A Brief History of Smartphone Notifications

Notifications are, at the most basic level, a method of alerting people to some piece of information, often with some element of urgency. In a pre-internet world they existed as flags on mailboxes or blinking lights on answering machines. Then, in the 1990s and early 2000s, notifications like pulsing BlackBerry LEDs and “You’ve got mail!” were shoved into the forefront of our collective consciousness. Eventually, those became the icons, banners, and badges that litter our smartphones today. Notifications have grown …