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iOS 12: What's new with Do Not Disturb and Notifications

Want an easier way to ignore work emails? Read this.

With the release of iOS 12 later this year, notifications and the Do Not Disturb feature are going to look and work a bit differently.

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Some of the changes are an extension of Apple's effort to help users limit the amount of time spent staring at a screen. Other changes, such as notification grouping, are desperately needed improvements to the platform.

Keep in mind iOS 12 is currently available in beta. It's likely that features will change and look differently by the time it's released this fall. We will update this article as needed until then.

Better DND controls

Using Do Not Disturb to keep your phone quiet during a meeting or while you sleep is easy enough, right? You either manually turn it on, or schedule when you want your phone to quit begging for your attention with each new alert.

One of the downsides is that the schedule feature was designed for use at night. There was no way to trigger DND for a meeting or meal and have it auto-disable after a period of time.

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

In iOS 12, however, there are a few different options — all of which make DND incredibly more useful. To view the new options, open Control Center and hard-press on the DND icon.

A list of options will show up, letting you set DND to expire in an hour, this evening or when you leave your current location.

Bedtime mode

bedtime-mode-ios-12

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

In Settings > Do Not Disturb there is a new option called Bedtime Mode. When enabled, any notifications will not show up on your lock screen. Instead, you will see a screen that lets you know your device is in DND mode.

The idea here is that if you happen to look at your phone when DND is enabled, you can still see the time but you won't feel obligated to reply to a message or email that's on your lock screen.

Despite its name, if you have Bedtime Mode enabled in the settings app, notifications are hidden whenever do not disturb is active.

Notifications

Grouped alerts Notifications from the same app will now be grouped together, instead of one after another in a long list. Notifications that are grouped appear as a stack of alerts. Expand a group by tapping on the top notification, or hard press on the top notification to open it.

When you tap on a group, you will see a Show Less button at the top of the list to collapse the group back down into one stack of notifications.

Notification options

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You can still swipe right or left on a lock screen notification to take further action, but now when you swipe left a new option to manage notifications from the respective app is present.

When you select Manage, a popup asks if you want to set the app to deliver notifications quietly, turn off notifications altogether, or open settings to further customize the app's notifications.

Proactive suggestions

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you frequently ignore an alert from a specific app, iOS 12 will ask you if you want to keep receiving alerts or manage the app's notification settings to limit the number of notifications you receive.