2009-07-06 20:00:00 -0400

I have somewhat consistently maintained that the Apple Push Notification Service for iPhone developers is a really bad kludge. I still stand by that! It’s a poor stand-in for the local system scheduler that’s already on the device.

That said, there’s a proper tool for every job, and APNS is absolutely perfect for Prowl:

Prowl is a Growl client for the iPhone. Notifications from your Mac can be sent to your iPhone over push, with a full range of customization and grace you expect…. As soon as a Growl notification pops up on your Mac, Prowl will forward it to your iPhone or iPod Touch over the push notification service found in iPhone OS 3.0. Which notifications are pushed is configurable, allowing only the important messages to be delivered.

The possibilities there are really huge. Not to mention that it’s a geek’s dream, and perfect for sysadmins. Now you never need to miss those sweet nothings your desktop whispers in your ear when you’re out and about tolerating the company of other fleshy ones. Imagine:


  • unix box: OMG disk is full!
  • mail server: OMG OMG OMG I/O SPIKE!

All kidding aside, this is a nice bridge to between web/internet services on a dedicated connection and mobile devices, and it in no way involves text messages. Anything that cuts into the bottom line of the Text Message Tax Collectors makes me smile.

Another recent innovation with APNS is the arrival of the first middleman, Urban Airship, which handles the details of maintaining state with APNS so you don’t have to construct the infrastructure yourself.

Image snagged from the Prowl website.

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