Often times, 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. In iOS 5, Apple has refined the way alerts and messages appear on your device. For example, maybe while I'm playing this game, 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 game, and as you just saw, after a few seconds, the notification disappears, and I can continue playing my game.
Now I've received another text message. Again, I can read the notification and see who sent it. In this case, I want to respond to this notification, so I'll tap it and I'm immediately switched over to the Message app, and I can type my reply. So, notifications on iOS 5 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 of your notifications from any screen or any application you're in by sliding a finger down from the top of the screen.
This opens the notifications center. Here, you'll find all your recent notifications as well as some widgets that provide useful information like the weather, your schedule, and stock prices. I don't see the recent text I just received because I just read them both. But, you can see here I have a notification from my calendar telling me about my weight training appointment. Now, tapping on any notification in here takes you to the related app. So, tapping weather has opened up the Weather app. You can also specify what apps you want to receive notifications from. I'll go back to my home screen, and from here, I'll go to Settings, Notifications.
Here, I can choose if I want the app sorted manually or by the time they appeared. If you choose By Time, the most recent notifications will be at the top of the notifications center, or you can choose Manually, so you can manually arrange the order of the items down here in the In Notification Center area by tapping Edit, and then dragging the items in the order you want, and you can tap Done when you're done. So here in the In Notification Center area is where you can determine which apps and widgets you want to hear from.
For example, I don't really follow the stock market, so I don't need the Stock Market widget taking up space in my notifications center. So, I'll tap it and turn it off. Under the Not In Notification Center area, 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 notifications center. So I'll select Mail and turn it on, so I'll receive notifications when I receive new emails. Now, there are three Alert Styles you can choose from here. None displays no on-screen message when you receive a notification, but you'll still see your notification in the notifications center.
Banner is the message that appears at the top of the screen we just saw with my two incoming text messages. And Alerts opens a pop- up window you can dismiss. I'll stick with Banners. Let's go back to the home screen. So, now when I receive a new email, I see this banner, and I can either ignore it or I can 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 phone 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, and my screen will go dark again. When I come back to my phone and press the Home or Lock button, I can see my two notifications without unlocking my phone, and this lets me quickly glance at what I missed, and 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, now that I have my notification set up, I can continue going about my business on my phone, maybe getting back to my game, and I'll continue receiving notifications when emails and text messages come in, and again, if I choose to ignore them, I can always go and view them all in one place in the notifications center and that's how notifications work in iOS 5.
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