Monday, June 29, 2009

Push notifications on the iPhone

I just received notification that the Remember The Milk iPhone application has a new update.  This update adds support for push notifications, where you will be notified if you a task scheduled for the day, without actually launching the application itself.

This had me thinking about some other applications that I think would be great to have push notifications added:

  • Facebook:  to notify you when someone commented on something that you do, or sent you a message.

  • Tweetie: to notify you when someone sends you a direct message

  • Skype: to notify you of new messages.

  • Games:  to notify you if someone "challenges" you, or if someone beats your high score.


I also think that there is an opportunity for another service.  Currently, if a developer wants to present notifications on the iPhone, they need to have a native iPhone application installed.  A lot of the "applications" that I use are web based.  I would love to receive notifications from these applications.

I think that it would be great if some developer wrote an iPhone application and a web service.  This application would talk to the web service to see if there are any notifications to be displayed.  Then other web services, using OAuth or Facebook Connect, would associate with this service.  This would allow notifications to be received from any web service.

I think that Facebook would be a good developer to do this, as they have the relationships with other developers, and they already support Facebook Connect.  But, I think that Apple will end up doing this in their MobileMe service.  This would be another reason to get users to pay for this service.