Using Notifications On Your iPhone 4s

When you are first getting used to your new iPhone 4s, or any iPhone running on the iOS 5, there are going to be a whole series of in depth features that you have to get used to.  The majority of them are very user friendly and easy to get used to, but they are still new and require an adjustment.  The way that the iPhone 4s utilizes Notifications is both efficient and unique, but it often much different than other cell phones.  Here is a guide on how to use the Notification Center when you are starting out, how to make changes, and what every element means.

Notifications have always been a prime part of the iOS, but with the iOS 5 it took leaps and bounds forward.  The Notifications system is simply to notify you of certain things that are taking place.  This has always been a part of the mobile phone experience, and you get proper notifications for receiving phone calls and text messaging.  The iOS wants to integrate apps and other functions into this process with the same kind of regularity, so it includes all of it as part of the Notifications system.  With this you can get Notifications from your email, different apps, and other elements within the phone.  What is different with the iOS 5 Notifications system is that it is less invasive as traditionally these notifications would interfere with other app operations.

The important thing that you need to note when starting out with Notifications on your iPhone 4s, or another iPhone model running the iOS 5, is that you are going to have to identify the use of Notifications for each app once you get the phone operational.  When you first begin the default is going to be to use Notifications more broadly because they are necessary for the basic operation of the phone.  When you begin installing different iPhone apps you will be asked if you want to use Notifications, which just means that the app has permission to notify you of different things without requesting the information specifically, when you first open an app that has the capability.  You can choose yes or no at this time, but you will be able to make changes later on.  Notifications are fairly intrusive even with the new iOS 5 system and requires data use, so you may want to limit Notifications to mail, social networking, and important apps.

The real changes that you will have to make to Notifications are done in the Settings.  Go into here and then select Notifications, which is in the first block of options right below Wi-Fi and above Location Services.  In here you will have a large list of apps under the Notification Center heading, and above that you can choose to Manually sort apps or do so By Time.  The Notification Center will be apps that come standardized on the iPhone such as Phone, Messages, the Weather Widget, and Game Center by default.  What this actually indicates is that these are apps that you have chosen for  Notifications, and you will receive pushed Notifications form them.  Below their listing it will show the types of notifications, such as Badges and Banners for Messages.  Below Notification Center will be another list that says Not In Notification Center.  These will all be apps that have not been chosen to have Notifications for, but if you open them and turn on Notifications they will go under the Notification Center heading.

For each app, in either list, you can select it and then go into a more detailed menu where you can make changes about how Notifications work for that specific app.  At the top will be an On and Off switch for the Notifications, and if you do not want to receive Notifications from this app then turn it to the Off position and it will stay away from the Notification Center..  Below that will be the visual style of alerts you can choose from, which is often choices between things like Banners, Badges, and Alerts.  These are often listed below the app in the regular Notifications menu as mentioned before.  Below that will be On / Off switches for the Badge App Icon, whether or not to use sounds, and if you want them to appear in the Lock Screen.  Some apps may have more options than others, but the standards are relatively simple.

Notifications are going to be a part of iPhone use, but if you are trying to lower overall data use then you may want to limit this.  If you are traveling out of the country and have incredibly limited data then you may want to turn off Notifications for most apps, or you can go into Network and turn off Cellular Data and Data Roaming.  This may end up being the best way to manage the issues presented by Notifications without having to actually deal with Notifications settings.  If Cellular Data is turned off then the Notification information will arrive when connected to Wi-Fi, though the information that comes as standard through cellular phone service will come through.  This means that it will not end up affecting text messages and phone calls.

When you receive a Notification it will often pop up at the top of the screen, and if it is not selected then it will go away shortly without bothering you.  This does not mean that the Notification goes away, and instead it goes into the Notification Center at the top of the screen.  This will be true for the apps that have Notifications turned on, which was indicated in the Settings.  To get to the Notifications Center you just swipe downward front he top of the screen, bringing down a menu with a list of the Notifications you have not addressed.  The default for each app is set as five Notifications that will sit in the Notification Center, though this can be changed in their Settings.  Stocks and Weather will both keep information here that you can look at, which is their form of Notifications.  Here you can find Notifications at your own pace and deal with them, which is much more efficient.

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