Monday, October 17, 2011

iOS 5: Notification Center, Setting It Up

The Notification Center in iOS 5 is one of the newest improvements that Apple made to the mobile experience.  Having said that, a few people still cannot figure out just what it is and how to access it.

It's easy but Apple did not seem to have done a good job explain all this to users, just like we had to do with iMessage for you.

First when you're in the locked screen, you'll get notifications from messages, e-mails, or other push alerts.  You've seen that in iOS 4.  Nothing too new there.  I never got e-mail alerts in iOS 4 but I'm getting them now in iOS 5.  So, maybe that's an improvement.

That isn't the NC.  The NC can be assessed as a pulled-down page when you move a finger from the top of the screen (I usually placed my finger where the time is) and swipe down.  Try it.

Cool, eh?  You might see the weather there and stocks.  Here is a screen shot of mine.  I currently do no have any notifications there since I cleared them all.  You might see more in yours.  So, that's the first step.

Here is how you access the notification center settings.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Under Settings, select Notifications.  If you've upgraded from another iOS version to iOS 5, you'll notice that iOS 5 no longer gives you the option to turn off receiving notifications.  
  • Apple has provided some preset notifications.  Weather, mail, phone, messages are among a few.  You can go through each of them and decide if you want to get notifications from them.  If you scroll down, you'll also notice some apps with their notifications turned off.  You can turn them on if you like.
  • Another thing you can do is order them in the way you like them to appear. In mine, the weather is a the top.  Maybe you want your messages to appear first.  Cool.  Apple lets you do just.  Simply hit edit.  You'll see that the appearance is different.  Now, place a finger in the app that you like to move, hold it, and  you'll be able to order them up or down.  When you're finished, hit done.
  • Also, you can personalize and select the appearance of notification of each app.  There is the old way which is called "Alerts" or the new one called "banners".  Or you can select none at all and simply visit Notification Center.

Having these new featurse are very nice.  However, I figure they're a drain on the battery.  There are a few mentions, not many, that the battery life on the iPhone 4S is shorter than the iPhone 4.  I don't see it so far and I wonder what version of iOS they're running.  I would not be surprised if Apple will release an update that will allow iOS 5 to extend the battery life.  

And though I do like receiving my sports updates, when the battery is low, I would like to have the option of turning off notification updates.  At least with Location Services, the option to turn that off is still there.

Maybe Apple will let users turn off notifications in a future update.

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