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Bryan M. Wolfe
| July 19, 2012
Dear Notification Center, Do I Really Have To Compare You Unfavorably To Android?
Dear Notification Center, After writing to Mail and Calendar recently, I decided the time has come to offer my opinion of you too. After all, I was one of your biggest promoters when you arrived last year with iOS 5. Unfortunately, since then, our relationship has become distant, at best. First, let me say, I continue to love how you alert me whenever I receive an email, tweet, text, or message from a third-party app. Perfect. I particularly love when you use banner-style messages across the top of my iDevice screen. And yes, I’ve seen your future and it looks mostly bright. Apple did the right thing by adding the ability to send Facebook messages and tweets directly from your screen in iOS 6. And I'm happy to see that you've added push notifications for AMBER and emergency alerts too. Again – wonderful addition. Finally, I want it to be known that I still use your two native widgets, Weather and Stocks, on my iPhone. Both work brilliantly. And for a final time – perfection! [caption id="attachment_321406" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Emergency Alert in iOS 6[/caption] [caption id="attachment_321407" align="aligncenter" width="640"] "tap to ... "[/caption] Still, my dearest of friends, you could be so much better. For one, what do you have against text? Your “tap to post” and “tap to tweet” buttons in iOS 6 are fine. But, I’d also like a “tap to text” button too. This would make the messaging experience much simpler and faster. And I’m not the only one that thinks this. AppAdvice readers think so too. (Thanks for the tip, Matt.) Another gripe of mine remains your reluctance to recognize some of the great tools being developed for you by jailbreakers and integrate them yourself. SBSettings, for instance, offers toggles in Notification Center. [caption id="attachment_321405" align="aligncenter" width="334"] SBSettings[/caption] NCSettings, meanwhile, adds cool settings for some of iOS’ most important features. For example, with this jailbreak users can enable/disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, and more. And finally, please, please, please (did I mention, please): Give me third-party widgets. Even Google allows this on Android. And I know just how upset you get when I criticize you for not being more like Android! My suggestion: Let users add additional widgets from their most favorite apps to your screen. Tweetbot and the swackett X weather app come to mind. Also, it would be so cool if you were to add a quick dial bar for Google Voice too. I know this would give Apple less control, which they love. As a compromise, maybe give us the ability to add only one or two third-party apps. That way, your screen could remain uncluttered. All right, enough of my complaining. Hopefully you’ll share this letter with Apple and have them move on some of my suggestions. I’ve gotta run, as you’re telling me I have a meeting in five minutes. Have a good one my friend, P.S. Can’t wait to see you in OS X Mountain Lion! What other ways could Apple improve the Notification Center in iOS? Dear X is a new column featured on AppAdvice.com. Do you have any gripes, suggestions, or concerns about certain apps or iDevices that you want us to highlight? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via Twitter.