mail notifications in the notification center

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by icec0ld, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. icec0ld macrumors member

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    Mar 1, 2006
    #1
    does the mail app have to be running in order for the mail notifications to show up in the notification center? thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Yes, it does.
     
  3. icec0ld thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 1, 2006
    #3
    doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of a mail notification center since the mail app has its own notification alerts?
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #4
    That's apparently the way it works: Notification Center Question
     
  5. stockinvestor macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2011
    #5
    OMFG... stupid! Notification center is more half way that I dreamed!
    Its basically useless for mail notifications... either its gmail or mail app... :(
     
  6. Nimoy macrumors regular

    Nimoy

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    Apr 18, 2010
    #6
    Mail already has its own notification alerts?
     
  7. arbitrage macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #7
    I agree it is useless. I never even use the mail app that often but I would be happy getting the notifications. The app already puts a number on the dock icon to show new mail and in my recent testing most times the notification centre doesn't even notify me when I get new mail. The dock icon changes but nothing shows up in notification centre. Not sure what is wrong with it, the only times that new mails have shown up in NC is when I have had mail app closed and open it up and then all the new messages show in the NC. Seems broken and fairly useless to me:(
     
  8. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 12, 2007
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    Australia
    #8
    I don't think it's useless. It's nice being able to read something or watch a video fullscreen and get a notification that says who I got an email from and what it is titled, rather than just that I got an email. Now instead of having to check it every time, I just look up the top right for the notification and see if it's worth looking at right now.
     
  9. -M-I macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #9
    You can't self test it. It won't show notifications that way.
     
  10. cheddarbob macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #10
    From my experience, emails sent from an account signed into on my mac don't show up. This is ridiculously annoying since I email myself links, pics, etc. all the time. Also, I think that this is inconsistent with the behavior on iOS, so I'm pretty sure that it must be some sort of bug.
     
  11. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000

    PatriotInvasion

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    Boston, MA
    #11
    What is it that forces the Mail app to be open in order to receive a notification? Messages doesn't need to be open and those still come through. I agree, having to have Mail open to receive a notification is a big disappointment. Why can't Mail be pushed like on the iPhone?
     
  12. cheddarbob macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #12
    There is definitely a lot of room for improvement on notification center.
     
  13. devman macrumors 65816

    devman

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    #13
    True. In this case however it is Mail.app that needs the improvement.
     
  14. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #14
    So glad that I am not the only one who thinks Notification Center is useless as it is now
     
  15. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #15
    It works almost the same way as the iPhone. The difference is that the Mail process is always running on the iPhone.

    Notifications don't come through when Mail is not running because email does not use Apple's push notification server. Push mail is enabled through ActiveSync (I think.)

    I do have a related question. Is it just my setup, or do mail notification fail to clear themselves from Notification Center on ML after a message has been read?
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #16
    I may not be understanding your post, but I do get push notifications when I get a new email on my iPhone, even when the Mail app is not running in the background. Can you clarify?
     
  17. tarryweather, Aug 23, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012

    tarryweather macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2012
    #17
    The short answer:

    Mail notifications are local notifications, not push. Most e-mail services don't do push. Without Mail running, your computer has no way to know that you have new mail.

    The long answer:

    There's a lot of confusion going around. I'll try and help clear things up. First, I want to point out one thing: This IS how it works on the iPhone. Mail, being one of the stock apps, has some special abilities that 3rd party apps don't have. One of those is that the process to get new mail is always running (or at least running at the interval you have set for how often it should check new mail). So just like in Mountain Lion, Mail has to be running to give you notifications.

    Now, why is it that Mail must be running to receive notifications, you ask? After all, Messages doesn't need to be running to receive iMessages.

    The difference with iMessages is that it uses push notifications. Push notifications are "pushed" from the remote server to the device that displays them, as opposed to local notifications, where the Notification Center is simply told by an app running on the machine to display a notification.

    So why can't Mail use push notifications then, you perhaps ask as a follow-up question?

    Well, technically, it can. iCloud mail for example, uses push. But unlike iMessages, e-mail is an open world of services outside of just iCloud (Gmail, etc.), and Mail is designed to be open to work with all of them. But push is NOT standard in the sense that an e-mail service is not generally expected to support it (in fact, most don't). So rather than Gmail or whatever pushing a message to your computer telling you you have new mail, Mail.app actually queries Gmail (checks for new mail), and if there is any new mail, it tells Notification Center to show a notification. That's the important part: the mail service doesn't push mail to your computer, Mail.app has to ask the mail service if there is new mail. If it's not running, it can't do that. Sure, they could make some background process that's always checking for new mail, whether Mail is open or not, but that wouldn't be good, and wouldn't change the fact that an additional process needs to be running to get the notifications.

    Yes, Mail could probably allow push notifications for service like iCloud, that do support push e-mail, but that would be inconsistent and misleading, making people expect that to work for all their e-mail.

    So it's not Apple's fault or a shortcoming in Mail or the Notification Center that require Mail to be running: it's just the way e-mail works.

    The solution? Just leave mail running, but hide it (cmd-h, or right click the Dock icon and click "Hide") to make it invisible. Or close the mail window. Or whatever. Those of us who've been using GrowlMail up until ML have been doing it this way for years, it works just fine.

    ----------

    Mail is always running in the background. Being one of the stock apps, it has special privileges that other apps don't have.
     
  18. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #18
    I think tarryweather did a good job of clarifying. In a lot more words than I would have used! :)
     
  19. tarryweather macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2012
    #19
    It kept coming up, so I figured I'd dive in with as full of an explanation as I could. It is ridiculously long though… that's what the tl;dr is for (although I guess it'd make more sense at the top, I'll edit it)!
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #20
    So even when you close the Mail app on the iPhone, it's still not closed, and is using battery power?

    There's a lot of confusion and a lot of conflicting information on the web about this, such as:

    How to Set Up Your Gmail Accounts as Push Email | Mac|Life
    Gmail app for iOS finally gets push notifications, persistent logins

    (I know this part belongs in the iPhone or iOS forum, but since it's related to the thread ...)
     
  21. tarryweather macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2012
    #21
    Push e-mail doesn't require a service to keep running and checking for new mail, but most e-mail services don't use push. When you're not using push, the answer is yes (unless you tell your phone to only check for new mail manually, when you run Mail.app). See this screen:

    2012-08-23 12.42.19.png

    So even if you don't set up your Gmail as push (I don't), you'll still get notifications of new Mail when you're in other apps (unless you set it to Manual). The difference is that it'll be a result of the Mail process checking for new mail, not Gmail sending a message to your phone.
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #22
    So the first link I posted and you quoted will work? I'm specifically interested in Gmail accounts on both the Mac and iPhone.


    Also, I ran across this on the Mac side, and after testing, it works:

    Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app - Mac OS X Hints
     
  23. tarryweather macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2012
    #23
    Yep (I'm not sure if Google supports it on the Mac side, but it will work on your iPhone). Although if it does work on the Mac side, you'll still have to be running Mail (Mail has its own settings for how often to check for new mail). Since a lot of e-mail doesn't support push, and requires Mail to be running to get notifications, it would be confusing if some mail services didn't require Mail to be running, since that would lead people to expect that they didn't have to leave it open to receive their e-mail, when in most cases, they would.
     
  24. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    Aug 8, 2011
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    Aridzona
    #24
    In fairness Gmail, Hotmail/Live, and Yahoo are three of the largest email services and they all can push email to the iPhone. Yes, you must set up Gmail as Exchange to enable push as Exchange uses ActiveSync which iOS Mail supports (doesn't support IMAP IDLE).

    But, yes, when you can't use push directly from your email service provider the only way to get it is with an email client actively checking the server. Ergo the only way to get any kind of notifications for such email would be to use another service that retrieves the email and then pushes it to you using Apple Notification Service (or Exchange). I personally wouldn't want to go that route since it involves a third-party having my email credentials (though before gmail had push support I used to forward all my gmail to my mobile me address and that in turn was pushed to my iPhone--crude but effective).

    I don't have much of a problem with leaving the Mail app open under Mountain Lion. I think push on a mobile device makes more sense than on a full-fledged mac or pc. There are issues such as battery life and data usage that don't really apply on a mac or pc. Also, there would be similarly be email services that wouldn't over push. Can't see Apple having only some notifications appear when Mail was not loaded but all of them when it was.



    Michael
     
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #25
    I seem to recall reading something about push affecting battery life on the iPhone. Just to be clear, if I have set up Gmail accounts via Exchange to achieve push email on the iPhone, will it have any impact on my battery life, other than when I actually receive an email? It's my impression that rather than have the Mail app periodically look in vain for new mail that isn't there, push would not do so, resulting in better battery life. Am I misunderstanding?
     

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