Notifications for calls, texts, and alerts can be critical, but sometimes all that buzzing, pinging, and vibrating can be annoying. Conversely, you may find yourself in such a noisy environment that you miss a call or text even if your phone’s ringtone is on full blast. And constantly checking your screen is not a desirable solution.
Recently I discovered a brilliant solution: my iPhone’s LED camera flash. Even if you never use it when taking photos, there’s a simple setting that lets the flash alert you to notifications instead of a distracting sound or annoying vibration. And it has the added benefit of being visible when my iPhone is locked and face down.
Setting up LED flash for alerts, which is designed for the hearing impaired who struggle with audible alerts, is easy. First, open the Settings app and tap Accessibility. In the Hearing section, tap Audiovisual and scroll down to the LED flash for warnings check. If it’s off (which it probably is), tap it to access the controls. In the next pane you will see switches for Flash while unlocked And Flash in silent mode. Flash While Unlocked will still flash the flash while your phone is unlocked, and Flash in Silent Mode will flash your iPhone even if your device is set to Silent.
With those controls, you can’t miss the blinking flash every time you get a notification. Please note that you cannot choose which notifications to flash as the feature treats all notifications the same way. Constantly turning off the beeps and buzzes that come with notifications will quickly make it your favorite new feature (even if it’s about 10 years old).
Today I Learned is a Macworld column that highlights lesser-known but helpful tips and tricks for Apple users. If you have ideas for future columns, please email [email protected]