How to quickly and easily get rid of iOS 5 banner notifications -- the little roll-downs you get in-app and on the home screen -- seems to be a hot topic for our tipsters this week, and luckily you can do it in a couple of different ways.
- Touch and pull down slightly on the banner, then flick it up and away. (You're really activating Notification Center for a moment, but it has such a terrific, tactile feeling to it.)
- Swipe from right to left. (It's a faster version of the above but doesn't trigger it as reliably.)
In both cases you need to be really careful you touch and keep your finger down, otherwise it will be interpreted as a tap and you'll be whooshed away to another app, likely the exact the opposite of what you wanted.
Either way, it does nothing to fix the central problems of banners -- they roll down over content instead of pushing the content down, and they come in surprisingly enough that you can be about to tap a top-bar control only to hit a new notification instead.
Hopefully some sort of visual cue will be added, and the page content slid down, in a future update.
Thanks: @mpanzarino for figuring out the reliability issue with the swipe.