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Since the rise of the smartphones, access to information relating to our social and professional life has become easier than ever. The periodic notifications delivered by the devices help us not only remain informed about events as they occur but also increases our level of connectivity with our peers.

Every smartphone manufacturer has built innovative methods to notify users. With the rise in version number and embedded technology, the mobile operating systems come with added functionalities and ways to notify depending on the user’s overall experience with the device.

Apple has always been the foremost technological innovator and each of its products showcase the efforts put in by the organization to design and develop them. Even in terms of notifications and alerts, Apple provides some unique ways to alert its users depending on the type of device they are using and kind of alerts they want.

Notifications and Their Significance

Image : Mac Observer

Online services help users remain informed and connected to each other. But the user has to login to the services through applications or browsers every time he needs the latest information updates. To eliminate multiple logins and to ease the user experience, the services provide SOAP and REST API’s that allow applications to access necessary user information.

The handheld and desktop applications use these API’s to grab updates and display them as notifications in user’s devices. Handheld device OS’s have inbuilt mechanism to handle these notifications and alerts and display them in an intuitive manner allowing a seamless experience for their users.

The inbuilt mechanisms in mobile OS’s further ease user access by filtering through the incoming notifications and selectively showcasing only the necessary ones as per conditions set by the users.

Varied Methods of Notifying Information


The three major operating systems namely Windows, Android and iOS have varied methods of delivering notifications and alerts to its users. Rising technology has enabled devices to vibrate, light up, increase or decrease brightness, ring, sense environmental conditions and do many other tasks depending on events fired by processes.

Most commonly users setup their devices to ring or vibrate when they receive any notification. But the devices offer dozens of other ways to alert users depending on their preferences.

Third-party services also allow notifications to sync among devices, forwarded to other devices, carry out certain tasks each time a specific notification arrives, and control multiple other services through their API-based interface. Services like IFTTT and other have successfully built mechanisms that fire up with each occurring event or incoming alert or notification.

Also See: IFTTT’s Do Apps Gives You Unparalleled Control Over Services Your Use Everyday.

Apple since its inception has always focused on the consumer’s requirements when it comes to using technical devices. It also provides accessibility options for physically impaired users through VoiceOver and LED alerts. Fortunately, these accessibility options are available for all users.

iPhone generally alert users through ringtones or vibrations every time a notification is pushed to the device. But sometimes due to the preoccupation or inability to detect the notification alters, users miss the sound or vibration in their devices.

The OS uses the camera flash to indicate the arrival of notifications so that users can easily detect alerts. It proves to be an indispensable feature for users who often forget to unmute their phones or dislike the sound and vibrating alerts.

How to Set Up LED Flash Alerts on Your iPhone

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Image : Emgn

LED flash lights are only available on iPhone 4 or newer devices. Follow the below steps to enable or disable LED flash alerts for your iPhone

  • Unlock your device and go to Settings.
  • Select the General option
  • Tap on Accessibility
  • Turn On or Off, the LED Flash For Alerts

Once you have setup LED flash alerts, every incoming notification will light up your iPhone. However, if you generally receive more than the usual amount of notifications, the battery will drain itself due to the power consumption by the LED lights.

The Future of Notifications

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Image : Tech Republic

The rise of embedded technology and devices with more powerful processors and functionalities has brought about a revolution in information gathering from all possible online services.

Environmental condition detecting abilities of the sensors inbuilt into devices allow them to control device functionalities based on events fired by the near environment. Therefore, proximity sensors and effective GPS technology could greatly aid the development of notifications from users in our surroundings.

Related: How to Get Gmail Push Notifications on iPhone

The recent handoff and continuity features also take the process of handling services through devices to a whole new level. The rise of wearable devices also allows users to effectively receive all necessary notifications on smart watches and wearable glasses. With rising adoption of these gadgets and wearable’s, users can effectively remain connected to the cloud regardless of their location or circumstance.


Apple’s various methods for delivering notifications help users easily remain updated even in conditions where they may not be able to perceive sounds or vibrations. Other operating systems also support such functionalities although some use third party applications to replicate the functionalities.

The LED flash light alerts and voice over technologies are likely to see upgrades with other features in future Apple devices. The smart watches also employ numerous methods to alert users while remaining in sync with handheld devices.

All these technologies together eliminate every possible scenario where the user might miss an important notification thus keeping him updated regardless of circumstances.

Further Reading: How to Hide Any App and Create Nested Folders in iOS 8