It’s hard to imagine a time without smartphones. Our lives are now lived to a soundtrack of pings, beeps, rings and musical tones as our helpful digital companions alert us to every little message, email or app notification. It’s time to take control of these well-meaning interruptions on your iPhone.
Apple’s latest iOS 12 offers us better notifications control than ever before, so be sure to update if you can. The tips we’re going to talk about will also apply to iPads running iOS 12.
It doesn’t take long to start wrangling your notifications and your world will become blissfully quieter. This is all about making sure your iPhone is a useful tool and not a constant distraction.
Take control of your iPhone notifications
One of the biggest improvements with the way iOS 12 handles notifications is a feature called “instant tuning.” Apple describes it as a way to “control your notification settings the moment you receive an alert, without having to leave what you’re doing.” What this means is you can take action right away to put the kibosh on annoying notifications.
When you get a notification, long-press on it and then tap on the three dots that appear in order to access the instant tuning options. I tried this out with a Ring app notification and it pulled up the options to “Deliver Quietly” or “Turn Off.” You can also get to the same spot from the Lock Screen or Notification Center by swiping left on a notification and tapping on “Manage.”
The “Turn Off” option is self-explanatory, but the quiet option is interesting. Apple explains, “Quiet notifications appear in Notification Center, but do not appear on the lock screen, play a sound, present a banner or badge the app icon.” This is a great way to handle notifications you don’t want interrupting you, but still want to be able to access at will just by opening up your Notification Center.
You also get the option to tap on Settings and go directly to your Notifications settings for that particular app. This lets you designate where you want to see alerts, such as on your lock screen, in the Notification Center or through banners. You can turn sounds and badges off here as well. It gives you more detailed control options for each app.
Instant tuning works so well because it lets you wrangle your notifications immediately. It only takes a few seconds to make adjustments, so just plan on handling these settings changes as bothersome notifications appear.
Pretty soon, you’ll find you’re just getting notifications that are most important to you. You can either turn the others off entirely, or send them off to hang out quietly in the Notification Center instead.
Get your notifications back
Okay, so what if you miss having certain notifications after you’ve made them disappear? You can get them back by heading into Settings and tapping on Notifications. Tap on a particular app to access its settings. You can turn notifications on or off and also change up the grouped notifications settings if you like.
Notification grouping is a convenient way to gather all of an app’s notifications together, but you can turn it off if you prefer to get individual notifications. Most people will want to use the automatic grouping feature in iOS 12 to keep their lock screens from getting cluttered.
You could go into Settings and wrangle all of your app notifications at once, but iOS 12 makes it simple to handle them on an as-needed basis. Just remember to take the time to manage rather than just dismiss notifications and pretty soon your alerts will be cleaned up and your iPhone will be a lot quieter than it was before.