As promised in WWDC in June 2022, Apple has come up with the much awaited support for web push notifications on iOS. Starting iOS 16.4, websites are now able to start sending iOS push notifications, not only on Safari, but also to other browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. This opens up new opportunities for publishers to engage their users and serve relevant content updates to their readers who use iPhones.
How Does This Announcement Impact Publishers?
Apple has been reluctant from the very beginning to open up its walled garden until recently, when they showed willingness to embrace a more open and inclusive ecosystem. That wait ended up lasting for over 7 years!
In 2015, Google Chrome was the first to roll out the web push notification API. This enabled developers, marketers, and publishers to reach out to users via the Chrome browser. Eventually, Android smartphone users also opened up as a base of new visitors.
Publishers who relied on push notifications were also able to build engaging audiences with better content consumption. After tasting success with Android, developers awaited a similar move by Apple, which wasn’t fruitful, up until now.
The support for iOS push notifications is a significant win for publishers who have longed for a way to reach their iPhone and iPad users with the same level of ease and immediacy that they can with Android users. Publishers will be able to convert their iOS users into subscribers and engage with them effectively. All of this without having to build an app.
The availability of web push notifications on iOS means that publishers can now reach an even wider audience, making it a vital part of any publisher's marketing strategy. The increased reach also means that publishers can monetize their content more effectively, as they can now engage with iOS users as effectively as they can with Android users.
Building On OS X Push Notifications
Apple has been supporting push notifications on OS X via the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS). Developers also use APNS to deliver a notification to iOS devices. What has now changed is Apple will be rolling out support for service workers to show notifications.
Developers could still deliver notifications on Safari via APNS to an OS X device. But doing so involves a cumbersome process including generating a Safari certificate. Most push notification service providers extended support for push notifications on Safari for macOS. This wasn’t possible on iOS.
Apple’s support for web push notification standards, as adopted by other browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, will simplify work for developers. Developers can now start building an audience on iOS without any additional effort. This will not even require an Apple Developer account.
How Does Push Notification Opt-In Work For iOS?
Apple has always prioritized user experience. Its approach to push notifications is no different. The process of getting users to subscribe is slightly different on iOS. To ensure iOS users are not inundated with subscription pop-ups, users need to add your website to their iOS home screen, showing intent. This can be done by creating a shortcut for the web page using the ‘Add to Home Screen’ button in the share screen.
With this, you can then trigger the prompt at a user action such as tapping on a ‘subscribe’ button. Once readers subscribe, the notifications will then be shown in iOS Notification Center and Lock Screen. The user can always revoke changes for a web app in the Notification Settings.
How Can Publishers Get Started With iOS Web Push Notifications?
Support for iOS web push notifications is now released. In markets such as the US with a dominant share of iPhone users, native support for push notifications helps publishers tap into mobile users and offer a consistent experience.
Website owners will now be able to reach even more users with their push notification campaigns, and iPhone users will have access to timely and relevant information from their favorite websites with iOS 16.4.
Are you catering to a huge iOS audience and want to get the ball rolling? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to our blog to stay tuned with the latest updates on iOS push notifications.
Publishers and developers can also consider Messenger push notifications as a complimentary channel to reach out to the vast audience on both Android and iOS. Get started for free with iZooto right away. Book a demo here.