Categories
Technology

Notifications chaos? Across platforms, devices and the Universe. Solved!

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:

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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”.
  4. 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?)
  5. 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?

 

Categories
Technology

Mobile revolution in perspective

Some people on the planet feel the need to bring some balance to this debate.   Not that there is much debate.   Everyone seems sure that mobile devices will conquer the planet.   Apps are growing like mushrooms.   Many with less meaningful content than an edible fungus.  This doesn’t stop marketing departments investing in mobile platforms for everything.   Everything.

Don’t get me wrong.   I am happy that this is leading to some interoperability.   (Not so happy we are wasting a lot of global energy pandering to a very small minority of …well whatever Apple dreams up of, often on its own little island.  We should be talking about “tablet compatible” things, not “iPad” compatible.)   It is great that websites are getting better to navigate from different resolution screens.   I have been a road warrior and smart phone user since the days when this involved carrying a brick in my back pocket and being laughed at in meetings for using it.

I have done work on a mobile phone.   Back in the days when you could find a phone with a decent keyboard I would even write thoughts like this on one.   But real individual information processing work gets done on a PC.   Unless you are in the business of only reading stuff or killing pigs by throwing birds at them from a slingshot.

There are some rock solid obstructions to a mobile device being truly capable:  1. Screen resolution.   I struggle with netbooks because the 600 pixel limitation to the height makes getting anything done on the internet difficult.  Even 768 on many laptops is annoying.   2. Screen size.   Some of us are lucky enough to not mind ridiculously small fonts.   Not everyone.   The Galaxy Note is a step in the right direction. 3. Keyboard.  Again netbooks are a good example.  Read reviews and all the complaints people make about smaller keyboards.   For anyone that writes to make their living this is serious.   Virtual keyboards on touch screen never, ever, ever come even close and voice recognition remains a problem in the real world.  4. Multi tasking.   Even if Alt-tab isn’t your second nature, when you are working you are very often multitasking.   I’m not talking about an iPhone finally being able to run essential tasks simultaneously.   I am talking about 5 spreadsheets, 8 browser windows, a business app and a few other things running at the same time because I need to them to put something together.   Even a simple presentation will often demand 6 or 7 software applications running concurrently.  5. Speed.   When we are talking about serious work, the speed of the device is essentially stalling your thought process.   I am annoyed at upgrading to an 18 megapixel DSLR because it takes that much longer for my Core i7, SSD laptop to process the images.  Time is money and mobile devices are wasteful in this respect.  Unless they are a laptop.   Mobile enough!

The list continues with other major or minor niggles.   “Niggles” being things that bother you.   Like the room being too cold.   Like your chair not being comfortable.   Like all those things you don’t want bothering you when you actually try to get some work done.   For anyone wanting to focus on a task involving the use of technology, a PC will continue to be the best place to get it done.

Niggle free.