This doesn't mean anything: Apple iOS vs Windows Phone push notification

Look, we're not going to make a mountain of a mole hill here: we know this video technically doesn't mean much and the developers (the folks behind CarbonWP) also know it's not a real test, but's cool to see.

All it is a push notification sent to both the iPhone and a Windows Phone. Lo and behold, they tie for receiving the message at the same time. Does that make one phone better than the other? Certainly not. But does it make Windows Phone look pretty decent for being able to hold its own against Apple (in this one test)? Sure does. Plus, it makes CarbonWP look pretty sweet too, we suppose.

Anyone else have experiences with the iPhone and Windows Phone receiving notifications? Sound off in comments with your thoughts. Thanks, TechJunky79, for the link!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • The windows phone actually turns on before the iPhone thus making windows phone faster. :)
  • I just spent the last hour and a half messing with both IPH 4s and HTC TITAN. The catching up is all over. WP7 has not only caught up but in my opinion surpassed in every area but apps. SIRI is neat but it was running around in all kinds of circles. Only a slight advantage there and that is because it can speak emails etc.
    WP7 had the 4g that was really making the IPH look stupid in comparison. I now see the 4g light, and it is good.
  • The 4G on the Titan/Focus S/Focus Flash is the same type of internet that the iP4S receives.... HSPA+ The iP4S can get a theoretical max of 14.4 mbps.. On a good day with my Titan, I get anywhere from 3-5 down. 
  • I get between 5 & 7 down on my HD7 and have gotten as high as 12 down
  • Sounds accurate enough. I just know that we did a bunch of races in the web surfing department and WP7 won handily every time. I'll try again from different locations.
  • Well, in my experience both iPhone and Windows Phone notifications are very similar in reliability (both are generally quite good, but occasionally miss some notifications), but lack of any notification centre on WP makes toast notifications somewhat useless if you leave your phone for a few minutes.
    P.S. I'm referring to Mango here, in Nodo notifications were quite unpredictable.
  • Seeing the two side by side really shows you how dated iOS looks.
  • MS has a huge opportunity to gain market share before the iPhone 5 is released. They have an advantage in that they can release many devices and market them all heavily to get the word out before Apple's single device is released.
  • Good thing he was sitting there looking at the phone for WP7 device. If he went to the bathroom and came back, he would have thought the WP7 device was still waiting for the notification to come through. LOL!
  • Same as Futurix: if you're not using your phone and come back 5 minutes later, you won't be aware you received a DM... Unless you have a tile pinned (and your app supports it) as well, and have allowed tile updates... The problem is that it may take about half an hour to appear.
    So the verdict is: the iPhone wins. There need to be some kind of notification center on WP... Otherwise it's totally useless, as pointed out by Futurix :(
  • Simple workaround for now is to turn on mobile text notifications for dm's. You get a nice text message of the dm you received.
  • @Warpdesign, some clarification is needed here: In this case though, CarbonWP does have DM and Mentions on the Live Tile and they're instant. Not sure what this "could take a half hour" thing is about. You're confusing push notifications with pull (like what the WPCentral app does). That's  big difference and not to be confused. They are very different proesses on WP7. CarbonWP does push like GoVoice and the Live Tile update is instant. If the notificaiton came through, the Live Tile is automcatically updated.
  • Ok, I see. My mistake then. If updates are instant, it's fine then.
    But the thing is that most applications (including built-in Facebook/Twitter) are far from instant, and can take hours before being updated. And in this case, missing the toast means you'll miss your notifications by dozens of minutes, if you ever receive it. And that's a problem.
  • Let WP7 sleep and the notification will be gone, that makes a big difference. IOS does it well by retaining it. WP7 wipes out the notification if phone turns off, so you practically have less than 15 seconds to acknowledge it or you never get to see it.
    Bug is filed here:
    Hope everyone votes in the link so MS can fix it asap, else iOS fans will laugh about this video very soon.
  • Notifications completely blow in WP7 except for the built-in apps email, messaging, and phone.
    Notifications, multitasking, and the email client are the three main reasons why WP still cannot be seriously recommended as a platform.  Indeed, they make it almost insufferable.
    With respect to the first two issues, Microsoft, please see webOS (and in fact, webOS does email a lot better, too, but there are yet superior offerings out there in that respect).
  • I'm not going to necessarily disagree with you about notifications, but what do you feel is the problem with multitasking and the email client?
    Personally, I think the email client is the best out of any platform I've used. And I don't think I've come across any scenarios where I wanted multitasking to do something it couldn't, either.
  • There is no multitasking.  All I can do is play audio streams in the background.  Is there anything beyond that?  What if I want to stream audio and run my GPS software at the same time?  Right now, as soon as my GPS starts talking, it kills the audio, and that's it.  If I switch to the audio streaming program, then the GPS stops working (no more turns announced).  This is an extremely common use case: indeed, I only ever use my GPS in the car, and I always use my phone to power my audio in my car, so it is nearly fatal!
    As for the email client, the best you have ever used?  Have you never used any other smartphone's email client?  In addition to the niceties found on iOS and others like detecting "Let's meet tomorrow at noon for lunch" and highlighting that as a link which, upon tapping, opens up your calendar with a prepoulated "Lunch" and sets it to noon on the next day, the WP email client is totally borked.  Things that you must be able to do to have useful email that you can't do on WP: Attach a file other than a picture (there is a workaround for a single Office doc, and only an Office doc...pathetic). Edit the text in a reply or forward before forwarding. Reply to or forward an email that came into one email account from another email account.  
    Anyway, I really want to like WP, in many ways I do, but these everyday kind of missing features are just crippling and really leave it feeling like a cheap toy rather than a robust platform.
  • My old Palm Pre handled toast great.
    It would pop up and stay at the bottom of the screen to be ignored or activated.
    But if the phone was asleep, the action button would light up in "beeps" to let you know you have a new message.
    I don't see why the power buttons or battery indicator lights on most wp's couldn't do the same thing.
    This way even when the phone is asleep, you know a message is waiting for you.
    Perhaps apollo will address this.
  • I do agree with everyone else. I haven't used an iPhone but I've witnessed Android's notification tray/area, and it's definitely nice to be able to get back to anything that happened while you didn't happen to be looking at the phone.
    Sometimes I really, really miss the way my Blackberry Pearl Flip handled things. External screen flashed new SMS and Email preview, red LED blinked until you checked your notifications. I'd occasionally look over at my phone looking for that big LED. With WP7, you have to grapple with finding the power button, turn it on, maybe see new SMS or email, then open the lock screen and further look for other types of notifications on tiles or even deeper.
  • Fret not, "Carbon" is not gonna' jus' push Toasts, our Live Tiles will be updated with it too, so really, we ain't gonna' need no primitive Notification Centre ;)
  • In my everday use, notifications are one of the things I believe really need a lot of work.  As everyone else points out, without a notification center, it's very difficult to know if you have notifications if you don't have your phone when the notification arrives.  Also, from my understanding, (ccorrect me if I'm wrong)true push notifications are dependent on the dev setting up a push server.  Otherwise the half hour timer is used to check for new notifications.  A great example is Birdsong v. Mehdoh.  Birdsong notifications are very inconsistent for me, but when working are pretty instant.  On the other hand, Medoh notifications are only quick if you happen to get one close to the half hour check, but are very consistent.  If I can't trust that I'm getting notified properly, that is a big drawback.  Blackberry still has a huge leg up in this department.  
  • dot1ne: the probem is that live tiles are updated about twice an hour. You cannot have faster updates of live tiles... so either we need a nototification center or faster tiles updates. In any case, as it is now it's pretty much useless :(
  • You are confusing Push with Pull. The half an hour update only applys to apps who use a background agent. This is instant, like with KIK or Whatsapp.
  • That's simply not true - if the app has a server for updates, it can send updates at any time without any delays and limits. Limits of 30 minutes applies only to background agents running on the phone.
  • Considering the chips in WP devices are a generation or 2 behind the latest Android and iPhones, yet they still compete in most areas tells you what a difference well written software makes!
  • And the boot times.  A consistent 18 seconds to boot my LG Optimus 7.
    My Blackberry, days ;)
    iPhones 3Gs, minutes.
    Android, couple of minutes. Honestly, WP7 is as tight as a tiger. I also agree with the other poster, iOS looks so dated now (and Android) grids of icons? How very 1980's ;)
  • Each time people compare anything against the iPhone, for me they are saying that the iPhone is on top but let´s see what this little one can do lol. This is a testament of how excellent Apple´s Marketing is. They make you think in a way that only benefit their products... Please do not start ganging up on me because I love WP7 even though I never had one and also never Had an iPhone.
  • Are we really being butthurt over the notifications in WP arriving faster? In regards to missing them it's your own fault that u can't pin those apps to the start screen.
  • Facebook notification are quite unreliable in my experience, especially facebook app notifications. Those can be late hours, or never be delivered.
    It's not much better with in-built facebook.
  • No problem here!! Pin tiles to start screen, decent apps update instantly or regularly.... Missed notification?? Not hard to miss a live tile on a TITAN!! Lol... I have only one issue, ADVERTISING!!!!!