Notifications for Reddit is a simple new app developed by Andrew Chang (/u/RedBanHammer) that does just one thing and does it very well — real push notifications for everyone’s favorite social bookmarking site. Currently, it is $0.99 for the launch special and will go up to $1.99 shortly after. Strangely though, this is the first app that has push notifications for Reddit. When I say “push notifications” I don’t mean enabling background refresh to occasionally fetch your messages from Reddit servers while simultaneously gobbling down half of your battery life in the process. With this app you don’t even have to have background app refresh enabled, all the heavy lifting is done by his servers, and it simply delivers your messages when they are received. He has even integrated several Reddit apps including Alien Blue, AMRC, Biscuit, and up and coming Apollo so that when you tap on the message it will open your favorite client. It’s also a fairly decent inbox manager for Reddit, although the original plan was to just enable the push notification to open other apps. When he discovered the limitations of open messages within those other apps he chose to develop an inbox client as well.
When you open the app after you’ve signed in you are greeted with an incredibly minimal experience — there is just enough information to convey what is needed and nothing more. From the top there is a settings button, your username and a share button. Smack dab in the middle is your unread message count spelled out and sitting at the bottom is your inbox bar. Tapping the inbox will bring you to well… Your inbox of course.
The background actually changes from a very nice blue to orangish-red when you get a message to reflect the OrangeRed style of Reddit. With this it’s really easy to know if you’ve read all of your messages or not. It’s subtle features like this that really lend themselves to the overall minimalistic design aesthetic that he has embraced with the development of this app.
By far my favorite feature is “classy mode” which is effectively a night mode theme. I always appreciate it when developers add a night or dark mode as it’s just so much easier on the eyes at night or some people just like the look of it better. The background still turns a slight bit orange so you can tell if there is an unread message just by glancing at the screen.
After everything is said and done there is very little left to be desired with this app. He nailed it on the head with the functionality and design of the user interface and there have been very little problems with the back-end cluster that runs the push notifications. When I was beta testing the app there were so little issues that I never had to give any bug reports and really only suggested some features and gave some praise on the subreddit he set up for the app.
It’s nice to see developers making their own subs like that to enable users to have a centralized place for feedback and questions, often getting help from other users or the developer himself. This really shows how much he cares about his product and the support and customer service thereof.
Thanks for reading and look forward to an interview from the developer coming in the next few days!