Thomas Houston hits on that pain point so many of us feel: notifications. It’s not just the various forms and priorities that notifications take shape on the desktop, it’s also the lack of any sort of unification. Some notifications are popovers, some are emails, some are iOS notifications, some are dialog boxes, some are badges assigned to icons. Some are push and some are passive.

  • If I want to know my current site traffic I check my Mint stats in my dashboard.
  • If I want to know the current weather I check dashboard.
  • Growl notifies me of a change to a Dropbox folder, or when my RSS feed download session has completed.
  • The Twitter Menu Bar icon lights up blue if I have a new Twitter DM.
  • My iPhone gets the incoming iMessages.
  • When I have an upcoming event, a dialog box pops up on my Mac at the same time a notification shows up on my iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad.
  • ifttt emails me if it’s going to snow tomorrow.
  • And so on.

But gosh. Right now I’d be happy with a way to keep calendar alerts from buzzing on my laptop, iPhone, and iPad all at the same time even though all three devices are sitting next to one another on my desk.

The Sad State of Desktop Notifications