Growl is an application for Mac and more recently, Windows, that provides notifications when certain events occur on your computer. For example, you might use it to have Firefox tell you when a download is complete, or Skype tell you when a contact comes online.
Prowl iPhone app
There is also a companion iPhone app called Prowl which uses a unique key to have your Growl messages pushed to your phone. However, web applications are also able to send you Prowl notifications by providing them with your unique API key which is associated with your mobile device. This has the added benefit of not needing your computer to be running and connected to the Internet.
A number of web applications provide Prowl capability, including my personal favourite, which allows for Google Voice text and voicemail notifications.
One such application is a WordPress plugin called WP-Prowl which is run straight from your WordPress installation. It allows you to be sent notifications for a number of events that might occur on your site. This includes new/updated posts, pages, comments and trackbacks. You can select which ones you want to be sent.
After you have installed the plugin, the configuration is fairly straightforward. You have just one options page and you merely need to enter your API key (which can be obtained from the Prowl website) and select which notifications you want to be sent. You can also change what information will be included in each notification by altering the syntax for each notification.
This plugin is extremely handy for receiving instant notification of new comments on your blogs, posts pending review that have just been written by an author on your site, or new posts that have been posted by other authors on a multi-author site.
If you already have WPTouch (a plugin that optimises your blog for mobile devices) installed, or you’re willing to install it, you have the option of sending push notifications for comments and trackbacks, but nothing else. So while it’s a good start, it won’t give you the full realm of notifications that WP-Prowl can provide.
Have you ever used Prowl and/or these plugins? What do you make of them?