Appletell reviews Prowl: Growl Client for iPhone & iPod touch

Sections: iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod touch, Reviews

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ProwlCategory: Notifications (Growl client)
Developer: Zachary West
Minimum Requirements: iPhone OS 3.0
Compatibility: iPhone and iPod touch
File Size: 0.2 MB
Price: $2.99
Availability: Now
Version Reviewed: 1.0

One of my favorite Mac programs is Growl, which allows you to control the notifications from other programs, giving you a clean, standardized layout. Growl is supported by a large number of programs (both natively and through scripting), and even gives you a hierarchy of importance (a friend coming online in your IM program, for example, would probably be less important than your FTP upload failing).

Prowl badge display

And now you can stay in touch with your Mac’s events even while you’re away by using Prowl: Growl Client for the iPhone and iPod touch. By registering with the Prowl server (for free) on your Mac and allowing Push notifications on your iPhone, you’ll get updates of any Growl notification on your desktop/laptop sent directly to your mobile, both as a pop up bubble message with the latest info and as a list of all the notifications, stored in the Prowl app itself—which also displays the number of new messages in its icon.

Prowl main list

You can also log in to the Prowl website to send a text message to your device. This is potentially very useful, but would be even moreso if there were a way for other users to send you reminders without giving out your Prowl log-in info.

Configuring Prowl was a little tricky; not on the iPod touch end, which was simple enough, but on the Mac side. You’ll have to install a Growl plug-in (provided by the developer in his well-written installation instructions), then set “Prowl” as the default notification style—but within the Prowl setup screen there is a subsection where you can change the style back to whatever you want. Prowl just needs to be listed as the “main” style. From there, any Growl-ready app which uses the “Prowl” style will send messages to your iPhone.

Thankfully, you also have some control over what gets sent to your phone. One submenu lets Prowl work only if the Mac has been idle for a certain amount of time (otherwise you’ll be getting Prowl notifications while you’re working at the computer). The other lets you chose the priority level; do you want to know every time you get new mail, or just when something serious happens?

Growl is one of my favorite Mac add-ons, and the idea that I can now get updates on my iPod touch fills my geeky heart with joy. If Growl is a big part of how you organize the way you work and monitor your computer, Prowl is an extremely useful program when you’re away from your desk.

Appletell Rating:
rating five out of five

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