Macworld Masterclass: How to use iOS 5's Notification Centre

Learn how to make the most of Notification Centre; Apple's brand-new approach to notifications within iOS 5

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  • 06Being Picky Intro
  • 01Main Illustration Step 1: Swiping down
  • 02Swiping Down Step 2: Lock screen
  • 03Lock Screen Step 3: Notification Centre settings
  • 04Banners Step 4: Banners
  • 05Notification Centre Settings Step 5: Specifying apps
  • 06Being Picky Step 6: Email
  • More stories
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Intro

For the past four major releases of iOS, users have been consistently ranting that the way iOS handles notifications is intrusive and annoying. But in iOS 5, Apple has adopted a new layout and way of handling notifications that we have found to be both much more elegant and less intrusive to the user. The most obvious need for a redesigned way of notifying the user is the fact that with previous versions of iOS, a notification dialogue interferes with whatever the user is doing at the time: for example, getting a high score in a game, replying to an email or watching a film. That’s why we think the new Notification Centre is something iOS 5 users will welcome with open arms.

Vital Info

Devices: iPhone 3GS/4/4S; iPad/iPad 2
Difficulty: Beginner
Time required: 10 minutes

What you need

iOS 5

Next »

Next Prev 06Being Picky

For the past four major releases of iOS, users have been consistently ranting that the way iOS handles notifications is intrusive and annoying. But in iOS 5, Apple has adopted a new layout and way of handling notifications that we have found to be both much more elegant and less intrusive to the user. The most obvious need for a redesigned way of notifying the user is the fact that with previous versions of iOS, a notification dialogue interferes with whatever the user is doing at the time: for example, getting a high score in a game, replying to an email or watching a film. That’s why we think the new Notification Centre is something iOS 5 users will welcome with open arms.

Vital Info

Devices: iPhone 3GS/4/4S; iPad/iPad 2
Difficulty: Beginner
Time required: 10 minutes

What you need

iOS 5

 

Step 2 of 7: Step 1: Swiping down

Apple has adopted a completely new way of viewing notifications; in iOS 5 users are able to swipe down from the top of their device to reveal a dropdown menu showing the user their notifications. From here, you can touch a notification and be taken to the application to view it and act on it.

 

Step 3 of 7: Step 2: Lock screen

In iOS 5, users are able to review all the notifications they got while they were away from their device within one clean, unblemished area in the lock screen. What’s more, the user can then swipe the notification to be instantly taken to the application in order to act upon it.

 

Step 4 of 7: Step 3: Notification Centre settings

For those that like to customise their device to fit their exact needs, iOS 5 gives the user the ability to set the order in which notifications appear in the drop down menu, how they want to arrange them, what applications are actually present within the Centre and if they are notified by an icon badge, a sound or a banner.

 

Step 5 of 7: Step 4: Banners

A banner in iOS 5 is a subtle notification that appears when you’re using your device and get a notification. In iOS 4, the user would be interrupted until they acted on the notification but in iOS 5, they can act upon it when they’ve finished a level on a game, a document or watching their favourite episode of The Office.

 

Step 6 of 7: Step 5: Specifying apps

If an app you’re running for the first time on iOS 5 wants to display notifications, you’re prompted to give it permission via a small dialogue box. If you decide you’ve made the wrong decision, you can easily remove or add an application to Notification Centre via the Settings app.

 

Step 7 of 7: Step 6: Email

One significant benefit of Notification Centre is that new emails are notified to the user in a more refined way and the user does not have to navigate to the home screen and look at the icon badges. Simply swipe down or touch a banner and you’re able to reply, forward and act on an email in a matter of seconds.

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