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How to receive Stack Overflow notifications on your phone and smartwatch

By , 02/19/2014 10:44 PM

If this then that

As you may have gathered I am a frequent participant of Stack Overflow Q&A board for coders. On that site everytime somebody responds to your question or comments – a notification is displayed in the status bar. Ditto when your reputation points change.

I became curious whether I could receive these modifications on my phone. Stack Exchange released their own application on Google Play store that does send push notifications when a reply is received, but no notifications on reputation changes. Also it’s still a little rough around the edges and besides I realized I didn’t want a full blown Stack Overflow application (when I do use SO for questions/answers I prefer the full site on my laptop). There should be another way.

There is – it’s called IFTTT or “if this then that”. Basically this service allows you to perform an action based on a trigger (e.g. IF I post and Instagram picture THEN re-post it to twitter). One of the triggers is “read RSS feed and perform action if there’re new items” – I could use that since Stack Overflow provides RSS feeds both for user replies and reputation changes.

Now for action – you can chose, for example email (If my reputation changes then send an email) but I went a step further. I purchased a little, but very useful push-notification app called Pushover that can receive messages from various sources (including IFTTT) and display them as notifications on your device. So now, every time I can receive direct push notifications about my SO status.

If you plan to use IFTTT/Pushover combination you can create your own IFTTT “recipe” from scratch or you can reuse ones I created (just adjust the RSS feed to point to your Stack Overflow user ID):

SO IFTTT update on PebblePushover application has one really nice bonus – native notifications to Pebble Smartwatch, no separate notification application needed.

This is very convenient, especially if you don’t have immediate access to your phone – just a brief glance at your wrist tells you what is going on.

Seeing the notification you can deem the importance and choose whether to ignore it for now, or drop whatever it is you were doing, fire up your dev laptop and give the other fella hell provide polite and responsible reply.

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