all just a lousy rumor.



    Really, what "impact" exactly would you have expected by now? If someone was hired last June, it would stand to reason that the impact of hiring that person wouldn't be realized until the update that's still to come this summer. Yes, we all agree that notifications are poorly handled in iOS as compared to other OSs. It's also something that's fairly trivial to remedy. Seeing as though Apple has hired the person responsible for what is currently the best notification system implementation, I suggest to you that you relax and wait to see what iOS 5 has to offer. If notifications are not improved in iOS 5, then you have every right to complain about what "impact" this person may or may not have had. Until then, keep your expectations in check.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    That "9 squares icon" in the nav bar button is a rip-off from the facebook app!



    Actually that icon used all over the place, not just FaceBook or apps.



    It's usually used for selecting layout mode, row (icon is 3 lines, stacked) or grid (icon is 9 squares in a 3x3 grid)





    Although I just noticed, Mac OS X Finder uses a 2x2 grid icon for grid/icon view
  • Reply 18 of 39
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,442member
    I'm assuming that iOS 5 must be pretty far along in development by now and probably already has whatever notification system changes they're planning in place. I certainly hope they are planning changes for v5 -- it's getting a little silly with the current system.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    If true, new notifications aren't ready until iOS 6. At this point, I would assume that the features for 5 are pretty much set in stone. Also, how would they do it? Notifications at the top and you tap it? Nope, that scrolls to the top of a page/email/SMS. Pinch to zoom like gesture? Nope. Using more than two fingers isn't optimal on the small screen of an iPhone. Swipe a few times to the left past spotlight? A bit cumbersome. I can only guess a swipe from the bottom.



    I am willing to bet some functionality will be lost, like certain home button options when they included "multitasking". I am sure they'll get it done, but it will resemble something like a competitor's.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    I wonder if they would look at the makers of a jailbreak app. The notification system built into BiteSMS is the greatest single improvement worth jailbreaking an iphone for, love that app, i haven't used the standard iphone messages app in over a year since i was turned onto BiteSMS.
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