For many, many years, Growl has been the king of notifications on the Mac. Now that Notification Center is coming to the desktop in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Growl users are all standing around waiting to see what happens in the aftermath. Will applications still use Growl, or will everyone switch exclusively to Notification Center? Are the customizability features in Growl useful enough to get people to use it once your Mac has a baked-in option? Very good questions, and the developers clearly aren’t giving up. Version 1.4 is now available on the Mac App Store with a load of new features. Here are the broad strokes.

The configuration user interface has been significantly cleaned up. When you go to manipulate the settings for all of Growl or for each app that uses Growl, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that it is easier to find what you’re looking for. Importantly, they’ve done a handful of improvements for triggering Growl notifications over the network. Expect that to be easier and more stable. Also of note are a number of crashing bugs have been fixed, so the whole app is better tip to tail. If you’re already using Growl, go update now. New users need to drop $1.99 USD.

If you’re interested in reading all of the nitty gritty, it is available after the jump.

Full Changelog:

General
– Applications Tab Redesign! This is a major overhaul, and should be much easier to use.
– Moved Rollup controls to separate tab.
– Major improvements to networking.

Preference Pane overhaul
– New slider switch for on/off switches
– Added keyboard support to position picker.
– General Tab Relayout.
– Networking tab – Add support for subscription
– History Tab, contextual menu for history table to jump to the app/notification settings
– Rollup tab is the new home of controls related to the Rollup window.
– Adding a new display should not require a restart of Growl now.

Networking
– Support for Notification-Callback-Target, a URL field in GNTP. Upon click, Growl lets OSX figure out how to open the URL (such as the default browser for an http:// url)
– Subscription support, subscribe to all applications on a remote machine.
– General improvements to networking authentication, removed requirement for, and use of password headers if the password field is blank
– Fix networking crash related to address data resolution.
– Bind to local socket only if not listening for incoming notifications.
– Address data caching, and observation of network changes to clear caches

Applescript
– URL click feedback support, same as Notification-Callback-Target in GNTP

Bug fixes
– Resolved a crash with webkit plugin bridge on creation.
– Resolved a crash with forwarding.
– Resolved an issue where the Speech display waits for previous message to complete causing a CPU drain
– Resolved a crash with CFErrorGetDomain for WebKit Display Styles.
– Fixed duplicate listings of display plugins on reinstall.
– Notification-Callback-Target is now respected, and used, even without the method header.
– Worked around problems with corrupt history databases.
– Fixed a sorting problem when deleting a single entry in the history list.