Web sites change. Good ones change often, bad ones; not-so-often, but for some of these websites, changes can be important. Sufficiently important to be worthy of a push notification.
For these websites, there’s dasPing. dasPing allows you to configure a web address (including URL arguments if you deem fit) to monitor for changes. Should the content of that page change (at the more sensitive setting it seems to be pretty sensitive to even HTML changes that don’t really affect the visible page), it will send a notification to your phone to let you know and provide with you a list of additions and deletions. It’s actually really quite good at it.
You can configure a time-period between checks and how sensitive to change it should be. Great.
There are a whole host of reasons that I can think of (and they helpfully push you along with on the App Store listing) for wanting to know when a page is updated; the problem is that a lot of the ones that they suggest are more suited to a dedicated App with push notifications, or a Google Alerts subscription. Because, after all – even at £0.69 for 500 checks; configure a couple of sites for 15-minutely checks (the default) and you’ll be re-buying your subscription every couple days. Probably not going to break the bank, but equally, for example, not a cost-effective way of reading TechCrunch.
I’m going to leave mine set up for the sites that I run and a few competitors. With competitors especially, I think that the value it delivers is actually quite good – I probably check out all competitors sites once a month or so which means that even with a long wait period of once a day, it will still be flagging updates to me on average 15 days earlier! £0.69 well spent.
Overall; fantastic for anyone wanting to monitor a competitor or other high-value data source but the cost-per-check model makes it unviable for trivial use unless you want to add a line item to your monthly subscriptions for ‘Push Notifications from slightly less instant data’.