How to Manage Alerts for Breaking News on iOS 15

Notifications on your phone can either be really important or be distrustful when you’re in the middle of something. We all appreciate being notified about something that we care about like when someone’s messaging, a package is being delivered, or when something important is happening.

iOS 15 lets you silence all unnecessary notifications or respond to them at a later time through features like Focus and Notification Summary but what if you wish to be notified about a major event or a piece of important news that’s happening around you? To make sure you get alerts for breaking news, we’ve prepared the following post so that you can manage notifications in a way you don’t miss out on what’s necessary. 

Tip #1: Limit the number of News apps on your iPhone 

You may think that using a bunch of news apps on your iPhone will make sure you don’t miss a piece of breaking news when there is one. But that’s not the case. If you use a lot of apps, all of those apps may overwhelm you with their own alerts and these alerts may end up burying important or breaking news. If you do not wish to scroll endlessly through the Notification shade to get breaking news, the best practice for that may be to limit the numbers of news apps you have installed on your phone. 

If you wish to get breaking news from all major publications, you can install and use a news aggregator app that finds news stories and important news from your area and around the world. You can use any of the following Apple News, Google News, Microsoft News, SmartNews, FlipBoard, and more. 

Tip #2: Turn ON Immediate Delivery for notifications from News apps

With iOS 15, Apple introduced Notification Summary – a feature that allows you to get notifications that are not time-sensitive at a later but convenient time. When you add a news app to Notification Summary, all alerts from the app including breaking news will be demoted as non-urgent notifications and will only appear as summaries at a time you choose if Apple considers them important. 

To make sure you get alerts about breaking news from a news app, you need to make sure that Notification Summary hasn’t been enabled for that particular app. In order to receive instant notifications from a news app, you will need to enable Immediate Delivery for all of its notifications. For this, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on the ‘Notifications’ option.

Inside Notifications, select the news app you want immediate alerts from.

On the next screen, select the ‘Immediate Delivery’ option under ‘Notification Delivery’. This option will only appear if you have enabled the ‘Allow Notifications’ toggle for the selected app. 

Additionally, when you install a news app and use it for the first time, you will be prompted with options to select either ‘Immediate Delivery’ or ‘Scheduled Delivery’. You can select the ‘Immediate Delivery’ option from the prompt to receive notifications when they’re available. 

Tip #3: Enable Time-sensitive Notifications for News apps

Breaking news are to be dealt with a sense of urgency, so it notifies the user instantly without any delay. With iOS 15, Apple will allow developers to make sure of Time Sensitive Notifications that will alerts users of something that’s really important even if notifications from the app are turned off manually or if the phone is in do not disturb mode. Notifications that are considered time-sensitive may be able to break past alert restrictions and apps that take advantage of the feature will be able to deliver high-priority notifications without fail.  

Since iOS 15 is in its early developer betas, not many app developers have started adding ‘Time-sensitive notifications’ on their apps. If the news app you use has added a feature, you can check it out or enable it by following the steps below.

To turn on Time-sensitive notifications, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on the ‘Notifications’ option. 

Scroll down the Notifications screen and select the news app you want to receive Time-sensitive notifications from. 

On the next screen, toggle ON the switch adjacent to ‘Time-sensitive Notifications’ under the ‘Always Deliver Immediately’ section. 

Note: This option will only be available when the app’s developers enable it on iOS 15. In case it isn’t, you will need to wait until iOS 15 rolls out as a stable release in the fall by which time support for this feature should become available. 

Tip #4: Enable in-app Breaking News alerts for News apps

While you can manage notifications from an app using the Settings app on iOS, many apps come with their own in-app alert settings that let you tweak what to get notified about. You can access these settings only inside the respective apps and some apps offer you toggles you can enable whenever there’s breaking news or news on a specific topic.

Note: Since all apps differ from one another, it’s not possible for us to prepare steps for tweaking the in-app alerts for every news app out there and it doesn’t make sense as well since third-party apps do tend to change their UI every once in a while. 

The basic way to approach this is to open the news app you want to get breaking news from and go to its Settings/Accounts screen.

For instance, if you use the Google News app to get your daily dose of news, you can access its settings by tapping your profile picture (and then ‘News settings’). On other apps, you may access this from one of the tabs at the bottom.

Inside the Settings screen of the news app, open the app’s Notifications settings.

Since we’re here to get notified about Breaking News whenever there is one, make sure you turn ON the toggle for ‘Breaking News’. You can also tweak settings on this screen to receive alerts based on important news, major events, or news that interest you.

The process of turning on alerts for Breaking news may differ slightly from this but you may easily be able to figure it out yourself when you start fiddling around the news app you mostly use. 

Tip #5: Use Notification Summary for other apps

If you don’t wish to miss out on breaking news and see alerts on your iPhone, you need to make sure that there aren’t a bunch of other apps you get frequent notifications from. While it doesn’t make sense to silence all notifications from other apps, you can use iOS 15’s new Notification Summary feature to get non-urgent alerts from these apps at a convenient time. This way, alerts about breaking news from a news app won’t sink below notifications from other apps and are easily visible inside the Notification Shade on your iPhone. 

Notification Summary can be enabled by going to Settings > Notifications > Scheduled Summary on iOS 15 and we’ve prepared a full guide on the feature in the link below. 

How to set up Notification Summary on iOS 15

That’s all we have on managing breaking news alerts on iOS 15. 


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