Push Notifications for Line2 Voicemail
My transition to Line2 for my business phone service has largely been successful. However, there are a few annoyances, particularly with the Line2 app itself—the biggest one of which is that I’m not notified of new voicemail messages in any meaningful way.
Well, let me clarify that: although I have Line2 set up to send me an email with the voicemail attached, the only indication of the message on my iPhone is a badge on the Line2 icon—no sound, no alert. So I can miss a call and easily miss the voicemail, too.
This situation is easy to fix and the solution takes advantage of that email message that is sent for each new voicemail. In short, I have a rule in Mail.app that watches for those messages and forwards it to a service that sends a push notification to my iPhone.
There are several services that offer push notifications when you receive email messages or upon a variety of triggers. The
four five that I looked at all work similarly: you install their app on your iOS device, link it to your account, and forward the message you want to trigger the push notification to an address the service gives you.
Since the services are similar for this one specific task, I based my final choice on the appearance of the notification that I received. As you’ll see, they are all quite different from one another.
I’ve been using Boxcar (iOS, free) for a couple of years to notify me of Twitter mentions and sales made through my installations of $7 Secrets Scripts, so other than the Mail rule (more on that in a moment) there was no setup. Here’s what the notification looks like:
I tried Prowl (iOS, $3) before I started using Boxcar, but I’m unsure why I went with the latter instead. Its standout feature for me is its integration with the Growl notification system for Macs (Growl 2.0 can now use Boxcar, as well), but its notification is cluttered by comparison to Boxcar’s:
I find the iOS app somewhat confusing, but if all you need is those email notifications then Notifo (iOS, free) will do the job. Its notification is cleaner than those of the previous two, leaving out the labels and non-essential information:
Update (1/13/2013): Notifo has shut down
The aptly-named Push (iOS, $5) is the most expensive of the lot and has fewer services integrated with it than the others; however, its notifications (at least for email) are the cleanest of them all:
I’m not sure why this one needed to repeat the subject line. I found that Pushover is unsuitable for Line2 notifications, because the redirected message with attachment would often be too large for their system.
I liked the appearance of Push, so that’s what I’m using to receive email notifications right now.
Setup for Push Notifications
Setting up the Mail rule is simple:
If you do end up testing several of these at the same time, you should be aware of a problem with Mail rules, forwarding and multiple addresses that I found while setting this up.
Finally, iOS 6 allows you to be notified when you receive messages from addresses on your VIP list, so it would seem this technique would not be necessary; however, in practice the VIP technique doesn’t work—not just for me, but at all. I’m not getting any notifications with Line2 on my VIP list, but even if I did I’d be notified not only of the voicemail but of every other email message that Line2 sent me. Therefore, using a Mail rule and a push notification app works best for me.