there's no place like home
About a month ago I wrote a post about smartphone home screens and notifications, comparing the wide open field of development in Android-land with what's available on the iPhone. I had foolishly hoped that iPhone 4.0 would improve the home screen / notification experience, predicting with "Likelihood: High" that Apple would provide an "out-of-the-box solution for notifications and glanceable home screen summaries of messages, events, social network notifications, etc." No such luck.
That said, there are improvements to the OS in 4.0 that could make something like this possible in the future: local notifications, push notifications, task completion and background location. Combine all of those with a service like FourSquare, and you can imagine a home screen app that periodically updates with information about what friends are near you, tips for locations nearby, and if any of your friends are mayors of those locations....while showing your calendar, your next todo item, any recently recieved text messages, top news headlines, tweets from your friends, messages from Facebook, etc.
But nope! More popups. But hey! Look on the bright side -- at least now we can get those popups -- and act on them! -- while listening to Pandora. (Speaking of which, Pandora presented today...and no sign of what's up with Lala?)