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The general purpose of start dates is to hide actions which you are unable or unwilling to work on before the start date. If I mow the lawn today, I don't want to see the "Mow the lawn" task again until a week from today. It doesn't however necessarily mean that I plan to mow the lawn a week from today, just that it doesn't make sense to do so before then.

OmniFocus doesn't do notifications for start dates on the iOS devices, although it does (via Growl) on the Mac. I vaguely recall there being some way to have Growl pipe those notifications to an iOS client, but don't recall the details.

I use the Forecast view to keep track of actions and projects starting today. If you bring up the Forecast view, then tap the eyeball icon, you should be able to configure it to also show actions starting today, not just those due today.

It is not currently possible to create perspectives on the iOS devices, although you can use context-based perspectives created on the Mac and automatically synced as part of the database.