At first glance, it is easy to notice the major design changes in iOS 7. Those changes continue to be refined as Apple prepares for the fall launch, a time when it would not be surprising to see new products. Regardless of whether we see new iPhones or iPads, the update to iOS 7 is like getting a new device. One of the features that will see improvements is the iOS 7 notification center. There are some major differences from the current linen-clad iOS 6 version, with a brand-new today feature. Here’s what you can expect in the not so distant future.

iOS 7 Notification Center

Apple’s preview of Notification Center shows some of the major changes in design language with iOS 7. In iOS 6, the backdrop for the notification center was a black linen with zero opacity. With iOS 7, your wallpaper decision will play a major role. When you pull down the Notification Center in iOS 7, white text appears against a transparent, blurred background consisting of your app icons and wallpaper. How you access notifications remains the same, save for one key improvement. Now you can swipe down from the lock screen for faster access.

Notification Center iOS 7 vs iOS 6

Like the previous version, you’ll see notifications of new email, to-dos and third party apps. These will flow through depending upon how you’ve setup and configured your notifications. One of the bigger changes being introduced here is the ‘Today’ view. Apple brings the most important elements of your day and brings them into view. Your calendar appointments, current day and weather are all front and center. The at a glance view provides you with everything you need to get your day started. The Today view also offers a sneak-peak at tomorrow’s scheduled events. In iOS 7, you’ll get more from Notification Center if you make use of the new Calendar app. This isn’t simply for productivity users. Your calendar can show you birthdays, concerts and any event that is important to you. While they don’t show it in the screenshots, iOS 7 seems to borrow from Google Now in that it’ll alert you to possible traffic that could impact your commute.

One glance at your iPhone and you’ll know if it’s a certain someone’s birthday, if you’ll need an umbrella, or if traffic will slow down your commute.

Ultimately, that’s the big draw here in iOS 7 notification center. Everything, for the most part, you’ve come to expect and the new Today view.

As shown by Apple in their iOS 7 preview, notifications are sorted by three categories using the tabs at the top of the screen. So instead of one big free for all, there is some level of sorting that occurs. In addition to the Today tab, there is the new All and Missed tabs where you can see either all of your alerts or just the ones that you haven’t addressed in the previous 24 hours.

iOS 7 tabs for notifications

iOS 7 is still in beta, so things are still very much in a state of change. From what we’ve seen, it appears that the ‘tap to tweet’ and ‘tap to update status’ are gone. Personally, I’ve rarely used either and once you start layering features, you risk losing focus of the intended purpose. The new design is light and accessing notification center doesn’t feel as if you are drawing a dark curtain over the home screen. The transparent background teases your wallpaper choice, with a renewed focus on presenting events and information that is most important to you, the end user.