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Day 19

Smartphone Notification Zen: iOS Edition

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Whilst Android dominates the global market share for smartphones, iPhones pretty much make up the rest (~12%).

In yesterday’s article, we set out the negative implications of smartphone notifications:

We also suggested strategies for achieving notification zen on Android smartphones. Today’s strategies help people using iPhones and iPads.

Strategies

Notification center

iOS gives you full control over which apps are able to send you notifications and which can’t. You can also choose which apps…

We recommend taking a moment to run through the list of apps able to send you notifications and blanket block those you never use (better yet, delete the app entirely). If you must keep notifications on for a particular app, consider how urgent and important it is you react to the notifications they display.

To manage your app notifications…

  1. Go to ‘Settings’
  2. Tap ‘Notifications’
  3. Tap the app name you wish to modify the notifications for.

Do Not Disturb

Activating Do Not Disturb on your device will silence calls, alerts, and notifications when your device is locked. It's a fantastic feature for preserving your attention.

To turn on Do Not Disturb…

  1. Open ‘Control Center’
  2. Tap the crescent moon icon to turn it on or off

Or use the settings menu...

  1. Go to ‘Settings’
  2. Tap ‘Do Not Disturb’

Within the settings menu, schedule Do Not Disturb periods and allow calls from certain people (useful if you want people to get you in an emergency). Consider setting scheduled times for when you want to sleep, study, be productive or spend quality time with friends and family.

Disable notifications from inside your apps

Managing your notifications at device level is a solid start. Whilst it will certainly protect your attention from undue distractions, it won’t manage all the notifications an app or company can send you.

Marketing emails are a form of notification too – they scream: “What I have to sell is more important than your time”. If you still receive email and undue notifications after limiting notifications on your device, we recommend turning off notifications from inside the offending app or on their website.

Companies that abuse your attention don’t deserve it.

See The 2018 Digital Wellbeing Advent Calendar article on email management for more.

Author

Fraser Deans

Today's article was written by Fraser Deans. Fraser is a Digital Product Designer and founder of The Wholesome Technology Company, focused on practicing and spreading ideas for living well with technology.

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