Nearly all iOS Apple and third-party apps incorporate some type of notification feature. For many of us, our iOS devices are the hub where we access information and communicate with others throughout the day. We want to stay up-to-date with emails, important news items, weather reports, direct Twitter messages, game updates, calendar appointments, and the like, without having to always open individual applications.
Before the recent release of iOS 5, app notifications would pop up in the middle of the screen of an iOS device, which was sometimes annoying, especially if you’re talking on the phone or playing a game. But with the new Notification Center, getting notified is nearly trouble-free. This core feature is perhaps one of the main reasons why most iOS users will want to update to the new iOS.
How It Works
Notification Center basically collects all of your notifications – emails, text messages, calendar appointments, Reminders—all in one place. You get the option of having Notification Center display in Lock screen mode, briefly display banner format at the top of the screen from within any application; and best of all by swiping down with one finger from the top of the screen—again, from within any program.
You can swipe or tap on any notification to view it within its respective app. So basically Notification Center allows you to view all of your new notifications at a glance.
Setting Up Notifications
Since most iOS apps include some type of notification feature, you would definitely want to take some time to enable or disable which notifications you want to receive alerts from, and how you want to receive them. These options have been in the iOS since the last two upgrades, but they are significantly enhanced in iOS 5. As you might have guessed, making changes to the notifications is done through the Settings >Notifications app.
Inside Notifications, you get a list of all the apps currently enabled in the Notification Center, and the ones that are not.
First off, notice that you can sort the order in which you want groups of notifications to appear in the Notifications display. By default, they are sorted by app. So for example if the Weather Widget report is not at the top of the list (pardon the pun) of information you need to know, you can click the Edit button on the top-right and move that notification lower on the list.
On the other hand, you can sort apps by the date and time they arrive or are updated. Notifications will appear grouped by the most recent update.
Fortunately, you can disable notifications for any app. So if you don’t have stock to exchange on the Stock Market, you can simply tap that Stock Widget and turn it off, which is enabled by default. The same goes for other apps in your list that you want to enable or disable.
Next, you want to decide how notification alerts will display. Apple has set it up for them to appear either in the form of a small banner at the top of the screen, or as an alert notice in the Lock Screen mode. Banner alerts appear for a few seconds and then automatically go away. You can also of course choose to not get alerts this way by tapping “None.”
iOS apps have various types of other alerts, including sound alerts, little red numeric badge notifications that display on app icons, and alerts that appear in Lock Screen mode.
As you use these style features, you will see which ones work best for how you want to be notified.
You will also want to decide how many recent items you want to receive at a time from particular applications. For example, if you receive a lot of email messages, you may want to limit them to the most recent five. Unfortunately, you can’t mark email messages as read from within the Notification Center display. You can only clear or close notifications.
When a single alert arrives in the Lock Screen, you can swipe to have that item open directly in its respective application.
There’s much to look forward to with Notification Center, such as a “Quick Look” preview of email messages, the ability to tap a Reminder item as done, and voice announcements of designated messages or alerts – similar to the Siri digital assistant in iPhone 4S.
See this article for other amazing new features in iOS 5.