Missing iPhone text messages and notifications are frustrating: these fixes might help

Focus function of iOS 15.

Patrick Holland / CNET

Apple iOS 15 has made a number of changes to how notifications work, allowing iPhone users to prioritize important alerts and make less important notifications less intrusive. They’re certainly less intrusive: Over the past few months, I’ve struggled with my iPhone settings to even see when my friends text me on WhatsApp, Signal, Instagram, and other apps. In an extreme case, a friend texted me on Signal on a Friday, and I didn’t even notice his message until Monday when I opened the app – luckily it was nothing rushing. , but I was embarrassed.

I am not alone in this frustration. Several threads on Reddit focus on trying to bring back notifications, whether it’s because of changes in how notifications behave when Do Not Disturb is on, how notifications won’t appear unless you don’t. ‘Proactively get into an app, and people having difficulty with the iOS 15 Focus feature find it easier to use apps with similar notification controls.

Third-party application developers might not be able to control these systems either. WhatsApp has an FAQ page that specifically references how Apple controls push notifications on the iPhone. Although the problem appears to be with WhatsApp, there isn’t much the company can recommend other than restore the phone to factory settings and start over.

These issues can potentially come to a head during the peak holiday season, as family and friends will use the most convenient device and messaging service to get in touch. Notifications are the way we keep track of chats, whether your friends and family prefer iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or any number of text and video messaging apps.

So let’s go over some of the biggest hurdles currently affecting notifications and applicable solutions to the extent possible.

IOS 15 tuning may require some tweaking

IOS 15’s Focus Mode is said to be an evolution of Do Not Disturb. In addition to allowing users to select Do Not Disturb, which allows you to silence notifications until it is turned off, it allows you to create situational profiles that are more personalized and tailored to your needs. For example, I recently created a “Movies” focus which, when enabled, turns off notifications from all apps, phone calls, and text messages except the RunPee app, which is a timer that sends a notification of the best times to leave a movie theater for a bathroom break.

The tune-up, while well-intentioned, however, allows you to accidentally leave your phone in the state of not receiving notifications. Focus can also be enabled to run on your various Apple devices, making it convenient to turn off notifications as needed or a liability if you only want to turn off your phone while leaving your iPad and Mac computers alone.

Accessing Focus to turn it on and off is pretty straightforward: you open Control Center by scrolling down from the top right corner of an iPhone with Face ID showing or scrolling up from the bottom of an iPhone with the display of a home button. This should serve as a decent first start in determining if Focus is the problem at hand.

If it looks like the issues are with the Focus settings themselves, you’ll need to explore in depth by going to the iPhone’s Settings app, scrolling to Focus, and entering the specific Focus menu that you have. you have to adjust. For example, I noticed that my focus on sleep starting to kick in around 10:50 p.m. was causing me to miss texts and video calls from friends I like to talk to before bed – but I didn’t want to leave my phone opened for someone to ring this late at night. I’ve adjusted the sleep focus to allow calls from specific people I agree to join after this time. That’s not fancy because now this smaller list could potentially decide to wake me up for calls at 3 a.m., but so far it’s the best system for me.

The way your notifications are sent may also have been changed depending on your Focus settings. Instead of receiving notifications individually, your Focus can put them together in a summary. Adjustments to how this summary works can be found separately by going to Settings, Notifications and tapping Scheduled summary to make changes or to deactivate the function.

ios-15-notification-summary-2

Hidden notifications can be collected for a summary, depending on your settings.

Patrick Holland / CNET

Do Not Disturb changes may affect the way you use your phone

Do Not Disturb is now part of Focus, but it has a key tweak that seems to bother the way some people have used their phones before. Prior to iOS 15, when enabling Do Not Disturb, an iPhone would not ring or immediately display notifications when the phone was locked and the screen was off. However, you would see notifications if you were actively using the phone while it is in do not disturb mode.

The fix is ​​not quite clean yet. As with the previous example I gave to adjust settings for an individual focus, you can adjust the behavior of the Do Not Disturb focus. In addition to selecting who you can call on your phone, you can choose specific apps that are allowed to notify you when you have Do Not Disturb turned on. However, the apps you choose will notify your phone at any time when Do Not Disturb is on, whether your phone screen is on or off.

If this bothers you, you are not alone. A fairly active Reddit thread on r / iOS communicated on exactly this issue and shared tips for workarounds until something official was hopefully incorporated at a later date.

A strange solution to retrieve notifications

During my own bickering through various Reddits and Apple support pages to get my notifications to work for WhatsApp, Signal, and Instagram, I found a weird solution that at least worked for myself.

In the Apple Support Forums, someone discovered that turning on and off the “Announce Notifications” feature could potentially fix your phone’s notifications. To access it, you go to Settings, then Notifications, then Siri, then enable Announce notifications. The feature normally allows Siri to read your notifications aloud, for example when you are driving. But instead of leaving it on, quit the Settings app, then re-enter it and turn it off.

Somehow, when I do these steps, apps that don’t notify me resume. It doesn’t make sense, but I have now walked through these steps twice when I noticed that the issue has resumed and is resolved each time.

I will keep updating this article as I find other solutions to retrieve notifications in iOS 15. If you have found any obstacles that prevented you from receiving notifications or solutions to retrieve them, please do not. ‘feel free to write them in the comments.


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