Apple finally decides to group notifications on iOS lock screen

By Vignesh Giridharan | Published on 05 Jun 2018
Apple finally decides to group notifications on iOS lock screen

Apple also introduced Instant Tuning to prioritise app notifications more easily in iOS 12


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We imagine it will be a sight for sore eyes for most users to find their hitherto higgedly-piggedly list of notifications tidily grouped when they wake their iPhone’s screen. That’s right—Apple has finally decided to group notifications in iOS 12. The California-based technology giant announced a slew of new features it will bring to the new iOS version yesterday at their annual event, Worldwide Developers Conference.

iOS 12 allows grouping of incoming notifications in two ways: by app or automatically. Automatic grouping is what’s enabled by default, and it ensures notifications from multiple apps are grouped together by topic. iOS determines how notifications of the same topic are clubbed together. Grouping by app simply stacks notifications from a particular app (like say, Facebook or Outlook) together. 

Grouped notifications can be tapped on to be expanded and collapsed in the lock screen. The user can take action on individual notification items or on entire groups by swiping left or right as usual. Like individual notification items from before, groups too can now be swiped away. Users who prefer not to see their notifications grouped at all can turn the feature off in Notification Grouping, under Notifications in Settings.

Instant Tuning is another feature that’s new in iOS 12. It allows the user to turn off either sound or vibration for future notifications from a particular app by force-touching the notification item, selecting the ellipses button, and choosing Deliver Quietly or Turn Off… respectively. Turning notifications off for an app will ensure notifications from that app appear in the Notification Center, but not in the lock screen.

Notifications were never expertly managed in iOS anyway, and were due for an overhaul like this. After allowing grouping of notifications by app for a brief while (in iOS 9), Apple quietly removed the feature in iOS 10 and 11. Now though, the feature has returned in a more improved form. In contrast, Android has supported grouped notifications for a long while now.

Vignesh Giridharan

Progressively identifies more with the term ‘legacy device’ as time marches on.

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