The Notification Center in iOS 7 gives you the ability to allow apps to give you a banner style notification alert. I don't let many of my apps interrupt me, but usually I do like seeing banner notifications at the top of my iPhone screen when I receive a new email. It is nice to be able to quickly glance at the banner to decide whether the email needs my immediate attention, and if not, I can go right back to whatever I was doing on the iPhone. After about five seconds, the banner notification goes away. If you don't already have this feature enabled, open the Settings app and go to Notification Center to turn it on. For example, here is the screen to turn it on for a Mail account:
Most of the time, a banner notification is a great and unobtrusive way for you to receive a notification.
Most of the time, but not always. There are many times when I need to tap the top of my iPhone screen in an app — such as to tap a button at the top, or to tap at the very top of the screen to scroll up to the top of a long list — and right at that very moment that I was about to tap the top of the screen, an email banner notification shows up, covering up the very spot that I was about to tap. The five seconds that the banner stays on the screen, right on top of where I want to tap, seems to last an eternity.
Fortunately, there is a quick way to dismiss a notification banner. Place your finger on the banner and then swipe up. This gesture flicks that banner alert right off of your iPhone screen, so it is no longer covering up the top of your iPhone. Make sure that you don't tap the banner and lift your finger up — that will select the banner notification and bring you right to that email message (or bring you right to whatever other app sent you the notification). But if you just flick it off, it quickly gets out of your way. Before iOS 7, you had to pull down and then flick back up to do this; in iOS 7 you can now just flick up.
Learning that quick little action, a simple flick of a finger at the top of the screen, has saved me a lot of aggravation. If this tip is new to you, I hope that you find it as useful as I do.