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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Prowl - notifications on your iPhone

Prowl is a new Growl client for the iPhone. Notifications can be forwarded from your Mac or PC and show up as push notifications on your iPhone (or iPod Touch).

Prowl originally only worked with Growl on the Mac, but the latest (Beta16) release of Growl for Windows adds Prowl support.

***UPDATE 2:*** - (7/13/2009) - There is a new beta version of GfW available that includes the ability to only forward to Prowl when you are idle or away. You can download it from this link, but note that the Prowl API has changed and thus any Prowl forwarding will need to be reconfigured. If you install the Beta17 and Prowl notifications stop working, you will need to delete the Prowl forwarding entry and re-create it using your Prowl API Key (available from the Prowl website).

***UPDATE:*** - There was a bug in GfW that caused the priority of forwarded notifications to be incorrectly set. This bug was making it appears as if the Prowl preferences to limit notifications by priority were not working. I have fixed this bug and re-uploaded the Beta16 code. If you have already updated, please update to the even-newer v2. - thanks

Using Prowl with Growl for Windows

Prowl is built into Growl for Windows, so there is nothing extra to download. (Requires GfW v2.0b16 or higher)

On the 'Network' tab, make sure the 'Forward notifications to other computers' box is checked. Click the green + button to add a forwarding destination. In the window that appears, click the iPhone icon to configure Prowl:

Description: a friendly name for the iPhone (also helps differentiate if you want to forward to multiple devices)
API Key: your Prowl API Key
Only forward when priority is at least: lets you select which notifications get forwarded based on priority. selecting '[Any Priority]' will forward all notifications regardless of priority

Click the Save button and the newly-configured iPhone should show up in the list of forwarded computers. Notifications received from that point on will be forwarded to Prowl.

This is a brand-new feature, so if you have any suggestions, encounter any issues, or just have feedback in general, let me know in the GfW discussion forums.


  1. Terrfic! But I had some problems getting it to work properly. Shall "allow network notification" be checked under the Security tab?

  2. I think there is some problems with the priority. I just get push-notification if I tell Growl to push with "any priority"...

  3. @BlackSmp - 'Allow network notifications' does not need to be checked - that is only to allow GfW to *receive* incoming notifications from other computers.

    @Lukas - there is a bug in GfW that incorrectly sets the priority of forwarded messages (everything is set to 'Normal'). it is not a problem with Prowl or the Prowl preferences, but in the way that GfW is passing the notification off to be handled. i will get it fixed and put out a fix shortly.

  4. @Lukas - the underlying bug has been fixed. you will have to re-download and install the new version (or run GfW and it will prompt you to upgrade to v2.

    thanks for catching that bug.

  5. Any way to set it up so that I only get notifications when Growl knows im idle? Seems a bit excessive when i get the notifications on my PC and my iPhone when im sitting at my desk.. I know the Growl Prowl plugin for OSX has this setting...

  6. Love all the hard work... I will report anything that comes up...

  7. Just wanted to say thanks! Prowl support is what got me to use GfW. I use Growl on my Macbook Pro, which is my primary machine, but now thanks to GfW and Prowl, I keep Thunderbird checking my mail on my Windows torrent box which runs 24/7. This is great! Cheers!

  8. @J & Richard - thanks for the comments. it is nice to hear that the hard work is paying off and that folks are getting some real use out of the apps.

  9. I don't know what I am doing wrong.

    I have GMail Growl set up:
    forwarding default;
    priority default.

    In Growl I have iphone ticked under network.

    But I am getting no notifications through Prowl on my iphone.

  10. Even when using v2. it seems like the priority bug still exists. When I set the notification for the iPhone to only be High and the Gmail notifications to be High, nothing comes through.

    Also, there is no way to edit the settings/properties for any installed phones. You have to remove the device and re-add it if you want to change the properties.

  11. @Nick -

    can you verify that you are getting any Prowl notifications? when you log into the Prowl website, under Devices does it say that your device is registered? if so, can you try sending a notification directly from the Prowl website? if your device is not registered or you cant receive notifications from the Prowl website, then we need to start there.

    if all that works, then i am not sure of the problem. is Gmail Growl notifying you on your PC, just not forwarding? or are you not getting any notifications on your PC either?

  12. @Don -

    i just tried each of the priority settings and it seemed to operate like it should. i will keep investigating the issue though.

    as for the editing of entries - it is high on my list for the next release. stay tuned.

  13. Hi

    Thanks for all the great work Growl is new for me and iphone, I installed growl for gmail and growl for windows and prowl on the iphone, all seem to be working except the actual notifications or sounds, if i open Prowl I see that my pc has sent Prowl the notifications but this is only when I check manually no alerts or sounds appear automatically, I checked in the general settings and they are on... ;(

  14. @Anonymous - i had the same problem when i first set up Prowl. the cause was that my ipod was not registered properly with the Prowl website.

    go to the Prowl website and log in. under the Devices tab, see what it says. if it says that no devices are registered, then that means the Prowl is getting your notifications, but doesnt know where to send them.

    as for a fix - i am not sure. Prowl says it doesnt work with jailbroken phones, and it didnt work initially with my non-jailbroken ipod touch either. but after a few hours, it just started working on its own.

  15. My phone is registered on the Prowl website and it works great when I send a notification from the website.

    But... my Growl for Windows is not sending it to Prowl as a Push. My device is set up properly and I am getting the notifications in Prowl if I open it. It's just the Push that is not working.

    If Push works from the website should it not also work from the Growl for Windows?

  16. @jordan.cst - yes, if push works from the website AND you are getting your Growl notification in Prowl if opened manually, then i dont have any idea what could be wrong. Growl sends it to the Prowl website (which it seems to be doing if you can see it there) and then Prowl sends it to your phone. i will post back if i can think of anything else. maybe try restarting your phone?

  17. @brian Thanks for the reply seems that the device is not registering on the prowl website ;( maybe the issue is because its jailbroken so will wait and see what happens, Thanks again!

  18. @jordan seems we have the same problem except my iphone is not registered on the prowl website, i also see the notifications in prowl if opened manually but no push alert comes through...

  19. Not sure if this helps, but I had the same problem where I saw the notification in prowl, but no push alerts. Try this ...
    If Jailbroke and running SBSettings, reboot into Safe Mode. Go into iphone Settings app and select prowl, change the user name to something else.
    Open the prowl app and you will be asked for a password. Change the username back to your username and enter your password.
    After I did this, I got the push alerts working.

  20. @Brian

    I can send messages from the Prowl web site to my iPhone. And I am getting Gmail notifications on my laptop.

  21. Is it possible to run Growl for Windows as a Windows service? I would like to use it on my Windows Homeserver to monitor its status.

  22. OK, problem solved. I think it was a security issue with Win 7. I uninstalled Growl, and reinstalled using 'run as administrator'. Now I get Prowl alerts on my iPhone when GMail comes through.

    Nice app, thanks for your time.

  23. Hello. Could you please make the iPhone notifications be sent when the PC is idle, like the OSX growl does?

  24. @Anonymous - re: only when idle -

    this is already done, just not released yet. see this thread for more info:

  25. Great. Thanks Brian. Can't wait for the release. I hope more apps add support for GrowlForWindows in the near future.

  26. Brian- thanks for all of your hard work on this one. While we are adding to the wish would be great to only send forward notifications for certain messages in Outlook. For example- setting up to just receive Prowl notifications when the message is a high importance message or from a certain email address.

  27. @Anonymous - re: outlook

    this will be trickier since the Prowl forwarding module would have to know specifically about the Outlook plugin. people who use other email programs (thunderbird, gmail, etc) would probably want similar features.

    i think the better approach is to modify the Outlook plugin itself so that it can send more specific notifications based on your criteria. then you can use the current GfW forwarding options to only forward certain types of notifications or those with a certain priority. (for example, the Outlook plugin should probably set the Growl priority to High if the mail message importance is High, etc). this approach could be used for any other app that wants to notify Growl as well.

    i will have to think about it a bit to figure out the exact right way to handle it, but i do think it is a good idea.

  28. Idle function not working with latest 17 build.

  29. What a great application! Thanks for your hard work!

  30. Brian et al,

    the prowl notifier is now working ! I think you have to tell people(like me) that you also have to add the gmail growl module to the gfw in order to have the mail notifications! so people, now you know- download the gfw first and then add the gmail growl- it's been working nicely, even like the notifier sound !

  31. What is the API key? is this my Prowl passwort?

  32. @Nico - no, the API Key is a value you get from the Prowl website - see this link for pictures and instructions:

  33. Prowl test works
    Prowl notify from web page works
    Notifications show up on desktop : IE WINAMP

    Nothing ever gets pushed to Prowl from Growl. :S


  34. PRowl was working perfectly and then it stopped. I have a jailbroken/unlocked phone running 3.1.2 I never downloaded Growl and everything was working fine. I have my API key and all that. The only thing that changed was that I installed a new Comments Plugin on my site. I am wondering if that is somehow holding up the push notifications. But I also downloaded the WP Prowl Plugin. So... thoroughly baffled.

  35. I can't believe there is not more of a demand to run Growl for Windows as a Windows service.

    Does everyone want critical monitoring of their websites, computer, twitter and facebook notifications, etc., to stop working when the user logs off the computer?!

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