I want quick reply notifications to be a future standard

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: July 4, 2013

Do you remember iOS's old notifications? The ones that would pop up right there in the center of your display, interrupting just about everything else that may have been going on at the time? They were heralded as some of the worst notifications back then, and thankfully Apple switched them around to some small toast notifications that pop up at the top of the display. It's less aggressive and in-your-face, and that's just a big spoonful of winning right there.

Of course, it's not all that new. Windows Phone has the same toast notification style, and they've had it right from the get go. The main difference, and probably the best difference? You can swipe away toast notifications in Windows Phone, just to make sure they're out of the way completely while you're doing other things. You can't *technically* swipe notifications away in iOS 6 (or iOS 7 -- just throwing that out there), but you can *trick* the notification away. Just swipe Notification Center down a bit while the toast is up there, and then swipe it back up. There. Notification gone.

I'm going to talk about Apple's desktop OS right now, just for a second, because it's relevant. When the Cupertino-based company unveiled their newest version of the operating system, Mavericks, during their Worldwide Developers Conference in June, they showed "quick reply" notifications. As you can guess from the name, it gives the ability to easily reply to some notifications, like iMessage, right from the notification that pops up at the right of the display. It's easy, quick, and one of those features that should have been implemented right from the beginning.

And it's a feature that is apparently still missing from iOS, despite the relative similarities between Mac OS X and Apple's mobile platform. (They're definitely trying to bridge the two, in certain areas.) One of those areas should be that quick reply notification. It's a great feature in Mavericks, and it's a good way to make iOS 7 benefit.

Especially when you look at Android, and the fact that there are quickly reply options within the notification shade, courtesy of certain apps. Replying to emails is quick and painless, if you have the desire to reply to an email from the notification shade, I guess. 

And now, BlackBerry 10 has them! Well, they're going to get them, according to leaks. We've already seen some of what BlackBerry 10.2 is going to bring to the new fleet of BlackBerry-branded hardware, but this latest leak has me very interested in the way that the company is handling notifications. I can't tell you how many times I've wished I'd been able to just reply to a text right from the home screen, without digging into the text message app, or even the text message itself.

It's just an unnecessary step these days.

A quick reply won't be the prime response every time, but it's at least a good option to have. Mix that with the ability to discard a notification with the swipe of your finger, and you're  working on the best of both worlds. You've got the perfect notification, in my eyes.

Though, I will admit that the notification shade, and that notification bar at the top of an Android display, is still some strong work in the notification department. It's small and out of the way, but provides just enough information if you have the right settings turned on. It's good stuff.

I just want to say that quick reply notifications, ranging from email to text messages to whatever else might need it, is a feature that should be standard in today's smartphone world. I shouldn't be craving it from every platform -- I should just have it.

Do you agree? Would you love more quick reply notification options in other platforms? If you have a BlackBerry 10 device, are you looking forward to the new feature being added to 10.2? Would you like to see Windows Phone, iOS, and other platforms integrate the feature? Let me know!