Apple Doubles Down on Notification Center

While there were many bright and shiny enhancements unveiled in Apple’s 2012 WWDC keynote, updates to iCloud and Notification Center really tied it all together across mobile devices to the desktop. According to Apple, since it introduced Notification Center, 81% of apps are now using it, with 84 of the top 100 social apps using push notification. It’s clear that push messaging is continuing to become more important and more useful.

The Notification Center in iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion includes integration with Twitter and Facebook so you can receive mentions and messages as alerts, as well as write or dictate tweets and status updates directly from within it. You can also designate certain people as VIPs to receive push messages alerting you to their emails.

With OS X Mountain Lion, the Notification Center is easily accessible with a two-finger swipe, where you can see banners and alerts from all your apps. And yes, Urban Airship push messaging works on Mountain Lion. Connecting your laptop or desktop to a projector automatically turns these alerts off, enabling you to view them later, and not in front of your 100 not-so-closest friends.

Consistent with its devotion to user experience, and echoing fundamentals of our own Good Push best practices, Apple unveiled a new Do Not Disturb button in the Notification Center. We counsel our customers to enable Quiet Time settings in their apps to help ensure that push messages are welcome, and Do Not Disturb offers an immediately accessible, universal setting to handle those moments of our days where we need pure focus and zero interruptions. With Do Not Disturb, push and text messages still arrive in the notification center but without lighting up your screen and sounding off alerts.

There are some pretty cool phone features that leverage Do Not Disturb too; for example enabling user-designated VIP calls to come through at any time. We also like the ability to skip inbound calls and either send the caller a text reply, or set a geofenced reminder to return the call later. We’re looking forward to experiencing all these enhancements ourselves and believe they will help pave the way for greater customer engagement in a world of rabid mobile and multi-device adoption.

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