Notifications serve various purposes depending on the app and the available settings. Some apps notify you of new messages and updates, while others act as alarms to notify you of an upcoming event or meeting. Setting up notifications involves a multi-stage process that includes enabling the feature, selecting the method of receipt and setting each individual app's preferences.

Notification Center Access

You can access the Notification Center by accessing the "Settings" app and choosing the "Notification Center" option. The Notification Center page provides options to configure both the Notification View and the Today View. In the Today View section, you can activate or disable the option to show a summary of events, your calendar, reminders, stocks and a preview of tomorrow's events. The Notification View section allows you to determine whether to sort apps by time or manually. If you select the option to sort manually, tap the "Edit" button and then each app up or down to arrange the order of apps.

Lock Screen Options

Notifications on the Lock screen bypass any passcode set on your iPhone, which makes it possible for anyone with access to your iPhone to view your notifications. You can prevent access on the Lock screen by disabling the Notification View, Today View or both options in the Notification Center. The Notification View adds an "All" tab and a "Missed" tab to your list of notifications on the Lock screen. The "All" tab shows all of your current notifications, while the "Missed" tab shows only notifications you missed. The Today View option adds a "Today" tab on the Lock screen that shows the weather, calendar, stocks and useful tips for the day's events. For example, you might get an estimated drive time for a meeting that day.

Setting App Preferences

Configure individual app preferences by selecting the app in the Notification Center and setting the options available for each app. Most apps have the option to set one of three alert styles -- None, Banners or Alerts. Selecting the "None" option disables the displaying of alerts, select the "Banners" option to show a notification that goes away automatically or choose the "Alerts" option to require your acknowledgement and dismissal of the alert before it goes away. The "Badge App Icon" option shows a number over the app that indicates the number of alerts waiting. You can also set options to configure the alert sound, to remove the alert from the list of notifications and how many recent alerts to include. If you don't want a specific app showing in the Lock screen, you can disable that option as well.

Do Not Disturb

The Do Not Disturb function located in the Settings app allows you to schedule times when you don't want to receive alerts, calls and notifications. This option provides a quick way to disable all notifications without needing to go into the Notification Center and manually disable your alerts. Turn the "Manual" switch to the On position to immediately disable alerts, or set a time span in the Scheduled section to automatically disable alerts during a specific period. You can also set the option to allow repeated calls to ensure that if an emergency arises, people can contact you. A moon icon displays in the top bar when you activate Do Not Disturb.