Notification Center was the among the biggest features that arrived with iOS 5, but a lot has changed since then. In iOS 6, we only saw minor changes to that part of the platform. iOS 7, however, has completely overhauled the NC, and you might even say that Apple has made Notification Center what it should have been all along. Not only is it more organized, users manage to get more information out of less data. The most talked-about change regarding the Notification Center in iOS 7 in undoubtedly its ability to show up on the lock screen, but there are even more noteworthy improvements in the mix. For one thing, the whole Notification Center is now divided into three sections. You get information and widgets on one screen, and notifications on the other two. Read on to find out what the changes are all about.
As always, Notification Center shows up whenever you swipe downwards from the top of the screen. You can invoke it on the lock screen, from the SpringBoard, or within apps. Before you get too lost in the its glossy, translucent beauty though, it is a good idea to head to the Settings app and configure everything from there. The first two options in this menu deal with the newly added lock screen access. You can choose to set up the lock screen view of the NC differently by turning off either the Notifications View or the ‘Today View’. If you only want weather and calendar data on your lock screen but not the notifications sent by the installed apps, only keep the first option enabled.
The Notification Center in iOS 7 still has widgets, but they have changed to the point that you might not even recognize them. At the top of the screen, you’ll see the current date and day, followed by a weather forecast. This text-based weather forecast is actually the successor of the graphical weather widget we had til iOS 6. The displayed information includes the current temperature and wind speed, along with the condition of the sky outside. You also get the predicted high and low temperatures for the day in this section.
The Calendar widget gives a graphical view of the day’s events. If you have multiple appointments coming up, the Notification Center shows all of them on a timeline. Calendar events and reminders are now treated separately in the NC, with the upcoming reminders and alarms showing up at the bottom of the ‘Today’ tab. You can also mark completed tasks as done from within the Notification Center by tapping the circle next to their name.
The ‘Stocks’ widget seems to have grown in comparison with iOS 6. Not only can you view the latest market share prices, but it is also possible to tap the red and green values to switch between the current prices and past trends. Beware though, the Stocks widget is capable of running in the background, and might therefore drain your battery.
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For actual notifications, there are the ‘All’ and ‘Missed’ tabs. The notifications that arrive when your device is not in use appear in both tabs, while the All tab houses notifications that you want to intentionally keep unread. There’s still no way to individually dismiss notifications from a group though.
It is nice to see Apple finally parting ways with the linen look for the NC, but all the new features can take some getting used to.
This post is one part of a compilation. For info on other major new features and changes introduced in the latest iteration of Apple’s mobile OS, check out our complete iOS 7 guide.