Want iOS notifications on the Mac? Try Notifyr

Notifyr is a new service that pairs an iPhone(s appl) to a Mac through Bluetooth and pushes notifications from the mobile device to the desktop. I got a chance to try it out, and it works splendidly, but there are a few limitations you should be aware of before you pay $3.99 for the app.

Getting it working is easy. First, you need to install an app — actually, a prefpane — on your Mac, which is free, and you’ll also need the paid iOS app. Pair the two devices through low-energy Bluetooth: a code will be provided on the Mac, which you plug into the Notifyr app on the iPhone. Now you’re ready to get notifications on your Mac.


I was able to test out several types of notifications, including Facebook Messenger, texts, and calls. The notifications show up in the OS X notification center, complete with the app’s icon. It’s simple to mute notifications you don’t want to see. For instance, if you don’t want to see every Sportscenter alert, unmarking a simple checkbox will prevent them from showing up on your Mac.


However, I feel like this service is, at its core, relatively useless. First of all, your phone needs to be in proximity to your Mac — which isn’t a dealbreaker, but this does mean you can’t sync notifications from your iPhone to a home computer while you’re at work. In addition, there’s no way to interact with the notifications on the Mac: Clicking on them simply means you get brought to a screen with options to turn notifications off.

This means that if you got a notification for WhatsApp or a text, you’d need to go back into your pocket to pull out your phone to reply, which kind of defeats the purpose. In fact, Apple’s built-in notifications already are superior in this category: if you’re using iMessage, you can already receive those on your Mac and reply from within the notification. Notifyr could be good for news, such as New York Times breaking news or Twitter notifications, but notifications for those services are already available through Safari or Chrome.

Notifyr is slickly designed and fast, but it needs a few more features — in particular, the ability to reply to text messages — before I would consider using it on a daily basis. You can get it on the App Store now, but you’ll need a Mac made in the last three years and an iPhone 4s or better.