Access is the iPhone Model for Notifications

June 10, 2008

in iphone, Mobility

I thought I’d get away from writing about iPhones today. Then I read Alec Saunders great summary. Although I missed reading there anything on the new “Push Notification Service” which Apple will insert to support offline applications. Phil Wolff writes his POV on Push Notifications and Rich Tehrani concurs. Phil knocks it for being a single task beast.

I’m not so sure. So lets consider another scenario. While I’d love for the iPhone trajectory to be more open, more in support of P2P that doesn’t appear to be it’s direction. I’m inclined to believe that the “notification service” will become a “chat service” We may even get batched updates. Managing our “notifications” will be the most important aspect. Notifications are about “access” and if Apple give us more control over access and interruptions then we are more likely to love them and the phone.

Ask yourself. Can you afford to have all these apps beeping in the background etc.? Do you want them to all have the knowledge of where you are? How will you know what they do with the data? Doesn’t this notification service change the game in relation to GPS? How can we as users understand and use this information.

Apple is actually going to help us control who has access to us. As a user I want a single control point. Match this up with MobileMe and I can take control of my information flow, dependent on my environment, my current context and relationship specified with various services.

Where Apple must be so careful… is on the data side. It’s my data. My fear is they will want to sell it, market it etc. They better do it in conjunction with what I want.

It was pointed out to me this am that this limitations on apps at a time isn’t the way we run our desktops or laptops. Then we have never really run our desktops as an integrated part of personal networks. In fact many turn off apps like chat or twitter that are intrusive or interrupt. I also am wondering how the iPhone developments will change our relationships with our laptops, our PC’s our home entertainment systems etc.

The social phone is more than just what it does, it is the new controls it will allow us. Let’s hope Apple is really thinking about us.

  • I am really looking forward to seeing how the new iPhone works in the real world 2.0. Your point about Apple controlling information makes sense and one wonders if this will lead to privacy issues, etc. It will certainly be interesting to watch and I wonder if there will be lost functionality compared to devices from other vendors.

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