One of my all time favorite Mac utilities, installed on every Mac at home and office, is Growl. This elegant little app handled pop up notifications from other apps long before Apple put Notification Center into OS X.
Far more Mac apps use Growl than use Notification Center. And, now, Growl is updated to peacefully co-exist on your Mac, either sending notices into Notification Center, or working standalone.
Quietly Growl Your Notices
Growl notifications have been around on the Mac for a few years. What’s great about Growl is the number of apps that use it for notifications, and the built-in options for customization.
Compare that to Apple’s Notification Center on the Mac. Customization is typical Apple. Not much.
For now, not many third party apps use Notification Center, but many have hooks into Growl.
Install Growl on your Mac and you get options for which apps can use Growl, and complete control over the pop-up, onscreen notices (color, size, theme, how long they’re in view, and more).
Growl also has a great roll-up feature similar to OS X’s new Notification Center where all notices are rolled together into one window.
The new version gives you customization and personalization options to match your visual requirements and screen workflow. The Rollup tells you what has happened while you were away from your Mac, all in one window.
Growl can use Apple’s built-in Speech technology to speak your notices. The real advantage of Growl 2.0 is the ability to work with Notification Center.
Frankly, you’ll find Growl to be more visually attractive and feature laden than Notification Center, but who wants two different notification services popping up on the screen?
Growl can send notices directly to Notification Center so all notices are visible using Apple’s new service, instead of having two services compete for your attention.
Growl costs a few dollars, but the customization of the pop ups alone is worth half a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Unfortunately, Growl is a Mac App Store app, so there’s no trial option.