While Apple improved their alert system with Notification Center in iOS 5, they're finally bringing some sanity and serenity to it with iOS 6. Too much notification turns into interruption, especially if your only options are to answer or hang up, to leave everything on or turn everything off. It makes us the single-points of failure in our memory chain, and let's face it, why bother having these fancy devices if we're the ones who have to remember to call back, or remember to activate and deactivate alerts every morning and night. Which brings us to Remind Me Later and Do Not Disturb.
Here's how Apple describes them:
iOS 6 adds new calling features to your iPhone. Now when you decline an incoming call, you can instantly reply with a text message or set a callback reminder. And when things are just too hectic, turn on Do Not Disturb and you won’t be bothered by anyone — except can’t-miss contacts like your boss or your better half.
And here's what we've seen of it so far:
When Do Not Disturb is active, you'll see a special half-moon icon on your status bar to the left of the time.
You have granular control over Do Not Disturb settings. You can turn it on and off manually, for example, when going into a meeting. You can also schedule an automatic time range, for example, every night during your regular sleep hours.
You can enable exceptions to Do Not Disturb, to allow calls from certain contacts, including everyone on your Favorites list, or a specific contacts Group.
You can also enable an exception for repeated calls, in case of emergency. That means if someone thinks it's urgent enough to call you back a second time within 3 minutes, that second call will come through.
Overall, these are terrific additions to iOS' communications and notification handling. It doesn't go as far as true profiles, for example, location-based profiles that automatically change a range of settings including notification, network, security, etc. when you're at home vs. at work, or more rounded bedside mode, but it's a start.
iOS 6 is scheduled for release this fall, perhaps as soon as September 19. For more on iOS 6, check out: