It seems like we all have a love-hate relationship with notifications on our smartphones. Sure, we love to know when we get a new text or email, but we don't care in the least to know that someone is waiting for us to make a move in Words With Friends.
Because of this, many people go to the notification center in their settings to make sure they receive notifications about the things they need and want to know, But as you have probably experienced yourself, it's kind of a chore to do.
Now the developers behind Secret, the app that lets you share secrets anonymously with friends, have created something even more cryptic. The start-up launched a new app called Ping on iOS devices Friday, Sept. 26, which lets you easily yet enigmatically choose what kinds of notifications you want to receive on your smartphone.
After downloading the app, it brings you to a screen with several categories listed on it, including practical ones like "Apps worth downloading" and "Trending on Twitter" and seemingly random ones like "Is it Friday yet?" and "Yeezus speaks." Ping will send notifications to your phone's lock screen based on whatever categories you choose.
Unlike many apps, Ping doesn't ask for usernames, passwords or permission to access your contacts. It draws information from somewhere to send you the notifications based on the categories you requested. Where the information actually comes from is, kind of appropriately, still a mystery.
Ping was created during a weekend hackathon with the company "where the goal was an exercise in simplicity," Secret's Principal Designer Ben Lee wrote in a blog post about Ping on Medium. Although there was some speculation that Ping would be connected with the Secret app in some way, Secret's CEO David Byttow confirmed in an email to Re/code that the app is not tied to Secret at all. Byttow also said that Ping "adapts to you, and evolves itself" as people use it. This means that even though there are only a total of nine categories of notifications to choose from right now, many more could be added in the future based on the categories users choose now.
Ping is currently getting a lot of buzz online for its refreshingly simplistic design and overall enigmatic quality. Not knowing what notification you will receive next from the far corners of the Internet could be fun for some users. An unexpected little nugget of information could brighten an otherwise dull day. However, if you really just like notifications to be of the practical variety, I'm not sure you really need Ping in your life.