Apple recently announced the release of the new iPhone OS 3.0. Yes, it’s great and it comes with many new features we have been waiting for. One of those is worrying me a little bit: Push Notification.
The Apple Push Notification service provides a way of alerting about new information, even when the user is not running the application. Alerts come in three flavors: it could be a numbered badge to be displayed on the application’s icon, it could also be a sound or it could be a text alert.
Picture by Engadget
Looking at the feature from the user experience point of view, in my opinion, the numbered badges are great, sound alerts are just "OK" but text alerts are wrong. Text alerts will be highly distracting and might remind to disturbing message alerts found on Windows systems, like this one:
Just an example of alerts on Windows
Alerts are a great opportunity for developers and companies, specially for the ones developing IM services or critical applications that need users’ attention. On the other hand, I can imagine that a lot of these people could be tempted to abuse of the feature; ESPN, for example, announced that they would be sending 50 million notifications each month.
Apple has been creating fantastic user interfaces and I can not believe they didn’t think about the implications of allowing this kind of disturbing messages on a device like the iPhone. We have to wait a few months to see how text Push Notifications will be implemented, maybe not allowing them by default could help.