In iOS 5 beta 1 notifications were displayed as a list on the Lock screen, you could and can act on them by dragging the icon to unlock and be taken directly into the app. However, in iOS 5 beta 2 Apple has chosen to fall back on the iOS 4 mechanism of displaying notifications giving focus only to the latest notification.
But as you would expect, there is a way to access all the notifications through the Lock screen by pulling down the “gripper” UI element located above the popup to reveal a drawer containing all the notifications, as you would do from the Home screen. Since only one notification is displayed on the lock screen there is a lot of real estate available, which Apple has used to display bigger text. This style isn’t entirely new, it was available in iOS 5 beta 1 as well just by flipping a switch in the Settings app. The design of the popup has also changed, it is now dark grey instead of the grayish blue popup in iOS 4.
As TiPb points out, the change in case of an alarm notification is rather striking. It displays a popup with a big red snooze button, which would definitely help you easily snooze the alarm even when you’re sleepy.
The new display style does have the advantage of improved readability. We also think it is more appropriate to highlight the latest notification rather than showing a list of notifications, but it reminds us a little of the dysfunctional iOS 4 notification system. Which style of Lock screen notifications would you prefer in the final iteration of iOS 5?