One of the key things Android has going for it is a notification system that’s not in-your-face. When you receive a new email, text message, or other alert, it shows up in the status bar at the top of your screen without interrupting whatever else you’re doing on your device. But if you’d prefer a pop-up style notification, there’s a new free app called Pops which can help you out.

Pops is designed to show a short video when you receive an SMS, Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter notification. You can download video packs from Pops or shoot your own video with your phone’s camera. For instance, you can make a short movie of your children tearing open an envelope and set that as your Gmail alert.

The videos will only play when your phone is idle. So if you get a new email message while you’re playing Angry Birds the game won’t stop to show you a video. But when your phone is sitting on the table it will come to life with a short video when there’s a new alert which might be a little more interesting than a simple audio ringtone.

Pops is available as a free download from the Android Market.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...