By Richard Mallion
I’m a big fan of Growl on Mac OS X, which is a third party notification system for Mac OS X. Many applications now support it. Basically Growl notifies you when certain events happen. For instance when a new email arrives, a new tweet arrives or a new file gets uploaded to your dropbox account. However it is a very Mac OS X focussed product. These days I probably spend more time on iOS. Now Apple have their own notification system for iOS but it would be so nice if Growl on Mac OS X could push its notifications to my phone.
This can now easily be done with an application called Prowl. Prowl is the Growl client for iOS. It allows you push notifications to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad from a Mac or Windows computer, or from a multitude of apps and services.
So with Prowl, while I am on the road I can still get my desktop Mac to send me the urgent notifications in real time.
However, Prowl has one more trick up its sleeve. They have their own API and web service that basically allows any app that can generate a http request to send push notifications to your iOS device. This makes the service really flexible. For instance bash shell scripts could send notifications, Applescript, Filemaker, Safari, the list goes on. For example I have written a shell script to monitor a certain web site, when it changes I get a push notification. Just a few extras lines to the script allowed me to do this. We are adding this to our ARM service, which is our real time server monitoring system, so when the system detects a fault a push notification is sent.
The service is free, the prowl app for iOS costs £1.99