The iPhone lock screen used to be a wasted opportunity.
It just sat there, static, with no updates other than the occasional pop-up notification.
With the latest version of iOS Apple changed all of that, turning your lock screen into a universal inbox that keeps track of all your alerts in one place.
Because Apple didn’t configure some of the most mission-critical apps, like Mail, for the lock screen by default many people are missing out.
We’re going to walk you through how to get all of your most important app notifications right on your lock screen.
This way you can see at a quick glance everything that’s happening in your world. It’s one of the really great features of iOS.
Your most recent Twitter alerts and other messages already have a place on your lock screen, but there's a lot more you can add to it. Let's turn this into more than just a social media feed.
You'll find the notifications tab under the main settings section.
It's easy to jump to for a reason -- Apple wants this thing front and centre in your phone.
Just because you can have alerts for every app doesn't mean you should. First thing you'll probably notice, for example, is that your Mail app doesn't appear on the lock screen.
Pick five or six of your favourite apps that you always find yourself unlocking and checking your phone for updates. Here are some examples:
- Sports scores
- Google+ (for the five or six of you out there)
- Text messages
- Reminders and alerts
- Instant messaging
- Games (like Words With Friends and Hanging With Friends).
Make sure you turn 'Notification centre' on.
Apple lets you pick how many alerts you want to see on your notification tab. You can store up to 10 notifications on the notification bar, but that'll quickly get crowded. Set it to five or fewer, so only the most recent alerts come up.
This sometimes isn't set on by default. Make sure you check off that box.
You don't have to have pick one type of notification for every alert. You can choose whether the notifications pop up as boxes or as banners on a case-by-case basis.
They will still show up as a stream on your lock screen.
The alert box is best if you need something in your face, interrupting what you are doing. Use this one for things you absolutely have to see -- like a text message or a score update.
Think of the banner on the top of your screen as a news feed. This alert works best for information that comes in a stream -- like the alerts from a social media site. Add apps like Path, Twitter and Facebook to this one.
It keeps track of much more than your lock screen, so you'll want to remember to jump to it if you already have your phone open. But don't bother unlocking your phone to check your notifications -- that would defeat the purpose of this whole experiment.
Your lock screen can usually support about four messages on the screen, and you can swipe down to view more. For this example, we went with Path (to keep track of friends), mail and Twitter for work and text messaging.
Swipe any of those notifications to the right to jump straight to it in the phone.
This is basically what shows up on a BlackBerry phone. But those phones are popular among business professionals because it has an elegant unified inbox that helps you quickly parse through a large number of inbound messages.
It seems like this tool was built for the same purpose, but with third-party app support you can expand it outside of just work.
But regardless of anyone trying to troll you, you'll never have to unlock your screen again to check your messages. It's the whole point Apple implemented this system, and it's a very elegant.
Seriously -- think of how much time you are going to save when you don't have to type in that password every time. You can thank us later.