How iOS 13 will affect apple push notification?

Push notifications (Web & App) are one of the leading communications channels used by apps and browsers irrespective of the OS. It can be used by iOS or Android for transactions, promotional, re-engagement and leveraging customer experience.

As Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, the world saw a tectonic shift in the way people communicate. The mobile phones ceased to be the device only to make phone calls or send SMS.

Although there are smart devices available at that point, some features from the Apple’s iPhone changed the mode of mainstream communication completely. However, when it comes to push notification as a marketing channel, we are not there yet.

Here, it is important to remind you that push notifications were present before this time as Apple had already introduced APNS (Apple Push Notification Services). Before iOS, Blackberry was already using it by the name of Push Services. Yet, the Blackberry Push Services was used to show only the email alerts.

Now, you must be wondering about why we are reminding you of historical data, especially when iOS 13 is already launched. Well, there is a strong reason to look into these past events. Apple iOS 13 has introduced a few tweaks concerning the iOS App Notification services. Hence, unless you know the significant milestones related to the APNS of the past, understanding the impact of the latest features might prove a bit tough.

So, take a quick peek at the major developments related to the APNS in the past before moving on the latest development in the Apple’s push notification services on iOS13.

The Evolution of Apple Push Notification Services (APNS)

As mentioned earlier, Apple started its push notification service since iOS 3 and Blackberry used it before for email notifications. Although this made accessing emails immediately as they arrive, Apple took it to another dimension by introducing similar features for third-party apps.

Over the years, iOS has seen quite a few additions, modifications, and has been refining its push notification service feature. For example, iOS 5, released in 2011 introduced the concept of the notification center. iOS 8 started the support for notification panel third-party widgets. Besides, this addition allowed users to view real-time information about weather, stocks, and more.

The last version or iOS 12 has significantly affected the performance of push notifications on iPhones. To make the device faster, Apple introduced a new feature that allowed the device to group all the notifications in the notification center.

Apple released the latest version of its OS – iOS 13 on September 19, 2019. Continuing with the tradition of developing the iOS and the app-environment, the device is expected to change the way to carry out push notification campaigns yet again.

As you can see, Apple has introduced and sometimes changed the way push notifications were sent to the iPhones with a slew of development ever the years. iOS 13 brings in some changes too, which are necessary to look at before tweaking your push notification campaign settings.

iOS 13 Features and Impact on Push Notification

With the recent update of iOS13 from Apple, Push notifications can keep users informed with relevant information which is delivered on time, providing value for users and convertible actions for product owners.

Among a range of updates, Apple has enhanced a few features for mobile notifications with the release of iOS 13. Let’s see what are those and how impactful they will be when it comes to iOS push notification.

1.  A separate OS for iPADs and iPhones

Apple will be discontinuing the support for iPads with its iOS 13. The iPads will be powered by another OS, built solely for it. This means you can no longer design the same message for the iPhone and iPad a.k.a. mobiles and tablets. However, this also means that the users you are targeting can become more segmented, as you only have to be concerned with the users on a particular device using a defined OS.

2.  Enhanced privacy

As the trends of iOS had been regarding privacy, iOS 13 has taken a step further when it comes to push notifications. With iOS 13, the users will have more information about the data they need to share or the accessibility of the phone features. Further, the notification preferences, actions, visibility, and notification alerts have been modified by Apple to make the devices more user-friendly.

3.  Smart Notifications

The Apple push notifications on iOS 13 are set to become smarter with the new update. Thus, the users can now receive notifications curated according to their preferences from associated apps without asking for it explicitly. Also, Carousel Notifications have now been enabled with upto 6 products & its details to increase conversion rate. In other words, Apple intends to make the overall user experience more human-like for the users.

Push Notification for ios 13

4.  New attributes for APNS API headers 

Since there has been a lot of changes in the way Apple push notification is going to work on iOS 13, the APNS APIs have changed too. The retrieval of the push token needs to be updated to a different format to access the description now onwards. 

You need to update the headers of the APNS payloads, too according to the type of push notifications. This is particularly important, as, without this update, the delivery of your push messages may get delayed. Lastly, you need to update the APNS priority settings under the requirement set by Apple. 

5.  More security

Along with the above four updates, Apple has also paid some attention to the security of the push notifications. Apple is discontinuing the support for the ancient TLSv1 protocol, and switching to a more secure http/2 protocol. Thus, you need to make sure that your platform is aware and adapted to this change in security protocol.

6.  Notification Service Extension

Apple has introduced this feature in iOS 13 to take off the push notification settings and VoIP notifications. This feature deals more with the permissions regarding the user data usage in the background. So, if you are looking to collect information about your users in the background, you must enable this service.

When you are looking to design your Apple push notification services according to the iOS 13, you must attend to all the features mentioned above. 

However, you must remember that your push notification might not reach the users still if they have turned off their notifications, which is very easy. As you know, when the users install your app, they must provide permission to allow push notification. These notifications can be switched on and off with a toggle from the settings screen. If the notifications are turned off, there is no way you can reach the intended users.

Ending Note

Since there are almost 22.5% iOS users globally, you must have a strategy ready for sending them push notifications and other marketing communications. However, over the last ten years, Apple has made quite some significant development. Unless you are keeping up with these updates, the chances are high that you will perish.

The latest version from Apple, the iOS 13 has concentrated more on security, user experience, and their privacy. You need to strategize your push notifications to comply with the latest APNS requirement. Moreover, the discontinuity of iOS support for the tabs would require you to cater to the iPads differently than iPhones now.

Although the task seems daunting, you have your work cut out if you are already using the push notification platform by Vizury. If not, you might reconsider shifting to it to avoid any unwanted loss of revenue that might occur due to the non-compatibility issues of your current platform with iOS 13. Get in touch with us at

Sandip Acharyya

A former metallurgical engineer, Sandip switched to be a digital marketer and writer. In Vizury, he shares his experience on retargeting and push notifications, to help entrepreneurs and marketers to improve their marketing ROI. He likes to spend his leisure reading books, watching movies, and making music. Get in touch with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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