Quick Review: Boxcar 2.0 Notifications (iPhone)
It seems like an age ago now that the highly anticipated iPhone 3.0 update was made available to an eager public bringing with it the long overdue promise of push notifications in place of multi-tasking which has always been a thorn in apples side. Things launched well and very quickly developers starting adding support into their apps to take advantage of the new service.
An obvious use for push was for messaging and probably the biggest request was for Twitter notifications but unfortunately at the time apps seemed to be very slow to update and users were getting impatient. Around this time Boxcar decided to get in on the action by acting as a middle man.
Boxcar initial release worked with the Twitter API in order to notify you of incoming @replies and Direct Messages. Setup was very simple and you could even choose which Twitter client to launch on your iPhone when you “slide to view”. The system checks your messages every 2 minutes and then sends out notifications to your phone, if you get multiple messages from one person you wont get spammed but instead will get the first message and a notification that others are waiting.
With the release of 2.0 Boxcar expanded on the idea and has added a whole host of new features, including:
- Multiple Twitter accounts
- Twitter search notifications
- Twitter trend notifications
- Facebook notifications
- Email notifications
- Customisable sound effects for each type of notification
So now far from being just a stopgap whilst waiting for app developers to add push themselves it offers itself up as a robust multi purpose notification service. A lot may argue that push should be part of the Twitter app (Tweetie 2 recently launched without push to much dismay), but having thought about the situation logically, it makes a lot more sense to let the Twitter app developer do what they do best and makeÂ the best client they can and let Boxcar do what they do best and notify us!
Overall Boxcar does a great job of keeping me abreast of whats happening across my Twitter and Facebook accounts and more often than not I’ll get notified of new messages before they’ve even showed up in Tweetdeck! The service has been rock solid since day one and the guys behind it will often tweet any important maintenance warnings well in advance.
At the time of writing boxcar is on sale for Â£0.59p in the app store so if you want to check it out be quick!
Update 8:45am 16/10/09 – Apple has now made in app purchases available for free apps and Boxcar has now made the main app free. Services will still need to be purchased one at a time though
If you are already using Boxcar or have just purchased I would love to hear your views, so feel free to leave a comment below.
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