How to set up email notifications in iOS 12

Receiving email notifications for important messages is easy with VIP lists, but you can also get notifications for all emails in iOS 12. Learn about push notifications in the Mail app.

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Image: CNET

There are many iOS email clients available that provide push notifications for new email messages, but oftentimes these apps need to store your email login credentials on their servers, posing a security risk and often violating employee agreements by sharing these credentials with a third party. The built-in Mail client in iOS provide this feature in a way that doesn't store your credentials on Apple's servers, as the email client has special access to iOS to download your messages in the background without the need to use an external server.

There are two ways you can get push notifications for your important emails in iOS 12: You can specify individual contacts that will generate a push notification, or you can allow all emails from a particular email account to generate push notifications. We'll explore both of these options.

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How to manage email notifications with Mail VIPs

If there are only a few contacts that you're concerned about getting email notifications from, you can use a lesser known feature of iOS Mail called VIPs. Through this VIP list, you can specify contacts that will generate push notifications on your iOS device to alert you to new emails from the contact.

To set up a contact in your VIPs, perform these steps.

  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. Navigate to the All Mailboxes view.
  3. Select the I button beside of the VIP mailbox.
  4. Select Add VIP... to select a contact and add them to the list (Figure A).

Figure A

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Configuring a contact as a VIP is simple. To remove one, swipe right to left and tap Delete or use the Edit button.

After you configure the first contact in your VIP list, ensure that notifications are allowed for VIPs by tapping the VIP Alerts button to manage alerts. Ensure that the Allow Notifications option is selected, and then select the type of notification alert style you prefer (Figure B).

Figure B

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In this section, you can also specify a custom sound when a VIP notification arrives.

Once this is set up, whenever you receive a notification from a contact specified as a VIP, that email message will appear on your Lock Screen and Notification Center to alert you to the arrival of the message.

How to generate notifications by email account

If you want to get a push notification for every email message on a particular email account, you can configure such notifications on a per-account basis.

To configure notifications based on email account, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Notifications | Mail.
  3. Select the email account you wish to enable notifications on.
  4. Ensure Allow Notifications is enabled, and then select an Alert type: Lock Screen, Notification Center, or Banners (Figure C).

Figure C

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From the email account details in Mail's Notification Settings, you can enable notifications on an account-by-account basis.

After making this change, you will start receiving push notifications for all new emails received on the accounts for which you enabled notifications.

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By Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...