iOS 15.4 beta includes support for receiving notifications from web apps on iPhone and iPad

Apple’s iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates, currently in beta, apparently feature support for receiving web notifications in the Notification Center on your iPhone and iPad.

An image showing a young male's hand holding an iPhone 13 with iOS 15 home screen
  • The code of iOS 15.4 beta suggests support for web-based notifications on iPhone
  • Web notifications work on macOS, but so far haven’t been supported in iOS at all
  • On iOS, only App Store apps can push notifications to your devices

iPhone and iPad to support web notifications with iOS 15.4

The experience of using web-based apps on iPhone and iPad isn’t too bad until you start to think about push notifications. Apple’s designed iOS and iPadOS so that only officially sanctioned apps carried on the App Store are permitted to send you push notifications. While the Mac platform has supported web notifications in Safari for years now, Apple is finally adding push notification support from web-based apps to its iPhone and iPad. Read: iPhone not getting call, text and app notifications? Here’s what to do.

According to developer Maximiliano Firtman’s post on web push notifications on iOS, Apple has added two experimental features to the Safari browser on iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4: Built-In Web Notifications and Push API, both disabled by default in the latest betas.

The feature appears in an early stage of development because there are no outward-facing controls and Apple has yet to implement a permission prompt in Safari to display notifications from web apps. Read: How to set iPhone notifications to deliver quietly

“The API appears visible both in Safari and installed Progressive Web Apps (PWA) in the latest betas,” he wrote. “Still, I don’t know if Web Push will be available for installed PWAs or not as they use isolated storage from Safari, and there may be some implementation issues.”

A dialog in macOS asking for user permission to deliver push notifications from the website

It’s unclear whether Apple plans on launching web notifications on iOS with an upcoming release of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. For all we know, this could be paving the groundwork for enabling web notifications in subsequent iOS releases.

Apple is currently testing iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 with its registered developers and public beta testers. With a couple more betas to go, we expect the software updates to release to the public in a matter of weeks, before this spring.

Watch this space as we’ll keep you posted.