New Apple hires suggest improvements coming to iOS Notification Center

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A number of recent hires at Apple suggest the company is looking to make further improvements to the Notification Center feature that debuted with the launch of iOS 5.

Jan-Michael Cart, a student at the University of Georgia and specialist in video and graphic design, was recently hired by Apple as a paid intern for the next seven months. That new addition, as noted by Ars Technica, is the latest in a series of hires that could signal further changes to the iOS Notification Center.

Cart gained fame for a series of Apple-style videos in which he created mockup demos for suggested improvements he would make to the Notification Center user interface. They include a persistent badge in the iPhone status bar showing the number of notifications, third-party widgets, and collapsible lists of notifications.

The hiring of Cart for an internship comes only months after Apple added software programmer Peter Hajas, who created his own notification user interface for jailbroken iPhones known as MobileNotifier. The MobileNotifier application, which was only available on hacked iPhones through the Cydia storefront, was downloaded nearly a quarter-million times.

And a year earlier, Apple bolstered its team by hiring Rich Dellinger, who worked as the user interface design architect at Palm for nearly four years. During his time there, he invented the webOS notification system and co-developed the application framework for the Palm Pre operating system.

Notification Center is one of the hallmark features of the iOS 5 mobile operating system update released by Apple in October. It allows users to replace the intrusive "alerts" that were used for notifications in previous versions of iOS, and replace them with a "banner" notification that appears at the top of the screen. Users can also swipe down from the top of the screen to access the Notification Center and see all of their notifications.