updated 02:15 pm EDT, Fri June 3, 2011
MobileNotifier creator joins Apple
Apple has signaled its intent to improve iOS' notification systems beyond what's expected in iOS 5 by quietly making a rare hire of a jailbreak app developer. MobileNotifier's creator Peter Hajas told fans in a blog post that he had "other opportunities" requiring he bow out of the project. He wouldn't say why but dropped several unmistakable clues that Apple was the hire.
"Stay hungry and stay foolish," he said, alluding to Steve Jobs' commencement speech for Stanford University in 2005.
A follow-up Twitter update (since pulled) mentioned that he was "off to work in CA at a 'fruit' company," leaving little doubt as to his destination.
MobileNotifier has been praised as one of the examples of what has been possible on the iPhone when not bound by Apple's app policies. The utility modified the iPhone's Springboard, or home screen, with a subtler notification system that stacked notices and let users choose to answer, ignore or clear individual notifications. The lock screen had also been modified. A final beta 5 build even added features that virtually no other phone OS involves, such as replying to a text message directly from a pop-up instead of jumping to the app.
The notification system has been a sore point in iOS so far because of its blunt pop-up nature and the inability to go back to a recent notification if it's accidentally dismissed. Android and webOS have often been held up as better examples. iOS 5 may have already fixed much of the problems since Apple hired HP's notification designer a year ago, but Hajas could be onboard to improve it further and contribute to other parts of the interface.
Apple's recruitment carries a degree of irony, as Apple has usually tried to discourage jailbreaking and loading apps from outside of the App Store. At one point, it pushed Toyota out of a jailbreak app ad deal under concerns it might legitimize the option. Now, however, it may see one of its larger interface breakthroughs come from the same jailbreak community. [via Redmond Pie]