Alerts = Interruption + 1

I had yet another audible alert trying to get my attention.

Because I use several virtual desktops, and don’t have everything avilable on screen all the time, and because developers don’t have a consistent/meaningful method (the Apple Notifications concept is really useful, but isn’t well-adopted), that alert could have come from anywhere.

I can’t see everything all the time, so there was no way to see whether the alert came from any particular app.

I spent like 10 minutes trying to figure it out. I clicked through every open app to see if they each had their own, recently-added component or feature, or additional alerting/notification panels.

No idea what it was.

Then, another alert chimed away. Exactly the same sound. Definitely an alert. But from where?

Then it dawned on me: I’d heard that same alert maybe a month or two ago.

It was just my AirPods giving me the polite notification that a pod’s battery had 10% remaining.

So, I’m not complaining about Apple. Not at all. I’m not even complaining about getting this kind of alert: it was saying, effectively, “headphone batteries are getting low”. In fact, an improvement might also be an additional ability for the AirPods to invoke the connected device’s Notifications panel.

What I’m really more annoyed about is the proliferation of notifications in general. However trivial they might be perceived, are still interruptions to your workflow.

The regular frequency of SMS/text messages? Interruptions. Paging alerts? Interruptions. Getting FaceBook/Youtube/Twitter/etc alerts? Interruptions. Alerts about truly trivial tasks? Interruptions. An inconsequential outage of something that’s unused? Interruptions.

Oh, and if you insist on having so much involvment in all of that assorted tech that you want to get endless interruptions, fine.

But if you insist on also having audible-alerts that can be heard by anyone else within earshot: not fine.