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Web Push Notifications for iOS – Are We There Yet?

DZone's Guide to

Web Push Notifications for iOS – Are We There Yet?

See how soon you'll be able to add web push notifications to your mobile app on iOS and what browsers will support them.

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Web push notification for iOSThe status of service workers has finally moved from consideration to development. This was first reported by Jake Archibald; more details can be found here.

As confirmed by Greg, service worker support is finally under development. We are super excited about this. Thanks to Apple and Brady Eidson.

Web push notifications have made their mark felt for quite some time now. Almost all the browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Opera now support service workers and web push notifications. Safari is the only browser that does not support service workers. Safari push notifications for OS X have been around for a while.

One of the most frequently asked questions by marketers is whether they can send Safari notifications on iOS (iPhones and iPads), and the answer is a big NO. People have been waiting for web push notifications on iOS ever since Chrome enabled web push, back in April 2015. Web push notifications essentially require service workers, and there are no foreseeable plans of Safari (on iOS) supporting it. iOS web push notifications don’t seem to be available anytime soon.

iOS push notifications

iOS 10.3.2, the latest version of the OS was released on 15th May. Everyone was counting on service worker support and iOS push notifications to be incorporated. But again, all in vain.

iOS push notifications

iOS prefers to live within the closed walls of its own 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 into receiving push notifications. On Android phones, it is the onus of the marketer to make people opt in.

iOS has its own sets of rules and a long pre-review checklist for accepting an app’s push notifications, by which app developers must abide. It provides no support for background services, which are essential for Safari push notifications on iOS to function. The developers say that the service worker for iOS push notifications is under construction, so there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

iOS push notifications

For now, Safari only supports push notifications on Mac.

Chrome 59

Now, after the release of Chrome 59, Chrome web push notifications are displayed by the native Mac OS notification system. Hopefully, iOS push notifications will come out in a few years, as mentioned in the 5 year plan at the WebKit contributors meeting in 2015. It has almost been two years since then, but let's not lose faith. One day, iOS push notifications will stop appearing in the "under construction" section. Until then, it’s a soft and firm NO for Safari web push notifications on iOS.

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Topics:
ios ,mobile ,safari ,push notifications

Published at DZone with permission of Pravya Pravin. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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