Apple’s annual developer conference WWDC is currently underway in California. But we’ve already had quite a few significant updates around push notifications from the Day One keynote itself. But the announcement that stole the show for us and had marketers excited is the much-awaited support for iOS push notifications.
Key push notification updates in iOS 16
Send web push notifications on iOS soon!
iOS 16 marks the beginning of web push notifications on iOS. Marketers around the world have been waiting patiently for Apple to iOS Safari push notifications. Currently, 47 percent of all smartphone users in the United States use an iPhone. That’s device penetration you cannot ignore as a marketer.
Push notifications is used across industries to engage, retain and build a loyal audience base. Publishers, bloggers, enterprise media companies, and content creators across the globe heavily rely on push notifications to leverage an audience-first marketing approach. With third-party cookies set to be deprecated next year, time is running out for the publishing industry to relook at its approach for a world that will increasingly prioritize first-party. For those who look at audience marketing at publishing businesses, push notifications on iOS will come as a huge relief.
Given the high visibility and reach of iOS, there are myriad use cases for publishers. In cases where the relevance of the story is time-bound, for example sporting events, breaking news and stories of huge impact such as live polling data, retargeting users and encouraging subscriptions get a whole lot easier.
From a publisher’s perspective, having access to an iOS audience now puts the two smartphone platforms on equal footing. Earlier, only Android users could be engaged via push notifications. With its announcements at WWDC 2022, Apple has taken the first step towards enabling a publisher opportunity to interact with its vast pool of iPhone users. This opens up several possibilities for marketers and audience engagement. While some may consider this a late entry by Apple, this isn’t the first time the company has rolled out a feature after Android. However, push notifications will only be available for iPhone users in early 2023. So there’s still a long way to go before we are able to gauge market response. This will depend heavily on publisher adoption of the new feature.
Live Activities for better ease of information consumption
Apple also announced Live Activities, a notifications feature where information gets updated in real-time. All are conveniently accessed right from the device lock screen. If you are a publisher, this helps you offer your users a superior experience instead of bombarding them with multiple notifications.
Typical use cases for this update would include live match scores, stock price updates, live events of significance such as the Oscars, or even live poll data and election updates. Similarly, live blogs will be able to offer their users access to the most updated information without requiring them to unlock their devices. This feature will be available later in 2022.
Show only the latest updates and increase user interaction with iZooto’s push notifications
A refreshing change to the notification esthetics
Thre are quite a few changes made to the way the notifications look and the placement.
- Notification design: Apple’s approach to notifications with iOS 16 puts an emphasis on visual appeal. Besides, the addition of border text and crisper images prioritizes user experience.
- Notification animations: The new notifications on iOS 16 will follow a similar design language that Apple adopted when it brought the address bar on Safari to the bottom of the screen with iOS 15. This is done to enhance ergonomics and restrict the need for thumb stretches while trying to browse the internet on your iPhone. With iOS 16, notifications will now appear at the bottom of the device and will continue to stay there, rather than in the middle of the screen. This might take some time to get familiar with, but it makes it easier for users to view and interact with notifications.
- View on Lock Screen - Notifications can be viewed on the lock screen itself as mentioned above, and the users can choose if they want to see it as an expanded list view, stacked view, or a count view, giving more power to the user.
With power comes responsibility
A lot has changed since the inception of push notifications. The importance of building an audience and reaching out to users with ease has taken a higher pedestal over the last couple of years. Publishers continue to strongly lean on push notifications for marketing their timely content, enhancing user engagement, and increasing revenue.
While Android already had notification stacking and web push support, iOS soon followed suit. Push notifications have been evolving - moving towards creating a better experience for the end-users by providing them with relevant and timely content. From building an audience by default on Android apps to permission-based notifications starting on Android 13, to support of web push notifications on iOS, we have come a long way. The future of push notifications seems bright, keeping users engaged one notification at a time.