Notifications are tricky; you want to be able to look at your phone and know what the notification is for without actually going into the app. At the same time, you don’t want anyone else to be able to look at your locked phone and see a snippet from an email or text message. iOS has a setting that lets you hide the preview of a notification on a per-app basis. It effectively turns off the notification preview for said app regardless if your iPhone is locked or unlocked. This gives you privacy but also prevents you from getting notification previews when your phone is unlocked and in your hands. As of iOS 10.2 though, you can hide the preview on the lock screen but allow it to appear when your phone isn’t locked. Here’s how.
iOS 10.2 is still in Beta so the ability to hide the preview on your lock screen but allow it on your home screen is only available for native apps like Messages.
To block notification previews on just the lock screen, open the Settings app and tap the app you want to hide the previews for. In this case, it’s the Messages app. Tap it and scroll to the very bottom where you will see a section called ‘Messages Options’. Tap the ‘Show Previews’ option.
The Show Previews screen has two options; Always and When Unlocked. ‘Always’ will enable previews on the lock screen as well as on the home screen. ‘When Unlocked’ will show a preview only when your phone is unlocked.
The new setting allows you to preview notifications from apps when you’re working on something else on your phone but doesn’t put your privacy at risk should you leave your phone, locked, on your desk.
Given iOS 10.2 is in beta, we can’t be 100% sure that this feature will be made available to third-party apps but we’re going to be optimistic about it. It really should have been part of iOS years ago but only now has it occurred to Apple to include this option in iOS.