This blog is about technology, software and social media. It's aimed as much towards 'normal' people as the tech savvy. The author is Tony Gallacher.
Boxcar is a notification app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It connects with Twitter, Facebook and email accounts, among other services. It gives you different sound alerts, to let you know when a new email or Facebook notification has arrived, a story has been added to an RSS feed or you have a new Twitter follower. There is a bunch of other triggers, as well. It’s pretty handy.
You have to be careful about the number of notifications you set up, though, or you’ll be deafened by a storm of beeps, boings and bird noises.
When an email arrives from your boss, you might need an alert immediately but not when your mate wants to go to the pub, again. Maybe it’s the other way round. You decide.
In Gmail, you can set this up using email forwarding, by creating a filter. I’ve posted a how-to here.
If you add the Twitter handles of a few, select people that you follow to Boxcar, it will alert you each time they tweet. It can also notify you of retweets, mentions and direct messages.
It’s possible to get an alert for each Facebook notification, in your timeline. Most people wouldn’t want that volume of alerts but it can also tell you when you have a new Facebook message, which is much more useful.
The app has an option to alert you whenever new content is added to any RSS or Atom feed. Many sites provide these. (The BBC site explains RSS feeds well here.)
It would be better if you could choose to be notified only when a new entry contains a search term, like ‘olympics,’ for example.
Boxcar acts like a notification loud speaker for a range of other services, including Facebook, Twitter, email and RSS.
I use the free version. It has adverts but they are not distracting and you can disable them, through an in-app purchase, if you want.
There is also a Mac app for the desktop – apps for Android and Windows Mobile will follow.
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