iOS 15: What’s New With Notifications

BY Parth Shah

Published 1 Aug 2021

iOS 15: What's New With Notifications

While the iOS 14 update was all about major inclusions such as app widgets on the Home screen, App Library menu, etc., iOS 15 puts the focus back on important usability add-ons throughout the OS. Apple hasn’t neglected notifications in iOS 15 as well. In iOS 15, the company has added some of the most user-requested features to improve the notification experience. Read along to learn everything that’s new with iOS 15 notifications.

Apple is steadily improving the notification experience on iPhone with every new iOS update. iOS 15 is no exception. Apart from small cosmetic changes, iOS 15 brings support for Notification Summary on the iPhone. Here’s everything that’s new with iOS 15 notifications.

Redesigned Notifications

This is the first thing you will notice with notifications following the iOS 15 update is that they sport a new look. The notification cards now carry bigger app icons, and they are easier to glance at.

Also, when you get a text from someone on iMessage or any social media app, it will include their contact picture to make it easier for you to identify the sender of the message on the go.

As of now, we are not able to see contact pictures from apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype. It’s limited to iMessage only, but this should change once iOS 15 is released to the public since the notification API is available to third-party developers.

iOS 15 new notification look

Notification Summary

Are you tired of getting irrelevant notifications from less useful apps throughout the day? Well, you can always turn off notifications from such apps, but that’s not an ideal solution.

You can also use Do Not Disturb (DND) or iOS 15’s Focus Mode to customize the notification delivery on your iPhone. But that’s not ideal either, as it requires you to create multiple Focus profiles for each situation.

Here comes Notification Summary to help you get through a busy day without unnecessary notification pop-ups.

Thankfully, Apple hasn’t made it mandatory, and Notification Summary is not enabled by default.

Tucked under the Notifications menu in the Settings app, Notification Summary bundle non-urgent notifications and deliver them to users at convenient times.

Don’t worry. The behavior will exclude calls, direct messages, and Time Sensitive notifications, even for apps in your summary.

notification summary setup

During setup, select the apps you want to include in the Notification Summary and choose the convenient times you’d like to receive your notification summary. iPhone will also suggest the apps that send frequent notifications. As for timing, you can select multiple times, such as after lunch, before going to bed, and more for your convenience.

notification summary delivery

It’s not limited to a one-time per day delivery only. One can also preview upcoming summaries in Notification Center. If you have some free time during a busy day, you check notification summaries ahead of the scheduled times.

Mute Notifications

Users can now mute notifications for one hour or an entire day. iOS 15 is smart enough to recognize your disinterest in notifications and suggest muting the notification thread.

As for manual input, you can swipe left on the notification and select Options. Select Mute of One Hour or Mute for Today.

mute notifications on iPhone

Exclusion for Time-Sensitive Notifications

Exclusion in the Notification Summary isn’t limited to calls and direct text messages only. Food delivery apps, ride-hailing apps, and your bank fraud detector can also bypass Notification Summary and send notifications as normal.

Apple has created a Time Sensitive API for developers for apps that need to send notifications as soon as possible. We expect apps from certain categories to implement it.

A cumbersome notification experience remains one of the biggest pain points for Android users switching to the iPhone. Apple’s latest advancements for notifications are a step in the right direction. It will be interesting to see how Apple further improves notifications on the iPhone with the upcoming OS updates.

Did Apple address your pain points with notifications on iPhone with iOS 15? Share your thoughts (and complaints) in the comments below.