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iOS Safari Push Notifications 2020: Are We There Yet?

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iOS Safari Push Notifications 2020: Are We There Yet?

iPhone users account for more than 45% of all smartphone users in the United States, and the number is just growing. All the leading browsers with the exception of Safari on iOS support service workers and Push APIs. While Safari does support push notifications on Mac OS, there is no green signal for iOS safari push notifications in 2020 yet. 

But there is finally a workaround to reach out to your users on iOS. Messenger push notifications give you the luxury to reach out to users on iOS and engage with them (similar to the classic web push notifications).

One of the most frequently asked questions by developers is when would they get web push notifications iOS (iPhones and iPads). They have been waiting for iOS push notifications since Chrome extended web push API, back in April 2015. People are so eager to have web push notifications on iOS that they have even filed a petition

"After almost 2.5 years of Chrome releasing support for Service worker, Apple changed the status of Service Worker from being Considered to being under development. Jake Archibald first reported." 

The status of the Service Worker has now changed from 'Supported in Preview ' to 'Supported'.

WebKit service worker status

Web Push Notifications have clearly made difference in every marketing campaign it gets involved in. The Wider impact is because of almost all the browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, UC Browser now support Web Push Notifications and Service Workers. 

Device-browser-os-supporting web-push-notifications

With release of Chrome 80 and Firefox 72, the quieter permission UI has made subscription prompt go silent for some websites. Once Chrome rolled out the Subscription prompt UX report, we analyzed 535 websites and unearthed some important revelations. In this notification subscription UX report, we have covered the prompts that perform the best, the non native prompts that steal the show and more. This update was made solely to provide users with a better experience on the website. Since Apple gives lot of weight-age to user experience, these changes might encourage them to support web push notifications iOS.

Though there is no support for web push iOS Safari yet, something to be thankful for is that more than 80% of users make use of devices that support web push notifications. So that is a relief. web push supportBut support on web push iOS Safari is essential never the less. Why leave out the 14% when you can reach out to more people!    

Service workers

Web Push Notifications essentially requires Service Workers. The image below shows how delayed iOS is to support service worker for push notifications.

ios service workersAs you can see, Safari iOS has finally supported service workers in iOS 11.3. But what is on hold, is their support for Web Push Notifications. So push notification iOS web app is currently not available as you can see below-

iosiOS the reluctant one

iOS prefers to live within its own closed walls of its palace. Hence it is very selective even when it comes to supporting apps. First and foremost not all apps are available for iOS. The ones that are, need to be registered with the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS). They have to be manually opted for receiving push notifications. On other android phones, it is the bonus of the marketer to make people opt-in.

iOS has its own sets of rules and a long pre-review checklist for accepting app's push notifications which app developers must abide by. But now, Progressive Web Apps is supported on iOS! Which means that you can now install apps without the stringent app store approval. iOS Safari PWA push notifications is not yet supported though. 

iOS push notifications - Final word

Even though it has started supporting service workers, it doesn't support iOS service worker push notification. But there is a ray of hope with the support of service workers. 

For now, Safari only supports push notification on Mac. After the release of Chrome 63, Chrome web push notifications are displayed on native Mac OS notification system. Hopefully, web push notifications on iOS will come out in a few years as mentioned in the 5-year plan at the WebKit contributors meeting, 2015.

Here are some additional handy resources around the status of iOS push notifications:

Update # 1 - Webkit team has started development on web app manifest. Latest status here.

Update # 2 - Webkit team now supports service workers, but sadly there is no Push API. Details here and here.

iZooto now provides messenger push notifications to help you target your customers on iOS.

Download the ultimate guide to safari push notifications for free

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Pravya Pravin
Pravya Pravin
Pravya Pravin is a Product Marketer at iZooto. An artist who paints not only with words, but also on canvas. She loves exploring places less traveled and wishes to go on a bike trip to the highest motorable road.

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