I have been waiting so long for notification sync

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: June 14, 2013

When we start using services on our mobile devices that we've already been using on our laptop or desktop, especially things like Google+ or Facebook or Twitter, then one of the things you'll notice right away is that you get a lot of repeated notifications. It's like these services are yelling at you every chance they get. Your phone makes a noise. You may get an email. If you're logged into the service on your computer at the time, you'll see a notification there, too.

For most of these services, especially when we start dealing with the mobile side of things, you can alter the way you receive notifications. You can turn them off altogether if that's your thing, or you can only receive some notifications. Depending on the service, and how frequently you use it, or even how you use it in general, the amount of notifications you get probably varies greatly.

For me, on a personal scope, my notifications are set up more frequently for Facebook, so that I can interact with old school friends and family members easily enough. When someone interacts with me on Facebook, I get notifications from several different devices at once. It started off well enough, but it's since grown sort of tiresome. But not because of the initial notification.

The issue is that dismissing a notification on one device, or even one platform, doesn't dismiss the notification on the others. So if I check Facebook on my phone after receiving a pop-up, dismiss the notification, and then log into Facebook on my laptop, that notification is still there. A red number, just yelling at me right there at the top-right corner.

Basically, it's telling me that nothing's changed. I still have notifications. Consider me notified . . . Again.

The most annoying? Apple's iMessage. This service is just all over the place. It seems to work just fine if you have only one device attached to the service, but from my experience it all breaks down once you start throwing in more devices. At one point in time or another, I've had a MacBook, iPad, and iPhone all running the same iMessage accounts (because of the Apple ID), and the notifications just never made any sense.

I'd get an iMessage from a friend using an iPhone, and sometimes the notification would appear just on the iPad. And there were more times than I can count where that would happen, I'd reply on the iPhone anyway (after the conversation eventually synced), and then the reply from the friend would come in on the MacBook -- and no other device.

One of the worst parts is that notifications sometimes don't sync at all, much like those aforementioned social networks. So no matter how many times I reply on my phone, sometimes iMessages on the MacBook will just keep telling me I've got a new message.

That's why when Apple announced that iOS 7 would feature notification sync, and that all our notifications would sync across other iOS 7-based devices, I got all excited. "Finally!" I may, or may not have, said aloud.

I did the same thing when Google announced yesterday that they were bringing notification sync to Google+, so that all your notifications are kept in tune from device to device. Something that's amazing for anyone who checks these things from different devices on any given day.

This feature, this notification sync, is one of those features that you just can't help but ask, "Why didn't they add this earlier?" If you're like me at all, you hate seeing a notification pop up that you've already dismissed. Especially after you may or may not have gotten all excited for some new interaction, and it turns out to be something you've already seen. While it may be late across the board, it's good that it's finally here. Better late than never, right? Now I just have to hope everyone else catches on.

So tell me how often you deal with notifications across platforms and devices, and how much you're looking forward to notification sync. Do you think it's a welcomed addition to iOS 7 in general, as well as other things like Google+? Or do you not care in the slightest? Let me know! 

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