Apple’s 2018 Notification Updates Had Little to No Impact on User Behavior

As part of its iOS 12 update, Apple introduced a number of changes to its operating system’s push notification settings in 2018. This included giving users the ability to group notifications together by type and make notifications more or less prominent with “quiet” and “prominent” notification settings. It also introduced a preference center would learn what types of notifications users are interested in based on which ones they turn off and engage with.


Despite Apple giving users more independence with their notifications, this update to the notification system might not have had the impact Apple expected.


According to a study by the digital growth platform Urban Airship, consumer’s notification behavior experienced little to no change during the first six months of iOS 12’s implementation. Based on the analysis of the behavior of over 3 million retail app users and 1 million media app users, 54% of retail app users and 30% of media app users showed an exactly zero percent change in their engagement rates before and after the update.


Additionally, the average notification opt-in rates for both app categories showed minor to no change in engagement between the Q3 and Q4 of 2018:



Given this finding, we’ll see if Apple makes any further changes to try to improve notification engagement and user experience.


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