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Smartphones & gadgets

Smartphone tricks to never miss an important call or text notification again

Smartphone notifications are meant to give you a quick reminder or alert of messages, events, social media updates and more.

Sometimes you don’t want notifications to pop up, like when you’re sleeping or in a work meeting. Tap or click here to disable notifications from your lock screen.

Notifications are made to last a couple of seconds by default. If you’re busy doing something else on your device, you might swipe them away without realizing it. Or you’re too busy to look at your phone. Fortunately, you can fiddle with your iPhone and Android phone’s notification settings to ensure you don’t miss them. 

Don’t miss notifications on your iPhone

You don’t have to rely on audible alerts or fast-disappearing banners to get iPhone notifications. There are a few alternatives to try out:

LED flash alerts

The LED flash next to your iPhone’s camera lens can blink when your device is locked and you receive a notification. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Open the Settings app and go to Accessibility > Audio/Visual.
  • Turn on LED Flash for Alerts.

RELATED: Update your iPhone now! iOS 15.6 fixes 37 security flaws


You can have Siri announce your notifications if you’re wearing the following compatible AirPods or Beats headphones:

  • AirPods Max
  • AirPods (2nd generation) or later
  • AirPods Pro
  • Beats Fit Pro
  • Powerbeats
  • Powerbeats Pro
  • Beats Solo Pro

You’ll also need to be running iOS 15 or later. With all that ready, here’s how to set things up:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Notifications > Announce Notifications.
  • Turn on Announce Notifications.
  • Tap Messages to choose which notifications Siri reads.

Persistent notifications

You may not see important messages if you frequently clear notifications from your home screen. Here’s how to make sure they stick around until you tap or swipe them away:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Notifications, scroll down and tap the app you’d like to set this up for.
  • Toggle on Allow Notifications.
  • Tap Banner Style, then Persistent.

Don’t miss notifications on your Android phone

You can set up your Android to alert you of notifications in various ways. Here are some you can set up right now:

Flashlight notifications

You can set your phone’s flashlight/camera flash to sync with notifications so you can spot it across the room or in the dark. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Depending on your phone, go to Accessibility > Hearing > Flash notification or Accessibility > Advanced Settings > Flash notification or Accessibility > Flash notification.
  • Toggle on Camera light or Camera Flash Notification.

Google Assistant

Connect headphones to your Android phone and Google Assistant can notify you when you have a message, email or upcoming calendar event. It can also read your messages. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Say, “Hey Google, open Assistant settings.” 
  • Tap Devices.
  • Under Personal, tap your headphones, then Spoken notifications.
  • Toggle on Spoken notifications.

RELATED: 5 hidden Google Assistant tricks for your Android

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