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Apple patent could improve iPhone alerts

The device's screen could accommodate some helpful information, such as recent text or voice mail messages, according to a new Apple patent application.

Several examples of how Apple may be planning to add notifications to the iPhone (click to enlarge) U.S. PTO (via AppleInsider)

Apple may be planning to add a little more information to the unlocked home screen of an iPhone.

AppleInsider found a patent application that indicates Apple is working on ways to add notification data--such as missed calls or recent e-mails--to an iPhone's display just after it is unlocked. That way, you wouldn't have to unlock the screen, pull up the home page, and see who sent you a text message.

The iPhone currently shows you that kind of information--such as a recent text or missed call--on the display while the iPhone is locked, but you have to unlock the screen, bring up the home page, and then open that particular application in order to retrieve the text message or listen to the voicemail.

Under this system, you could slide the bar to unlock the iPhone but keep the notification screen front and center, allowing you to pick the notification that demands the most attention right away with a direct link to the application. AppleInsider notes this will make a lot more sense after Apple lets developers start using its notification services, which is a backhanded way of allowing applications to run in the background and still maintain a network connection.