A Guide to the the iPad's Notification Center

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What is the Notification Center on the iPad? And How Do I Open It?

The iPad's Notification Center is a compilation of your calendar, reminders, alerts from apps, recent text messages, and emails from discussions flagged as a favorite.   It also contains a "Today" screen showing important updates from your calendar and reminders, app suggestions from Siri, articles curated from the News app and any third-party widgets you have installed.  

How Can I Open the Notification Center?

You can access your notifications by touching the very top edge of the iPad's display and sliding the finger down without removing it from the screen.  This will 'pull down' the notification center with the Notifications View active.  You can reach the Today View by swiping your finger from the left side of the screen to the right.   You can also open just the Today View from the first page of the iPad's Home Screen (the screen with all of the app icons) using the same left-to-right swipe.  

By default, you can access the Notification Center at any time -- even when the iPad is locked.  If you don't want to enable access while the iPad is locked, you can turn this feature off in the iPad's settings by choosing Touch ID & Passcode from the left-side menu and flipping the on/off slider next to Today View and Notifications View.

What's a Widget? And How Does a Widget Relate to the Today View?

A widget is really just an app that is designed with a view for the Today View section of the notification center.  For example, the ESPN app displays news and sports scores when you open the app.  The app also has a widget view that will display scores and/or upcoming games in the Today View.  

In order to see the widget, you will need to add it to the Today View. 

What if I Don't Want to Be Notified By an App?

By design, apps are supposed to ask for permission before sending notifications.  In practice, this works most of the time, but sometimes the notification permission gets switched on either by accident or a bug.   

Some people prefer most apps especially apps like Facebook to send them notifications.  Others prefer to be notified only of the most important messages, such as reminders or for calendar events.

You can modify the notifications for any app by launching the iPad's Settings app and tapping "Notifications" in the left-side menu.  This will give you a list of every app on the iPad.  After you tap an app, you have the choice to turn Notifications on or off.  If you allow Notifications, you can choose the style.  

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How to Customize the iPad's Today View

By default, the Today View of the Notification Center will show you any events on your calendar, reminders for the day, Siri app suggestions, and some news.  However, it is easy to customize the Today view to either change the order of what is shown or add new widgets to the display.  

How to Edit the Today View

When you are in the Today View, scroll down to the bottom and tap on the "Edit" button.  This will take you to a new screen that allows you to remove items from the view, add new widgets or simply change the order.    You can remove an item by tapping the red button with the minus sign and add a widget by tapping the green button with the plus sign.  

Reordering the list can be a little trickier.  To the right of each item is a button with three horizontal lines. You can 'grab' the item by holding your finger down on the lines and then move the widget up or down the list by moving your finger up or down.   However, you have to be very careful and tap right in the center of the horizontal lines else you'll simply be scrolling the page up or down.  

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There Are Actually Two Today Views

The view you get while in landscape mode (which is when the iPad is held on its side) is actually a little different than the view you get in portrait mode.  Apple makes use of the extra real estate in landscape mode by displaying the Today View with two columns.   When you add a widget, it goes to the bottom of the list, which is the bottom of the right column.  In the edit screen, the widgets are broken into two groups: left column and right column.  Moving a widget from the right to the left is as simple as moving it up the list to the left section.

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