July 16, 2009

Prowl Pushes Growl Notifications to Your iPhone for Instant Alerts

For desktop applications, Growl serves to alert you when important events occur, unintrusively notifying you with a quick message on your screen. Now, with Apple's iPhone 3.0 software supporting application's ability to push updates to you in real-time, a new application called Prowl has bridged the two, bringing Growl updates, which you set on your desktop, to your iPhone, wherever you are.

There is an extensive list of applications that support Growl on the Growl team Web site, ranging from Web Browsers and E-mail to Games, Twitter Clients and Yahoo! Widgets. And if they can push Growl notifications to your Mac or PC, they can push the same notifications to your iPhone, using Prowl.

Setting Up Prowl to Alert Me On the iPhone

To get started, you need to download the Prowl application from the iTunes App Store for $2.99, and set up an account. Then after you add the Prowl plug-in to your computer, you can set up each individual Growl-enabled application to use Prowl, as you prefer. For example, you can set up Tweetie to send a note to your iPhone if you get mentioned on Twitter, or you can set up Reader Notifier to send you an update if you have new unread RSS items.

Many Applications on My Mac Support Growl

I Can Configure Prowl from My Desktop

Setting Up One Application to Alert Me Using Prowl

Notifications from Prowl on the iPhone can be as transparent or as invasive as you prefer, including sounds, alerts or badges, grabbing your attention as news comes to the foreground. Meanwhile, Prowl keeps a record of each notification in the application's history, showing you how often it was activated.

One Prowl Alert, and a History of Updates

Drew Olanoff, who highlighted Prowl on Tuesday, alerting me to the product says "the possibilities are endless". Whether or not that's true remains to be seen, but I found it very cool to get an instant update on my Google Reader share items even when I was in the car or otherwise separated from my laptop today. For all the buzz around what applications were going to leverage Push on the iPhone, Prowl just made an amazing shortcut for all the developers who already had made their applications Growl-compatible.

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