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iOS5 Focus: Notifications Screen

The new iOS5 Notifications Screen has received a lot of hype. And rightly so as it is long overdue for Apple to improve the notifications system within iOS – the current single ‘badge’ alert provides very little information and only shows the most recent event.

The new notifications system is a huge improvement, and many will point out that it is a rip-off of the Android notification system, but there are a few key differences.

When the phone is screen locked you receive a notification either at the top of the screen or in the middle similar to the traditional ‘badge’ – this choice is customisable per application.

Once unlocked, a downward swipe on the homescreen reveals the new system and you will quickly see all your notifications stack up into a long list – they scroll off the screen and in the example above they continue downwards some way. An immediate problem (and difference from Android) is there is no ‘Clear All‘ button, the best you can do is click the X to the right of each application name and clear all notifications for that specific application. Leave your phone for a few hours and SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Calendar and other notifications can all produce quite a long unweildy list to manage.

If the phone is in use, the notifications are much nicer here too, a bar across the top of the screen ‘rotates’ downto show the event, says visible for a period of about 5 seconds and then rotates away again.Unlike the current system, not interaction is required, and it will not affect the App in current use, so if you’re composing an email or playing a game you won’t be interrupted.

During the visible period you can click on it to jump directly to the App, and once it’s gone it remains in the full notifications pulldown area.

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