Web Push Notifications for iOS – Are we there yet?
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 worker. 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 notification 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 essentially requires 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 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 prefers to live in 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 into receiving push notifications. On other 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 app’s push notifications which app developers must abide by. It provides no support on background services which is 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.
For now, Safari only supports push notification on Mac.
Now after the release of Chrome 59, Chrome web push notifications are displayed by 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, 2015. It has almost been 2 years since then, but lets not loose faith. One day iOS push notifications will see stop reflecting in the ‘under construction’ section. Till then, it’s a soft and firm NO for safari web push notification on iOS.