Notification Center may be nothing new to iOS users, but iOS 7 brings a bit of an overhaul to the veritable notification bar. Here’s a guide to what’s new, what’s different, and what’s been removed.
The first big change is that there are now three sections to Notification Center: Today, All, and Missed.
Today replaces many of the widgets that were originally displayed at the top of Notification Center. This shows the current weather in a human-readable forecast, saying what the weather today will be, what the current temperature is, and what the high will be. Below this, Notification Center will tell you what events you have today and show you which events are coming up in the next few hours. Below this, the Stocks widget is displayed. At the bottom, the summary of events for the next day is displayed.
All is the traditional list of notifications: based on how they are sorted in Settings, apps’ recent notifications will all display here as they come in. Tap the X next to an app’s name in this view to clear out all of that app’s notifications.
Missed shows notifications as well, but only ones that appeared while the device was locked. These are not sorted by app, but are sorted purely by when they came in. Clearing the app’s notifications out of All or opening up the app the notifications came from will clear it out of Missed.
As well, Notification Center is now available from the lock screen, so you can see the Today, All, and Missed notification views from this screen. As well, you must swipe on the notification itself to open it up – the bottom Slide to unlock bar will always unlock the device, not view the most recent notification.
Many of the settings for Notification Centerremain the same as they were in previous versions, particularly arranging notifications for the All view, but there’s new settings for the new features. You can control Access on Lock Screen to enable or disable access to the Today view and to view notifications while the device is locked. Disable both to disable the Notification Center pulldown on the lock screen entirely.
The Today View settings control which widgets appear in Notification Center. Most notably, the ability to share to Twitter and Facebook from Notification Center has been removed.
This covers the changes to Notification Center in iOS 7. Now go on, be notified! Be aware!
Is Notification Center far too busy? Can you not find what you want at any point, and thus any semblance of usability for the drop-down menu has gone the way of the dodo? Well, we can help you de-clutter Notification Center with these handy tips!
Clear out individual apps:
Most apps’ notifications will clear when you enter the app, but some, like Instagram, will not disappear. Thus, just pull down from the top status bar to access Notification Center, scroll to the app that’s got too many notifications, tap the X to the right of the app’s name, and then tap Clear. All these notifications will disappear and the app won’t reappear until new notifications come in.
Disable notifications for an app entirely:
Do you really need to see notifications for that game you barely play? Well, to disable notifications entirely, go to Settings -> Notifications, and scroll down to the app you want to disable. From here, turn Notification Center off, and this will hide notifications from appearing in the drop-down menu, though they will still come in. If you want to disable them entirely, set Alert Style to None, and disable Badge App Icon and Sounds.
Reduce the number of items that appear in Notification Center:
It’s also possible to just make an app take up fewer slots in the menu. Go to the app’s page in the Notifications setting menu, and tap the Show menu. From here you can only show 1, 5, or 10 recent items. All notifications will still come in, but only that many recent ones will appear.
Use manual notification sorting:
So, you still want notifications to appear in Notification Center but maybe just want to have the important ones appear first? From the main Notifications settings menu, choose Manually under Sort Apps:, and then tap the Edit button in the top-right corner. You can now use the drag selector on the right side of an app’s listing to drag it around in the list. Apps will always appear in the order you specify. Note that new apps always get added to the bottom of the list, so you must always sort them to your desired position yourself.
If you don’t need to check stocks, think social media is for teenagers, or live in Texas and don’t need to check the weather ever, you can disable each of the three built-in widgets by tapping on their entries in the Notifications settings and turning Notification Center to off.
Hopefully these tips have made Notification Center a much more useful place for you!
Sometimes how to articles can cover topics that might seem too advanced. This week, however, I want to cover Notification Center, that helpful list of notifications that can be displayed by swiping down from the status bar. It is possible to manage different apps’ notifications and how they appear on a device, and this guide will make it hopefully less daunting to manage.
To manage notifications, go to Settings and select Notifications. First you will see Do Not Disturb, Sort Apps, and In Notification Center. We’re going from bottom to top.
Each individual app that supports notifications is in this list. For apps from the App Store, this is the default view:
The Notification Center toggles whether the app will appear in the list of notifications available by pulling down from the status bar. Notifications will still appear if enabled. Show will configure how many entries will appear in Notification Center. This way, one app can’t clutter up too much space in the list, or important apps can show many recent notifications.
Alert Style can be set to Banners, which shows the standard relatively unobtrusive banner that appears across the top of the screen. Alerts makes the notification pop up in the middle of the screen, which must be dismissed before continuing to use your device. This is the style of notification that appeared before iOS 5. None means that no alert will appear at all.
Badge App Icon means that as notifications come in, the number on the app will update. Disable this if that number is unimportant or just annoying. Sounds can be toggled to make notifications have sounds or not. View in Lock Screen causes notifications to appear in the lock screen – this can be disabled for emails to protect their private contents, for example. These settings can be mixed and matched: for example, if you want to know about incoming tweets while your phone is locked but not while you’re using it, just enabled View in Lock Screen and Sounds, and then you won’t be bothered while actually using your device, though you can still hear the sounds go off.
Different system apps have different settings: Phone lets you configure the Ringtone from its entry. Messages lets you configure several extra sound and display settings:
Mail lets you configure different notifications for different accounts, along with the VIP settings, as covered in an earlier topic. Finally, the Weather and Share Widgets are just simple On-Off toggles.
Sort Apps allows for apps to either be sorted by time, meaning the latest notification to come in move sall that app’s notifications to the top, or Manually. This means that based on how the apps are sorted in this settings page, done by tapping Edit in the top-right corner and dragging the icon that appears on the right of each list item to move them, will make the notifications always appear in that order in Notification Center.
Do Not Disturb allows for notifications to not go off at certain times. It can be manually enabled in Settings right below Notifications, or it can be scheduled to be set at specific times in Notification Center. Turning the Scheduled switch on allows for specific times to be set on a daily basis for when notifications will not make sounds. Calls can be set to be allowed from Everyone, No One, Favorites in your contacts, or by Groups of contacts. Finally, Repeated Calls means that if someone tries to call again within 3 minutes, then it will not be silenced, so really important calls are not missed.
Hopefully by learning what each setting does, now you know how to manage your notifications like a pro!
In iOS 5 with Notification Center, there was finally the ability to get push notifications for all emails that came in through the official Mail app. There was just one problem, not every email is necessarily all that important to make one’s phone go buzzing all willy-nilly.
Thankfully, that’s what the VIP feature in iOS 6 is designed to alleviate. It’s possible to get a push notification when certain people send emails. Setting it up is easy.
Open up Mail. Go to the Mailboxes screen, by tapping the upper left arrow until it disappears. Then tap on VIP. If a VIP has already been set up, then tap the blue arrow on the right. This will open up the VIP list. Tap Add VIP… to set up a contact as a VIP. Only people with email addresses will be selectable as VIPs. Note that as of iOS 6.0, all of a contact’s email addresses are added as a VIP, so separate contact cards will need to be set up for a person in order to not have certain emails show up in VIP.
The VIP inbox should now be selectable from the Inboxes section of Mail, below All Inboxes. This inbox includes all recent email from VIPs, from all accounts.
The beauty of VIP email is that it exists as a different set of rules in Notification Center, so there’s no need to enable all notifications for Mail, or only certain ones like sounds can be enabled while VIPs will appear as a banner. These can be configured from the VIP List screen by tapping VIP Alerts, or by going to Settings -> Notifications -> Mail -> VIP. VIPs can be configured to appear as alerts, and everyone else as banners. Look at them up and their emails up there in that tiny banner. They’re like ants from up here. VIP emails will show in Notification Center with a star to to differentiate from non-VIP email notifications.
There’s a drawback for Gmail users looking to take advantage of VIP notifications: as built-in Gmail support is still Fetch-only, this means that true Push will only work through Gmail accounts set up as Exchange accounts.
Has the VIP inbox helped tame the email beast? Let us know in the comments?
Apple shocked the world today by announcing a brand-new operating system for desktop devices, less than a year after the launch of OS X Lion. Codenamed Mountain Lion, the latest update further blurs the line between home computers and tablets, bringing a host of features that make your MacBook or iMac run more like an iPad. Here’s a rundown of some of the major additions and how they work.
Messages – Built to replace the current iChat system, the Messages app seamlessly integrates with iMessage, allowing users to chat across platforms. If you’re at work but want to get a message out to a loved one’s iPhone all you have to do is pop into Messages and start typing. The service is free and supports text, photos and even high-def video sharing.
Reminders – Create and organize tasks and to-do lists on your computer, then push them out to all your devices via iCloud. Need to run a bunch of errands this weekend? Reminders has you covered.
Notification Center – Another iOS concept ported over to the Mac, Notification Center groups all your alerts in one place to easily view and/or dismiss at your convenience. No more alerts popping up all over the screen, now things are contained to one place off to the side, minimizing interruption.
Game Center – You know it, you love it, it’s here. Any questions?
For those who can’t get enough, Apple has also released the following video showcasing all the cool new features present in OS X Mountain Lion:
While no price has yet been announced Apple expects to launch Mountain Lion this summer. Furthermore, developers can sign up for access right now and begin tinkering with this new, iOS inspired operating system. Apple has long been the company most devoted to making the desktop and mobile experience as analogous as possible, and things seem to be going to a whole new level with Mountain Lion. In the immortal words of Philip J. Fry, “Shut up and take my money!”