All of the Changes to Notifications in iOS 12

In iOS 12, Apple has introduced new notification features, providing an expanded set of tools for monitoring and managing notifications in quicker and more intuitive ways.

There have been no changes to the way that Notifications work on the whole, but many of these features make it easier to clear notifications, determine which notifications you want, and make adjustments on the fly.

Grouped Notifications

iPhone and iPad owners have been asking for the return of grouped notifications for years, and in iOS 12, Apple delivered.

Multiple notifications from the same app will be grouped together on the Lock screen of the iPhone, cutting down on clutter. You can tap a set of notifications from a particular app to expand them to see all of the notifications in the list.

groupednotifications
You can tap on the "X" next to a notification group to clear all of those notifications at one time, or do the same thing with a swipe to the left.

In the Settings app, you can change the behavior of grouped notifications. Go to Settings > Notifications and tap on any app to see the "Notification Grouping" preferences. Tap that to choose "Automatic," "By App," or "Off" if you'd rather see all of the incoming notifications for a particular app like Messages.

Automatic sorts by app for the most part, but with this setting enabled, you might get two notification groups if you have email threads going with two different people in the Mail app, or multiple conversations in Messages, for example. Or different incoming Messages conversations.

By App will make sure all notifications from an app are in one stack, without the sorting that Automatic mode uses.

Instant Tuning

Instant Tuning is a feature that lets you manage a pesky notification right on the Lock screen, giving you the tools to turn notifications for that app off entirely or send notifications right to the Notification Center.

On any notification that's on the Lock screen or in the Notification Center when you swipe down, swipe left on a notification to see settings that include "Manage," "View," and "Clear All."

ios12instanttuning
Select "Manage" from this list to see Instant Tuning options. Notifications set to "Deliver Quietly" will be visible in Notification Center, but you won't see them on the Lock screen, there will be no banner, and there won't be a badge.

To reverse this, tap on a notification from the muted app again, follow the same instructions, and choose "Deliver Prominently." Notification settings can also be changed in the Settings app, also accessible from the Instant Tuning popup. Turn Off, as the name suggests, turns off notifications for that app entirely.

ios12instanttuning2
You can also get to your Instant Tuning settings by 3D Touching or long pressing on any notification and selecting the three ellipses. For more details on using Instant Tuning, make sure to check out our detailed how to.

Note: In iOS 12, Apple will send you alerts asking you if you would like to continue receiving notifications from a particular app if you've been getting a lot of notifications and haven't been interacting with them. When this happens, the alert will feature a "Manage" section so you can access your Instant Tuning settings for that particular app.

Critical Alerts

Critical Alerts are a new type of opt-in notification in iOS 12 that can ignore your Do Not Disturb settings to send important must-see notifications.

criticalalert1
These alerts are limited in scope and are available for medical and health related information, home security, and public safety. For example, a person who is diabetic might want to set critical alerts for a glucose monitor when blood sugar is low, so the notification will be delivered even if Do Not Disturb is turned on.

criticalalerts2
Critical alerts bypass Do Not Disturb and the ringer switch, and will always play a sound. They are meant to be disruptive and for that reason, are going to be highly limited to apps that need these kinds of immediate alerts.

criticalalert3
Developers with apps appropriate for critical alerts will need to apply for an entitlement that needs to be approved by Apple. Users will be able to turn off critical alerts on a per app basis separately from other notifications.

Notification Count in Screen Time

Screen Time, Apple's new feature designed to provide you with the tools to monitor when and how you're using your iOS devices, keeps track of all of the notifications that apps are sending you, letting you know which apps are the noisiest.

This information can help you decide if you want to keep notifications turned on for a particular app, or if you might want to mute an app to cut down on interruptions.

screentimenotifications
You can get to this section of Screen Time by opening the Settings app, choosing Screen Time, selecting "All Devices," and then scrolling down to the bottom. You can see your notifications from the last 24 hours or the last 7 days.

For more on using Screen Time, make sure to check out our Screen Time how to and our how to on App Limits and Downtime.

Richer Notifications

In iOS 12, app developers can build notifications that are able to accept user input, so you can interact with notifications in new ways, doing more on the Lock screen without having to open up your iPhone.

With Instagram, as an example, if the app sends you a notification that a friend posted, you might be able to view the photo and then add a like all from the notification.

ios12touchnotifications

In this example, you can tap the heart to like the photo, something that wasn't possible in iOS 11.

Rich notifications were available in earlier versions of iOS, but Apple has removed the limits that previously restricted interactive touches.

What do you think of the changes to notifications in iOS 12? Are there other notification features you're hoping for in the future? Let us know in the comments.

Top Rated Comments

seatton Avatar
41 months ago
As long as I can set up my Tinder messages as a part of Critical Alert, I will stick with Apple for life.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Infinite Vortex Avatar
41 months ago
Sounds nice… but at the end of the day its just more and more **** to manage in more and more complex ways. I'm getting to the point where Flight Mode is the answer to everything.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brownbird Avatar
41 months ago
Here let me write this for them.

As a user I want to be able to schedule when notifications arrive so that I am not distracted by notifications all day long.

For example, I can set up a schedule where notifications arrive every 30 minutes. Imagine what kind of difference that would make in our ability to be present in the moment, enjoy the company of others, and be able to maintain control over our lives. Maybe that's too much to ask from a company who claims to care about the user and their experience? :shrug
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
L-Viz Avatar
41 months ago
As long as I can set up my Tinder messages as a part of Critical Alert, I will stick with Apple for life.
The only alert, that really can be critical, is coming from the bladder.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DEXTERITY Avatar
41 months ago
How about the ability to delete all mail? It makes no sense there is no way to select all email messages and delete. Who in Apple thinks it is efficient to delete one by one. Beyone annoying, mindboggling and stupid.

The same person who designs mail must be in charge of the apple music layout and settings.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aston441 Avatar
41 months ago
Getting closer to Android's notification functionality ever day. Maybe we'll get home screen customization with applets in the next 10 years :)
Maybe we'll get a freaking notification LED so I don't have to leave my freaking screen on 24/7.

You know, like in the freaking 1990s?!?

you wanna know why life was better in the 90s?

Because even freaking tape based answering machines had a freaking notification LED. Not to mention ALL cell phones.

No notification LED is INSANE.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...