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13 декабря 2014, 22:19

Hands-on: Growl 2.0 integrates with Notification Center on OS X, iOS

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Hands-on: Growl 2.0 integrates with Notification Center on OS X, iOS

Growl 2.0 forwards notifications from Growl-compatible apps, like Colloquy, to Notification Center on Mountain Lion.

Growl, the system-wide OS X notification framework that has been somewhat usurped by Notification Center in OS X Mountain Lion, saw a major 2.0 upgrade on Thursday. The new version allows apps that use Growl's notification APIs to have those notifications forwarded to Notification Center, replacing several hacks that attempted to bridge the two systems since Mountain Lion was released in July.

In addition, the new version supports forwarding notifications to iOS devices using Prowl or BoxCar. You can choose these as an "action" to fire on certain notifications, and Growl will forward a notification to any suitably configured iOS device.

For those who aren't fans of Apple's baked-in notifications, Growl 2.0 also adds a number of customization features to tailor your notifications setup. And perhaps most important to long-time Growl users, the update addresses several persistent performance bugs that cropped up in the app as its developers worked to recode it to work within Apple's Mac App Store guidelines.

Growl developers had promised an update that would integrate with OS X notifications, as many apps that use Growl haven't been updated to use OS X's notification APIs. But Mountain Lion was released on July 25, and the Growl update did not materialize. Workarounds like Hiss and Bark sprung up in the meantime, but Growl 2.0 is designed to make such workarounds redundant.

At its heart, Growl listens for apps to send it some type of notification using the Growl API, and then displays the notification on a small pop-up window on your desktop. It offers a number of customization features for the style, position, and frequency of these notifications. It also offers a number of power user features, like the ability to fire actions when certain notifications are received, tweak which notifications an app can send, or can even send and receive notifications from Growl running on a network-accessible machine. Growl 2.0 still includes all these features for those apps that use its API.

Hands-on: Growl 2.0 integrates with Notification Center on OS X, iOS

Just flick the large on/off switch to forward all Growl notifications to OS X's native Notification Center.

But flick a large switch in Growl's preferences, and all the notifications it gets from different apps are instead forwarded to Notification Center. These notifications appear just as though they were sent by an app using OS X's native notification APIs.

I installed Growl 2.0 to take its new Notification Center integration for a quick test spin. Most of the apps I use on a regular basis already have support for Mountain Lion's notification APIs, and to be frank, I'm generally satisfied with it. However, a couple apps don't use the new OS X APIs, including IRC client Colloquy and Dropbox. I wanted these apps' notifications to be routed to Notification Center.

I have set Colloquy to pop up a notification whenever one of my Ars colleagues mentions my name in an IRC conversation. (This lets me work with Colloquy in the background without having to constantly check it for important notices.) These notifications came through just fine, and collected in Notification Center's list.

Unfortunately, it didn't work with Dropbox at first; I suspected it may have been using an older version of the Growl API that isn't compatible with the latest versions of Growl. However, Growl integration allows apps to send desktop notifications using a default style even if the Growl app isn't installed. Once I quit and restarted Dropbox, it started sending notifications to the centralized Growl app, which were then forwarded to Notification Center.

If you're updating an existing Growl install, you shouldn't run into this issue. Otherwise, you'll want to quit and restart all apps that use Growl to make sure the messages are being received properly.

Hands-on: Growl 2.0 integrates with Notification Center on OS X, iOS

Notifications forwarded via Growl don't show individual app icons.

One problem I had with Growl 2.0's notification forwarding is that while it correctly forwards the name of the app that the notification came from, it sends its own icon to Notification Center. This was a complaint that many Hiss users also had, since notifications from multiple apps all end up in the same section in Notification Center; sorting through them can be tough if you have more than a handful. It's worth noting that the Bark plugin for Growl doesn't share this limitation, and you may prefer to use it instead of Growl's own forwarding for now.

It's also worth noting that Growl 2.0 doesn't in any way enhance the Notification Center functionality in OS X. If you're not happy with the way it works, or you're already happy with Growl, you'll probably want to stick with Growl. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any way to have Growl intercept native OS X notifications and handle them instead. You're stuck with either juggling two different notification systems, or picking one and shutting the other off. As long as the apps you use on a regular basis all support one API or the other, though, you should be fine.

Hands-on: Growl 2.0 integrates with Notification Center on OS X, iOS

Forwarding notifications to iOS devices via Prowl or BoxCar are among the actions Growl can perform.

The reviews for previous versions of Growl on the Mac App Store are riddled with users complaining about CPU usage spiking, or issues launching or otherwise running Growl. Growl 2.0 promises to squash these bugs, and I noticed no performance problems running Growl all morning on my lowly 2010 MacBook Air.

As long as Apple prohibits developers outside the Mac App Store from using OS X's notification APIs, Growl will still find an audience. And as long as users are unhappy with Apple's own limited notification implementation, Growl will still have its fans. The 2.0 update should be a welcome improvement for existing users, and perhaps worth exploring if Mountain Lion's native notifications aren't fulfilling your needs.

Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/software/~3/oh5XpaMcau8/

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Technical specifications

Samsung Intercept
Samsung Intercept
The sales start Jul 2010
Available Available
Weight 139 g
Dimensions 113 mm , 56 mm , 15 mm
Memory card (maximum) 32 GB
Screen type TFT touchscreen, 65K colors
Resolution 240 x 400 px
Size (inches) 3.2
OS Android OS, v2.1 (Eclair), upgradable to v2.2 (Froyo)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b, 802.11 g
Bluetooth v2.0, A2DP
GPS navigation Yes, with A-GPS
Battery capacity 1500 mAh
Type Li-Ion
Stand-by 300
Talk time 5
Sensors and probes Accelerometer

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