Quiet instant notifications

Written on 23 November 2011, 04:47pm

Tagged with: , ,

I recently came across an article against instant notifications on the mobile devices:

You receive a new message, say an email or a tweet, and at that very moment your software decides to do something stupid. A little red bubble appears over its icon. A ringing bell is heard. Sometimes even the message itself will pop up over your screen announcing its arrival and inviting you to read it.
Is it not rude to disturb people? Does the software assume you were sitting there doing absolutely nothing, just waiting for that update? Not only does it decide to disturb you, it does it in the most forceful way it possibly can, using every weapon at its disposal: sounds, colors and animations.

I must say that I do not fully agree with this view. And the main reason is that the reason why these notifications pop up on your screen is you. It’s you who allowed Twitter to send you notifications, it’s you who set up the push/fetch email, so you cannot really complain about that. You have the power to enable them, as well as turn them down.
But what I would like to have is a mechanism to shut down all the notifications.
Let me detail. I recently bought an iPhone 4s. Coming from an iPhone 3G, I must admit that I am impressed by the speed, quality of the display, photos and the variety of apps inaccessible for me on the old iPhone. But there is something that kind of annoys me, and it’s not the battery life. It’s the fact that I can’t keep it near me during the night – because of the email/SMS notifications I am receiving.
I know, it’s me who set them up in the first place. But I would like to have a way to shut down the notifications during the night.
Currently, there are 3 ways to partially accomplish this:

  1. put the phone in airplane mode. I don’t like this because of the manual intervention. I might forget to do it one night before going to sleep. I don’t want to rely on my memory to shut down the notifications every night and turn them on every morning.
  2. put it on silent and disable the vibrate. I don’t like this either, because I am using the silent mode *with* vibrate while in the office, or in situations where I need to be silently notified. Again, doing a manual operation every night/morning is not an option for me.
  3. shut it down. Well, this is the best way to avoid cell phone radiation. Among others 🙂

There are also other users complaining about this:

I would like emails/sms/etc to be silenced at night (no emergencies at night), but have the phone ring (yes, wake me up) as getting a call in the middle of the night is more often than not an emergency and I want someone to be able to get through. I do not need to know that an email with a my bank balance or new products has arrived. #

So, the question is – there an app that allows some kind of profiles? Quiet notifications or no notifications at all during some predefined hours of the night?
Or maybe Apple has some plans of integrating something like this in the next iOS versions.

Leave a response