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Will Web Push Notifications Be Available For iOS in 2020?

The future of Web Push Notifications looks bright

We've seen Apple change its guidelines, which now allow mobile apps to advertise with Push Notifications. This is, of course, interesting for the future of Web Push Notifications for iOS devices. Apple does not (yet) allow Push Notifications to be sent on Apple phones coming from websites. We haven't heard from Apple for a long time, however, this update and speculation around the trend about Web Push Notifications brings new possibilities regarding web-based notifications on iOS devices.

Video of a web push notification on the iPhone X

Recent news from Apple

Over the years, Apple has persisted in preventing Push Notifications from apps, advertising or pushing marketing content.

Regarding the updated guidelines by Apple, iOS developers can now send advertisements using Push Notifications for their apps. Despite this, Push Notifications only apply if the user has given explicit permission. You might think, why would you want to opt-in for ads? Ads can often be personalized and easily unsubscribed from, meaning users only see what they want and what’s relevant.

IOS mobile with several notifications visual

Push Notifications for iOS

Before you take advantage of Apple's new update make sure you have read the guidelines carefully, Apple explicitly emphasizes "Do not use Apple Services to spam, phish, or send unsolicited messages to customers, including Game Center, Push Notifications, etc.". They also emphasize that “Push Notifications must not be required for the app to function, and should not be used to send sensitive personal or confidential information. Push Notifications should not be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in your app’s UI, and you provide a method in your app for a user to opt out from receiving such messages. Abuse of these services may result in revocation of your privileges.”.

Web Push Notifications for iOS

For the time being, Web Push Notifications are not yet available for iOS. The nice thing is that Steve Jobs came up with the first concept for Progressive Web Apps (PWA) 10+ years ago. In this concept, he mentioned the ability to send Push Notifications from your web app.

Although it is not yet possible for iOS, Web Push Notifications are supported by browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera. These browser notifications are all supported on operating systems like Linux, Windows, and MacOs.

Example Web push notification for iOS

What are the next steps?

The future of Web Push Notifications looks bright. Considering the latest news, it looks like Apple is working on it. We don’t know when, but the expectation is that it will happen. The Push Notification community and consumer demand are both growing and are unlikely to be ignored.

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