Web Push Notification Design Change Coming with macOS Big Sur

In case you missed it (although we realize you probably didn’t), Apple recently had their yearly Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Even though the event was virtual this year, that did not mean it was not full of exciting announcements. In fact, this year’s event was one of their biggest in recent years and included tons of exciting updates for all of their products.

One of the biggest changes is their new macOS, Big Sur. While we won’t get into all of the details here, we did want to point out some exciting improvements that will be coming to web push notifications when the new OS drops.

When macOS Big Sur becomes available for download (expected this fall), you’ll be happy to know that web push notifications can have an additional line of text. Users will also be able to click a new drop down feature that will allow you to display large images and action buttons, and your notifications will now also display even if a user is logged out!

That’s the basic overview, but let’s get into a little more detail about what your web push notifications will look like, how they’ll perform, and more!

Web Push Gains a New Line of Text

Before this update, notifications on Mac were limited to just a few words before getting cut off. In addition to a title, your body text would really only display around 5 or 6 words. Here’s an example of how notifications look for Mac users currently:

This is about to change! Thankfully, with Big Sur comes the ability to send two lines of text. Web push is all about being concise and delivering messages quickly, which is not going to change. However, this additional line gives you a bit more breathing room to get your message across without being cut off.

Here is how your notifications will look for Big Sur users:

Notice that the entire message displays, instead of getting cut off at the word ‘campaigns.’ This is an awesome update that we are really excited to see go live. The notification is still quick and effortless, but the added line really helps make sure your subscribers see your message in its entirety.

Expanding Notifications

Another cool feature that is coming to Big Sur is the ability to expand a push notification to see a large image, the notification itself, as well as several action buttons. Let’s first show you how it will look:

With this display (that a user can access easily by clicking a drop down arrow that appears when you hover over the notification) a subscriber will see your custom icon displayed much larger without having to sacrifice space for your notification text. Your title and notification still display in full right below, followed by several action buttons.

We have had action button capabilities for a while, something to definitely continue taking advantage of. You see the two action buttons above that we customized, including adding emojis to them to make them appear more engaging.

Logged Out? No Problem

Finally, you can also add the logged out screen to the list of places where your web push notifications will show up. You already know that the power of web push is that a user does not have to currently be at your website or even using a browser to see your notification. Now, they also won’t even have to be logged in to their user account in order to see your message. Here’s how that will look:

One of the many great reasons to use web push is to take advantage of how immediate the message is delivered and seen. Now that is even more the case for Big Sur users!

Google’s web.dev LIVE

In addition to WWDC, Google also recently had their yearly conference, also in a virtual format this year in place of their usual Google I/O event. The three day event, web.dev LIVE, did feature some information regarding web push for Chrome users.

There are no major changes to report with regards to Google Chrome and web push, but they did discuss their push towards “quieter notification permissions” for spammy, potentially abusive websites. Google is committed to cracking down on websites who try to trick users into opting in to their notifications or websites who send misleading, spam-like, or otherwise bad content via their web push notifications.

We recently discussed these updates if you would like to learn more about how the quiet notifications would operate, who is impacted, and how to check if your website is safe.

You can also check out Google’s web.dev LIVE session on this topic for more information.

Wrapping Up

We hope you are just as excited as we are about these new updates. The additional line of text alone should have you excited to craft new campaigns for this segment of users. We love seeing how creative you all get with your notifications, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll do with the extra space.

As a reminder, you have the ability to segment your users based on device and browser type. Because each has a slightly different appearance, this is something you should definitely take advantage of, especially once Big Sur goes live. Check out our documentation for quick reminders of how notifications look on Windows devices and mobile devices as well. If you are concerned about being pushed to a quiet notification prompt on Chrome, you can check your status with their Abusive Notifications tool.

For those of you who are new to web push and want to get started, you can start your free trial with Aimtell or learn more about web push by reading our Beginner’s Guide.


Tags: big sur, google chrome, macos big sur*, web push notifications.
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