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A new way to receive breaking news updates on your iPhone

Posted by Angela Nelson, Boston.com Staff  June 14, 2012 01:36 PM

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The most recent update (3.6.2) to the Boston.com iPhone app includes a relatively new technology called "Push Notifications." These notifications are similar to the text messages most of us use on our phones, but are tied directly to individual mobile apps.

So for instance, Thursday morning, when the latest state unemployment figures were released, we sent the message “State unemployment rate falls to 6 percent” and linked to the story in the business section of our iPhone app.

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We know how easy it is to become overwhelmed with the flurry of text iPhone settings screen for Boston.com Push Notifications messages and e-mail alerts you already receive. So, to make Boston.com’s alerts more useful we encourage you enable or disable them by topic. The directions are below, but you can choose to receive alerts from any combination of four topics: News, Sports, Business or Entertainment.

By using these general topic filters, we hope to be able to increase the number of relevant alerts you receive, while limiting those that are not of interest. However, if you turn off all of the topics, you will still be able to receive the very occasional urgent alert that the Boston.com editors feel merits a general broadcast.

In the next few weeks we will continue to sparingly use thebroadcast alert method, while you select your topic preferences. But, before the end of the month we will be using the topic filters almost exclusively. So, if you are interested in politics and Red Sox updates, make sure to turn on “News” and “Sports” for instance.

In case you are wondering, unlike text alerts Push Notifications do not add to your cell phone bill; they are included in your regular data plan.

If you do not have the iPhone app installed, you can get it in Apple’siTunes store for free. OurPush Notifications are not yet available on Boston.com for Android devices, but we anticipate including them in future updates to that app.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer support team at feedback@boston.com.

To set your alert preferences by channel:
Go to settings: Boston.com
Select any combination of News, Sports, Business, or Entertainment alerts.
Or, in the Boston.com app go to More: Settings: Push Notification

To turn off all push alerts from Boston.com:
Go to your device’s home screen and then Settings: Notifications: Boston.com. Turn “Notification Center” off to disable all alerts from the app.

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