Having mastered social networking, Facebook wants to help you manage your smartphone notifications.
The technology giant rolled out its latest app, Notify, for the iPhone. It lets users set up notifications to keep updated on news, sports or other events in their world.
There’s plenty to like about Notify, but don’t turn off the alerts on your other apps just yet.
Here’s how Notify works: When you launch the app, you select from a variety of channels, managed by sources including ABC, Buzzfeed, GQ Magazine and The Weather Channel.
Users can choose channels that deliver top news headlines, sports scores, morning weather forecasts, fun recipes or the latest movie trailers.
Notify does the rest. When a new headline or score emerges, users get an alert on their iPhone, similar to notifications in other apps. Swiping left from the lock screen pulls up the story, while swiping right gives users the choice of saving it for later or sharing it with friends.
Opening the app gives you a list of all the notifications you’ve received from your different sources over the last 24 hours, often opening up a native Web page from within the app. Users can also save notifications to read later.
In theory, Notify could streamline the notifications popping up on users’ smartphones into one app, allowing them to turn off alerts for other services and thereby fulfilling Facebook’s goal of making sure you are always on Facebook.
Notify proves helpful in keeping track of news, so long as you keep channels in check. Some will alert more frequently than others, so depending on how many channels you select, you could get inundated with notifications. There’s also the issue of battery life. All those alerts lighting up your touch-screen will drain your smartphone.
The other big drawback to Notify: Users are limited to only the sources Facebook has partnered with to provide content. There are several notable names on this list, but Notify should allow an option to add custom sources not available natively. Facebook might expand its source options in the future, but it’s not clear how soon that will happen.
Notify is great if you’re looking to consolidate smartphone notifications, but it doesn’t appear ready to serve as your lone hub for news and information alerts.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1jeOz4K