The problem with iOS notifications

Apple made great headway with notifications with the introduction of Notification Center and banners, which replaced the intrusive blue pop-ups. This is one of my favorite features in iOS 5, but after a few months with the operating system, it’s clear that Apple’s work on notifications is far from over.

The problem now is not what notifications look like or how a user is presented with them. The issue is when and how often a user is presented with them. Here’s what I’m talking about: you get a ton of iMessages on your iPhone throughout the day, and respond to all of them. You get some emails, a few twitter @replies and even a Facebook notification or two. Alerts for these messages appear in your trusty iPhone’s Notification Center, and you handle them all in a timely fashion.

At the end of the day you go home, and your iPad is going absolutely insane. There are 35 notifications clogging up your lock screen, but when you take a closer look, you realize that you’ve already answered all of them when they came through on your iPhone. Has this ever happened to you?

I simply can’t understand that, even with all this iCloud automatic syncing and whatnot, there’s no way to make old notifications go away on all devices when they’re read on one. Apple needs some sort of notifications sync to make sure we don’t have to re-read everything we get or go through our inboxes and mark the 20 “new” messages as read. It doesn’t sound very complicated. If my iPad can automatically download the Facebook app when it discovers I downloaded it on my iPhone, why can’t it know when I’ve read my messages and take them out of Notification Center and off my lock screen?

Has anyone else noticed this flaw? What do you think about it – am I overreacting, or does Apple really need to put a stop to this? Leave a comment down below and I’ll read it over and over again on my iPhone, iPad and computer because… you know… that’s how that works. You can also let me know on twitter.

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  • https://plus.google.com/103571220965307319535 mdentinho

    I totally agree with you. And now with the Mountain Lion coming and also including notifications that will be worse than ever. They should re-think it to be “Push & Pull Notifications”.

  • KVKdragon

    They really should change this. I have this problem with my iPod and iPad