A blog by Greg Pierce

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Disable Notifications with Guided Access

Over at Macworld, Lex Friedman points out a real need in iOS – to have a convenient way to temporarily disable notifications. I agree with his post, but for a lot of the specific use cases he mentions such as watching a video or using navigation where you are primarily in one app there is a solution – Guided Access.

Guided Access is a new iOS 6 feature intended for primarily education and accessibility uses. Per Apple:

Guided Access helps you to stay focused on a task while using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which app features are available.

I have not seen it specifically documented, but in my testing, when Guided Access is enabled Notification Center is not available and new notifications do not trigger banners or sounds.

It’s not all that inconvenient to use, either. If you go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access, you can enable it. Once on, you simply triple click the home button when in an app, and you can start a Guided Access session. This will lock you into the single app until you triple click home again and key in a passcode to end the session – but until that time, you will happily be notification free. When you leave your Guided Access session, all your notifications are waiting for you in Notification Center as well – they don’t just disappear.

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