Notifications overload 10 November, 2013

This is one of those first world problems, for sure, but it’s also a good startup/pet project idea. I’m sure anyone with a smartphone has the same problem, they might just not realise they have it. Notifications. They’re great, they let you know what’s going on. But it’s a problem because you get notified two, or more, times for everything.

Let’s take me for an example. At home I’ve linked my OS X with Facebook and I also have Facebook on my phone. So while I’m on my computer and something happens on Facebook my phone will ring and I’ll get a message in OS X’s notification center. And if I happen to have Facebook open at the time in my browsers, that too will start making loud noises. And it’s the same thing with email, twitter and any other notification generating service you might think off.

So clearly that’s a bit annoying as I now have to clear three notifications for anything that happens. Well, at least Android got better with KitKat and it now clears my phone’s email notification almost immediately after I’ve opened the email on my computer (but it doesn’t work that well for exchange, duh).

I was thinking about this and I’ve decided that the best thing would be if my phone would just stop informing me while I next to my computer. But I don’t want to manually switch the notifications off and on again. I’ll inevitably forget and my girlfriend will think I’m ignoring her. So then what? Well I can think of several solutions but none of them are ideal.

Bluetooth would work quite well, I think, but then I would have to have it turned on all the time which would eat into my precious battery life. GPS would tell me that I’m in the same building as my computer, but would prevent me receiving notifications while I’m in the kitchen having my lunch. No good. NFC would probably be the best thing, but my computer doesn’t have it and probably never will. You could detect if you are connected to the same network, but that has the same problem as GPS.

So as you can see none of the solutions would work very well and I can’t come up with anything better. Hopefully somebody, someday, will solve this first world problem of mine.

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