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Lots of apps take advantage of an iOS feature called notifications, which enables them to send messages and other data to your iPad or iPad mini. For example, the Facebook app displays an alert when a friend sends you a message. Similarly, the Foursquare app, which lets you track where your friends are located, sends you a message when a friend checks in at a particular location.
If you miss an alert or banner, or if you see a banner but ignore it, you can still eyeball your recent notification message by displaying the Notification Center, which combines all of your recent alerts and banners in one handy location. So, not only can you see the most recent alert (as you could in previous versions of iOS), but you can also see the last few so you don’t miss anything.
The Notification Center is a truly useful tool that helps you see what’s going on in your world at a glance and gives you a heads-up about activities, incoming messages, app happenings, and more. The Notification Center is a great innovation, but it’s also a distracting one with its banners, alerts, and sounds. If you’re in a meeting, at a movie, or going to sleep, you certainly don’t want your iPad or iPad mini disturbing the peace. Most people handle this by activating Airplane mode, which turns off all the tablet’s antennas. This ensures that you’re distraction-free for a while. However, without any working antennas, your iPad or iPad mini can’t communicate with the world, so it doesn’t download messages or perform any other online activities.