ncMeta is the missing change monitor for Mountain Lion's Notification Center. ncMeta runs as a menu bar app and monitors all notifications delivered by Mountain Lion's Notification Center. If you have unread notifications, ncMeta's icon changes to indicate the unread notifications. Click on the icon to see which apps have delivered unread notifications.

Version 1.0. OS X 10.8 required. For free.
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  • ncMeta runs in your menu bar and shows a little empty circle icon. Until you miss one of Notification Center's numerous notifications (at least I miss them all the time). Once you have missed a notification, ncMeta's icon will change to show a red filling.
  • Open the Notification Center to reset ncMeta's icon. Or, even better, click on ncMeta's icon to show a list of the apps that have delivered unread notifications. ncMeta's menu will also show the number of unread notifications each app has delivered.


ncMeta - No Unread Notifications
ncMeta - Unread Notifications
ncMeta - Menu

Release Notes

ncMeta 1.0 (November 2012)

Initial release.


Why isn't ncMeta available on the Mac App Store?

ncMeta uses some (little) hacks to read out the database file storing the notifications shown in Notification Center. Apple doesn't really want developers to access this database and hasn't provided a public API for it. So I don't see a chance Apple would approve the app.

Why doesn't have Mountain Lion such a functionality?

Good question. A similar functionality was contained in the Mountain Lion beta previews, but was apparently removed by Apple in the final build.

Why does ncMeta show a smaller number of unread notifications than I've actually missed?

If you miss more notifications from an app than you have configured to be shown in Notification Center's preferences for this app, Notification Center will delete the oldest missed notificiations. The number of unread notifications shown by ncMeta is therefore never higher than the maximum number of recent items still available in Notification Center.

How does ncMeta work?

Have a look for yourself: ncMeta is open source software.