Check notifications on iPad and iPhone

Check notifications on iPad and iPhone
Mac Tip #548, 08 August 2012

Some apps on your iPhone or iPad can send you notifications of events and activities. If you allow them the notifications may display in the Menu Bar. Here’s how to check notifications, and where to find the settings to control them.

Quick Start

  1. Drag down from the Menu Bar to see the list of Notifications.
  2. Tap one Notification in the list for details.
  3. Use the Notification Center in Settings to control the Notifications for each app.

If this Tip was useful, please leave a comment letting us know. Want more detail? Read the full Tip below.

Choose Notification Settings

iPad Notification settings.

iPad Notification settings.

When you install a new app it may ask if it should notify you of events. To take control of all Notifications from all apps go to Settings and tap on Notifications. A list of all apps that are or are not using Notifications appears.

In New Zealand we’re very interested in earthquakes, so this Tip uses the GeoNetQuake app as an example.

To control notifications for each app, tap it in the list, then use the controls in the Notification Center to turn Notifications off or on, and to select how many items should be displayed. The screenshot above shows the controls for the GeoNetQuake. Every app has similar controls though.

I selected Banners for notifications from GeoNetQuake. Those are the ones that appear briefly in the Menu Bar, as in the screenshot below.

iPad alerts appear at the top in the menu bar.

iPad alerts appear at the top in the menu bar.

Call up all the Notifications

After a few moments though the notifications disappear. To retrieve them at any time drag down from the Menu Bar with one finger. A list of all recent Notifications appears, as in the screenshot below.

Notifications on the iPad.

Notifications on the iPad.

In my screenshot you can see several earthquake notifications and a couple of upcoming Calendar events.

Tap a Notification for details

To see the details from any individual notification tap it in the list. The list disappears and the relevant app opens on screen. The GeoNetQuake app then displays the particular earthquake whose notification was tapped.

My screenshot shows not just the one Notification I tapped but in fact all earthquakes in New Zealand in the last 24 hours, with one highlighted. You can see by all the pins why New Zealanders are interested in earthquakes! Luckily most quakes are imperceptible.

Earthquakes in New Zealand in the last day.

Earthquakes in New Zealand in the last day.

Clear the Notifications

Notice that when the list of Notifications is displayed dropping down from the Menu Bar there’s a tiny x at the right hand end of the line where the name of the app appears. Tap the x and it’s replaced by a Clear button. Tap the Clear button to empty the list for that app.

Notifications: useful or annoying

If you find an app’s Notifications useful then that’s a good thing. Some apps though may beep at you in the middle of the night and wake you up. In that case, check the Notification Center and either mute the sound or turn off Notifications for that app. Now you know how.

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