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iOS: Understanding notifications

Notifications provide alerts and related information for iOS apps. You can view notifications in the Notification Center. This article provides an overview of notifications and some simple troubleshooting steps.

iOS apps can provide three types of notifications:

  • Sounds: An audible alert plays.
  • Alerts/Banners: An alert or banner appears on the screen.
  • Badges: An image or number appears on the application icon.

You can access Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen. Just swipe down from the top of the screen.

You can tap a notification in the Lock screen to open the related application.

By default Notification Center will show you Today view, which gives you a summary of what you need to know about for the day and a peek at tomorrow. The new All and Missed views let you see all your alerts or just those you haven't addressed in the last 24 hours. Swipe right while on Today view to see the All view. Swipe right while on All view to see Missed view.

You can view which apps provide notifications and adjust notification settings using Settings > Notification Center. For additional information, refer to the user guide for your device.

To see recently updated apps, go to the All view and scroll down to App Store.

Additional Information

If you have an app that could send frequent notifications (for example, Mail with high-traffic email accounts, Twitter apps, and so on), your iOS device could wake frequently to display the notification (and affect battery life). You can disable Show on Lock Screen for a particular app in Settings > Notification Center > <app name>.

You can customize what you see on your Today view. Go to Settings > Notification Center and using the switches, select which options your would like to show in Today view. You can choose to sort your notifications manually or by time. If you have chosen to sort manually, tap edit in the upper right corner, and drag your notifications to your desired order using .

Troubleshooting notifications

Push notifications require an active Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

Note: Notifications use Wi-Fi only when a cellular connection is unavailable. Firewalls and proxy servers may affect your ability to receive notifications. For more information, see Unable to use Apple Push Notification service (APNs).

If you're not receiving notifications for a specific app, try these steps:

  1. Verify that the app supports notifications. 
  2. After installing an app or restoring a backup to a different iOS device, open the app to begin receiving notifications. If the app requires entering or logging in to an account, you will need to do this before receiving notifications.
  3. Check Settings > Notification Center to ensure that the app is configured for notifications. If notifications do not appear in the Notification Center, verify that the Notification Center setting for the app is enabled.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jan 17, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jan 17, 2014
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