This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series iOS Notifications

Now that you’ve set your notification settings, it’s time to learn about the Notification Center. The Notification Center is where you can view all active notifications.

Can you relate?

I saw a notification pop up, but I can’t find it now.

I have too many notifications and get overwhelmed.

Home screen with arrow showing swipe downNotifications are accessed by tapping the top center edge of the screen and dragging down toward the middle of the device. Although this sounds easy enough, it can be a challenge. It’s actually quite easy to open the Search screen by accident. This happens when you tap toward the top of the screen (instead of at the top edge of the screen) and dragging down.

Notification Center screen

The Notification Center screen includes all notifications. As mentioned in the iOS Notifications Style post of this series, notifications are grouped by app, by default. This means that when they appear in the Notification Center they’ll appear tiled one on top of the other.

Grouped notifications are helpful because they categorize notifications by app which helps with overall organization and can prevent confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed.Notification Center with notifications grouped

Expanding grouped notifications

Notifications expandedGrouped notifications expand, revealing all notifications in that group, when the top notification of the group is tapped. Scrolling down reveals all notifications within the group.

Show Less notifications

Notifications are re-grouped when the Show less option is tapped.

Clear all notifications

All notifications can be cleared from the Notification Center by tapping the X next to the Show Less button.This clears all notifications from the Notification Center regardless of app.

Clear notification groupsGroup notification options Clear All

All notifications within a specific group can be cleared by swiping left and tapping Clear All. Be aware that clearing all notifications within a group before you look at each of them may be problematic.

Notification options

Clear individual notifications

Individual notifications are cleared by swiping left on the desired notification and tapping Clear.


Troubleshooting notifications

Now that you have a better understanding of the Notifications settings options, let’s explore a couple of reasons why notifications might not work as you wish:

  • The Allow Notifications option is OFF. This will prevent notifications from showing onscreen or making alert sounds.
  • The Allow Notifications option is ON, but the Sound option is OFF. In this scenario, notifications will display either as a banner or alert, but there won’t be any sound associated with the visual notification.

Making Cognitive Connections

Make Cognitive ConnectionsNotifications settings are an important feature that helps individuals with cognitive challenges stay on time and on task. Using it effectively involves the following cognitive skills:

  • Attention to Detail — Be aware of which settings are on and which Alert Style is selected.
  • Memory — Remember that you can adjust notifications according to your needs on an app-by-app basis.
  • Decision Making — You decide which apps should include notifications and which settings are important for each app.
  • Problem Solving — It may be necessary to problem solve when sounds or alerts aren’t working as expected.

In conclusion…

iOS has both visual and audio notifications. Each app has its own notifications settings. What happens when notifications don’t work? We miss appointments, fail to receive important alerts from apps, etc. Understanding the various Notifications settings is important, especially when alerts don’t work as expected.

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