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Notifications and Reminders

Notifications and Reminders

Pre-iOS 5, when your iPhone or iPad had some sort of notification for you, it froze the device and displayed a message onscreen. That was kind of ignoring, but if you ignored the message, which most of us did, it was forever gone with the ether.

iOS 5, however, includes a new Notification Center (as shown in Figure 3). This places all your device notifications into a one place, where you can revisit them whenever you want. To display the Notification Center, all you have to do is swipe down from the top of any screen. What you see next is a screen with your local weather conditions, a real-time stock ticker, and the most recent notifications from your device and apps – including email and text messages, to-do list reminders, and the like. Tap a notification to take the required action.

Figure 3 The new iOS 5 Notification Center.

Even better, new notifications don’t hijack your device. Instead, they appear briefly at the top of your screen, so they don’t interrupt what you’re doing. In addition, pending notifications appear on your device’s Lock screen, so you can be notified without even logging into your iPhone or iPad. All in all, a much more user-friendly way of dealing with these necessary notifications.

(You can control what you see in the Notification Center by tapping the Settings icon on your home screen, then tapping Notifications.)

Apple has also added a Reminders app in iOS 5. This is kind of a to-do list application – that is, you create tasks that need to be accomplished, and your iPhone reminds you when the tasks are due. You can view your reminders by date or in alphabetical order, then mark things off as you accomplish them (see Figure 4). You can also use Reminders to create lists, like shopping lists, that you can access from any iOS 5 device.

Figure 4 Viewing Reminders in iOS 5.

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