Web Push Notifications on MacOS are getting a lot better with Big Sur (11.0)

Upcoming Changes to Web Push Notifications on MacOS Big Sur

Upcoming Changes to Web Push Notifications on MacOS Big Sur

Apple had one of the longest keynotes ever for WWDC 2020, highlighting changes coming to push notifications on both MacOS and iOS. With such a huge userbase, many of these changes will impact on how you engage with your users using web push on MacOS.

MacOS push notifications are finally becoming useful

Ever since Chrome decided to go native with push notifications on MacOS, engagement with such notifications had started to reduce gradually. There were some key limitations, including how much text you could show. Then if you just added your own icon/image, you could hardly get 4-5 words of text.

MacOS Catalina Push Notification

MacOS Catalina Push Notification

This was very challenging for marketing teams to come up with succinct campaigns targeting just Mac users.

But that’s changing with MacOS Big Sur. You now have 2 lines of text for your notification content, making them infinitely more useful and engaging. Moreover, even if you add your own custom icon or image, that does not reduce your available content size.

Changes in Push Notifications on MacOS Big Sur (11.0)

Changes in Push Notifications on MacOS Big Sur (11.0)

Then, MacOS will also now respect the “require interaction” flag, meaning your notifications will stay on-screen until your customers click or close them.

You will also be able to expand a notification, which would allow your customers to see various action buttons you have sent. Finally, notifications will also be visible on the lockscreen, even if the user has logged out.

That’s a lot of positive things happening in the MacOS push notifications space. This is bound to improve engagement and click through as well. As with all browser/platform updates, you do not need to make any changes at your end.

iOS Web Push Notifications

Update – February 2022

Apple has finally seeded web push support to iOS 15.4 beta. Although it is still in testing phase, we believe it will be available fully to developers in September when iOS 16 launches for iPhones. At present we expect that web push for Safari on iOS will be available along with Chrome and Firefox. You can read more about it here.

As with every WWDC, the question on everyone’s mind was whether finally Apple will add Push API support to iOS. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Apple is still being very cagey about adding web push support to iOS and at present there is no timeline to share. Although they have implemented partial service worker support to enable PWAs on iOS, but the support is far from perfect compared to PWAs on Android or Windows.

We will still keep an eye out and also keep nudging Apple to add the required support.