I just ran across this review of IOS5 and was struck by this bit:
Notifications: iOS 5 includes the new notification center. It works just as well on the iPad as it does on the iPhone. I have found, however, that it needs some fine-tuning to balance the right amount of information with the least amount of interruption.
With the old system, incoming notifications (push alerts from apps, messages, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) popped up on the screen and required the user to dismiss them before returning to their task. In order words, they were a total and complete annoyance.
With the new system, messages can be set up to arrive in a number of different ways–including not at all. If and when they do arrive, they appear at the top of the screen in a tiny little bar. If you want to access that message right away, swipe it to the left and you’ll be zipped into that app. If you just ignore it, it fades away. You don’t have to do anything to dismiss it, and it doesn’t interrupt what you’re doing. Thank GOD!!!