It was bound to happen. My Mac has so many wonderfully useful apps that I finally found one that I want to install on my kids.
No, it’s not the Sleep function (but that would be handy). It’s not a volume control (I’m willing to pay for that), either. It’s a notification and alert system. Yes, your Mac alerts you when things happen. But just like kids, the alerts are not often enough or on time.
Growl When You Do Something Wrong, Honey
Think of the basic Mac alerts and notifications. The Dock icon bounces up and down. The beep sound goes beeeeep. What else? Little pop ups from iCal tell you what you forgot to do.
Alerts and notifications could be so much more and that’s what Growl does. More. So much.
It’s an embedded alert and notification Preference Pane on your Mac.
Growl then gets used by other Mac apps to growl at you. Rather, notify you that something is taking place, took place, or will take place if you don’t pull the red wire before the bomb explodes.
If you’ve downloaded a number of new and nifty apps reviewed by Mac360 in the past year, there’s a good chance one of them installed Growl’s notification system by default. There’s not much you need to do once it’s installed. Apps that use growl find it and provide alerts and notifications when needed.
Growl’s notifications are far more attractive and useful than Apple’s default, built-in alerts.
You can customize notifications by choosing from a variety of Growl styles. Change opacity, duration, size, and more.
You can also choose which apps use Growl. These notifications pop up politely on your Mac’s screen, then, after a set time, slowly fade away so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing. You’ve been notified.
For example, when you get email, some Growl notifications give you a pop up with part of the message and other options.
If your Mac’s battery is low, another Growl notification tells you.
Growl is so cool that it goes beyond pop ups. Some notifications can be emailed or spoken to you using the Mac’s built-in speech technology. It’s a little Star Trekian but you get used to it.
Growl has a bunch of different notification pop up windows so you can totally customize your alerts. Once you’ve used Growl on a few apps, you’ll want to expand the functions to other apps. Once you’ve used it for a week you’ll wonder, as I did, why Apple doesn’t have a similarly useful and attractive notification system, and is there a way to install such a system on your children.