iOS 8 Wishes: 6 ways Apple could make Notification Center a lot better

iOS 8 logo

Apple introduced Notification Center in iOS 5 to give users a quick way to check all notifications and alerts in a single place without leaving the app they’re in. Prior to that, the notification system was modal and disruptive, and it was difficult to keep track of them.

Since then Apple has been making improvements to the Notification System and Notification Center with every major release. With just a few days to go for WWDC Keynote, where Apple is widely expected to unveil iOS 8, I take a look at some of the ways Apple could make Notification Center a lot better.

Clearing Notifications

Currently if you want to clear notifications from the Notification Center, you either have to open it, or you need to tap on the “x” button, and then tap on Clear. There is no option to clear individual notifications. It would be nice we have an option to swipe from right to left to clear individual notifications.

There are also times when you want to start with a clean slate, and want to dismiss all the notifications in the Notification Center. Currently you have to tap  on the “x” button, tap on Clear – and then repeat the process for each app to clear all notifications in the Notification Center. There should be an option at the bottom or top of Notification Center to nuke all the notifications.

Kill the “x” or ‘Clear’ button

As mentioned earlier, currently if you want to clear notifications for an app, you need to tap on the “x” button, followed by the “Clear” button. This two-tap process seems unnecessary. Apple needs to just get rid of one of them, so we can clear Notifications for an app with just one tap.

Actionable Notifications

Currently the notifications in iOS Notification Center perform the role of informing us when there is a new notification that needs our attention. However, to respond to the notification, you have to tap on the notification, which launches the relevant app. After you’ve responded to the Notification, you’ve to use the app switcher to go back to the app. It is not very efficient and makes banner notifications less useful as you’ve to leave the app you’re currently using.

In a single-window based operating system like iOS, productivity can be improved significantly if these Notifications can be interactive or actionable, and don’t force you to leave the app you’re in. Check out this article to find out more about how we want the actionable notifications to work in iOS 8.

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Bring some order to Settings

Have you tried to change Notification Center Settings (Settings > Notification Center)? It is a mess, and can be a pain if you’ve a lot of apps. The problem can be fixed quite easily by ordering the apps alphabetically or at least add a way to search for the app. Apple could create separate sections for stock apps and for third-party apps.

Fix Missed/All sections

iOS 7 Notification Center

In iOS 7, Apple completely revamped the Notification Center. It divided Notification Center into three tabs namely Today, All and missed. The All tab is supposed to show you all your notifications, whereas the Missed tab is supposed to show you notifications you haven’t addressed in the last 24 hours. But for some strange reason the Missed tab is always empty in my case. I am not the only one, a number of people have complained about the same issue to me.

I really hope Apple fixes this in iOS 8 so that we can actually start using it. Apple could also integrate the Missed and All tabs, by highlighting the missed Notifications in the All tab itself. However, this may not be very efficient.

Improved Today Tab

One of the nice additions in iOS 7 was the Today view, which gives you a summary of what you need to know about for the day and a peek at tomorrow.

However, there are few improvements that I want to see in the Today view in iOS 8:

  • The first one is the ability to specify which Calendar or Calendars I want to see in the Today view.
  • It would also be nice to scroll through all-day events in the Notification Center.
  • You can get the summary of the weather conditions in the Today view. However, when you tap on it, it takes you to the Weather app, ideally we should be able to see the details within the Notification Center itself, so we don’t have to leave the current app.

These are some of the Notification Center related enhancements I am looking forward to in iOS 8.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I would love to find out what’s on your iOS 8 wishlist, so please feel free to to share them in the comments.

Other Features and enhancements in our iOS 8 Wish list: