I was looking at the new and improved YouTube when it came to me. Check out all the new bells and whistles, the polls and the posts you can make in a tool that is more and more like a social network, and it will notify you… I just kept thinking “wow, how will users handle all the extra new notifications from this app?” And then I logged in to Google Local Guides connect and thought “I wish this sent me notifications more often without me needing to log in”. I keep forgetting about it.
There is no easy solution. No magic bullet. Oh, wait a minute. Yes there is!
It is currently chaos. Every app tries to dominate on my phone and my computer and everywhere it can. AirBnB sends me text messages just to make sure I have read my emails about a place I am staying in two months. When I get a new phone or reset my old one, Google does an excellent job of bringing back all sorts of settings. But not notifications. Because that is a job bigger even than Google. Here is how we could it:
- Start a service which picks up from your phone and computer as many as possible of whatever apps and services you are connected to automatically. No easier way around this, you need to authorize it to know your Twitter, Linked in, Gmail or whatever else you want it to handle the notifications for.
- You then get a master notifications center. I am talking about all your apps and all your devices. Here is where the magic starts. Because you tell it that you want your cell phone, any cell phone you connect to the service, to always notify you if something happens on Twitter. Or to never notify you about anything on Facebook other than someone tagging you. Or to always tell you somehow about stuff happening on Google Local Guides Connect.
- Obviously some apps and services won’t comply. My notifications platform isn’t just another app. We are now the gold standard, the international bar to reach for everyone. We are consumer rights! Heck I can do it as a panEuropean initiative or something, go all political and make any company that doesn’t comply look bad. We will advertise with slogans like “works with all apps apart from those nasty people at Instagram that won’t let us access their API”.
- There is nothing stopping us from creating a service for non compliant devices or software. You will tell it what you want your connected microwave to do and we will bust the balls of the manufacturer to get on our platform until it complies. This isn’t some sort of “if this then that”, this is only notifications and specifically notifications. This is your life! Who gets the right to interrupt you? (You see how I go all philosophical and touchy-feely, eh?)
- Eventually my platform becomes the go to place for all apps and devices to get their notifications settings from. Cross platform, cross countries, across the Universe. A Russian cosmonaut with an iPhone will return to earth after 18 months, throw away the damn thing because it drove him nuts and get his Android phone set up the same for notifications within minutes. Elon Musk will return from Mars after 3 years and fly his new Tesla home without interruptions from any app he hasn’t chosen.
Notifications are a problem which is not going to go away. Google is the only company anywhere close to a chance of making the world better in this respect but only for those of us that use and love their products. But even if you only use Android, Chromebooks and full use of all Google apps, devices and services, there will be other companies creeping in to annoy us with their notifications. We need something bigger than Google in a much smaller way. A vertical. A fine layer of control on the last mile, the last inch of space between the world and anything that comes to interrupt me with a notification.
The business beauty of the proposal is that you don’t need to include everyone and everything from day one. Even if this platform handled just notifications from 3-4 apps and services it would be useful. Think about it. Never having to set up your phone regarding what can ping and ding from Facebook or Gmail or whatever. Not even Google offers this right now. Eventually our protocol becomes the global standard for notification control of course, we pay ourselves mega bucks and become more important than the United Nations.
Any developers up for making this?