In versions of iOS before iOS 5, notifications, the little alert messages you'd see every so often were pretty limited. They're much more powerful now. Like most things on the iPad, you configure notifications within the Settings screen, so let's go to Settings, tap Notifications and you see three main sections. The first, Sort Apps, offers two options, Manually and By Time. These control how items are displayed in Notification Center. Notification what? We'll do this.
Tap on the time in the iPad's taskbar and swipe down. The pane that sweeps down is the Notification Center, an area where you can see notifications that you've received. Not only can you see notifications, but you can also act on them, just tap one and the app associated with the notification will launch, taking you to the item that triggered the notification; a calendar event or a reminder, for example. So in this case, let's tap on Team meeting, we do that, calendars open and it shows us that event.
We'll click Done to move it out of the way, go back to the Home screen and we'll swipe down once more to see Notifications Center. To remove a group of notifications, just tap the small X to the side of the category header, and we'll tap Clear. In regard to calendars, if you tap that X then you'll lose the icon that indicates an alarm for each one of the items. However, let's tap on Game Center and see what happens, and tap Clear, and that entire entry disappears. To make the entire Notification Center disappear just tap on the Home screen or swipe up from the bottom of the pane.
Now let's go back to the Notification settings. As I was saying, you can choose to sort the order notifications appear and notification manually, or by the time that they were received. To change the order that apps appear in Notification Center when sorting manually, just tap Edit in the top right corner, and then drag the drag handle next to the app. When you choose to Sort By Time, the most recent notifications appear at the top of Notification Center, and let's go back to By Time. You can configure how notifications are offered by tapping on each app within the In Notification Center area. So tap an app and you find options for switching on and off notifications altogether with that app.
So, for example, let's tap on Reminders. So I can switch it on and off altogether, I can also choose the number of items that I'm going to show. By default, you'll see five items, but you also have the option to see just one item, 10 items or 20 items. In the Alert Style area you can choose what alerts look like when they are received. If you don't want alerts to appear at all when received, select None. If you'd like to see a banner which appears for a short time at the top of the iPad screen, tap Banners, and if you'd like to view an alert that you must confirm, choose Alerts.
Below this area, you find some options depending on the app. Now let's move back to Notifications. In this case let's choose Messages. Here we have four options. Badge App Icon is for causing a round red icon with a number inside to appear in the top right corner of an apps icon, indicating the number of notifications received by that app. You routinely see this kind of badge in the mail and App Store icons on the homepage as well as in messages. You may see a sound option appear for some apps. For example, a game might make a sound when it's your move, or a Twitter client might chirp, if you receive a tweet that's addressed to your username.
Most of the time, I turn this option off, as there's nothing more distracting than an audio alert going off in the middle of the night when you have fallen asleep with your iPad next to you. In some cases, such as in messages, you have the option to Show Preview. So in this case, if I receive an iMessage, it will pop-up and show me a little snippet of that message, and at that point I can choose to answer or not. Messages also has a Repeat Alert option. This is set by default at once, but let's tap that option, and it shows you that you can have never, twice, three times, five times, or ten times.
This is particularly useful for messages, because sometimes we miss a message when it comes in, and having it repeat every so often is a good idea so that we notice that it's happened. Let's move back one screen and View In Lock Screen is for exactly that. This instructs that app's alerts to appear on the iPad screen when you awaken it, but before you've unlocked it by swiping the slide to unlock switch. Now people routinely leave this option on for all apps, but it's not such a hot idea when you have a few dozen apps that are capable of receiving notifications. In such cases, it's easy for an important notification to get lost because of all the clutter.
Now let's go back into the Notification screen. Finally, at the bottom of the screen is a list of all the apps capable of receiving notifications that don't currently have notifications switched on. To enable notifications for one of these apps, just tap the app, and configure the options we just examined. And that's the dope on notifications, consider yourself notified. Now let's go to the Home screen and see what a notification looks like. My friend Nick is going to send me an iMessage. There it is, we see the banner alert and we see a badge up in the right corner of messages. I respond to it just by tapping on Messages, I view it, and now I can go back to the Home screen and you'll see that the badge disappears, because I've looked at the message.
Now let's take a look at it in Notification Center. Here comes another message. Now let's take a look at it in Notification Center by swiping down, there it is, and to reply to it I can simply tap on it in Notification Center, and it turns out that I did indeed eat all the chocolate so I should tell him. Now we're going to go back to the Home screen, and now I'm going to lock the iPad to show you how it looks on the locked screen. Hopefully, Nick's not too disappointed, but I guess we're going to find out. Oops! Apparently he is not happy about losing all that chocolate, but here we are on the lock screen.
Now let's suppose that we want to reply to it, we don't have to slide to unlock the screen, all we have to do is slide on the notification itself, and here it is. And that's the dope on notifications, consider yourself notified.
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