Using Custom Notification for VIPs iOS

This post comes in response to a question sent to us from Rachael: "When I receive an email from a specific person, I want to be notified in a way that it looks and sounds different than any other email. I really, really can't miss these emails. How do I do this?!"

With phone calls and text messages, we can edit a contact entry in iOS so that when that person calls or texts, the ringtone or sound differs from that of everyone else. This is a great feature because it allows you to determine who is texting or calling without looking at your phone. Wouldn't it be great if we could apply that same principal to incoming email? While we can't set a specific sound for each individual when we receive email from them, we can use a relatively new feature in iOS called VIP to distinguish VIPs from everyone else. As long as that VIP list is short, it will do exactly what you're looking for. Here's how it works.

My default new mail sound is set to "Bamboo". It's a nice sound and works fine for the general public, but I have a friend named "Katie" that I want to have a different sound played when I get email from her. First, we need to add Katie as a member of our VIP list. To do this, we'll want to open the Mail app, then go back until you see a list of all mailboxes, like this:

To add someone to our VIP list, we need to tap on the blue "i" to the right of VIP. This will open a new window that will show you a list of current VIPs as well as an option to add a new member to the VIP list:

To add Katie to our list, we tap on "Add VIP..." and choose her from our list of contacts.

Now that Katie is a VIP, let's adjust our VIP notification settings so that they differ from our standard notification settings. There are two ways to get to these settings:

  1. From the VIP screen, tap on "VIP Alerts" at the bottom
  2. Settings > Notifications, then scroll down to Mail

Either method will take you to the notifications settings for the Mail app.

From here, we can adjust the sound, the type of notification and more. In a situation where you really don't want to miss an email from a VIP, you want to choose a loud/obnoxious sound as well as choose the "Alerts" alert style. This option will display an alert on your screen that won't go away until you tell it to.

Posted on September 29, 2016 and filed under iOS, How To, iPhone.