Oftentimes when you're performing one task on your iPhone or iPod touch, maybe checking your email or playing a game or watching a video, other applications will need your attention. Maybe you receive a text message or a voicemail. Let's take a look at how to manage the way alerts and messages pop up on your device. For example, maybe while I'm browsing a web page I receive a text message. I'm alerted to this by a notification area that temporarily appears at the top of my screen. This allows me to glance at and preview my message without leaving my browser and after a few seconds the notification disappears and I can continue reading.
Now I've received another text message. Again, I can read the notification and see who sent it. In this case though, I want to respond to this notification so I'll just tap it and immediately I'm switched over to the Messages app, and here in Messages I could type my reply. So notifications in iOS 6 are fairly unobtrusive. You can ignore them and they'll disappear after a few seconds or you can tap them to go right to the app that sent the notification. Now if the notification disappears before you get a chance to tap it, you can quickly access all your notifications from any screen or application you're in by sliding a finger down from the top of the screen.
This opens the Notification Center. Here you'll find all your recent notifications as well as some widgets that provide useful information like the weather, your calendar, and buttons to quickly compose a Tweet or Facebook status update if you setup your accounts on your device. Tapping any item in here takes you to the related app. You can also specify what apps you want to receive notifications from. Go to Settings and Notifications. Here I can choose if I want the apps sorted manually or by the time they appeared. If I choose by time, the most recent notifications will be at the top of the Notification Center or you can choose manually so you can manually arrange the order of the items down here in the Notification Center area.
We can do that by tapping Edit and dragging the items around in the order you want. Tap Done when you're done editing. So here in the Notification Center area is where you can determine which apps and widgets you want to hear from. For example, maybe I don't really follow the stock market so I don't need the Stock widget taking up space in the Notification Center. So I'll tap it and turn it off. Under Not In Notification Center you'll find all the other apps you have installed that are capable of sending notifications, but aren't currently enabled to do so.
Just tap any one to add it to the list of items that appear in your Notification Center. I'll select Mail and turn it on so I'll receive notifications when I receive new email messages. You can also decide what type of alert pops up when you receive a notification from an app. There are three alert styles here you can choose from. None displays no on-screen message when you receive a notification, but you'll still see the notification in the Notification Center. Banner is the message that appears at the top of the screen that we just saw with my two incoming text messages and Alerts opens a pop-up window you can dismiss.
I'll leave Banner selected. So now when I receive a new email I see this banner and I can ignore it or tap it to go right to my email. Lastly, notifications also continue to work when you have your phone locked. So for example maybe I put my phone down and now I'm receiving a call, but I'm in another room and I don't hear it ringing. Now I have a missed call notification. Now I've received a text message. Again, maybe I wasn't in the same room as my phone.
I'll let my screen go dark again and when I come back to my phone and press the Home or Lock button, I can see my two notifications without unlocking my phone. This lets me quickly glance at what I have missed. Now if I want to jump directly to reply to my text message or to call this person back, I just need to slide the icon for that notification to the right and I'm taken right to that area. So that's how notifications work in iOS 6.
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