Finally, At Last, After Far Too Long, The Wait Is Over – iOS Notifications That Work

It seems like this is the feature that is getting the least amount of fanfare, but is probably in my opinion one of the most needed.

Android and Jailbreaks?

I’ve been pining after the Android notification tray for a while now. I love that it’s unobtrusive, and persistant. I’ve gotten used to some of the basic functionality of a LockInfo app that’s available on jailbroken phones.

Lock Screen Info

TIPB’s review had a great overview of the notifications that show on the lock screen of iOS devices.

  • If it’s a single notification, you get a single popup.
  • If it’s multiple notifications, you get a stacked list view.
  • If it’s a single notification but there have been previous unread notifications, you get a single popup but can view the complete list by swiping down from the time/date bar (a small gripper icon indicates when this is possible.)
  • If it’s a notification along with a secondary action, for example Snooze for an alarm notification, a secondary button will also appear for that action.

One of the coolest things on the new lock screen is the ability to drag the icon and unlock the device and load the app.

Notification Banners

No one likes obtrusive notifications. The new notification banners are awesome because they show you the information you need without getting in the way of whatever you’re doing.

Notification Banners appear appear briefly at the top of the screen whenever your device is unlocked, and are animated with a roll down, roll back up effect. Tapping a Notification Banner sends you to the app that issued the alert and shows you the information.

Notification Center

The biggest thing I was waiting for from iOS 5 was probably the notification center. You simply swipe downwards from the status bar and out pops a widget filled tray of notification goodness.

There is a notification list sorted by application below a weather and stock widget. The tray is simple and elegant, and it’s awesome to finally have persistant notifications.

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