Android's notifications

I flashed Jelly Bean on my Nokia N9. All's going smooth and stuff but something's been really irritating. I can't seem to find any way to do real-time notifications on Android.

All apps seem to do this syncing thing which means that my phone will not notify me of new stuff unless I actually ask it to check. Either that or get like a long long delay on a Twitter mention... (I use Boid by the way)

How do you get real-time notifications on Android? And this the case with all Android devices? Would really appreciate the help. Thanks!