A closer look at the new Notification Center in iOS 7

By , Jun 14, 2013

ios 7 nc 1

From the moment you lay eyes on iOS 7, you can tell that it’s completely different than any of the previous versions of Apple’s mobile OS. The entire system has been redesigned, from the Lock screen to the app icons, and everything in between.

We’ve taken brief peeks at a lot of the changes that we’ve spotted thus far in iOS 7 over the past few days, but we felt some of them deserved a more in-depth look, like the all new Notification Center. It’s better looking now, and quite a bit smarter…

The first thing you’ll notice about the new Notification Center is that the now infamous linen-textured background is gone. It’s been replaced  by a semi-transparent, blurried background that jailbreakers might find reminiscent of BlurriedNCBackground. It’s light enough for colors from the underneath window to bleed through, but dark enough so that text is legible. I think it looks a lot better.

The next thing you’ll notice is that the NC has been divided into three different sections, or what I like to call ‘streams.’ Where the previous version of the drop down menu featured notifications clumped together with Stock, Weather and social widgets in a single view, the new NC in iOS 7 does away with the Weather and social widgets, and splits the remaining data up into 3 separate groups.

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Starting on the righthand side, the first stream is labeled ‘missed.’ As the name implies, this section displays missed calls and other alerts that you haven’t viewed within the last 24 hours. Moving to the left, the center stream is labeled ‘all,’ and it too lives up to its name. This is where all of your push notifications from your apps will show up—similar to how they did previously in iOS 6.

The third and final stream, accessible by tapping the tab to the far left, is entitled ‘today.’ It displays current and forecasted weather info, as well as Calendar events and Reminders set for the day. It also shows the status of the stocks listed in your Stocks app, and a summary of what you have scheduled for the following day. Whatever you don’t want to see can be turned off in the Settings app.

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But the capabilities of the ‘today’ stream don’t stop there. From what we’ve seen, it can also offer up context-based information. For instance, if it sees you have events scheduled for early the next day, it will advise you to “get some rest.” Or if it knows you leave at 8:30 am for work everyday, and it sees that traffic on the route you take is heavier than usual, it will warn you to leave earlier than normal.

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And the cool part is that we’re probably just scratching the surface of what Notification Center (more specifically, the today stream) will be able to do. Remember, this is just the first beta of iOS 7. The final version won’t be released to the public until later this year.

But the little bit we have seen so far is impressive. It looks better than the previous version, it’s more organized, and it’s much smarter. And to top it all off, it’s finally accessible from the Lock screen. We can’t wait to see what else Apple has planned for this feature.

What do you think of the new Notification Center? Is it better or worse than its predecessor?

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  • Zorvage

    I like the old one better.

    • The First Guest

      It’s hilarious that you get thumbs down on iDB anytime you say you don’t like iOS 7 or an aspect of it. As if the only opinion allowed is to love and embrace it, ALL of it, and any other opinion is disgraceful.

      • Matheus Lisboa

        actually you like something if you enjoy and dislike if otherwise… so people who enjoy ios 7 with thumb down the post from people that don’t and the other way around

      • John Sklikas

        Well don’t think thumbs down as a dislike, think of it as a voting system, where the people that agree vote by giving a thumb up and the people that disagree thumb down. Thinking of it like this is what the poll of iDB showed, most iDB people like iOS 7.

      • Ninjafistmagnum

        I don’t think they’re getting a thumbs down because he honestly doesn’t like it, I think he’s getting a thumbs down because he’s trolling, begging for attention which is exactly what I’m giving them by typing thi….crap

    • Stephen Hagans

      I just miss the social widgets. Using Siri to post a tweet on beta 1 isn’t working for me. Just crashes.

      • Qasim Bashir

        U do realize its beta right?

      • Stephen Hagans

        I guess you didn’t see the word “beta” in my post. I’m aware.

      • Simon Harris

        Thats fixed in Beta 2 but still there’s no fast way to tweet directly from the OS without opening an app.

    • Mahjikk

      How dare you post your opinion. As for me, I like the new look. It’s a refresher. But like it or not iOS 7 is the future.

  • Parth Patel

    People will start liking it as they start using it.

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      It’s not easy on the eye.

    • Osama Muhammed

      thats jailbreak’s job

      • Pitchy

        But it shouldn’t be. Then again, I shouldn’t have had to jailbreak the last 3 versions in order to do such basic things that they are just now starting to figure out. iOS is no longer the leader, it’s definitely playing catch up as all its major features seem to come from either jailbreak community or Android.

    • Chuck Finley

      How is that a valid defence of something? That’s like saying “Hey look at this spiky, thorny piece of food. Oh don’t worry about the fact that you dislike it, or that it looks terrible to begin with or that it hurts like hell to eat, over time you’ll start liking it.”

      You’re entirely glossing over the fact that it’s badly designed, probably because of blind, idiotic brand loyalty.

      • Kenny Goodin

        I’m getting really tired of comments like this. If you don’t like, cool, that’s your opinion. But your opinion is not the end-all definition of whether or not the new theme looks good or not. Stop acting like such a damn elitist just because you don’t like something new, for fuck’s sake. You aren’t some enlightened genius, you just have different tastes than those that like it. Not everyone is a blind sheep following along because they love apple, and yet stupid comments like this keep cropping up. Their akin to the Android-fanboy commenters that claim anyone who uses Apple is an “iSheep.”

      • Kenny Goodin

        They’re*
        My bad, it’s early.

      • Kye

        Screenshots can hardly provide an accurate insight into the OS as a whole.

  • Ricky

    Thelocation based service isnt working for me though

  • RobertMahoney

    Heaven forbid you have a choice.

    • Sigurd Boe

      You do, set it to All, and it will stay there,

  • arturgrigor

    It would be nice if they could include a Social tab filled with data from Facebook and Twitter and also have the Share buttons.

    • Jay Kay

      U steal my words

      • arturgrigor

        Haven’t seen that ideea written anywere but as long as I’m not the only one requesting it, it seems like a good one.

      • Jay Kay

        Developers who are testing this beta and giving feedback to apple should request for this, may be not this time but i believe next time they will consider it.

      • arturgrigor

        I’ve just did it, a few moments ago. :)

      • Timothy

        How would I submit that sort of feedback to Apple? I don’t have access to the registered developer account to which my UDID is attached, as I simply work on and test the app, and don’t own it or the developer account. Would I be able to sent feedback anyway? If so, where?

  • cmmb

    杀花 kill

    • Parth Patel

      Kill what?

      • cmmb

        kill first but。。。。not

      • momerathe

        “kill flowers”, I think. no, me neither.

      • cmmb

        - - !

    • Jay Kay

      Kill chinese?

    • f1ght3r

      yourself

  • Shrey Gupta

    How did you get the location based service??? The part on your lockscreen, where it says that it will take you 1 hour to drive.

    • ArthurTyukayev

      I’ve looked for that for a while, I think that you might need to make a calendar event for “Work” and in the Destination part, you need to set the address of your work, and maybe it’ll tell you directions. All of the Today things can be set in Privacy > Location Services > System Services.

    • Kevin Cooper

      After you visit a certain location several times, the phone starts to pick up your most visited places and gives you this information. My girlfriends house is set in my notification center and I haven’t set anything.

  • iChebbi

    And what about social Widgets ?

    • Timothy

      They are missing from this beta. Hopefully they’ll be back soon, perhaps along with a new social news feed in Notification Center to go with it.

    • D Rey

      I think I used those things things like once. Not saying some people don’t but the functionality within the twitter and Facebook app far surpass that of the widgets. I found myself just going to the app
      To post.

  • David Hvilivitzki

    Stupid, That means that if I have something missed I need to manually check for it instead of seeing it right away…

    • ArthurTyukayev

      If you set the notification center to “All” or “Missed” it wil stay there. You can choose which tab will be open when you activate Notification Center

    • Evan_Beezy

      Ohhh lawdy lawdy the 1st world problems party is going down

  • JoelJEstrada

    Using iOS 7 over the last few days I’ve really grown to like it can’t wait for the next beta.

  • Asiz Koju

    people are dumbly accepting whatever apple has developed. Apple has stopped innovation long before; after launching ios on 2007. There is few new stuff added which is around 2-3% changes in whole core system and they just name it the new ios. Apple need something radical than just some ui tweak and some embedded jailbreak in core system.

    Samsung and google has been innovating a lot these days. They are doing experiment and creating new apps each week for their system.
    Stop being Orthodox and bring something really innovative. Apple just don’t fool people with your so called newest and latest tech.

    • Matheus Lisboa

      you’re seeing and OS, not a new device… I really don’t see no need to innovate the way people say it should, I like my idevices the way they are and the changes apple offer is enough for me…

    • ArthurTyukayev

      I always see posts like this, whenever Apple does change people just complain about the changes, but when Apple doesn’t change and tries to stay somewhat the same, people complain Apple isn’t changing/innovating.

      If you don’t like what Apple has to offer there are plenty of other options out there. You’re not limited to Apple.

    • Chaudhary Qasim Khalid Sandhu

      You are right!
      But Apple has its brand name and class by which it is being sold and liked.

      P.S. Apple has earned it.

  • momerathe

    you know what bugs me about this? “It looks like you have a busy day tomorrow”. God. This is one of the things I hate about SIri. I don’t want my phone to be chatty or friendly, I want it to present information to me clearly and efficiently. Compare the weather reports – the new version takes a paragraph to say what can be shown with two numbers and an icon, and uses as much space as the current version does in telling you the weather for the whole week. “It might be a good time to get some rest”. I’ll be the judge of that!!

    • SimonReidy

      haha. Couldn’t agree more. I hate that kind of useless space-wasting junk.

    • Matheus Lisboa

      hahaha really? i think is kinda cute

    • rosssimpson

      I like it. It makes it more personal.

      • Timothy

        Precisely. That’s one big thing I like about Siri over Google Now. Siri has a personality.

      • rosssimpson

        Hit the nail on the head there!

  • mhchehade

    Did you know if you swipe down the home screen you get the “search iphone” ?

    • Mohammed Sahib

      Even this has less functionality than the spotlight search of iOS 6: You can’t search google or wikipedia. Hope they bring back the functionality in the final version.

  • Bob

    So iOS7 basically has Intelliscreen X features built in right? Because correct me if I’m wrong, calender events don’t usually show up in NC.

    • Matheus Lisboa

      they do actually

      • Bob

        They always show up or do they only show up when it’s the same day as the event?

      • D Rey

        Currently it’s day of the event. Unless you have the alerts set for like the day before the event. You can have alerts set up to tell you about an event up to two days before the event. Again that is iOS 6.

      • Matheus Lisboa

        if you ask to be remembered two days early they show up that time if i’m not wrong, but they do show up…

  • Omar D. Plumey

    Where’s the quick compose widget for Facebook?

    • Timothy

      It and the “Tap to Tweet” widget are missing from this beta. Hopefully they’ll be back soon, perhaps along with a new social news feed in Notification Center to go with it, which may be the very reason Apple left them out of the first beta — to develop a more advanced version with feeds and likes, comments, favorites, retweets, etc, right from Notification Center.

  • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

    Greetings from Google now!

  • SimonReidy

    While I love the loss of the horrible linen and do like the new sorting options, I’m still a bit disappointed with notification centre overall. This is one area that Apple could have easily opened up an API for 3rd party developers to utilise with their own widgets. Plus introduce actionable notifications like quick reply for imessages, texts, twitter etc.

    And while they might look nicer, the notifications are really the same old annoying notifications of iOS6, that still can’t be swiped away individually to delete (you’d think that would be a given by now, as swiping to delete is a standard iOS feature in apps). Instead we still have to press a little cross, then another clear button to confirm deleting them (as if accidently deleting a notification with one tap would be some kind of major loss or something!)

    I know its only beta 1, so lets hope Apple build in some further additions. Minimalism in design is great, but not at the expense of functionality.

  • Yash Gorana

    EARLIER : iOS Sucks. No Innovation. All closed. BULLSHIT APPLE

    NOW : iOS Sucks. New UI. Ugly Icons. I like the older one.

    Humans.

    • Grant S

      No one is now saying iOS suck. Peoples primary complain is about the childish design choices taken by Apple. iOS works much better than before but looks like a hybrid android-webos with some god awful icons

      • Yash Gorana

        no there are some fools who literally saying they hate it.

  • afra33

    The new notification center is soooo bad I can’t believe it was made from Apple!!! That’s something Microsoft would come up with but Apple?? WOW!!!

  • thepies

    where’s the tap for tweet button?!

  • Mathieu Reid

    Looks like an Apple “Google Now”.

  • Guest

    Wasn’t there a jailbreak tweak for notification center in ios 6 that gave you a blurred background. **probably not relevant to whatever any of you guys are saying**

    • ArthurTyukayev

      He mentioned it in the article. It’s called “BlurredNCBackground”

      • Timothy

        Springtomize 2 also has pretty much the same thing built in as on option.

  • bigzjoseph

    People have always wanted a big change in iOS when they finally get they’re badly judging it

    • Timothy

      And I’m pretty sure most of them don’t even have the beta yet. Personally I think iOS 7 and its icons look better in person, and the features definitely shouldn’t be judged and condemned by people who haven’t used them for themselves, because a YouTube video doesn’t touch it. Plus, most of the people who have actually used the beta, really like most of the changes, myself included.

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    I know this is beta 1, but I felt like if they were going to include the Weather, Facebook, and Twitter widgets, they would of included them already. Maybe they’re just redefining them, hopefully. There’s just some things one should not tweet aloud to Siri on a train ride home from Grand Central.

  • http://technogadget.tv/ Liam Green

    Where has the ‘Tap to Tweet’ widget gone???

  • D Rey

    I’ll be honest I’m very surprised by the amount of people that want the social media widgets. I used them I think once when it first came out and that was it.

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    Why is there no digital clock on the Notification Center screen? You have to lock the phone just to see a good time display….

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    If iOS 7 is a work in progress; then by all means offer constructive criticism to make it even better….

  • Alejandro M. Marez

    I updated my Roommate’s phone and he was blown away. He loved all the changes. Nerd…

    • Jay Kay

      its not good to say yourself Nerd.

  • Simon Harris

    So how do you tweet? (without using the clumsy twitter app) – the Twitter and Facebook text input boxes are gone from notification center.

  • Bill Shepherd

    I want the notifications to disappear once I click on them. Just like when I click on a mail item, it goes away from my NC. Why doesn’t apple make this easier for devs to implement with there apps?

  • Jacob

    I don’t like that the weather isn’t in the notification center!!
    ¡!¡ I just hope a jailbreak comes out soon, and IntelliScreenX works with iOS 7.
    Also I like having Hd icons over the flat ones, and there’s just too much white to the whole iOS. I like that it locks the find my iPhone to on and need the password to turn it off, but you can still turn off the location services and bypass the security to keep the find my iPhone on!!

  • Evol1

    The new weather in notification center sucks, bring the old weather back!