iOS 11: An alternative to swiping notifications, and why Apple changed this behavior

In iOS 11’s Notification Center, Apple removed our ability to swipe left on a notification in order to reveal buttons for Clear and View. I found an alternative, I think I know why Apple changed this behavior, and I like it better now.

Solution: 3D Touch or tap-and-hold

Previously, swiping left on a notification felt slightly problematic. It was sometimes easy to swipe too far or not far enough, resulting in unintended behavior.

In iOS 11, you can either 3D Touch a notification or, for those on devices without 3D Touch, including iPads, tap-and-hold. This has two advantages.

First, the notification is now displayed with all available functionality. Instead of having to choose whether to clear or interact with the notification (say, to reply to a message or mark a task complete), you now get to see the notification’s full content, all available actions, and a convenient and easy to tap (X) in the upper right of the notification box.

The Why

I think the second advantage is easier navigation. Now, a swipe left anywhere in Notification Center results in launching the Camera app. A swipe right anywhere takes you to the Today widget page. From my testing, it seems impossible now to accidentally swipe a notification when you wanted the camera, and vice versa.

In short, navigating between Notification Center, Today, and Camera is now much simpler. As with any muscle memory change, this will probably take some adjustment. But after being deliberate about it the last couple days, I’m getting in the habit, and I definitely appreciate the easier navigation.

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