OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center is largely dependent on other apps supporting it, and since not many do, we’ve seen an influx of apps that redirect Growl notifications to Notification Center. The Notification Center presents a lot of opportunity for app development and for users it is an excellent feature that they would likely want to put more creative uses. Since there is nothing wrong with Growl and a new version of the app for Mountain Lion has recently been submitted to the Mac App Store, you can rest assured it isn’t going anywhere. That leaves you with Notification Center and a world of possibilities. Demonstrating just one of the many uses you can put Notification Center to is News Notifications, a Mac app worth $0.99 in the Mac App Store that lets you put RSS feeds in the Notification Center.
News Notifications runs in the menu bar and allows you to add multiple feeds. It comes with three pre-added feeds with an option to add your own. By default, News Notifications shows one item at a time from a particular feed and checks for new items every 1 minute, but you can change it to your liking. Remember that you still have limited space in the Notification Center, so if you pull something like 10 or 20 items from a particular feed you will be scrolling through them. If you continue to use the Notification Center for other apps, you might want to consider changing the order the notifications; go to System Preferences>Notification Center to change the order.
News Notifications sends notifications that you can swipe to dismiss and lists the new items from your feed in the Notification Center. Clicking an item in Notification Center will open it in your default browser.
Strictly speaking, News Notifications is one of the few apps that demonstrate how you can make better use of Notification Center so perhaps criticism would be a bit harsh just now. It works perfectly well and the interface isn’t bad. However, it would’ve been a lot better, if you could easily identify different feeds. At present, the app writes the name of the feed before the news item, but it is difficult to read. If you have an iPhone, you will appreciate the freedom of being able to do this with a simple app rather than using a Cydia tweak. Lets hope more developers find a way to develop apps for the Notification Center and put it to more diverse use.