What’s Up with Notifications in iOS 11? A Guide to What’s New and Improved

If you are curious about the new way notification center looks and behave, read on to find out how to use and get the most out of it.

If you just upgraded to the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 11, you might be wondering what’s up with the new notifications gesture. In previous versions of iOS, the swipe down gesture on an unlocked device activated the Today view but also gave access to your notifications in a separate tab. iOS 11 eliminates this, providing a single view of all notifications and activities. In this article, we explore the changes in detail.

How to Manage and Customize Notifications in iOS 11

As with previous versions of iOS, you access notifications by swiping down from the top. But here’s the weird thing: when you do that, it shows your lock screen. Yes, the same lock screen when your device is closed with your lock screen wallpaper. This shows both the date and time and incoming and recent notifications. You can also swipe to the right or left to access your camera and widgets just the same, too. The effect feels a bit jarring at first, but the more you use it, the more you begin to understand and like it.

Managing your notification is an important part of the user experience. Interacting with notifications is a lot quicker, too. In fact, working with the notifications screen is so efficient, it almost makes the full apps feel redundant. The swipe left and write gestures offer options to clear the notification, view it on the notifications screen, or open it in the respective application.

Owners of a 3D Touch capable iPhone, such as the 6s, 7, 8 or iPhone X, can also force touch to open the notification in view mode.

Clearing your notifications is an important chore you will need to perform from time to time. Apple expects users to use the interface for a quick glance at their app’s activities. So, if you are popular girl or guy with a lot of incoming alerts from many applications, it pays to keep your notifications up-to-date and clutter-free.

Users are expected to work with the 5 to 10 most recent notifications. But how do you deal with the backlog? I notice when you restart your Apple device, those old notifications pop up as reminders, which gets in the way a bit. You can go through each one and click clear until you achieve a pristine view, but that’s a painstaking thing to do. But thanks to 3D Touch again, you can force touch the X to zap all notifications quickly. 3D Touch felt like a gimmick when it was launched, but it’s turning out to be quite a useful function to have.

Customizing Notifications

There’s a potential problem with your notifications being accessible on your lock screen—anyone can read them without unlocking your phone.

If you are concerned about privacy, iOS 11 does offer the option to let you control how notifications are displayed on the lock screen. In Settings > Notifications, you can tap Show Previews then choose whether notifications are accessible Always, When Unlocked or Never. Individual app notification behavior can also be customized from here.

So, that’s notifications. Unusual yes, but it actually works well. Go check it out and tell us what you think.

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