Kharkov, Ukraine - June 18, 2021: Apple software updates banner photo, iOS 15 logo icon on the screen

iOS 15 – Changes to How We Engage with Users

With September around the corner, we can expect the release of iOS 15 imminently and with some pretty big changes happening within the push notifications API, you can expect to have to adapt how you engage with your app users.

Here’s our breakdown of the information from WWDC about changes in iOS 15 that will effect how you use messaging to engage with users.

Focus Feature

Focus is a new feature that filters notifications and apps based on what a user wants to focus on. Users can disable the focus feature, select a custom ‘focus’ or allow the device to choose (this uses on-device intelligence to suggest which apps are allowed to notify them).

There are now four settings that are applied to notifications are passive, active, time-sensitive and critical. Passive notifications are least important and deliver straight to the tray even without focus, active will alert the user if they have no focus applied at that moment, time-sensitive will bypass a focus to alert users, as will critical but this type of notification is reserved for emergency type situations and will only be applicable a small number of apps.

Different focus settings can be applied to different situations such as bedtime, or working hours and once applied to one device this focus is then subsequently applied to all Apple devices using that Apple ID.

Summary Feature

notification summaryA new ‘relevance score’ is added to notifications that prioritizes those that are most important and how they should be presented, whether this is within the lock screen (for the most important) or at the bottom of the notification summary (for the least important).

This relevance score falls on a scale of 0-1 with a default of 0.5. To avoid being low in the order of the ‘summary’ feature make sure your messaging is highly defined and relevant to the user in that location/ moment to justify giving your notifications a score closer to 1. Be sure to use media such as rich imagery or buttons that allow the user to interact to deserve a higher ‘relevance score’.

The user will define which apps are summarized and which are not but the device will make suggestions based on app usage. Work to keep your users engaged so that your app is never defaulted as one that the OS suggests the user may wants to summarize making it easier for your messaging to reach the user at the exact moment you want it to.

For your app this means that (as we have always said at Kumulos), you really need to pick your moments to message users and capture their attention with highly targeted messaging. Apple is trying to streamline the user experience of notifications and if you send users generic messaging you may find yourself filtered by the new ‘summary’ feature to appear to the user at another time and way down the list of messages in priority order.

Send timely, important and user specific notifications to reach your user in the moment or find yourself prioritized below other apps within the summary feature. Work to be top of the pile when the user is ready to engage.

Other Changes

Adding larger icons for apps and profile pictures to messages from contacts on messaging apps allows users to easily identify the source of the notification when displayed on the lock screen.

Icons can be added to actions within the push notification buttons, as mentioned earlier there is a prioritization of messaging with rich media and buttons. Add icons to your buttons to to make them stand out even more when opened.

If you’d like to discuss how these changes may affect your app or why you should be using a push notification provider that can help deal with these changes, get in touch and we’d be happy to help!