iOS 15.4 beta suggests Apple may allow websites to send Safari push notifications to iPhone and iPad
Apple released the first beta of iOS 15.4 last week, bringing with it a new feature that makes it possible for users to unlock their iPhone while wearing a face mask without having to authenticate with an Apple Watch, 37 new emoji characters, and more.
Behind the scenes, iOS 15.4 includes changes in the Web platform, with developer Maximiliano Firtman highlighting in a post to his blog firt.dev on Monday how for the first time, Apple appears to be working on a way for websites to send Safari push notifications to iPhone and iPad users, with iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 including “Built-In Web Notifications” and “Push API” toggles in the Experimental WebKit Features settings screen.
Firtman notes how both settings are disabled by default in the latest beta, suggesting this “may say that it won’t be shipped now, and we may need to wait a couple of months for iOS 16 or later.”
Web push notifications for iPhone and iPad have been high on the wishlist of developers for some time. Apple allows websites to send notifications to Mac users through Safari, but as it stands only apps available through the App Store are able to send notifications to users who have the app installed on their devices.
The new feature would mean websites (with consent) could send notifications to users, regardless of if they have an app on the App Store or not. It would mean businesses that don’t have apps would be able to share updates with customers easily through third-party push notification services, but also the feature would entice marketers and potentially open the door to spam advertising notifications.
Push Notifications, WebXR, and better PWA support coming to iOS and iPadOS 🔥https://t.co/clg4NabH91
— Maximiliano Firtman (@firt) January 31, 2022
Full credit to Maximiliano for bringing this to light.