Since the days of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has been claiming that the ‘Me’ section of the People hub is fully capable of serving as the notifications area of your phone, but most users haven’t been satisfied with the somewhat limited functionality the Me tile offers. The People hub is enough if you are only interested in social media updates, but what about all the notifications you might miss from third-party apps just because the device was in your pocket when the toast notification showed up? Unification is a new app that has the potential to act like a notification repository for all the apps you use on your Windows Phone. The app has been released only on WP8 at present, but it is slated to arrive for Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 pretty soon, which is sure to make it a truly universal notification center for the entire Microsoft ecosystem.
To accumulate notifications from different devices and apps, Unification makes use of your Live ID. The first step in configuring the app is to associate your Live account with it. Hit the ‘Validate’ option on the welcome screen to grant Unification access to your ID.
By default, all the screens are empty, as all the third-party apps that support Unification have to be manually connected with the app. To see a list of apps that work with Unification, open to the more / three-dot menu and tap the ‘apps’ option. For now, Unification taps into a handful of apps, but it seems it is really easy for developers to add Unification support in their apps, so we’re expecting some progress on this front in the near future.
To link a supported app with Unification, look into that app’s settings, and you are sure to find the Unification option in it. Whenever there is a new notification from any of the connected apps, users can see it in the ‘What’s New’ section of Unification. The notifications stay visible within Unification for the number of days you choose in the app’s settings. Unification also has live tile support, which updates itself after every 30 minutes.
Unification is a Liquid Daffodil app, and for now, most of the apps it supports are from the same developer. In the near future though, integration with Disqus and a few other big names is arriving (in fact, some of the app updates have already been submitted for Microsoft’s approval).
As a concept, it is impossible to find faults within Unification, but it goes without saying that the app is in need of integration with a lot more apps, and quickly at that. Unification is available for free on the Windows Phone Store.