Apple to re-design the iOS notification system [Update]

An anonymous tip picked up by Cult of Mac says that Apple is planning on buying out a small development firm to head up integrating its notification system into the iOS family. The current system is argued to be one of the weakest points in iOS, when compared to others platforms like webOS. The firms identity is currently unknown, even to the tipster, but the firm does have an application in the App Store.

Rumors going around at the moment suggest that Boxcar from App Remix which provides push notifications for emails and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is the firm in question, though other sources are indicating that its highly unlikely. The CEO of App Remix was asked if Apple was planning to buy out the firm and replied with a Steve Jobs style response, "no comment....".

Rich Dellinger who was chief architect of Palm’s system and inventor of the webOS banner notification system was hired by Apple last year sparked rumours that plans of a re-design of the notification system was inevitable, though after much time Apple has failed to deliver. If Apple is to acquire the firm anytime soon, we could possibly see the revamp of the notification system as early as the release of iOS 5, which is due to be announced in the coming months.

[Update] A reader from Cult Of Mac has posted a quite ingenuous concept to use the empty space from the spotlight page as a new way to display notifications alongside with the current system.

I chose to put it in Spotlight because if it was located on a separate homescreen, then it would mean two swipes to get to either your notifications or Spotlight Search. As it stands in iOS 4.2, Spotlight is massive waste of space (literally speaking). The search bar takes up a tiny portion of the screen and there is plenty of unused space underneath. As you can see in the diagram, simply tapping the Spotlight Search bar will bring up the keyboard and allow you to perform a search instantly. The only difference is that notifications are displayed if you don’t tap on the search bar.

image sources: Apple, Cult Of Mac

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