Having bought my first Mac about a year and a half ago one app that I quickly started to love was Growl. It brought a universal notification system to the operating system that any application could make use of, and the cross-program uniformity made the OS experience that much better.
Then came along Growl for Windows, which was something I took a quick liking to once the Prowl iPhone app was released. I wasn’t sure what kind of future Growl had on Windows since we had already seen other apps like Snarl start to fade out despite being updated regularly. It just didn’t catch on for me.
Growl, however, has become something I’ve installed on all my Windows machines. The notifications are clean and prominent, which can be a combination that is tough to come by. Not to mention the fact that there are also a variety of themes available. My favorite is definitely the Smokestack theme pictured above.
The new version 2.0 that was just released supports images in the notifications, can tell an app when a notification is clicked, can forward of notifications to an email address, and much more. And, of course, we can’t forget about the rapidly growing list of supported apps:
- Autotest – Get informed when your tests pass or fail.
- Emacs – Send and receive Growl notifications from within emacs.
- Firefox – Alerts you when Firefox has started, finished, or failed downloading a file.
- Feed Monitor – Alerts you when RSS and Atom feeds are updated.
- Foobar2000 – Get notified when playing starts, stops, or is paused.
- Gmail – Gmail Growl keeps you updated on new mails in your Gmail Inbox in a fancy way.
- Google Reader – Get notified of new feed items in Google Reader.
- Google Voice – Alerts you to new voicemails, text messages, call recordings, and more.
- Google Wave – Get notified of new Waves.
- Growlbook for Facebook – Get notifications for friend requests, messages, pokes, invites, and more.
- iTunes – Alerts you to the currently playing track in iTunes.
- Irssi – Alerts you when your name is highlighted, you receive a private message, and when someone joins/leaves a conversation.
- jWeatherWatch – Get the current weather and forecasts for multiple locations.
- Last.fm – Alerts you to the currently playing track on the Last.fm website.
- MediaMonkey – Alerts you to the currently playing track in MediaMonkey.
- Outlook – Get notified of appointment reminders and when new mail arrives.
- OWATray (Outlook Web Access) – Get notified of new Exchange mail without having to keep an OWA browser constantly open.
- Pandora AIR – Alerts you to the currently playing track in the Pandora AIR application.
- Pandora Website – Alerts you to the currently playing track on the Pandora website.
- Pidgin – Get Growl notifications for all kinds of Pidgin notifications.
- Postbox – Alerts you when Postbox receives new mail or RSS updates.
- Powershell – Send Growl notifications from your Powershell scripts.
- SageAlert for SageTV – Get notified for all kinds of SageTV events.
- SkypeToGrowl – Get notified of incoming Skype calls.
- Songbird – Pops up a notification when the currently playing track changes.
- System Monitor – Get notified of system-type events like low disk space, battery life, USB devices inserted & removed and more.
- Thunderbird – Alerts you when Thunderbird receives new mail or RSS updates.
- TV Browser – Get reminded when your favorite TV shows are starting.
- Trowl (Twitter) – Get notified of Twitter mentions, DM’s, and friends’ tweets.
- Twitulater – Get notified of new tweets and much more.
- uGrowl (uTorrent) – Get notified when torrents are added, start, or finish.
- Visual Studio – Get notified of success or failure when builds complete.
- Vuze (Azureus) – Notifies you of completed downloads.
- Witty (Twitter) – Get of new tweets, @replies, and direct messages. Sends summary notifications if you get too many updates at once.
- Yawcam (Motion Detection) – Get notified when your webcam detects motion, and then view streaming video of the activity.
- Yip – Transform any Fluid or Prism notifications into Growl notifications.
It’s tough to say how this app will pan out in the end, but I think it has a really bright future. Let us know in the comments whether you’ve given it a whirl, and how you feel about it.
Growl for Windows Homepage (Freeware)