iOS 10 notifications redesign is better than the real deal

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Grouping would make iOS 10 notifications much better.
Grouping would make iOS 10 notifications much better.
Photo: Zuno Young/Medium

The paint is still drying on iOS 10 after just being unveiled earlier this week, but one UI designer has already come up with an amazing redesign of the Notifications screen, and we hope Apple’s paying attention.

Notifications have a bigger emphasis than ever on the lock screen now that Slide to Unlock is dead, however the way Apple displays them is kind of ugly if you get multiple notifications from the same app.

Dark mode, 3D Touch: what iOS 10’s Notification Center should look like

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Sam Beckett thinks iOS 10's Notification Center could benefit from 3D Touch.
Sam Beckett thinks iOS 10's Notification Center could benefit from 3D Touch.
Photo: YouTube

Over the years, Apple concept designer Sam Beckett has made some killer videos, exploring possible ways Cupertino could revamp Notification Center. His latest concept again tackles Notification Center, but this time imagines how 3D Touch could make it better in iOS 10. I’m sold.

How to send app crash reports to OS X Notification Center

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Crash reports don't have to interrupt your Zen.
Crash reports don't have to interrupt your Zen.
Photo: Lifehacker

OS X is about as reliable as any operating system out there, but apps still can — and do — crash. When they do, they take up the entire middle of your screen, interrupting whatever you’re doing, even if the app that crashed was running in the background.

It’s a mild annoyance, true, but it doesn’t have to be an annoyance at all. Here’s how to push crash messages to Notification Center instead of the middle of your screen.

Pro Tip: Sort by date and app and never miss a Mac notification again

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This makes all the difference when searching for notifications.
This makes all the difference when searching for notifications.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugLike iOS, OS X has its own Notifications Center to keep you abreast of all the stuff going on in your world, from calendar events to reminders.

Unlike iOS, OS X El Capitan defaults to a date sorting system that groups all your Notifications together by the date they were triggered. That’s super handy if you’re searching for a notification you got today, but don’t remember what app it came from. If, however, you want to sort by the app the notification is coming from, or–better yet–sort by date and app, you’re in luck.

Here’s how to choose a different option.

Pro Tip: Check your Apple Watch battery from your iPhone

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Get your battery info fast and easy.
Get your battery info fast and easy.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugYou can of course check the status of your Apple Watch battery on your wrist, but it’s even easier to discover how much Apple Watch juice you have left right from your iPhone.

In fact, you can check the battery status of anything connected via Bluetooth, including headphones and speakers.

Here’s how.

Handy new app turns Notification Center into messaging machine

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written-ios - 1 (1)
Select a pre-written message and send it straight from Notification Center.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

“I’m leaving” is a message I probably send way too often, but not as often as “I’m here.” It’s just become routine whenever I’m making plans or picking someone up. It’s not necessarily a burden, but it’d be a nice luxury to be able to quickly send friends these repeat messages automatically to save a little bit of time. You’re smart so I bet you know where I’m going with this.

Yes, Written is a new app for iPhone that lets you write out five of your most commonly used phrases and save them for easy access in Notification Center. Then when you pull down the Today view from the top, you see the Written widget with your five messages. Tap one to send it along to your favorite contacts. It works with the Messages app and even WhatsApp.

Here’s how to put your Instagram feed in Notification Center

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Feeday puts Instagram right in your Notification Center.
Feeday puts Instagram right in your Notification Center.
Photo:

If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time in Instagram during the day. In fact, if you’re like me, you probably spend so much time in Instagram that you wish it was integrated right into iOS, just a swipe away from no matter where in the operating system you are.

Apple’s never going to get around to baking deep integration to the Facebook-owned Instagram into iOS, but here’s the next best thing: a new app that puts Instagram right in iOS 8’s Notification Center.

How to keep iOS gaming sessions from being interrupted

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Stop getting interrupted when you're gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
Stop getting interrupted when you're gaming. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

I’ve been playing Vainglory quite a bit lately, and the one thing that really distracts me and actually impacts my gameplay (when on my iPad 3) is notifications. They can make the game stutter, which wreaks havok on my ability to gank an enemy Joule from the bushes with my Krul.

Seriously, it’s annoying.

I turned on Do Not Disturb last week to try and get rid of these badges that annoy, but it never worked: I still got notifications from Facebook, Messages and other appss. I did some digging to find out why.

How to enable that sexy new iTunes Notification Center widget

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Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The advent of iTunes 12.1 gave us a sweet new widget that lets you control iTunes from the Notification Center’s Today section, without ever having to switch to the app itself. You can even favorite songs and buy currently playing tracks if you’re listening to iTunes Radio.

Unfortunately, this widget doesn’t seem to appear by default. To enable it, you need to drop into System Preferences. Here’s how to get it up and running.

Here’s what Apple should do to fix Notification Center

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notificationsiOS8
Notification Center is surprisingly unintuitive for Apple. Photo: Apple

 

I have very few complaints about iOS 8, and based on casual conversations I’ve had with friends plus the high percentage of users who have upgraded to Apple’s latest mobile OS, I’d suggest the same thing is true across the board.

One part of iOS I use very rarely, however, is Notification Center, which aims to be a one-stop-shop for all the information you need to know, but instead looks like a strangely un-Apple mass of informational overload.

Apparently Stockholm-based MobileCreative designers Petter Andersson, Friðgeir Torfi Ásgeirsson and Jonas Jerlström feel the same way, because they’ve come up with a concept video showing a new possible notification interface for iOS. And you know what? I kind of love it.