In Short

Notification Center, which originally launched with iOS 5 as way to aggregate all your phone, email, calendar, and other alerts, has gotten a substantial makeover with iOS 7. There's a new, tabbed interface that contains not only all and missed alerts, but a Today view that includes the date, time, weather, and information about whatever you have coming up next (including traffic and trip length!). It also uses iOS 7's new physics engine, so it'll drop, collide, and even bounce if you slam it down.

Notification Center, which originally launched with iOS 5 as way to aggregate all your phone, email, calendar, and other alerts, has gotten a substantial makeover with iOS 7. There's a new, tabbed interface that contains not only all and missed alerts, but a Today view that includes the date, time, weather, and information about whatever you have coming up next (including traffic and trip length!). It also uses iOS 7's new physics engine, so it'll drop, collide, and even bounce if you slam it down.

Lock screen notifications

With Notification Center, alerts can appear on your Lock Screen as they arrive as well as stacked into a list for when you're ready to look at them. You can also pull down Notification Center proper right on the Lock screen to access the Today, All, and Missed views without having to unlock first. (If the privacy and security implications don't bother you enough to disable that feature.)

Today view

Notification Center's Today view shows you the current day and date, next appointment, next destination, calendar list, reminders, stocks, an tomorrow's highlight all at a quick glance. It's not only convenient, it's customizable too.

All and Missed views

Notification Center's All and Missed views give you list of all the alerts that have come in since the last time you opened their respective apps, and also highlights the ones you've most recently missed. You can automatically sort them by when you installed the app or date and time of alert, or you can manually sort them in any order you like.

Banners, popups, and badges

Depending on how important a Notification Center alert is to you, you can have it pop up and force you to dismiss it before you can do anything else (useful for alarms, events, and reminders), a banner that unobtrusively shows up and then fades from the top of you screen (useful for messages), or nothing at all.

You can also, optionally, have Notification Center badge your app icon to show you at a glance how many unread items await you.

Beeps, buzzes, and blinks

In order to make sure you notice your alerts, Notification Center can optionally sound a tone, vibrate your phone, or even make your camera's LED flash go off to get your attention.

iOS 8

Rumor has it that iOS 8 will bring some changes to Notification Center, including a merging of All and Missed views into a simpler, more useful screen.