Web Push for Web Apps on iOS and iPadOS

Brady Eidson and Jen Simmons, writing on the WebKit blog:

Now with iOS and iPadOS 16.4 beta 1, we are adding support for Web Push to Home Screen web apps. Web Push makes it possible for web developers to send push notifications to their users through the use of Push API, Notifications API, and Service Workers all working together.

A web app that has been added to the Home Screen can request permission to receive push notifications as long as that request is in response to direct user interaction — such as tapping on a ‘subscribe’ button provided by the web app. iOS or iPadOS will prompt the user to give the web app permission to send notifications. The user can then manage those permissions per web app in Notifications Settings — just like any other app on iPhone and iPad.

The notifications from web apps work exactly like notifications from other apps. They show on the Lock Screen, in Notification Center, and on a paired Apple Watch.

Push notifications are foremost, but a lot of longstanding feature requests for web apps are being added with this release. For example, third-party browsers can now save web apps to the Home Screen. It’s impossible to say whether increased regulatory scrutiny has changed Apple’s priorities regarding iOS’s support for web apps, but it sure seems like a factor.

What’s left on the list of features iOS should support for Home Screen web apps?

Thursday, 16 February 2023