Notifications in iOS5 (Review)

June 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm

From the beginning of the iPhone notifications had always been one of the most criticized parts of iOS. Where a boring blue box used to come up on your screen and stops you from whatever you were doing until you decided what you were going to do with the notification. In iOS5 one of the main revamped features is notifications, which are very improved  both in design and functionality. Also all your notifications are sorted in the notification centre , opened by sliding your finger from top to bottom.

In iOS 5 the way notification are shown to the user are much less obstructive which can be seen in the picture above. When a new alert is received , a really well designed notification bar come down from the top onto the status bar and dismisses automatically. Users may also click on the notification which will take them straight to respective app, e.g. if users receive a new message they may either click on the notification to take them to the message, swipe down from the notification to show the alert in the notification centre, or let it dismiss automatically after a few seconds.

The notification centre shown above , which can be activated by swiping down from the status bar to the bottom , is a great feature in iOS5. In the notification centre you have all your notifications and also some cool widgets. Right now there are only two widgets, the weather and the stock, which are both interactive ( e.g. the stock apps may be swiped to show all the stocks, while the weather app may be swiped to show 5 day weather). Also note it is unclear if Apple will release more widgets for the notification centre , but the young lad Qwertyoruiop has released a way on how to add widgets to the notification centre by the jailbreak community(UISettings) . More interactive widgets would be great as they are very organized and all accessible in by swiping down. Your app notifications are also very well organize, there are also many settings which are shown below.

The settings section for notifications is very well designed with a multiple number of settings. Firstly users may sort their notification by time or manually , where users may organize which position they want their apps to be in. When clicking on an app , you have multiple settings which are to either switch on or off the notification from showing, to show 1 , 5 or 10 recent items for that app and to show in the lockscreen. Users also can customize the alert style, as shown in the picture below, by showing nothing , banners (new Apple alert) or alerts (old Apple alert). Users may also show the badge icon number , and also sound for that notification.

Although notifications have been greatly improved, and this is where we thank Apple , there is still much more room for improvement which may either come from Apple or the Jailbreak community. As we still are in the first beta version of iOS5 , we may see alot of changes in the upcoming betas.

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