iOS 16 notifications: three ways to change the new design

To match the new lock screen widgets, Apple has also redesigned the notification system in iOS 16. Starting this year, notifications now appear at the bottom of the lock screen instead of at the top below the clock. This change is controversial for many iPhone users, but there are a few settings you can change to improve your experience…

iOS 16 Notification Changes

Apple says the new bottom-up design for iOS 16 notifications is designed to reduce lock screen clutter. The idea is that by moving notifications down, you can see more of your wallpapers. This is especially important with iOS 16, which adds a host of new lock screen personalization options such as widgets, depth wallpapers, live wallpapers, and more.

This means that when you update your iPhone to iOS 16, your notification will automatically start appearing at the bottom of the lock screen. You can swipe up on these notifications to view more of them and easily delete them, touch them, and manage notifications on a per-app basis.

But along with these changes, Apple has also added some new customization options for iOS 16 notifications. If you go to the Settings app and tap “Notifications” you will see three different options. Each of these options is for customizing the appearance of notifications at the bottom of the lock screen.

Left to right: count, stack and list

  • Count: This replaces lock screen notifications with a simple piece of text that tells you how many unread notifications you have. You can swipe up to view the full list of your notifications.
  • Stack: this option accepts all notifications from each individual app and “stacks” them up. This way you have separate notification groups for each app on the lock screen and in the Notification Center.
  • List: This is the traditional iOS system for legacy notifications. You'll just see a list of all your notifications, which you can expand by swiping up from the bottom of the lock screen.

An interesting point I found in my review of MacStories for iOS 16 is that you can also temporarily include “Count” at any time, simply by dragging down the notifications that are on the lock screen; this will minimize and only show the number of notifications.

Sorry, you can't change the location of notifications. No way to go back to “classic” notification design in iOS 16. This makes sense because of the new widgets on the lock screen, but judging by early social media sentiment, there seems to be a market for the “classic” Screen lock option.

iOS 16.2 also has changes specifically for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max users. In iOS 16.2, you'll be able to turn off notifications on the always-on display, a change that may help some users ease concerns about this redesign.

What do you think of these new iOS 16 lock screen notification designs? Are you used to the new rising design or are you hoping to return? Let us know in the comments.

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