Push Notifications in iOS vs Android: What you need to know

Over the years, mobile phone users are constantly caught up in the tussle between the two chief mobile operating system – Android and iOS. The Google Android and Apple iOS have quite a few unique features, capabilities, and limitations that make them different from each other.

For a marketer, understanding the reason that prompts the users to favour either of the two operating systems is essential. The Apple phones, which are usually available at a premium price, are seen as an object of status by its users. Android phones, on the other hand, are more easily affordable and are used by users of varied demographics.

Therefore, if you look to run your push notifications campaigns on either of these platforms, you need to get a deeper insight into the overall user mindset and experience over the two platforms. Moreover, as the success of push messages depends on things like app-installs and app-usage, you need to design the push notification strategies as per user preferences.

Without keeping you waiting any further, let’s take a peek into the similarities and dissimilarities between the push campaigns in iOS and Android.

Similarities between Push Notification in iOS and Android

The very nature of push notifications is to compel the recipient to take some actions. Moreover, push notifications provides an urgency with relevant messages to improve the efficiency of the users’ actions.


Thus, there are quite a few similarities between the push notifications in iOS and Android. Leveraging these features could be an essential factor in creating a successful push notification campaign on either of the platforms.

1.) User experience of push notifications in iOS and Android

In general, users face a difficult time dealing with the push notifications they receive. Most of the time, they just dismiss the message as soon as it appears on the mobile phones. More so, if the notifications from different apps or senders pile up on the notification section.

Mobile operating systems have come up with a solution to help users take care of the issue effectively. With the updated operating systems, iOS push notification as well as Android are grouped, thus reducing the clutter in the notification centres.

While this feature is quite helpful, there still exists one small difference between the operating systems. The Android clubs the notifications received in the order of priority, whereas iOS clubs it according to the recency of the notifications.

However, clubbing the notifications in some order does provide a clutter-free experience to the users. Hence, the efficiency of the push notifications in iOS and Android actually improves with this feature.

2.) Push notifications interactivity

A crucial factor to impact the performance of the push notifications in iOS and Android is the interactivity with the message received. Many users prefer to take immediate action when they receive a notification, and an interactive interface helps in improving the performance of the message.

The interactivity of the push notifications is quite similar in both Android and iOS. Users can swipe downwards or sidewards to check out the complete details sent in the notifications, interact with the CTA and take an action they want. Swiping left or right also allows them to dismiss the notifications if they are not interested.

However, like the grouping feature, interactivity in iOS and Android has a small difference too. The iOS app notification, when swipe left or right, opens up the activity list, such as view, or clear. On the other hand, the push notification completely vanishes on Android in case the users swipes it sideways.

Therefore, the iOS users need to take a minuscule extra step to view or dismiss the notifications, which can act as a safeguard in case the users swipe it accidentally.

Difference between Push Notification in iOS and Android

The differences between the push notification in iOS and Android are not much. However, the dissimilarities between the two platforms often impact the success rate of the push notifications according to the user category. Knowing the following differences are prerequisite for sending successful push notifications in iOS and Android.

1.) Opting in and opting out

Opting-in is one of the primary differences between receiving push notifications in iOS and Android. Ios users need to give permissions to the apps after the installation. On the other hand, Android users are automatically opted-in as soon as they install an app.

Hence, when you send push notifications to Android users, you can expect its delivery to be successful. However, if you send the same notifications to the iOS users, it may or may not get delivered, depending upon the users’ permission. The statistics support this fact as it reveals that the opt-in rate in 91.1% in Android and 43.9% in iOS.

When you send your push notifications, thus, you can expect a larger audience on the Android platform, than that on iOS. You need to design your push notifications to get maximum engagement from your audience depending upon the OS.

2.) Push notification visibility

When you send out your push notifications, you expect the maximum eyeballs on them. The difference in the visibility of your push notifications in iOS and Android affects your success rates too. Usually, the Android notification is far more accessible than that in iOS.

The difference in visibility is because of the method the notification can be seen on the mobile. In both the OS, the user can see the notifications on the lock screen. However, the difference starts when the user unlocks their device.

In Android, the push notification doesn’t disappear as they unlock the screen. It remains accessible to the users on the notification panel, situated at the top of the screen. However, the push notification in iOS vanishes as soon as the user unlocks the device. The push message is still present, but the user has to manually go to the notification center to check them.

Therefore, the users receiving push notifications in iOS has to carry out some additional steps. It means you need to design the push notifications in iOS to be attention-grabbing so that they prompt the users to take actions on them.

How to improve Push Notification Performance?

When it comes to the success of the push notification, you have to think about both the operating systems. The following methods can help you to send highly-targeted push alerts to your users, irrespective of the OS.

Product labels example in iOS and Android

1.) Personalization and relevance

Personalization and relevance are the key factors that can help you to engage your users better. When you send push notifications according to the users’ interest, and with relevant products, the chances of engaging them to increase by a notch. Moreover, personalization portrays that you care for your users’ preference, thus, improving the urge to convert them.

2.) Product labels

When a user is looking for a product to buy, sometimes the decision-making process can belong. The user usually considers a lot of factors before making a purchase decision. However, if you can provide some social validation, or share some product reviews from existing users, the decision-making becomes easier for users.

Here, product labels in push notifications can be a helpful feature. Product labels allow you to use high-intensity information about the products like selling fast, top-carted, price-drop, or new arrival. These labels act as the emotional nudge, which can speed up the decision-making process, and help convert them faster.

3.) Rich push notifications

The evolution of push notifications from the use of text-only to rich graphics has been fast. The high-resolution images, along with customized CTAs are the hallmark of successful push notifications these days. These rich notifications provide more information about the products. The user can judge the colors, contours and the features of the product, thus, increasing their trust in them.

However, things can become tough when you have more than one product to showcase. Besides, sending too many push notifications to your users can be disturbing for them, and they may end up uninstalling the app or turning off the notification for your app.

To avoid these kinds of sticky situations, you can use carousel push notifications too. These help you to club multiple products in the same alert with a scrollable, and CTA enabled push notification. As the users can check out multiple products within the same message, the chances of converting them increases.

Ending Notes

As you can see, you need to design the push notification in iOS and Android quite differently. Moreover, some factors are absolutely crucial for even the delivery of push notification in iOS as well as Android.

However, you also learned a few methods to improve the performances of the push notification campaigns too. These strategies impact the push notifications on iOS and Android quite a lot. Additionally, these techniques improve the engagement of users far successfully than you can imagine.

Let us know about the strategies you think are helpful to drive push notification in iOS successfully. Share your thoughts in the comment section, or send us an email at marketing@vizury.com.

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