Today brings a delightful surprise for Mac users with Boxcar joining the Mac family. Boxcar has been the standard for getting push notifications from your social networks, email, RSS and other services on iOS devices since it launched in July of 2009, and it has been one of my favorite iPhone apps from the start.
Boxcar currently supports more Twitter events than you probably have time to read, including mentions, direct messages, new followers, trending topics, Twitter list updates and keyword searches. Boxcar also supports other social networks for notifications from Facebook, check-ins from Gowalla and Foursquare, even Google Buzz.
It can also help you keep up on new emails, voicemail and SMS messages on Google Voice, popular reddit items, comments and messages, Github comments and facts from OMGFacts. Boxcar can watch for RSS feed updates, helping to make it more customizable if your favorite service isn't built-in, since many social networks, news aggregators and blogs will provide you with an RSS feed that Boxcar can follow.
All of these services are optional; you can customize alerts so that you don't get overwhelmed with too many notifications, or you can mute the notifications entirely when you need to concentrate.
I'm excited that their service can now help me out on my Mac as well as on my iPhone and iPad. While I have some of these notifications already covered by other apps, I've often wished for something simple, dependable and attractive to aggregate alerts together in order to save space on my Dock and menubar. Boxcar fits perfectly, and it supports Growl notifications, so it's easy to integrate into a finely tuned Growl workflow.
While Boxcar for OS X is still in beta, this probably isn't an app you want to wait on if it can increase your productivity or perhaps provide a pleasant distraction when something happens on your favorite social network.