iMessage Notification Overload

Since the Messages for Mac beta came out, it’s become even more annoying when receiving a message sets off alerts on three devices.

Graham Spencer at MacStories has a great idea for handling iMessage overload with multiple devices:

Whilst the ability to change the text tone (and ringtone) on a per-contact basis is really cool (and can be used for a number of other purposes), perhaps there should be another way to control message notifications differently — especially now that iMessage is bundled in iChat, and may lead to an increased number of messages sent to iOS devices. Specifically I’m talking about muting specific message conversations. This would allow me to mute the message thread that has all of the MacStories members, but still receive notifications from Federico, in case he urgently wanted me to cover something.

Apple could easily implement the option inside the Messages app, simply displaying a mute icon next to each message thread when in the ‘Edit’ mode. Just like changing the text tone on a per-contact basis, this power-user option wouldn’t make the UI messy, because it would only appear in the ‘Edit’ screen. That way, users could choose between completely muting on a per-contact basis or on a per-message thread basis — all whilst still receiving notifications for your other messages.

Be sure to click through and check out his mock-up of what such a system would look like. It is simple and elegant. The only thing I would add is that muting a thread would push the mute setting to all devices via iCloud, so I don’t have to go around to all my devices to toggle it.