The Notification Badge

It’s that red circle with a numerical value inside. It’s cool, it’s effective, it’s annoying.

“The Apple Push Notification Service is a service created by Apple that was launched together with iOS 3.0 on June 17, 2009. It uses push technology through a constantly-open IP connection to forward notifications from the servers of third party applications to the Apple devices; such notifications may include badges, sounds or custom text alerts.” – Wikipedia

I love push, to an extent. It gets the job done. It reminds me of the crap I have to constantly take care of: email, to-dos, calendar events, etc. However, there occasionally comes a point when I really feel like throwing my iPhone out the window. Let me explain.

Badge Counts:

1-5 – ain’t no thing but a chicken wing
6-10 – okay, okay, I’ll take care of it
10-20 – gosh, I’m so busy now adays
21+ – #FML

I’m now learning that you have to handle Push Notifications like email. Get them done and out of the way because they’re capable of evoking the same stress email does. But shouldn’t that be a problem?

As of this writing, I have a badge count of 171 on Sparrow, 2 on the App Store, 7 on Wunderlist, 33 on Instacast, and others. The mail count is natural; I’m not mentally capable of achieving inbox zero. The App Store count falls into the “ain’t no thing but a chicken wing” club, so it’s, you know. But take a look at Instacast, it’s 33. That categorizes as #FML. But funny enough, Instacast, my podcast hub, is supposed to be my leisure time. You know, the time I don’t feel stressed out. Oh, the irony.

I guess this is just heading in the information overload direction. I’ll save that post for another time.

For now, how do you handle your badge counts? Do you deal with everything on the spot? Is there a hierarchy of importance set in place? Do the numbers not phase you at all? Or do you have them turned off entirely? If you feel the sudden urge to reply to my rhetorical questions, the email link is on the left. Knock yourself out.

I’m quite superficial and weigh most things equally. I know the simple solution to my dilemma is to turn off the notification badge, but I’m, you know, complex.


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