Issue #16: The dream of push notifications is being destroyed📲 — Jason Michael Perry

Howdy 👋🏾, did you get my message? How could you not between the push notifications, app badges, emails, and constant reminders? If this sounds familiar, you suffer from post-notification PTSD. As an Apple Watch wearer, my biggest fear is a new app spamming me repeatedly with useless information. Can we agree that not all info rises to send a push notification?

Many apps overstep, and when I can, I delete those apps. However, some of the worst offenders, like social media or productivity apps, can be challenging to remove regardless of their persistent annoyances. Some of those apps weaponize notifications into pressure-click tactics by leaving at least one unread message that feels impossible to dismiss or find in the app. The absolute worst is an app that reads the notifications and does not dismiss the alert, but you have to check a box saying read – sounds like a lawyer’s guide to UX.

Increasingly marketers awaken to this power and transform something once meant as an alert to informational news into a new way to connect with customers, but like many things, this is a tightrope. I’m okay with some fluff, and the occasional ad is even fine, but you ping me too often, and it begins to feel like the app that screamed wolf. Drizzly is one of the worst offenders sending 1-2 push notifications a day that vibrated my wrist with the news, “Tuesday is great for tequila and fresh limes”, exactly what I need to know during an important meeting.

Even for the apps that get it, they can begin to feel like CNN’s broken breaking news ticker. The Apple News app, in particular, can get fairly chatty about things I genuinely care about but are not important enough for a push notification. For example, Business Insider sent an Apple News notification about the best places for 40-year-olds to live (or something like that), and it popped on my wrist during my presentation at the company All Hands; thanks for the info, but can you tell me later?

If you are wondering, yes, I know you can disable notifications, adjust how particular apps send notifications, or specify the type of notification an app can send. However, what I need is improved discretion from the app developers themselves. All the notifications Apple News sends me that truly do not matter, alerting me that the Capitol was under attack or that Maui is on fire, feel like things that I want to know and need to know with urgency.

As app developers and marketers, we need to be much more conscious of when and how we send push notifications and avoid them becoming text message SPAM. After all if everything is urgent, nothing is. Now folks, here are a few thoughts on tech and things:

👉 Did you watch the Apple Wonderlust event? In case you missed it, don’t fret you honestly did not miss a lot; the thing was full of meh. It’s kind of crazy how something as amazing and powerful as the new iPhone Pro can feel like another mundane release, but here we are…this week or early next, I’ll post a video of my thoughts with our Director of Mobile.

⚡️Cool thing #1 from the Apple event is the ability to tap your thumb and index finger to make selections with the Apple Watch. I love this feature and find it quite magical, but also, it’s not close to new. Apple released this as an accessibility feature years ago, but it’s nice to see it become core to watchOS. That said, I enjoy the continuity this creates between watchOS and visionOS.

⚡️Cool thing #2 is spatial video and its role with VisionOS. If you read my content, I predicted that the Vision Pro would not be the device for capturing content for AR/VR and that this role had to live with the next version of the iPhone. Does this set the stage for a Vision Pro Air in 2025 and an iPhone 16 with LIDAR and spatial video abilities?

👉 AI self-regulation is the best thing for the moment. After all, we still have a lot to learn, so it’s nice to see more companies voluntarily agree to the White House’s AI guidelines.

👉Speaking of AI, Marketplace had a very interesting piece on how AI could make it easier to enforce patents and also harder to create new things. It is a short read or listen and worth your time.

If you found this information valuable or interesting, kindly consider sharing it with your friends, family, or colleagues.


P.s. I’m headed to Phoenix, Arizona, for EMACS, the best conference for utilities and customer service. While there, I plan to shoot some videos, including interviews on tech and AI in the utility sector. If you’re in Phoenix or attending the conference, stop by booth #37 and say hi 👋🏾