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You Can Now Get Twitter, Facebook and Gmail Alerts on Ubuntu Phone

Native system notifications now available for social web apps

With the first Ubuntu Phones still on course to ship later this year, its developers are now in the final furlong of preparing for a ‘Release To Manufacturing’ milestone.

As part of the ongoing work, a number of previously missing, outstanding and broken features are seeing attention. Among them is enabling native notification support for the Twitter, Facebook and Gmail ‘apps’ available from the Click App Store.

These “apps” wrap the standard mobile versions of Twitter, Facebook and Gmail inside an Oxide-based web container and replace much of the functionality previously provided by the ‘Friends’ QML social client since removed from the default images. (Why? Bugs. Lack of development. The usual stuff).

For the most part the web apps all work the same as they do in any browser, but by being packaged up using Ubuntu’s HTML5 app capabilities have added flexibility, features integrated, separate launchers, and so on.

One key thing these particular three web apps have lacked is a way to alert you to new notifications. Until now, that is.

When enabled through Ubuntu Online Accounts:

You’ll receive notifications for new Twitter mentions and direct messages. Polling for new notifications happens every 5 minutes or so, so is not as instantaneous as using a native app on Android or iOS but better than having to manually refresh yourself.

You will see Gmail alerts for new unread messages as listed in the ‘personal’ category from the last 24 hours.

For Facebook you will get notified of new unread messages at a given interval.

In all cases notifications are only set to appear when the application is not in focus.

Canonical’s John Lenton demonstrates how to enable the new notification features for Twitter, Gmail and Facebook (and those only, at present) in a .gif on Google+ (embedded above).

If you’re one of the hundreds of developer preview users, expect to find this functionality land in an upcoming image.

Will you make use of this?  Which other web apps would you like to see furnished with native system integration? There’s a comments section below, feel free to use it and let us know!