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WWDC 2018 (Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

Notifications serve to keep you engaged in an app. They can let you know how much attention your social media accounts are getting, or they can shame you into logging a meal or practicing your Spanish.

Push notifications don't help when it comes to breaking your smartphone addiction, though. Our need to keep up with alerts, who liked our photos, the latest news, and more has become so intense that WebMD has gotten involved: Phantom Vibration Syndrome is being so hyper-aware of your smartphone that you feel like it's buzzing when it isn't.

Notifications on iPhone particularly rack up fast and consume the user's lock screen. Apple's new iOS 12 update wants to give its users more control over the notifications they get.

Even though the iOS 12 update stacks notifications from the same app, making it a little less frightening to check your phone, you can actually turn the notification previews off.

Turning off notification previews

  1. Tap Settings icon.
  2. Tap Notifications.
  3. Tap Show Previews.
  4. Select between "Always," "When Unlocked," or "Never" to tell your iPhone when you want to see notifications.

SEE: How to install iOS 12 now

At WWDC 2018, Apple software engineer Teja Kondapolli detailed ways users can manage their notifications more easily in the iOS 12 update. Kondapolli introduced a new management view that lets users configure their settings directly from the notification itself.

The new management view cuts out some time users would previously have to spend digging into Settings, finding the app in question, and fixing the notifications.

Configuring app notification settings in new management view

  1. Swipe left on the app notification in question on your screen.
  2. Manage, View, or Clear options will show up. Tap Manage.
  3. Tap Deliver Quietly to have notifications for the app only show up in the Notification Center and not make a sound.
  4. Users can also choose Turn Off notifications for the app.
  5. Tap confirm to turn off notifications.

Other notification management options

Kondapolli mentioned three different ways that iPhone users can access the new management view -- through rich notifications by tapping in the right-hand corner, and through app suggestion notifications. Depending on how often a user engages with an app, the app will ask if you still want to receive notifications.

If you're partial to Settings, the iOS 12 update hasn't forgotten you. More detailed configurations can be accessed through the new management view. You can tap the Settings button below "Turn Off" and make additional changes.

Options through Settings button

Making changes through Settings gives you another option for notification delivery. Instead of Delivering Quietly or completely turning them off, if you like your notifications the way they are, select Deliver Prominently. Deliver Prominently is basically how a notification came previously.

Settings also lets you specify what kind of notifications you want to receive from a particular app.

Provisional Authorization

Kondapolli noted that sometimes when users download an app, they don't know what kind of notifications they'll be getting. Apple is addressing this with Provisional Authorization.

Usually when you download an app, it asks you if you want to receive push notifications. With Provisional Authorization, there isn't a prompt after the initial download. Don't panic, though: You can still turn off the notifications.

Provisional Authority is an automatic trial period to help users make informed decisions regarding notifications. It's up to the app developer whether the app takes advantage of Provisional Authority or not. If the developer opts in, users won't get a prompt to allow or block notifications right after installation. Instead, the app notifications will be delivered quietly to give users a chance to see if they want to keep receiving them. Users can check in to the Notification Center to see if they want to keep receiving the notifications.

The notifications update still requires a few steps, if I'm being picky, but it does let you do everything in one spot.

Although everyone seems pretty excited about the new update and iPhones, screen time might still be on the rise for now. It's nice to know, though, that Apple is ready to help users detox when life goes back to normal.

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Takeaways

  1. The new iOS 12 update gives users more control over how notifications are displayed, which apps can send them, and how they're delivered to iPhones.
  2. Users can take advantage of notifications being delivered quietly, prominently, or turning off app notifications altogether.

Also see

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.