Hands-on: How to set up the new notification summary feature in iOS 15

Amora R Jelo

iOS 15 offers a handful of new features designed to make it easier to manage notifications. This is headlined by a new Focus system, which we covered in-depth last week. Another new feature in iOS 15 is the notification summary. Head below for details on how this works and how to set it up.

Hands-on: Notification summary in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Notification summary is a new feature in iOS 15 designed to collect non-time-sensitive notifications sent by iOS applications and deliver them to you in a single batch, either in the morning, the evening, or at a time you choose.

Here’s how Apple explains the feature:

Receive a helpful summary of your notifications delivered daily, in the morning and evening, or scheduled at a time you choose. Your summary is personalized and helps you quickly catch up on what you missed while away focusing.

Contrary to what you might think, and to what I initially thought, the notification summary feature is not enabled by default, at least in iOS 15 beta 1. Instead, you have to head to the Settings app to enable it.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Choose Notifications
  3. Tap Scheduled Summary
  4. Enable the Scheduled Summary toggle

This feature is available on both iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, so you can set up custom notification summary schedules on both your iPhone and iPad.

Once you enable the Scheduled Summary toggle, you can get into the specifics of scheduling the summaries. You can have up to 12 different summaries delivered per day, and the default configuration recommendation is for one summary in the evening and one summary in the morning.

Once you determine the schedules for your notification summaries, you choose the apps in each summary. This is a simple list of all the applications on your device, and you can toggle them one by one to include them in your summaries. When you put an app into the notification summary, you will not receive notifications for that app when they are sent. Instead, they’ll be saved and delivered all at once in the summary. Notifications from people, such as messages, will still be delivered immediately.

You don’t have any control over the order in which the notifications appear within your summaries. Instead, Apple says it will use on-device intelligence to sort notifications in the summary, putting the most important ones above the less important ones.

One limitation of the notification summary is that you can’t configure different applications for different summaries. This would be an area where you’re better off looking into the Focus feature for managing your notifications.

There’s a clear focus in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on improving notifications and time management. This includes changes such as Focus, the new design for notifications themselves, and the notification summary. What do you think of these new features? Let us know down in the comments!

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