What are app notifications?

 

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What are app notifications?

An email app showing a red notification to indicate you have a new message

What's coming up

Notifications are one way your smartphone or tablet communicates with you.

In this activity, you will learn ways to control when and how you receive notifications from your devices.

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What is a notification?

Your device will display notifications when an app has something to tell you.

A notification may signal the arrival of an email or other message, remind you about a calendar event, let you know you've nearly used all your data allowance or alert you to a low battery.

Often, your device will make a sound to let you know you’ve received a notification.

A zoomed-in view of a notification on an Android screen
Some typical notifications on a smartphone screen

Where to find notifications

You can view notifications on an iPhone or Android phone by swiping down from the top of the screen.

Android phones may also show notifications at the top of the screen, with icons indicating the type of notifications awaiting attention.

An icon of a padlock

eSafety Tip: are notifications important?

Some app notifications are important but others aren’t.

Important notifications include system alerts that might warn you about an app draining your battery, or that you’re approaching your mobile data limit.

Less important ones might be from games, indicating a new daily challenge is available.

What to do with notifications

When you see a notification, you can start up the app to see the email, SMS, WhatsApp message, news story or whatever it is the app wants to tell you about.

You can also tap on the notification to go directly to the item within the app.

A zoomed-in view of two notifications on a smartphone screen
A zoomed-in view of the options to view or clear a notification from a smartphone screen

Deleting notifications

You can declutter the notifications screen on your device by deleting notifications.

On an iPhone, swipe the notification to the left and tap Clear.

On an Android phone, swipe the notification left or right to clear it.

Stop notifications on Apple devices

You can control the notifications you receive from apps - and the sounds they make – from the Settings menu on your device. The video on the next slide will show you how this is done on an Apple device.

On the next slide, click the ‘play’ button on the video to watch it. You can also click anywhere on the video to pause or restart it.

Stop notifications on an Android device

Are all the notifications that apps give important to you? Or do they just clutter up your phone?

The video on the next slide will show you how to control notifications on an Android phone.

On the next slide, click the ‘play’ button on the video to watch it. You can also click anywhere on the video to pause or restart it.

Well done

You’ve come to the end of the What are notifications? activity. You've learned that you have plenty of control over what notifications you will receive.

Next up, we'll learn how to manage what you spend on apps in the activity, Managing your app costs.

A close up of the App Store app showing the red notification symbol