The new Notifyr app display iOS notifications on your Apple computer's screen. The app works well, according to CIO.com blogger James A. Martin, but you need Bluetooth 4.0 LE-compatible devices to use it.
Notifyr for iOS is an app with great singularity of purpose: it projects alerts delivered on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, such as incoming calls, new voice mail messages and text messages, to your Mac’s display. That way, you won’t miss anything important if your iOS device is stashed nearby in a bag or elsewhere.
For Notifyr to work, you must also install its free companion Mac app. The app installs Notifyr in your Mac OS System Preferences, where you can turn notifications on and off for each iOS app, such as Phone and Reminders. This is good news, because you’ll receive duplicate notifications on your Mac for some apps, as I did when someone sent me an iMessage.
Notifyr connects via Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) to your LE-compatible iOS device (iPhone 4s models and later; iPod touch fifth generation; iPad third generation and later; and all iPad minis). The Notifry developer says the constant connection between iOS device and Mac won’t drain your battery. In my tests, I didn’t notice any significant drain on my iPhone 5s battery.
Downsides? Well, there’s that $4 price tag, which seems like a dollar or two too much. You should also keep in mind that your Mac must have Bluetooth LE (aka Bluetooth 4.0). That means it only works on certain Macs: MacBook Air (2011 or later); MacBook Pro (2012 or later); iMac (late 2012 or newer); Mac Mini (2011 or later); and a late 2013 Mac Pro.
Also, my first attempts to download the Notifyr Mac app were rocky. On Wednesday, May 21, two days after Notifyr’s first release, the developer’s website was completely offline for hours. The next day, it was back up, and I downloaded and installed the Mac OS app without incident.
As far as I can tell, Notifyr appears to be the only app of its kind for iOS. An app called Prowl ($3) works the opposite way, sending Mac or Windows notifications to your iOS device. As of this writing, however, Prowl hadn’t been updated since October 2012.
There are similar Android options as well. Desktop Notifications, a free Android app, enables you to see Android notifications in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Pushbullet (also free) displays your Android phone’s notifications on your computer. It also lets you send links, images, files and other stuff between devices and to your friends.
So is Notifyr worth $4? If you don’t always have your iPhone in your pocket or don’t want to pull it out to see who’s calling or texting, then yes, those four bucks might be worth it. Otherwise, save your money.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.